Meet the team

Bringing together expertise from aerospace, telecoms and hydrogen industries, read on to find out more about more about the talented team that drives SPL.

Richard Deakin
CEO
  • Three decades of civil and defence aerospace experience at BAE Systems, Thales Air Systems Division and GKN working extensively on civil drones and unmanned systems
  • Member of the UK government’s Drone Industry Action Group, previously CEO of NATS, a company providing air traffic management and airport operations around the world and Global Head of Aerospace for PA Consulting

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Mark Busby
Finance Director 
  • Seasoned finance professional, experienced in complex manufacturing, engineering businesses within aerospace, defence, cyber security and telecoms sectors
  • Previously Finance Director of Thales Aerospace Division (UK) responsible for Watchkeeper UAV system integration programme
Kevin Bean
VP Technical & Operations
  • Experienced technical lead of large software and systems engineering programs within aerospace and defence, UK and EMEA
  • Previously program design authority for Thales Unmanned Air Vehicle Systems

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Dr Andrew Faulkner
VP Communications
  • Senior technical lead on Square Kilometre Radio telescope project, a global programme deploying advanced phased array and dish reception systems
  • Formerly MD of Husky Computers, a leading international manufacturer of hand-held computer systems winning two Queen’s Awards for Industry
Liz Newman
Head of Human Resources
  • Over 20 years HR leadership roles within Aerospace & Defence organisations, UK, EMEA, USA
  • Design and delivery of major organisational change and restructure programmes

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Neal Unitt-Jones
VP Commercial
  • Over 25 years’ experience within Aerospace, Defence, Telecoms and Surveillance, building and leading commercial functions and teams
  • Lead negotiation of commercial and government contracts in the UK, USA, EMEA

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Mariska Pronk
Head of Programme Management
  • A senior Programme Manager with proven track record of successful trans-national, multi-disciplinary project delivery within commercial aerospace
  • Experienced in delivery of concept, development certification of wing structures engineering Airbus commercial aircraft

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Neil Taylor
Business Systems Analyst
  • Experienced in design and manufacturing engineering in the UK, China and South Africa
  • 10 years in financial services portfolio management and developing investment strategies
Dr Hatice Olmez
Quality Assurance Manager
  • 15 years of industrial experience in Quality Management and Assurance Systems, Operational Excellence and Engineering System Design
  • Success in developing Quality Management Systems, processes and procedures and achieving ISO9001/AS9100 certification.

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Marcus Clover
Lead Engineer – Fuel Cell Power Systems
  • Expertise in design and development of hydrogen-electric powertrains for high altitude applications
  • Specialist in process engineering, system modelling, fluid mechanics and heat transfer

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Dr Martin Chan
Lead Engineer – Tank
  • Specialist in reaction engineering and heterogenous stalysis, earning an IChemE Andrew Fellowship
  • Leading the development of the HAP liquid hydrogen fuel storage system

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Kudzani Makanda
Systems Engineer
  • Mechanical systems certification engineer with experience in aircraft interior systems and fluid mechanics, designing and running test rigs within aerospace & defence global organisations
  • FAA private pilot licence

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Tham Evans
Systems Engineer
  • Broad experience of technology projects within telecoms and automotive sector
  • Expertise in power electronics modelling, power supply systems and green technology in aviation

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Sarah Maciocci
Office and HSE Manager
  • 20 years’ experience of administration, office and project management within a wide range of commercial organisations and sectors
  • Implementation of HSE management systems and processes

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Henry Clarke
Aerospace System Subject Matter Expert
  • 20 years in aerospace engineering – Smiths Aerospace, Eaton Aerospace and Cobham
  • Delivered rapid development of innovative technology in power/fuel systems

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Dr Hilary Costello
High Altitude Platform Subject Matter Expert
  • Specialising in long endurance aerospace technology designed to operate in the stratosphere, avionics and flight control systems
  • Engineering, design, testing of high-altitude aerospace technology – balloon and fixed wing unmanned aerial systems

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David Carter
IT Manager
  • Extensive experience of digital transformation, delivery of scalable effective IT solutions
  • International experience of B2B, B2C within commercial organisations from large corporates to SME’s

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