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Our wonderful list of speakers for the Mayoral STEAMhouse Challenge:

Andy Street – Mayor of the West Midlands

Andy Street was elected as the first Mayor of the West Midlands on May 4 2017. The primary function of the role is to chair the West Midlands Combined Authority and brings with it significant powers over transport, housing, skills and jobs.

Before becoming Mayor, Andy combined a career with John Lewis, Britain’s most successful workers’ co-operative, with a host of high-profile economic development roles, working with local and national government.

Starting on the John Lewis graduate scheme, Andy rose through the ranks to become Managing Director, overseeing one of the most successful periods in the company’s history.

He was the Chair of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership between 2011 and 2016, helping to build the relationships underpinning the economic growth of the region.

Additionally, he has been lead non-executive director for the Department for Communities and Local Government as well as a member of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Group.

Outside of work, Andy is passionate about the arts, particularly in the West Midlands, having previously served as Vice Chairman of Performances Birmingham Limited, which is responsible for running the City’s Symphony and Town Halls.

In June 2015, Andy was awarded the CBE for services to the national economy. He was named the ‘Most Admired Leader’ of the year by business magazine, Management Today in 2014. He received the ‘President’s award’ from the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce in for his work in the region. He holds three honorary degrees, from Birmingham City University, Aston University and the University of Birmingham.

Dr Michaela Kendall – CEO, Adelan (Fuel Cell Technology, Birmingham)

Michaela is an environmental scientist with a 25+ year international career focused on addressing the Energy Trilemma: the emissions, security cost of energy.

Actively managing industrial R&D programmes since 2011, Dr Kendall retains Honorary academic positions (including three Visiting Professorships) at five UK universities. Her family-owned company is commercialising a clean energy technology she co-invented in 1991-2.

Leading Adelan, she has helped to raise over $30m of investments and employed more than 50 staff. As Chair of the Midlands Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Network, Dr Kendall is now building a national fuel cell strategy with businesses to commercialise fuel cell technology to create value in the UK.

Across Faculty positions in America, Asia and Europe, Dr Kendall has worked within multi-disciplinary international research groups at the US EPA, the UN, the NIEHS World Trade Centre Working Group, NYU in New York and UNIDO Hydrogen Centre in Istanbul, Turkey. Interviewed on the Radio 4 Today programme, a regular keynote speaker at prestigious conferences (the Royal Society, Royal Society of Medicine, Royal Society of Chemistry) and published in Nature periodical, Dr Kendall has a record of highly regarded publications, including three books, over 80 international journal papers plus a further 100+ papers on subjects such as the health effects of air pollution, engineered nanoparticles and microtubular fuel cells.

Professor Julian Beer, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Birmingham City University (MInstKT; FIKE)

Julian is Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Innovation and Enterprise) at Birmingham City University (BCU).

Julian is Professor of Knowledge Transfer at BCU and an Emeritus Professor at Plymouth University. He has an extensive track record in designing, developing and leading flagship programs, projects and partnerships to unlock capital and revenue and connect innovation and talent, and engage Higher Education as a catalyst for change and growth positioning universities as “anchor” institutions internationally, nationally and in regional economies. He founded and led several national and international initiatives such as being one of the founders of the world’s first Centre for Brexit Studies and leads the flagship STEAMhouse (circa £75 million) initiative which places the creative industries alongside Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in a trans-disciplinary approach. He also has led national programs and projects on university strategy, positioning and distinctiveness and is a frequent commentator in the press and media as well as through academic channels on a range of socio – economic topics.

Julian has worked with and advised a number of Government departments and agencies, shadow governments or oppositions and non – governmental and private sector organisations and businesses. He has been heavily involved in devolution and economic development at a national and international level and acts as an advisor on Brexit and is a member of many Brexit task groups and boards. He is a non – executive Director and Chairman of several private sector companies and public sector Boards and committees. He acts in a personal capacity in an advisor to the Mayor of the West Midlands Combined Authority and to the West Midlands Combined Authority itself in a number of areas. He is a Sector Champion for Emerging Technologies and Innovation Sub – Board member of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, as well as, a CBI Council member for the West Midlands. Julian is also President of the British American Business Council (Midlands) and a recent member of the Creative Industries Federation UK Council.

Polly Billington, Founder & Executive Director, UK100 Cities Network

Polly Billington is the Director of UK100 – a network of UK cities and local authorities committed to 100% clean energy. She was previously special adviser at DECC 2008-10 and Director of Communications on Sadiq Khan’s selection campaign to be Labour’s candidate for London Mayor.

She devised and led the 100% London campaign, getting both Zac Goldsmith and Sadiq to commit to London adopting 100% clean energy. She has 15 years’ experience as a journalist at the BBC, working as the first ever dedicated Political Reporter for Radio 1 Newsbeat as well as Radio 4’s Today programme, and was also Head of Communications and Campaigns at Citizens Advice. During the referendum campaign she was Campaign Director of Environmentalists for Europe.



Jane Simpson, Head of Asset Creation, Severn Trent Water Plc

Jane was appointed Head of Capital Delivery in July 2016.  She leads the £3bn major infrastructure capital works programme for treatment works, distribution network, as well as energy harvesting.

Prior to joining Severn Trent Water Jane was Chief Engineer at Network Rail.

Jane joined BR as a graduate.  She became the first female Overhead Line Engineer, then worked at Marconi delivering a range of projects before returning to Network Rail in 2004.

In 2011 Jane was appointed as the Engineering Director for LNW with responsibility for 4,500 miles of railway infrastructure on the West Coast Main Line – Europe’s busiest rail corridor.

Jane left school at 16 as an apprentice and graduated with a 1st in Electrical Engineering from Coventry University, followed by an MPhil at Birmingham University.  She is a Fellow of the IET and her passion lies in supporting others to realise their potential and strives to increase the number of women within engineering.  In 2015 she was appointed a Trustee to the Scout Association.

In 2016 Jane was nominated into the top 20 inspirational women in rail, in 2016 was included in the Daily Telegraphs top 50 women in Engineering.

Andrew Donald, Distributed Energy Manager, Centrica Business Solutions

Andrew has been with Centrica since December 2014 and works directly with Public Sector customers to develop solutions in response to the challenges they face around energy costs, security of supply and emissions.

He has worked within the Public Sector for over 25 years, specialising in developing Partnerships and has a wealth of experience across energy supply contracts, renewable energy project development, project financing and energy efficiency programmes.

His wealth of knowledge relating to the Health Sector, Local Authorities, Education, Central Government Departments and Charites has allowed him to deliver significant programmes covering revenue generation, improved site resilience and carbon reduction. With a huge passion for energy efficiency and sustainability, he combines his role at Centrica with serving in a voluntary capacity across a number of Public Sector organisations. Previous roles include managing a small manufacturing business, leading a national telecoms sales function and CEO of Ospreys Rugby.

Cllr Lisa Trickett, Birmingham City Council

Lisa has held leadership positions in the sphere of public policy in both a political and professional context for over two decades. Lisa is known for her strategic thinking and collaborative leadership practice and has worked within the public, private and higher educational sectors.

She has represented local government on a range of regional and national boards including acting as Urban Advisor to the Regional Housing Board, developing for the Homes and Communities Agency its national Leadership of Place programme and whilst at PwC pioneered an area investment planning approach – more recently she has been a board member of Innovation Birmingham and Birmingham Retail BID.

Whilst at the University of Birmingham she drew on her knowledge of regional and local context and work on place shaping to serve as the policy lead on the Bishop of Birmingham’s Social Inclusion Process, providing the frame for the adoption of approaches to inclusive growth and active wellbeing within the City. She has engaged and published work on Leadership of Place and led projects nationally and internationally on the place shaping agenda and a range of sustainability topics.

Having been elected as a Councillor in Birmingham in 2012 – Lisa served as a Cabinet Member from 2014-2018 providing the strategic lead on environmental and sustainability policy and its implementation to address issues including climate change, carbon reduction, flood management, clean air zones, energy security and fuel poverty. She also had the strategic lead for the city’s parks and green spaces.

As Chair of Birmingham’s Green Commission, she was the driving force in the development of “Energy Capital” and in the delivery of subsequent projects including the development of the FBC for Birmingham Energy Supply Company and the City’s Air Quality Strategy – work she continues to take forward professionally through work with Climate KIC and her engagement with Energy Capital and related collaborations.

Lisa is currently Chair of the Active Well Being Society, a member of the City-REDI Advisory Board and a Trustee of Chamberlin Highbury Trust.

Tom Bradley – External Affairs Manager, Cadent Gas Ltd

Tom is responsible for Cadent’s interactions with key local and national stakeholders. In his role, he works closely with local authorities, LEPs, trade bodies and business groups to help support and develop regional energy strategies. He is also responsible for engaging with Government, and works closely with politicians and civil servants on key issues, such as energy security, decarbonisation and the future of transport.

Prior to joining Cadent, Tom worked as a Public Affairs Consultant in London and Brussels. During this time, he worked with high profile clients across a range of sectors, including Moody’s; Shell; WH Smith’s; Cemex; Autogas; Coventry City of Culture; UK Power Networks; Western Power Distribution; and, the Civil Aviation Authority. In particular, he specialised in energy, transport, air quality and Brexit related issues. He provided strategic advice to clients on how best to engage with Westminster, Whitehall, local and devolved government, and regulators; as well as the institutions of the European Union.

Tom previously served as a senior adviser to a Member of Parliament. He has also worked for the ECR Group’s Transport Spokesperson in the European Parliament, as well as for a UK political party. He graduated from the University of York with a degree in Politics with International Relations.

Susan Juned – Director, Heart of England Community Energy Ltd

Susan did her Masters and PhD at the University of Birmingham studying the biodiversity of crop plants. She has worked on a range of initiatives including assisting universities on their research dissemination strategies, sustainable development projects and assisting businesses with resource management and renewable energy projects. She has worked on rural sustainability policy development and has been a long-time advocate of community energy and using the benefits for local communities.

Susan helped to set up, then chaired, Act on Energy, an energy efficiency charity, and remains a trustee. She is a Director of Heart of England Energy, a community benefit company committed to community renewable energy.



David Terry – Tyseley Energy Park and Birmingham Energy Institute


Sandeep Shingadia – Director of Development and Delivery, Transport for West Midlands (TfWM)

Sandeep is Director of Development and Delivery at Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) and is responsible for a number of key transport programmes including the HS2 Connectivity Package, Sprint Bus Rapid Transit and Cycling and Walking Infrastructure.  He is a member of TfWM’s Leadership Board, leads for TfWM on a number of programme boards and is also a board director for Colmore Business Improvement District.

With over 20 years’ experience in the transport sector, Sandeep is a passionate and knowledgeable transport professional with skills in strategy, economic appraisal, scheme development, sustainable transport and programme management.

Sandeep has a degree in Town Planning with a specialism in transport and is a chartered member of the Institute of Logistics and Transport.



Mark Wood, Explorer, Speaker, Educator

An established polar explorer and adventurer who operates within the extremes of our planet. Expeditions include reaching the Magnetic North Pole, the Geomagnetic North Pole twice, completing solo expeditions to both the Geographic North and South Poles. He has been a part of major BBC and Channel 5 documentaries and over the years has trained and led people in the extremes of the planet.

His own award-winning documentaries have shown the life of dog teams in Alaska – a solo survival film in the extremes and a complex cutting edge expedition documentary showing the harsh reality of global warming and its effect on the Arctic Ocean as his team crossed to the North Pole.