The Advisory Board is made up individuals representing the key partners in Glass Futures.  In addition, they each bring specific knowledge and experience which is essential to the successful development of Glass Futures and its core facility.  

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brian mcmillan - chairman

A past President of British Glass (BG), Brian spent his working life in the UK glass container manufacturing sector rising to the role of Operations Director at Allied Glass, one of the UKs largest container manufacturers.  During his long career in the industry he has been responsible for installing numerous furnaces and glass making equipment.  


Dave Dalton – Principal Coordinator

CEO, British Glass Manufacturers’ Confederation

Dave is currently CEO of BG, following on from many years of experience of running the technical and research arm, Glass Technology Services.  Dave has 30 years of experience in working at national and international levels in all aspects of the glass industry and lobbying.  Dave will be responsible for strategy, investment and relationships with industrial partners, investors and government.

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Dr Nicholas Kirk – R&D Director

Technical Director, Glass Technology Services Ltd

Nick is currently Technical Director of BG, having spent his career in and around the glass community.  Not only does he work at the cutting edge of research of glass as a material, but also in the industrial manufacture of the product and environmental issues.  Nick will be responsible for Furnace planning, R&D activities, resource application and support grants.

Richard Katz – Founding Director and Large Client Relationship Lead

Richard is the founding director of Glass Futures.  He has a long career in the glass industry including both executive and non-executive roles.  He was Managing Director and owner of Epsom Glass Industries, a highly profitable niche glass manufacturing company within the pharmaceutical, lighting and electronics markets.  Richard was Chairman of Royal Brierley Crystal and has served on the board of British Glass.  He is a Liveryman and Court Assistant in the Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers of London.


Dr Richard Hulme – Lead Furnace Consultant

Senior Glass Technologist, Guardian Glass, USA

Richard has held technical and production management roles within the glass industry and has been involved in development work on raw materials, glass compositions, furnace design and construction and operations improvements.

Richard is currently responsible for process innovations within Guardian Glass, primarily on developing the next steps in glass melting, refining and process modelling and control.  

Maria Chanmugam – PR and Brand Lead

Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers of London

Director, Clevercoms Ltd

Maria is a Liveryman and Court Assistant in the Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers of London. She is one of the founding directors of Management Consultancy, Clevercoms. Maria is a business and marketing strategist with experience in corporate and B2B communications, market due diligence and business transformation.   Maria is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations with Accredited PR Practitioner status and is part of the Global Board Ready Women initiative.

Prof Animesh Jha – Academic Lead

Chair in Material Science University of Leeds

Animesh is Professor of Materials Science and Group Leader of Photonic Materials & Devices Research in IMR at the University of Leeds.  His areas of interest include processing of rare-earth doped glass, glass ceramics, thin films via pulsed laser deposition, optical fibre engineering for lasers, sensors and amplifiers and materials engineering for optical integration.  Animesh leads on the initiative to establish Glass Futures as an industrial hub. 

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Dr John Stanford – Academia/Business liaison

Research and Innovation Development Manager High Value Engineering University of Leeds

John’s role is to foster collaboration between external organisations and the University of Leeds in the area of High Value Engineering. This includes chemical processing, computational fluid dynamics, materials and environmental engineering, and nanotechnology.  John leads on developing mutually beneficial partnerships between glass industry players and the University partners.

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Stephen Haigh

Head of Glass Sector, Siemens UK & Ireland

Stephen is the Head of Glass Sector for Siemens in the UK and Ireland.  He has been with Siemens since 2004.  Stephen has spent over 20 years in the B2B environment engaging with senior executives and CxOs to ascertain optimum solutions for their unique manufacturing challenges. He is highly regarded throughout the industry, and within Siemens, as a thought leader in the main macro challenges faced by the glass sector in particular and in general across UK Manufacturing.

Stephen is passionate about manufacturing, engineering, technology and digital innovation especially in the glass sector and broadly across UK Manufacturing. 

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Ludovic Valette – Industrial Production Research Specialist

Global Vice President R&D, Owens Illinois USA

Ludovic is the global vice president of research and development at O-I (Owens-Illinois, Inc.), a Fortune 500 glass container manufacturer for the food and beverage market.  The R&D portfolio spans the entire range of process and product research, development, and innovation, from concept discovery to industrialization.  It also includes O-I’s Innovation Centre, a miniaturized glass factory combining R&D and pilot plant capabilities.  Ludovic is located at the Company’s worldwide headquarters in Perrysburg, Ohio.


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Paul has a BEng (Hons) degree in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Sheffield and a PhD in glass science and technology.  He contributes to teaching across Materials Engineering, with specific focus on materials composition / structure / property relations; and glass and ceramic technology.  Paul has published over 80 research papers in the fields of glasses; glass-ceramics; energy and the environment; waste management and nuclear and toxic waste treatment; and throughout his career he has worked closely with industry to apply the outputs of his research in the real world. He has co-edited and co-authored a book on the subject of low-energy, environmentally-friendly glasses and he has a strong track record in attracting research funding from bodies as diverse as EPSRC, Innovate UK, BEIS, European Union,  and the US Department of Energy and industry. Paul is a Fellow of the Society of Glass Technology and currently holds a number of active research grants. 

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Gary was trained initially as a Chartered Mechanical Engineer and in a long career with Pilkington has held many operational and general management roles within the company both in Architectural & Automotive Glass Businesses. During his career he has spent time abroad, operating successfully in Pilkington’s North American Business at a Senior level. Gary has also had European wide responsibility establishing Automotive Glass processing satellites to supply Auto OEM’s and as a Continuous Improvement Director for the Architectural Processing Sector
Gary is currently responsible for the Strategic direction of the UK Business leading many innovative projects and providing general direction to the UK Senior Leadership Team.

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Originally trained as a mechanical engineer, Hannes has enjoyed over 30 years of leading a variety of Product Development and Innovation departments, teams, organizations, and laboratories. In recent years he has specialized in open innovation with a core focus on inter-organizational collaboration and strategic alliances. In his latest role, he serves as Director of Innovation Ecosystems aiming to connect and leverage relevant science and business ecosystems based on a new model of “Innovation Ecosystem Logics” with a particular focus on technology scouting and disruptive strategies. He is the winner of the “Best Open Innovation Award 2015” from the Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen in the category “Open Innovation Networks” and an internationally recognized keynote speaker within the global community of product development and innovation.

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Christopher Leonard

Director of Development and Product Management, AMETEK Land

Christopher has been Director of Development and Product Management since December 2017. Solution focused, Chris has extensive experience of accelerating the delivery of market leading products and services for challenging industrial sectors including; Glass, Oil & Gas, Power Generation, Metals and Process Industries. Previously, Chris was Business Development Director at Oxford Flow and also held multiple director positions within Sales and Marketing, plus was International Business Manager at Bryan Donkin RMG (Honeywell). He holds a BSc. in Chemistry with Scientific Industrial Management.

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Dr Mauro Overend

Founder & Leader Glass & Façade Technology Research Group, Cambridge University

Dr Mauro Overend is a Senior Lecturer at Cambridge University Engineering Department (CUED) and a Fellow of Christ’s College. He is the founder and leader of the Glass & Façade Technology Research Group at Cambridge. Dr Overend is a chartered engineer with several years of consulting engineering experience followed by 15 years research experience. His research and teaching at Cambridge is at the interface of structural engineering, materials engineering and building physics which underpin the performance of glass in buildings.


Prof Paul Chalker

Mechanical, Materials & Aerospace Engineering, University of Liverpool

Paul previously worked in the nuclear industry at AEA Technology plc, where he was responsible for a range of manufacturing coating technologies and ceramic composite materials. In 1997, he moved to Materials Science and Engineering at the University, working in the field of thin film materials and process technologies. He has worked extensively with industry to translate fundamental materials science into commercial processes and products.