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February 10, 2022

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Meet our hackathon coaches

Andrew Bailie, Marketing and Partnerships Lead at Venture Studio

Andrew works at the Venture Studio, helping Crisis invest in new approaches to end homelessness. He and his team seek equity in fast-growing startups, who have the potential to create a fairer, more accessible and sustainable housing landscape.

His background is in social enterprise and policy change, particularly around engaging people with housing-led approaches. Prior to Crisis, he built charity partnerships at Farewill; an award-winning legal technology start up. Andrew is currently completing a degree in Sustainable Urban Development at the University of Oxford. He is keen to learn more about the intersection of housing, climate adaptation, and healthy cities.

Julian Boss, Retrofit Delivery Manager at Turner & Townsend

Julian is currently a Retrofit Delivery Manager at Turner & Townsend, supporting Social Landlords in the delivery of net zero Energiesprong retrofits, as part of the GLA’s Retrofit Accelerator for Homes, Innovation Partnership.

Previously he worked for BRE as Principal Sustainability Consultant with a focus on Low Carbon Innovation, and the Institute for Sustainability, helping in the design and delivery of industry leading retrofit engagement projects.

He has an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College and is a qualified PAS 2035 Retrofit Co-ordinator.

Emily Braham, Director of Energiesprong UK

Emily Braham is a Director at Energiesprong UK and works within the Market Development Team as Head of Strategy and Operations. She has an MSc in area based retrofit and a CIOB BA Hons 1st in Design, Development and Regeneration.

With 16 years’ experience in the social housing sector, she has led on developing retrofit strategy and delivery of award-winning projects, such as the largest neighbourhood-based, cross-tenure solid wall insulation scheme, the REMOURBAN lighthouse City Horizon 2020 project and the first Energiesprong project in the UK.

Ian Carey, Managing Director of Pulse Consult

Ian is the Managing Director of Pulse Consult, he is an experienced cost and project manager in the residential sector having delivered over 2,500 units of new build and been involved in the modernising of over 5,000 homes. Ian has a particular drive to ensure the industry innovates and identifies efficiencies in meeting the social and environmental challenges of the 21 century.

Ele George, Collaboration Hub Manager at Energiesprong UK

Ele George is a Civil and Environmental Engineer with a passion for all things innovative. As our Collaboration Hub Manager, she works with our Solution Providers, landlord clients, and partners to share issues and develop solutions for mutual benefit.

Specialising in Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), Ele’s worked on projects ranging in scale from her own self-build eco-home to the development hospitals and stadiums, she looks to increase sustainability in our built environment at every opportunity. Ele’s ambition is to create mixed-tenure developments where sustainable and accelerated construction are key drivers to delivering more affordable homes and community infrastructure, placing social value at the heart.

Dr Zachary Gill, Net Zero Technical Analyst at Energiesprong UK

Dr Zachary Gill is a Net Zero Technical Analyst for Energiesprong UK. His goal is to ensure that all of our projects demonstrably meet or exceed their performance targets and also to drive continual improvement and refinement of the ES approach and the viable technical solutions.

Zack is a building performance expert, working and challenging the field of low-energy domestic buildings for over 13 years. He undertook his academically commended PhD research on the contribution of user behaviours to building performance with Buro Happold Engineers. Subsequently, he worked with Willmott Dixon Energy Services, pioneering performance-feedback approaches, in particular on their wide-scale social housing retrofit schemes.

Rebecca Hart, Energy Technical Project Manager at Nottingham City Homes

Bex Hart started as an electrical apprentice at NCH in 2002 and has progressed to her current role as Energy Technical Project Manager role delivering deep retrofit projects. She's passionate about sustainability and making a positive difference to customers and reducing carbon to help Nottingham achieve its ambitious 2028 net zero carbon targets.

Rebecca Lane, Net Zero Neighbourhood Delivery Manager at West Midlands Combined Authority

Becky is Net Zero Neighbourhood Delivery Manager in the Energy Capital team at West Midlands Combined Authority, where she will be enabling the investment of £2m into retrofit measure to prove the concept of Net Zero Neighbourhoods. Beyond retrofitting, Becky also has experience of developing new business models to enable the deployment of low carbon technologies, which includes developing frameworks for identifying the commercial opportunity of Smart Local Energy Systems while working at Energy Systems Catapult.

Stewart Little, Chief Executive, IRT Surveys

Prior to setting up IRT in 2002, Stewart worked for Bauder, in a technical specification role for 5 years. His career, however, began as an architectural technician in private practice. Since founding IRT in 2002, he has raised venture capital and helped cement IRT as leaders in the field.

Today, IRT provide quantified unique images of energy helping clients see energy loss & defects simultaneously and enabling an optimised refurbishment. Stewart has overseen the growth of IRT and helped ensure the company remain firmly at the forefront of this emerging technology, be that drones, software or hardware.

Andy Merrin, Innovation & Decarbonisation Director at United Living Property Services Ltd

Andy is a Chartered Environmentalist and has worked in the domestic and commercial property sectors for over 20 years focusing on the energy performance of buildings and implementing strategies to decarbonise homes and offices. Prior to this Andy worked in the rail and aviation sectors in the UK and Middle East overseeing environmental mitigation programmes on major infrastructure projects such as High Speed 1 and New Doha International Airport.


Ian Preston, Director of Household Energy Services at Centre for Sustainable Energy

Ian has 22 years of experience in sustainable energy and fuel poverty, spanning practical project delivery, research and policy analysis. Ian joined CSE in 2001 and is now a part of the Senior Leadership Team and leads CSE’s Household Energy Services, spanning energy advice and retrofit schemes.

As Director of Household Energy Services he oversees award winning advice projects including WHAM, Futureproof, TEA and advice line support for WPD and OVO customers. Ian is a leading expert on low carbon retrofit, fuel poverty and energy justice, with particular focus on the distributional impacts of energy policy on energy expenditure.

Christian Richter, Market Development Team at Energiesprong in Germany

Christian works in the Energiesprong German team supporting the construction side and covering the industrial supply chain and innovation team. He also leads on transatlantic market knowledge exchange, supporting Retrofit NY and Rocky Mountain Institute to use the Energiesprong approach.

George Simms, SMART Hub Lead at West Midlands Combined Authority

George leads WMCA’s SMART Hub (Sustainable Market for Affordable Retrofit Technologies), which aims to build capacity within the WMCA and partner organisations to deliver the 294,000 retrofits in the region targeted by 2026 and the subsequent transition of the housing stock to net zero by 2041. He has a background in retrofit and has worked in this field in local government and consultancy, most recently at the Energy Systems Catapult.

Lee Whitby, Account Manager at Osborne Property Services

With over 25 years’ experience working within the property services sector and delivering progressive planned works within budget, Lee comes with a wealth of experience that will support the ambitious growth plans for Osborne Property Services.

Throughout the pandemic, Lee has continued to support the housing sector by delivering carbon reduction works safely.  Planning and implementation of pivotal plans designed with his client team, provided confidence of service delivery during a challenging period, placing the customer at the heart.

Alex Whitcroft, Director at KIN

Alex is an award winning architect and sustainability expert.  He is a Director at KIN - developers, designers, and community enablers specialising in sustainable homes.  

He leads KIN’s development management, community enabling, and sustainability work. He is passionate about creating environmentally and socially sustainable communities and homes – with his work spanning Passivhaus and net zero buildings, MMC construction innovation, community-led development, cradle-to-cradle design, digital platform design, and sustainability communications.

Matt Wood, Energy and Carbon consultant at Energiesprong UK

Matt's focus is domestic energy efficiency and renewable energy, and has experience developing bespoke models for energy and carbon analysis at individual building level, large-scale and national levels.