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January 31, 2022

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Meet our hackathon judges

Our two-day deep retrofit hackathon on 21 & 22 February aims to catalyse an open-source repository of net-zero concepts for UK housing archetypes - showcased in an innovative, engaging ways. Open to students and professionals alike, check out our top 5 reasons for taking part.

The judging panel will choose the winning teams who will split our £2,500 prize pot. The best ideas will be presented at Futurebuild 2022, and shared with Housing Providers and Solution Providers to potentially be further developed and tested through our Innovation Partnership. Find out more about the experts you'll be presenting your ideas to!

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.

Mat Colmer, Senior Innovation Lead - Transforming Construction at UK Research and Innovation

Mat is an expert specialist in advancements that shape our urban and built environments. With over 18 years of experience leading large-scale projects that investigate the performance of buildings, infrastructure and associated systems; Mat's extensive understanding has been gained through working at the forefront of innovation.

He works with public and private organisations within the construction sector focusing on shifting practices to produce safe, healthy, efficient buildings using the latest digital techniques.

Mat is currently Senior Innovation Lead with the UKRI Transforming Construction Challenge and is responsible for delivering construction activities that promote a manufacturing approach, use digital and data-driven processes and shift the construction sector to higher productivity and greater whole life value.

Mat has a Masters in Environmental Technology from Imperial College London and is an active member of many industry working groups where he uses his wide knowledge of issues relating to the performance gap to inform and affect change.

Rick Hartwig, Build Environment Lead at the Institute for Engineering and Technology

Responsible for thought leadership and policy in the Built Environment. Digitalisation and decarbonisation of the Built Environment sector are passions. Prior to this he gained experience in a dozen European Union funded FP6 and FP7 projects, mainly on the dissemination and promotion of the project’s progress and final report.

He was the coordinator FP7 project CILECCTA, whose main goal was to develop a ‘Life Cycle Cost plus Analysis’ tool for the development and operational management of a building that would provide the user with a single view of financial and environmental factors. He also spent in the financial sector in southern Africa and understands many of the cultural and operational challenges of digitalisation.

Victoria Herring, Director, Sustainability Programme at Grosvenor Property UK

Having worked at Grosvenor for over 20 years her current role is to provide programme management expertise to the delivery of Grosvenor’s ambitious environmental goals and provide the necessary challenge and facilitation to ensure the goals are fully integrated into the business and supply chain. She is a Chartered Building Surveyor and Fellow of the RICS.

Cara Jenkinson, Cities Manager at Ashden

Ashden has been awarding pioneers in climate change action in the UK and developing world since 2001. She manages the alumni network of 90 UK-based Ashden Award winners across sustainable buildings, transport and energy, helping them to scale up their work, and to embed their approach into policy and practice.

Cara led Ashden's UK Green Skills Award in 2021 and also runs a regional learning network for local authorities in the South West, focussed on retrofit. She has an MSc in the Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment from UCL and is a director of a community energy organisation in North London.

Alexandra Jonca, Project Officer at UKGBC

Alexandra Jonca is a Project Officer at the UK Green Building Council. Her work involves managing a collaborative industry research project on reducing whole life carbon through circular economy principles, as well as supporting the Net Zero Whole Life Carbon Roadmap which establishes a net zero pathway and secures the support of relevant market actors in decarbonising the total impact of the built environment in the UK.

Prior to UKGBC, Alexandra worked at Lund University in Sweden as a Research Assistant for the Sharing Cities Sweden project, investigating whether the sharing economy can reduce carbon emissions and provide social value in urban communities, while completing an MSc in Environmental Management and Policy.

Nicola Kennedy, CEO of HEERO technologies

Nicola is an innovator, serial entrepreneur, and home decarbonisation specialist and the CEO of HEERO technologies - a B2B software company that offers bespoke property recommendations, financing and installation of home energy improvements. Nicola previously worked for Centrica as Head of Ideas Lab and as Commercial Director for Home Energy Management Ventures.

Prior to her time with Centrica, Nicola served as a senior manager for Community Energy Plus, an energy focused social enterprise. Nicola has Masters degrees in Entrepreneurship from Cambridge and Sustainable Development from Exeter and a BEng (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering from Manchester.

Koré Mason, Associate Director for Turner and Townsend

Koré Mason is responsible for leading a major home decarbonisation Accelerator. With over 10 years of sustainability experience she is both personally and professionally committed to tackling climate change by supporting smart carbon reduction solutions.  Koré enjoys delivering solutions that challenge the status quo and drive cost-effective innovative decarbonisation and investing in developing stakeholder partnerships.  

She most recently led a team of commercial and technical experts to develop a public private partnership aiming to create a transformational change in our approach to home retrofit through delivering performance assured, net zero, offsite manufactured, home retrofit at an economic price point. Before that she worked in several roles within UK central and regional government and the Clinton Foundation focussed on home energy efficiency, sustainable supply chains and carbon reporting.

Andy Merrin, Innovation & Decarbonisation Director, 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.

Having worked with Bechtel, Arup, ENGIE and now United Living Andy has a wealth of knowledge across a wide range of energy, low carbon and environmental related topics. Andy currently leads on the delivery of low carbon housing retrofit strategies for United Living Property Services.

Stephen Ryman, Policy Manager at the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

Stephen is currently responsible for the delivery of the departments energy efficiency retrofit projects, including the £10M Whole House Retrofit Programme, the £5M Green Home Finance Innovation Fund, and the Local Supply Chain Demonstration Projects.

He has been closely involved in the implementation of the private rented sector minimum standards regulations, and in the development of the Heat and Buildings Strategy. He has previously worked on policy on Carbon Budgets and renewable fuels and materials at the Departments for Energy, and Transport.

Chris Skinner, Founder of SeriousGeoGames

Chris is a Senior Hydrologist at the Environment Agency and Visiting Researcher at the Energy and Environment Institute, University of Hull. He specialises in the use of numerical models to simulate environmental changes, particularly those relating to flooding and climate change. He links this with research into immersive storytelling and game-based approaches to communicate environmental issues to stakeholders and the public. He is particularly interested in the space where numerical models meet videogames and seeks to use this to both advance science and help developers make better games. He founded SeriousGeoGames and the Earth Arcade, producing activities including Humber in a Box, Flash Flood!, and Inundation Street.

Join our hackathon on 21 & 22 February and get your ideas in front of industry experts!