SEEP Industry 2020 Speakers

Edward Gillespie

Name: Edward Gillespie OBE

Affiliation: The Lord-Lieutenant of Gloucestershire

Presentation Title: Formal Opening of the conference and opening remarks


Edward Gillespie OBE was born in Guildford, Surrey. He was educated at Tonbridge School in Kent and was awarded a degree in Politics at the University of York. His chosen career was in Racecourse Management starting at Kempton Park and Sandown Park before his appointment to Cheltenham and Warwick when he was 27 in 1980. He remained Managing Director at Cheltenham for 32 years until retiring in 2012. During that period he was also Managing Director at Epsom through the transitional period that saw the Derby move to a Saturday. For the majority of his time at Cheltenham, the Chairman was Lord Vestey with whom he established an outstanding successful partnership.

James Verlaque

Name: James Verlaque

Affiliation: Commercial Manager Kiwa UK Group

Presentation Title: The role of hydrogen in our low carbon future


Since starting as a Graduate Trainee with British Coal’s Coal Research Establishment, James has  over 25 years experience in the energy sector and has been involved in techno-economic evaluation of industrial processes and power generation plant, commercializing a number of niche high tech services as well as leading teams of energy and environmental consultants and technology testing teams.  

In his current role he is focused on commercial development across a portfolio of Kiwa Group businesses but building on his experience of safety, performance and compliance evaluations of fuel cell system installations and applications, and of energy consultancy, James continues to contribute to Kiwa’s work in the hydrogen-as-an-energy-vector space.

Name: Neil Daws CEng, FIMechE

Affiliation: Managing Director, Steam Specialities, Spirax-Sarco Engineering PLC

Presentation Title: Industrial steam system efficiency: Spirax Sarco’s antidote to climate change


  • Joined Spirax Sarco in 1978
  • Held positions in production and design engineering, before being appointed UK Supply Director
  • Subsequent responsibility for the Steam business’ Asia Pacific and Latin American operations, Supply Chain (including HS&E) and EMEA 
  • Appointed to the Board in 2003
  • Managing Director, Steam Specialties            (Spirax Sarco and Gestra) from 2018

Name: Kamal Bechkoum

Presentation Title: Cyber protection of industrial control systems


Kamal Bechkoum, Professor of Computing, is Head of School of Business & Technology at The University of Gloucestershire. He is an experienced senior leader and academic in Higher Education with an international background and an in depth knowledge and understanding of the UK HE sector. Kamal is  also the Director of the University’s Cyber Security & Digital Innovation Centre (C11), the Gloucestershire County Commissioner for Cyber & Innovation and the University’s lead for the national Institute of Coding, working with organisations such as Raytheon, Qinetiq, GCHQ, IRM and the Gfirst LEP to produce highly skilled business and technology professionals in Gloucestershire and beyond. 

Before joining the University of Gloucestershire Professor Bechkoum worked for a number of UK universities including Cranfield, De Montfort, Wolverhampton, Derby, and Northampton where he was Executive Dean of the School of Science and Technology with university executive responsibility for research and enterprise and intellectual capital.

He holds a PhD in Software Techniques for Computer Aided Engineering from the University of Cranfield, UK and is also a Fellow of the British Computer Society and a Chartered IT Professional.

Kamal’s subject specialism is Artificial Intelligence and its applications, with special interest in the use of AI and Machine Learning for Cyber Security and data analytics. Otherwise, he is interested in education, leadership, strategic partnerships and collaboration.

SEEP Industry 2020 Organising Committee

Prof. Jeremy Miller
Mr. Andy Slaney
Prof. Abdul Ghani Olabi
Prof. Hussam Jouhara