Dr Bernie Jones – Managing Director

Bernie has more than 15 years’ experience of working at the interface of technology and international development. He is passionate about creating equality of opportunity, and sustainable impact. He previously worked at the Royal Society, Shaw Trust, UNESCO and British Airways. He is a graduate of the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh.

Dr Anna Clements – Chief Engineer

Anna has more than 5 years’ experience of energy access and efficiency technologies, community engagement and development in East Africa. She is a champion of environmental sustainability, diversity and community empowerment. She is a graduate of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.

Dr Laura Allerston – Head of Business Development

Laura has more than 10 years’ experience in the clean energy industry, with the last 5 focusing on energy access opportunities and international development. She has a particular interest in sustainability and circular solutions. Her degrees were obtained from the Universities of Birmingham and Hull.

Martine Robson – Finance Manager

Martine brings more than 10 years experience of financial and administrative management to the business. A graduate of Herriott Watt University, her particular interests include gender, education and sustainable entrepreneurship.

Zoë Slattery – Engineering Project Manager

Zoë brings to the Smart Villages team an enthusiasm both for innovative technology and sustainable development. As a graduate of Cambridge University’s ‘Engineering for Sustainable Development’ MPhil, she has a passion for understanding how engineering can be applied in challenging contexts to create sustainable solutions, and for accurately measuring the impact of such projects.

Natasha Wilson – Engineering Project Manager

Natasha is dedicated to crafting impactful solutions grounded in a deep understanding of social contexts and community needs. Armed with a MEng from the University of Cambridge and complementary studies in anthropology and business strategy at Harvard, she channels experience from fast-paced technical consulting and a multinational development NGO.

Laurie Kent – Development Engineer

Laurie Kent has a background in UK agriculture and passion for sustainable and holistic farming practices. He graduated from Harper Adams Universities ‘Automotive Engineering Off-Highway’ BEng and has experience in the design of heavy duty machinery. He’s worked building bespoke expedition vehicles for Mercedes Unimog, agricultural equipment and off-grid systems. When he’s not working he’ll be out riding his bike!

Frances James – Development Engineer

Frances brings to team an interest in engineering development with communities as an active partner and strong basis in structural engineering, having previously worked for both Arup and Atkins. She is driven by ideas of equality and sustainability and has an interest in WASH projects, having previously worked in this capacity in Zambia, Panama, and in refugee camps in Greece. She holds an MEng in Engineering Design from the University of Bristol.

Dr Terry van Gevelt – Adviser

Terry is Associate Professor of Urban Sustainability and Lee Kong Chian Fellow at the College of Integrative Studies, Singapore Management University. Terry is an interdisciplinary social scientist focused on bridging the sustainability science-policy divide. His current research programme focuses on communicating the impacts of complex and uncertain climate impacts to diverse stakeholders; and examining how technical solutions to sustainability challenges operate within the wider social, economic, and institutional context. Terry holds degrees from the University of Warwick and the University of Cambridge. 

Prof Sir Brian Heap

Prof Sir Brian Heap – Senior Adviser

Based at Cambridge and past President of the European Academies Science Advisory Council, and former Master of St Edmund’s College, Cambridge, Sir Brian was one of the originators of the Smart Villages concept and initiative. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and its former Foreign Secretary and Vice-President, an honourary Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Society, and past Director of Research at the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. Now an Associate of the Development for Develoment Studies at the University of Cambridge, Sir Brian’s interests include international engagement in science, sustainable development and science advice for policy makers.

Dr John Holmes

Dr John Holmes – Senior Adviser

John was co-leader of the original Smart Villages research initiative, from 2014 – 2017. A graduate of Brunel University, Imperial College London and the Univeristy of Cambridge, his expertise includes research management, science and development policy, environment and energy. He is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford.

Other SVI and SVRG collaborators, 2012 –

Sandy Evans – Procurement & Development

Dr Kristin Polman

Dr Kristin Polman – Science & Health Entrepreneurship, Innovation Competitions

Dr Mike Price

Dr Mike Price – Sustainable Energy Technologies, International Development

Dr Claudia Canales

Dr Claudia Canales – Energy-Agriculture Nexus, Latin American Energy Access

Dr Tayyab Safdar

Dr Tayyab Safdar – Energy-Agri Value Chains, Developent Economics

Alicia Welland

Alicia Welland – Gender and Energy, Rural Education & Healthcare, Policy

Dr Tinashe Chiurugwi

Dr Tinashe Chiurugwi – Energy-Agric Nexus, Energy Access & Rural Dvmt

Dr Stephi Hirmer

Dr Stephi Hirmer – Community Engagement, Appropriate Technologies

Richard Hayhurst

Richard Hayhurst – Communications & Media Engagement, Policy

Roberta Mutschler

Roberta Mutschler – Energy Access, Sustainable Technologies

Dr Shailaja Fennell

Dr Shailaja Fennell – Rural Development, Sustainability and Economics

Nalin Patel – Sustainability, entrepreneurship and innovation

Dr Jaideep Prabhu – Entrepreneurship, Business and Frugal innovation

Dr Yan Zhang – Economics and Public Policy

Prof Howard Alper (Advisor) – Science Advisor to the Governor General of Canada; former Chair, Canada Science Technology and Innovation Council

Jim Cohen (Advisor) – Chair, Green Africa Power LLP

Prof Peter Nolan (Advisor) – Director, Centre of Development Studies, University of Camrbidge

Prof Deepak Nayyar (Advisor) – Former Chief Economic Advisor to the Government of India

Prof Lord Alec Broers (Advisor) – Former Vice Chancellor, University of Cambridge; Former President Royal Academy of Engineering

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