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Entrepreneurial Postdocs of Cambridge


EPOC is incredibly grateful for the crucial support it receives from its Advisory Board:


Rob Wallach square


Dr Rob Wallach

Rob Wallach currently is emeritus senior lecturer in the Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy and former Vice-Provost of King’s College; his degrees are from Cambridge and also Queen’s University, Canada (where he simultaneously worked in industrial research for Alcan for four years). He has many years of research collaborations with industry, plus he has been extensively involved for many years in a wide range of university educational and welfare issues. Additionally, he lectures to raise awareness of sustainability and the role of materials science, and has run outreach activities to broaden access for school kids and teachers.


Karina Prasad square


Karina Prasad

Karina has spent more than 20 years as a senior project manager for the Charity and Higher education sectors both in the USA and UK. These included a leading national Children’s charity in the US and Age Concern (Now AgeUK) here in the UK.

Following a number of years working with Graduate matters and programmes related to Clinical Academics Karina is now the Head of the Postdoc Academy (PdA), at the University of Cambridge. The PdA is the leading University organisation dealing with issues relating to the postdoctoral community. The PdA provides an academic, administrative and pastoral focus for the community. It executes an agenda for change enhancing the physical and intellectual experience of postdocs in Cambridge and ensures the University meets or exceeds its obligations for the over 4000 postdoctoral researchers in Cambridge and its colleges. Previously Karina spent eight years at the University’s Clinical School of Medicine where she set up and ran the Clinical Academic Training Office.

Karina is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Art, a Professional By-Fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge and holds positions on numerous Cambridge University committees including Human Resources, Researcher Development, Entrepreneurship and Leadership development, Volunteering and Equality and Diversity matters related to Gender. Karina also engages widely with national and international organisations related to early career research staff.

Karina holds a first degree in Political Science.


Andy Neely


Professor Andy Neely

Professor Andy Neely is Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Enterprise and Business Relations at the University of Cambridge, Head of the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) and Head of the Manufacturing and Management Division of Cambridge University Engineering Department. He is a Fellow of Sidney Sussex College and Founding Director of the Cambridge Service Alliance. He is widely recognised for his work on the servitization of manufacturing, as well as his work on performance measurement and management.

Previously he has held appointments at Cranfield University, London Business School, Cambridge University, where he was a Fellow of Churchill College, Nottingham University, where he completed his PhD and British Aerospace. He was Deputy Director of AIM Research – the UK’s management research initiative – from 2003 until 2012 and was elected a Fellow of the British Academy of Management in 2007, a Fellow of the Academy of Social Science in 2008 and a Fellow of the European Operations Management Association in 2009.


Stewart McTavish


Stewart McTavish

Stewart McTavish is the founding Director of ideaSpace at the University of Cambridge. ideaSpace was founded to create the best possible environment for ideas and people coming out of the university to get started on new high impact ventures. To be the best place for the university ideaSpace isn't exclusively for the university. ideaSpace is home to over 100 members who range from just graduated undergraduates to repeat entrepreneurs who have raised venture capital and taken companies public. Prior to ideaSpace Stewart was an entrepreneur and hopes to return to it when his two daughters are a bit older.


Shailendra Vyakarnam


Dr Shailendra Vyakarnam

Dr Vyakarnam is Director of the Bethany Centre for Entrepreneurship at Cranfield School of Management. He worked in industry for several years before completing his MBA and PhD at Cranfield.

He has combined academic, practitioner and policy interests to provide advice to governments and on the development of entrepreneurial ecosystems, technology commercialisation and entrepreneurship education. He has mentored entrepreneurs and held non-executive directorships of small firms in addition to developing growth programmes for SMEs over several years. From 2003 to 2015 he focused on the development of practitioner-led education for entrepreneurship at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School, Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning.

Dr Vyakarnam was awarded "Best Entrepreneurship Professor" at the 2nd Asian Business Schools Awards in 2011. In 2012 he was elected to the prestigious European Academy of Science and Arts.

Dr Vyakarnam was on the faculty of Cranfield School of Management for 10 years before taking up a Chair in Enterprise at Nottingham Business School.

He has held Visiting Professorships at University of Reading and University of Aarhus, the Indian Institute of Science and the American University of Cairo.


Shirley Jamieson


Shirley Jamieson

Shirley is Head of Marketing which covers marketing and events. In 1999 Shirley co-authored the successful bid on behalf of the University of Cambridge to create the Cambridge Entrepreneurship Centre. Shirley was Head of External Relations at the Centre which in 2004 evolved into Cambridge Enterprise. Shirley has extensive experience of start up companies from her experience of working for over fifteen years in executive search. First for Egon Zehnder International as a Researcher and then for six years she was Managing Director of Scientific Resources, part of the Generics Group. During the mid 1990's she ran her own consultancy firm specialising in senior appointments for technology based companies. In 2002 she was the Cambridge Evening News "Business Woman of the Year". She was Governor of Anglia Ruskin University until 2012. Shirley is Chair of the Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust.


Iain Thomas


Dr Iain Thomas

Iain leads the Life Sciences team at Cambridge Enterprise, the University of Cambridge’s technology transfer company. Cambridge’s life science product portfolio includes alemtuzumab (Sanofi), breast cancer markers (Brevagen) and mouse touch screen chambers (Campden Instruments). Recent spin-outs include Mission Therapeutics and Cambridge Epigenetix and, recent transactions include licences in fields as diverse as therapeutics, diagnostics, biofuels, IVF and epigenetics. Iain lead discussions with GSK in respect of the University of Cambridge – GSK open innovation drug discovery initiative.


Steve Watts square


Steve Watts

Steve provides consultancy advice to EPOC. He has spent over 20 years as a consultant working with clients around the world to develop technology and products from concept to manufacture as well as providing advice on business strategy and structure. He helps clients to integrate new technologies into innovative products and processes with viable commercial models to deliver business benefits. He trained as an Electronic Engineer and has experienced the connected revolution from CT2 to 5G, and more recently has focussed on 'connected things'.

After 20 years at PA Consulting Group, Steve set up CambridgeIQ, and provides services to clients in the areas of technology innovation, product development, Internet-of-Things, IP commercialisation and process design. He is passionate about growing the UK electronics and manufacturing sectors and mentors start-ups and SMEs. He is part of Cambridge University's entrepreneurial scene, providing ad-hoc coaching through the Judge Business School and iTeams. He has also worked with the Ingenuity Lab at Nottingham University and Wayra as a start-up mentor and board advisor.