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Prof Roger Maull

Professor of Management Systems and Academic Director of INDEX (Initiative in the Digital Economy at Exeter) at University of Exeter, London.

Roger Maull is Academic Director of INDEX (Initiative in the Digital Economy at Exeter) at University of Exeter. He returns to the University of Exeter Business School after four years at the University of Surrey where he set up the Centre for the Digital Economy (CoDE) with Professor Alan Brown. Roger’s research interests are in the impact of digital economies on business and society and how we live. His work is at the intersection of social science and data science, to build deep insights in data intelligence, digital transformation, platform business models, and digital technologies. Roger has published widely in leading journals including IJOPM, Journal of Operations Management and Journal of Supply Chain Management.

In the last four years Roger has received £6M of UKRI research income and currently has five active research awards. He has led two previous Digital Economy networks (NEMODE and CREDIT) which built links and networks between groups, researchers and disciplines.

Roger has a track record of working with industry and has been PI on commercially funded projects with Vodafone, Microsoft, DSTL and the South-West Strategic Health Authority. He was a member of the EPSRC College of Peers for 12 years and regularly sat on grant awarding panels for both EPSRC and ESRC.

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Prof Tim Baines

Professor of Operations Strategy and Executive Director of the Advanced Services Group, Aston Business School, Birmingham.

Tim is a leading international authority on servitization and spends much of his time working hands-on with both global and local manufacturing companies, to understand servitization in practice and help to transform businesses.  He spent 10 years working in manufacturing, starting his career as an apprentice. Now in academia, his book ‘Made to Serve: How manufacturers can compete through servitization’, is regarded as essential reading for businesses looking to move to a services-led model.

Prof Dario Landa-Silva

Professor of Computational Optimisation, Head of the Computational Optimisation and Learning Lab, University of Nottingham.

Dario is a professor of Computational Optimisation in the School of Computer Science at the University of Nottingham. He leads the Computational Optimisation and Learning (COL) Lab ( which includes 9 members of academic staff, 4 researchers and circa 22 PhD students. His research interests are in the interface between computer science, operations research and artificial intelligence for the application of modelling, search and optimisation techniques to underpin the development of intelligent decision support systems across a range of real-world applications, particularly in logistic and operational scenarios.

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Dr Zena Wood

Senior Lecturer in Spatial Informatics, University of Greenwich.

Zena joined the Greenwich GIS Research Group in January 2015 as a Senior lecturer in Spatial Informatics. Prior to this she was employed as a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Exeter. During her time at Exeter, Zena was seconded to IBM's Emerging Technology Services for six months in 2013 as part of the Royal Academy of Engineering Secondment Scheme.​ Her research focuses on collective behaviour and movement pattern analysis with applications in Smart Cities, transportation and urban planning. Many of her projects involve collaborations with experts from geography, psychology, and business.

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Dr Sarah Fletcher

Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Structures, Assembly and Intelligent Automation, Cranfield University.

Sarah has conducted a wide spectrum of human factors research projects relevant to automation and manufacturing systems but now particularly focuses on understanding the psychological and ethical issues surrounding the design and implementation of intelligent systems and collaborative robotics. She currently leads a number of projects developing interactive automation and informatics systems to optimise worker acceptance, satisfaction and performance and is an EPSRC High Value Manufacturing Fellow working on the integration of human factors in augmented reality devices for industrial applications.

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Dr Ali Bigdeli

Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Industrial Service Innovation, the Advanced Services Group, Aston Business School, Birmingham.   

Ali’s interests lie in the operational and organisational change brought about when businesses intend to introduce technological innovations to the market. His research at the Centre focuses on how servitization helps a business to bring its products to market, expand the scale of its operations and increase financial sustainability, and the business model innovation that is required to enable this.

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Dr Phil Godsiff

Senior Research Fellow, INDEX (Initiative in the Digital Economy at Exeter) at University of Exeter, London.

Phil is a senior researcher at the University of Exeter and Network Co-ordinator for DEAS. In this role Phil will co-ordinate the links between academia and policy making and take a lead role in developing the cases and taxonomy. His current research interests include the effect of developments in the digital economy on industries such as the financial services. 

He is currently a researcher on three EPSRC research grants. ACCEPT (Addressing Cyber Security and cybercrime via a co-Evolutionary Approach), DROPS (Dynamic Real-time On Demand Personalisation for Scaling) and now the DEAS grant. Phil is also a researcher on an Innovate UK grant, TAILS (Intelligent Micro-Automation), examining the automation of the professional services and providing a platform to improve efficiency.

Phil has advised on a number of government expert panels, and most notably as an advisor and a co-author on Sir Mark Walport’s Report Distributed Ledger Technology: Beyond blockchain. More recently Phil made significant contributions to the Go Science Blackett Report Service Transformed: Growth Opportunities for the UK Service Economy, and with Innovate UK on the development of Next Generation Services.

Phil has an M.A in economics from University of Cambridge and a PhD in Management from the University of Exeter. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and has spent 30 years working and consulting in Financial Services, including working at Board Level; designing and building internet banks, financial analysis and project management.

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Gill Holmes

Senior Research Manager, the Advanced Services Group, Aston Business School, Birmingham.

Gill is the Industry Liaison Manager for the DEAS Network + and will be working closely with the academic team and industry partners to develop and grow the network. She has worked in a variety of marketing and product management roles in a number of manufacturing industries and universities and was Project Manager for the HEFCE funded Centre of Excellence for Product and Automotive Design at Coventry University.

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Frances Lumbers

Project Officer DEAS NetworkPlus, INDEX (Initiative in the Digital Economy at Exeter) at University of Exeter, London.

Fran is a project officer at University of Exeter for the DEAS Network Plus grant, liaising with academics and helping to co-ordinate the outputs for the grant, organising meetings, workshops and managing financial arrangements with the feasibility studies.

Fran is also the project manager for INDEX at the University of Exeter. INDEX is based in London and delivers substantive impact through a blend of academic outputs, practice-focused studies, targeted experiments, and problem-focused learning and development engagements. 

Prior to the DEAS grant, Fran has been project officer for CREDIT (an EPSRC grant researching emerging cryptocurrencies) and also an Innovate UK grant, AUTTO (Intelligent Micro-Automation of legal services) which came to an end in December 2018.

Fran holds a Masters in Art Psychotherapy and continues her practice as an Art Therapist and artist.



Prof Robert John

Professor of Operational Research and Computer Science, ASAP Research Group, University of Nottingham.

It is with great sadness that the DEAS NetworkPlus team lost our much respected friend and colleague, Professor Robert John,  on 17 February 2020 following a short illness. Bob brought much to the team and was one of the founding members of the NetworkPlus. We will all miss his experience, knowledge, sense of humour and passion for sports especially cricket. Bob was the head of the ASAP research group at the University of Nottingham, specialising in using AI to tackle real world problems in scheduling and optimisation.

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