Board of Directors
The SWIG Directors come from a diverse range of backgrounds. These industry and academic leaders possess a wealth of knowledge and experience; from pioneers in sensor development to innovators in sensing applications, our Directors have played instrumental roles in advancing the field of sensing technology. Their biographies highlight their outstanding achievements and contributions, providing a glimpse into their expertise.
Dr Andrew Nichols
University of Sheffield
Andy is a Senior Lecturer in Water Engineering at The University of Sheffield. His research is dedicated to drainage infrastructure, with a primary focus on using novel flow sensing and AI-assisted asset management to enhance decision-making. He has been awarded over £1M in research funding, leading to the creation of new technologies for measuring flow rates, sedimentation, and biofilms in drainage systems. He has helped to develop new methods for asset management, designed to optimise maintenance and reduce whole-life costs. Andy has presented his work at various international conferences, published papers in reputable journals, and obtained multiple patents. As the SWIG Chairman, he is enthusiastic about using his experience to bring people from various sectors together and improving the organisation's offering to members.
Dr Michael Strahand
SWIG Deputy Chairman
Mike is a highly experienced business leader with over thirty years of expertise in the water industry. He has successfully started and grown businesses in highly competitive marketplaces, with a deep understanding of global water industry challenges. Mike's proficiency in clean and wastewater treatment markets, from design to monitoring applications, has helped small businesses transition to thriving SMEs. As a SWAN Forum ambassador and Non-Executive Director, Mike brings a wealth of knowledge and diverse contacts to the table. Recently appointed as SWIG Deputy Chair, Mike's contributions will undoubtedly help SWIG to continue growing and improving. His commitment to excellence and expertise make him an invaluable member of any team.
Oliver is a highly skilled water industry professional with expertise in process engineering, instrumentation, and water operations management. He has worked for companies such as Grontmij, Yorkshire Water, and Anglian Water, leading various programmes in wastewater compliance and flow. Oliver is also a fellow of the IWA, CIWEM and IES and has a particular interest in smart water technology. His specialties include water and wastewater analysis, experimental project design, process engineering, MCERTS flow measurement, and wastewater instrumentation. With his extensive experience and knowledge, Oliver is an invaluable SWIG Director.
South West Water
Dale Walker is a senior manager with 15 years of experience in IT, OT, and project portfolios. His dedication to reducing social inequality and embracing technological advancements has fueled his success in making a positive impact on the environment, both locally and globally. Currently, Dale is the Head of the Smart Operational Technology team at Welsh Water, where he drives the creation and delivery of the company's Smart Water digital strategy. His expertise in digital transformation, business change, IT and OT service management, and cyber security (including ISO27001) has enabled him to drive benefits across various areas of business. Dale's passion for the environment and his commitment to using technology to support businesses and communities aligns perfectly with SWIG's values.
Andrew is a Technical Advisor for the Environment Agency and has been specializing in water monitoring instruments since 1991. Based in Reading, Andrew is the water instrument lead for MCERTS, including “self monitoring of flow”, event monitoring (EDMs), water quality, and auto-samplers. He provides guidance on instrument use for field teams and previously operated a small instrument test lab assessing equipment for field use. Andrew holds a BSc in Physics with Astrophysics from Leicester University and previously worked at Sira (now CSA) and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.
Tony Hoyle is an experienced leader in the water industry with a background in sales, marketing, and business management. He has also served as a Director for Danfoss and Wago. Tony's expertise in automation and electrical connection technologies has provided him with full P&L responsibility for flow instrumentation and analytical equipment businesses. He has worked with several global companies in product management and customer-facing roles, as well as developing framework agreements for water and industrial sectors. Tony is a talented recruiter and motivator, with a passion for streamlining operations to realise fixed cost savings and take businesses from loss to profit.
Dr Leo Carswell
Water Research Centre
Leo Carswell is a principal consultant in instrumentation with over 20 years of experience in sensors and instrumentation for water, wastewater, and environmental applications. He is a Chartered Scientist with a PhD in instrumentation for water quality monitoring. Leo provides expert advice on instrumentation to a wide range of Water Utilities, private companies, and public agencies. He is also an experienced project manager and leads the Technology and Innovation business area at WRc, where he is responsible for testing and evaluating a wide range of technologies. Additionally, Leo runs the UK Instrument User Group (IUG), which he founded in 2009.
With over 25 years of industry experience, Matthew has developed a unique set of skills and knowledge in catchment and asset management, remote monitoring, and telemetry systems. Matthew's expertise in providing end-to-end data solutions for the global M2M market based on technical satellite and wireless networks has been honed over his years as a Solutions Architect at Ground Control. Prior to that, he worked as an Adcon Business Development Manager at OTT Hydromet UK, where he acquired extensive knowledge in environmental monitoring, agricultural practices, and remote monitoring. As a Telemetry Manager at RS Hydro and Agrotechnologist at Plantsystems Ltd, Matthew gained experience in collecting reliable data for disease and irrigation scheduling models, and using Adcon Telemetry equipment for water and environmental monitoring applications. Matthew's new role at Kisters, where he supports water resource managers to ensure the water needs of the environment and optimize water resources for agriculture, further demonstrates his commitment to making a positive impact on the industry.
Dr Alex Gray
Alex Gray is a highly skilled and experienced chartered electrical and control systems engineer in the water industry. He has a degree in power engineering and has recently completed his Ph.D. from Brunel London, which focused on optimising wastewater pumping asset base to reduce energy consumption. Alex started as an electrician and moved into the water utility sector, where he worked on electrical control systems engineering, software automation, and leadership. He has led significant delivery programmes that involved complex upgrades in electrical, control, and automation. Currently, Alex is the Head of Operational Technology at Thames Water, where he leads the team responsible for the entire automation layer at the UK's largest water company. Alex also contributes to the IET's Electrician Competence Programme, which aims to improve competence in the UK electrical industry. He is passionate about adopting professional registration for engineers working in high-risk buildings and has been appointed as the chair of the IET working group to achieve this goal. Alex's expertise and experience make him a valuable member of the SWIG community.
Mike is a Water Industry Manager at ABB with over 30 years of experience in the field. After graduating with a Hons Degree in Applied Chemistry, he started at ABB as a Development Chemist in 1991, where he gained a deep understanding of electrochemical sensor technologies. In 1999, he transitioned to a role as an area sales manager, looking after the Water, Power, and Process industries. This provided him with a deeper understanding of the applications in both clean and waste water. In 2016, he was promoted to Water and Utilities Sales Manager, focusing on Flow, Analytical, and field Instrumentation products with a team of 8 people serving the Water, Power Utility markets.
Prof Richard Luxton
Richard Luxton has over 25 years of experience in clinical chemistry, neuro-immunology, and developing new rapid detection technologies for point-of-care diagnostics, environmental analysis, food safety, and homeland defense applications. He has authored over 70 publications, research papers, books, and book chapters, and is the founder of the Institute of Bio-Sensing Technology and the International conference of Bio-sensing Technology. Throughout his academic career, Richard has sought to engage and work with industry, specializing in building links between industry and academia. He initiated the development and launch of MediLink SW, a trade organization that supports companies in the biomedical and biotech sectors in the South West of England. Richard's expertise in immunoassay development, magnetic detection technology, and knowledge exchange aligns with SWIG's focus on promoting the development and use of innovative sensor technologies for environmental monitoring and water management. His experience in industry engagement and building partnerships will help SWIG expand its network and collaborate with more companies to advance the field of water sensing.
Chelsea Technologies Group
Justin Dunning is Senior Sales Manager at Chelsea Technologies Limited, part of the Covelya Group of companies. He is in charge of promoting environmental sensors for use in ocean, coastal, inland water, and industrial processing sectors. Before his current role, Justin managed the marine systems group within Chelsea's R&D department. He began his career as a design engineer specialising in Temperature Sensing after earning graduation from Plymouth Polytechnic. Justin has served as a SWIG Director since February 2010, where he brings his extensive experience in sensor technology and his passion for protecting the environment to the organisation.
Richard Bragg is an accomplished Chartered Engineer and Principal Instrumentation, Control and Automation Engineer at United Utilities. With over 20 years of experience in the oil, gas, energy, and utilities industries, Richard has worked extensively in various sectors from design to commissioning and maintenance. He is responsible for UU's ICA standards and frameworks while providing ICA leadership to operations, engineering, and capital projects. Richard specializes in instrumentation, control, and automation systems design and management, functional safety, hazardous area design, condition monitoring hardware and software systems, plant design, risk reduction, commissioning, reliability, optimization, and performance. He is a member of the Institute of Engineering & Technology and the Institute of Measurement and Control with a BEng (Hons) in Systems Engineering.