Meet the Speakers

Professor Dave Reay

Conference chair
Prof Dave Reay (@keelingcurve) is Chair in Carbon Management & Education at the University of Edinburgh and director of the Edinburgh Climate Change Institute (ECCI). Dave isin advisor to the Scottish and UK governments on climate action, chairs the implementation strategy group for the Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan (CESAP) in Scotland, and was a member of the UK Government's Green Jobs Taskforce.'

Steve Aitken

Steve Aitken, Founder, Intelligent Plant
Steve Aitken is the founder of Intelligent Plant - The company was founded to make a difference through the application of software to industrial data. We launched the Industrial App Store in 2016 and have assisted Orbital / EMEC in accessing data from the O2 turbine, Infinity in accessing their batteries - and many of the largest energy companies in the world in accessing and harnessing their control system data in order to improve safety, reduce emissions and make things better. Steve is a Mentor of the NZTC, Mentors Students at the University of Aberdeen and helped create the inform prize with the University where students present their 3rd year

Joanne Allday

Port of Cromarty Firth, Strategic Business Development Manager
Joanne Allday is Strategic Business Development Manager at the Port of Cromarty Firth. This Trust Port has invested over £50m in new infrastructure; which has helped to position the Cromarty Firth as a leading renewable energy hub. It is ideally located, with the excellent port facilities, supply chain and proven track record, to take advantage of Scotland’s 50-year sustainable pipeline of multi-billion-pound offshore wind projects. The Port is facilitating a consortium of private, public and academic sector partners, called Opportunity Cromarty Firth, which aims to ensure Scotland takes full advantage of the pipeline of offshore renewable developments. This includes attracting new advanced manufacturing, creating a North of Scotland Green Hydrogen Hub and establishing the PowerHouse, a global centre of excellence in research, development and training in floating offshore wind and green hydrogen technologies.

Ian Archer

Interim Director of Corporate Services, Loreburn Housing Association
Ian Archer is the Technical Director of the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre where he is responsible for the Technical strategy of the Centre and leading its Skills Programme.
A synthetic organic chemist by training, he began his industrial career with Zeneca in Grangemouth where he led a workgroup developing processes for the manufacture of pharmaceutical and agrochemical intermediates. He has expertise in all aspects of process scale from synthetic chemistry, physical organic chemistry, Design of Experiments, analytical chemistry and tech transfer including GMP manufacturing.
In 2004 Ian joined start-up Ingenza, rekindling his earlier doctoral and post-doctoral interest in biotechnology. As Head of Process Development at Ingenza he was responsible for all aspects of process development and scale up and successfully scaled several bio-processes for the synthesis of high value chemicals. As the company transitioned into Europe’s leading synthetic biology company Ian’s role became that of a translator between Ingenza’s customers in the chemical industry and its bioscientists using knowledge gained from working alongside process chemists, process engineers, molecular biologists and microbiologists

Graham Robertson

Head of Development, Loreburn Housing Association
Graham Robertson (BSc Building Engineering & Management) Head of Development at Loreburn Housing Association. I have worked in Housing for the past 18 years, starting as a Clerk of Works back in 2004. Prior to 2004, I worked for various civil engineering and building contractors. I’ve been the Head of Development with Loreburn for the past 5 years and built Loreburn’s current development programme from a standing start in 2016 to a programme that has delivered over 140 units to date with a further 350 units in the pipeline. Our Development Programme has included delivery of Loreburn’s first fully certified Passivhaus development with plans to build over 150 more Passivhaus units in the next 3 years. I attended Kirkcudbright Academy, followed by Napier University in Edinburgh and I have lived and worked in Dumfries & Galloway most of my life.

Ruth Boyle

Close the Gap
Ruth Boyle is policy and parliamentary manager with Close the Gap, Scotland’s
women and labour market expert. Close the Gap works with employers,
policymakers, trade unions, employees, and sectoral bodies to encourage and enable
positive action to address causes of women’s inequality at work.


Head of Climate Partnerships, ECCI
Jamie develops and leads a portfolio of partnership projects aiming to deliver impact at scale. By working with partners who can influence behaviours and actions at an area-wide or sectoral level, our aim is to understand and address some of the systemic barriers to tackling climate change.

His work is to develop and deliver a range of programmes that align to local, national and global ambitions for a zero carbon economy and society. Edinburgh and Scotland have some of the most ambitious climate targets in the world. The Climate Partnerships team helps ECCI to be part of delivering these through projects and programmes designed to support place-based transformation at a city level, to tackle systemic problems and accelerate climate commitments across key sectors, and to help small businesses be successful in and to drive the transition to a zero carbon economy. I am Co-Investigator for the ESRC-funded PCAN project, scaling citywide climate action across Edinburgh, Leeds, Belfast and London, and have led one of only two dedicated UK CleanTech accelerators.

Sian Lloyd-Rees

UK Managing Director, Aker Offshore Wind
In a career spanning over 25 years, Sian has extensive business experience as a senior leader in both energy and IT industries, having held several leadership roles in both blue chip and start-up companies. 
The domain knowledge and global focus gained in the energy industry, coupled with the pace of evolving digital strategies and entrepreneurship encouraged in the IT industry, have contributed to a proven track record in developing new and profitable business opportunities. 
She is UK Managing Director of Aker Offshore Wind and also supports the broader Aker Horizon companies in the UK, a global provider of sustainable solutions across the broad energy sector.
Sian is Vice Co-Chair on the Board of Oil and Gas UK (OGUK) and the industry Supply Chain Champion supporting delivery of the North Sea Transition Deal, sits on the board of the Aberdeen Energy Transition Zone (ETZ), and is a member of the steerco for the Deepwind Cluster.

Nicola Crawford

Programme Director of Developing the Young Workforce Glasgow, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce
With over 20 years’ experience in the education and business sector her passion for empowering people and equality fits perfectly with this privileged role. She has been pioneering throughout her career creating and leading on bespoke programmes allowing access for all and to specifically meet the needs of Industry.

Nicola holds a Doctorate in Analytical Chemistry from Strathclyde University and also a Chartered Manager. Nicola is a member of the Glasgow Employer and Skills board.

Mhairi Creanor

Zero Waste Scotland
At Zero Waste Scotland, Mhairi supports the organisation in its commitment to supporting people across academia, industry, businesses and sectors taking a whole systems and systems thinking approach to developing the skills required for Scotland to thrive as it transitions to net zero.

Mhairi is an Agile project management professional with a Post Graduate degree in Education and Masters degree in Service Design. Prior to joining Zero Waste Scotland in 2020 she built up significant experience designing and delivering complex cross functional programmes of work across sectors including education & skills development, engineering, digital healthcare, energy (oil & gas) and the creative industries.

Mhairi is currently leading on delivery of Zero Waste Scotland’s commitments as part of the Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan (CESAP) priority actions including development of Scotland’s Green Jobs Skills Hub, Green Internship Scheme, Circular Economy Skills Audits and a national Construction Retrofit Training Programme.

Jo Freeman-Young

UK Sustainable Finance Consulting Manager, EY
Experienced Actuarial Consultant with a demonstrated history of working in the financial services industry. Jo specialises in Sustainable Finance, particularly the integration of climate-related risks and opportunities and the quantification of climate risks for investment and insurance firms. Skilled in Operations Management, Change Management and Leadership, Jo is highly numerate and is a qualified Actuary. Jo's prior experience include 5 years as Director of her own Outdoor Education company and 7 years as a member of the Armed Forces, including a Tour of Afghanistan, training members of the Afghan Police Force.

Jane Grant

Executive Director of Enterprise and Business Innovation, Borders College
Jane Grant is Executive Director of Enterprise and Business Innovation at Borders College. Jane started her career in academic publishing before moving into IT business consultancy, economic development, knowledge transfer, IT, business start-up and business development consultancy, across a wide range of sectors in private, public and third sector organisations.
She has spent many years as a senior executive and consultant advising organisations on strategies to become more competitive, innovative and reap cost benefits from technology solutions and business improvement across all aspects of their business.
She is a board member at the Scottish Council for Development & Industry (SCDI), a trustee board member at Floris Books and a member of the Policy Group at Scotland IS.

David Gunn

Programme Manager
I am an experienced Programme Manager who has worked for 20 years in the environmental, resource management and low carbon sectors. I am passionate about making a valuable contribution to Scotland’s transformation to a low carbon nation. I began my career with Keep Scotland Beautiful, working on the Waste Aware Scotland campaign which supported Local Authorities to introduce kerbside recycling systems. I then spent ten years managing the Climate challenge Fund which made over 1,000 grant awards totalling over £100 million to community organisations taking action on climate change.
My current role at Zero Waste Scotland is the Manager of the Energy Efficient Business Support and Circular Economy Business Support Services. These programmes enable SMEs to identify opportunities to save energy, £ and carbon and develop circular business models to reduce their impact on climate change. Recently as part of the CEBS service we have assisted 10 SMEs to identify an opportunity for a Circular Economy Intern and to recruit the intern

Mina Hanna

PowerHouse Project Manager, Port of Cromarty Firth
Mina Hanna has a background in Petroleum Engineering and Renewable Energy sources. Mina has over 3 years of combined experience spread across co-designing green economy transition programmes, improving energy efficiency, alternative fuels operations, and wells abandonment. Mina has recently taken up a position of managing the Port of Cromarty Firth Powerhouse. He plays a key role in coordinating a steering group to lead the
development of the new PowerHouse research, development and education facility, which is currently hosted at the University of Highlands and Islands’ Tern House, on Alness Point Business Park, Easter Ross.

Charlotte Hartley

Stakeholder and Communications Lead at Storegga
Charlotte joined the Storegga team in 2016 and is focused on communications and engagement for Storegga’s hydrogen activity and the Scottish Cluster. Charlotte co-chairs the Energy Institute Young Professionals Network in Aberdeen and is a former Trustee of a Scottish youth-leadership charity who she represented on the recently concluded Scottish Just Transition Commission and the IPPR Environmental Justice Commission. In 2020, she was shortlisted for the Energy Institute Young Energy Professional of the Year Award.

Caitriona Jordan

Chartered Architect, CSIC
Caitriona is a Chartered Architect, holding a Masters’ Degree in Architecture from Robert Gordon University. Having worked in practice for several years, in 2011, she began work as a Lecturer in Architecture at the City of Glasgow College. She has experience working on projects within both the public and private sectors, including listed building refurbishments, commercial office design, school projects and domestic dwellings.

Caitriona has worked on a range of funded projects such as Inclusive Value, Offsite Ready and EMIC-GEM (Embracing Modular Innovation in Construction – Getting Education Modernised). Caitriona’s passion is in Low Carbon programmes including the training and upskilling in Passivhaus, EnerPHit and Retrofit.

Lesley ANn Keith

Central Scotland’s Senior Engineering Area Manager, Openreach
Lesley Keith is Central Scotland’s senior engineering area manager within Openreach, the national digital network business. She leads a workforce of more than 200 engineers from Argyll and the Islands to the city of Glasgow and the Trossachs, including many graduates of the Openreach apprenticeship programme. Openreach is one of Scotland’s biggest recruiters of apprentices, taking on around 900 trainees since 2018. Many are working on the company’s new full fibre network – a cleaner broadband network which uses less power and could help the UK save 300 million commuting trips once everyone has access. Before joining Openreach in 2011, Lesley Ann worked in senior customer service and client relationship management roles with BT.

Andy Kerr

UK & Ireland lead, EIT Climate-KIC
Andy leads EIT Climate-KIC – Europe’s largest public-private innovation partnership – in the UK and Ireland, mobilising resources and capabilities to enable cities, regions, and entrepreneurs to deliver transformative climate action. Previously, Andy was the founding director of the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI), a leading low carbon innovation centre in Scotland. Earlier in his career, Andy developed renewable energy projects and traded carbon and green fuels in Europe and Asia. Andy is an Honorary Professor at the University of Edinburgh and has a PhD in Climate Change.

David Lee

Event Host, Writer, Editor and Communications adviser
David Lee is an experienced events professional who has hosted 300 in-person and 100 online events - from webinars and panel discussions to two-day policy conferences. He has a specific interest in rural affairs and sustainability, as well as data and technology. He has hosted many sustainability events, including Leadership for a Sustainable Future, and Scottish Land and Estates annual conference 2021, The Business of Climate Change. He is currently presenting a podcast series with Royal Bank of Scotland, A Greener World Needs A Plan. David is also a writer, editor and media trainer.

Marissa Lippiatt

Head of Climate Emergency and High Value Manufacturing, Skills Development Scotland
Marissa joined Skills Development Scotland in the newly-created role of Head of Climate Emergency and High Value Manufacturing earlier this year. The role includes overseeing the implementation of the Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan, published in December 2020, working with a broad range of partners and stakeholders to deliver on a series of key actions aimed at ensuring Scotland’s workforce and industries have the skills needed to reach net zero.

Her role also includes overseeing SDS’s work and engagement with a number of key and growth sectors including energy, construction, engineering and life and chemical sciences.
Previously, Marissa was Head of Resource Efficiency at Zero Waste Scotland and a member of the Senior Leadership Team, helping to deliver sustainable change in how society consumes and produces products and services. She contributed towards meeting national targets for preventing food waste, improving energy efficiency and supporting the decarbonisation of heat.

Ryan Matthews

Aero Engine Mechanic Apprentice, GE Aviation Caledonian
Hello, I’m Ryan Matthews, a 24 year old 4th year apprentice aero engine mechanic at GE Aviation Caledonian. After visiting Australia in 2020 and seeing the devastating effect of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef, I have been on a mission to inspire others in to meaningful change in their daily lives to contribute towards net zero. I also use this passion to help my work place with their own net zero and carbon neutral ambitions also. In my spare time I play football and keep tropical fish.

James Maxwell

Managing Director, ETGB Group
29 years old Born and brought up in Zimbabwe. Completed an Electrical apprenticeship and HNC at Dumfries and Galloway. Founded ETGB Group in 2014, ETGB Group is a multi disciplinary contractor that very renewables focussed and have now successfully completed a number of Scottish flagship projects. We currently employ circa 90 employees between our Dumfries head off and Galloway offices.

Andy McDonald

Head of Low Carbon Transition , Scottish Enterprise
Andy McDonald is Head of Low Carbon Transition at Scottish Enterprise, the national economic development agency, supporting the growth of the Low Carbon Economy with public and private sector partners, regionally, nationally and globally. Key areas of focus are the decarbonisation of heat, mobility, energy and energy systems.
Andy is an Environmental Scientist by training and has worked in economic development in Scotland and overseas for over 30 years. At SE, he has held leadership roles in innovation, R&D and manufacturing support, and been Director of International Trade and Investment both in North America and in Europe, Middle East and Africa. He has led several key sector teams and chaired a Scottish Biofuels Taskforce and the Scottish Government Financial Sector Jobs Task Force. He is a director of Scotland Europa and has also been an advisor to EU cluster programmes and TCI, a global network of economic development specialists.


SNP MSP for East Lothian
He had previously served as a councillor in East Lothian and was both the SNP group leader and the council leader from 2007 to 2012. Prior to election in 2021 he spent many years as a professional Youth Football Coach and has been a board member of NHS Lothian; within Scottish Enterprise; and served on the Commission on School Reform. Paul grew up and lives in Dunbar, in East Lothian, where his political interests in environmental action and community wellbeing were formed.
“My early career in youth coaching, as well as the beauty and sense of community in the place I live, have taught me the importance of a whole life approach to tackling major issues: young people are passionate and dedicated in their defence of what matters to them - the environment, poverty-reduction and equalities. As politicians it is our job to make sure they can use those skills and passions where they are needed, and in a meaningful way.".

April Robertson

Equality & Diversity Team, SDS
April Robertson is one of the senior executives in Skills Development Scotland's Equality and Diversity team and her focus over the past five years has been to encourage more diverse participation in the Apprenticeship family. A particular focus of her work has been to address gender imbalance in STEM apprenticeships.

Laura Paterson

People and Organisational Development Director
Laura Paterson is a highly commercial Global HR leader with a passion for Organisational Development and a strong background in diversity and inclusion. Laura has over 20 years' experience in strategic HR roles, most recently for Shell where she held a range of Global HR Leadership roles across a variety of businesses over the last 13 years.

As an experience coach, Laura has supported TEDxGlasgow for a number of years, coaching speakers to deliver the talk of their lives. Laura is also a board Trustee of Scotland Women in Technology (SWiT) where she champions diversity and gender equality in the technology sector in Scotland.

Outside work Laura has recently reignited her passion for cycling (both indoor and outdoor). She is married with two primary school aged children which is also a driving force for her passion to inspire Scotland’s future talent pipeline into STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) roles.

Denise Reed

Nature Scot Area Manager for Tayside & Grampian Area. As Area Manager
A key role for Denise is to look for opportunities for partnership working in her Area to help deliver the key place based priorities for nature. Denise has worked for Nature Scot and its predecessor bodies for 36 years. During this time having had a particular focus on the management of our National Nature Reserves including expanding both our volunteer programme and promotion of youth employment. Denise has led an action learning set on nature based jobs and is a member of our Programme for Youth Employment which this year has delivered ~40 youth employment opportunities from modern apprenticeships, graduate placements to trainee Operations officers. Denise is now part of a new NatureScot delivery group for nature based jobs and skills.

Claudia rowse

Deputy Director of Sustainable Growth for NatureScot
Claudia is Deputy Director of Sustainable Growth for NatureScot, Scotland’s nature agency. She provides senior leadership on supporting transformative land use and investing in natural capital to address the twin challenges of biodiversity and climate change. She leads on NatureScot’s work on nature-based jobs and skills, overseeing research on Nature Based Jobs and Skills to expand the evidence base about the nature based sector and assess future demand, and on NatureScot’s Action Plan for Nature Based Jobs and Skills which aims to build capacity and skills across Scotland’s workforce to help Scotland implement nature-based solutions and reach its net zero targets. She is a member of both the CESAP (Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan) and Rural Skills Implementation Steering Groups writing a recent blog on the climate emergency and skills. She has spent over 20 years working in a variety of roles for NatureScot and believes that a nature-rich future where everyone is involved will make us all happier, healthier, wealthier and more equal.

David Scott

Graduate Apprentice, Software Developer at Aviva
David is in his final year of University studying a four-year Hons Degree in IT: Software Development and has a passion for learning cutting-edge technology. In 2020, David has shortlisted finalist for Graduate Apprentice of the Year, and in 2021 has been nominated for the Outstanding Awards: Top 100 LGBT+ Future Leaders.

David is a member of the Apprentice Engagement Group at Skills Development Scotland, an ambassador to inspire the next generation of young people and employers to get involved with apprenticeships and offer a vital insight into being a Graduate Apprentice. This includes attracting young people to consider apprenticeships and advocating the role that apprenticeships will play in future, to help deliver Scotland’s climate change targets.”


Project Engineer, Net Zero Technology Centre
Sakshi is a Chartered Engineer with over 10 years’ experience working in the energy industry. Originally from India, Sakshi studied in Aberdeen before graduating and starting her career as a mechanical engineer in oil and sas. Since then, Sakshi has gained valuable experience across asset integrity, capital projects, mechanical commissioning, supervising offshore, and more recently, experience in managing R&D projects. Currently, Sakshi is a Project Engineer within the Offshore Energy 4.0 Team at the Net Zero Technology Centre, working to leverage the development and use of robotics and digitalisation to achieve a Net Zero energy system in the North Sea.

Lorna Slater MSP

Scottish Greens Co-leader. Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity
Lorna Slater is the Scottish Greens co-leader and newly elected MSP for Lothian. Originally from Alberta, Canada, Lorna has worked as an engineer in the renewables energy sector for some time, most recently as a project manager in the construction of the world’s biggest tidal turbine in Dundee.

Marc Strathie

Head of Research and Policy for ScotlandIS
Marc is the Head of Research and Policy for ScotlandIS. ScotlandIS builds, supports, and enables the digital technology ecosystem in Scotland. We are at the heart of Scotland’s digital economy, shaping, changing and driving it forward. We work with members and partners to support the wider digital transformation of business and society. Marc leads all Research, Policy and Public Affairs activity for ScotlandIS to Ministers, senior Civil Servants, Academics and private sector leaders.

Marc is the author of Scotland's first ever Climate Tech report and also led all of the ScotlandIS activity around green skills as part of our input to the Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan.

kirsty Summers

Head of Workforce and Skills at the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA)
With a background in supporting professions to attract new talent, young people and those developing their careers into exciting, sustainable opportunities with employers, Kirsty’s current role oversees skills attraction and talent development and retention in the Scotch Whisky sector. She works with SWA member companies to identify current and future skills gaps, career paths and opportunities for linking into formal education. Underpinning this work is the goal of ensuring the industry is as inclusive and diverse as the drink it represents, and last year the SWA launched a Diversity and Inclusivity Charter which is inspiring its member organisations to ensure that a career in Scotch Whisky is open to anyone, whatever their background.

Alix Thom

Workforce Engagement and Skills, Oil & Gas UK
Dr Alix Thom joined Oil & Gas UK in December 2011 as Employment and Skills Manager. In her current role at OGUK, Alix is responsible for facilitating industry positions on employment issues, particularly workforce engagement and diversity and inclusion. Alix is also the theme lead for the implementation of the People and Skills element of the North Sea Transition Deal, agreed earlier this year with the UK government. This includes retaining talent in the industry whilst facilitating the transition of people to other energy sectors, and ensuring jobs created are good quality jobs.
Alix is an experienced employee relations specialist with a proven track record in major and independent exploration and production companies, including BP, Cairn Energy and EnQuest, as well as Wood plc and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA).
A Fellow of the CIPD (awarded the Distinguished Badge of Merit), Alix is also a member of the Executive Board of the IPA (Involvement and Participation Association) , an Alumni of the Advanced HR Executive Programme, Michigan University and Chair of the Oil and Gas Chaplaincy Trust. Alix lives in Aberdeen with her beloved westie called Ollie.

Carol Turnbull

Principal and Chief Executive of Ayrshire College
Carol Turnbull is Principal and Chief Executive of Ayrshire College and joined the College on March 1st 2019. Previously Carol was Principal and Chief Executive of Dumfries and Galloway College and recently stepped down as Chair of the Colleges Scotland Principals’ Group. She has an excellent understanding of the national context for colleges in Scotland, is a passionate believer in lifelong learning, and is a strong advocate for apprenticeships and work-based learning.

Andy Williamson

Head of Energy Transition, OPITO
Andy Williamson is Head of Energy Transition at OPITO, the global safety and skills organisation for the energy industry, and is focused on developing the net zero workforce of the future.  Leading OPITO’s energy transition activity, Andy is building partnerships with a variety of organisations globally with a common interest in developing a safe, skilled, and mobile workforce able to work across various areas of the integrated energy space.
A key focus of OPITO’s energy transition work – in conjunction with the Energy Skills Alliance - is the delivery of a ‘People and Skills Plan’, part of the UK Government’s North Sea Transition Deal, which will assist with the transition of expertise across the energy industry through a detailed roadmap.
Andy came to this role after spending most of his career in the energy industry, working internationally in various roles spanning onshore and offshore renewables, subsea and marine services. A passionate STEM ambassador for the energy sector, he actively supports various organisations and initiatives that aim to inspire the next generation.
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