Meet the Team

Meet the Team

The Pick&Mix project was brought together with 6 organisations working as a consortium team in their specialist areas. The consortium is a great mix of private sector, public sector and charity sector organisations coupled with our fantastic National Youth Team who are designing the service from the ground up.

ESP Group (Lead): The Transport technology supplier

Young Scot: The national youth information and citizenship charity for Scotland

Systra: The Forward-thinking transport consultancy

Mudlark: The user interface and user experience designers

Route Monkey: The leading-edge algorithm specialists

National Entitlement Card (NEC): The organisation run by Dundee City Council on behalf of Scottish Government responsible for the smartcard held by 2.1m Scots – including 1.1m over 60s and 640,000 11-25s

The National Youth Team (NYT): a group recruited specifically for the Pick&Mix project made up of 16-25 year-old volunteers who will design the Pick&Mix service for their peers.

Within these organisations are a number of enthusiastic individuals who bring a number of different professional and personal experience to the project:

Beth Garner
Future Mobility Design at The ESP Group

A bit about day job and background

Straight after Uni I joined a transport consultancy where I got involved in a number of projects which explored how a wide range of trends would affect the future of transport. We would use this knowledge to help cities to plan how to make all forms of transport better for people to use and more efficient for the city. I worked there for almost 8 years before joining ESP Group just over a year ago. At ESP, I am still looking at the future of transport but from a more technical perspective. It is a really interesting time in the transport industry at the moment, because technology is really beginning to change what the transport system will look like in the future (from ‘smart’ roads through to apps like Uber and driverless cars).

Super Powers

  1. Understanding how transport can affect other areas of our cities and our lives
  2. Future transport ideas and technology
  3. Undertaking research with other people

What I want to change in the world is…

to make the places we live in, and how we travel, better for our health and wellbeing.

Random interesting fact about me 

I enjoy photography – I am still learning how to take great pictures but have a blog where I put my favourite photos.

Brenda Robb 
NEC Programme Manager at NEC/Dundee City Council

A bit about day job and background

I worked in computing for many years before taking a more corporate role (16 years ago) to do a wee smart card pilot. Smart cards took off in such a big way and I’m now lucky to manage of a small team of 8 wonderful staff in the National Entitlement Card Programme Office (NECPO), overseeing the card programme for the whole of Scotland . NECPO provide a managed service to support the 32 Scottish Councils, including central procurement of smart cards and card management services, as well as providing guidance and assistance with card applications and other potential developments on the National Entitlement Card (NEC). Working with key partners in Scottish Government, Transport Scotland, Improvement Service, Young Scot and all Scottish Councils this one card delivers access to a wide range of services including the Scotland-wide concessionary travel scheme, as well as many council services and can now also accommodate commercial smart ticketing. We continue to work with partners to innovate, optimise and improve access to even more services.

Super Powers

Understanding smart cards and what they can be used for now or even future ideas, being involved/managing projects, multi-agency working (many partners with ideas and requirements).

What I want to change in the world

I want to make it easier for people to access services they are entitled to, oh and World Peace (for those of you who have ever watched Miss Congeniality)

Random interesting fact about me (can be anything! Favourite meal, hobby etc) 

I don’t like Olives !

Colin Ferguson
CEO of Routemonkey

A bit about day job and background

Route Monkey provide algorithms, basically very powerful calculators, to a number of sectors but our main focus is transport. We use our software to solve complex real world problems to allow transport planners to choose the quickest routes, or the most environmentally friendly.

I manage a team of nearly 30 people based in Livingston, but we have clients all over the world. This means I need to split my time between leading my team and developing customer relationships. We work with partners such as Transport Scotland, Scottish Enterprise and the Energy Saving Trust to research and develop the transport systems of the future.

Super Powers

I have worked in the transport industry for 27 years and have a wide range of knowledge around the issues our transport systems face.

What I want to change in the world

Drastically reducing emissions from transport. As well as enabling shared transport and reducing miles driven, I’m a big supporter of electric vehicles. Route Monkey is developing an electric vehicle journey planner to encourage more people and organisations to choose low emission vehicles.

Random interesting fact about me

While in school I played football for the Scotland youth team.

David Smith
Project Manager at The ESP Group

A bit about day job and background

As lead project manager I am responsible for making sure that the tasks required to complete the Pick&Mix project start and finish on time and don’t cost more money than we thought they would. This involves communicating with all of the people involved in the project team and providing updates to those who don’t work on the project day to day. Also, as some of the money for the project comes from Innovate UK, I pull together information about project progress and budget spend to show Innovate that their money is being used well.

Super Powers

In a previous job I worked for a cycling organisation teaching young people and adults how to ride a bike for the first time, how to ride safely on the roads and how to fix and maintain their bikes. From this experience and as a cyclist myself, I have a good understanding of the benefits and challenges of cycling as a form of transport.

Also, I have a degree in Business so I’m more than happy to help with any business or finance questions you might have about the project.

What I want to change in the world

I want to help children, young people and adults enjoy getting outside more whether that be to explore nature in the countryside or using active travel to replace short journeys.

Random interesting fact about me

I am an explorer leader at the Granton explorer Scouts in Edinburgh and love hill walking, mountain biking and camping.

Gwen Farquharson
Development Officer at NEC/Dundee City Council

A bit about day job and background I have only been working on the NEC since May having previously been the Resource Planning Manager for a rather large supermarket’s contact centres.

Administering holidays for over 2500 people is the biggest jigsaw ever and very emotive especially at Christmas!

I am very keen to promote the use of the NEC in Scotland as I have been surprised by the lack of awareness of the service but huge potential that it carries. The Young Scot branding is definitely one of the most positive and well-known aspects of the scheme so is a great starting point for this project and having 2 “young scots” myself think I am well-placed to understand the aims of the project.

Superpowers Many years of contact centres has taught me the value of seeing everything from the customers point of view and understand the impact of decisions on the customer journey.

Random Interesting fact about me I now find myself sitting in the same office that I carried out my placement whilst at Uni some 25+ years ago!

Laura Rhoney
Marketing Manager at The ESP Group

A bit about day job and background

My day to day is ensuring that the amazing work we do here at The ESP Group is known throughout the country, in the transport industry and beyond.  My background is in sales I have worked most of my career selling different solutions, services and products for companies such as Coca Cola.

Super Powers

I think other than advice about rural travel, having always lived there my super power is positivity! Let’s make things work, no negatives!

What I want to change in the world is…

I want inclusion for everyone, whoever they are and in everything we do, let’s start with travel, then who knows!!

Random interesting fact about me

I am a marksman with a 2.2 rifle!

Matt Watkins
Creative Director at Mudlark

A bit about day job and background
Mudlark is a UX design and game design company. We make innovative products that bridge the divide between the real world and digital play. Within Mudlark I am principally responsible for managing the ideas and turning them into viable products. I work with the team to insure that I support their ideas and oversee production. I also ensure quality in what we make or present.
I come from a background in the arts, having studied Fine Art at uni. I started off writing theatre shows and making visual artworks and films. After training in computing at a local college I became interested in how digital processes could become art. I started making artworks on the internet in the late 90’s and built commercial websites to fund this. From this I formed a company that built innovative digital products including games. We won numerous prizes for our work and collaborated with companies like the BBC, BT and Hewlett Packard.
I formed Mudlark in 2009 with 3 others to focus on building game like products and services.

Super Powers

  1. I am an experienced designer of websites, games and mobile applications
  2. I am a reasonable coder (although not expert)
  3. I love drawing and illustration
  4. I have extensive experience using design software
  5. Getting other people to generate ideas and nurturing them into a real product.
  6. I am a passionate teacher and lecturer in Interactive Media and game design

What I want to change in the world

I want to make tech more accountable to people and the planet. Most software is designed to squeeze money out of people and not to improve their opportunities. The efficiencies that technology offers are not being put to use in levelling the field and preventing the worst excesses of climate change.

Random interesting fact about me

A few years ago I was invited to meet David Hanke of ‘Pokemon Go’ fame and he was fishing for new ideas. I guess he doesn’t need them now.

Paul Gault
Co-Design Manager at Young Scot

A bit about day job and background

I work with the co-design team at Young Scot to help support young people get involved in lots of exciting projects around a range of interesting topics. This could be anything from healthier life style choices through to arts & culture through to understanding nature and biodiversity. The material provided by the young people we work with is then used to inform important decisions that affect them and many other young people across Scotland. I’ve been working at Young Scot since January this year and was previously a researcher at Aberdeen Uni exploring the potential of using digital tech in rural communities.

Super Powers

Using the power of empathy to help understand the experience of others. This is a key element of the work that we do in the co-design team at Young Scot and helps ensure the meaning behind the stories we gather can effectively be applied to help activate change.

What I want to change in the world

Helping to bring together a range of diverse perspectives to help address the increasing inequalities there are across the world.

Random interesting fact about me

I do enjoy the odd spot of karaoke now and again.

Sarah Collings
Transport Assistant at Systra

A bit about day job and background

I mostly work on projects which facilitate behaviour change away from single-occupancy car use and towards more sustainable modes of transport. I have worked a lot in workplace and community settings, from cities to Scottish islands, to provide personalised information and incentives to encourage individuals to try something new with their travel.

Super Powers

  1. Knowledge on methods used to change travel behaviour- through my research;
  2. Understanding the barriers to behaviour change- through my experience and research;
  3. Approaching people and businesses- through my work encouraging travel-related behaviour change;
  4. Managing projects and research- through managing behaviour change projects;
  5. Number crunching- through my degree in maths.

 

What I want to change in the world is…

More bikes! (and more people riding them). Cycling is fun, green, cheap, sociable, and good for your mental and physical health. I would love to see safer environments for cyclists to encourage all possible short journeys to be made by bike.

Random interesting fact about me:

I studied Antarctic biology for my doctorate which, I think, makes me a doctor of penguins.

Steve Cassidy
Managing Director of Viaqqio & Board Member of The ESP Group

A bit about day job and background

I’m from York and studied geography at Uni.  I was the first person to go to Uni in my family and enjoyed it a lot.  I was lucky enough to spend a year at University in USA which really got me interested in research.  I’ve done a few things: Uni lecturer, consultant, researcher but have always looked at transport and how and why people travel as they do – especially how technology changes that. But I have learnt more about transport by giving up the car and doing a blog about what I and my kids experienced: still to finish my Golden Lessons: here’s number 1

http://www.carfreefamily.com/2012/05/27/golden-lesson-1-people-will-assume/

Super Powers

ESP Group is a growing technology organisation – we have a 350 people contact centre in Arbroath which is an amazing place (just like walking into Google HQ) and has amazing people (so knowledgeable and sorting out travel problems for people all over the UK). We also have developers and a smart card farm (!) in this year’s European City of Culture – which is Hull.  Come and see and learn how we make transport, and other things, work. And at Viaqqio we are pretty good at seeing how new technology will change the world – we can help you work out what could work and if it will help people.

What I want to change in the world is…

I want to see a world where it is not necessary to own a car.  I think we can achieve this in 5-10 years.

Random interesting fact about me:

A book about how to cook fish changed my life.  26 years later a piece of Stornaway black pudding did the same.