Meet the Team

SVGC Consulting Directors:

Dr Andrew Nixon
Dr Andrew Dixon

Focussed on continuously transforming the business to respond to the market, driving and delivering great outcomes to our clients, benefit to employees, value to shareholders and opportunities to partners and associates. 

Passionate about working collaboratively between small businesses, small with large and collaborative technology pull-through from academia into delivery.

Managing Director

Q

Dr Andrew Dixon

SVGC Staff Profiles

At SVGC we’re proud to be a small business formed of experienced, highly qualified people operating on a national platform. Our team collectively has vast knowledge of strategic planning, public sector decisions, innovative technologies, data science and agile working methodologies.

Get to know Dr Andrew Dixon, our Managing Director, who is passionate about working collaboratively between small and large businesses and utilising technology pull-through from academia into delivery. Our “national platform” includes Andrew’s roles chairing the Small Business Forum for the Institute for Collaborative Working and vice-chair of the TechUK Defence & Security SME forum. Andrew is also an external examiner for the Cranfield University Battlespace Technology course.

Andrew’s focus is on continuously transforming the business to respond to the market, driving and delivering great outcomes for our clients, partners and associates.

What are your ‘must haves’ to start the working day?

My day always starts with a few cups of tea and breakfast is definitely my most important meal of the day. Before the day gets going, I usually catch up with the latest events with Starship development in Boca Chica, Texas via the YouTube daily update. It's amazing to watch the evolution of the largest launch vehicle and orbital rocket ever made … and Elon Musk’s approach to keeping it simple; learn by doing is something I really relate to.

What’s your proudest work achievement to date?

That’s a tough one. I’m fortunate to have had a few. Helping to fundamentally shift the land platforms market through some policy changes whilst working in the MOD to create a more level playing field; delivering market engagement to improve procurement success through Niteworks across a range of projects; management of chunks of Skynet – future military satellite programmes both 20 years ago and now; working on the Nuclear Deterrent; and working with the Institute for Collaborative Working to promote small business collaborative engagements.

But I think my proudest work achievement is happening now with FCDO Services at Hanslope Park, where we are working in an innovation collaboration to enable the transfer of large volumes of digital public records to the National Archives – supporting democracy through transparency. Amazing!

What do you love most about what you do?

People have said to me in the past, that as a small consultancy we surely can’t make much difference. That couldn’t be more wrong. I love that we help the public sector to make the best decisions with the limited funds that it has available. They get better capability, and achieve more because of our intervention and support. The public sector making better decisions, more effectively and more efficiently leads to lives saved, taxpayer money protected and better services to the public. It’s a huge privilege to be providing the service that makes such a difference.

What does your typical working day look like?

Blimey. They can be long days. Running a small business like SVGC can be challenging, with many balls to juggle and such rapid turnaround on bids and proposals. I am fortunate to have an amazing team around me who make it happen.

I still deliver some of the fee-paying work myself, which is important to me to stay in touch with the ground truth of delivery, and maintain close working relationships with key clients.

My working days usually start quite early with a mixture of company business, client work, lots and lots of calls. We talk a lot with partner companies and clients to ensure we keep in touch with both delivery and opportunities.

When you hit a wall workwise, what do you do to help overcome the hurdle?

Change the subject and do something else for a while. If that doesn’t work, and it's late, I will often go to sleep and somehow have the answer in the morning. The odd round of golf helps too. I’m also a keen sailor and time-permitting, it's surprising how problems seem to get resolved when you’re sailing past the Needles!

Julia Campbell
Julia Campbell

Julia has 20 years of experience of commercial and managerial roles across the defence and security sector. Her role within SVGC is wide ranging involving: contract management; personnel development; recruitment; insurance and financial governance. She has previously held senior commercial roles in both Thales and QinetiQ.

Head of Commercial

Q

Julia Campbell

SVGC Staff Profiles

At SVGC we’re proud to be a small business formed of experienced, highly qualified people operating on a national platform.

Our team collectively has vast knowledge of strategic planning, public sector decisions, innovative technologies, data science and agile working methodologies. Get to know Julia, our Chief of Staff and Head of Commercial.

Julia has 20 years of experience of commercial and managerial roles across the defence and security sector including senior commercial roles in both Thales and QinetiQ. Her role within SVGC is wide ranging and here she describes more about her day-to-day with SVGC.

1. What are your ‘must haves’ to start the working day?

Earl Grey Tea. If there is no EG tea the day is doomed! I’ve recently started doing Wordle – which is now right up there with the Earl Grey. And, although I have yet to completely fail to get the daily Wordle, it’s a great example of a there always being a new learning experience just waiting for you!

2. What’s your proudest work achievement to date?

Being part of the development and evolution of the business is a real privilege, to share in the SVGC success story so far – especially as we are celebrating our 25th anniversary this year. Within this, a common challenge for some evolving businesses can be the introduction of huge amounts of process – and we’ve managed to retain our efficient and pragmatic use of them, and not ‘process ourselves out of business’. It’s also really wonderful to see the current recruitment drive that reflects how hard the team have worked to deliver on current projects whilst also being named on a number of significant new frameworks in the last two years.

Oh, and of course, another source of pride is retaining my very serious job title of ‘Director of Fun’!

3. What do you love most about what you do?

That every day really is different – I’m not ‘just’ a project manager, or responsible for business development, there is so much that my role entails – as described below.

4. What does your typical working day look like?

My role is so large and varied that ‘typical’ isn’t the best word. I am one of the directors of the company and the commercial manager for the business; and, I also look after HR, training, recruitment and insurance. Sometimes I’ll be working on contract management and negotiation, another hour and I’ll be considering personnel development and recruitment, and then perhaps grappling with some insurance issue or dealing with financial governance.

In a nutshell, I ensure all the bills are paid, the staff are happy, our customers are delighted and the chickens are fed.

5. When you hit a wall workwise, what do you do to help overcome the hurdle?

I go and make tea (can you see a theme here?!) If it is really bad, I might go for a little shuffle - my code for going for a run - around the village that I live in, as that can help enormously.

Matt Bentley
Matt Bentley

Matt has over 25 years accounting and finance experience, from a number of top ten and smaller accounting firms in managerial audit and business advisory roles to moving into the commercial world and holding directorships in a start-up accountancy firm and also an ‘Umbrella’ payroll solution company. After four years carrying out short term contract roles across several industries, Matt joined SVGC in December 2020 at an exciting time in the group’s journey. Matt was invited to join the board in April 2021

Head of Finance

Q

Matt Bentley

SVGC Staff Profiles

At SVGC we’re proud to be a small business formed of experienced, highly qualified people operating on a national platform. Our team collectively has vast knowledge of strategic planning, public sector decisions, innovative technologies, data science and agile working methodologies.

Get to know our Head of Finance, Matt Bentley. Matt has over 25 years accounting and finance experience, from a number of top ten and smaller accounting firms in managerial audit and business advisory roles. Matt joined SVGC in December 2020 at an exciting time in the group’s journey. Find out how Matt tackles his working day...

1. What are your ‘must haves’ to start the working day?

Coffee and lots of it! I’m not a morning person, more of a night owl. I like to catch up on the business news over breakfast to see if anything is relevant to my role and the tasks at hand.

2. What’s your proudest work achievement to date?

In March 2021 we formed SVGC Group and set up three subsidiary companies. I did most of the compliance work required and implemented all necessary accounting and tax procedures to enable group reporting. I was also invited to join the Board at the same time after starting at SVGC in December 2020.

3. What do you love most about what you do?

I love the variety in my role, I can’t believe the pace that things happen. Being part of a small but growing collaborative team means I get stuck into lots of different challenges. My background is predominantly working in large and small firms of accountants so I like having the responsibility for all things tax and financial compliance.

4. What does your typical working day look like?

Depends if it is month or year end. Start with clearing emails and then work to a monthly ‘Finance and Operations Drumbeat’ which I implement to ensure all deadlines are met, so I tend to plan my whole week on a Monday morning. I like to try and have a short walk at lunchtime to clear my mind and prepare for the afternoon.

5. When you hit a wall workwise, what do you do to help overcome the hurdle?

Do something else and go back to it later or the next day – sometimes something is really obvious when you take a break from it. Failing that, after researching possible solutions, I approach someone else in the company for a different perspective – everyone is very helpful and collaborative so it’s never a problem.

Chris Parry
Chris Parry

Non-Executive Director

SVGC Associates Directors:

Julia Campbell
Julia Campbell

Julia has 20 years of experience of commercial and managerial roles across the defence and security sector. Her role within SVGC is wide ranging involving: contract management; personnel development; recruitment; insurance and financial governance. She has previously held senior commercial roles in both Thales and QinetiQ.

Head of Commercial

Q

Julia Campbell

SVGC Staff Profiles

At SVGC we’re proud to be a small business formed of experienced, highly qualified people operating on a national platform.

Our team collectively has vast knowledge of strategic planning, public sector decisions, innovative technologies, data science and agile working methodologies. Get to know Julia, our Chief of Staff and Head of Commercial.

Julia has 20 years of experience of commercial and managerial roles across the defence and security sector including senior commercial roles in both Thales and QinetiQ. Her role within SVGC is wide ranging and here she describes more about her day-to-day with SVGC.

1. What are your ‘must haves’ to start the working day?

Earl Grey Tea. If there is no EG tea the day is doomed! I’ve recently started doing Wordle – which is now right up there with the Earl Grey. And, although I have yet to completely fail to get the daily Wordle, it’s a great example of a there always being a new learning experience just waiting for you!

2. What’s your proudest work achievement to date?

Being part of the development and evolution of the business is a real privilege, to share in the SVGC success story so far – especially as we are celebrating our 25th anniversary this year. Within this, a common challenge for some evolving businesses can be the introduction of huge amounts of process – and we’ve managed to retain our efficient and pragmatic use of them, and not ‘process ourselves out of business’. It’s also really wonderful to see the current recruitment drive that reflects how hard the team have worked to deliver on current projects whilst also being named on a number of significant new frameworks in the last two years.

Oh, and of course, another source of pride is retaining my very serious job title of ‘Director of Fun’!

3. What do you love most about what you do?

That every day really is different – I’m not ‘just’ a project manager, or responsible for business development, there is so much that my role entails – as described below.

4. What does your typical working day look like?

My role is so large and varied that ‘typical’ isn’t the best word. I am one of the directors of the company and the commercial manager for the business; and, I also look after HR, training, recruitment and insurance. Sometimes I’ll be working on contract management and negotiation, another hour and I’ll be considering personnel development and recruitment, and then perhaps grappling with some insurance issue or dealing with financial governance.

In a nutshell, I ensure all the bills are paid, the staff are happy, our customers are delighted and the chickens are fed.

5. When you hit a wall workwise, what do you do to help overcome the hurdle?

I go and make tea (can you see a theme here?!) If it is really bad, I might go for a little shuffle - my code for going for a run - around the village that I live in, as that can help enormously.

Matt Bentley
Matt Bentley

Matt has over 25 years accounting and finance experience, from a number of top ten and smaller accounting firms in managerial audit and business advisory roles to moving into the commercial world and holding directorships in a start-up accountancy firm and also an ‘Umbrella’ payroll solution company. After four years carrying out short term contract roles across several industries, Matt joined SVGC in December 2020 at an exciting time in the group’s journey. Matt was invited to join the board in April 2021

Head of Finance

Q

Matt Bentley

SVGC Staff Profiles

At SVGC we’re proud to be a small business formed of experienced, highly qualified people operating on a national platform. Our team collectively has vast knowledge of strategic planning, public sector decisions, innovative technologies, data science and agile working methodologies.

Get to know our Head of Finance, Matt Bentley. Matt has over 25 years accounting and finance experience, from a number of top ten and smaller accounting firms in managerial audit and business advisory roles. Matt joined SVGC in December 2020 at an exciting time in the group’s journey. Find out how Matt tackles his working day...

1. What are your ‘must haves’ to start the working day?

Coffee and lots of it! I’m not a morning person, more of a night owl. I like to catch up on the business news over breakfast to see if anything is relevant to my role and the tasks at hand.

2. What’s your proudest work achievement to date?

In March 2021 we formed SVGC Group and set up three subsidiary companies. I did most of the compliance work required and implemented all necessary accounting and tax procedures to enable group reporting. I was also invited to join the Board at the same time after starting at SVGC in December 2020.

3. What do you love most about what you do?

I love the variety in my role, I can’t believe the pace that things happen. Being part of a small but growing collaborative team means I get stuck into lots of different challenges. My background is predominantly working in large and small firms of accountants so I like having the responsibility for all things tax and financial compliance.

4. What does your typical working day look like?

Depends if it is month or year end. Start with clearing emails and then work to a monthly ‘Finance and Operations Drumbeat’ which I implement to ensure all deadlines are met, so I tend to plan my whole week on a Monday morning. I like to try and have a short walk at lunchtime to clear my mind and prepare for the afternoon.

5. When you hit a wall workwise, what do you do to help overcome the hurdle?

Do something else and go back to it later or the next day – sometimes something is really obvious when you take a break from it. Failing that, after researching possible solutions, I approach someone else in the company for a different perspective – everyone is very helpful and collaborative so it’s never a problem.

Victoria Hatwell
Victoria Hatwell

Systems Engineering. Victoria is experienced in working across the Defence industry focusing predominantly on through-life Requirements and Capability Management & acceptance. Victoria is actively involved in academic outreach programmes, building approachable, unique and innovative working relationships between industry and education.

Senior Consultant, Systems Engineering

Q

Victoria Hatwell

SVGC Staff Profiles

At SVGC we’re proud to be a small business formed of experienced, highly qualified people operating on a national platform.

Our team collectively has vast knowledge of strategic planning, public sector decisions, innovative technologies, data science and agile working methodologies. Get to know Victoria, who is a Senior Consultant in Systems Engineering and also one of our Directors of SVGC Associates.

Victoria is experienced in working across the Defence industry focusing predominantly on through-life Requirements and Capability Management & acceptance. Victoria is actively involved in academic outreach programmes; building approachable, unique and innovative working relationships between industry and education.

What are your ‘must haves’ to start the working day?

I always walk my twelve-year old dog, Crumble – we used to run together when he was younger, but now we both just wander! After the dog walk, with a flask of tea, I’m ready to get down to work.

What’s your proudest work achievement to date?

Getting to this point in my career and knowing that I contribute on a level that makes a real difference to the customers is very satisfying, but what I think I’m most proud of is the STEM work. I spend half a day a month working with schools as part of STEM outreach - encouraging children to learn about science through getting their hands dirty – literally! – making a mess and learning more about the subjects through doing fun activities. I’m really proud of this contribution, in giving back to education and I think I get more of it than any of the students do!

Also, I think that there can be a tendency to constantly focus on what we didn’t tick off the list each day, but sometimes, what we can be most proud of in a day is perhaps something that seems small – like just getting through a day of back to back meetings. I always feel better helping others to get up to speed (for example, helping a new starter). There is so much variation in the work that we do, working on different programmes, and often, someone new may just need a couple of hours to get up to speed and then we can both get on with the project work.

What do you love most about what you do?

I get to work with and speak to some incredible people – particularly our military based clients – they have amazing stories. When working with them, I feel that we’re forced to come out of the bubble where we sit writing the requirements - and into the world in which these are used, and appreciate the vital work that so many of them do.

The people that I get to work with and the level at which they operate really helps put the importance of the work we do into perspective and reminds me why what we do matters. And I love knowing that I can help these people keep doing these essential jobs.

What does your typical working day look like?

It’s that old – but true – cliché, that every day is different, and that’s especially true as I work on different programmes. In my two roles as a Systems Engineer and Director of SVGC Associates this allows me to develop a better understanding of the business side, and then in the following hour I can be digging down into the technical elements of Capability Management. I love this variety and feel as if my mind is happily buzzing on most days.

When you hit a wall, what do you do to help overcome it?

If I’ve just written some notes and I’m trying to take them in, I rewrite my notes in a fun coloured pen. Colour helps me organise my brain a little bit – because my brain reads it differently when it’s in a different colour (bright green or pink as my brain thinks it's fun stuff to do!) – I’d really recommend this trick if you get stuck!

If that doesn’t work, and I don’t have meetings, then I go for a walk with Crumble (the dog!) and if I’m still stuck, I’m lucky to have friendly colleagues that I can ring to get another perspective.

SVGC Digital Directors:

Dr Andrew Nixon
Dr Andrew Dixon

Focussed on continuously transforming the business to respond to the market, driving and delivering great outcomes to our clients, benefit to employees, value to shareholders and opportunities to partners and associates. 

Passionate about working collaboratively between small businesses, small with large and collaborative technology pull-through from academia into delivery.

Managing Director

Q

Dr Andrew Dixon

SVGC Staff Profiles

At SVGC we’re proud to be a small business formed of experienced, highly qualified people operating on a national platform. Our team collectively has vast knowledge of strategic planning, public sector decisions, innovative technologies, data science and agile working methodologies.

Get to know Dr Andrew Dixon, our Managing Director, who is passionate about working collaboratively between small and large businesses and utilising technology pull-through from academia into delivery. Our “national platform” includes Andrew’s roles chairing the Small Business Forum for the Institute for Collaborative Working and vice-chair of the TechUK Defence & Security SME forum. Andrew is also an external examiner for the Cranfield University Battlespace Technology course.

Andrew’s focus is on continuously transforming the business to respond to the market, driving and delivering great outcomes for our clients, partners and associates.

What are your ‘must haves’ to start the working day?

My day always starts with a few cups of tea and breakfast is definitely my most important meal of the day. Before the day gets going, I usually catch up with the latest events with Starship development in Boca Chica, Texas via the YouTube daily update. It's amazing to watch the evolution of the largest launch vehicle and orbital rocket ever made … and Elon Musk’s approach to keeping it simple; learn by doing is something I really relate to.

What’s your proudest work achievement to date?

That’s a tough one. I’m fortunate to have had a few. Helping to fundamentally shift the land platforms market through some policy changes whilst working in the MOD to create a more level playing field; delivering market engagement to improve procurement success through Niteworks across a range of projects; management of chunks of Skynet – future military satellite programmes both 20 years ago and now; working on the Nuclear Deterrent; and working with the Institute for Collaborative Working to promote small business collaborative engagements.

But I think my proudest work achievement is happening now with FCDO Services at Hanslope Park, where we are working in an innovation collaboration to enable the transfer of large volumes of digital public records to the National Archives – supporting democracy through transparency. Amazing!

What do you love most about what you do?

People have said to me in the past, that as a small consultancy we surely can’t make much difference. That couldn’t be more wrong. I love that we help the public sector to make the best decisions with the limited funds that it has available. They get better capability, and achieve more because of our intervention and support. The public sector making better decisions, more effectively and more efficiently leads to lives saved, taxpayer money protected and better services to the public. It’s a huge privilege to be providing the service that makes such a difference.

What does your typical working day look like?

Blimey. They can be long days. Running a small business like SVGC can be challenging, with many balls to juggle and such rapid turnaround on bids and proposals. I am fortunate to have an amazing team around me who make it happen.

I still deliver some of the fee-paying work myself, which is important to me to stay in touch with the ground truth of delivery, and maintain close working relationships with key clients.

My working days usually start quite early with a mixture of company business, client work, lots and lots of calls. We talk a lot with partner companies and clients to ensure we keep in touch with both delivery and opportunities.

When you hit a wall workwise, what do you do to help overcome the hurdle?

Change the subject and do something else for a while. If that doesn’t work, and it's late, I will often go to sleep and somehow have the answer in the morning. The odd round of golf helps too. I’m also a keen sailor and time-permitting, it's surprising how problems seem to get resolved when you’re sailing past the Needles!

Julia Campbell
Julia Campbell

Julia has 20 years of experience of commercial and managerial roles across the defence and security sector. Her role within SVGC is wide ranging involving: contract management; personnel development; recruitment; insurance and financial governance. She has previously held senior commercial roles in both Thales and QinetiQ.

Head of Commercial

Q

Julia Campbell

SVGC Staff Profiles

At SVGC we’re proud to be a small business formed of experienced, highly qualified people operating on a national platform.

Our team collectively has vast knowledge of strategic planning, public sector decisions, innovative technologies, data science and agile working methodologies. Get to know Julia, our Chief of Staff and Head of Commercial.

Julia has 20 years of experience of commercial and managerial roles across the defence and security sector including senior commercial roles in both Thales and QinetiQ. Her role within SVGC is wide ranging and here she describes more about her day-to-day with SVGC.

1. What are your ‘must haves’ to start the working day?

Earl Grey Tea. If there is no EG tea the day is doomed! I’ve recently started doing Wordle – which is now right up there with the Earl Grey. And, although I have yet to completely fail to get the daily Wordle, it’s a great example of a there always being a new learning experience just waiting for you!

2. What’s your proudest work achievement to date?

Being part of the development and evolution of the business is a real privilege, to share in the SVGC success story so far – especially as we are celebrating our 25th anniversary this year. Within this, a common challenge for some evolving businesses can be the introduction of huge amounts of process – and we’ve managed to retain our efficient and pragmatic use of them, and not ‘process ourselves out of business’. It’s also really wonderful to see the current recruitment drive that reflects how hard the team have worked to deliver on current projects whilst also being named on a number of significant new frameworks in the last two years.

Oh, and of course, another source of pride is retaining my very serious job title of ‘Director of Fun’!

3. What do you love most about what you do?

That every day really is different – I’m not ‘just’ a project manager, or responsible for business development, there is so much that my role entails – as described below.

4. What does your typical working day look like?

My role is so large and varied that ‘typical’ isn’t the best word. I am one of the directors of the company and the commercial manager for the business; and, I also look after HR, training, recruitment and insurance. Sometimes I’ll be working on contract management and negotiation, another hour and I’ll be considering personnel development and recruitment, and then perhaps grappling with some insurance issue or dealing with financial governance.

In a nutshell, I ensure all the bills are paid, the staff are happy, our customers are delighted and the chickens are fed.

5. When you hit a wall workwise, what do you do to help overcome the hurdle?

I go and make tea (can you see a theme here?!) If it is really bad, I might go for a little shuffle - my code for going for a run - around the village that I live in, as that can help enormously.

Matt Bentley
Matt Bentley

Matt has over 25 years accounting and finance experience, from a number of top ten and smaller accounting firms in managerial audit and business advisory roles to moving into the commercial world and holding directorships in a start-up accountancy firm and also an ‘Umbrella’ payroll solution company. After four years carrying out short term contract roles across several industries, Matt joined SVGC in December 2020 at an exciting time in the group’s journey. Matt was invited to join the board in April 2021

Head of Finance

Q

Matt Bentley

SVGC Staff Profiles

At SVGC we’re proud to be a small business formed of experienced, highly qualified people operating on a national platform. Our team collectively has vast knowledge of strategic planning, public sector decisions, innovative technologies, data science and agile working methodologies.

Get to know our Head of Finance, Matt Bentley. Matt has over 25 years accounting and finance experience, from a number of top ten and smaller accounting firms in managerial audit and business advisory roles. Matt joined SVGC in December 2020 at an exciting time in the group’s journey. Find out how Matt tackles his working day...

1. What are your ‘must haves’ to start the working day?

Coffee and lots of it! I’m not a morning person, more of a night owl. I like to catch up on the business news over breakfast to see if anything is relevant to my role and the tasks at hand.

2. What’s your proudest work achievement to date?

In March 2021 we formed SVGC Group and set up three subsidiary companies. I did most of the compliance work required and implemented all necessary accounting and tax procedures to enable group reporting. I was also invited to join the Board at the same time after starting at SVGC in December 2020.

3. What do you love most about what you do?

I love the variety in my role, I can’t believe the pace that things happen. Being part of a small but growing collaborative team means I get stuck into lots of different challenges. My background is predominantly working in large and small firms of accountants so I like having the responsibility for all things tax and financial compliance.

4. What does your typical working day look like?

Depends if it is month or year end. Start with clearing emails and then work to a monthly ‘Finance and Operations Drumbeat’ which I implement to ensure all deadlines are met, so I tend to plan my whole week on a Monday morning. I like to try and have a short walk at lunchtime to clear my mind and prepare for the afternoon.

5. When you hit a wall workwise, what do you do to help overcome the hurdle?

Do something else and go back to it later or the next day – sometimes something is really obvious when you take a break from it. Failing that, after researching possible solutions, I approach someone else in the company for a different perspective – everyone is very helpful and collaborative so it’s never a problem.

Tony Klein
Tony Klein

Tony’s career has covered many aspects of delivering solutions and consulting services into defence, security and intelligence. His highlights include establishing Quintec which became a leading supplier of systems engineering and integration skills to MoD and leading defence contractors. After its acquisition, he was appointed VP for Consulting and Engineering within Thales. He lead Detica (BAeSystems Digital Intelligence) defence business and expanded its propositions into Defence Intelligence, CIO and Special Forces communities. He has also worked in leadership roles in QinetiQ and Olive Group in Dubai; and has a PhD from Bristol; an MBA from London Business School; is a Chartered Engineer; a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and Chair of Trustees at Rodborough Academy Trust.

Non-Executive Director

Q

Tony Klein

SVGC Staff Profiles

At SVGC we’re proud to be a small business formed of experienced, highly qualified people operating on a national platform. Our team collectively has vast knowledge of strategic planning, public sector decisions, innovative technologies, data science and agile working methodologies.

Get to know Tony Klein, our SVGC Digital Non-Executive Director. Tony’s career has covered many aspects of delivering solutions and consulting services into defence, security and intelligence. After a short spell developing simulation software, he established Quintec which became a leading supplier of systems engineering and integration skills to MoD and leading defence contractors. After its acquisition, he was appointed VP for Consulting and Engineering within Thales. In 2006, he joined Detica (now BAeSystems Digital Intelligence) to lead its defence business and expanded its propositions into Defence Intelligence, CIO and Special Forces communities. A spell leading QinetiQ’s technology solutions BD and sales preceded a move to lead the solutions delivery business of the Olive Group in Dubai where he oversaw the delivery of major safety and security solutions to protect critical national and industrial infrastructures for clients across EMEA. Tony has a PhD from Bristol and MBA from London Business School, is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and Chair of Trustees at Rodborough Academy Trust.

1. What are your ‘must haves’ to start the working day?

Coffee and completing the Times crosswords!

2. What’s your proudest work achievement to date?

With my wife, Sally creating two wonderful children (now adults) who are achieving things way beyond whatever I could dream of doing.

3. What do you love most about what you do?

Variety, and working with amazing people in delivering effective, robust solutions to demanding customers.

4. What does your typical working day look like?

Oh boy, how about: fixing some fencing that has blown down after a storm; chain sawing a tree that’s fallen down over the lane; meeting with the Headteacher of the school where I am Chair of Governors to allow him to test ideas (which he already knows the answers to) and being a sounding board for him; leading a project assurance review of a major government project on behalf of the Cabinet Office; having a chat with Julia Campbell or colleague at ISS Aerospace; taking a walk on the South Downs; planning a long walk to follow in the footsteps of my Father.

5. When you hit a wall workwise, what do you do to help overcome the hurdle?

Step back; write an email - but don’t send it for 24 hours; phone a friend!

Core Team:

Paul Stanley
Paul Stanley

Paul is involved in most of SVGC’s activities from business development to drafting bids, delivering tasks and ensuring that SVGC complies with the requirements of its ISO certifications.

Head of Analysis and Quality

Duncan Harrison
Duncan Harrison

Business & Security Manager for SVGC looking after the day-to-day running of the business. With a breadth and depth of knowledge across all aspects of his role – including some financial aspects – utilising his skills from his 25 years in the Army, prior to joining SVGC in October 2012.

Business Manager

Q

Duncan Harrison

SVGC Staff Profiles

At SVGC we’re proud to be a small business formed of experienced, highly qualified people operating on a national platform. Our team collectively has vast knowledge of strategic planning, public sector decisions, innovative technologies, data science and agile working methodologies.

Get to know our Business & Security Manager, Duncan Harrison. Duncan is responsible for looking after the day-to-day running of the business. With a breadth and depth of knowledge across all aspects of his role – including some financial aspects – utilising his skills from his 25 years in the Army, prior to joining SVGC in October 2012.

1. What are your ‘must haves’ to start the working day?

Being ex-Army, I always rise early and my first job on the list is breakfast (Queen’s Parade – Happy 96th Birthday Ma’am – my invite must be lost in the post, just in case Her Royal Highness is reading this), this enables me to start work raring to go with my flask of orange squash, which I seem to live on and of course listening to Greatest Hits 70/80/90s radio (80s music is the best let's face it).

2. What’s your proudest work achievement to date?

There are so many to choose from and it is a hard one to call, but I guess I can give you a top 5 and please note your work/job helps you put food on the table and puts a roof over your head, but there is no point having that if you don’t have your family with you to share that, so here goes:

  • Wedding day to my wife Maureen of 31 years.
  • Birth of my 2 boys Chris and Andy, both doing well in life.
  • Being promoted to Warrant Officer Class One (WO1) in the Army of which only 4% of those that join make it to WO1.
  • Joining SVGC in 2012 after leaving the Army of 25 years and being part of the SVGC team in its 25th birthday year.
  • Remembering which hat to wear when I get up, read on to the next question?

3. What do you love most about what you do?

A phrase I brought from my Army days is “Jack of All Trades and Master of None” and it speaks volumes for my role within SVGC as the Business & Security Manager. I wear so many hats, doing so many different jobs. Variety is the Spice of Life - The idea behind this expression is that life would be boring if everything were the same all the time.

4. What does your typical working day look like?

Lots of work from the time I log on till the time I shut down for the day, remembering to have the correct work/home life balance is key to good happiness. As Edgar Bergen said “Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance?” only kidding another saying from my Army days “Work Hard, Play Hard”.

5. When you hit a wall workwise, what do you do to help overcome the hurdle?

Depending on the scenario, throw the teddy in the corner, count to ten and remember to breathe. No seriously, evaluate what the problem/issue is, work out what the problem is remembering there is no “I” in “Team” so don’t fester and share the hurdle with the team to work out, how to get over it, if that doesn’t work, grab the teddy and start again.

Richard Bryson
Richard Bryson

As Head of New Business, Richard enjoys the challenge of key account planning and business development. Richard believes that winning bids and delivering value – alone and in partnership –  is all the better when you’ve shaped the opportunity from the outset.

Head of New Business

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Richard Bryson

SVGC Staff Profiles

At SVGC we’re proud to be a small business formed of experienced, highly qualified people operating on a national platform. Our team collectively has vast knowledge of strategic planning, public sector decisions, innovative technologies, data science and agile working methodologies.

Get to know our Head of New Business, Richard Bryson. As Head of New Business, Richard enjoys the challenge of key account planning and business development. Richard believes that winning bids and delivering value – alone and in partnership – is all the better when you’ve shaped the opportunity from the outset.

1. What are your ‘must haves’ to start the working day?

Nothing beats a strong black coffee for me.

2. What’s your proudest work achievement to date?

I’m proud of lots of things as a company, but more personally, the push to get onto TS3 and subsequent success with our first bid (FCDO Seamless Journey Delivery Partner) are achievements that contribute for all of us.

3. What do you love most about what you do?

I like to feel that we’re having an impact for our customers and, through them, on programmes that are important for the safety of our country as a whole. There’s a real sense of achievement in the work we do at SVGC and it makes me very proud.

4. What does your typical working day look like?

I like to use Mondays as admin, catch ups and opportunity qualifications. Tuesday – Thursday is typically in AWE. Friday is more new business focus (qualifications and bids), webinars and admin.

5. When you hit a wall workwise, what do you do to help overcome the hurdle?

I can do a quick watercolour at my desk, or do a few minutes of research for my book on the 5 battles of Ypres. I’m between dogs at present, otherwise a walk is always a good option

Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan

Mark is the ringmaster to achieve assured delivery based on sound and efficient use of P3M. He is motivated by helping to make complex transformations achievable. 

Head of Delivery

Paige Bunker
Paige Bunker

As our Junior Data Scientist, Paige is passionate about data science and how powerfully it can be used to solved intricate problems. She also has a real love for coding; “I could create new scripts and debug them all day!”

Data Scientist

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Paige Bunker

SVGC Staff Profiles

At SVGC we’re proud to be a small business formed of experienced, highly qualified people operating on a national platform.

Our team collectively has vast knowledge of strategic planning, public sector decisions, innovative technologies, data science and agile working methodologies. Get to know our newest recruit Paige Bunker, Junior Data Scientist.

What are your ‘must haves’ to start the working day?

Definitely a cup of tea and something toasted with marmite & butter. I also like to read the news & twitter to wake myself up and catch up with the world.

What’s your proudest work achievement to date?

A data science algorithm I built for my previous employer was officially published internally. The algorithm was used to determine representative customer use types for more realistic product analytics and testing. It had a big impact and was used for multiple programmes, saving millions of $ in testing.

I also presented at the SWE Europe International Conference. This required me to really push myself out of my comfort zone and present to a large audience from multiple companies.

What do you love most about what you do?

I love seeing the effect data science has on real world problems and how powerful and useful it can be in so many applications.

I also found a love for coding over the last few years, I could create new scripts and debug them all day. The combination of continually learning new functions & libraries and trying to make them work with the data science algorithms and analysis is a great challenge.

Overall I love problem solving, data science provides the method but coding is also part of creating the solution.

What does your typical working day look like?

I start the day by going through any unread emails, then I’ll either go straight into picking up a critical task I was working on the previous day or I’ll check my ‘to do’ list. I generally like to pick tasks depending on how many continuous hours of free time I have (without meetings/calls) as once I get stuck into a more complicated task I like to keep focus on it until I complete it or reach a good stopping point.

When you hit a wall, what do you do to help overcome it?

It always depends on the type of problem. If it’s a code that I can’t debug, sometimes it’s best to leave it and come back with fresh eyes the next day. When it’s a problem that is project direction specific I’ll always reach out to others for their thoughts. Sometimes the issue can be solved through research, so I’ll spend some time scouring the internet for alternative options and people with similar problems to my own.

Richard Bryson
Ian Stephenson

Ian is a highly experienced software and solutions architect with over 20 years working in the defence industry He has a diverse set of skills and experience taken from commercial product development and military research. Ian is leading our technical approach to developing and delivering digital transformation solutions.

Software and Solution Architect

Erlend Frayling
Erlend Frayling

Knowledge Transfer Associate

Richard Bryson
Sulaiman Mirza

As a Data Scientist Sulaiman will be working alongside the SVGC team to implement analytical methodology applied to datasets. His role involves implementing machine learning artificial algorithms to provide solutions to deal with customer problems.

Data Scientist

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Sulaiman Mirza

SVGC Staff Profiles

At SVGC we’re proud to be a small business formed of experienced, highly qualified people operating on a national platform. Our team collectively has vast knowledge of strategic planning, public sector decisions, innovative technologies, data science and agile working methodologies.

Get to know Data Scientist, Sulaiman Mirza who is working alongside the SVGC team to implement analytical methodology applied to datasets. His role involves implementing machine learning artificial algorithms to provide solutions to deal with customer problems.

1. What are your ‘must haves’ to start the working day?

Ideally my day starts with going to the gym in the morning. This gives me time to freshen up my mind before I start the working day.

2. What’s your proudest work achievement to date?

My greatest achievement was while working as an Analyst on placement as I was able to automate processes of updating multiple reports daily using a Macro on Excel for the team.

3. What do you love most about what you do?

With Data Science I find it interesting and satisfying how past data can be used to help solve future problems for businesses. This field is constantly changing which I enjoy because it’s challenging and requires the need to continuously research and learn. I find problem solving enjoyable, as a Data Scientist you face problems that require specific methods to resolve which is hugely rewarding for me.

4. What does your typical working day look like?

My day usually starts off researching new ways to provide results for projects I’m involved in. Which is followed by carrying on with tasks I have been working on the previous day.

5. When you hit a wall workwise, what do you do to help overcome the hurdle?

I often use the same two steps for solving problems, I research the issue I’m having and look for useful solutions. If this doesn’t help, I will take a break from looking at the problem and attempt to look at it in a few hours or the next day.

Kate
Kate Miller

Kate has over 15 years’ experience in project control; including project life cycle, commercial and financial aspects of the project. Kate joined SVGC from Thales where she held the post of Project Controller mainly focusing on internal business within the Thales group. Kate is enjoying the new challenge of working for an independent company again and looking forward to getting stuck in; especially as SVCG is approaching its 25th Anniversary.

Deputy Business Manager

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Kate Miller

SVGC Staff Profiles

At SVGC we’re proud to be a small business formed of experienced, highly qualified people operating on a national platform. Our team collectively has vast knowledge of strategic planning, public sector decisions, innovative technologies, data science and agile working methodologies.

Get to know Kate Miller, our new Deputy Business Manager who has over 15 years’ experience in project control; including project life cycle, commercial and financial aspects of the project. Kate joined SVGC from Thales where she held the post of Project Controller mainly focusing on internal business within the Thales group. Kate is enjoying the new challenge of working for an independent company again and looking forward to getting stuck in; especially as SVGC is approaching its 25th Anniversary.

1. What are your ‘must haves’ to start the working day? (tea, coffee, your dog, background music, podcast, favourite pen/notebook etc etc)

The ideal must have is a good night’s sleep! Usually, I try to start the day with a run if I can, and as I’m an early bird, I like to start work early. If I’m not in the office I enjoy the background radio or a podcast during the day and my favourite is the Sound of the 90’s, with Fearne Cotton, which is great for feeling nostalgic.

2. What’s your proudest work achievement to date?

In a previous role being involved with the streamlining of the invoicing system was a huge win, because it made such a big difference to the team in time-saving and accuracy. Previously it was a manual process which took at least two weeks and also had a higher chance of error. We procured a new fit-for-purpose system; carried out the user acceptance testing; introduced it into the business and bedded it in – and it reduced the processing time to half a day. I was definitely proud to be a part of that.

3. What do you love most about what you do?

I love getting stuff done, and also ensuring that everything is correct. It’s good to help things run smoothly and know that I’m making a difference in the background. And I like being busy, which is perfect for a business manager!

4. What does your typical working day look like?

There is such a lot of variety in this role, and, whilst I am new to SVGC and can’t predict a typical day as yet, I’m sure that it will include plenty of variety from the monthly invoicing to assisting with the frameworks and other essential commercial support.

5. When you hit a wall workwise, what do you do to help overcome the hurdle?

Definitely getting out in the fresh air for a walk helps me to put it to one side come back to it the next day. Or, (like many of us I expect), I make a cup of tea. Most things look more manageable after a cup of tea!

Alison Truffit
Alison Trufitt

Alison has 25 years’ experience in Project Management in the defence sector specialising in Equipment Test and Evaluation and most recently in project Governance and Assurance. She joined SVGC Digital Sensitivities Review (DSR) team from QinetiQ and believes that the key to successful projects is excellent stakeholder management.

Digital Sensitivity Review Programme Manager

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Alison Trufitt

SVGC Staff Profiles

At SVGC we’re proud to be a small business formed of experienced, highly qualified people operating on a national platform. Our team collectively has vast knowledge of strategic planning, public sector decisions, innovative technologies, data science and agile working methodologies.

Get to know Alison Trufitt, our new Digital Sensitivity Review Programme Manager. Alison has 25 years’ experience in Project Management in the defence sector specialising in Equipment Test and Evaluation and most recently in project Governance and Assurance. She joined SVGC Digital Sensitivities Review (DSR) team from QinetiQ and believes that the key to successful projects is excellent stakeholder management.

1. What are your ‘must haves’ to start the working day?

I usually start the day with a walk – it helps me prepare for the day, this is the perfect time to work things through in my head. It also combines with another of my interests, which is bird watching. I make sure I stop if I see anything of interest, or unusual which all adds up to a positive start. I can boast, most recently, sighting of tree creepers, a pair of lesser spotted woodpeckers and a goldcrest – just in one day! Goes to show that taking time to notice details can be very rewarding.

2. What’s your proudest work achievement to date?

In a previous role in QinetiQ, I was asked to “job sit” for a colleague whilst on leave; this project was part of a multi-partner collaboration in which we were the prime, and I ended up working on this for three years. It was a great opportunity, which included interesting trials and visits, but most importantly it was very successful; the project was extended and also increased in value. Another important aspect were the contacts that I made – relationships are such a critical factor in success – and, although I didn’t know it at the time, eventually some of those contacts led me here, to SVGC.

3. What do you love most about what you do?

Without a doubt, the relationships and stakeholder management side of the work. The processes, life cycles and systems engineering are critical and play a big part, but success is driven by people, by building and maintaining relationships and trust. It’s great to see people that you’ve worked with growing and achieving, and also to change and grow yourself as you move through stages in your career.

4. What does your typical working day look like?

It is hard to predict exactly, being so new into the role, and at the moment I’m a bit like a detective – researching, looking at stakeholder mapping, sifting and identifying all the important aspects through the volume of information. In the future, I will have a more regular drum beat, which I envisage will include a lot of customer engagement, and clearly with a focus on milestones and delivery.

5. When you hit a wall workwise, what do you do to help overcome the hurdle?

I’ve learnt to create space rather than simply react to situations, or even crises. I like to take time to digest, to create time and – if possible – wait for the following day. To approach the obstacle perhaps using a subtly different skill set. As with the beginning of my day, sometimes walking helps compose my thoughts and get into a state of readiness – very few of us can deal with things in a measured way when we’re ‘on the ceiling’!

Simon Walker
Simon Walker
Simon is greatly experienced in digital programme management and consulting across systems and software engineering, with over 30 years of experience working across digital security, mobile and e-commerce technology in both private and public sectors.

Technology Programme Manager

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Simon Walker

SVGC Staff Profiles

Simon is greatly experienced in digital programme management and consulting across systems and software engineering, with over 30 years of experience working across digital security, mobile and e-commerce technology in both private and public sectors. Beginning his career at BAe Systems writing software for aircraft, Simon has since worked for both large and small companies including Fujitsu, Thales and Quintec as well as leading major projects and programmes for the MoD and Transport for London.

Simon has a formal background in IT software and hardware systems and has also been the Technical Director of an Innovation Centre; a successful Bid Programme Manager; and is a highly accomplished technical programme team leader and strategy lead with experience in delivering business transformation through change management.

It goes without saying that we are thrilled to have Simon join the SVGC team. Welcome, Simon!

Get to know him better here:

What are your ‘must haves’ to start the working day?

I like to start my day the way I suspect many do – a cup of strong English Breakfast tea, and a run with the dog – she’s a black Labrador called India. Then, I’m mostly all set.

What’s your proudest work achievement to date?

I feel fortunate to say that it’s hard to choose - I’ve worked on such a variety of exciting and innovative projects in the last 30 years: from writing software for the RAF’s Tornado jets and delivering their first Link 16 training package, to running a Technology Innovation Centre, managing a strategic paper project for the Army Board, to project managing the design and build of rugged computers to be used in harsh conditions – which are the places computers do not like to go!

But, if I have to choose the one that makes me smile the most, it would be when I ran a portfolio of Oyster card projects for my client, Transport for London. Being responsible for successfully putting the Oyster system onto the ‘Boris Buses’ (the new Routemaster bus) is my small claim to fame!

I’m also incredibly proud to have served as an Army Reservist in the Royal Signals for over 25 years. Right from being a cadet at university, to have taken command of both a reserve squadron and a regiment in my ‘spare time’. The rewards over the years have been immeasurable.

What do you love most about what you do?

I absolutely love running projects and programmes because I enjoy delivering something that works and see it in service. It is very satisfying to be able to see the tangible results, especially when – for example, on projects like Oyster card - so much is involved in making a project like that a success, there are so many moving parts and different aspects that all need to come together, and so many people benefit from the outcome. It is immensely rewarding to see the result.

What does your typical working day look like?

I’m really excited to be working for SVGC as it combines so much of what I have enjoyed throughout my career to date and when I’ve been happiest at work. Having variety in the role is important for me in a typical day: managing and monitoring a variety of technical projects from proposal through delivery and into service – which combines being client facing as well as liaising with many stakeholders, internal colleagues, contractors and suppliers. Supporting the business development and even delivering training, workshops and so forth. With less of the technical hands-on delivery that I once did perhaps, but still understanding the technology and coordinating and managing the experts who are undertaking that delivery.

When you hit a wall, what do you do to help overcome it?

Yes; and as we like to say in the Army – ‘no plan survives the first contact’. Not even the best laid plans work out perfectly. So, it’s fair to say that usually I go out for a run and a think – often with the dog. Although, as a rider of both motorbikes and horses (not at the same time!), those hobbies also can provide a different diversion that helps solutions mentally materialise. Something else I enjoy for getting out of ‘work-mode’ is drumming – for a start, it’s a legitimate way of making a lot of noise and releasing stress! It also suits my personality of the guy at the back driving the team forward; the drummer sets the tempo for the band and that suits me well.