Northernlands: Data and Startup Summit / 2 May
ODI Leeds

Who we are

ODI Leeds team photo
The ODI Leeds team

Paul Connell

Founder of ODI Leeds

Paul founded ODI Leeds in 2013 with the mission to create a place and community to unleash the power of open data and deliver innovation across the region.

He is an entrepreneur who has built ODI Leeds into a 21st century Institution and co-founded DataCity which is a Data as a service Company whilst running his own innovation company. His primary role at ODI Leeds is twofold - providing the drive, direction and purpose for ODI Leeds and leading and developing our Innovation Services.

Originally trained as an environmental scientist at Lancaster University and Imperial College he worked for British Coal, ICI and leading global consultancies and clients for nearly 20 years before transitioning his skills to apply them in the domains of Smart Cities, Open Data, Open Innovation and Innovation.

He is an accredited Cognitive Edge practitioner and applies these techniques in the ODI Leeds Innovation practice.

Kathryn Connell

ODI Leeds

Kathryn's background is in media, marketing and communications. She started out many years ago as a media strategist at Omnicom in London. Now she looks after all the design, event and planning at ODI Leeds. After hosting and delivering over 750 events she is well placed to help you deliver you a fantastic event at ODI Leeds.

Thomas Forth

ODI Leeds Head of Data

Tom has a PhD in computational biology and now runs software and data consultancy imactivate. He is an associate at ODI Leeds where he'll be happy to help you solve problems you have using data. He's particularly interested in data on housing, transport, and income inequality both within Leeds and across the UK and Europe. He blogs at tomforth.co.uk and keeps a more polished internet presence at imactivate.com.

Amy Evans

ODI Leeds Comms & Design

Amy has a background in the creative arts, specialising in digital illustration and animation. Projects have ranged from icon design and basic UI prototypes to illustrated maps and comics. Her interest in the world of data is based around telling stories with data and creating info-graphics. She is passionate about environmental and animal welfare issues, and thinks using data stories is the ideal way to reach audiences and change attitudes. At ODI Leeds, she leads the charge in social media and comms, as well as being on hand for any visual work that might be needed.

Stuart Lowe

ODI Leeds Data Projects

Stuart has PhD in radio astronomy. Previously he has studied distant galaxies from Jodrell Bank and Poland, helped construct the European Space Agency's Planck spacecraft, has built web-interfaces to the data archives of a global network of optical telescopes, and has published a book of astronomical infographics created from open data sets. For fun and adventure he has pedalled solo across the US and Europe - most recently from the top to bottom of Europe along the Atlantic coast.

At ODI Leeds, Stuart works on a range of projects using open data from visualising the IoT sector to mapping every road named "Garth" in the UK. He also built and maintains the website.

Nick Efford

University of Leeds / ODI Trainer

Nick started out as a physicist before PhD research analysing images from NASA's Viking & Voyager spacecraft drew him inexorably into the world of computing. He is now an academic in the School of Computing at the University of Leeds, with broad-ranging interests that currently encompass computer science education, software engineering, mobile technologies, computer security and, of course, open data. He is able to draw upon this extensive teaching experience in his role as an ODI trainer. Nick blogs occasionally at http://blog.efford.org, mainly about technical things. When he isn't hunched over a keyboard he'll more than likely be indulging his passion for music and tweeting via @python33r about a new CD or his latest gig.

Neil McClure

Head of Transport Innovation

Neil's role at the ODI is Projects and Accounts Associate and he will be supporting to deliver some of our large projects as well as working closely with our new and existing founding sponsors.

Neil runs an innovation consultancy called Digitally Consulting, which helps clients to engage with customers and use digital technologies in better ways.

Neil likes Uber, films with a twist-ending and dark chocolate covered rice cakes and he dislikes paper train tickets and the fact that Apple removed the headphone jack.

Giles Dring

ODI Leeds Consulting Associate

Giles is an independent IT Consultant based in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. He used to work for a large international corporation, and has a wealth of experience in designing and supporting large IT systems, particularly in the public sector.

He has been an ODI Leeds associate since 2015, when he helped one of the ODI Leeds partners work out how best to go about publishing Open Data. You’ll also meet him on the hack days and events.

He has a passion for local community, and in response to a couple of devastating flooding events in his town, he developed the Hebden Rising website which aimed to support the business community during recovery.

Beth Mullins

ODI Leeds Events and Community Organiser

Beth studied at the University of Leeds and has since had a diverse background in the events industry working nationally and internationally ensuring the smooth running of events.

Her interests include travelling, comedy and pet dog Dexter.

Her role at ODI Leeds is to ensure the events run at ease and look after co-workers occupying the space. Please feel free to contact Beth if you wish to discuss an event or hire co-working spaces, she will be more than happy to help and answer any questions you may have.

Daniel Billingsley

imactivate projects