Jon Horsley
Programme Director
The UK’s low carbon propulsion industry has taken another step forward with the appointment of Jon Horsley as the Programme Director of the Digital Engineering and Test Centre (DETC) based on the Stratford Olympic Park in London. Jon brings a wealth of global experience from 20 years in the automotive industry which will enable him to help organisations accelerate the use and development of next generation digital engineering and test systems in the UK. Jon joins from Innovate UK where he was responsible for researching and implementing intervention and support needs within the UK Automotive Industry to accelerate R&D, production, and deployment of low carbon vehicle technology. Prior to this he was a Director at Motorola Zytek Technologies Ltd. Jon also is a member of the DETC Advisory and Management Boards.
Dr. Kevin Rampersad
Kevin is a Research Manager in the Digital Engineering and Test Centre (APC Spoke). He has a first class BEng (Hons) in Manufacturing Systems Engineering and a PhD in The Rapid Design of Simulation models using Cladistics and template based modelling. Kevin is currently adapting techniques from the digital entertainment industry for use with advance propulsion and power-train systems. He uses CAD data collected from manufacturers to design and create 3D virtual factories as well as new 3D PDF simulation and applications. He has previously worked with industry experts from both Business and Academia to develop a comprehensive road-map for Digital Engineering and Test which encompasses all aspects of Virtual Engineering and Augmented Reality. Kevin also works closely with OEM and supply chain partners to disseminate new technological advancements to the wider manufacturing sector through extended customer outreach programs.
Andy Scarisbrick
Andy is a Research Manager in the Digital Engineering and Test Centre (APC Spoke). He is a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers with over 30 years experience in product development with Ford Motor Company, specialising in forging research collaborations in recent years. Andy has worked with industry and Academic experts to develop a comprehensive product design road-map for Digital Engineering and Test in order to establish and prioritise the scope of work for the next 15 years. Andy is currently overseeing the delivery of a number of DETC lead projects, including the Virtually Connected Hybrid Vehicle.
James Kirby
James is a Engineer in the Digital Engineering and Test Centre. He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Hull. James has experience developing and testing stirling engine technology and is currently working on a vehicle lightweighting project. He has worked with industry experts from both business and academia to develop a comprehensive roadmap for DE&Tc which encompasses all aspects of virtual engineering, augmented reality and gamification.
Simone Pereira
Simone is an Engineer within the DETC Project Delivery team. She holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from Queen Mary, University of London and joined the team in February 2016 in the product development division. In her current role, Simone supports the delivery of projects such as the Virtually Connected Hybrid Vehicle and other DETC collaborative research initiatives with technical project management and monitoring. Simone has previously worked on the development of a digital roadmap for the UK automotive industry.
Samuele De Guido
Technical Lead
Samuele is a Technical Lead in the Digital Engineering and Test Centre. After completing his studies in Italy - MSc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Parma - he spent 7 years in the Netherlands gaining both academic and industry experience: he began his career in research at the University of Twente in 2009, followed by his move to Energy Engineering Consultant at MECAL. From November 2012, he worked as a Mechanical Design Engineer for ASML, one of the leading companies in the semiconductor industry. He joined DETC in September 2016. Areas of expertise include Simulation (FEA) and Optimisation. He also has experience with leading small teams.
Gorka Garcia
Technical Lead
Gorka is a Technical Lead in the Digital Engineering and Test Centre who originally comes from San Sebastian, Spain. He holds an Industrial Engineering degree by the University of the Basque Country, where he specialised in Electronics Engineering. Gorka has been working in research manufacturing for over 3 years, collaborating and managing funded R&D projects in order to bring innovative solutions and processes to the automotive industry, as well as helping to author proposals for Innovate UK and Horizon 2020 calls. At DETC, he oversees engagement with companies (from start-ups and SMEs to OEMs and academic institutions) with the aim of bringing innovative developments happening in gaming and digital to the automotive manufacturing sector. He also manages the metrics and KPIs that were defined for DETC by the department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
Laura Castro
Engineering Intern
Laura is a Mechanical Engineering student at University of Vigo, Spain. For her bachelor degree, she participated in the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP) at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA, where she was involved in renewal energy and heat transfer projects. For her thesis, she is studying the condensation process in a refrigeration cycle. Laura is currently working in aspects related with virtual reality and gamification at the DETC.
Lara Rasha
During her MEng final year degree in Chemical Engineering at University College London (UCL), Lara was introduced to fuel cells through a research module in the Electrochemical Innovation Lab (EIL) with current supervisor Professor Dan Brett. The project involved fitting a range-extending fuel cell system into a mobility scooter. From there, Lara’s interest in the application of fuel cells into a range of energy applications has expanded into a collaborated PhD with UCL and the DETC focusing on the thermal management of automotive fuel cell stacks.
Surojit Sen
University of Notingham PhD
Surojit is a PhD student in the University of Nottingham engaged in the Virtually Connected Hybrid Vehicle (VCHV) project. His core interests lie in electrified automotive powertrain and digital simulation. He completed his MSc degree in 2016 in the field of Mechanical engineering from the University of Nottingham which was his opening into the world of automotive engineering after 2 years of professional experience as a business risk consultant for an international bank. Surojit’s MSc thesis topic was to re-engineer a consumer electric powertrain for racing application, for which he stripped down a used Nissan Leaf powertrain to explore feasibility of its use as a Formula Student vehicle powertrain. His current PhD project tasks him with finding the boundaries of current technology for remotely co-simulating multiple power electronics hardware as a part of a hybrid vehicle powertrain.
Wen Gu
Loughborough University PhD
Wen is a PhD student currently working on the VCHV project. He graduated from Loughborough University in 2016 with an MSc Engineering degree, focusing his final project on design cycle based air fuel ratio and blow-through estimator. This project developed Wen’s interest in control theory and simulation, which led him to a PhD in the control field. His PhD project is focused on the development of a supervisory controller for a geographically distributed hybrid vehicle.
Shirine El Zaatari
Coventry University PhD
Shirine is currently a PhD student in Coventry University working on the Collaborative Robot (Cobot) project. She recently graduated from the American University of Beirut with a degree in Mechanical Engineering with a focus in robotics. Shirine grew interested in computer vision and machine learning during her internship at the Visual Computing Center in King Abdallah University of Science and Technology. Her research focuses on driving industrial collaborative robots towards becoming more autonomous and adaptable using the state-of-the-art CV and ML.
Mohamed Marei
Coventry University PhD
Mohamed is a PhD student at Coventry University, based at the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering. Mohamed received his MEng in Mechatronic and Robotic Engineering from the University of Sheffield in 2016. His current PhD focuses on the development of a pilot Digital Twin for real-time production line monitoring and optimization. Mohamed's other research interests include Industry 4.0 technologies, automation, and robotics.

Advisory Board


David Pearson
Andrew West
Professor of Intelligent Systems
Loughborough University
Chris Brace
Deputy Director of the Powertrain Vehicle Research Centre
University of Bath
Garry Wilson
Director - Business Development
Advanced Propulsion Centre
Graham Hoare
Director of Global Vehicle Evaluation & Verification Ford Product Development
Ford Motor Company
Leslie Lee
Executive Director
High Speed Sustainable Manufacturing Institute
Mark Mathieson
Chief Engineer Powertrain Research
McLaren Automotive
Matthias Wellers
Managing Director
AVL Powertrain UK
Mike Caine
Loughborough University London
Neville Jackson
Chief Technology & Innovation Officer
Steven Wood
Senior Manager, Commercial
Digital Catapult