The 2016 Judges

Each year, we assemble a group of experts who judge the entries and select regional winners and national finalists based on the Shell Springboard criteria. The judges are not employees of Shell and Shell staff are not involved in the judging process.

The following low-carbon experts judged at the Cambridge and Edinburgh regional finals in February 2016.

Kelsey Lynn Skinner

Director Technology Ventures, Imperial Innovations

Passionate about the intersection of innovation, technology and entrepreneurship, Kelsey Lynn Skinner is Director Technology Ventures at Imperial Innovations, a £600m venture capital and technology commercialization business associated with the top UK research universities. Innovations provides early-stage venture capital to pioneering scientists and entrepreneurs commercializing differentiated technology into global markets. A mechanical engineering by training, Kelsey practiced venture capital in Silicon Valley as a Partner at Firelake Capital as well as roles at Google and Stanford University. She currently sits on the boards of Econic Technologies and Aqdot Ltd and looks for new investments in materials, energy, Internet of Things and enabling technologies. She shares ideas on innovation and other random insights via Twitter at @kelsey_innovate


Professor David Newbery, CBE, FBA

University of Cambridge

Professor Newbery is the Research Director of the Cambridge Electricity Policy Research Group, Emeritus Professor of Applied Economics at the University of Cambridge, and a Research Fellow in the Control and Power Research Group at Imperial College London. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Econometric Society. He was the 2013 President of the International Association for Energy Economics.

Educated at Cambridge with degrees in Mathematics and Economics, he has managed research projects on utility privatisation and regulation, electricity restructuring and market design, transmission access pricing and has active research on market integration, transmission planning and finance, climate change policies, and the design of energy policy and energy taxation. Occasional economic advisor to Ofgem, Ofwat, and ORR, former member of the Competition Commission and chairman of the Dutch Electricity Market Surveillance Committee, he is currently a member of Ofgem’s Network Innovation Competition, a member of the Panel of Technical Experts offering quality assurance to DECC on the delivery of the UK’s Electricity Market Reform and the Deputy Independent Member of the Single Electricity Market of Ireland.


Roy Williamson

Technology Specialist at Venture Capital Unit, UK Trade and Investment (UKTI)

Roy has a passion to learn about new technologies and companies with new ideas, to combine this with a constantly evolving appreciation of new technologies and temper it with practical, commercial critique.

At the Venture Capital Unit of UK Trade and Investment, Roy explores the UK’s best technology innovators and start-ups to gain and appreciation of their approach and progress, and offer his thoughts when useful. He has a particular focus on companies seeking investment, especially in the ‘hardtech’ or physical sciences space and, through the VCU, suitable companies are supported to engage international Corporate VC’s with matching strategic investment interests and criteria.

He has been immersed in most areas of low-carbon technologies over the past 18 years through various roles and with constants of ‘future potential’, ‘new technologies’ and ‘business strategy’. This has ranged from assessing grid scale energy storage solutions for investment and reviewing fuel-cell innovation for OECD to chairing the UK’s first conference on algal-biofuels and managing the UK’s network of innovators in low-carbon vehicle technologies.

Roy has a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Loughborough University and started his career exploring the performance and engineering practicalities of new thermodynamic cycles for power generation, realising a new one along the way.


Alex Betts

Managing Partner of Adaxia Capital Partners

Alex Betts is a Managing Partner of Adaxia Capital Partners, which manages CPE Private Equity LP, a €200 million Private Equity fund focused on Growth Capital and Buyout opportunities in the areas of Resource and Energy Efficiency. Alex has been a private equity investor for over 20 years with experience across a range of buy-out, growth capital and venture capital investments, with CCC, Shell, antfactory and Montagu Private Equity.

Alex graduated in 1986 in Classics from Oxford University before joining Samuel Montagu, the UK merchant bank, now part of HSBC Investment Bank.


Professor Stuart Haszeldine

(Chair of the Judges), University of Edinburgh

Stuart Haszeldine is Professor of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) at the University of Edinburgh. His research examines the full-chain of carbon capture and storage, in the context of changing climate, energy generation, and use.

He co-leads SCCS, the UK’s largest university research group for CO2 storage (at Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt and British Geological Survey at Edinburgh), examining the whole chain from capture to storage and public understanding. He is also co-leader of the academic UK Carbon Capture and Storage Community Network 2009-13

He is involved in several UK and EU collaborative projects on CCS. He was a technical advisor to the UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee on CCS in 2006, and currently provides advice to UK and Scottish Governments, as well as comment to science and public media.


Andrew Lever

Director, Innovation, The Carbon Trust

Andrew has sixteen years’ experience in the energy and utility sector with core skills in strategy development, business development, technology commercialisation, innovation programme management and business incubation. Andrew is a Director at the Carbon Trust with responsibility for leading Carbon Trust’s innovation activities in Scotland. Andrew has extensive experience working across Europe, leading commercial and technical teams to support cleantech start-ups enter both regulated and unregulated energy markets.

Prior to joining the Carbon Trust, Andrew worked internationally with E.ON SE, where he held a variety of Innovation, Strategy and Business Development roles across Generation and Retail businesses. Andrew delivered energy efficiency, energy management and decentralized energy product innovation for E.ON’s residential and commercial customer base across Europe. Prior to that, Andrew held a number of Head of Strategy roles with E.ON UK covering Generation, Retail and Energy Services businesses.

Andrew has supported the successful start-up of a number of new business opportunities in energy efficiency, community energy and low carbon power and heat generation. Andrew holds an MBA from Warwick, a Masters in Energy and Environmental Systems for Glasgow Caledonian University and a Bachelor of Engineering from Strathclyde University.


Professor Sue Roaf


Sue Roaf, B.A.Hons, A.A. Dipl., PhD, ARB, FRIAS, FRSA, FRSS, WCCA, is Professor of Architectural Engineering at Heriot-Watt University where she teaches at undergraduate, post graduate and PhD levels. She is an award winning teacher, author (18 books to date), architect, solar energy pioneer and an Oxford City Councillor for seven years.

Her research has covered the Windcatchers of Iran, nomadic architecture, traditional technologies, Mesopotamian archaeology, photovoltaics, Ecohouse, low carbon, resilient and sustainable design and Thermal Comfort. She is best known for her pioneering work on the Oxford Ecohouse, built in 1995 with the first PV roof in Britain and Ecohouse: A Design Guide, the internationally best-selling book on the subject.

She is on the Boards of ISES (International Solar Energy Society) Solar Cities and Communities Network; the Resilient Design Institute in New York; AES Solar Ltd. and Ecohouse Initiative Ltd. She works with the Scottish Government in the Adaptation theme team based at the Edinburgh Climate Ex Change and is the long term Chair of ICARB, the Initiative for Carbon Accounting (, recently working with them on energy futures and storage, and city and community level carbon accounting.  Recent awards include 2013 Top 6 – UK ‘First Women’ Awards as a ‘Visionary’ in the Built Environment;  2013 Top 10 ‘Women in Architecture’ Awards, Architect’s Journal, and in 2010 ‘the most influential academic in the field of Sustainable design nominated by the AJ’.


Ed Craig

Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation

Ed leads innovation and business activities within the Centre with a specific focus on enabling the long term sustainability of the Centre and its work. Ed also leads the ECCI’s activities in China enabling the spin-out of HKCCI in July this year and the launch ‘team Scotland’ office at the prestigious Hong Kong science centre. Ed leads on behalf of the University the engagement in the Lingang Carbon Valley Initiative – key Shanghai region attempting to import and apply low carbon knowledge and technology to create Lingang new ‘smart’ city.

With an honours degree in Business and a Masters in Ecology from the University of Edinburgh he is well placed to support and advice low carbon enterprise and has parked his Doctorate on the topic of low carbon Innovation and the role of Knowledge brokers in creating a low carbon society to prioritise driving the development of ECCI.

Ed is a serial entrepreneur. Up to now, he established three new business start-ups; advised and supported over 200 new business ideas; managed a regional business start-up service; as well as created, launched and directed more than 20 innovation projects that drive economic, social and environmental priorities.

Ed’s activities and projects have attracted multiple awards for their concepts, partnership and outcomes. Most recently the EU funded ‘Low carbon Innovation’ project developed and led by Ed attracted the Scottish Government award for ‘Best Project delivering Scotland’s 2020 (low carbon)Vision’ from 2007-2014. This project focuses on supporting over 1000 enterprises and organisations to develop low carbon products and services.

Ed is a regular speaker at National and International conferences, as well as contributor to local and national press and low carbon enterprise assessment and judging panels for National competitions such as Shell Springboard and in 2016 was a key contributor to Edinburgh Napier winning the Queens Anniversary Prize for Innovation.