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Our Consultants

Our consultants have worked in the energy and utilities industry for many years, in retail supply businesses, metering companies and distribution network operators, and as such, have a deep understanding of the energy and utilities industry. A selection of our consultants' profiles can be viewed below.

Sian Gardner is one of our Principal Consultants, and has worked in a variety of operational and programme management roles in the energy sector, in a career spanning over 20 years. She has led large teams, to deliver high levels of employee engagement, exceptional customer experience and operational excellence. This has involved using IS and technology solutions, controls and process initiatives to transform small trial style operations into highly efficient, effective and scalable operating models.

As Head of Customer Services for British Gas Smart Homes/Smart Metering, Sian led the team to develop and deliver all aspects of customer experience for BG’s residential smart metered customers including customer contact, billing, metering and data operations. As part of the leadership team, Sian developed BG’s Smart Metering commercial, operational and technology strategy. The team was very successful in using the smart metering technology to transform the customer experience, increase loyalty and product holding levels whilst also delivering significant cost savings.

As Head of Operational Initiatives at Centrica, Sian assisted in the clearance of BGB’s late billed customers and reduced the number of affected customers by over 20k and the value by over £30m. As Head of Account Management for British Gas Business, Sian led a team of 180 to deliver all aspects of customer services and billing and metering operations relating to BG’s large industrial and commercial customers. As Head of Programme Management at British Gas Business, responsible for deploying a SAP billing and CRM system including all aspects of training, business readiness, process management, change management, communications, organisational design, cutover and user acceptance testing. The system was successfully deployed on time with excellent user feedback.

Mark Robins is one of our Principal Consultants. After graduating with an engineering degree, Mark’s early career followed a strongly technical path which provided an invaluable grounding and experience base to manage varied projects and programmes within Itron, and more recently lead an international product management team to specify and promote the next generation of advanced metering products and systems within the organisation.

Mark has worked extensively in real-time development in the earlier part of his career on embedded products and software systems, and has continued to stay close to product and system development working with advanced metering and communication products within Itron. Mark was the Systems Development Manager for four years, successfully building a strong software development team, and prior to that worked as a programme manager working closely with clients to win business, develop and deliver complex solutions.

Mark has a deep knowledge of the ‘inner workings’ of AMI systems, which gives him the ability to evaluate and propose technical solutions, building excellent credibility and respect with teams he works with. Mark is particularly strong with HAN communications, having been responsible for the Itron HAN strategy in multi-energy smart metering. Mark was also responsible for the end-to-end smart metering architecture at Itron, and has been involved in multi-utility AMI systems for the last twelve years, programme managing power line carrier, low-power RF and GPRS AMI systems. Mark is also familiar with MDM systems and can define requirements for the head-end system.

For the last year, Mark has been providing smart metering engineering expertise to DECC on technical solutions for smart metering devices, with responsibility for specifying HAN interfaces for supplier and consumer devices; and analysing alternative HAN options including ZigBee 868 and wired (PLC) solutions. 

Gareth Williams is a Lead Consultant at Engage, and is a Chartered Engineer who has worked in the Energy and Utilities Industry in various technical and design engineering roles in a career spanning nearly 10 years.

Gareth began his career at National Grid Metering, where he spent five years as Technical Design Officer and Design Manager. Gareth then moved to British Gas, where he was the design authority and technology lead for British Gas’ Smart Metering Programme involving Smart technology evaluation, deployment, and development.

During a four year period, Gareth delivered British Gas' Smart Metering Product Specification, supporting the internal programme delivering improvements to end-to-end system capability and providing strategic technology direction. He also delivered acceptance programmes and regimes, including technical assurance, HAN evaluation, and measurement of consumer behaviour. At British Gas, Gareth also worked with DECC and OFGEM on the SMIP participating in many technical and lobby groups, committees, and forums.

Since joining Engage Consulting in 2012, Gareth has been the Smart Metering Technical Lead to a major supplier’s Smart Metering Programme, delivering an asset strategy, test specification, and product requirements in addition to delivering a procurement exercise. Gareth also provides technical assurance, competence, knowledge and expertise to their programme, in addition to project delivery and also manages relationships with strategic technology solution providers. 

Craig Handford is a Lead Consultant at Engage, and is a successful Business and Project Manager and has an extensive track record of working in the energy industry in a career spanning over 20 years.  Craig has worked with suppliers, agents, regulators, manufacturers and communication companies and has an excellent understanding of industry processes, operating models and systems. Craig has delivered business improvements in a number of different Energy Markets including, GB, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and Jersey. These improvements have been focussed around Industry Design and Operational Management, large data migrations, smart metering, Project Management and Revenue Assurance.

At Edf, Craig was the Project Manager on the BBC Gas Revenue Completeness Project using Edf’s project principles to ensure the project moved through the various control gates using agreed criteria. This included delivering documentation detailing requirements for system changes, business policy and processes and the delivery of business recommendations to support Revenue Completeness objectives. Craig also managed the readiness plans to ensure successful delivery and customer understanding and sign off, and managed the lessons learned logs.

As Dataflow Manager at British Gas, Craig identified and implemented dataflow controls to ensure the appropriate governance was in place. As Metering Contract Manager, Craig implemented and managed the first Industry Meter Operation agent de-regulation trial to support Ofgem’s strategic vision, which included Contract Development, Due Diligence of third parties and process and supplier interaction development. As Process Improvement Manager, Craig supported the key systems by forecasting and scheduling the daily volume of data items that would be processed each evening, and their impacts on system performance and availability during business hours and also managed the Print and Dispatch contract worth over £30m per annum. 

Craig also has an excellent understanding of the smart metering programme and has developed business cases for market participants and produced a number of reports for potential communications solution providers. Craig has also been working on the Supplier Requirements for Smart Metering (SRSM) Project, in readiness for the roll out of smart meters. 

Steve Thun is one of our Lead Consultants and is a respected industry expert with 20 years’ experience in the energy sector. Steve has a wide range of experience where he has performed field management, operational, metering, technical and engineering roles.

At npower, Steve was involved in helping their metering business through MOCOPA and MAMCOP accreditation for the installation, removal and maintenance of gas and electricity meters whilst maintaining compliance with the relevant section of the BSC, its subsidiary documents, and the RGMA. As Meter Operator Manager, Steve was responsible for compliance with the relevant BSC sections, Procedures and Codes of practice and developed an excellent working knowledge of those documents.

Steve also worked as an operational manager at npower for several years and set up the performance monitoring of the field staff. Steve developed and implemented a structure change including depot locations and reporting line  and reduced OPEX costs by approximately £100K in 2010 through cost saving initiatives, and redeployment of staff in other business areas - using data analysis techniques to identify the optimum locations for remote depots and its staff.

Steve has worked internationally on a project to design and roll out 800K Smart Pre payment meters across a municipality in South Africa. Working with the local authority, finance company and other consultancies, Steve provided technical expertise through his knowledge of the GB Smart Metering Programme. 

Chris Cook is a Senior Consultant at Engage and is an experienced Business Project Manager and Business Implementation Manager with 19 years’ experience in the energy sector. His experience includes business process re-engineering, smart metering, successful management of remote field teams, specialised technical support functions, continuous improvement and major projects. Chris has contributed to major IS developments, change and expansion programmes.

As Business Project Manager and Business Implementation Manager at Npower, Chris led the department in the re-engineering of the core business processes to reduce the cost to meter. Chris was accountable for the development/implementation of an online portal for first line management of a large mobile field force and developed a road map for replacement of c1000 mobile devices. At Yorkshire Electricity, Chris co-ordinated business activity relating to 500 field and supporting staff impacted by the development to migrate from legacy billing systems to receive industry standard flows into business critical work management system.

Chris was Project Manager at Orsis UK where he delivered metering projects for clients to time, budget and specification delivering an interim smart solution giving them the capability to measure their carbon reduction commitment and improve settlement through providing automated actual reads from a smart meter. Chris improved the data retrieval processes supporting the customer led smart metering solution and played the lead role in resolving critical data/process issues in the registration/recognition of smart meter installations. 

Chris recently supported the consultation process of the CER’s National Smart Metering Programme (NSMP), working specifically in the design stage delivering design requirements for mandated IHD, smart billing, customer web interface and prepayment models, through industry and stakeholder workshops. Chris also recently contributied to the development of the GB Companion Specification (GBCS) for the smart metering roll-out.

 

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