Key Personnel

Simon McMaster

Dip. Chem (Open), BSc (Hons) Open, Graduate Certificate in Research Commercialisation (RMIT), Founding Scientist, Chief Science Officer 

Simon is the Founding Scientist of Footfalls & Heartbeats Limited and has many years’ experience in researching smart textile structures and the nanoscale interactions that govern the movement of these micromechanical structures. During the last ten years Simon has conducted on-going academic research in the fields of chemistry, nanotechnology and textile technology while developing a network of research and professional relationships with world leading research groups and institutions within these disciplines.

Dr Fern Kelly

Director of Innovation

Fern hails from New Zealand and has a PhD in chemistry. She has a particular passion for the collaboration of science with design and has successfully combined her skill-sets to specialise in textile innovation and product development.

Before joining Footfalls & Heartbeats, Fern spent a number of years living in France working on international projects in smart textiles (flexible colour changing electrochromic fabrics for fashion and interiors, and textile sensors for the structural health monitoring of vehicle bodies).

Fern has been well recognised for her work, being a finalist in both the ‘Young Scientist of the Year’ and the ‘Women in Science Entrepreneurship’ awards (NZ). In 2013 was the recipient of an international award for textile innovation (‘Le Prix International Théophile Legrand de l’Innovation Textile’, France). 

Andrew Duff

Non-Executive Director

Andrew co-founded Sparkbox Ventures in 2001. He has legal and accountancy qualifications and over 15 years of blue chip investment banking experience. Andrew is a Director of a number of private companies and is a member of a number of professional bodies including the UK Institute of Directors. 

Dr Andrew Naylor

Non-Executive Director

Andrew has recently been appointed as CEO of Nottingham Technology Ventures Ltd (NTV), a company that develops and supports spin-out companies from the University of Nottingham. Prior to this, Andrew has over 17 years’ experience growing and managing early stage technology businesses as CEO and Non-Executive Director including 7 years as Head of Physical Sciences at IP Group.  Andrew holds a first class honours degree and PhD in Physics from the University of Nottingham and returned to the University in 2016 to help manage the University’s Intellectual Property Commercialisation in Engineering and Physical Sciences.

David Whelan

Non-Executive Chairman and acting CEO

David is an award winning Chairman and CEO with an impressive track record in managing, developing and growing numerous businesses in a wide range of business sectors.

Possessing the rare winning combination of superb leadership skills, a fine strategic mind and over 35 years of business experience, David is universally recognised for his ability (within both private and public owned organisations) to expand businesses whilst simultaneously increasing company turnover and profitability. 

Having worked with many major brand names, David has become a much sought after Chairman and is currently a non-executive and executive chairman of 7 companies. He is also a respected advisor and mentor to various CEO’s and MD’s of major PLC’s.  In addition, he is in high demand on the lecture circuit where he imparts his wealth of knowledge to business owners both nationally and internationally.  His extensive business achievements have culminated in a variety of personal and business accolades and awards.

Dr Glenn Richards

Non-Executive Director

Glenn is a New Zealand trained physician who specialised in respiratory and sleep medicine and had an extensive clinical career before moving to the medical device industry. He has held clinical positions in Australia, the UK and New Zealand, and has a long term interest in developing effective healthcare delivery systems both in the hospital and in the community. He became involved in sleep medicine when it was in its infancy and designed and implemented numerous hospital and community based sleep services.  He was an early advocate of home sleep testing for OSA, and primary care run sleep services.

He was involved in pioneering research into the effects of humidification on CPAP users while working with Colin Sullivan, the inventor of CPAP in Sydney in the 1990’s, determining the mechanism of action, effects on CPAP use and establishing a reimbursement pathway. Nowadays humidification is used routinely with CPAP with most CPAP devices having an integrated humidifier. This research led to involvement with CPAP manufacturers, initially with Fisher & Paykel Healthcare and later with Resmed. He was Chief Medical Officer at ResMed for 15 years and in this role has been responsible for interactions with academics and universities, identification and development of new products, and the clinical research programme. He is a well- known leader in the medical device world.


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