Our Founders

AEJAZ ZAHID | Co-founder of Hackcessible

Aejaz is a programme director for innovation at the South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw Integrated Care System, a partnership that brings together the major health & social care organisations in the region.  An impact oriented engineer, clinical scientist and problem solver at heart, Aejaz has a passion for innovation & technology, with a firm belief in its potential for empowering communities. His experience spans developing services in the NHS, establishing national assistive technology centres in the MENA region and nuturing groundbreaking Assistive Technology start-ups in North America. Over the years, he has worked closely with hundreds of individuals with wide ranging accessibility challenges both in the UK and abroad and his teams have won numerous awards for innovation the world over.

PETER MYLON | Co-founder of Hackcessible

Peter is a University Teacher in Multidisciplinary Engineering Education. He teaches design, manufacturing and CAD and has experience in mechanical engineering consultancy, medical device design and research, particularly in manual dexterity, finger friction and optometry. He is also one of the founding members of the iForge at the University of Sheffield which is the first student-led makerspace.

CERI BATCHELDER | Co-founder of Hackcessible

Ceri is a Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Sheffield. Ceri runs her own business, Connect&Create, focused on digital economic growth. She develops and manages collaborations across academia, industry and local government, enabling knowledge exchange and innovation. Ceri’s experience has seen her work in bioscience research, healthtech and the digital sector. Recently Ceri has supported the IoT Tribe technology accelerator and facilitated digital adoption in healthcare and manufacturing in the region.

SIMON WHEATCROFT | Storyteller, technologist, adventurer, and inclusivity consultant 

Blindness is no barrier for Simon Wheatcroft. With technology and willpower as his only guides, Simon achieved the impossible when he learned to run road races and complete ultra-marathons without his sight. He now helps others to overcome adversity—working with companies to improve product accessibility and application, as well as demonstrating the power of determination as a motivational speaker.

BECKY WOOD | Freelance Digital Media Producer

Becky is a freelance digital media producer, currently studying at Sheffield Hallam University. She was integral to the success of the inaugural Hackcessible challenge, both photographing and filming the participants and challenges at all events. 


Fiona is marketing manager for a HR tech firm based in Sheffield and prior to this, spent eight years driving marketing strategy for large technology conferences and exhibitions worldwide. Having supported the team on all marketing activities for the 2018 event, Fiona is delighted to be on board again this year, helping out with the website, marketing collateral and press activities. 

Our Committee


Masters Student at Imperial College London/Royal College of Art

Tahira is a Materials Science and Engineering graduate from The University of Sheffield. Having previously worked at Dyson Technology Ltd, she is an illustrator and product designer. She is currently studying Innovation Design Engineering at Imperial/RCA and hopes to pursue a career in human-centred design.


Soft Robotics PhD Student at The University Of Sheffield 

Joanna is an Automatic Control and Systems graduate from The University of Sheffield. She is currently doing a PhD in soft robotics. Joanna is very enthusiastic about STEM outreach and scouting.


Software and Controls Engineer at Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains

George is an Aerospace Engineering graduate from The University of Sheffield, who has previously worked at Dyson Technology Ltd and Williams F1. Currently at Mercedes AMG HPP, he has a keen interest in the future of the automotive industry and enjoys playing guitar.

Previous Mentors

Kamal Birdi

Kamal Birdi

Kamal is a Senior Lecturer and a Chartered Occupational Psychologist. He has been researching learning and creativity in organisations for over 25 years and thousands of people have now been trained in using his CLEAR IDEAS innovation development method.

Sarah Boyd

Sarah Boyd

Product designer and engineer who has worked at the likes of IDEO. She has a strong interest in the use of makerspaces as a vehicle for developing tech for good as well as educating people on sustainable product design.

Richard Caley

Richard Caley

Richard is a clinical scientist & engineer specialising in assistive & rehabilitation technology. He has over two decades of health service experience directly supporting individuals with wide ranging disabilities through the provision of enabling technologies.

Dr Dana D. Damian

Dana Damian

Lecturer in Automatic Control and Systems Engineering, specialising in hand prostheses and wearables for assistive technology, robotic implants etc. Her research resides at the intersection between soft robotics, embodied artificial intelligence and bioengineering.

Michael Howarth

Michael Howarth

Michael is the chief mechanical technologist at the Barnsley Assistive Technology Team. He has many, many years of experience building bespoke devices for people with a variety of disabilities. An expert in using traditional machine shop tools.

Valdis Krūmiņš

Valdis Krūmiņš

Product design engineer based at AMRC with expertise in mechanical prototyping / mock up building skills and a creative mindset for finding quick solutions for prototyping.

Eduardo Perez-Guagnelli

Eduardo Perez-Guagnelli

Eduardo is a researcher, product designer and human factors specialist, expert in Inclusive/Universal design theory and User Experience. He has worked as supervisor of healthcare related projects, particularly in regard to the rehabilitation of people with motor disabilities. Currently, he is conducting research into the design of long-term robotic implants for tissue regeneration as member of the Sheffield Biomedical Robotics Lab.

Andrew Stratton

Andrew Stratton

Senior University Teacher in the Department of Computer Science working for the Institute of Coding with 12+ years industry experience in many roles, including Senior Java Developer, Team Leader, Technical Architect and Project manager at companies including IBM, Barclaycard, Asda and BT. Andrew’s research is focused around the Quando toolset, which offers Visual End User Development and rapid prototyping for non programmers

Dr Jennifer Rowson

Jen Rowson

Mechanical engineering lecturer specialising in human to environment interaction, computer simulation, inclusive design, and ageing and its influence on design.

Charlie Danger

Charlie Danger

Highly experienced assistive technology specialist who combines in-depth technical knowledge with clinical skills as an occupational therapist.