Meet the Teams

Meet The Data Lab team. We are a group of people passionate about helping Scotland leverage value from data.

Management Team


Gillian Docherty, Chief Executive Officer

The Data Lab

Gillian Docherty is chief executive of The Data Lab, an innovation centre with a mission of maximising the value for Scotland from data.

Brian Hills, Head of Data

The Data Lab

Brian has 17 years experience in analytics and software engineering, across domains including Telecoms, IT and Digital. He joins the Data Lab from Skyscanner where he launched and grew the Business Intelligence team. Prior to Skyscanner, Brian held analytics and engineering roles with Sumerian and HP.

Jude McCorry, Head of Business Development

The Data Lab

Jude has over 15 years experience in Sales and Marketing in the Technology Sector working with B2B and public sector for companies like Dell, Firefly Communications and Xnet Data Storage. Jude has also worked in Academia at Edinburgh Napier University where she set up their commercial arm – The Edinburgh Institute - providing leading edge practice based executive education to Scottish Executives.

Dave Fitch, Head of Operations

The Data Lab

Dave has over a decade’s experience in leading and delivering large, multi-partner/multi-institution research projects, and joins The Data Lab from the UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre (UKCCSRC), where he was Chief Operations and Finance Manager. 

Manolo Perez, Finance Director

The Data Lab

Manolo is a qualified Chartered Accountant with over 12 years financial experience in the University Sector. He joined The Data Lab in January 2015 having previously worked at various departments within the University of Edinburgh.

Darran Gardner, Business Development Executive

The Data Lab, Glasgow

Darran Gardner is an experienced business development manager and management consultant whose most recent role was with the Energy Technology Partnership, where he developed and managed a wide range of collaborative academia/industry projects focused on the energy sector. 

Victoria Clark, Business Development Executive

The Data Lab

Victoria is an experienced Sales professional who joins the Data Lab from the Utilities industry where she was a Strategic Account Executive, providing Business Development across the UK as well as Account Managing multi-national companies such as large retailers and many public sector customers. Victoria’s primary focus is on skills development for The Data Lab.

Adam Turner, Business Development Executive

The Data Lab

Adam is an experienced Commercial Development professional who joins The Data Lab from IBM where he was a specialist in the Watson Cognitive Platform, providing support to organisations embarking on their Artificial Intelligence transformation projects. Drawing on his experience, Adam’s focus will be assisting organisations through their data driven innovation projects.

Fraser Macdonald, Project Development Manager

The Data Lab

Fraser is an experienced project manager with extensive knowledge in cross sector engagement. He has worked with UK and international research communities, designing and managing innovation projects for the public, energy and defence sectors.

Neil Brown, Project Development Manager

The Data Lab

Neil has 20 years experience in operational, project and programme management roles. Prior to joining The Data Lab, he managed a £3.2 million collaborative low carbon power & energy research programme at the University of Strathclyde.

Caterina Constantinescu, Data Scientist

The Data Lab

Caterina has a background in academic research with a strong technical component. She has completed a PhD in affective science, and has over 5 years' experience with statistical programming in R. Caterina also organises the EdinbR meetup, and has been involved in various research projects, involving for instance NHS data, or transport data from a local Scottish council.

Joanna McKenzie, Data Scientist

The Data Lab

Joanna is a data scientist with ten years’ experience as an analyst and team leader in the energy and renewables sector. She has considerable experience performing analytics projects in a large organisation, working with stakeholders and experts to identify and deliver value-add opportunities. She also has experience in analytics software development using mySQL, Matlab, python and R amongst other tools. A particle physicist and qualified secondary school teacher, she has a particular interest in knowledge sharing and building expertise.

Thanos Tsiaras, Data Specialist

The Data Lab

Thanos has an Informatics background with an MSc in Data Engineering. Previously he held data science and analytics roles in the video game industry, most recently with Electronic Arts. His hands-on experience includes building Machine Learning and Business Intelligence systems in the video game, sports and marketing domains.

Cecilia Bouroncle, Marketing and Communications Manager

The Data Lab

Cecilia is a business professional with extensive experience in marketing and events, and working within the international higher education sector. She has an engineering degree and a Master in Business (Event Management). Before joining The Data Lab, she worked as an Education Manager for the Australian Government in Peru, her home country.

John Callagy, Marketing and Communications Officer

The Data Lab

John is an experienced events organiser with a focus on the tech landscape. Prior to joining The Data Lab John managed a multitude of national and international events for Business And Finance Magazine and Dublin Tech Summit, one of Europe's leading tech conferences.

Gina Finch, Marketing and Communications Officer

The Data Lab

Gina is an experienced web designer and digital communications manager with an MSc in Multimedia Technology. She will be working with digital content and social media communications.

Marian Dunbar, Skills Co-ordinator

The Data Lab

Marian has more than 20 years of experience as a University Administrator working with students and academics in a variety of roles. She joins The Data Lab from the Cyber Academy, Edinburgh Napier University, where she supported a range of training, education and dissemination activities on cyber security.

Craig Paterson, Executive Education Advisor

The Data Lab

Craig has 25 year of industry experience working in Utilities and Financial Services and specialises in Business, IT and Digital strategy development and execution. Craig is developing Executive Education for The Data Lab.

Steph Wright, Project Development Manager, Cancer Innovation Challenge

The Data Lab

Steph will be project managing the Cross Innovation Centre Cancer Challenge and comes to The Data Lab via the UK CCS Research Centre where she was the Research Manager, undertaking the day-to-day management of the Centre's £4.6M project portfolio as well as leading on the Centre's communications and events activities.

Dan Montgomery, Business Development Officer

The Data Lab

Dan is based within our Business Development team, where he will be responsible for engaging with clients, supporting project submissions, developing our network and helping to promote The Data Lab. Dan joined The Data Lab having come from Virgin Money with over 5 years in people management and project management, having previously been responsible for leading a large change project involving over 300+ FTE across the UK and leading a highly competitive team within a target driven environment.

Moira Stewart, Finance Administrator

The Data Lab

Moira has a wealth of experience in the area of finance. Her last role was as a Finance Officer in Chemistry at the University. Her main experience comes from being a Secondary School Bursar for 26 years in a large Edinburgh Community school, and she is keen to develop important links with schools re Data Science.

Ian Watt, Business Development Executive

The Data Lab

Ian has an extensive background in digital in the public sector. As an Open Data advocate, Ian established ODI Aberdeen, the only node of the Open Data Institute in Scotland. He was one of the group who wrote the Scottish Government’s 2015 Open Data Strategy, and he led the open data programme for the 7 cities of Scotland. In 2013 Ian won the local government category of UK Digital Leaders. He recently completed an MSc Data Science at RGU.

Heather Thomson, Skills Project Development Manager

The Data Lab

Heather has 12 years experience in project and programme management roles, in both the public and private sector with extensive experience in the development and delivery of training. Prior to joining The Data Lab, she managed a £5 million research programme at the University of Edinburgh with a strong focus on training and capacity building in data skills. Heather manages The Data Lab Skills programme including Industrial Doctorates, MSc and Online Learning.

Rhona MacLennan, Principal Solutions Architect

The Data Lab

Rhona is an experienced enterprise architect with in-depth expertise in all aspects of Information Strategy, Architecture, and Governance. Prior to joining The Data Lab, she worked in the Oil & Gas, Financial Services, Technology, and FMCG sectors initiating data journeys, shaping and delivering enterprise solutions, and developing in-house data capabilities.

Alex Hutchison, Delivery Director for the UNICEF Data for Children Hub in Scotland

The Data Lab

Alex has joined The Data Lab on secondment from RBS where she has spent over a decade working on Data Management & Governance, change management and systems implementations. Alex is looking to expand her experience in data innovation and working with the third sector during her year’s secondment from the bank.

Samantha Penn, PA & Office Manager

The Data Lab

Sam has extensive experience in higher education administration, having previously worked for QMU, the University of Edinburgh & Edinburgh Napier University, in various PA, finance, HR & secretarial roles. She has supported both senior central services and academic staff and also students at all levels & managed a variety of events including workshops, conferences & seminars.

Karen O'Hanlon, Business Development Executive

The Data Lab

Karen has considerable business development, sales and commercial expertise. Her recent roles include Business Development Manager at the University of the Highlands and Islands and Head of Engagement at Aridhia Informatics. Karen has a wealth of experience in developing and managing innovative collaborations across academia, the NHS and industry, and working with Innovate UK and the Horizon 2020 programme.

Diane Harbison, Business Development Executive

The Data Lab

Diane has over 20 years’ experience as a senior leader in the life sciences sector. She enjoys establishing collaborations between industry and academia, this has always been a focus of her career. As part of the business development team, her role is to enable industry and academic partners to securing further sources of funding from external sources such as UKRI and the European Union. She can support bid writing with a focus on helping SMEs and Scottish-based organisations access larger sources of external funding, enabling them to expand their R&D activities.

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