About TeenTech

What we do

We run lively initiatives with a supporting Award scheme to inspire the innovators of the future. We support teenagers in gaining skills, experiences and connections to guide them into contemporary careers and give everyone the chance to reach their full potential. We work collaboratively with companies, universities, business organisations and education business partnerships to build sustainable and imaginative programmes focussing on regions of greater social need in the UK and Europe.

We are an award winning charity, founded in 2008 by Maggie Philbin and Chris Dodson to help students see the wide range of career possibilities within science, technology and engineering. Our programmes are structured to guide students through key academic choices with a coherent journey through age appropriate interventions and continued opportunities even beyond our initiatives to gain experience, knowledge and skills.

We have won several awards including Best Engineering Event in Science and Engineering Week and has been recognised for the quality of our work to improve diversity by WISE, who presented CEO Maggie Philbin with an award for Best Outreach and Engagement.

Our alumni shine nationally and internationally, acting as powerful TeenTech ambassadors, helping thousands more young people recognise and develop their potential.

The TeenTech Team

Maggie Philbin
CEO and Co Founder

Maggie Philbin has worked for over 30 years as a science and technology reporter, from Tomorrow’s World to Bang Goes The Theory. She has consistently worked to help improve diversity in Science, Technology and Engineering and co-founded TeenTech in 2008. She is President of the Institute of Engineering Design, Chair of the UK Digital Skills Taskforce, serves on the STEM Commission for Haringey and is an honorary member of the Women’s Engineering Society. Maggie says:

Britain is in the midst of another industrial revolution and only by engendering the spirit that allowed us to thrive so well in the first will we succeed in the next. For this to happen we need our young people to see technology and related applied sciences as a future not which they might just benefit from but which they can help create. If you have the right skills, if you have the right network, if you have the right attitude, this is a time of opportunity. We have to make sure we equip everyone in the UK for the digital revolution. Not just a fortunate few.

In 2012, she was presented with the Award for Communication and Outreach in the WISE Awards for Outstanding Achievement by Princess Anne. In the same year she received an Honorary Doctor of Technology degree from De Montfort University for “bringing a greater understanding of science and technology to the public.

In 2013 she was included on the Tech City Insider list of 100 people who are making digital London tick and was recognised by the Institute of Engineering Design for her work with TeenTech in promoting engineering design. The Institute invited her to become President, an office she took up in July 2014. In 2014 she was asked to lead an independent taskforce to produce a report on digital skills to be shared with all political parties to inform their policies.

The first report ‘Digital Skills for Tomorrow’s World ‘ was published in July 2014 and has met with considerable support across the sector. She now sits on the STEM Commission for Haringey and has set up a Young STEM Taskforce. In 2015 Maggie became patron of the CPHC | Council of Professors and Heads of Computing, was appointed to the council of The University of Warwick, was made a Fellow of Queen Mary’s College London and presented with an Honorary Doctorate in Science by the University of Bath for her work with TeenTech.

In 2016 Maggie was voted the most influential woman in IT by Computer Weekly magazine, awarded Digital Leader of the Year by Digital Leaders and included in the Top Fifty Most Inspiring Women in European Technology.

In 2017 she received an OBE for her services to the science, technology and creative industries.
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Beverley Tew
Non-Executive Director TeenTech CIC

Beverley is a CFO and Vice President at Burberry.  Previously she was Group Finance Director at the BBC where she enjoyed a 20 year career.  She has a non-executive role as a Crown Representative in the Cabinet Office helping central government manage their strategic relationships in the IT sector.  She is also an experienced charity trustee and was Trustee and Audit Committee Chair for BBC Children in Need for 10 years and is now an independent member of the Audit Committee of BAFTA and of Plan UK, part of the international children’s charity.  She qualified as an accountant with Ernst & Young and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW) and a fellow and Trustee of the Chartered Institute of Procurement (CIPS).

Andy Wilson
Chair and Non-Executive Director TeenTech CIC
Andy started his career at Aardmann Features before joining the BBC as part of their move to develop online services. He has been at the forefront of technical and editorial development surrounding online and interactive services ever since.  Currently Head of Business Development for The Digital Production Partnership, Andy joined the DPP from his role on BBC Make it Digital, where as Partnership Lead he led a collaboration between 54 partners, all helping to deliver one of the BBC's most ambitious education initiatives in 30 years. Prior to this he was the Head of the BBC College of Technology, overseeing all training and development for technology, software engineering and enterprise systems for the BBC.
The UK needs the best talent to help us to innovate and create new technologies and products for the future. TeenTech’s unique blend of showcase events and a challenging awards competition helps to inspire children about careers in science, technology, engineering and maths. TeenTech’s diverse challenges enable children to develop their own ideas to solve problems from a range of sectors, helping them to learn what it takes to develop, invent and prototype solutions. Aided by fantastic partner organisations, TeenTech helps to shine a light on the opportunities that technical careers offer young people. I’m grateful for the opportunity to help TeenTech to continue to grow and to be able to inspire the next generation of inventors, scientists and digital creatives. 
Andy worked with broadcasters across the industry, the department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and the Skills Funding Agency, to create a groundbreaking Higher-level apprenticeship scheme with Salford University and Birmingham City University. This works with ITV, Channel 4, Red Bee Media and Arqiva to build engineering talent for the broadcast sector. Andy’s work also included the migration of Engineering Teams to support new technologies and studios in MediaCity UK, New Broadcasting House and supporting the 2012 London Olympics.

Andy has worked globally on innovation in broadcasting, collaborating with the Tech Partnership and Creative Skillset to address sector skills challenges as well as collaborating with NCUB on the state of Research and Devlopment in the UK. Andy has won the Taiwanese Innovation in Audio and Visual award for DTV and Interactive solutions for his work in Interactive Television and has recently led the industry skills and development of File Delivery for television programmes with the Digital Production Partnership.
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Amy Wettenhall
Non-Executive Director TeenTech CIC

Amy is an Associate Director at Macquarie, an Australian Investment Bank, based in London. As a TMT industry expert Amy has most recently turned her passion for technology into delivering smart capital solutions to support the TMT sector delivering the technology of tomorrow faster, and more efficiently. Prior to this Amy had held positions as Commercial Director of Ericsson’s Market Area Europe and Latin America and Head of Commercial at the BBC and has over 15 years’ experience in the Media, Telecommunications and Transport sectors. Amy has a detailed understanding of technology sourcing business models, of varied complex technologies at an enterprise level, and is considered a strong commercial specialist. Amy won Women in IT’s Business Leader of the Year award in 2016 and in 2017 was named as one of Management Today’s 35 under 35 in Britain.

As a global community business priorities across all sectors are increasingly dependent on technology, many forms of which are converging and interdependent. This raises the profile of STEM disciplines in many varied career opportunities of the future. We have a collective responsibility to prepare students for this as maturity in the these disciplines will be critical to social, economic and environmental progress for future generations. Having been involved in the Teen Tech awards I recognise first hand a model which is successful in fostering knowledge sharing, mentoring, and building a working community which benefits students and teachers. I’m excited to be part of the TeenTech journey and to continue to be inspired by the bright minds of our future.

Amy has a successful track record of complex negotiations within differing business cultures, and has a high level of awareness of these sensitivities, and the criticality of managing stakeholders and relationship building throughout the commercial lifecycle.

Under her leadership at the BBC she dramatically increased team performance by promoting commercial best practice, growing the commercial function significantly during her tenure. Amy was heavily involved in the strategy setting and scoping of the future for the BBC’s outsourced technology landscape from a commercial perspective and played a lead role in the negotiation and contracting of an interim arrangement with the incumbent supplier of the Technology Framework Contract for an additional 24 month period.

Following this success Amy has returned to Ericsson as Commercial Director within the Consulting and Systems Integration Business Line, responsible for developing this area from a commercial perspective globally.
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Darren Thomson
Non-Executive Director TeenTech CIC

Darren is the Head of Cyber Security Strategy at CyberCube Analytics, a software company providing analytic tools to the Cyber Insurance industry. Previously, Darren served as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Vice-President of Technology at Symantec Corp. where he had overall technical responsibility for strategic propositions at Symantec. His current responsibilities touch on software engineering, security strategy and the design and modelling of cyber disaster scenarios, used within the insurance industry to model financial risk. Darren is a regular contributor to various media publications and appears regularly on podcasts, television and radio programmes. His is also a regular blogger and his recent blogs can be found here.

I’m passionate about he cause and the methods employed at TeenTech and, in particular, I’ve always been impressed by the way the TeenTech Awards not only encourage students to develop high quality tech projects but to become powerful ambassadors for the industry. At Symantec, we have continued to work with winners from previous years giving them opportunities to further develop their technical skills and explore the range of career possibilities that are available to them in the IT sector. I'm very proud and honoured to be part of the team.

Sandra Cooper
Non-Executive Director TeenTech CIC

Sandra has extensive experience of building relationships between schools, businesses and the local community. Whilst Director of Humber Education Business Partnership she collaborated with us from 2011, helping to take TeenTech from a local initiative to one running nationally. She has great understanding of the best ways to build a community around an initiative, helping to ensure its sustainability and greatly magnifying its long term impact.

TeenTech is inspiring in so many ways. Although intended to motivate young people, we know that teaching staff and employers learn so much from being involved. This has helped to rejuvenate the school curriculum and given a real boost to Science and Technology subjects. TeenTech helps students clearly see different pathways and provides opportunities for quality interactions with apprentices and graduates to understand the advantages of respective routes.

Fiona Hopkinson
Non-Executive Director TeenTech CIC

Fiona is an award-winning marketer, with over 15 years’ marketing programme management experience predominantly in the technology sector, for a diverse range of companies from IBM to start-ups. Fiona has worked in the UK and overseas, with international leadership roles covering Asia Pacific, Europe and the US. Her commercial sector experience has included a global role for the academic market, where she successfully established an industry-recognised programme for the university sector. Most recently Fiona worked at Alton Convent School, Hampshire as Development Director, where she drafted and collaboratively delivered the schools inaugural science and technology outreach programme – a community wide effort to generate awareness, interest and demand for opportunities in the sector.

TeenTech was instrumental to the cultural transformation which took place at Alton Convent School. The programme provided a powerful framework to build mutually beneficial relationships with other schools and businesses – locally and internationally, – opening the eyes of all to a plethora of exciting possibilities. Through TeenTech, core skills of tenacity, communication and teamwork were further developed, recognised and celebrated. The students gained a ‘hands on’ understanding of the end to end process of technology development from initial concept, research and development, to marketing and finance. An insightful precursor to traditional work experience, creating an informed talent pipeline. The reach and impact extended significantly beyond the direct participants to the wider community of pupils, parents and teachers. I am delighted to support TeenTech’s mission to inspire the next generation of innovators – I have seen first hand the difference it can make.

Dani Longhurst
Project Manager – TeenTech Awards

Through my experience of working at an Education Charity, and as a parent of teenagers, I know just how vital it is to engage students in an innovative way about the world of work. TeenTech does this in a very exciting and hands-on way and I am thrilled to be part of the team delivering these experiences to students across the country.

Natasha Ramsden
Finance Manager, TeenTech

I am very excited to join TeenTech, as it has a great track record of inspiring school children to discover a wide variety of career options and have fun along the way. I really admire how it uses its wide network of trusted partners to deliver on an impressive scale across the country. I look forward to supporting the team, especially as it moves into its 10th year of operation.

Niki Bardsley
Operations Manager, TeenTech
After working for the last 17 years to promote STEM careers across the Yorkshire and Humber regions by working within both primary and secondary schools as well as organising large-scale educational events, I am thrilled to be a member of the TeenTech team, delivering exciting, hands-on experiences to the students across the country.
Olivia Lockyer
Head of Content, TeenTech

I love being a part of TeenTech, I was lucky enough to work with the team for a few years whilst I was at the BBC and now I’m even luckier to be part of the team! What TeenTech does is so important and plays a huge role in so many young people’s lives when it comes to vital decision making about their futures. It’s an amazing team to be a part of and how much everyone cares is reflected in the success of the events and the fantastic reception from students and teachers.

Kathy Dare
Project Manager, TeenTech
As a teacher of Design and Technology, I had the pleasure of being involved with TeenTech through the Awards programme over the last eight years. My students learnt so much about themselves and their potential, and developed a wide range of transferable skills whilst exploring local and global issues which can be linked to topics across the breadth of the curriculum. I love the way TeenTech provides students with the opportunity to develop the germ of an idea into something tangible and bigger than they first imagined, boosting their pride and self- esteem. Collaborating with and presenting to industrial and educational experts from beyond the confines of their school helps to open students’ eyes to the contemporary world of work, making TeenTech such an engaging, relevant and innovative experience. I have seen first-hand the positive impact TeenTech makes on young people, their schools and teachers –many of whom have continued to build upon their achievements. I now feel truly privileged to have been welcomed onto the TeenTech team having moved on from teaching!
Russ Shaw
Founder Tech London Advocates

In my role as Founder of Tech London Advocates, Teen Tech is one of the most well-run and popular digital learning initiatives for young people that I have come across. Maggie’s leadership of the organisation is outstanding, and both the young people and the teachers involved with the Teen Tech events benefit enormously from the programme. It is a great asset for schools…and frankly for the nation.

Russ is the Founder of Tech London Advocates, a global advocacy group of 2,500 senior leaders in the tech community, created to champion and accelerate the growth of London’s technology sector. Russ is a non-executive director and on the Advisory Boards of the L1Technology Fund, E2Exchange and Founders4Schools. He was appointed a London Tech Ambassador for the Mayor of London in 2014. He is an angel and venture capital investor with Ariadne Capital. Previously, Russ held senior management positions at Skype, Telefonica/O2 and American Express and was CEO of a later stage mobile startup called Mobileway.

Professor Alan Woodward
Visiting Professor University of Surrey

Alan began as a physicist at the University of Southampton. However, he developed an interest in computing early on through signal processing for gamma ray burst detectors, and so switched to engineering after his BSc. Hence for his post graduate research, he moved to the engineering faculty to develop computer based techniques for analysing and recovering complex signals, including audio and structural vibrations.

After leaving university Alan worked for the UK government for many years, for whom he still provides advice. He has particular expertise in, and continues to conduct research into, cyber security, covert communications, forensic computing and image/signal processing. Alan has been involved in some of the most significant advances in computer technology which have seen him gain a number of professional accolades such as being made a Chartered Engineering, Chartered IT Practitioner, a Chartered Physicist, and Eur Ing, as well as academic awards such as being elected as a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, Royal Statistical Society and British Computer Society.

Technology and Engineering are our future. TeenTech is so rare in recognising this. There are numerous initiatives to involve young people in understanding science but TeenTech is one of a very select few that shows the next generation how it can be applied. I was delighted to be asked to be part of what I see as a vital task: engaging young people to be part of shaping our future rather than just being passengers on someone else’s journey.

In addition to his academic and government work, Alan has run businesses focused on various aspects of Information Technology (IT). In 2000 Alan was pivotal in the flotation of Charteris plc, and company he had helped start-up, on the London Stock Exchange. He sold his final interests in that business in early 2014. Alan continues to be a director of and advise businesses of all sizes involved in IT, as well as acting as adviser to organisations such as Europol in the field of cybercrime.

He became involved with TeenTech several years ago, helping to convince the University of Surrey to host what is now a regular TeenTech event.

Although Alan has been at the leading edge of technology development for many years, he is primarily a particularly good communicator. He is known for his ability to communicate complex ideas in a simple, yet passionate manner. He not only publishes in the academic and trade journals but has articles in the national press and on TV and radio. Despite the length of his experience, his continued hands-on ability with emerging technologies contributes significantly to the respect he is repeatedly shown when he leads teams where technology is involved.

Alan is very active on social media where he attempts to communicate about a range of STEM subjects to those who are not necessarily experts in the field.
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Sue O’Hare
European Space Agency Business Incubation Centre Operations Manager at STFC

Dr Sue O’Hare is a knowledge transfer professional working in innovation and enterprise at the interface between research and business. She currently manages the European Space Agency’s UK business incubator (the ESA BIC) at the STFC Rutherford Laboratory at Harwell, Oxfordshire She has worked in universities and companies, was a non-exec director of TeenTech for four years and is also Immediate Past Chair of the knowledge transfer professional association PraxisUnico, a Tech London Advocate and a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Educators.

TeenTech opens eyes, bridges gaps and builds new relationships. I first saw it in action in East London creating a buzz, raising aspirations of young people and teachers, and inspiring a blog by one of the business ambassadors saying how it had relit his fire. I’ve had so many opportunities through my career in technology and I’m delighted to help inspire the technologists of tomorrow.

Sue started her career as a nuclear physics researcher before succumbing to the fascination of computers and moving into the IT industry. She spent 13 years in research and development groups at AT&T ISTEL, Syntegra and the Royal Mail Group, specialising in innovation and the application of emerging technologies and working with partners including universities, BT Laboratories and the MIT Media Lab.

The excitement of the early days of big data, web technologies, intelligent agents, smart cards and virtual reality was infectious. On one hand, joining databases together and mining them enabled cost savings, and visualising proposed solutions proved a powerful tool for winning business. On the other hand, the exploration of new ideas enthused graduate recruits and helped attract talent. Sue then jumped over the fence and began the second phase of her career working in universities to lead work with business. After establishing the Technology Transfer Office and the InnovationWorks creative problem solving facility at the University of Reading, her next posts were in London. In 2010 she joined London Metropolitan University as Associate Director of Enterprise, where among other things she was responsible for the Accelerator digital media incubator in Shoreditch.

Seven months later the Prime Minister David Cameron made a speech in East London announcing the creation of the Tech City initiative to support the emerging cluster of digital media companies around ‘Silicon Roundabout’. Sue saw this as a major opportunity for local universities to get involved. Her team supported the foundation of the Digital Shoreditch festival in 2011 and hosted its first year at Accelerator.

While the excitement generated by Tech City was immense, there was an underlying feeling of unease that it was fuelling a divide by creating opportunity and jobs for well-educated, relatively well-off people who often came from elsewhere – while local young people were largely unaware of the opportunities on their doorstep. The London riots in the summer of 2011 crystallised this fear. It was at this time that Sue responded to a Tweet from a Shoreditch entrepreneur saying that “we needed to make Shoreditch jobs aspirational for Hackney youth”, offering support from local universities and colleges. It rapidly became clear that there was a great deal of enthusiasm among the start-up community for engaging with schools and young people to explain the tech industry and what kind of opportunities there were, but little knowledge of how to actually do it. Sue made the link with TeenTech and – to cut a long story short – the first TeenTech event in London took place in Cisco House on the Olympic Park in May 2012.

The London event is now firmly established as TeenTech’s flagship regional event and Sue became a non-executive director of TeenTech and a member of the UK Digital Skills Taskforce. She is also a non-executive director and Immediate Past Chair of the knowledge transfer professional association PraxisUnico; a Registered Technology Transfer Professional, Chartered IT Professional and Chartered Engineer; a member of the Institute of Physics and the British Computer Society; a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce; a Tech London Advocate; and a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Educators.
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Roland Allen

I’ve spent much of my career working in Technology at the BBC and was privileged to serve on the TeenTech board for five years. TeenTech enthuses the Scientists, Engineers and Technologists of tomorrow that the UK so badly needs and to help UK industry to bridge the gulf to attract and retain them.