Our team has been growing over the year of 2017. To support our growth, we have tapped into a range of experts that are helping us to move our company into the next level.

Early in the year, we have welcomed two new ERASMUS+ students: Catia Santos and Joao Vasques. Joao worked with us for 6 months, and Catia is currently Cell Separations Engineer at our company. Get to know both of them below.

ERASMUS+ Researcher in Cell Separations | Catia Santos, ERASMUS+ Student (Technical University of Lisbon)

Catia is an ERAMUS+ student from the Technical University of Lisbon. She is a researcher in cell separations. Born in Santarém, Portugal and interested in science and engineering, she is studying Biological Engineering in Lisbon. To finish her studies, she moved to London in February 2017 to do her Master Thesis at SSL. She is looking to improve her skills and to gain more technical knowledge alongside with business awareness, which she has found at SSL. She believes that this provides her with the tools to thrive on the current job market. She has recently found her newest “scientific love”: mammalian cell bioprocessing, integrating cell culture, separation via membrane technologies and their applications on the daily life. On her free time, she works on summer camps with children aged 6-18 and is also an avid fan of sports, including horse-riding, swimming, trampoline and gymnastics. She has a very positive mind and never refuses any challenge.


ERASMUS+ Researcher in Product Development | Joao Vasques, ERASMUS+ Student (New University of Lisbon)

Joao is an ERAMUS+ student from the New University of Lisbon. He was born in Lisbon, Portugal, 22 years ago and he is a Chemical and Biochemical Engineering student at the New University of Lisbon, currently finishing his Master’s degree. After having studied in Zaragoza, Spain, and having taught English language in a rural school of Thailand, João was very tempted to accept the opportunity of doing his Master’s thesis placement in the wonderful town of Guildford, UK, fulfilling his eagerness of living abroad. After a meeting with Hugo and listening to what drives this company, João was fully convinced on joining the amazing team of Smart Separations. João works as a Product Developer Researcher, with the objective of improving the product manufacturing and taking it to a larger scale.



In September 2017 we welcomed Dr Roger Wise into the team, as Manufacturing Manager.

Manufacturing Manager | Roger Wise, PhD + MBA

Roger is a physicist with a PhD in materials science and an MBA.  Most of his career has been spent developing new ways to manufacture things using joining and assembly technology.  This has included laser welding of clothing, welding plastics to metals, and even welding pasta, and glass.  He has written a bestselling book on welding plastic (as ideal Christmas present).  He was also an Associate Director of TWI where he ran the Advanced Materials and Processes group for 7 years, driving it to profitability and growing it to a team of 50 people.  When not welding, he spent 3 years as engineering director of a VC funded start up developing novel ceramic antennas for the telecoms industry. In his spare time, Roger enjoys keeping fit by running and cycling, as well as river fishing for perch and tench.



In October 2017, we welcomed three new staff members: Dr Maggie Svensson as R&D Manager, Tomas Pereira as PhD student in collaboration with Lancaster University and Joana Santos as HR Manager. Get to know them below.

R&D Manager | Mozhgan (Maggie) Svensson, PhD

Dr. Mozhgan Svensson (Maggie) is currently R&D Manager at Smart Separations LTD, and has acquired 8 years of experience in Research and Development. She earned her Master’s degree in Organic Chemistry at Stockholm University and her PhD in Chemical Engineering at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. She spent one year as Postdoctoral researcher at the University of Surrey. She has been involved in preparation and development of mono and bimetallic catalysis for Fischer–Tropsch and Water gas shift reactions, fuel cell technology and water purification. She has developed a new polymer to improve the stability and performance of the electrodes used in seawater desalination. Her PhD thesis was dedicated to the development of two tar analysis methods for high temperature monitoring. Maggie is also Head of Product at Smart Separations Ltd, leading the Research team towards new and improved manufacturing methods.


PhD Researcher in Product Development | Tomás Pereira, PhD Student (Lancaster University)

Tomás is a PhD Researcher at SSL, in collaboration with Lancaster University. He has finished his Master’s degree at the New University of Lisbon, Portugal, where he studied Applied and Bio Organics Chemistry. This has provided him with core tools to work in research and development of new technologies and techniques. The lab environment is his comfort zone, but Tomás also likes being challenged to keep adding knowledge and experience to his portfolio. Throughout his Master Thesis and his internship, he started studying the influence of volatile organic compounds in the life of human beings. Here, his interest in improving the quality of the air we breathe began. He felt that his academic life wasn’t done yet and has moved to the UK, Lancaster, in 2017 to pursue his dream of adding value to science through innovation and help developing a technology that can change the world and reduce significantly the air pollution. Tomás his really passionate about chemistry, nature and conservation of the planet Earth. He found out that he shared these common goals with Smart Separations Ltd and he’s here to help put them forward!

HR Manager | Joana Santos

Joana is currently Project Manager at Triangle Community Services, a charity that provides services to the community, particularly the elderly and stroke survivors. Her background in Psychology, from the University of Fernando Pessoa in Porto (Portugal) has provided her with great interpersonal skills and a “people’s” person. Joana heads the Human Resources department at Smart Separations, where she is responsible for the interviewing, on-boarding, off-boarding and day-to-day HR requirements.



In November 2017, we have welcomed to the team our new Post-Doc, in collaboration with the University of Surrey, Dr Mohamed Karmaoui. Mohamed is working on our Innovate UK grant, looking into specialty coatings for our technology.

Our Amazing Team makes us who we are today! Please get to know the rest of the team below, if you haven’t yet:

Founder & CEO | Hugo Macedo, PhD

Hugo is the founder and CEO of Smart Separations Ltd, a start-up company that has developed a proprietary filter that can be tailored to suit many different applications in the poorly explored but very large microfiltration market, from biotechnology to food & drink processing. Throughout his PhD in Biomedical Engineering, Hugo was constantly challenged with new and diverse tasks, in a multidisciplinary environment, where he breathed skills from chemical engineering to stem cell technology, including membrane technology, hydrodynamics, stem cell culture and bioprocessing, human blood production, amongst many others. This provided him with the right tools to create the first “3D hollow fibre bioreactor for the production of human red blood cells” – a system design that he patented. This work was featured in different magazines, including the cover page of The Chemical Engineer (TCE) in 2011, selected as one of “Ten life-changing ideas under research at UK universities” by the Research Councils UK and shortlisted for the highly prestigious IChemE Awards in 2011. Hugo currently holds 5 patents and is passionate for innovation leading to improve people’s quality of life – a vision that he has shared with Smart Separations.

Operations Manager | David Apple, MBA

David brings over 11 years of experience working with start-ups and SMEs to Smart Separations. David is focused on optimizing the business side of Smart Separations including sales, marketing, alliances, HR, and finance. Prior to Smart Separations, David founded two companies and held management roles in two SMEs, most recently as VP Sales for Candex where he sold an enterprise HR solution. The two companies which David founded are Apple Sustainability (a sustainability consulting company) and Teleconnect (a telecom company which was acquired by a publicly traded French telecom company). David speaks English, French, and Spanish, has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from The Johns Hopkins University, and an Executive MBA from the Imperial College of London. More than all of this, David is the proud holder of the First Prize in the First Ping Pong Tournament of Smart Separations (2015)


Business & IP Manager | Quinton Fivelman, PhD

Quinton is an innovation and commercialisation strategy expert. He has a range of business development consultancy experience in start-up life science, biotech, IT and cleantech ventures. He has worked across government, business and the research community in several IP management and commercial due diligence roles. Quinton brings a wealth of expertise in technology market commercialisation and is responsible for guiding and managing innovation and IP strategies. He has a PhD in malaria genetics and drug combinations from LSHTM and an Honours degree in Pharmacology, Chemistry and Microbiology from the University of Cape Town, S. Africa. Quinton is providing his expert business advice as well as IP strategy of Smart Separations.



Smart Product Engineer | Joana Azevedo

Joana was born in Lisbon, Portugal, where she completed her Master’s degree in Engineering at the New University of Lisbon in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering. Having previously worked in a pharmaceutical company, Joana felt her place would be working for a company with high growth potential. She moved to Guildford, UK, in September 2015 for her ERASMUSe+ placement at SSL and the University of Surrey, and is now the technology expert at Smart Separations. Joana’s core tasks are to bring the company’s product development to the next level by researching new approaches and analytical tools that will facilitate product development and, ultimately, product manufacturing. Outside the work place, she used to collaborate with a non-profit association dedicated to sheltering of abandoned dogs, providing her affection and care. While helping to improve people’s quality of life through SSL’s technology, she finds time to dedicate to her favourite hobbies, exploring nature, new places and meeting people.

Smart Product Designer | Rodrigo Solorzano, MA

Rodrigo is a product designer born in Mexico in 1980. He studied Industrial Design at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. Rodrigo then moved to London to study a MA in Product Design at the Royal College of Art, graduating in 2008. In his design work Rodrigo seeks to engage users in a playful interaction with the object. His interest in creativity and play led him to design a range of interactive cardboard toys for children. Recently his work has crossed over into sculpture; experimentations with scale and materials have led him to produce simple and beautiful pieces that are based on geometrical abstractions of the world around us. Currently focusing on the animal world his pieces engage through their striking physical presence. Rodrigo has worked on projects with the likes of designer Ron Arad and his work has been auctioned by Pierre Berge & Associates. He has exhibited in Italy, the UK, France, the Netherlands, USA, Mexico and Japan and won one of the three Eindhoven Designhuis Best European Design Graduate Awards for 2008.

Business Admin | Sara Macedo

Sara is the business admin at Smart Separations. Born in the Algarve, Portugal, and surrounded by different languages and cultures, she has started working from a very early age on a restaurant, an opportunity to meet and interact with all of these cultures. This environment triggered very important skill sets that she now lends to Smart Separations. From a proactive thinking, good team player, performing well under pressure (worked in a very busy restaurant constantly short-staffed) to being a multitasker. She has moved to London in 2015, looking to apply these skills at a more challenging environment, which she has found at our company. She is currently studying for a Business Administration Apprenticeship at Tower Hamlets College, London, pursuing her objective to manage a day-to-day office. Sara takes care of all administration tasks at Smart Separations, from developing certain marketing materials, creating posters, leaflets, booklets, business cards, tidy up the workplace and, most of all, making sure the whole team is enjoying their work with the occasional Ping Pong tournament are important to maintain the core focus of the business.

Finally, we would not be where we are today if it wasn’t for the excellent Advisory Board that we have with us. These experts share amongst them over 120 years of experience in their relevant fields, which will be paramount for the success of our company . Please get to know them below. 


Academic Collaborator | University of Surrey (Prof Robert Slade & Prof David Watson)

The Surrey team is well equipped to undertake the intended work programme and has a strong pedigree in the development and application of new materials and technologies. The expertise of the associated senior researchers is complementary and forms a strong combined basis for project development and management. Prof Robert Slade (PI) leads research in energy, materials and nanochemistry (a team including academics, post-docs and PhD researchers). He is known internationally for research in inorganic materials and in energy-applied materials chemistry and devices. He led Surrey research under the EPSRC’s Supergen Energy Storage and Biological Fuel Cells consortia (leading the latter nationally) and is currently RCUK funded in the areas of biological fuel cells and of novel fuel vectors for energy production. Recent associated funding of Slade’s research totals ca. £2 million and that of the team exceeds £4 million. He has published >150 peer reviewed papers, and additional reviews and conference articles. He led Surrey research under 3 previous TSB contracts (2 in the energy area). Dr David Watson (CoI) is an early career researcher and Lecturer in Materials and Physical Chemistry. He has an active doctoral research group and collaborates with leading academics from all aspects of chemistry and other disciplines in the UK and abroad. His principle areas of scientific research are in heterogeneous catalysis and in photocatalytic materials, along with wider aspects of materials chemistry and applied electrochemistry. Heterogenisation is highly desirable to manufacturing industries due to the high-throughput, continuous operation and ease of separation afforded by such processes. He has so far published > 20 peer reviewed papers.


Scientific Advisory Board | Professor Bahman Amini Horri, PhD [University of Surrey]

Dr Bahman Amin Horri is an experienced lecturer at the Chemical and Process Engineering Department at the University of Surrey. He has a multidisciplinary research and engineering background dedicated to fuel cells, nanomaterial synthesis, and chemical process design and optimization. He is an active researcher in the field of solid oxide fuel cells, electrolysis, and nanomaterial synthesis, holding three US/European patents on innovative processes for nanomaterial synthesis and catalysis, and a number of high impact journal papers in ceramic fuel cells, material science, and engineering. He received his PhD in Chemical Engineering from Monash University (Australia) in 2012. Dr Horri is also a member of Institute of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) as a Chartered Engineer (CEng) and also as a Chartered Scientist (CSci). His research area is perfectly fit within the “Nanomaterials for Energy and Catalysis” theme, and in a broader aspect it is fully aligned with the multidisciplinary research theme “Advanced Materials, Devices and Nanotechnology” at the faculty of engineering and physical sciences at University of Surrey.

Scientific Advisory Board | Adam Land, PhD [Product Development Manager, JemTech UK]

Starting his career in 1998 as an Apprentice at Warwick Manufacturing Group, University of Warwick, Dr Adam Land has gathered over 19 years of experience in the field of Manufacturing Research and Development industry, including 5 years with the Manufacturing Technology Centre as Workshop Technology Manager. Working in such institutes gave him a broad knowledge of advanced manufacturing techniques from the application of Lasers and Additive Manufacturing to Automation and Metrology. However, the main focus of his research and skills has been based on Advanced Machining Technologies. Adam gained and applied experience in leading research and development projects which supported a variety of businesses, from large OEM’s to local SME’s, developing new techniques or applying emerging technologies. Most recently he has taken up the role of Product Development Manager, with Jemtech UK, leading the introduction of technologies for automated management of metalworking fluids to the industry. This has enabled him to apply his broader knowledge of process control and automation whilst still remaining involved in the industry sector which has defined his career.

Scientific Advisory Board | Professor Vasant Kumar, PhD [University of Cambridge]

Dr Kumar has obtained his PhD from McMaster University, Canada and B.Tech (Hons) from IIT-Bombay in Materials Science & Metallurgy. He is the Head of the Materials Chemistry Research Group and a Senior Academic in University of Cambridge. He is Fellow of Trinity Hall College in Cambridge and a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Mining and Metallurgy (IOM3). He has published over 230 papers, 12 patents, 4 Chapters in Handbooks and 1 edited book (High energy density Li batteries, Wiley-VCH 2010, also translated in Chinese, 2013, 2nd Edition in 2017). He has supervised over 35 PhD students, 25 post-doctoral researchers, over 20 visiting students and hosted 12 visiting professors. He is the Editor-in-Chief of IOM3 journal, “Mineral Processing & Extractive Metallurgy” from 2004 and a Board Member of IOM3’s Technical Division.  He has been conducting world leading research in materials chemistry reactions at the cutting edge of new applications within an ecological calculus. His research has helped advance new knowledge in materials chemistry with innovations in ionic sensors, batteries, fuel cells, electrolytic cells and photocatalytic-reactors.

Dr Kumar’s group has advanced a new metal–oxide photocatalyst composite material capable of absorbing both uv-visible light with reaction rates that are up to 2-orders of magnitude faster for disinfecting water and for destroying pollutants in air. A spin-out company (CamSES Ltd) has been set up to exploit the findings. A grant has been obtained to design a prototype for use in flood-hit regions and clean-water starved regions. This project received the DOW Sustainability Innovation Runners-up prize in 2012.  Mike Coto, as a PhD student (now RA) visited Tanzania to carry out trials with local community water used for drinking in 2016 and 2017. Dr Kumar is currently involved in using this photocatalytic system for disinfection of water, degradation of air pollutants in enclosed space and in the atmosphere, remediation of oil spills, disinfection applications and harnessing chemical reactions.

Scientific Advisory Board | Professor Alan Barrell, PhD [Cambridge Judge Business School]

After three score years and more than ten, Alan Barrell finds it hard to say “no” to innovation and entrepreneurial ideas which arrive in his life by all known communication means daily. Biologist with experience in NHS medical technology turned salesman turned businessman, entrepreneur, venture capitalist and labelled now “pracademic”, Alan is a champion of the next generation and the vision of A World Without Borders – through Education Without Borders and Open Innovation. Entrepreneur in Residence at the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning Judge Business School University of Cambridge, Visiting Professor at University of Sunderland and in China. His next generation work extends to Board Membership / shareholdings in four early stage health care companies and to being Chairman of Trustees of NACUE – National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs and advisor to Start Up Generation International and Youth Business China. In his spare time raises money for the charitable causes he supports. New book out July 2013 – co-authored with David Gill and Martin Rigby – “Show Me The Money – how to raise the money needed to get your business off the ground”. Knighted in Finland by the President there in 2012 for services to education – Knight First Class of the Order of the White Rose of Finland, having earlier been one of the first ten recipients of The Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion. Travels widely but always loves coming home to Cambridge.

 Scientific Advisory Board | David Tuch, PhD [Lightpoint Medical, CEO]

Dr. David Tuch is the Founder and CEO of Lightpoint Medical and Chairman of the Board of Directors. Dr. Tuch has more than 10 years of experience in the medical imaging and pharmaceutical sectors. Previously, he was Head of Research Alliances at GE Healthcare and Head of Clinical Imaging at Novartis. Before joining industry, Dr. Tuch served on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Radiology. He has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles in medical imaging. Dr. Tuch holds a PhD from MIT and Harvard Medical School, a BA from the University of Chicago, ad has completed executive education at INSEAD

Scientific Advisory Board | Ashley Toye, PhD [NHS-Blood & TRansplant, University of Bristol]

Dr Toye is currently Senior Lecturer in Erythrocyte Biology at the Department of Biochemistry and one of 17 Principal Investigators for NHSBT. His current laboratory consists of 1 Research Fellow, 2 postdocs, a research assistant and 3 PhD students. He holds several active grants (approx. £1.5 million over 5 years) to study erythrocyte biology, erythropoiesis and the culture of red blood cells. In 2013, Dr Toye was awarded the Race and Sanger prize by the British Blood Transfusion Society.


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