Meet the Team

We are an agile technology innovation team with expertise in rapid prototyping, agile development and participatory action research. The Clasp core research team (Maria Angela Ferrario – team lead and Will Simm – technical lead) is flexible and well connected, so can quickly reconfigure to bring in additional diverse expertise into the team as required including: clinical psychology, chemistry, design  as well as health practitioners. Both the core team and Clasp project PI, Jon Whittle, are based at the School of Computing and Communications (SCC). The team has many years experience working together in research partnership with end-users, communities, practitioners, businesses and cultural organisations in projects such as Catalyst.

Team Lead: Dr Maria Angela Ferrario, Lecturer, Research Fellow.
mafMaria Angela has a diverse background including computing, design, social psychology and philosophy. She is a technology innovation specialist and an experienced project manager both within and outside academia. Over the years she developed and applied an agile and participatory innovation management framework to several domains including renewable energy forecasting, mental health and public spaces safety-perception.

Technical Lead: Dr Will Simm, Senior Research Associate.
Will is a digital innovator with over ten years experience taking an agile, participatory approach to designing technologies. His strengths are in prototype engineering and user experience development, but with skills that run much more broadly across the technology life-cycle. Will takes a specific interest in how personal data is treated by devices, services, governments and corporations, and the impact of new technologies.

Principal Investigator: Prof Jon Whittle
bio_pic_jonJon is a Professor in the School of Computing and Communications.He is interested in using digital technologies to break down barriers and has worked on a number of digital innovation projects, for example, crowdsourcing local opinions on public safety (, serendipity in the digital world (, and digital technologies for managing work/life balance (

Dr Stephen Forshaw, Research Associate, LICA.
bio_pic_steveStephen is formerly a Research Associate on the Catalyst project and a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts. He has a number of specialities, including graphic and product design. Stephen, after a long career in the construction businesses, joined academia and has recently completed his PhD research at the Highwire Doctoral Training Centre.

Adrian Gradinar, PhD Candidate, Creative Exchange Hub, LICA
adrianAdrian’s expertise includes mobile and web application development and physical digital technology design. His main research area lies within the Digital Public Space and how the emergence of the Internet of Things, and connected objects, will change people’s perception of what the Digital Public Space is. In particular he is looking at how the Internet of Things could bring ideas of legibility, tangibility and physicality to the current notion of Digital Public Space.

Also in 'About Clasp'