The team


We understand the difficulties starting and running an innovative technology business – having to stay one step ahead of the competition.

Each member of our commercial team has considerable experience in their field, and combined, we have the energy, connections, and perseverance to help you succeed.

Aghlab Al-Attili – Web Manager

Aghlab is the Edinburgh-Stanford Link’s website manager. He is responsible for the Link’s online presence through the ES Link portal, the Link’s commercial site and the interactive tech- entrepreneurship student site, which supports the Link’s technology entrepreneurship courses. He also provides software interfaces and designs for the Link’s demonstrations and prototypes.

Aghlab was previously a Graphic Design Consultant for where he was responsible for laying out design strategies and concepts. Prior to this he worked as a graphic design team leader in the same company. He began his career as a trainee architect in Spain where he worked with “Juan Bautista Flores Constucciones” on urban planning projects like urbanización de Gorraiz.

Aghlab is also studying for his PhD in architectural computing at the University of Edinburgh where he has studied and taught since 2001. He graduated from Jordan University, Amman, in 2001 with a BSc in Architectural Engineering, and from the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, in 2002 with an MSc in Design and Digital Media.

Aghlab is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Arab Society for Computer Aided Architectural Design (ASCAAD), and is a registered architect by Jordan Engineers Association.

Laura Belfield – ERDF Project Manager


Laura has recently joined the Edinburgh–Stanford Link team as the ERDF project administrator to work with Danny Helson on the newly awarded ERDF (European Regional Development Funding) grant. She is involved in close monitoring of the ERDF budget including the preparation and submission of the ERDF quarterly claims, and consequently the financial audits.

Laura has a background in finance and administration. Most recently she worked in the Research Funds Department of The British Heart Foundation in London, coordinating the control and distribution of public money, awarded via specialised Committees, for heart research at scientific institutes across the UK. Prior to this Laura spent time at the head office of Balfour Beatty Rail Infrastructure Services Ltd, Network Rail and Egg plc.

Laura holds a BSc in Animal Science from University of Leeds.

George Bett – Senior Developer


George is a Senior Programmer with the Edinburgh- Stanford Link, having joined in late 2004. He offers software development assistance to researchers and companies, and creates demonstrations and prototypes showcasing our latest research.

He was previously Senior Analyst Programmer at Bibliocraft, where he headed up a team of developers. During this time George successfully migrated the company’s development environment from Windows to Linux and was responsible for the redesign of the company’s entire IT infrastructure.

Prior to this George worked on a number of development projects, from satellite set top box technology with leading software developers Bitwise, to mobile phone game development with venture capital-backed mobile entertainment company Digital Bridges.

He began his career as a control systems Project Engineer on various large projects including with Scottish Equitable, the Scottish Widows headquarters, and Perpetual Park in Henley-on- Thames.

George graduated from Napier University in 1994 with a BEng (Hons) in Energy Engineering.

Margaret Caddick – Senior Secretary


Margaret is a senior secretary in the School of Informatics and the majority of her responsibilities since August 2005 involve support to the Commercial Team of the Edinburgh-Stanford Link. She deals with organising travel and accommodation for the team as well as for visitors to the University, assisting with organization of meetings and hospitality and any other secretarial and administrative requirements of the team.

Margaret has worked in the education sector for many years as a secretary and has been with the University of Edinburgh for 5 years, being with the School of Education before joining Informatics. Prior to this she worked for the Scottish Council for Research in Education and also with an Edinburgh further education college.

Ray Carrick – Software Architect

Ray Carrick is seconded full-time to manage the mPOD (multi-lingual personalised object description) project, funded by the Scottish Enterprise Proof of Concept scheme. The project will develop software to produce personalised object descriptions based on user profiling and historical browsing context, utilising innovative natural language generation techniques.

Prior to this Ray worked for Datanautics Ltd (previously Accrue Ltd) as a senior software developer to design and develop a high-end web analytics product used by clients including Citibank, Kodak and Macy’s to produce visitor behaviour modelling and website performance analysis.

Before this, he spent ten years as the system development manager for the Dictionaries Division of HarperCollins Publishers. Here he was responsible for the introduction and development of IT strategy and during this time worked on high volume multilingual text corpora, XML editing tools and innovative straight-to-plate printing technologies. In addition, he jointly developed a best-selling style of bilingual dictionary.

Ray holds a BSc in Computational Science from St. Andrews University, where he has worked as both a computer science researcher and university computing manager.

Mike Clouser – Associate

Mike is an Associate with the Edinburgh-Stanford Link, which he joined in mid-2004. He runs the Link’s Tech Entrepreneur courses, manages the Link’s company-student intern programmes, and hosts several networking events throughout the year.

Mike’s teaching background and experience includes entrepreneurship and management courses at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, and management courses for eCornell, a spinout of Cornell University.

Previously he worked for Silicon Valley venture capital firm Dot.Edu Ventures, whose academic founders were early investors in Google. At Dot.Edu he sourced seed funding deals and arranged follow- on rounds. Mike also served as CEO of Cornell- based Student Agencies Inc., during which time he helped incubate six companies, including Blackboard (IPO’d) and Jump, which was bought by Microsoft.

Mike’s entrepreneurship experience includes founding four companies (research and software) and he also serves as advisor to Pardee Games a US-based games company that designs and markets the CHEBACHE range of board and online games.

Fun fact about Mike; while growing up he was the state champion for clay shooting. His favorite gun was his Ruger with a custom buttstock on it. He still walks around the office talking about this. So if you ever see make sure you don’t bring it up, because he won’t stop talking once you get him started.

Mike holds an MBA and BSc, both from Cornell University. Currently he is pursuing his PH.D. in entrepreneurship and innovation from the School of Management and Economics at the University of Edinburgh.

Sue Fitt – Senior Developer

Sue Fitt is seconded full-time to manage the Festival Lexicon development project, funded by the Scottish Enterprise Proof of Concept scheme. Her work includes developing a new lexicon for use with the Festival speech synthesiser, which will enable the system to include regional and international varieties of English.

Sue previously worked for Rhetorical Systems, a leading speech synthesis company spun-out from the University of Edinburgh in mid-2000 and sold recently to US-based Scansoft. At Rhetorical she was responsible for developing the English pronunciation lexicons, which were based on the Unisyn lexical system she first developed at the University of Edinburgh.

Prior to Rhetorical, Sue was based at the university’s Centre for Speech Technology research (CSTR), where she worked on various lexicon development projects, including the Unisyn lexicon licensed by Rhetorical, and RP pronunciation lexicons for Chambers and France Telecom. Before joining CSTR, she spent time in Japan teaching English through the JET program.

Sue has a BA in Linguistics from Reading University and a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Edinburgh.

Danny Helson – Senior Executive

Danny is the commercial executive with the Edinburgh-Stanford Link, which he joined in early 2006 to oversee the Link’s ERDF-funded activities in Scotland. The Link was awarded additional funding from ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) to help companies in Scotland’s less affluent areas access its world-class research and strategic R&D expertise.

Danny has almost 20 years of sales experience in both the UK and Australia. He began his career with Nestle UK, first as a Territory Manager and later as Area Sales Manager. During his 12 years with Nestle he spent time at the company’s National Training Centre where he taught negotiating skills, personal skills and advanced selling skills.

In 1995 Danny relocated to Perth, Australia, where he became Sales and Distribution Manager of a national food group, before joining American Greetings. Since returning to Scotland, Danny has completed an MBA at Edinburgh Business School, taking electives in small business and strategy. He also works on a voluntarily basis with a number of small not-for-profit community groups, helping with business planning issues and strategy.

John Lee – Academic Coordinator

John is the Academic co-ordinator of the Edinburgh- Stanford Link, which he joined in mid-2002. He also serves as the academic supervisor of the Link’s tech entrepreneurship courses.

John is a career research academic and has been teaching at the University of Edinburgh for over 20 years. His background features extensive research into learning technology, and digital design and communication. He is also the project investigator on a Link-funded research project.

John splits his time between the Human Communication Research Centre (HCRC), where he is Deputy Director, and the School of Arts, Culture and Environment, where he is a Senior Lecturer and holds the post of Programme Director of the highly successful MSc in Design and Digital Media.

Dr Lee holds MA and PhD degrees from the University of Edinburgh.

Nick Wright – Commercial Director

Nick is the Commercial Director of the Link, where he oversees investment, commercialization and partnering activities. He is also the commercial lead for all human-computer interaction (HCI) technology at the University of Edinburgh, and is founder of the Link’s tech entrepreneurship courses.

Nick previously established the technology research at a small Oxford-based business research consultancy, during which time he worked with the founders of ARM Holdings to identify partnering opportunities and also edited an annual technology supplement for The Sunday Times.

He began his career with Financial Times when he joined and later ran China’s first foreign Internet joint venture, reporting to Hong Kong and London. Upon returning to the UK as a private consultant he helped assess the FT Group’s Internet strategy in the Far East, before working for a publishing start- up in London and an Internet incubator headquartered in Amsterdam.

Nick holds advisory positions with GP Capital (now GP Bullhound), a boutique investment bank for technology, media and telecoms companies, and UnLtd Ventures, a £100m social entrepreneurship fund. Nick has a BSc from the London School of Economics and an Advanced Diploma in Computing from the University of Oxford.