Our Team

XAMPLA IS A SPIN-OUT FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE. 

The team is the world leader in the development of plant protein material for commercial application.

SIMON HOMBERSLEY, CEO

SIMON HOMBERSLEY, CEO

CEO Simon Hombersley is an experienced technology entrepreneur, with a track record in using technology to solve environmental problems.  He is the former CEO of Oxford Flow, an energy reducing valve technology spin-out from Oxford University.  He is the former Chairman of photovoltaics start-up TwentyNinety.  He has previously worked with KCL, and he co-founded Lontra, an award-winning engineering business developing an energy efficient compressor.

DR MARC RODRIGUEZ GARCIA

DR MARC RODRIGUEZ GARCIA, HEAD OF RESEARCH

Dr Marc Rodriguez Garcia leads Xampla’s technical development work, having developed the technology with Professor Knowles as a Research Associate over several years.  Hereceived his PhD from the University of Glasgow.  His  expertise is in the use of protein in microencapsulation and other structured materials.

LAURA LAWRENCE, CFO

Laura joins as Chief Financial Officer from ip.access where she was CFO for three years, and Finance Director prior to this. At ip.access she oversaw its successful sale to Mavenir Systems, bringing significant financial expertise to Xampla as it develops its commerciality.

ANNE JACOBS, RESEARCH SCIENTIST

Xampla’s Royal Society of Chemistry sponsored intern in summer 2020, Anne continues to work with the company whilst undertaking a Masters with the Knowles Group at the University of Cambridge. She is a former researcher at Radboud University, where she specialised in microfluidics.

AYAKA KAMADA

AYAKA KAMADA, RESEARCH SCIENTIST

Ayaka is a protein scientist, completing her PhD in the Knowles Group at the University of Cambridge. She has previously worked at KTH in Sweden, and completed a Masters in biomaterials at the University of Tokyo.

DR AMY CHARBONNEAU

DR AMY CHARBONNEAU, RESEARCH MANAGER

Dr Amy Charbonneau leads on Research Management, having joined the company from Entomics, a start-up developing sustainable insects for feed. Amy has a PhD in microbiology from the University of Cambridge.

ALINA DUMITRU – RESEARCH ASSISTANT

Alina has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College London, where she investigated surface chemistry in pharma formulations, with AstraZeneca.   She previously worked for AstraZeneca in Pharma Technology and Development, and was previously a Research Assistant at the University of Greenwich.

BHAVIN THAKKAR

BHAVIN THAKKAR

Bhavin gained a Masters in Chemical Process Engineering from University College London.  Most recently working for Chip(s) Board Ltd, Bhavin specialised in repurposing potato waste into bioplastics by innovating sustainable products and processes. 

FAYE HADDADI-TEHRANIAN

FAYE HADDADI-TEHRANIAN

Faye gained experience working as an HR generalist for small cells company, ip.access, she then broadened her experience in the HR field by moving to Mavenir.  Faye has a Diploma in HR Management and a commitment to Xampla’s mission to address plastic pollution. 

GARETH HENNIGHAN

GARETH HENNIGHAN, LAB MANAGER

Gareth has over 30 years’ experience managing labs in innovation. He has previously worked at Cambridge microencapsulation spin-out Aqdot, and worked with materials scientists at Semblant, developing film coatings for electronic devices.

DR GEORGIOS GKOTSIS

DR GEORGIOS GKOTSIS, MATERIALS SCIENTIST

With a PhD in Chemical Engineering, Georgios has built a career in the personal care sector. He worked in new technology at Unilever Global Haircare R&D, and also worked on sustainable packaging. During his PhD he worked with Proctor and Gamble R&D.

HUGO BARROUX

HUGO BARROUX, MATERIALS SCIENTIST

Hugo Barroux is an experienced Materials Scientist who joins Xampla from Unilever, where he specialised in new materials and technologies for packaging. He previously worked at L’Oreal’s Center for Expertise Packaging, and has an engineering degree from the Université De Technologie de Troyes.

JESS FLEMING, RESEARCH SCIENTIST

Jess is undertaking a PhD at the University of Cambridge, having completed a Chemistry degree at the University of Oxford. She is a BP scholar, and has previously worked at Unilever in haircare.

DR JACK CORDREY

DR JACK CORDREY, JUNIOR CHEMICAL ENGINEER

Dr Jack Cordrey is a Chemical Engineer with a focus on process design.  He is a former Research Process Engineer at start-up Exactmer, and completed his PhD at Imperial College.

DR JULIETTE DELARUE

DR JULIETTE DELARUE

With a PhD in Chemical Engineering, Juliette has a wealth of experience in microencapsulation, further developed during her internship at Firmenich.  Juliette spent time with Symrise where she researched synthetic pathways to obtain new molecules to match the smelling profile of fine fragrances, and developed formulations and sensory tests for home and personal care applications.

DR JAMES TAYLOR

DR JAMES TAYLOR, SENIOR RESEARCH SCIENTIST

Dr James Taylor is a Physical Organic Chemist who joins Xampla from a post-doc role at Radboud University in The Netherlands. He has a PhD from the University of Glasgow and his expertise is at the interface of biology and engineering.

JAMES COX – MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTANT

James is a Management Accountant with over a decade of experience in accountancy and is AAT and part CIMA qualified. James holds a degree from the University of Nottingham which included a year spent studying in the USA.

LEO BIANCHI – HEAD OF PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

Leo joins Xampla as Head of Product Development from Pladis Global, makers of McVitie’s, where he was UK & Europe Head of Packaging. Prior to this he worked at Burton’s Biscuits as Head of Packaging, and led R&D efforts and product developments at Unilever for more than 19 years across both Food and Personal care categories.

LYNETTE HOLLAND

LYNETTE HOLLAND, PRINCIPAL MICROENCAPSULATION SCIENTIST

Lynette Holland has over 20 years experience at Procter & Gamble in Research & Development, with over 30 patent filings. She is both a Chartered Chemical Engineer and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. She has developed products in laundry, personal care and fragrances with particular expertise in microencapsulation delivery systems

NIGEL SOMERVILLE-ROBERTS, PRINCIPAL PROCESS ENGINEER

Nigel was a Principal Engineer and Research Fellow at Procter and Gamble, working on process engineering for detergent products. He is a visiting academic in the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering at the University of Leeds, and has an extensive patent portfolio.

DR POLLY KEEN

DR POLLY KEEN, CHEMICAL ENGINEER

Dr Polly Keen is a Chemical Engineer with expertise developed at 3M in coated abrasive product development, in industrial and automotive applications. She has a PhD in Colloid Science from the University of Cambridge and a background in encapsulation.

SCOTT STEVENS

SCOTT STEVENS

With an MSci in Chemistry, Scott developed a career as a Research Scientist at aerospace company, Hexcel Composites Ltd where he managed projects on infusion resin systems and Resin Transfer Moulding techniques. 

STEPHEN NICHOLLS – APPLICATIONS SCIENTIST

Stephen gained a wealth of experience as an Engineer in his extensive career with Hexcel Composites.  Stephen brings with him that knowledge and expertise to support the R&D team in material research and characterisation studies. 

WOULD YOU LIKE TO JOIN THIS TEAM?

Xampla is recruiting.  Current roles include senior managers, research scientists and a business development role.  See the team introducing the company here. For details of roles, please contact faye@xampla.com 


Xampla Non-Exec Directors

Jeff Seabright, Xampla Chair

Jeff Seabright, Chair

Chair Jeff Seabright is the former Chief Sustainability Officer of Unilever, one of the biggest jobs in corporate sustainability.  He was VP of Environment and Water Resources, and previously worked in roles in the US government, including leading the Clinton White House Task Force on Climate Change.

Amelia Armour

Amelia Armour is a Partner at Amadeus Capital Partners, and is a board member of several deep tech businesses including Pragraf and Riverlane.

Bart Swanson

Bart Swanson is an Advisor at Horizons Ventures, the private investment fund of Mr Li Ka-Shing.  He is a board member of multiple disruptive technology businesses, including Zoom and Impossible Foods.

Dr Elaine Loukes

Elaine Loukes is Investment Director at Cambridge Enterprise, and has a 20 year track record in venture capital.

Professor Tuomas Knowles, CSO, Xampla

PROFESSOR TUOMAS KNOWLES, SCIENTIFIC ADVISER

Prof. Tuomas Knowles is the co-founder of two Cambridge University spin-outs (Fluidic Analytics and Wren Therapeutics). He has held positions in the Engineering Department both in Cambridge and Harvard Universities. Professor Knowles has received a number of distinguished awards, including the Corday-Morgan Prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Raymond and Beverly Sackler International Prize in Biophysics.