The Cerca team

The University of Nottingham’s Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre, working alongside industrial partners Magnetic Shields Limited (MSL) brings together experienced business leadership with world-leading scientists.

Leadership

David Woolger

CEO

David Woolger

Cerca is led by David Woolger. David is an experienced business leader; he is currently Managing Director of MSL where he has successfully doubled turnover and tripled EBITDA in the last five years.

Prior to this David worked at Deloitte as Management Consultant for 9 years. He is a CIMA qualified accountant, and his standing in the UK quantum technologies community is well recognised, for example by his membership of the UK Quantum ATEP Board.

Dr. Elena Boto

Chief Technology Officer

Dr. Elena Boto

Dr. Elena Boto is a co-founder and Cerca’s chief technology officer. Elena is an award-winning physicist who has been working with next-generation human imaging since 2014.

Elena has been the lead author on many of the seminal papers which have led to the neuroscience community considering wearable technology as a viable alternative to the current state of the art. Elena was originally trained in physics at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, and has a Ph.D. in Physics from UoN.

Prof. Matthew Brookes

Chairman

Prof. Matthew Brookes

Prof. Matt Brookes is the non-executive chairman of the Cerca board. Matt is recognised globally for his work in the field of human neuroimaging with over 120 peer reviewed publications.

For nearly 20 years his pioneering work has helped to transform this field with seminal contributions in the areas of hardware development, mathematical modelling and measurement of connectivity. His most recent work has been on the applications of quantum technologies to electrophysiological brain imaging.

Dr. Niall Holmes

Scientific Advisor

Dr. Niall Holmes

Dr. Niall Holmes is a co-founder and scientific advisor to Cerca. Niall has been developing hardware and techniques to enable wearable neuroimaging since 2016 and is the lead author on papers describing electromagnetic coil systems which have been commercialised and sold internationally.

His work led to an award recognising Niall as one of the top young electronics engineers in the country. He was trained in Medical Physics at UoN, where he also obtained his Ph.D.

Dr. Ryan Hill

Scientific Advisor

Dr. Ryan Hill

Dr. Ryan Hill is a co-founder and a scientific advisor to Cerca. He has been working with OPMs since 2017, helping to develop hardware and techniques for wearable neuroimaging. His work on a generic neuroimaging system with lifespan compliance was listed as one of Physics World’s “Top 10 Breakthroughs of the Year” in 2019.

He is also the lead author on the first demonstration of an OPM-MEG system with whole head coverage. Ryan achieved his Master’s degree in Physics and Ph.D from UoN.

Operations

Eliot Dawson

Operations Manager

Eliot Dawson

Eliot Dawson is Cerca’s Operations Manager, after spending over two years as MSL’s R&D Manager. Prior to this he worked as a line manager for an international logistics company. Whilst at MSL, Eliot was actively involved in both the development and installations of all of their OPM-optimised shielded rooms.

He brings that knowledge, including extensive experience of the critical degaussing setup, to Cerca. Eliot has a Master’s in Physics with Nanotechnology from the University of Leeds.

Christopher Mariani

Special Projects Manager

Christopher Mariani

Chris Mariani is Cerca’s Special Projects Manager. Chris brings experience from the defence and oil and gas sectors with ICE technology development and pipeline design and development. 

Chris has complimentary experience of starting and growing a UK-based SME and of product and process optimisation and commercialisation. Chris has a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from UoN.

Scientists and Engineers

Frank Worcester

Engineering Team Leader

Frank Worcester

Frank Worcester is an award-winning engineering team lead and design engineer at Cerca. He has been working for Cerca since 2021, helping to design mechanical products for wearable neuroimaging. These include having a hand in, if not outright designing, the patient support, every helmet and every ancillary mechanical component. 

Prior to this Frank worked at 3M/ Kindeva Drug Delivery Devices as a Design Engineer, mainly focused on inhalation products and NPD activities.

Molly Rea

Senior Scientist

Molly Rea

Dr. Molly Rea is one of Cerca’s senior scientists. Molly has been working with OPM-MEG since 2018, using the latest coil and sensor developments to create a more naturalistic scanning environment for wearable neuroimaging. Molly brings her expertise in both background field control techniques and multi-channel OPM systems to Cerca, to drive delivery of the cMEG system; from assembly in-house to installation on-site, and providing ongoing support to our users.

Molly is trained in Physics, having completed her Master’s degree at UoN, where she also obtained her Ph.D. in Biomedical Imaging via a Doctoral Training Program in collaboration with Oxford University.

Edgars Kelmers

Mechanical Engineer

Edgars Kelmers

Dr Edgars Kelmers is Cerca’s Mechanical Engineer. Edgar is responsible for new product development and ensuring the safety of the Cerca system. He brings expertise in mechanical testing and prototyping by performing computational FEA modelling and validation with physical experiments. 

Prior to this Edgar worked in the medical industry as a Test Engineer at the DePuy Synthes (part of the Johnson &Johnson group). He also obtained his PhD at the University of Leeds, where he invented the next generation of smart knee implants.

Holly Schofield

Scientific Researcher

Holly Schofield

Holly is a scientific researcher at Cerca, undertaking a PhD at the University of Nottingham in parallel. Her research is focused on demonstrating and validating novel OPM-MEG hardware, and she has been involved in multiple successful installations of Cerca systems worldwide since joining in 2022. 

She was trained in Physics at the University of Nottingham, where she obtained her Master’s degree in Physics.

Ashley Tyler

Senior Scientist

Ashley Tyler

Dr Ashley Tyler is a Senior Scientist at Cerca , joining in 2023. Ashley brings a range of technical skills to the team having previously completed a PhD at the University of Nottingham focusing on the development of a magnetic field sensor utilising quantum sensors in diamond. Currently, his role includes the development of a phantom device to enable the performance of the Cerca OPM MEG system to be validated. Ashley has also been involved in the delivery of multiple Cerca systems around the world as well as providing ongoing support for customers.  

Prior to joining Cerca, Ashley held a position as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Nottingham where he continued to develop diamond-based quantum sensing hardware and techniques.  

Zoe Tanner

Scientific Researcher

Zoe Tanner

Zoe is a scientific researcher at Cerca , simultaneously pursuing her PhD at the University of Nottingham. Having previously graduated from Nottingham with a master’s degree in Physics, her role at Cerca involves testing and validating the next-generation of OPM-MEG systems to demonstrate comparability with and advantages over existing MEG systems.

As well as the research side of her role,  Zoe is involved in installing our OPM-MEG systems as well supporting customers.

Technicians

Tyler Hayward

Technician

Tyler Hayward

Before joining Cerca in 2023, Tyler studied Draughting at the Academic Institute of Excellence in South Africa. His role involves CAD and prototyping, 3D printing, as well as room and system installation.

Consultants

Ella Crowther

Marketing and Communications

Ella Crowther

Ella Crowther is Cerca's Marketing and Communications Consultant, managing and publishing content on the website and social media channels. She also produces the quarterly newsletter.

Ella also works for the University of Nottingham Energy Institute as a senior research administrator, managing the digital channels and organising workshops, networking events and large-scale conferences.

Lukas Rier

Software Consultant

Lukas Rier

After working alongside the Cerca team during his PhD and postdoctoral research at the University of Nottingham, Lukas' role at Cerca involves developing user-friendly tools to streamline OPM-MEG data analysis.

Advisory Board

Christopher Mariani

Lead Engineer

Chris Mariani

Chris Mariani is Cerca's Lead Engineer. Chris has experience in a variety of mechanical engineering fields across a range of sectors, including oil and gas, automotive and military applications. Chris worked at MSL as Special Projects Manager working on OPM-optimised shielded room projects and tenders as well as infrastructural set-up and improvements.

Chris's background provides experience in stress analysis, design, manufacturing, R&D and project management. He received his master’s in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nottingham.

Frank Worcester

Design Engineer

Frank Worcester

Frank Worcester is Cerca's

Allan Park

Operations Analyst

Allan Park

Allan Park is Cerca's

Lisa Hayward

Office Manager

Lisa Hayward

Lisa Hayward is Cerca's

Dr. Molly Rae

Senior Scientific Researcher

Dr. Molly Rae

Dr. Molly Rae is Cerca's

Holly Schofield

Scientific Researcher

Holly Schofield

Holly Schofield is Cerca's

Prof. Richard Bowtell

Advisory Board

Prof. Richard Bowtell

Professor Richard  Bowtell will chair Cerca’s Advisory Board.  Richard is the Director of the Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre at  the University of Nottingham and served as the Head of the School of Physics  and Astronomy from 2008-2014.

He has more than 35 years’ experience of developing novel biomedical imaging systems, with a particular interest in  electromagnetic coil design. Richard is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics  and of the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and is  Past President of the European Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and  Biology.

Rosemarie Pardington

Advisory Board

Rosemarie Pardington

Rosemarie Pardington is Director of Integrated Care at Young Epilepsy and will be a part of Cerca’s Advisory Board.

Rosemarie has over 30 years of experience working at a senior level in the Health & Social Care profession, both in the public and voluntary sector.  Rosemarie’s role brings leadership and responsibility for all aspects of health, research and residential operations at Young Epilepsy. Rosemarie will provide insight and guidance to the Cerca Magnetics team on the application of the technology especially in relation to children and young adults with Epilepsy.  She has also been part of the team responsible for enabling the new room to be installed at Lingfield, Surrey

Margot Taylor

Advisory Board

Margot Taylor

Dr. Margot Taylor received her doctorate from McGill and in 1981 was recruited to SickKids in Neurology as Director of Evoked Potential Labs. In this position, she established a wide range of clinical and research applications of evoked and event-related potentials in paediatrics. She moved to Toulouse, France in 1998 as Directeur de Recherche, CNRS. Taylor was recruited back to SickKids in 2004, as Director of Functional Neuroimaging in Diagnostic Imaging.

Her research centres on the use of MEG, fMRI and MRI to understand the neural bases of cognitive development and includes clinical populations, such as youth with autism and very preterm-born children. Margot will provide insight and guidance to the Cerca Magnetics team on the application of the technology especially in relation to children.
Please note, the Cerca OPM-MEG System is offered as a research system, it does not have any medical or regulatory approvals in any jurisdiction.