James Benham JBKnowledge

Tom Fitzpatrick


Construction News

Tom Fitzpatrick is the editor of Construction News, where he is responsible for CN’s online content and weekly magazine, as well as launching campaigns, developing new events and industry partnerships. He is a regular commentator on national TV and radio and has appeared on the Today programme and BBC and ITV news as a construction industry expert.
In his time as editor, Tom launched the award-winning Mind Matters mental health and Inspire Me gender diversity campaigns on CN, including launching new events across the UK. Recent awards have included winning Best Magazine 2018 at the International Building Press awards and Best Campaign by mental health charity, Mind, in 2017.

William George CFO of Comfort Systems USA

William George


Comfort Systems USA

William George, age 53, has served as Comfort Systems USA’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since May 2005. In addition to being CFO, Mr. George leads the acquisition program and is a Regional Vice President. Mr. George was Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary from May 1998 to May 2005. From September 1992 to September 1995, Mr. George practiced corporate and antitrust law at Ropes & Gray, a Boston, Massachusetts law firm. Mr. George is a graduate of Brigham Young University and Harvard Law School.

Charles Lovatt University of St Andrews

Charles Lovatt

Senior Teaching Fellow

University of St Andrews

Charles is the Senior Teaching Fellow in Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Creativity at the University of St Andrews. Prior to entering academia, Charles was a successful entrepreneur. His commercial interests reflect a life-long love of music and fascination with technology. He has founded, or co-founded, over a dozen businesses – two of which became market leaders and continue trading today. Charles has been involved with entrepreneurship education since 2004. His academic interests include strategy, innovation, technology, business development and enterprise history in the Creative Industries. Charles is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts where he is active in the Media, Creative Industries, Culture and Heritage Network group based in Edinburgh.

Oliver Novakovic Barratt Developments PLC

Oliver Novakovic

Technical & Innovation Director

Barratt Developments PLC


Oliver has been involved with innovation in the construction sector for over 20 years, working in product development, application, and cultural change management. As a young engineer, Oliver patented a foam injected whole house solution, which became the widely used Space4 system. Oliver has also worked for the BRE as a Board Director, working on the Green House on BRE’s innovation park. Leading a team that has assessed 100 innovations in the last 2 years, Oliver’s role at Barratt is to assess and initiate innovation across the business, including integrating offsite methods of construction and delivering BIM.

Michael Pearson DSA Technologies

Michael Pearson


DSA Technologies

Michael Pearson has been with DSA since it was founded in 1991. DSA Technologies has had consistent growth and been an early provider of cloud (IaaS) and ITaaS (IT as a Service) to its clients. Michael has a desire to provide IT services for DSA’s clients that is both first class and a clear change from what they have experienced IT to be in the past. Whether purchasing products or working with the DSA Services teams, his goal is to make sure it is not the same old IT experience.

James Benham JBKnowledge

P. Michael Pelken

Innovation Director – Research & Development

Keltbray Group

Group. The position has been created to help capture, harness and promote Research & Development across the business, leading to winning the 2019 Construction News Specialists Innovation Award of the year. He has over 20 years of industry and practice experience working on projects ranging from industrial design to large scale architectural structures and has practiced in Germany, Italy, the UK, USA and China. Following academic appointments including a tenured Professorship at Syracuse University New York, Visiting Professorships at Nanjing and Southeast University, Michael is a Senior Associate at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. In close collaboration with colleagues from across the group he has secured grant funded Innovate UK project values of £1.1m, and is co-inventor of three pending Keltbray patents.

Oliver Novakovic Barratt Developments PLC

Linda Smart

Chief Information Officer

Southland Industries

As Chief Information Officer of Southland Industries, Linda Smart creates and implements information technology functions that are integral to the organization’s business needs and help strengthen technology infrastructure, business capabilities, security measures, and customer accessibility. With over 25 years of experience in all aspects of IT management serving in multiple senior management global roles, Linda has a thorough understanding of information technology functions. She is also active in the community as co-chair of the University of California ICS/Engineering Diversity Committee and was instrumental in launching a mentorship program for female UCI students majoring in computer science and engineering.


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