Our company

Spiro Control is an agile technology firm with vast expertise in process optimisation and process control. The company has built a strong reputation for building technology that is easy for customers to use and maintain, yet delivers a robust solution capable of tackling the most complex applications. Our continuous investment in R&D helps us to stay innovative and to stand out from our competitors.

Our people

Our team is made up of expert process control engineers, skilled developers, visionary business development people and everything in between.

Patrick Thorpe

Dr. Patrick Thorpe

Managing Director

Patrick has a career that spans more than 25 years working in industrial process control. He has specialist knowledge in the application of advanced process control to ethylene production and gas processing. He has also worked in a diverse range of industries including food, mining, energy, chemicals and polymers.

Patrick trained as an application engineer with Exxon Chemical before moving to Predictive Control where he was involved in product development and application. Foxboro subsequently acquired Predictive Control’s technology and he led the integration with Foxboro’s distributed control system. He has also worked as an advisor with Aspen Technology.

Prior to founding Spiro Control, Patrick co-founded Aptitude, a technology leader in advanced process control. In the role of operations director, he built a team of engineers located in the UK and India, leading the development of a commercial system identification software. Patrick holds a PhD in Chemical Engineer from Loughborough University.

Shabroz Gill

Shabroz Gill

Lead Developer

Shabroz holds a B.Tech in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, one of the most elite and prestigious universities in India. He has been working in the field of process modelling and control since 2006.

Shabroz has developed algorithms and software to support numerous aspects of control engineering. Most significantly he has led projects on automatic tuning of PID controllers, model identification of industrial processes and model predictive control algorithms. He is a named author on three publications about automation and control.

Shabroz has extensive programming experience in C++, C#, Python, IEC 61131-3 programming languages and Matlab. He also has detailed knowledge of communication protocols including OPC and MODBUS. He has built two commercial software products from conception to commercialisation, including research, architecture, object oriented implementation, unit testing, profiling and support of the software.

Brian Neve

Brian Neve

Non-Executive Director

Mr. Neve has spent a long and illustrious career in leading-edge automation and process control. His focus has been pioneering the use of advanced digital control techniques in the Oil and Gas sector.

As head of process control at Exxon Chemical Europe, Mr. Neve oversaw the implementation of advanced process control at all Exxon petrochemical plants throughout Europe.

After spending ten years as a leading control expert with Exxon, and before that, ten years with Invensys, Mr. Neve has founded and managed three successful companies.

  • Founded and managed PACS. PACS developed the first all-digital, battery powered, radio communication system for industrial measurement and control. In 2008 PACS was acquired by Wood and Douglas Ltd.
  • Founded KBC Process Automation. The success of KBC Process Automation brought on the full merger with KBC Advanced Technologies PLC.
  • Founded and grew the ISS Group Europe, a company that provides software for visualizing process data.

Doug Nicholson

Director, Senior Consultant

Doug has worked in advanced process control and online optimisation for more decades than he cares to remember. His career spans ExxonMobil, AspenTech, IPCOS and Apex Optimisation before joining his close friends at Spiro Control.

Doug worked on the early DMC multivariable predictive control systems and was a key part of the ExxonMobil RTOD team that developed the first rigorous closed loop optimiser of a steam cracker way back in 1992.  Doug has enjoyed working on many refinery control and optimisation projects but it’s fair to say that his true love is the complex and energy intensive steam cracking process to make ethylene and propylene.  Nothing makes him happier than being in the control room of one of these machines.

Doug has a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of British Columbia, Canada and is the chair of the ICHEME Process Management and Control Subject Interest Group.

Dr. Andrew D. McGuire

Product Developer, Director Canadian Division

Andrew joins Spiro Control having completed his PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Cambridge. As Product Developer, Andrew plays a critical role in delivering Spiro Control’s ambitious R&D program. Making full use of his extensive programming experience in Python, Matlab, and his sound knowledge of C++ and JavaScript.

Andrew’s PhD focused on the development of stochastic process models for the pharmaceutical industry. The intent being to use these high-dimensional, multiscale models to predict the reaction of plant equipment to changes in operating conditions and optimize process variables to achieve desired product specifications.

Prior to completing his PhD, Andrew graduated at the top of the MEng Chemical and Process Engineering class of 2014 at the University of Strathclyde and has been the recipient of numerous awards for academic performance, including a national chemical engineering prize.

Steve Oglesby

Senior Consultant

Steve has 20 years’ experience in leading and implementing Advanced Process Control projects in the Refining and Chemicals industries.

Steve joined Aspen Technology in 1998 working on a wide-range of refining projects implementing DMCplus. He has also implemented planning, scheduling and optimization applications in petrochemicals and refining while at Aspen.

He also has experience of working with Honeywell’s Process Solutions products on a range of refining and petrochemicals projects. Steve holds a MEng degree from the University of Newcastle in Chemical and Process Engineering.

Fiona Guinee

Consultant

Fiona has a Master’s degree in Chemical and Process Engineering from the University of Strathclyde and six years’ experience in the field of process control and optimisation.

She began her career as a Control and Instrumentation Engineer for Core Oil and Gas, a leading O&G consultancy, and was involved in a variety of projects that aimed to improve the safety and efficiency of offshore platforms in UK and Norway.

She joined Apex Optimisation (now AspenTech) in 2016 as a Consultant Engineer. Her first assignment was a secondment to the Whitegate Refinery in Ireland where she worked in operations as an APC Engineer. Following this, as part of the Aspen services team, she successfully implemented multiple GDOT (Generic Dynamic Optimization Technology) projects for customers in Europe and North America.

Fiona is passionate about finding innovative ways to improve products and processes, and using advanced process control to bring maximum benefits to Spiro’s clients.

Ben Stanway

Junior Product Developer

Ben joined Spiro Control as a Computer Science graduate from the University of Chester. With an outstanding desire to learn, thrive and integrate with the team, he aims to improve his current software development, systems analysis and design skills with a view to contributing to the future success of the company.

Before joining Spiro, Ben completed an industrial placement at Bentley Motors, closely related to the development and construction of predictive maintenance applications and software solutions. During his time at Bentley, he created a prototype system which enabled the acquisition of real-time sensor data from production assets across the production line, through the creation of bespoke sensor units and an edge-to-edge data gathering system.

Ben considers himself to be well-versed in real-time and relational database modelling, C#, Systems Analysis and Design Principles, C, JavaScript, and other web technologies such as HTML, CSS and ASP.NET.

In a nutshell, Ben loves to innovate and looks forward to extending his canvas of skills during his time with Spiro.

Mairi Urquhart

Business Development Manager

Mairi graduated from Strathclyde University with a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering in 2014. Since then, she has been working in the manufacturing industry, starting with P&G as a Process Engineer where she worked as part of a team to bring in new packaging equipment for several new perfume lines as part of the sites Industry 4.0 initiative.

In 2016 she moved to Reckitt Benckiser (RB) at their consumer pharmaceuticals site in Nottingham, as a Production Manager. After moving to Toronto in 2018, she started with Kruger Products, as a Production Manager. In this role within the paper converting industry, she oversaw a napkin converting facility with responsibilities including; project work, such as new line start-ups, equipment and facility maintenance, staffing and operations.

With industrial experience in various manufacturing fields, Mairi hopes to bring a new perspective to the team and utilise her project management and communication skills to help grow the business.

Kevin Chernets

Full Stack Web Developer

Kevin brings more than 25 years’ software development experience to the team ranging from medical imaging and diagnostic software to distributed financial management web applications.

After completing a BTec HND in Computer Science Kevin began his software development career designing and building clinical sample analysis and diagnostic software. Later his interest in web development came from managing streaming stock market data at the LSE and he moved on to design and build distributed client management applications in both the UK and Canada. His fun side saw the development of games for Android and IOT video streaming applications.

More recently designing, building and managing financial data processing websites, Kevin has been keen to return to a more scientific role and apply his skills in web technologies to building user interfaces for Spiro’s new and existing applications.

Jan Szymanski

Consultant

Jan has 8 years of experience in APC and optimisation and a total of 16 years in Oil and Gas. He began his career in the PKN Orlen refinery in Poland as a Field Operator (later Panel Operator) where he learnt the basics of process control. Whilst with PKN, Jan gained a B.Eng degree in Software Engineering from Warsaw School of Computer Science. After graduating, Jan joined the internal APC team to work on the development, implementation and maintenance of APC applications.

Jan joined Apex Optimisation (now Aspentech) in 2015 as a Consultant Engineer. His first assignment was a secondment in the Whitegate Refinery in Ireland where he worked in the Automation and Optimisation (A&O) Office. Afterwards, Jan was involved in various APC and GDOT related projects in Europe. He has experience in working with both Aspentech and Honeywell APC products.

Jan considers himself as an APC engineer with IT skills. He is passionate about new technologies, computer programming and automation.

Harrison O’Neill

PhD Studentship

Harrison O’Neil holds an MSc in Mathematics having gained a first-class degree in the same subject. In recognition of work completed during his undergraduate degree, Harrison was awarded the Institute of Mathematics Valedictory Prize.

Harrison is now working with Spiro Control to develop machine learning applications in the context of industrial process control. The focus of the research is to apply machine learning techniques to improve the monitoring, diagnostics, and tuning of control loops. This involves developing machine learning algorithms using data regression and classification techniques. The methods developed will be applied to both single and multivariable control systems to optimise their controllability and energy performance.

Get in touch with us today

Careers

It’s nice when you can feel good about the job you do and feel that you are part of something important. We see big changes occurring in the world of process control in the not too distant future and our ambition is to be a major force in leading this change. So, by joining Spiro Control, you will not only be crucial to shaping the future of our business, but we believe you will also play a significant role in changing the industry as a whole.

We are rapidly expanding and, as we grow, we’re determined to build an environment that attracts the best process control, data scientists and software development professionals by offering an environment that supports and nurtures creativity and innovation.

Keen to join us? Email your CV to careers@spirocontrol.com and state in the subject line the role for which you would like to be considered.

Current vacancies