Meet the team
The Cardiff Met team is led by Dr Gary Walpole who has thirty years’ experience in business and
education, with twenty years in knowledge transfer roles in Higher Education Institutions. Gary is a
Leadership and Management practical academic with an outstanding record of leading new
programmes and large projects. He is passionate about organisational development through the
development of leadership and innovation skills. He has a proven track record of designing,
developing and delivering leadership and management programmes and initiatives. He currently
directs the Circular Economy Innovation Community project (£3.9m, ESF). He previously developed
the conceptual framework and directed the highly successful ‘Leading Growth’ programme (£7.9m
ESF, ION Leadership) that facilitated productivity gains and business growth in more than 900 SMEs
across Wales. He recently delivered innovation programmes to businesses across Wales
including; the Open Innovation Programme ; DIPFSCC programme (Welsh Government part funded)
and the Skills for Innovation in Manufacturing programme (UKCES funded). He was formerly
Director of the Centre for Excellence in Leadership & Management Skills in Wales (£2.9m) at Cardiff
Louise Dixey is the Project Coordinator at Cardiff Met. She has 20+ years professional experience
internationally and in the UK with expertise in sustainability (particularly in tourism and hospitality),
applied research, technical assistance and stakeholder engagement.
The Celsa team is led by Eoin Bailey, the UK Innovation Manager, for Celsa Steel UK. Celsa will
contribute their extensive circular economy knowledge, both in a strategic and operational capacity,
to support the sustainable circular development. With the CCEN participants, Eoin will share his 15
years of experience with scoping and mapping the skills, knowledge and capability required of a
transition to a circular economy.
Celsa recycles 1.2m tonnes of scrap steel each year in Cardiff, through which they produce around
1m tonnes of product that is ‘made in the UK to build in the UK’. Celsa products contain 98%
recycled content, are 100% recyclable and are certified to ‘Eco Reinforcement’, ‘Susteel’, ‘BBA’ and
BES6001 standards. In Wales Celsa supports 1,100 direct and 3,500 indirect jobs, which extends to
5,500 across the UK and has extensive links with education institutions within the Cardiff area. Celsa
is a member of the local Partnership Group for STAR Communities First (a Welsh Government
flagship programme to improve the living conditions and prospects for people in the most
disadvantaged communities in Wales) and is regularly involved with local community clean-up
projects and works with organisations such as Keep Wales Tidy, Cardiff Commitment and Cardiff
Council. Knowledge sharing across the Innovation, Operational and Skills departments with the Local
Authority and Welsh Government will be leveraged by the project.
CELSA UK is a strategic partner in the South Wales Industry Cluster (SWIC) initiative, is committed to
a Net Zero Pathway to reach zero emission steel by 2030 and supports the Wellbeing for Future
Generations Act (Wales). CELSA Group is committed to the United Nations Global Compact
objectives and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Jill Davies is the Education lead. Following a successful career in retail and distribution management
at Marks and Spencer plc, Jill has over 25 years’ experience running her own Training and
Development business including 15 years working on Welsh Government Business Development
projects. She is an experienced and adaptable professional, able to provide practical help and advice
to support business and leadership development. Jill is an experienced Chair of Governors and is a CSCJEC Regional Governance Lead providing training and support for Governing Bodies across the region.
Being an Investors in People Specialist and an Assessor for the Princess Royal Training Awards has
given her the opportunity to see and share best practice across a wide variety of sectors. Jill has
worked as part of the LEAD Wales/ION Leadership Team at Swansea University, writing and
delivering leadership change and development activities, coaching and supporting over 800
Tony Burnett is the CCEN project manager. Tony is an effective coach and people manager who can facilitate individual, team and organisational learning to contribute to successful operational development. He is enthusiastic about modernising leadership behaviours and people engagement within future-focused organisations. Tony has UK and international experience of start up, operations and change management in commercial, public and non-profit organisations.
Tony is a social educator and is currently also the programme manager and pedagogical lead for the Circular Economy Innovations Communities project at Swansea University. He has spent the last 10 years developing leadership behaviour in senior management teams to enable them to run more growth-ready and sustainable organisations as part of the hugely successful LEAD Wales, ION Leadership and Skills for Innovation in Manufacturing projects.
Rhys Charles is a workshop facilitator for the CCEN project. With a background in chemistry, materials engineering and waste management, Rhys has a strong interest in circular economy and the potential of wastes as secondary material resources. He is passionate about facilitating a necessary transition towards a resource efficient circular economy and the social, environmental and economic benefits this will yield.
Through working in waste management and his postgraduate training in collaboration with industry, Rhys has gained extensive experience of the WEEE sector, and considerable knowledge of the waste sector and the legislative instruments that govern it.