Building smarter societies through the application of science & technology


Executive Board


Dr Sam Beatson (Chairman)

Sam holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Nottingham where he investigated foreign investment, corporate governance and performance in the listed Chinese companies.

Sam is an Associate Teacher of the UK Higher Education Academy and Associate of the Royal Statistical Society. He conducts research using quantitative and qualitative methods and has more than five years experience running his own business. Sam’s current research and analysis commitments include consulting for NHS England Analytical Finance on needs-based resource allocation and lecturing at King’s College, London in East Asian business and corporate governance.

Sam also volunteers as Civilian Chairman of 367 Air Cadet Squadron and he enjoys reading, writing and hiking in Yorkshire’s Peak District with his family in his spare time.


Dr Marcus Alexander Ong (Commerical Director)

Marcus is Co-Founder and CEO of Spectra Analytics, a data analytics consultancy firm. Prior to this he was a derivatives trader at Citigroup. He focussed on market making European Equity Derivatives – vanilla and structured – before developing the light exotics trading business. Later he focussed on multi-asset proprietary trading.

Marcus holds a PhD in Complexity Science with Finance and an MSc in Complexity Science (University of Warwick), a BSc in Physics (University of Durham) and Charters in both Mathematics and Science (IMA).

His main research interests include Finance, Behavioural Economics, Statistical Modelling and Machine Learning. Currently he is investigating systemic risk in the financial sector, the effect of financial regulations on banks and how to develop new stress testing methodologies.


Fiona Rutherford (Communications Director)

Fiona is a postgraduate MSc Evolutionary Psychology student, and holds a BSc in Psychology with Neuroscience. She has worked as an Honorary Assistant Clinical Psychologist, in which she played a key role in establishing a well-being workshop for clients that went on to become part of a longitudinal study.

Her main research interests include mental health, the lacrimal system, ecology, moral development and evolutionary perspectives.


Dr Dan Sprague (Technical Director)

Dan is Co-Founder and CSO of Spectra Analytics, a data analytics consultancy firm. He has also worked as a consultant for USAID where his responsibilities included analysing and predicting health behaviours in Uganda and training local Ugandan teams in the theoretical and practical approaches to statistical analysis.

Dan holds a PhD in Complexity Science at the University of Warwick where he also obtained an MSc in Complexity Science. Previously he read Physics (MPhys) at the University of Oxford.

His main research interests include Applied Statistics, Epidemiology and Healthcare, and Computational Social Science.


Sarah-Emily Mutch (Engagement Director)

Sarah-Emily is a scientific consultant and former neural implant researcher.

She holds an MRes in Plastic Electronics from Imperial College London, where she researched improving the interface between the brain and electronic devices to treat conditions such as epilepsy, Parkinsons, and depression. She also has an MSci in Physics from Imperial College London.

She has facilitated and organised science festivals for children and adults, focussing on public engagement with science. She has undertaken courses on science communication and tutors school age children.

She is primarily interested in using new technology to improve society, increasing public engagement with science, and in science education.


NCA Officer (Security Director)

Background in Law Enforcement and Criminology

Search SSI

Latest News


Please enter your email address below to be notified of the latest news from the Smart Societies Institute:


Follow Us

Facebook linkedin twitter