Business development

Jennifer Forster: acting head of business development

Jennifer Forster

Jenny heads up the business development team, which is responsible for promoting the BGS's services, data and information products to a wide range of current and prospective clients. This is achieved through exhibitions, seminars, one-to-one meetings and the provision of promotional material targeted at a wide variety of sectors. Clients include central, devolved and local government; government agencies; the EU; policy makers; insurers; environmental industries; homebuyers; value-added resellers; utilities, and companies directly involved with water, energy, minerals and waste.

Marketing managers in the team are responsible for key areas of external work including, energy, water, minerals and data products. They also act as client managers to key customers within both the public and private sectors.

You may wish to contact a member of the business development team to discuss your particular data needs or problems or to arrange a meeting — perhaps at one of our events? The following will tell you more about the staff within the team who can be contacted through our central Enquiries help desk:

Business development team

Jennifer Forster: acting head of business development
Business manager for:
  • Geology and Landscapes England
  • land use, planning and development
  • minerals

Jenny works with these teams to identify opportunities and develop commercial and externally funded projects. Jenny joined the business development team in 2003 with a business studies degree, and obtained a marketing professional postgraduate diploma in 2005. She has expertise in event management, market research, branding and corporate marketing.

Wendy Strutt: business development team
Business development and BGS international travel coordinator

Wendy joined the BGS in January 2004. She provides the essential administrative support and back-office services for the business development area to run smoothly. Wendy assists with collating bids and expressions of interest for externally funded UK and overseas projects and manages travel documentation for all colleagues travelling overseas.

Vicky Hards: business development team
Science grants coordinator

Originally trained as a geoscientist, Vicky gained both her BSc and PhD from Durham University, specialising in geochemistry and volcanology. She joined the BGS in 1995 and she has since held a variety of laboratory, administrative and managerial roles. Her current role is to assist and support BGS scientists and IT specialists in identifying and capitalising on opportunities to obtain grants funding. Specifically, the role includes identifying and publicising grant funding opportunities (market intelligence) for the BGS from sources including UK Research Councils, other UK agencies, the European Commission, and other European and international organisations; assisting with developing research consortia; proposal writing; submissions systems, and application procedures. Vicky is also the BGS main contact for Eurogeosurveys (EGS).

Jo Booth: business development team
Business manager for:
  • climate change
  • energy
  • Geology and Landscapes Wales

Jo joined the business development team in 2013 and has core responsibility for marketing bid analysis and developing bids in energy. She began working for the BGS in 1997 and has worked in various aspects of the business, giving her expertise in procurement, contracts, project management and the financial and resourcing aspects of bid preparation.

Hugh Barron: business development team
Business manager for
  • Earth hazards and systems
  • Scotland

Hugh was appointed as the business development team's sector manager for Scotland in 2002, working mainly with local authorities, government agencies and the Scottish Government. Since 2008, he has been team leader — responsive surveys Scotland, and deputy to the Chief Geologist Scotland. He is a Chartered Geologist, Chartered Scientist, Council Member of the Association for Geographic Information (AGI) and Chair of AGI Scotland.

After graduating from the University of Aberdeen, Hugh worked as a geologist in the offshore oil industry in Europe and the Middle East. He joined the BGS in 1986 as a biostratigrapher following a return to Aberdeen for postgraduate research on Jurassic palynology. He transferred to the BGS Edinburgh office in 1994 where he served as a field geologist in central and southern Scotland, Morocco and the Isle of Man.

Nichola Gaffney: events and marketing team
Events manager

Nichola joins the business development team with over 25 years' experience of working at the BGS. Previous roles have included business assistant to the head of energy and most recently communications coordinator for the BGS press office. She has experience in event management, external and internal communications, and corporate marketing.

Mike Ackroyd: data licensing and commercialisation
Business manager for:
  • data licencing and commercialisation

Mike joined NERC in 2009, working on the commercialisation of innovations at the BGS. In 2012, he transferred to the UK business development function of the BGS, maintaining his previous responsibilities plus management of data sales to partners seeking to develop data products and services for the commercial sector. He has a BA in geography from Hull University.

Mike's background is in the commercial sector, having spent 20 years working in buying, marketing, store and area management roles with Boots. His previous position was in commercial airport management working at Birmingham Airport, where he had responsibility for income generation from car parking, taxis, on-site advertising, negotiating retail/catering concessionaire trading terms and coordinating the fit out of new trading partners.

Sean Burke: business development team
Senior hydrogeologist, groundwater

Sean joined the BGS in 2012. After graduating in environmental geology at the University of Sheffield in 1996, he undertook an MSc in groundwater engineering at Newcastle University in 1997, followed by a PhD in geochemistry again at the University of Sheffield in 2001. Sean has worked in environmental consultancy academia and the Environment Agency for over 14 years. He currently manages several projects including demonstration test catchments.

Research areas