Meet the Supervisory Board

UK Power Networks DSO's Supervisory Board is independent and provides an effective voice for our customers

Director of Distribution System Operator (DSO)

Sotiris Georgiopoulos

Sotiris leads UK Power Networks’ Distribution System Operator (DSO). He joined the organisation in 2005 as a graduate engineer. Sotiris studied electrical engineering at the University of Manchester, has an MBA from the University of Cambridge and has worked in engineering, construction and innovation. For the last decade he has championed innovative ways to plan and operate our networks, such as flexible connections and the development of flexibility markets. Committed to driving collaboration to deliver a smarter, more flexible network and facilitate Net Zero, Sotiris is also Chair of the ENA’s Open Networks project.

Why Net Zero matters to Sotiris 

“Net Zero is vitally important to us as a business and to me personally. It is fulfilling to have a role in making sure our infrastructure can meet our environmental obligations for us and our customers.”

Head of Local Net Zero

Lynne McDonald

Lynne McDonald is the Head of Local Net Zero for UK Power Networks. She joined the electricity industry in 2010 after graduating from the University of Strathclyde with a Master’s degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering and has over 12 years’ experience in the development and deployment of technical, customer and commercial solutions to facilitate Net Zero. In her current role she is responsible for Local Area Energy Planning to facilitate the energy decarbonisation for 133 Local Authorities, a key accelerator to progress climate action plan ambitions.

Why Net Zero matters to Lynne

“Net Zero matters to me because it means making sure our services are fit for our customers – from vulnerable customers and wider demographics to community energy groups – and being part of the effort to increase accessibility and equitability for customers to choose green.”

Head of Flexibility Markets

Alex Howard

Alex leads the Flexibility Markets team at UKPN. Before joining UKPN, he held product, strategy and research roles at Octopus Energy and at Origami, where he worked closely with flexibility providers and renewable asset owners operating in ancillary service and wholesale energy markets. He also worked at the Ministry of Defence and Royal Mail, helping them to adapt to advances in technology and a changing world. He has a degree in Computer Science, two children and an electric bike.

Why Net Zero matters to Alex

“I have two young children. By the time they enter the workforce, we will have a power system that runs without generating carbon. And by the time I retire, our entire society will run on clean energy. This is the work of a lifetime, and I am fortunate to have an important role to play at UK Power Networks.”

Data Science & Development Manager

Jamie Bright

Jamie has an academic background, obtaining a PhD in solar energy resource assessment through data science application at the University of Leeds. He applied that research in real-time solar forecasting using satellite imagery, feeding intellectual property into a startup called Solcast, later acquired by DNV, part of the Australian National University.

He has further applied his research in developing real-time operational solar PV forecasting for Singapore Power Network (Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore, National University of Singapore, 2019-2021). Since joining UKPN in 2021 he has created our first short-term operational forecasting software in the newly formed Data Science & Development team in the DSO.

Why Net Zero matters to Jamie

“Every nation has access to a form of renewable energy, be it from the tides, wind or solar. Net Zero is more than clean air and climate change mitigation, it facilitates independence and equitable access to fuel worldwide. I want to work at UKPN as the ambition of facilitating the best innovations that enable Net Zero has ramifications and societal impact that will be felt for decades.”

DSO Operations Manager

Steve Backhouse

Steve has been with UK Power Networks since 1997, when he joined as an apprentice, moving his way up from being a connections jointer to the Control Room. He has been a Network Manager since 2015, looking after a team of Control Engineers and having responsibility for the running of the EPN network, becoming the Power Systems Operations Manager, looking after a small team dealing with flexibly connected customers. He is now the DSO Operations Manager, responsible for the team supporting connected Distributed Energy Resource Systems customers and keeping the system operating at capacity.

Why Net Zero matters to Steve

“I see every day first-hand how our new clean energy suppliers can provide electricity and it is a matter of pride to be creating a world where our children can breathe clean air.”

Low Carbon Design Solutions Manager

Tim Manandhar

Tim Manandhar is the technology lead for the Distribution System Operation (DSO) at UK Power Networks. Tim is responsible for the strategy and development of DSO technology solutions such as the MegaWatt Dispatch service and whole electricity system coordination. Tim has over 20 years’ experience implementing pioneering initiatives like Active Network Management systems.

Why Net Zero matters to Tim

“Net Zero matters to me because it impacts my future, the future of my children and the future of our planet.”

Chair of DSO Supervisory Board

Michael Walsh

Michael is Managing Director of Springergy, a company accelerating the adoption of new technology and AI in the energy industry. He is also chairperson of the Port of Cork in Ireland. Up to 2022 Michael led global commercial operations for the US energy technology company Smart Wires and before that was Smart Wires Managing Director for the Europe and Australia regions. Other previous roles include CEO of Wind Energy Ireland and Director of Future Grids at Ireland’s Transmission System Operator, EirGrid.

Michael sits on the Research Advisory Committee for the Global Power System Transformation Consortium and was joint Chair of that committee between 2021 and 2023. He was a board member of Wind Europe from 2008 to 2011 and served on the European Network of Transmission System Operators’ (ENTSOE) System Development Committee from 2013 to 2016. He has a Bachelors and a PhD in Engineering and an MBA. He is a Fellow of Engineers Ireland.

DSO Supervisory Board Member

Joanne Wade

Dr Joanne OBE FEI is an expert in local energy systems, energy sufficiency and energy demand reduction. She is Chief Strategic Advisor at the Association for Decentralised Energy, a non-executive Director at the Energy Saving Trust, and Chair of the Advisory Board for the UK Energy Research Centre. Joanne has a PhD from Imperial College London. She is a Fellow and Council Member of the Energy Institute. She was appointed an OBE in 2018 for services to energy efficiency.

DSO Supervisory Board Member

Prof Goran Strbac

Prof Goran Strbac is a Chair in Electrical Energy Systems at Imperial College London, with extensive experience in advanced modelling and analysis of operation, planning, security and economics of future low carbon energy systems. He led the development of novel advanced analysis approaches and methodologies that have been extensively used to inform research community, industry, governments and regulatory bodies about the role and value of emerging new technologies and control systems in supporting cost effective evolution to resilient low carbon energy future. He is currently Director of the joint Imperial-Tsinghua Research Centre on Intelligent Power and Energy Systems, Member of ENA Open Networks Challenge Group, Member of the European Technology and Innovation Platform for Smart Networks for the Energy Transition, Member of the Joint EU Programme in Energy Systems Integration of the European Energy Research Alliance and was recently Leading Author in IPCC WG 3 and Member of OFGEM RIIO-2 Challenging Group. Prof Strbac joins the Supervisory Board on an independent basis via Imperial Consultants.

DSO Supervisory Board Member

John Hargreaves

John Hargreaves is a Director of Indepen, a consultancy working with infrastructure businesses facing the challenges of regulation, deregulation, competition and restructuring. An economist, he has been a lecturer and a civil servant and has worked in management consultancy and corporate finance teams. He has advised regulated industries since privatisation through price reviews and industry reform, and has worked with infrastructure businesses in the UK, Australia, and SE Asia. Until last year, he was secretary to the Customer Engagement Group (CEG) for UK Power Networks during the preparation of UK Power Networks’ business plan for RIIO ED2. Earlier in his career John led the mergers and acquisitions team in the corporate finance division of a major accounting firm and worked with UK government departments and agencies on policy towards urban transportation, education, health and social housing.

DSO Supervisory Board Member (Non-voting)

Barry Hatton

Barry Hatton is Director of Asset Management at UK Power Networks and a non-voting member of the DSO Supervisory Board. Barry has more than 40 years’ experience in the operations and management of electricity distribution networks. He is responsible for the development and deployment of network and asset strategies for optimising investment and performance at UK Power Networks.

Barry is a Chartered Electrical Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and has a Master’s degree in Technology Management.

DSO Supervisory Board Member

Jeff Hardy

Dr Jeff Hardy has over 20 years of academic, policy and business experience in sustainable energy. He has helped clients worldwide understand the implications of zero carbon futures on business models and strategy, consumers, customers and citizens, policy and regulatory frameworks and energy systems.

Jeff is the Director of Sustainable Energy Futures Ltd, a consultancy providing clients with zero-carbon energy transformation advice, analysis and challenge. He is also Deputy Chair of the UK Power Networks Customer Engagement Group and a visiting researcher at the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London.

Previously he led a team in the UK Energy Revolution Research Consortium examining the policy and regulation of smart local energy systems. He has also been a Non-Executive Director of Public Power Solutions, Environment Mission Lead at Zinc, Head of Sustainable Energy Futures at the GB energy regulator, Ofgem and Head of Science for Work Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He’s also worked at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the UK Energy Research Centre, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Green Chemistry Group at the University of York and at Sellafield as a research chemist in a nuclear laboratory.

The UK Power Networks DSO Supervisory Board is a majority independent body that delivers transparency of investment decision-making and ensures that the overall lowest-cost solutions for customers are adopted. Independently chaired by Michael Walsh, the Board comprises members with extensive industry and academic experience.

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Tender Hub

Could you be a flexibility provider?

The DSO is looking to recruit flexible providers who have solutions ready to connect to the grid and able to either meet or reduce demand on the network. Find out more and apply in our Tender Hub.

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Our team holds numerous events from breakfast briefings to conferences – your opportunity to make your voice heard and learn more about our service.

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