The Executive team reports to The Board.

Heather Topel

Project Director

Heather has overall responsibility for the management of the project, working with the executive team.  Heather brings with her a wealth of experience in development and town planning, having worked on significant residential schemes elsewhere in Cambridge, London and across the UK.  She is a former Director at AECOM and a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Matthew Dawkes

Finance Director

Matthew is responsible for all financial aspects of the project.  Matthew has a wide range of experience covering Financing, Corporate transactions, Tax and Reporting.  His early career was with Grant Thornton where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant before moving to a leading FTSE 250 Media and Publishing Company and then to a market leading property developer where he held various senior financial and management roles.

Warren Forsyth

Operations Director

As Operations Director, Warren has responsibility of establishing and implementing the process and putting in place the infrastructure and team required to market and deliver the Facilities Management Operations of each component of the site on handover.  Warren has extensive experience in taking significant Higher Education Estate development projects from inception through to operational delivery, including most recently working in student housing/accommodation. Warren has worked in South Africa, London and as part of the UK National student accommodation group Uliving.  Warren holds a Bachelor’s degree in Quantity Surveying.  

Gavin Heaphy

Construction Director

As Construction Director, Gavin has responsibility for all design, procurement and delivery of the project works. Gavin has a great deal of experience in the delivery of large and complex projects of varying nature, from commercial offices and business parks to research facilities and residential developments. Gavin’s most recent role (prior to joining NWC) was as Operations Director at the Athletes Village for the London 2012 Olympics. Gavin is a Chartered Builder and holds a Master’s Degree in Project Management.

Brian Nearney

Commercial Director

Brian is responsible for land sales, leasing, legals, estate and facilities management, cost and lifecycle management, procurement and purchasing, and brand strategy for the development. He has over 25 years’ experience in property development and has held development and commercial director positions for a number of PLC and private commercial developers and construction companies both in the UK and Northern Europe.

Francoise Jarvis

Head of Corporate Governance

Francoise joins the team as governance advisor responsible for the smooth running of the Board and its committees and subsidiary companies. She comes with experience of governance across the further education sector and after having spent many years in the Legal Services department of Cambridge University Press.

Gavin Coull

Senior Client Representative

As Senior Client Representative, Gavin’s role is to oversee the Client Representative team leading and managing the delivery of design, procurement and implementation functions associated with elements of the NWCD programme and to work closely with Senior members of all the teams to oversee successful Project Implementation.  Prior to working for the University, Gavin was Project Executive for Westfield’s Stratford City development in East London forming the gateway to the Olympic Park.

Tom Traynor

Client Representative - Infrastructure

As Client Representative Tom’s role is to oversee the delivery of the design, procurement and implementation of elements of the infrastructure within the NWCD programme and to work closely with senior members of all the teams to oversee successful Project Implementation. Tom has worked in senior client, consultant and contractor roles across a diverse range of civil engineering and building projects in sectors including road, rail, commercial, retail, leisure, civic, and education. Prior to joining NWCD Tom worked with City of Cambridge Education Foundation to deliver Trumpington Community College. Tom is a Charted Builder and Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.   

Emma Askew

Client Representative - Buildings

As Client Representative, Emma is responsible for managing our consultant and contractor teams in design, procurement and delivery of one or more projects on the development. Prior to joining the team Emma was a Project Management Associate at Building Design Partnership working on many projects including schools, hotels, transportation and master planning in the UK and overseas.

George Katsibokis

Client Representative - Buildings

As Client Representative, George is responsible for managing our consultant and contractor teams in design, procurement and delivery of one or more projects on the development. He has a wealth of experience across a wide range of built environment projects in Europe and Asia, leading multidisciplinary teams. Prior to joining NWCD George had a number of challenging roles, including a stint in Singapore as an outsourced project director in a high-rise development. He is passionate about architecture and the applications of IT in construction. George holds two Master’s degrees, from Imperial College and Cambridge (IDBE), is a Chartered Engineer and a Member of the ICE, as well as an affiliate member of RIBA. He speaks German, Spanish and Greek.

Jamie Richardson

Operations Project Manager

Jamie ensures all operations with the estate are in place prior to occupation and manages all associated contracts, and is primarily responsible for CORE and activities surrounding the Energy Centre. He supports the Operation Director in managing operations around the development. Jamie previously worked for King’s College London as Project Liaison Manager and comes from a facilities background working in education.

Michael Griib

Procurement Manager

Michael’s role is to develop, implement and manage procurement strategy, policies and procedures to obtain value for money in an effective and efficient manner, while complying with University’s financial regulations and project objectives.   Michael joined the project team on secondment in June 2014, and was appointed as Procurement Manager on a permanent basis in June 2016.  Prior to joining the NWCD project team he worked as Facilities Category Manager within the central University of Cambridge Procurement team, and in the public sector as a regional Finance and Procurement Manager.  Michael is a member of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS)

Anna Stepien

Assistant Accountant

Anna supports the Finance Director by providing an accounting service for the project. She has been working for the University since 2012. She is a member of the AAT and ACCA.

Biky Wan

PR Manager

Biky is responsible for building awareness of and support for the development. She manages a PR programme incorporating public engagement, media relations, branding and digital communications, in order to enhance people’s appreciation of the development and its impact. Biky has worked with cultural organisations and prior to joining the project team, she was responsible for a multi-faceted PR strategy for a transformational capital project at Chetham’s in Manchester.

Alex Wynick

Communications Coordinator

As communications coordinator Alex works across the Operations and Executive team to support communications with local residents. She is responsible for newsletters and other communications with both people living on the development and in the nearby communities. A former journalist, Alex has previously worked in local and national news, and joined the project from the University's Astrophysics department. 

Catriona Freestone

Executive Assistant

Catriona provides support to the Project Team Construction Director and Commercial Director as Executive Assistant.  Catriona is an experienced Executive Assistant & Department Administrator who has worked for the University of Cambridge from 2007.

Anne Nash

Executive Assistant

Anne provides support to the Operations Director and Operations Team as Executive Assistant. Anne is an experienced Personal Assistant and has worked in the insurance, education, property services and legal sectors in a variety of administrative roles.