Board Members

Willie Thomson

Chairman of the Board

Willie Thomson is Harbro’s technical director, responsible for their agri-technology and R&D strategies. With over 30 years of experience in animal nutrition and husbandry. He has been heavily involved with the development and application of technical advances for many species in the monitoring of health and nutrition. Willie is also a director of Innovent Technology, which was created in 2001, primarily to assist with addressing the needs of the Scottish agriculture industry and to commercialise a patented animal health product that he invented, Kling-on Blue.

He has vast experience in the agricultural industry, and in bringing products to market successfully. He has experience in writing and filing patents and is aware of IP methodologies. He has heavily involved the development of the Agri-EPI Centre, and is the chair of their interim board.

Richard Dewhurst


Richard is Professor of Ruminant Nutrition & Production Systems and Head of Future Farming Systems Group at SRUC. He joined SRUC in 2013, having previous headed leading ruminant research units in Wales (IGER), New Zealand (Lincoln University) and Ireland (Teagasc). He is the author of over 100 primary research papers with an H-index of 32. He received the Sir John Hammond Memorial Award in 2008 and is current President of the British Society of Animal Science.

Richard’s research has made significant contributions at the interfaces between nutrition, product composition and rumen function - notably modelling of forage composition, dry cow feeding strategies, forages and fatty acids, fatty acids and fertility, and rumen diagnostics. Current research is developing markers for feed conversion efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions in ruminants and exploring host interactions with the intestinal microbiome. He was prominent in the establishment of Agri-EPI Centre Ltd.

Liz Furey

Harper Adams University

Liz studied as an undergraduate Agricultural Science ( Environmental Physics) at Nottingham University and subsequently trained with Peat Marwick McClintock (KPMG) as a chartered accountant in Birmingham. Having worked in a range of industries including manufacturing and retail as a finance manager she then moved into the education sector and is currently Director of Finance at Harper Adams University. The University has nominated Liz as their representative on the Agri-EPI Board of Directors which she supported through initial start up as COO in addition to Board position.

Vince Gillingham

Ag Space

Prior to setting up AgSpace in 2013, Vince founded and developed the largest independent precision farming business in the UK (IPF UK). Vince has significant experience in taking new satellite technologies and creating researched, commercially beneficial products. The technology that he has brought to market include a new satellite processing technique - soil brightness imaging. This technology has reduced the cost of precision agriculture to thousands of EU and African farmers making precision agriculture more affordable.

Vince studied specific soil science modules at Reading University specialising in soils for agricultural benefit. He is also F.A.C.T.S qualified enabling him to legally produce fertiliser recommendations within the UK.

Vince has been the technical lead at AgSpace on a number of collaborative projects including Innovate UK funded Agri-tech projects and the current UK crop growth model project with the European Space Agency.

Leon Terry

Cranfield University

Prof Terry is the Director of Environment and Agrifood at Cranfield University and a member of the Senior Management Team. In this position he leads the environment and agri-food research and teaching activities of the University - these were amalgamated in 2013 and further expanded in 2016. The theme now houses two research centres: Cranfield Soil and Agri-food Institute and Centre for Environmental and Agricultural Informatics plus two of the UK Government’s Agri-tech Centres of innovation – Agri-EPI and CHAP.

Leon graduated from Imperial Collage, London. He completed his MSc and PhD in Postharvest Technology at Cranfield University. His personal scholarship has been driven by a need to preserve and maintain the quality and safety of fresh produce by better understanding the physiological, biochemical and molecular changes which occur after harvest in order to reduce waste and thereby help ensure greater food security across the world.

To find out more about Agri-EPI Centre please get in touch.