The Team


Dr Ben Miles



Dr Sarah Jelbert

Program Director


Dr Maddy Nichols



Ric Barnes

Marketing and Comms


Dr Ben Miles - CEO

Dr Ben Miles founded Spin Up Science to champion the work of scientists and entrepreneurs translating their research into the real world and to connect researchers with the role models and skill sets necessary to start their own companies. His work within Bristol UK, is supporting the creation of a scientific innovation ecosystem spanning quantum, material, and life science start-ups.

Dr Sarah Jelbert - Program Director

Before moving to Bristol to join our team, Dr Jelbert was an experienced post-doc, with a background in cognition and behavioural sciences. In her academic career she studied, researched or lectured at a range of the UK’s leading universities, including Oxford, Cambridge and St Andrews, as well as the University of Auckland in New Zealand. At Spin Up Science, Sarah leads and develops fun and effective programs that help expand researchers’ awareness of the range of opportunities available to them.

Dr Maddy Nichols - Operations and Events

During her time at the University of Bristol, Maddy found that she particularly enjoyed being involved in events and outreach where she got to discuss science with people of all ages. From running science demos in a muddy field at festivals, to discussing the science behind science-fiction in The Cosmic Shed podcast, she loves playing a role in making scientific research and discoveries more accessible to the public. Maddy works to connect everyone with the exciting developments and opportunities within Bristol’s innovation ecosystem.

Ric Barnes - Marketing and Communications

Previously at the University of Exeter and Coastal Carolina University, Ric’s background is in the field of biological sciences. With a deep-rooted passion for storytelling, science communication struck a cord with Ric when undertaking shark conservation work off the muggy shores of South Carolina, USA. Ric is responsible for spreading the message of the innovation that is being realised in our ecosystem, across Bristol and beyond.