Mandy Chessell CBE II

In her second interview for Archives of IT, Mandy talks about the interests she developed in the later stages of her career with IBM. That includes AI technology and wider issues of women in the industry and management styles. She has been appointed as the president of the Institute of Engineering Design for a two year term and reflects on the importance of product design in engineering. Although Mandy refers to her post IBM life as “retirement”, she has set up a new business to focus on the application of the Egeria project for open industry standards in metadata and talks about its significance in a world of increasing data-dependent operations in most aspects of our lives.

A man with grey hair smiling. He is wearing a blue polo shirt.

Jeremy Brassington

The early experience of rejection gave Jeremy Brassington a drive which led through impressive exam results to studying chemistry at Oxford. Despite a well-received thesis on blood proteins, he found academic research unappealing, and instead qualified as an accountant.   Describing auditing as “the dullest subject on earth” he turned to banking, eventually focusing on tech venture funding and turning around failing businesses such as Oxford Molecular. “It taught me how not to run a business,” he says.

In 2003, Jeremy moved into Assistive Technology, redesigning an assistive listening device for the hard of hearing. Having had learning difficulties himself, he realised could help students with dyslexia, language problems and other disabilities.  “It was the first time I had run a business that was doing good,” he says. He managed it for the next 15 years, launching in 30 markets worldwide.

In 2019, Jeremy founded Habitat Learn, an Edtech group which combines automated note-taking and transcription with a smartphone app that helps disabled students take notes in lectures and is now pioneering digital education for all students. He hopes it will become a unicorn.