A Pioneering Team

Sunborne Systems was founded by a group of experienced scientists and engineers who continue to run the business today. Together, they represent an unrivalled body of expertise in the field of cracking ammonia to produce green energy.



Chief Executive Officer

One of Sunborne Systems’ founders, James is the inventor of many of the advanced ammonia-based cycles that Sunborne’s technology enables. An aerothermal specialist by training, he has tackled problems ranging from multi-phase microscale flows to heavy industrial processes and hydrogen-fuelled aerospace propulsion systems. Elected a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 2021, James has proven leadership, strategic and business development skills in the field of engineering.


Chief Scientific Officer
As both Professor of Chemistry at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford and Senior Fellow at the ISIS Neutron and Muon Facility, Bill’s scientific research focuses on the development of new materials and technologies that will move us away from our dependence of fossil fuels. He is a leading figure behind Sunborne’s ammonia-based technology. As well as a number of national and international awards, Bill is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Dr Tom Wood

Head of Chemistry

A co-founder of Sunborne Systems, Tom has spent the last decade developing the STFC catalyst technology, aiding its evolution through several generations. Tom is also responsible for developing bespoke software for the analysis of ammonia cracking (and synthesis) catalysts, with many published papers on these systems to his name.

Peter Collins

An experienced CEO with a passion for commercialising breakthrough technologies, Peter’s career has spanned both research and management roles.
He led Permasense from university lab to market leadership in just six years. He has chaired Inflowmatix, another successful university spin-out. And alongside his work here at Sunborne Systems, he chairs Guided Ultrasonics, the world leader in monitoring pipework for industrial facilities.
He holds a BE (Mech) from University College Dublin, a PhD in Fluid Mechanics from Imperial College, London, and an MBA from INSEAD, France.


As Vice Chairman and co-founder of Kiko Ventures, Robert works hands-on with founders of hardware businesses – supporting them to help unlock advances in clean technology. Robert has been working in cleantech since 2000, when he started his career as a hydrogen and fuel cell scientist. He is a McKinsey consultant and is passionate about growing a community focussed on climate technology innovation.


With a degree in Chemistry and a DPhil in Physical Chemistry from the University of Oxford, Liz is vastly experienced in leading the delivery of business and innovation strategy. Her main focus is the commercialisation of early-stage technologies and business incubation – she has an extensive knowledge of IP strategy, IP licensing, contract negotiation, and spin-out company formation.

Gavin McEwan

A CIMA qualified accountant with over 25 years of commercially-focussed experience gained in the FMCG, IT, logistics, manufacturing and aerospace sectors.

Gavin is the Group Financial Controller at Reaction Engines Ltd and is passionate about helping companies to develop and commercialise innovative technologies to achieve net zero.


A passionate advocate of achieving net zero through rocket science, Richard began his career with Rolls-Royce Military Engine Division – working on advanced gas turbine concepts. He was responsible for engine design work on the RB545 air-breathing rocket engines for HOTOL and winged launcher studies for the European Space Agency. Richard is a founding Director of Reaction Engines Ltd and helped devise the SABRE concept with its innovative precooler technology.