Sensor firm Pyreos hires Phair as CTO

John PhairPyreos, the Edinburgh-based sensor developer, has appointed Dr John Phair as chief technical officer.

Dr Phair will join from poLight, a Norwegian company developing camera components that replicate the speed of the human eye lens, where he has been its senior micro-electromechanical systems development engineer since 2010.

Since graduating from the University of Melbourne with a doctorate in chemical engineering, Dr Phair has gained international experience working as a research associate at the National Research Council in Washington, DC, a post-doctoral fellow at the Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation in Australia, and a research scientist at the Risø National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy at the Technical University of Denmark.

Commenting on his appointment, Pyreos CEO Andrew Wallace said: “John not only brings many years’ specific technical expertise in thin film PZT, MEMS and production technology to our team but he also brings further international experience and a strong track record in working closely with academic institutions in our field.

“Based as we are close to Scotland’s premier academic groups in photonics, and MEMS we look forward to deeper relationships with the universities.

“Pyreos recently announced that its infra-red sensor technology is being developed into milk analyser products with Bosch in India to serve high volume markets in India and world wide.  John’s arrival continues the addition of new skills to our current team as we prepare for higher volume production and accelerate our innovation.

“We are launching products in Asia and the United States and so John’s understanding of the technical requirements in those markets is vital as we continue to serve customers around the globe.”

Dr Phair added: “My ambition has always been to lead a team in the development and application of innovative technology – by utilising cutting-edge tools, techniques and materials – and at Pyreos I’ll get the chance to help lead the launch of our technology into new disruptive applications.

“I’m also eager to move to Scotland, which has a thriving tech scene and a global reputation for excellence.”

Dr. Phair’s appointment comes just months after Pyreos recruited Andy Laing, previously with the Archangel Informal Investments, as its Chief Finance Officer.

The appointments of both a CFO and CTO are part of the company’s strategy of strengthening its management team as it releases a range of new sensors.

Pyreos develops and manufactures sensors that are built into a wide range of devices, from motion sensors for buildings and scientific instruments in laboratories.

The company was spun out from Siemens in 2007.  Pyreos’ technology is based on the equivalent of 75 man-years and some €10m (£7m) of investment and research at Siemens in ceramic thin-film technology.  The company has filed well over 125 patents to protect the intellectual property it has created so far.

During 2015 it announced the appointment of two non-executive directors with electronics industry veteran Tony Lear and Philipp Rose joining the board.  The Scottish Investment Bank nominated Mr Lear for his second spell on the board, following his chairman and independent director positions between 2010 and 2012.

Pyreos’s major shareholders include Robert Bosch Venture Capital, Scottish Investment Bank (the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise), Seraphim Partners, Siemens Technology Accelerator and Braveheart.  All shareholders contributed to a further £2.5m funding package for the company last year.

The firm is based at the Scottish Microelectronics Centre on the University of Edinburgh’s King’s Buildings campus.

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