Norman Apsley   Chief Executive Officer


Dr Norman Apsley joined the Northern Ireland Science Park Foundation in 2000, as its first Chief Executive, on return from England where he was involved for some thirty years in applied research and the commercialisation of research.

Norman was born in Larne, and educated at Larne Grammar School and at the then, New University of Ulster, achieving a First Class Honours Degree in Physics. Then Norman went to Cambridge University to study amorphous semiconductors at the Cavendish Laboratories. Norman became a Fellow of Jesus College and an SERC Research Fellow.

In 1979, Norman joined RSRE (now QinetiQ), one of Europe's foremost applied physics laboratories. For ten years, he researched a wide variety of microwave and optical devices, publishing some 70 scientific papers and patents. He served on several of the MOD extramural funding committees and directed many programmes of semiconductor device research in universities and industry. He became Superintendent of the Liquid Crystal and Optical Signal Processing Division in 1990, then led the Business Development team for Electronics Sector in 1993 and became Director of that Sector in 1995 and Site Director in 1996.

Since 2000, Norman has steered the Northern Ireland Science Park from an initial concept to physical embodiment, headquartered on 25 acres of Queen’s Island with its growing array of bespoke science park buildings for high technology industry and, in which, is embedded an innovation ecosystem linking wantrepreneurs, business angels, risk capital, and a volunteer workforce of sucessful business professionals and entrepreneurs. This has been modelled on the work of Mary Walshok and the highly successful CONNECT programmes that she co-founded in USC-SD. Mary is a regular visitor and mentor to the staff in NISP CONNECT.

Professional appointments include Vice President (Business and Innovation) at the Institute of Physics, membership of Matrix, the Northern Ireland Science Industry strategy group and Chairman of the International Advisory Board of the Electronics, Communications and Information Technology Institute of Queens University Belfast and the new NI Centre for Composite Materials. He is also a visiting Professor at the University of Ulster. He is Honorary President of the NI chapter of the Association of Science Education.

Norman is also a Fellow of The Royal Academy of Engineering and The Irish Academy of Engineering.

In June 2012, Norman was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, in recognition of his contribution to science and economic development.

Joanne Stuart   Director of Development


Joanne Stuart has over 25 years’ experience working in the IT industry including nine years with the Oracle Corporation. Joanne is responsible for the development of strategic relationships to support the growth of the Knowledge Economy in Northern Ireland and has been active in the area of economic development and championing STEM subjects amongst the region’s younger generation.

Mr Mervyn Watley   Director of Corporate Real Estate and Facilities


Mr Steve Orr   NISP CONNECT Director


Steve graduated from the University of Northumbria at Newcastle in 1994 with a degree in Business Information Technology. For the following six years Steve worked in Buckinghamshire, San Diego and San Francisco for S.Com Ltd and S.Com Inc. In 2000, Steve co-founded Kineticom, Inc a San Diego, California based technical talent firm. In 2006 Kineticom was ranked #33 on the Inc 500, the list of the fastest growing privately held companies in the US.

Bored with perfect weather and missing the craic, Steve has now returned to his roots and hopes to focus the rest of his career on helping to create an advantage for new ventures and entrepreneurs from Northern Ireland.

Mr Alan Watts   Halo Director


Alan Watts is the Director of Halo, the Northern Ireland Business Angel Network where he draws upon his previous experience both as entrepreneur and as a business angel.

Winning a scholarship, he graduated from Queens University as an engineer with first class honours. Soon with a fellow engineer he started a NI company funded by angel investment developing automatic test equipment. After a period as General Manager of Mindready NI Ltd, he worked in a start-up venture and was a business angel before moving to the NI Science Park as Director of Halo in 2009. Halo has grown to over 100 angels who have invested over £8m in NI start-up companies since he took over. In 2010 Halo was named British Business Angels Association Angel Network of the Year.

Philip Maguire   Director of Finance and Administration


Philip Maguire joined Northern Ireland Science Park in August 2007 as Director of Finance & Administration.

Philip has responsibility for all of the finance, administration and company secretarial duties for NISP property portfolio and knowledge based programmes.

Having completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree with University College Dublin, Philip trained and qualified as a chartered Accountant with Henry Murray & Co Chartered Accountants.

Philip then moved into industry firstly as company accountant with the Larsen Group before moving to become the Northern Ireland Finance Director of eircom, the telecoms incumbent in the Republic of Ireland.

Immediately prior to commencing employment with NISP Philip was Group Finance Director with O’Kane Group of companies, the poultry processing and food distribution business.

Shauna Collins   Personal Assistant