About us

Founded by two leading scientists – Emanuela Maggioni and Marianna Obrist – OW create digital smell technology that will transform an ecosystem dominated by sound and vision.

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Our Story

Originally formed as OWidgets off the back of our first European Research Council proof-of-concept award, our works crosses the arts, the consumer industries, healthcare and research.

Our Values

We design reliable and innovative technologies: hardware and software solutions that allow us to identify smells and their unique perceptual effects. With each new project, we are learning about novel ways in which our products can enhance sensory experiences.

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Meet the team

Our growing team brings together decades of experience and passion from technological innovation, academia and administration. 

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Emanuela Maggioni

CEO & Co-Founder
 

Emanuela has over ten years of experience in research and consultancy on smell. In 2018, she was awarded a prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Fellowship following her work on an ERC Proof-of-Concept project with Marianna Obrist. She has an Honorary Affiliation with the UCL Department of Computer Science, and has twice been invited to exhibit novel smell technology at the World Economic Forum.
 

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Richard Hopper

Hardware Engineer
 

Richard is a research and development engineer with over 8 years of experience working in various companies and universities, including Cambridge CMOS Sensors, Sensors UK and Cambridge University. He has extensive expertise in the fields of sensor development; characterisation; data analysis and electronic, firmware and hardware development. He is working for OW as a hardware engineer focusing on the characterisation and optimisation of scent-delivery.

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Valerie Jolliffe

Head of Finance
 

Valerie joined OW to provide advice and support in financial planning, governance and legal issues. She is a former VC and has extensive experience of investments – specialising in early-stage, high-tech companies and university spin-outs. She holds a similar role at spin-out Flusso Limited and before that, with Spectral Edge Limited, which successfully exited in 2019. 


 

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Anna Schulenberg

Business Developer
 

Anna has more than 10 years’ experience in working in sales, business development and product management. She has led the product definition and go-to-market strategies in a range start-ups, scale-ups and established companies. Her enthusiasm for bringing new technology to the market and making it relevant to customers has led to the successful launch of different products in the space of consumer hardware and software. She holds a degree in Chemistry from the University of Oxford and a PhD from ETH Zurich.

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Marianna Obrist

Chief Scientific Officer & Co-Founder
 

Marianna is Professor of Multisensory Interfaces at University College London, part of UCL’s Multi-Sensory Devices research group and the Deputy Director (Digital Health) for the Institute of Healthcare Engineering. Alongside a recent book publication and international recognition in Human-Computer Interaction and User Experience, she is also working on a number of research projects funded by government funding bodies, from the ERC to UKRI and Innovate UK.

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Samira Mortezaei

Technician / Quality Control
 

Samira has over 9 years’ experience working as metallurgy engineer, quality control engineer, industrial consultant and research technician in various universities and companies. She has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Material Science and Engineering, with specialties in selection and characterisation of material, quality control of industrial parts by destructive and non-destructive tests, materials processing, and research and development (R&D).

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Debbie Smith

HR Support
 

Debbie joined OW in 2022 to support the HR function and assist with health and safety. She has considerable experience working across different industry sectors, from start-ups through to multi-site operations. She spent 13 years in office and facilities management with Xaar Technology, and prior to that held a similar role within Johnson Controls, the multinational buildings controls company. More recently, she has been working for two start-ups, Flusso and Cambridge GaN Devices.

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Declan Pleydell-Pearce

Executive Assistant
 

Declan has worked in the arts for over fifteen years, with a background in language, literature and music. He has both a BA in Linguistics and Phonetics from the University of Leeds and an MA in Creative and Life Writing from Goldsmiths, University of London.

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Florin Udrea

Chairman
 

Florin is a professor in Semiconductor Engineering and head of the High Voltage Microelectronics & Sensors Laboratory at Cambridge University. He is the author of more than 150 patents, founder of five companies and recipient of a number of prestigious prizes – elected a Fellow of The Royal Academy of Engineering in 2015, he has been awarded the Silver Medal from the RAEng and the Mullard medal from the Royal Society in 2018, amongst others.

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Viktor Pešek

Senior Full Stack Developer
 

Viktor is a software architect and full stack and android developer, with specialties in application development, android mobile development, scrum process and test-driven development. With both bachelors and masters degrees from Prague’s Czech Technical University, he has worked as both a lead and senior developer for a number of companies.



 

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Julian Gardner

Technical Advisor
 

Julian is Professor of Electronic Engineering at Warwick University, best known for his contributions to the field of gas and odour sensing (the ‘electronic nose’). With over 500 papers to his name – including 9 books – he is a named inventor on 20 patents. He has led to the establishment of two spin-off companies (Neotronics Scientific Ltd and Alpha MOS SA), and is the recipient of 11 awards, including the IET JJ Thomson Medal, an IEEE Technical Award, and a Royal Society Mullard Innovation Award.

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Chris Dawes

Researcher
 

Chris comes from a background in cognitive psychology with interests in computer science. He completed his BSc and MSc in Psychology at The University of Nottingham, where he is also finishing his PhD in schizophrenia and Virtual Reality. Chris is also a Research Assistant at UCL Computer science investigating multi-sensory experiences.