Meet the Team
Our team of experienced sales professionals and specialist product directors are on hand to discuss your machinery requirements. Please contact them directly using the links in their profiles below.
Luke Vardy, Chief Executive Officer
CEO, Luke Vardy, joined Cygnet Texkimp as a design engineer in 2007 and became Chief Technical Officer in 2014 before taking overall leadership of the business in 2017. As an accomplished engineer, Luke spearheaded Cygnet Texkimp’s thriving programme of R&D, creating award-winning innovation, driving new concepts, and increasing technology speeds and capabilities.
As company CEO, he has been instrumental in building and developing Cygnet Texkimp’s workforce and growing the company’s reputation as a lead technology partner in the international fibre processing market.
Louise Bailey, Finance Director
Louise is a highly skilled and experienced accountant and business advisor who brings challenge, conscience, and the continual drive for us to be better in everything we do. She qualified as a Chartered Accountant with international accounting giant PwC where she worked as an audit manager, handling the financial arrangements of businesses ranging from family-owned SMEs to large multi-nationals. During her time at PwC, Louise led the team managing Manchester United Football Club’s UK GAAP to IFRS conversion and IPO readiness for its subsequent Stock Exchange listing.
Matt Clark, Director of Sales
Matt’s experience as a global sales director in the capital equipment sector spans more than three decades and encompasses most industries, from textiles to defence; construction to oil and gas.
Drawing on his breadth of expertise, Matt brings a strong global vision and an innately professional and structured approach to our sales activities.
Warren Battle, President, Cygnet USA
Warren is based in South Carolina where he leads Cygnet Texkimp’s US operation, Cygnet USA, and works closely with our US customers.
He is a chartered textile technologist with over 35 years’ international experience in technical and speciality textiles and an MBA from a top-ranking China-European business school. During his extensive career in senior management, Warren has also worked in the UK, Switzerland and China, and for high-profile textile companies including weaving machinery manufacturers Sulzer and Picanol.
David Barker, International Sales Manager
With an international career in textile machinery sales spanning more than 40 years, David can lay claim to an unmatched understanding of the industry and a long-established network of valued customers and contacts in the chemical fibre, technical textiles and composites markets.
At Cygnet Texkimp, he provides an essential link between our customers and our technical and commercial teams.
Gareth Davies, International Sales Manager
Gareth has over 26 years’ experience in commercial sales, specialising in materials engineering and technical solution development for the international polymers and composites markets. His role is to support the company’s expansion in all territories, drawing on his understanding of materials, materials handling and processing to sell customer-driven solutions.
Volker Koehler, International Sales Manager
Volker is based in Germany from where he supports the company’s sales activities and global expansion. He has an extensive career in technical sales for capital equipment and large-scale projects.
Volker has successfully worked with aerospace, automotive and industrial customers across the globe over the past 10 years and started his career with a well-known German equipment supplier before he joined Cygnet Texkimp.
Kevin Wang, Sales Manager, China
Kevin is based in mainland China where he has helped to cultivate many ongoing relationships and new opportunities for our technologies in China’s textiles and composites markets.
He has over 20 years of experience working with customers in the advanced textile market, having begun his career with a well-known German textile machinery manufacturer before joining Cygnet Texkimp in 2007.
Julie Moss, Customer Sales Advisor
Julie is our Customer Sales Advisor, supporting the sales and spares teams and providing an essential point of contact to enhance our relationships with customers.
Julie has a wealth of experience in this role.
Chris Furphy, Product Director, Creels
Chris plays a pivotal role in developing our leading-edge portfolio of PAN creels, including our self-calibrating Flatline creel. Working with our engineering teams, he is responsible for meeting our customers’ fibre processing objectives with some of the most efficient and intelligent fibre unwinding creel technologies in the world.
Chris’s technical know-how is second-to-none in the creels market. His extensive career in mechanical engineering, quality assurance, sales, project management and technical support gives him a valuable blend of skills and an intuitive understanding of large-scale projects.
Graeme Jones, Product Director, Web Converting
Design engineer Graeme has spent his whole professional life in product development, production management and sales for the downstream management and sales for the converting industry. Over 30 years, he has developed an exceptional product knowledge encompassing wide web and prepreg lines, coating and laminating machines, rollers and guiding systems.
Lee Simcock, Director of Technology
Lee is a mechanical design engineer and project manager with a 25-year international career focused in handling, automation and handling.
Using his technical and commercial experience, Lee spends the majority of his time working with customers on innovative, bespoke solutions. He manages an experienced team of multi-discipline engineers to turn these solutions into reality.
John Davidson, Product Director, Oxidation & Carbonisation
John is one of the best-known and most respected technical authorities in the field of carbon fibre processing. He has spent over four decades designing, installing and commissioning carbon fibre lines, including some of the first and largest lines in the world. He is a pioneer in the development of carbon fibre recycling technology and regularly chairs the annual GoCarbonFibre Conference.
John advises new market entrants and provides consultancy on the refurbishment of existing carbon fibre lines, including ways to upgrade and improve processing practices. He is also involved in several government-led collaborative projects in the UK and internationally, to drive innovation in carbon fibre and composites.
Tony Price, Head of Mechanical Engineering & Special Projects
Tony is a highly experienced, solution-driven engineer who has learned every aspect of his profession through decades of hands-on, applied engineering.
At Cygnet Texkimp, he leads a large and diverse team of engineers across a wide spectrum of capabilities and heads up our quality management and resource budgeting activities to ensure all our work meets stringent engineering performance standards and technical risk assessments.
Research & Development
Andy Whitham, Technical Manager
Andy is a mechanical engineer with an extensive career in the design and build of special purpose machinery. He has worked in the technical textiles and composites sector since 2007 when he joined Cygnet Texkimp and began developing his expertise in fibre handling, placement and processing, including multifilament fibre tows, and thermoset and thermoplastic coating.
Andy heads up Cygnet Texkimp’s R&D division and is responsible for the company’s product development and innovation programme, which includes special projects with higher technical risk.
James Pearce, Head of Electrical & Controls Engineering
James’s enormous technical and computing abilities make him one of the most eminently qualified electrical and software engineering managers in our industry. He is a Chartered Engineer with an extensive academic and professional career stretching over 25 years and his specialist knowledge is employed advising customers, writing design and technology specifications, and overseeing the design and delivery of all our electrical and software engineering projects.