Mike Penman MBE, BSc

  • Managing Director

Mike Penman has nearly 40 years’ experience in managing toxicology, regulatory affairs and information technology within major companies (ICI and ExxonMobil), associated trade associations and, since 2007, Penman Consulting.

He has experimental background, initially working on alternatives to long term cancer testing at the ICI Central Toxicology Laboratory in the UK. Later he moved to provide toxicological and regulatory information services to the whole ICI Group, and then to specific businesses on Teesside. During this time he was awarded a UK civil honour for “Services to Environmental Safety”. For nearly 10 years Mike worked for ExxonMobil in the US and Belgium as Senior Toxicology Adviser for Europe, and later as the Technical REACH / GHS Implementation Manager. During this time he worked on the ECETOC TRA exposure model, IUCLID and chaired the REACH Implementation Project responsible for the initial EU guidance on Information Requirements.

Borja Serrano, BSc

  • Software Development Manager

Borja studied Computer Engineering at Polytechnic University of Madrid (Spain). He completed the last year of his degree and the Final Project at the University of Pisa (Italy).

He is a proficient programmer in Java and C++ with experience in all the stages of the software development life-cycle.

Previously, Borja worked as a programmer analyst for communication and audiovisual companies. He has worked as the support engineer for integrated development editors as Delphi or C++ Builder. Within Penman Consulting he works as a software developer and quality engineer of Active Steward™.

Borja was born in Spain and joined Penman Consulting/Active Steward™ 2016.

Richard Bessant, BSc (Hons)

  • Software Developer

Richard earned a BSc (Hons) degree from the University of the West of England, Bristol, in Computing for Real-Time Systems.  He spent the Industrial Placement Year at the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) in Reading, UK.Richard is an experienced software developer, specialising in Object Orientated Design and Coding.  Previously he has worked for companies with a technological or scientific focus.  Since November 2017, he has worked as a Software Developer on Active Steward™, where he maintains and extends code written in Java, JSP, JavaScript and CSS.

Ross Newby, BSc (Hons)

  • Software Developer

Ross graduated from the University of Lancaster with a first-class honours degree in Computer Science, alongside a gold Lancaster Award, recognising outstanding extra-curricular work.

After exploring solutions for energy optimisation in smart cities, he became an Oracle certified programmer, working with large e-commerce clients, before joining Active Steward™ in 2018. His role involves maintaining and extending code written in Java, JSP, JavaScript, CSS and associated frameworks.

Ross loves the outdoors and travel; he previously volunteered as a park ranger and hopes to continue completing annual ‘Tough Mudder’ events.


Helen Penman, BA (Hons)

  • Product Stewardship and Regulatory Affairs Manager

Helen Penman, BA (Hons), is a regulatory project manager with many years’ experience of working closely with large consortia in the chemicals industry and REACH regulation. Her experience includes SIEF management, SIEF communication, data access for non-REACH purposes, project management, consortia management and financial management of large testing programs for multiple complex substances.

Helen is reading for a BSc (Hons) in Natural Sciences and has level 2 BSL.

Marsh Penman, MA, PG Dip (Computing)

  • IT Manager

Marsh has a Masters (MA) degree specialising in various aspects of computing, hypertext and literary textual analysis, and a postgraduate diploma in computing. He plans to complete his MSc (computing) in 2021.

Marsh began his career in Health, Safety and Environmental management in the nuclear industry. He holds the NEBOSH National Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety, and NVQ 3 Advice and Guidance.

Later he became a CEDR-accredited mediator as part of an award-winning team, focussing on SHE and ITIP (Information Technology Intellectual Property) mediation for, among others, the U.K domain name registry Nominet and the County Courts.

Before coming to Penman Consulting Marsh worked for the Open University, Europe’s largest university, in a team providing Higher Education for students in prisons and secure hospitals.

Professional body memberships: Tech IOSH, MISTC, MIIRSM, MBCS

Rhianon Price, BSc (Hons)

  • Active Steward Coordinator

Rhianon Price graduated from the University of Birmingham with a degree in Mathematics in 2014. After working for briefly as a finance assistant, she joined Penman Consulting in 2015.

Rhianon works closely with the Active Steward™ team, testing new releases and providing training to internal staff.  Rhianon also sits inside Penman Consulting’s Product Stewardship and Regulatory Affairs team, contributing to innovative modeling work such as Petrorisk and other statistical work.

James Orr, BSc (Hons)

  • Regulatory Scientist

James graduated from the University of Portsmouth with a First-Class Honours degree in Biomedical Science.

He is a member of the Product Stewardship and Regulatory Affairs (PRSA) team and has been working with Penman Consulting since August 2016.

James’ main responsibilities include overseeing Penman Consulting’s Only Representative services and consulting on REACH and Product Stewardship and Regulatory Affairs queries.

Since joining the company, he has gained additional experience in the creation of Safety Data Sheets, SIEF management and the use of IUCLID.

Dave Gernon

  • Assistant Linux Administrator

David joined Active Steward in November 2022 as an Assistant Linux Administrator.

He is a qualified Red Hat Certified Engineer for Linux and Microsoft Certified Systems Associate for Windows Server with a background in both Windows Domain Management and Linux Systems Administration.

He has spent the last 12 years working at the University of Oxford and Jisc, the UK’s National Research and Education Network (NREN) provider – managing various physical and virtual infrastructure systems with a strong focus on IT Security, automation and infrastructure as code.

Away from the office he enjoys reading, exploring the wilderness with his family and playing various games with boards, cards and computers

Simrit Attwal

  • Commercial Development Officer

Simrit brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience amassed over her time in the industry as a drug development professional.

Since graduating from the University of Birmingham with a degree in Biochemistry in 2015 and later gaining a Master of Science (MSc) in Toxicology, she has been employed as Business Development Executive at Sequani Limited and is a member of the British Toxicology Society.

With over 4 years commercial experience in a GLP Contract Research Organisation specialising in non-clinical drug development and chemical safety registration, Simrit has gained extensive knowledge on General Toxicology, Genetic Toxicology, Juvenile Toxicology, Developmental and Reproduction Toxicology (DART) and joins Penman Consulting as Commercial Development Officer.

Bernardo Alava

  • A.S Track Data Administrator

Bernardo studied Computer Engineering in Castilla La Macha University (Spain) and has a Masters in Web Technologies.

He has experience as software developer in either back and front end using many different technologies, ranging from C, C++ and JAVA to .NET, Javascript or SQL Server.

In his last position, Bernardo has been busy with Business Intelligence Systems using SQL Server and Power Bi and administrating an ETL in a data Warehouse.

Bernardo joined Penman Consulting in 2021 helping with the population of AsTrack and the automatization of processes.

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