Meet the team

Our team of experts bring together a strong mix of skills and experience working within automation engineering, operational technology, and cybersecurity. We are passionate about technology and focused on helping you to improve your cyber defenses and organizational resilience against cyber-attacks.

Board of Directors

Simon Lovatt

Board Chair

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Simon Lovatt is Director, Research & Enterprise at the University of Waikato, where he is responsible for both the University’s commercialisation business, WaikatoLink, and its Research Office. Simon also is a director of several of WaikatoLink’s associate companies and a member of the KiwiNet Investment Committee. His role gives him a valuable overview of the University’s innovation pipeline from the most fundamental research projects to commercially successful spin-out companies. Simon has a PhD in food engineering and experience in engineering research, software and hardware product development and management, and is a Fellow of Engineering New Zealand.

Bob Stokes

Managing Director

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Bob has more than 35 years’ experience in the IT, automation, and control sectors. He is the Founder and Managing Director of CTEK Industrial Control Systems which formed in 2004 and is New Zealand’s leading automation and integration company with an international client-base in the Asia-Pacific region. CTEK have established successful partnerships with Fonterra, Open Country Dairy, Ravensdown, Nestle, Danone and leading organisations in other key automation industries. In 2019 Bob led CTEK in its partnership with the University of Waikato to form First Watch – Industrial Cyber Security.

Tom Batcheler

Advisor

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An experienced cloud product and business leader with a passion for disrupting industries and solving real-world problems.Tom is the Growth Strategy and Offers Lead at Google, USA and has previously worked in senior positions in growth market offers and acquisitions at Microsoft and Amazon Web Services. He has an extensive network in North America, experience with M&A and a strong track record in marketing, market positioning and business development strategy.

Technical Advisory Committee

Andrew Kling

Advisor

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Over his thirty-plus year career, Andy has spearheaded world-class security development initiatives and provided Next Generation solutions as an Enterprise Architect in the Industrial Automation industry.
An industry-recognized authority on Cybersecurity, Andy currently works at a multi-billion dollar energy management and Fortune Global 500 company, where he acts as the Industrial Automation Vice President of Cybersecurity and Product Security Officer, architects, and drives next-generation ICS solutions, delivers and executes the cybersecurity roadmap, and manages strategic partnerships with multiple global corporations.

Declan Ingram

Advisor

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Declan is a proven cyber security leader with significant experience with senior leadership, risk and technology. Declan has more than 20 years of experience supporting organisations to understand and mitigate cyber security risks. Declan has worked both as the attacker through penetration testing and incident response and the defender by building security architecture. Declan has co-founded and led several successful start-ups, including Securus Global which sold to PS&C in 2013. Declan worked with MBIE to establish CERT NZ, covering systems and security architecture as well as operational delivery. Declan is the current Deputy Director of CERT NZ.

Alex Ladur

Chief Technology Officer

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Alex has extensive technical skills having been involved in the development of the data provenance technology that underpins First Watch at the University of Waikato. Alex’s experience covers Industrial Control Systems (ICS) and Cyber Security, including cyber attack anatomy, social engineering, effective mechanisms to detect and prevent malicious actions, vulnerabilities of ICS elements (PLC, HMI) and how to exploit them. Alex joined First Watch as CTO in 2020 and has been managing the overall development of the platform since 2019

Bob Stokes

Managing Director

Contact

Bob has more than 35 years’ experience in the IT, automation, and control sectors. He is the Founder and Managing Director of CTEK Industrial Control Systems which formed in 2004 and is New Zealand’s leading automation and integration company with an international client-base in the Asia-Pacific region. CTEK have established successful partnerships with Fonterra, Open Country Dairy, Ravensdown, Nestle, Danone and leading organisations in other key automation industries. In 2019 Bob led CTEK in its partnership with the University of Waikato to form First Watch – Industrial Cyber Security.

Ryan Ko

Advisor

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Professor Ryan Ko is Chair and Director of Cyber Security, and Deputy Head of School (External Engagement) at the University of Queensland, Australia. At UQ, he established UQ Cyber – UQ’s interdisciplinary cyber security education programme and research centre. Ryan Ko has held scientific leadership roles at Hewlett-Packard Labs and academia, and technical advisory roles for ministers, listed companies and the INTERPOL. His OT security research helped to spin off First Watch Ltd, and his cyber security research has contributed to ArcSight, Kali Linux and OpenStack features. An expert in the ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 27, he edited ISO/IEC 21878 and national standards, and drafted the NZ cybersecurity curriculum for the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Matthew McMahon

Commercial Lead

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Matthew has an extensive background in technology strategy and finance, with a particular focus advising on mergers and acquisitions advisory and venture capital. Matthew has held several executive roles in technology companies and manages a local impact venture fund, Cure Kids Ventures. Prior to joining First Watch, Matthew was the general manager of commercialisation at WaikatoLink where he led the initial prototyping work that led to development of First Watch. Matthew has been pivotal in developing capital strategy, leading key strategic relationships and supporting the development of sales and marketing strategy. Matthew is also leading the roll-out planning with Spark/Ignite and SAGE Automation, which is a key pillar of the growth strategy.

Tom Batcheler

Advisor

Contact

An experienced cloud product and business leader with a passion for disrupting industries and solving real-world problems.Tom is the Growth Strategy and Offers Lead at Google, USA and has previously worked in senior positions in growth market offers and acquisitions at Microsoft and Amazon Web Services. He has an extensive network in North America, experience with M&A and a strong track record in marketing, market positioning and business development strategy.

Team

Alex Ladur

Chief Technology Officer

Contact

Alex has extensive technical skills having been involved in the development of the data provenance technology that underpins First Watch at the University of Waikato. Alex’s experience covers Industrial Control Systems (ICS) and Cyber Security, including cyber attack anatomy, social engineering, effective mechanisms to detect and prevent malicious actions, vulnerabilities of ICS elements (PLC, HMI) and how to exploit them. Alex joined First Watch as CTO in 2020 and has been managing the overall development of the platform since 2019

Bob Stokes

Managing Director

Contact

Bob has more than 35 years’ experience in the IT, automation, and control sectors. He is the Founder and Managing Director of CTEK Industrial Control Systems which formed in 2004 and is New Zealand’s leading automation and integration company with an international client-base in the Asia-Pacific region. CTEK have established successful partnerships with Fonterra, Open Country Dairy, Ravensdown, Nestle, Danone and leading organisations in other key automation industries. In 2019 Bob led CTEK in its partnership with the University of Waikato to form First Watch – Industrial Cyber Security.

Matthew McMahon

Commercial Lead

Contact

Matthew has an extensive background in technology strategy and finance, with a particular focus advising on mergers and acquisitions advisory and venture capital. Matthew has held several executive roles in technology companies and manages a local impact venture fund, Cure Kids Ventures. Prior to joining First Watch, Matthew was the general manager of commercialisation at WaikatoLink where he led the initial prototyping work that led to development of First Watch. Matthew has been pivotal in developing capital strategy, leading key strategic relationships and supporting the development of sales and marketing strategy. Matthew is also leading the roll-out planning with Spark/Ignite and SAGE Automation, which is a key pillar of the growth strategy.

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