The Team

Meet the Cervus Team

At Cervus our people are at the core of all we do; we work inclusively to enhance one another’s superpowers because we know that we achieve more together. Our likeminded diversity drives us to find answers that others haven’t thought of yet. From our newest joiners, to the original founders, all ideas are heard equally – innovation comes from all sources, no matter the experience!

Meet the Cervus Team

At Cervus our people are at the core of all we do; we work inclusively to enhance one another’s superpowers because we know that we achieve more together. Our likeminded diversity drives us to find answers that others haven’t thought of yet. From our newest joiners, to the original founders, all ideas are heard equally – innovation comes from all sources, no matter the experience!

Chris Rolfs

Chief Technology Officer

Chris Rolfs is the Chief Technology Officer within the company.  He manages the Cervus IT systems, technical coherence within the projects and is an advocate of the Year In Industry Scheme for bringing students into the company.

After completing his degree in Maths, Chris worked for a large defence company where he delivered several large training and experimentation projects using Live, Virtual and Constructive Simulation systems.  These required the development of innovative systems to enable personnel to deliver in austere environments.

He has always had a passion for maths and how it can be applied to real life situations.  Cervus offered the opportunity to make a difference in how data analytics can be applied to military operations and the unique challenges this involves.

Outside of work Chris enjoys DIY projects, the occasional bit of sport and cooking (especially on BBQ/Firepit) for friends and family.

Sarah Sims

Head of People and Programmes

Sarah is the Head of People and Programmes within the Operations Department responsible for resourcing and project monitoring. She is also ensuring the business works within it’s quality management processes and advises on human resource matters.

Before joining Cervus in 2019, Sarah was a Programme Manager at Bristol City Council responsible for developing a city-wide energy investment programme to support the city’s carbon neutrality ambitions. Prior to this, she specialised as a project manager delivering award winning energy efficiency retrofit projects from the public and private sectors.

Sarah was drawn to Cervus by the passionate ambitions of the Directors, the opportunity to contribute to the growth of a small, exciting business and the challenge of working in a completely new sector.

Outside of work, Sarah enjoys the sun and snow and is currently striving to get better at running, tennis and cooking.

Bram Vandermeersch

Senior Software Engineer

Bram Vandermeersch is the senior software and systems engineer. His responsibility is to ensure that the systems that are delivered are robust and meet the agreed specification and customer needs.

He has 10 years’ experience in the military synthetic training domain, specialising in distributed simulation approaches.  He has developed simulation solutions which underpin the training delivery capability for high profile programmes delivering essential training.  Before returning to defence he has spent five years in the air traffic management domain where was driving algorithms design, data analytics and associated infrastructure.

Bram joined Cervus because he wanted to be part of the story they are writing, and he feels that his previous experience will contribute to successfully delivering the next level of training analytics.

When he’s not working, he has a passion for technology, is a keen cook and likes keeping active by skiing and cycling.

Sam Wallace-Smith

UI/UX Engineer

Sam Wallace-Smith is a seasoned Senior Front End Developer with extensive experience in creating visually appealing and user-friendly websites, web components, and web applications. With a strong foundation in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, Sam excels in using front-end frameworks and tools. Over the course of his career, he has collaborated closely with designers and back-end developers to ensure seamless integration of front-end code with design and functionality.

Currently a UI/UX Engineer at cervus Sam specializes in the development and maintenance of application user experiences and interfaces.

Sam is passionate about writing clean, maintainable code and staying updated with the latest trends in web development. Outside of work, he enjoys cycling, running and engaging with UX/UI design and exploring new technologies to enhance user experiences.

Phil Craigie

Xcalibr Capability Manager

Phil Craigie is the Principal Analyst (Lethality), working with the end user to develop new products to better capture and analyse training data to enhance combat performance.

After a successful career in the Royal Marines, operating around the globe and in numerous operational environments, Phil worked for 4 years delivering soldier system capability to the British military, specialising in training design and product development through rigorous test and evaluation.

Phil is drawn to Cervus’ passion for providing novel solutions to difficult problems, especially in the training sector. Their use of technology to enhance training output and provide data driven performance indicators will ensure the soldier is prepared for the modern battlefield.

Phil loves the outdoors, be it walking, wild camping or gardening. A mad keen telemarker, taking part in the British Telemark Championships for the last 5 years he is always desperate to ‘free the heel and ski for real’!

Ed Knight

Data Engineer

Ed Knight is a Data Engineer within the company. This role involves transforming large datasets into meaningful outputs.

He graduated from Cardiff University with a first-class degree in Mathematics, Operational Research and Statistics in 2019. Part of the degree involved a year in industry where he was an Assistant Operational Analyst for the Experimentation team within the Land Warfare Centre. After graduating he held a position of Platform Systems Graduate at Dstl.

Ed was drawn to Cervus as the company is full of like-minded, driven people. He relishes the opportunity to explore how data analytics can be used within the defence industry.

Outside of work Ed enjoys rock climbing, exploring outdoors and cooking. He is a keen football fan and has an interest in how data analytics can be used to predict sporting outcomes.

David Gilhooley

Software Engineer

David joined Cervus as a software engineer, responsible for development of tools and features within the company’s suite of products.

His background is in Aerospace Engineering, but most of his career has been spent in the software domain, primarily developing tools and applications with a heavy data/analysis focus. His passion for software development started towards the end of his degree and led him to undertake a PhD, where he created small analysis software applications to solve benchmark engineering problems, using novel mathematical approaches. He moved from Ireland to the UK 10 years ago and has been working for a variety of companies in the Aerospace sector, from SMEs to larger multinationals. In his previous roles he was involved in developing and leading a number of software projects, ranging form small prototypes to larger scale desktop software development.

He was drawn to Cervus because he felt their background and vision very much aligned with his experience.He wanted to be part of contributing to Cervus’s vision of exploiting data to improve insights for the end user.

Outside of work he likes to run and will soon be starting training for next years London marathon. He also has a 4-year-old Golden Doodle, so most days she decides to take him out for walks.

Josh Dobbins

Data Engineer

Josh is one of the Data Engineers at Cervus. He is responsible for creating and maintaining features from the Cervus catalogue of products, as well as developing product deployment tools for customers and Cervus engineers. After graduating with a MSc Computer Science degree, Josh has worked on several different defence applications of data, including wargaming for JFC Naples, Synthetic environments for digital deception experimentation, and language modelling for decision support, as well as delivering new functionality for HIVE and XCALIBR.


Beyond working in defence, Josh enjoys pursuing a range of hobbies and interests. He is an avid vegetarian cook and enjoys experimenting with new recipes in his spare time, also playing chess and guitar. As a data engineer, Josh is particularly interest in the potential of AI to automate repetitive tasks and improve efficiency in everyday life.

Chantelle Cotterell

Finance and Office Support

Chantelle is part of the Operations team, supporting both the Finance and Marketing departments. She is responsible for ensuring the smooth operation of financial processes and helping to amplify the company’s presence to a wider audience. Additionally, Chantelle serves as the company’s mental health first aider, offering support and fostering a positive work experience.

Previously, Chantelle served as a Business Manager within HMPPS, empowering teams to excel and drive innovation. She also played a significant role in the renationalisation of HMPPS in 2021. Chantelle was drawn to the business because of the great team at Cervus and all they stand for. Their commitment to excellence and the supportive, innovative culture made it an easy decision for her to join and contribute to their shared goals.

 In her spare time, Chantelle enjoys running, cooking, and recently, learning to play tennis.