Founder of AI sensor systems recognised in New Year’s Honours list

Posted on 3 Jan 2019 by Maddy White

Founder and managing director of a smart sensor technology business, Heba Bevan, has been recognised in the New Year’s Honours list for the company's contribution to international trade.

UtterBerry could build smart cities - image courtesy of Depositphotos.
UtterBerry could build smart cities – image courtesy of Depositphotos.

Bevan was awarded an OBE for services to innovation, technology and STEM education, and the company highlighted for its global exports.

The company was founded in 2013 as a spin-out from Cambridge University. It is based in London and its smart sensors are manufactured in Britain and exported internationally.

The business is a provider of artificially intelligent, miniature, ultra-low power wireless smart sensor systems for infrastructure monitoring and the development of smart facilities.

The patented technology has been used in a variety of major national infrastructure projects including London’s Crossrail and Thames Tideway. UtterBerry’s electronics technology is used to create smart IoT devices.

Over the past year, the demand for UK goods and services overseas has continued to grow, as exports in the year to October 2018 rose to £626bn.

There has also been a shift in who Britain trades with, ten years ago over half of the UK’s exports went to the EU, 54.2% now go to non-EU countries.


UtterBerry operates across a vast number of platforms connecting entire processes, ranging from smart tunnels, construction, hospitals, bridges, crowd-sensing projects, factories, agriculture, trains and underground networks, and roads. 

The wireless smart sensor technology self-calibrate to form a mesh network and relay data between each other, working as a family of sensors in any particular area.

They are able to transfer data in real-time from remote locations. The machine learning capability enables the UtterBerry system to form the core technology required to build intelligent facilities from factories to transport systems and even whole cities.

Why ‘smart’? 

autonomous vehicles self-driving vehicle connected cars - image courtesy of Depositphotos.
Wireless communications technology could allow for example autonomous vehicles to rapidly share large quantities of data  – image courtesy of Depositphotos.

Connectivity will be a core focus for manufacturers in 2019, particularly the introduction of 5G.

This will create ‘smarter’ factories that operate more efficiently.

5G will offer the always-on connectivity that manufacturers now demand, as it is tipped to become the industry standard for future connectivity.

This could enable industrial automation systems to operate at unseen speeds, rapidly share data, and increase the rate that real-time analysis can be done, meaning quicker reactions to any potential issues.

Who else made the 2019 New Year’s Honours list?

  • Stephen Edwards, managing director of engineering firm Flamgard. 
  • Dairy Crest’s CEO Mark Allen, for services to the UK’s dairy sector.
  • Paul Flanagan, secretary general of UK space Trade Association.
  • Entrepreneur and founder of Ella’s Kitchen, Paul Lindley.
  • Katherine Bennett, senior vice president, Airbus in the UK. For services to the aerospace and aviation Sectors.
  • Juergen Maier, chief executive of Siemens’, has been awarded a CBE for his contribution to UK manufacturing.
  • Alison Brittain, chief executive, Whitbread plc. For services to business.
  • Kevin Fitzpatrick, senior vice president, manufacturing, purchase, supply chain management, Nissan Europe. For services to manufacturing and engineering in the North East.
  • Geoffrey Maitland FREng professor of energy engineering, Imperial College London. For services to chemical engineering.
  • Peter Bennett, managing director, prefabricated access suppliers’ and Manufacturers’ Association and chairman, Access Industry Forum. For services to business.
  • Hugh Griffiths, Thales/Royal Academy of Engineering Chair of RF Sensors, University College London and volunteer, Institution of Engineering and Technology. For services to engineering.
  • Sarah Hainsworth, pro vice chancellor and executive dean, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University. For services to engineering and forensic science.
  • Raffaella Ocone, professor of chemical engineering at Heriot-Watt University. For services to engineering.