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Faculty 2015

Our lecturers are hand-picked for their in-depth expertise and ability to convey
their experiences to maximise the learning experience of our delegates. They also
are friendly, approachable, and able to have a good laugh! The intensive, yet
informal, atmosphere at the XML Summer School gives delegates the opportunity to
pick the brains of our expert faculty, both during the classes and afterwards over
meal or in the bar.

The Faculty Board operates under the stewardship of Course Director, Dr Lauren Wood.
Each year it decides on the appropriate courses and curriculum and invites the
fantastic array of experts to prepare and deliver classes.

Adam Retter | Debbie Lapeyre | Dr. Elie Abi-Lahoud | Florent Georges | Gary Cornelius | Ian Mulvany | Dr. Johannes Wilm | Professor John Chelsom | John Sheridan | John Snelson | Kal Ahmed | Dr. Lauren Wood | Matt Patterson | Dr. Michael Kay | Norm Walsh | Peter Flynn | Philip Fennell | Priscilla Walmsley | Rik Smithies | Tomos Hillman | Tony Graham | Vicky Buser

Faculty Board Members

Debbie Lapeyre

Debbie Lapeyre

Ms. Lapeyre has been working with XML, XSLT, and XPath since their inception and
with SGML (XML’s predecessor) since 1984. Debbie is an architect and developer
of XML Tag Sets (vocabularies) who designs and writes the schemas (DTD, XSD,
RELAX NG) that model those vocabularies. Most recently, she serves as the
architect and as a member of the design team for the NLM Journal Archiving and
Interchange Tag Suite, now the de facto standard for tagging journal articles
worldwide. As a document-oriented publishing analyst, Debbie helps clients to
analyze their information management, retrieval, and distribution/publication
requirements and translates these requirements into functioning production
systems, based on XML technologies. As a senior XSLT and XSL-FO consultant for
Mulberry Technologies, Inc., she
designs both pages and specifications for complex XSLT transforms and
stylesheets as well as develops prototype XSLT applications. Debbie is a member
of the XML Guild. She is also a co-chair of “Balisage: The Markup Conference” and has previously co-chaired
“Extreme Markup Languages”, “Markup Technologies”, and the annual international
“SGML/XML’XX Conference”. She teaches XML, XSLT, XSL-FO, Schematron,
What-is-XML-and-Why-Should-You-Care, and XML print workflows at venues all over
the English-speaking world.

Debbie teaches in the Hands-On Introduction to XML course.

Professor John Chelsom

John Chelsom

John is the XML Summer School Symposiarch. He founded the Summer School with
colleagues from CSW in 2000 and has taught every year since.

John chairs the Hands-On Introduction to XML course and the XML Primer course and teaches in the Hands-On Introduction to XML course and the XML Primer course.

Dr. Lauren Wood

Lauren Wood

Lauren Wood is an independent consultant, with a focus on standards-based
healthcare, XML publishing, and the web. Her wide-ranging experience includes
roles as product/program manager, technical analyst, facilitator, and quality
checker, depending on the needs of the project.

Most recently she was Senior Product Manager for Design Science, Inc,
concentrating on the MathFlow suite of mathematical typesetting and rendering
products. Before that, she was a consultant in healthcare standards with the
Lantana Consulting Group. While with Sun Microsystems she was program manager
for an innovative cloud+mobile project that had many of the features of today’s
smartphone systems, as well as representing Sun in the Liberty Alliance, and
working on other identity and privacy-focussed projects. As Director of Product
Technology for SoftQuad, she had significant input into SoftQuad’s XMetaL XML
editor. She chaired the US XML Conference from 2001 to 2005, chaired the W3C DOM
Working Group from its inception to the end of Level 2, and played an active
role in many other OASIS and W3C technical committees.

Lauren has been a Faculty member of the Summer School since the beginning. She
occasionally blogs on issues
technical and otherwise.

Lauren chairs the Hands-on Web Publishing course and the Trends and Transients course and teaches in the Hands-on Web Publishing course.

Norm Walsh

Norm Walsh

Norman (Norm) Walsh is a Lead Engineer at MarkLogic Corporation where he works
with the Application Services team. Norm is also an active participant in a
number of standards efforts worldwide: he is chair of the XML Processing Model
Working Group at the W3C where he is also co-chair of the XML Core Working
Group. At OASIS, he is chair of the DocBook Technical Committee. With almost
twenty years of industry experience, Norm is well known for his work on DocBook
and a wide range of open source projects. He is the author of DocBook: The Definitive Guide.

Norm teaches in the Hands-on Web Publishing course and the Publishing With XML course.

Peter Flynn

Peter Flynn

Peter Flynn has over 30 years experience in IT and information management. He
currently manages the electronic publishing unit at University College Cork, and
also has his own text management consultancy, Silmaril Consultants, where he works mainly with industrial production
and research systems.

Peter was a member of the W3C’s XML Special Interest Group and a member of the
IETF’s Working Group on HTML. He is maintainer of the XML FAQ and author of The World-Wide Web
Handbook (ITCP, 1995) and Understanding SGML and XML Tools (Kluwer, 1998). He
has recently been researching the usability of editors for structured documents.

In what’s left of his time he likes to cook, surf, read, and listen to early

Peter chairs the Publishing With XML course and teaches in the Hands-on Web Publishing course.

Priscilla Walmsley

Priscilla Walmsley

Priscilla Walmsley is a senior consultant and managing director at Datypic,
specializing in XML architecture and implementation. She is an expert in XML
core technologies (XQuery, XSLT, XML Schema), content management and
service-oriented architectures.

Priscilla was a member of the W3C XML Schema Working Group from 1999 to 2004,
where she served as an Invited Expert. She is the author of Definitive XML Schema
(Prentice Hall PTR, 2001), and XQuery (O’Reilly Media, 2007). In addition, she co-authored Web Service Contract
Design and Versioning for SOA
(Prentice Hall 2008).

Priscilla chairs the XSLT and XQuery course and teaches in the XSLT and XQuery course.

Faculty Members

Adam Retter

Adam Retter

Adam Retter is both an independent consultant and a co-founder of eXist Solutions GmbH. Adam has been
working with XML technologies and contributing to eXist since 2005. He has almost 15 years
of experience in building Web Applications and Distributed Application
Architectures. Adam has worked with many different technologies and programming
languages in the past, but has been particularly enjoying XQuery and Scala over
the last few years. Adam is passionate about Open Source and Open Standards. As
such he is an invited expert on the W3C XQuery Working Group and sits on the
peer-review panels of the XML Prague, Balisage, and XML London conferences. Adam also
founded the EXQuery project in early 2009,
and has since been working with the XML community and as part of the EXPath project to standardise and improve
XML application development with XQuery, XSLT and XPath.

Adam’s homepage is at

Adam teaches in the XSLT and XQuery course.

Dr. Elie Abi-Lahoud

Elie Abi-Lahoud

Elie Abi-Lahoud, PhD, is Research Fellow of the Governance, Risk and Compliance
Technology Centre, Ireland (GRC-TC). Elie played a leading role in founding the
GRC-TC and continues to engage a multidisciplinary research team with academic
and industry partners. He is interested in socio technical systems and
user-centered design, and is currently researching the application of Semantic
technology to integrated GRC. In 2014, Elie co-founded Quarule, Inc. where he is
helping companies overcome organisational and operational challenges to achieve
first class risk management and compliance oversight. Previously, Elie held
software engineering, consulting and lecturing positions. Elie is a regular
speaker at industry and standards events, published over 15 peer-reviewed papers
and plays an advisory role to several companies on Semantic technology strategy
and deployment.

Elie teaches in the Linked Data course.

Florent Georges

Florent Georges

Florent Georges is the founder and CTO of H2O Consulting. He has been involved in
the XML world for 10 years, especially within the XSLT and XQuery communities.
He is an invited expert in the XSL working group at W3C. His main interests are
in the field of XSLT and XQuery extensions and libraries, packaging, unit and
functional testing, and portability between several processors. Since the
beginning of 2009, he has worked on EXPath, to define “standard” extension
function libraries that can be used in XPath (so in XSLT, XQuery and XProc as
well). Florent’s website is at Florent is currently working for MarkLogic as
a Principal Consultant.

Florent teaches in the XSLT and XQuery course.

Gary Cornelius

Gary Cornelius

Gary Cornelius is the founder of Rapport Network
, which is an established Community Interest Company that produces
assisted living applications for early-stage dementia and for people with other
cognitive impairments who find it challenging to live independently. Gary has
experience of IT consultancy and development for the NHS, with a particular
interest in health informatics, middleware systems, and the Internet of Things.

Gary is an experienced XML consultant and solutions architect. Gary has been an
active contributor to XML mailing lists and standards for over a decade and
enjoys technical project management involving XML. He studied publishing,
graphic communication management, and digital imaging.

Gary was involved with the engineering of many XML based innovations and products
over the years such as XML base databases, CMS systems, Electronic Health
Records Systems, application performance managements systems, various multimodal
user interface systems and several knowledge management and decision support
systems. He has developed several XML and web related training courses for IT
engineers and managers.

In 2002 Gary was a delegate attending the XML Summer School and for the following
years he has returned as a speaker and instructor.

Gary teaches in the Hands-On Introduction to XML course.

Ian Mulvany

Ian Mulvany

Ian is head of technology at eLife ( which is a not for
profit Open Access publisher supported buy the world’s leading scientific
research funders – the Wellcome Trust, the Max Planck Society and the Howard
Hughes Medical Institute. He is interested in the ongoing revolution that
technology is having on the practice of scientific communication and he blogs at

He works on publishing platforms, innovative ways of displaying research content
and on understanding how technology can help to improve scientific

Prior to eLife Ian was head of product at, working on new feature
releases, and delivering on the vision of the founders for the product. Prior to
Mendeley Ian was a product manager for a number of web services developed by

Ian teaches in the Trends and Transients course.

Dr. Johannes Wilm

Johannes Wilm

Dr Johannes Wilm has worked with LaTeX documents since the early 2000s. He was
responsible for typesetting the national Norwegian anthropology student journal
for several years and helped with the translation of some key Latex packages. He
has worked on a number of projects related to print publications and the web,
trying various ways to combine semantic documents, the web and document editing.
In 2012/13 he programmed PaginationJS, a JavaScript library that allows the
styling of XHTML/HTML based content for print using CSS. In the same period he
co-founded Fidus Writer, a web-based semantic editor for academic writing. He
has been an invited expert since 2014 on the W3C editing task force on editing.
In 2015 he became editor of that group’s draft specifications. Since 2015 he has
also been a member of the CSS Working Group of the W3C, representing
Vivliostyle, a new company started by former AntennaHouse developer Shinyu
Murakami that is developing an open source JavaScript-based print layout engine
that runs inside browsers. Wilm is the editor of the CSS Working Group’s draft
specification for page floats.

Johannes teaches in the Publishing With XML course.

John Sheridan

John Sheridan

John Sheridan is a civil servant with a background in technology, who has been
deeply involved with legislation publishing over the last ten years. He is
currently the Head of Legislation Services at The National Archives, where he
leads the team responsible for His department operates the UK government’s
legislation database. Legislation documents present some unique challenges and extensively uses both
the XML and Linked Data technology stacks. John has overseen a wide range of
projects for drafting, editing and publishing legislation using XML. As well as
his operational responsibilities for legislation, John is a member of the UK
Government’s Open Standards Board as well as representing the UK on the e-Law
Working Party of the EU Council of Ministers. He is also the Principal
Investigator of the Big Data for Law research project and a former co-chair of
the W3C’s e-Government Interest Group.

John teaches in the Trends and Transients course.

John Snelson

John Snelson

John Snelson is a Lead Engineer at MarkLogic where he works on the Server
Development team. John has spent the last 11 years working with XML, and 9 years
working on databases like Oracle’s Berkeley DB XML and MarkLogic. He is a member
of the W3C XQuery Working Group and the W3C XSLT Working Group, and co-editor of
a number of XQuery specifications. He has worked on language implementations of
XQuery, XSLT, and most recently SPARQL, and on database transactions, indexes,
and compression.

John teaches in the Linked Data course.

Kal Ahmed

Kal Ahmed

Kal Ahmed is founder of NetworkedPlanet, a software house specializing in standards-based
knowledge and content management solutions for Microsoft platforms. In previous
jobs he has worked for Xerox in XML document management systems; for Ontopia in
developing and deploying Topic Maps-based solutions; and as an independent
consultant with a focus on XML, Topic Maps and RDF.

Kal is a contributor to dotNetRDF, an
open-source platform for RDF-based applications that use the Microsoft .NET
framework; and to BrightstarDB, an
open-source RDF triple-store for .NET as well as playing around in a few other
interesting applications in linked data over on github ( and What is
left of his spare time is now entirely consumed by photographing and playing roller

Kal teaches in the Linked Data course.

Matt Patterson

Matt Patterson

Working for and living in Berlin, Matt has been building for the web for
more than 10 years. A full-stack developer, over the years he has worked for the
BBC, been involved with a critically
acclaimed indie
, explored data visualisations of the evolution of Wordsworth’s The Prelude, helped the UK government
reboot its approach to the web as part of the Alpha and Beta team, helped Europe’s biggest municipal authority
build a Civic Dashboard, transformed
a large biographical dictionary from Word
files to a website
, co-organised UIKonf (Europe’s leading iOS developer conference), and is helping lead
the charge for artist-driven music television at He has spoken at conferences on both sides of the Atlantic,
and once co-authored a book about CSS. He also co-coaches the Ruby Monsters, a study group
born out of Rails Girls Berlin, with
Sven Fuchs.

He has long experience with web development and XML technologies and a wealth of
knowledge about transforming and working with structured and semi-structured
data. If you have data locked away in Word, Excel, OpenOffice, CSV, databases or
XML that you want to publish on the web he can teach you how to get to it, work
with it, and begin to publish it.

Matt teaches in the Hands-on Web Publishing course.

Dr. Michael Kay

Michael Kay

Dr. Michael Kay is the founder and technical director of Saxonica Limited, which
develops both the open source and commercial variants of the Saxon XSLT and
XQuery processor, as well as offering XML-related consultancy services.Michael
is an invited expert on the W3C working groups developing XSLT, XQuery, and XML
Schema. In particular he is the technical lead on the XSL Working Group, which
is currently developing a new version of the language to handle streaming
transformations of large documents. He is also the author of the definitive
reference book on XSLT 2.0, and has written numerous articles and conference
papers on XSLT, XQuery, and related technologies. He is a member of the XML Guild, a group of leading independent
XML consultants, and joint winner of the XML Cup in 2005, awarded for
contributions to the XML community.

Dr. Kay spent nearly 25 years with the British computer manufacturer ICL (later
Fujitsu) where he designed and implemented a wide range of data management
software products; appointed an ICL Fellow, he was also responsible for advising
the company’s senior management and customers on technology strategy. He gained
his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge for research on database management
systems, studying under Maurice Wilkes. Michael lives in Reading, England, 25
miles down the road from Oxford.

Michael teaches in the XSLT and XQuery course.

Philip Fennell

Philip Fennell

Philip Fennell is a MarkLogic Consultant who is never happier than when he’s
slaving over a pot of hot XSLT, although now he’s loving his XQuery too.
Originally trained in the printing industry, he worked as an applications
specialist, GUI designer and technical author before finding a happy home
specializing in XML and its related technologies. Since turning web developer in
2000 he has had the opportunity to work in the domains of Content Management,
Publishing, Document Processing and the Semantic Web.

Previously Philip has blogged for the O’Reilly Community and has been involved in the
W3C’s XForms Working Group.

Philip teaches in the Linked Data course.

Rik Smithies

Rik Smithies

Rik Smithies is Chair of the HL7 UK Technical Committee and Co-Chair of the HL7
International Clinical Statement working group. He is a clinical informatics and
health information architectures consultant with over 25 years’ commercial
software experience, exclusively in healthcare since 1994.

Rik’s expertise is in the areas of semantic interoperability, clinical
terminology, information modelling and international standards. He has worked
across healthcare domains, including EHR, pharmacy, laboratory, drug safety,
electronic prescribing, general practice and clinical trials. He is a FHIR
project member and implementer. Originally a programmer, he now more often works
as data architect. He has made use of XML and XSLT on most of his projects since

Rik teaches in the Trends and Transients course.

Tomos Hillman

Tomos Hillman

Tom is a Senior Data Engineer for Oxford
University Press

At OUP, he is responsible for the design and maintenance of custom data models
for books and legal materials. His job role includes XML processing, supplier
documentation, and quality control systems. He also advises on digital workflows
and strategy, and writes and delivers internal training.

Tomos teaches in the Publishing With XML course.

Tony Graham

Tony Graham

Tony Graham is a Senior Architect with Antenna House, where he works on their XSL-FO and CSS
, cloud-based authoring
, and related products. He also provides XSL-FO and XSLT
consulting and training services on behalf of Antenna House.

Tony has been working with markup since 1991, with XML since 1996, and with
XSLT/XSL-FO since 1998. He is Chair of the Print and Page Layout Community
at the W3C and previously an invited expert on the W3C XML Print
and Page Layout Working Group (XPPL) defining the XSL-FO specification, as well
as an acknowledged expert in XSLT. Tony is the developer of the ‘stf‘ Schematron testing
framework and also Antenna House’s ‘focheck‘ XSL-FO
validation tool, a committer to both the XSpec and Juxy XSLT testing
frameworks, the author of “Unicode: A Primer”, and a qualified

Tony’s career in XML and SGML spans Japan, USA, UK, and Ireland. Before joining
Antenna House, he had previously been an independent consultant, a Staff
Engineer with Sun Microsystems, a Senior Consultant with Mulberry Technologies,
and a Document Analyst with Uniscope. He has worked with data in English,
Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, and with academic, automotive, publishing,
software, and telecommunications applications. He has also spoken about XML,
XSLT, XSL-FO, EPUB, and related technologies to clients and conferences in North
America, Europe, Japan, and Australia.

Tony teaches in the Publishing With XML course.

Vicky Buser

Vicky Buser

Vicky is an independent information architect who has spent the last 20 years
structuring, organising and labelling content to help people find the things
they need. Since February 2014 she’s been working at GOV.UK, supporting browse
and navigation following the transition of more than 300 government organisation
websites to the site. She’s currently helping to create a single unified
taxonomy for all the content on GOV.UK which reflects a hugely diverse range of
user needs across many different subject areas.

Vicky has also worked for Oxford University, Oxford University Press and the
BBC. Whilst at the BBC she contributed to NoTube, a 3 year collaborative
research project about the future of TV using Linked Data technologies. Before
that Vicky worked for Publishing Technology (formerly Ingenta), providing
information architecture services to publishers of academic, scientific and
professional research including OECD, Institute of Physics Publishing, and
British Standards Institute. She started her career as a graduate trainee at the
Bodleian Library in Oxford before going on to qualify in information management.

Vicky teaches in the Trends and Transients course.