My Blog

Faculty 2018

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 | Dr Andy Seaborne | Debbie Lapeyre | Florent Georges | Gary Cornelius | Jason Polis | Jen Williams | Professor John Chelsom | John Snelson | Kal Ahmed | Dr Lauren Wood | Matt Patterson | Dr Michael Kay | Nic Gibson | Norm Walsh | Dr Peter Flynn | Priscilla Walmsley | Steven Pemberton | Dr Stuart Williams | Tomos Hillman | Tony Graham |

Faculty Board Members

Debbie Lapeyre

Debbie Lapeyre

Debbie Lapeyre is a developer of XML Tag Sets (vocabularies) who designs and
writes the schemas (DTD, XSD, RELAX NG) that model those vocabularies. She
serves as the architect/design team member for ANSI/NISO Z39.96-2015 JATS:
Journal Article Tag Suite, which is currently the worldwide de facto standard
for XML tagging of journal articles. She performs the same roles for BITS (Book
Interchange Tag Suite), the NLM sponsored book tag set based on JATS and also
for NISO STS (NISO Standards Tag Suite), which is in development for tagging
national and international standards. 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 developing prototype XSLT
applications. Ms. Lapeyre has been working with XML, XSLT, and XPath since their
inception and with SGML (XML’s predecessor) since 1984. She is a member of the
XML Guild and a co-chair of Balisage: The Markup Conference, She
previously co-chaired “Extreme Markup Languages”, “Markup Technologies”, and the
annual international “SGML/XML’XX Conference”. Debbie 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 and the Trends and Transients 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 the Course Director for the XML Summer School, and Managing Editor
for She is also an independent XML consultant with many years of
experience in a variety of roles and areas, most recently programming XSLT for a
US-based legislative system and healthcare (HL7 CDA and FHIR), and Schematron
for journals (JATS), as well as designing and coding the website using

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 Digital Publishing With XSLT course and the Trends and Transients course and teaches in the Hands-on Digital Publishing With XSLT course.

Norm Walsh

Norm Walsh

Norman Walsh is a Lead Engineer at MarkLogic Corporation where he helps to
develop APIs and tools for the world’s leading enterprise NoSQL database. Until
recently, Norm has also been an active participant in a number of standards
efforts worldwide: he was chair of the XML Processing Model Working Group at the
W3C where he was also co-chair of the XML Core Working Group. At OASIS, he was
chair of the DocBook Technical Committee for many years.

With two decades 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 Digital Publishing With XSLT course and the Publishing Techniques with XML course.

Dr 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
recently completed a PhD in User
Interfaces to Structured Documents
with the Human Factors Research Group
in UCC.

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

Peter chairs the Publishing Techniques with XML course and teaches in the Hands-on Digital Publishing With XSLT 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 and the Trends and Transients course.

Dr Andy Seaborne

Andy Seaborne

Andy has been working on the storage and query of RDF data, first as a researcher
at HPLabs, then at Epimorphics and now at
TopQuadrant. Andy has been a long time
contributor to the SPARQL standardization process. He started as a member of the
W3C RDF Data Access Working Group and was a member of the W3C SPARQL Working
Group. Andy co-edited the query language specification and lead the proposal
submission for SPARQL Update. He also served on the W3C RDF Working Group. He
also works on Apache Jena, an
open source RDF framework for Java, where he contributes to the query engine,
ensuring that complete implementations of the standards are available, and
several persistent storage sub-systems.

Andy has a PhD in Computer Science from the Computer Laboratory at the University
of Cambridge.

Andy teaches in the Linked Data course.

Florent Georges

Florent Georges

Since Florent discovered IT back in
the 90’s, he has always been fascinated by how data are stored and represented.
He naturally came to XML, but also to RDF and Semantic Technologies.

Florent contributed to many open-source and community-driven projects in the
field of XML. His main interests are in the field of XSLT and XQuery extensions
and libraries, packaging, unit and functional testing, and portability between
several processors. But it is only with the advent of NoSQL technologies and
transactional triplestores that Florent started to consider using Semantics and
the flexibility of its data model in commercial projects.

Florent is an invited expert in the XSLT
working group
at W3C, since 2009. Florent founded EXPath the same year,
and is also the chair of the EXPath
community group
at W3C, defining “standard” extension function libraries
that can be used in XPath (so in XSLT, XQuery and XProc as well). Florent and
H2O Consulting are members of the XML Guild, “a consortium of some of the best independent XML
consultants in the world.” He worked for two years for MarkLogic, the
“Enterprise NoSQL Database”, helping many of their clients with their data
projects and challenges.

H2O Consulting website is at Florent is currently working as a Semantic
Data Architect, helping a leading banking group in Paris defining their new data
management strategies and systems.

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 Trends and Transients course.

Jason Polis

Jason Polis

Jason Polis helps banks transform, enrich & integrate financial data
information systems.

He’s currently developing a Model Driven Architecture of a XML to JSON round
trip transformation, to support a common approach across the following

  • Financial Products Markup Language’s as an Architecture Working Group member.
  • ISO 20022 as a member of its Technical Support Group;
  • OpenBanking, having worked on the OpenBanking UK specifications.

Jason Polis has been an independent consultant in the financial services sector
in the UK since 1999, with a special focus on systems integration using XML
based standards. Prior to this he worked on internationalising several internet
standards, general IT consulting and university lecturing on information

Jason teaches in the Trends and Transients course.

Jen Williams

Jen Williams

Jen Williams is a software developer and data consultant at Swirrl. She spends
the majority of her time devising and building linked data management and
publishing platforms. Together with Kal Ahmed, she is a lead developer of DataDock – an online service that creates
unlimited navigable linked open data portals from CSV spreadsheets.

Outside of her development work, Jen is a member of the Bristol ODI Node steering group, helps
organise Open Data Camp UK, and founded a Tech4Good meetup in

Jen teaches in the Linked Data 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 Trends and Transients course.

Kal Ahmed

Kal Ahmed

Kal Ahmed is the Data Architect for the Dictionaries department at Oxford
University Press. Prior to joining OUP, he was 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

Kal is a contributor to several open-source projects relating to RDF including
dotNetRDF, an open-source platform for
RDF-based applications that use the Microsoft .NET framework; DataDock, a platform for publishing CSV data
as Linked Open Data; and 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 ( What is left of his spare
time is now entirely consumed by photographing and board games.

Kal teaches in the Linked Data course.

Matt Patterson

Matt Patterson

Most recently CTO of German streaming-video startup, Matt has been
building for the web for more than 15 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 spent three years helping lead the charge for
artist-driven music television at He is currently exploring new ideas
in the Digital Humanities. He has spoken at conferences on both sides of the
Atlantic, and once co-authored a book about CSS. He also helps out at the Ruby Monstas, a study group born out of Rails Girls Berlin.

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 Digital Publishing With XSLT 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.

Nic Gibson

Nic Gibson

Nic Gibson is an consultant for MarkLogic EMEA, working with large customers to
develop content and data driven applications using XML, JSON, XQuery and XSLT.

Prior to joining MarkLogic, Nic worked on XML and digital publishing
technologies for a variety of publishers and organisations that publish. He
specialised in advising publishers on suitable uses of XML and the
implementation of complex transformation pipelines using XSLT and XProc.

Most recently Nic has worked for Cambridge University Press to create a system
for transformation and normalisation of content before ingestion into the
academic CMS and for LexisNexis UK as Content Architecture Lead, leading a team
of content architects and developers who manage the schemas and transformations
used to publish tens of thousands of legal precedents to the web and print.

Nic teaches in the Publishing Techniques with XML course.

Steven Pemberton

Steven Pemberton

Steven Pemberton is a researcher at CWI,
Amsterdam, the Dutch national research centre for mathematics and informatics.
His research is in interaction, and how the underlying software architecture can
support users.

He co-designed the ABC programming language that formed the basis for Python,
and was one of the first handful of people on the open internet in Europe, when
the CWI set it up in 1988. Involved with the Web from the beginning, he
organised two workshops at the first Web Conference in 1994. For the best part
of a decade he chaired the W3C HTML working group, and has co-authored many web
standards, including HTML, XHTML, CSS, XForms and RDFa. He now chairs the W3C
XForms group, and was until recently a member of the ODF (Open Document Format)
technical committee. More details at

Steven teaches in the Trends and Transients course.

Dr Stuart Williams

Stuart Williams

Dr Stuart Williams is a linked data practitioner and enthusiast who has have been
working in the field of semantic web and linked data standards, technologies,
and applications for more than 15 years. Prior to joining Epimorphics in 2009,
Stuart was a member of the Semantic Web research group at HP Labs in Bristol
where he worked on the application of semantic web technologies to the
description and coordination of web services (so-called semantic web web
services); software configuration management; and the management of system
access entitlements in a regulated environment. He also served as co-chair of
the W3C TAG for a number
of years. At Epimorphics he works with a number of public and private clients
helping them to model and publish their data as open linked data.

Even longer ago, Stuart was a major contributor to the protocol specifications of
the IrDA, who promoted a set of wireless
infrared data communication standards for consumer devices that have largely
been displaced from today’s gadgets by bluetooth and wifi.

Stuart teaches in the Linked Data course.

Tomos Hillman

Tomos Hillman

Tom is an independent consultant and director of eXpertML Ltd, offering
consultancy on publishing with XML, training, and freelance expertise in XSLT
and related technologies.

Until very recently he was a Senior Data Engineer for Oxford University Press,
where he was responsible for the design and maintenance of custom data models
for books and legal materials. His job role included XML processing, supplier
documentation, and quality control systems. He also advised on digital workflows
and strategy, and writes and delivered internal training.

Tomos teaches in the Publishing Techniques 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 Techniques with XML course.