People

Dave Melkman
Director

Dave is hands on with our projects from start to finish - he has decades of experience in delivering digital projects. His attention to detail and ability to see a site from a users point of view make our sites easy to use, and great to look at.

He leads our technical and personal development, making sure the team are always learning, which keeps us happy and progressive. He loves reviewing the tools and systems we use to eke out every last drop of efficiency.

Dave's misspent youth means that he rules the Manta Ray pool table and dartboard - shame he can't gloat as much when he's cheering on Spurs at White Hart Lane.

Steve Lacey
Director

With over ten years at the Welcome Trust developing health education materials, and a MSc in infectious diseases from LSHTM, Steve’s expertise helped turn a plan to make beautiful websites for the global health and development organisations into a reality. He structures content for our clients and oversees our digital strategy, design and user experience.

Although a co-founder of the company, Steve’s fully costumed Eurovision karaoke performance suggests he may have misconstrued the meaning of being a big cheese. When he’s not rolling back the years on the five-a-side pitch he dreams about swimming with fishes (in a non-Sopranos sense - his love of deep sea diving gave Manta Ray its name).

Russ Urwin
Head of Systems

Russ is a keen proponent of open source technologies, particularly those based around Linux, PHP and MYSQL. He makes sure that the back‐end of our bespoke websites, databases, content management systems and e‐commerce systems are built to the highest possible standards.

Russ blows the Manta Ray cycling pretenders out of the water - not only has he built his own bamboo bike, he’s made it all the way to Oman through leg power alone.

Jernej
Head of Development

Jernej has been coding since he was 8 years old and we challenge you to find a language or a technology that he isn’t fluent in. Jernej leads on technical solutions and manages our development team.

As well as being a digital polymath, Jernej is a ballroom dancing champion and a serious contender for the Manta peloton’s yellow jersey, having cycled an eye-watering, saddle-soring ten thousand miles in just six months for charity. He’s currently working towards getting his driving licence. Racing car licence that is.

Adam Brichto
Head of film

Adam is a specialist film producer with a talent for fun and innovative storytelling. His beautiful friendship with Manta may not have involved airfields and hills of beans, but it did begin in foggy times long gone by.

Having helped grow a small production company, Brickwall Films, into a fully integrated digital agency, Adam has strengthened Manta’s reputation for brilliant, narrative driven films and animations, communicating campaigns and research for our partners in global health and beyond.

Away from the office (i.e., in the pub) Adam is fond of blabbering on about obscure documentaries over a pint and a pie. As a Gooner he’s long enjoyed bragging rights over Manta’s Spurs contingent, and is in denial about the possibility of tables turning.

Angie Vanhegan
Project Manager

Angie has been project managing digital teams for yonks, delivering websites and intranets for the Wellcome Trust, London Metropolitan University and the Royal Bank of Scotland. She thrives on bringing order to chaos and navigating complex projects with creative team organisation, agile methodology and post it notes. Lots of digital post it notes (since she learnt that they don’t biodegrade).

Five years ago Angie side-stepped a mid-life crisis by moving to Mexico where she now lives on a tropical island with her husband and her dog, making plans to build a house and sharing annoying photos of palm-fringed beaches on Instagram. Her mission to develop the perfect online project board is ongoing.

Pipe Salom
Developer

Pipe grew up in Colombia and studied in Spain, freelancing for design studios before moving to London to focus his career on web development. A keen Drupal advocate, he brings a refreshingly flexible coding expertise to the team, and is as comfortable with back-end development as front-end.

In an alternate Marvel universe Pipe would be Sugru-man - fixing everything with his super-powered plasticine. He also moonlights as the unofficial Manta Ray swimming trainer, channeling a disciplinarian waterpolo coach from his youth. Since the arrival of his firstborn, Pipe spends most of his spare time crafting prints to record his new family life.

Dilwar Hussain
Developer

Dilwar brings calm, unflustered assurance to any storm, keeping things on an even keel whatever drama is taking place around him. Someone should design a motivational poster distilling his ability to keep calm and carry… oh. We’re very thankful for his influence in the development-stage of projects where his grounded approach keeps us on track.

Blessed with an effortlessly dapper style, Dilwar’s patience is most heavily tried with persistent requests for sartorial advice. His tolerance and understanding in the face of Manta men’s dedicated flouting of fashion (strongly evidenced in photos across this site) is nothing short of heroic.

Nelle Cutler
Developer

We first used Nelle’s talents in English and creative writing to help us with our content work, but she’s proved a dab hand at back end Drupal development and has become invaluable to Manta Ray.

Nelle makes her own clothes, and dreams of having a successful YouTube channel to share her Fallout 4 gameplay and detailed zombie apocalypse plans.

Matty Winter
Support Manager

Matty manages our Remora site delivery, and as our support point of contact, trouble soothes across our projects.

With his reassuring tone and confidence-inspiring knowledge, Matty takes the warm duvet approach to client support. He’ll tuck you up with all the training you need and is ready with the tech calpol should you encounter any disturbances. When running training sessions, Matty keeps things jargon free and accessible, so you can focus on your site content without needing to be a tech whizz. 

Hearing Matty’s training voice, you could imagine him spinning Sade discs on Norfolk FM in his spare time. The somewhat grittier reality sees him roping himself to the sides of mountains and eking out marginal gains on his bike, before blowing all the good work by troughing his way through East London’s food markets.

Cat Johnson
Designer

Cat joined Manta fresh from university and has been delivering beautiful site designs with us for over five years. Her ability to collaborate, understand our partners’ needs and produce uniquely creative, UX focussed designs, is a thing of wonder.

Cat has recently relocated to Berlin, where she’s enjoying the fresh design inspiration of a new city and living the hipster dream in the heart of a creative community. We miss her delicious freshly baked birthday cakes and have established an office omerta around the garlic mayo brownie incident.

Paloma Redoli
Office Manager

Paloma has an MBA in Business Administration and Management and an evangelical passion for colour coded to-do lists. Her childhood ambition was to be a National Geographic Researcher/ Baker. While this unlikely dual role has proved elusive, she campaigns for sustainable living and rolls a very mean Nori roll.

Despite her claims of clumsiness, Paloma is a Bonsai gardener. She also possesses the office’s most useful hinterland skill - an ability to name the film title within five seconds of any Disney song.

Sarah Palmer
E-learning specialist

Sarah has been developing accessible learning and training materials for over two decades, firstly at the Wellcome Trust and then freelancing with a wide range of clients. An adult education specialist, she brings a rich mix of instructional design, writing, editing, teaching and project management skills to the Manta table.

Sarah is enviably green fingered and is happiest rooting about in her garden, or tending her allotment and perfecting everything ahead of the arrival of the next batch of spuds.

Gat Powell
Lead Animator

Gat is a graduate of the prestigious National Film and Television School in London. Having worked on a wide variety of projects from children’s television to hard hitting documentaries, and tackling a wide range of styles and content, his adaptability made him an obvious fit with the Manta Ray team. Since joining as lead animator in 2014, he has brought his unique creative vision to tell client’s stories with both beautiful character-led stories and crisp & engaging infographics.

Away from the office he devotes his spare time to his passion for film - always with a creative project on the go - and his passion for dressing up as disturbing film characters. Trust us, you don’t want to see the photos!

Meghna Gupta
Filmmaker

Meghna has a strong variety of film experience, having worked across several different formats - from educational and corporate to fiction and music video. This diversity means that she brings fresh approaches to storytelling for Manta Ray’s clients, sparking life and fun into even complex topics. She focuses on making films that are accessible and beautifully crafted in equal measure.

Away from work, she’s got a soft spot for things that happen in pubs - such as roasts, chats and quizzes (where her unnecessary knowledge of Disney might actually be appropriate).

Some of our clients

Some of our clients

What we do

WEB
We know the web. We work closely with our clients to scope, design and build websites that are engaging, appropriate for the audience and, of course, easy to use and manage.
MOBILE
Responsive web design is becoming a modern day standard. We make sure your site will adapt to display on the hundreds of different devices by dynamically adjusting the display of your content according to screen size.
SCIENTIFIC CONTENT
We love creating content. For words that work, no matter who your audience or what your message, we can help. Our writing team create concise and engaging materials for all kinds of audiences.
FILM
Tell us your key messages and we'll convert them into inspiring films that captivate your audience.
DATA
We distil your data, information and knowledge into interesting and useful visualisations.
eLEARNING
We’re experts in eLearning, working on programmes that promote and support the individual’s personal, professional and career development. We help people reach their full potential – wherever they are in the world.
DEVELOPMENT
Our experienced development team bring your site to life in Drupal, a world leading open source content management system. Ruby on Rails, PhP, jQuery, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, MySQL and much more - we know it all.
USER EXPERIENCE
We often create bespoke websites and systems so we focus on usability to ensure what we deliver is intuitive, user-friendly and effective.
DESIGN
There’s no one else quite like you. We can help create a brand, logo and design that capture the essence of who you are and what you do.
STRATEGY
Make sure your website lives up to its potential by having a flexible and fluid strategy to mirror the unpredictability and fast moving nature of the web.