Zoe Higgins

Zoe Higgins | Santander

Zoe Higgins

Attentive and motivated data science professional who has almost two years of diverse experience in the banking industry.

Currently part of a rotational programme whilst obtaining an undergraduate degree in data science. My rotations so far include Data Services, Audit and Finance which have allowed me to develop my expertise in programming and self-confidence. Advocate for apprenticeships and women sponsorship in STEM roles.

Sanaz Yeganefard

Sanaz Yeganefard | Santander

I’m a passionate innovator and inventor who loves technology and making a difference.

In 2010, my curiosity took me to a PhD at University of Southampton. With a distinction in masters I received a full scholarship. My PhD results include peer-reviewed publications in IEEE and NASA conferences.

I believe technology can add significant value when applied, so in 2013 I joined IBM. During 4 year at IBM and 1 year at Santander I helped colleagues and businesses benefit from emerging technologies by creating code, delivering proof of concepts, leading projects and helping people understand technology.

I’ve designed and developed Cloud and Artificial Intelligence solutions. I was a developer on one of the UK’s first banking chatbots that empowers customers to receive answers to mortgage-related queries. Even more fun, I designed software that found outfits on a website that matched an image on Pinterest.

I’ve steered my career towards Blockchain with the goal of becoming an expert, because I believe in its potential for everyone and at Santander, I’m exploring banking solutions in identification and verification using Blockchain. I'm also defining an onboarding framework to enable firms join a Blockchain platform.

Before this, I led the Git community. I facilitated knowledge transfer and trained colleagues with the goal of developing internal talent and applying Open Source concepts, such as code share and reuse.

I value external and internal collaboration for successful innovation. This is why at IBM I collaborated on a patent that stops pilots from being dazzled by laser beams. I’ve also joined teams and events such as FCA Mental Health Hackathon and CrisisHack to collaborate and develop new ideas that help vulnerable customers and disadvantaged countries.

Because I love helping others, in the past 8 years I’ve mentored nearly 50 early-career professionals and UK and international masters students in their journey.

Jennifer Wetton | Santander

My name is Jennifer Wetton, I love to help people innovate, learn and explore new technologies and collaborate more effectively.

I’m currently an innovator in residence at Santander. Over the last year my mission has been open source and how we can bring the principles and practices of open source and communities into Santander to create a more open, creative and collaborative culture within the bank.

Working with some of the leading technical experts on open source and communities and connecting with other organisations who are also on this journey I’ve introduced and currently lead an initiative we’ve called ‘[email protected]’. This programme has involved introducing internal communities, self-organising groups focused on a technology, code or any other area of interest where anyone with any level of expertise can participate and contribute. It also looks at how we collaborate around code ensuring that we share and reuse code as much as possible. With the rapid pace of change in technology I’ve helped colleagues learn about new technologies, get involved in things that are meaningful for them and help create impact for them and for our customers.

For three years prior to my work on Open Source, I established a small specialist research and development team exploring emerging new technologies. This team still exists today, collaborating with Fintechs and startups we run experiments to understand the capabilities and opportunities the technology can bring to improve customer experiences and create efficiencies. From cognitive computing, AI, voice and speech technology to looking at data and biometrics for creating frictionless experiences. In addition I’ve helped colleagues through tech talks understand these new technologies.

Before joining Santander I launched an e-commerce startup and spent several years as a management consultant helping organisations build and deliver strategies for growth and how to leverage technology to do so.