Meet the team


Founders and directors Matthew Bloch and Peter Taphouse lead a growing team of 29 talented staff

Picture of Peter Taphouse Peter Taphouse Director

Peter Taphouse

Peter designs our extensive core network and infrastructure. His experience growing Bytemark from a single rack to five data centres ensure calm seas and a generously over-provisioned network. Pete is a committed gastronaut — travelling the world for excellent food, an occasional pyrotechnician, and a runner.

Picture of Matthew Bloch Matthew Bloch Managing Director

Matthew Bloch

Matthew implemented the first version of many of the company’s hosting products. With a background in software engineering roles on PC virtualization and Java virtual machine products, he now heads the team improving its many different software systems.

Picture of Patrick Cherry Patrick Cherry Operations Director

Patrick Cherry

Patrick is a systems administrator and software developer with an academic background in biomedical engineering. He is responsible for overseeing our support team, as well as our internal systems administration. Symbiosis was born from his desire for an easy-to-use hosting environment without the surprises. Patrick is an everyday cyclist, choral singer, and cub scout leader.

Picture of Grahame Davies Grahame Davies Non-Executive Director

Grahame Davies

Grahame Davies joined Bytemark in 2012 as its first new director since the company was founded. He brings masses of experience from his founding of Demon Internet back in 1992, years as Group Managing Director of Easynet, and many other business interests including a leading sheet music download site, He is also a long-distance runner.

Picture of Julia Gronnow Julia Gronnow Finance Director

Julia Gronnow

Julia joined us in 2016, bringing invaluable executive and technical experience to the board. Previously, she was Finance Director at Yorktest Laboratories for 5 years. Prior to that, Julia was the Management Accountant at Gamestation, helping them expand from 30 to 350 stores while growing their finance team from 3 to 25 staff. Julia enjoys travelling, walking and relaxing spa days.

Administration & Finance

Picture of Sandra Kölsch Sandra Kölsch Finance Manager

Sandra Kölsch

Sandra Kölsch joined us in 2012 from a wide-ranging commercial background, including aeronautics and financial management at Full Sutton prison, from where she has some excellent torch-under-the-chin camp fire tales. Her fastidiousness is proving crucial to keeping the company’s finances in check as Bytemark expands.

Picture of Pam Hinds Pam Hinds Human Resources Manager

Pam Hinds

Pam joined us in 2015 from a varied corporate administration & HR background. She takes on responsibility for ensuring that all the cogs keep turning day to day. She is also a nutritional and fitness enthusiast and loves a sunny beach for some R&R.

System Administration

Picture of Telyn Roat Telyn Roat System Administrator

Telyn Roat

Telyn is a recent graduate of York University and an independent musician and producer. Equally at home with a wrench and screwdriver as with a keyboard and mouse, she loves cycling, bouldering, stilt-walking and board games. Team cat.

Picture of James Hannah James Hannah System Administrator

James Hannah

James joined us at the start of 2012 to bring his varied Linux experience to our managed customers. He’s a Mancunian with experience in student radio, and loves cycling and home-brewing.

Picture of Pete Foster Pete Foster Support Team Leader

Pete Foster

Pete Foster hails from an IT security background, with knowledge of pen testing and vulnerability research. After a short stint as a Certified Apple professional, he joined Bytemark’s support team, looking after our self-managed customers. In his spare time, he likes to repair, collect and play vintage video games and enjoys flying aircraft big and small.

Picture of James Lawrie James Lawrie System Administrator

James Lawrie

James has worked on web and database systems for years, and from his time at both Netcraft and UKFast knows exactly what our customers want. He has a great mix of programming and system administration experience, and joined us in May 2011 to develop our internal systems and answer our customers’ hard questions.

Picture of Steve Kemp Steve Kemp System Administrator

Steve Kemp

Steve is a former Debian developer and creator of the excellent Debian administration website. Steve has been with us since 2006 and overhauled many of our original hosting products. He now focuses on delivery to our managed hosting customers and is an accomplished photographer.

Picture of Charles Pigott Charles Pigott System Administrator

Charles Pigott

Charles joins us as an intern from the University of York, where he is working on a CS/Maths degree. He is also a member of University Radio York, helping keep the station running. In his free time, he enjoys cycling and playing video games.

Picture of Berin Smaldon Berin Smaldon System Administrator

Berin Smaldon

Berin joined Bytemark in 2015 and has been using all kinds of Linux distributions on spare hardware since 2006. Previously having worked with LiDAR software and data, Berin is an enthusiast for all things technical with interests including but not limited to electronics, metalworking, music, RPGs, and motorcycle repair & maintenance.

Picture of David Edwards David Edwards System Administrator

David Edwards

David joined the Bytemark team in 2015 after being self-employed for ten years. His previous work involved writing ERP software for industry as well as developing social networking software. He’s been a Linux user since 2000. When not working with computers, David takes interest in European languages and the history of 1970s Britain.

Picture of Nathan Lasseter Nathan Lasseter System Administrator

Nathan Lasseter

Nathan graciously accepted our invitation to join Bytemark full-time in 2013 after graduating from his computer science masters degree at York, during which he spent a year in industry working at Bytemark. Nathan is another avid board and card game player and is involved in York Hack Space, often demonstrating his inventions in the office.

Picture of Ian Eiloart Ian Eiloart System Administrator

Ian Eiloart

Ian joined us in 2016 from the University of Sussex, where he’d been a systems administrator for 16 years. He’s also served 8 years as a member of Lewes District Council, and takes an interest in politics, the environment, and the history of everything.

Picture of Jamie Nguyen Jamie Nguyen System Administrator

Jamie Nguyen

Jamie is a medical doctor with a passion for Linux and Free Software. He made a bold decision to switch careers and joined us in 2016. His medical expertise will keep us alive in the event of a catastrophic viral pandemic, but until then Jamie will trade his trusty stethoscope for a keyboard and mouse. He enjoys cooking and keeping fit.

Picture of Paul Cammish Paul Cammish System Administrator

Paul Cammish

Paul joined the team in 2016, after 4 years in videogame design, including a stint with Sony in California, and 12 years as Tech Support for an internet provider in Birmingham. He has been a gamer since the 80’s, which makes him feel very old, but continues to develop videogames in his spare time in-between constructing lightsabers.


Picture of Chris Cottam Chris Cottam Data Centre Engineer

Chris Cottam

Chris Cottam joined us in August 2011 to help run our data centre and fulfil orders. We are very excited about his broad experience in chemical R&D, IT services, computer recycling and roadie-ing. Chris is a keen hill-walker.

Picture of Sam Smith Sam Smith Data Centre Technician

Sam Smith

Sam joined us full time in 2015, after a successful spell as a contractor. His experience gained during a degree in Network Management from Sheffield Hallam serves him well in our data center.

Picture of Tom Hill Tom Hill Network Engineer

Tom Hill

Tom joins us from Melbourne where he helped grow their self-managed network infrastructure through his keen interest in networking with Cisco, Linux and anything else he can get his hands on. He joined Bytemark in 2013 to help grow our network and to incorporate our new data centre in York. He’s into real ale and whisky.


Picture of Mike Poland Mike Poland Hosting Design Engineer

Mike Poland

Mike joined us in March 2014 from 34SP where he was one of their main support engineers and helped customers design their hosting. He’s a big fan of football, computer games and a lover of all things beer.

Picture of Tim Dobson Tim Dobson Community Wrangler

Tim Dobson

Tim joined the team in November 2010 and has been blazing a trail through our managed customers, helping with both sales and implementation, so our customers get exactly what they ask for. He’s also the company’s contact for sponsorship and open source outreach. He cycles, he hikes, and has quite an eye for landscape photography.

Software Development

Picture of Steve Urmston Steve Urmston UX Developer

Steve Urmston

Steve joined Bytemark in 2014 with the brief to design and implement our user interfaces, focusing on usability. He has over a decade of experience in design and web development and an MA in Human Computer Interaction from York. Steve is a keen golfer, DJ and prefers cats.

Picture of Ian Chilton Ian Chilton Software Developer

Ian Chilton

Ian joined Bytemark in March 2014 to boost our development team. He has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge of all things technical which he’s already put to good use by documenting the Cloud Servers API. His interests include DevOps, Ruby and configuration management as well as tinkering with electronics at home, sound engineering for local churches and Formula 1.

Picture of James Carter James Carter Software Developer

James Carter

James comes to us from the University of York where he built the Computer Science department’s in-house Linux distribution, terminal server and many other crucial parts of their infrastructure. He is a retro-computing enthusiast spotting computers that appear in TV and film and has run an online quiz podcast for the last nine years.

Picture of Kim Witten Kim Witten Software Developer

Kim Witten

Formerly a graphic designer from California, Kim moved to York in 2010 to complete her PhD in linguistics. Kim joined Bytemark full-time in 2014 in a new role as a developer and is currently working on our website, monitoring and reporting systems. She enjoys figuring out languages, not following recipes, camping, and poker.

Picture of Sam Beckham Sam Beckham Web Developer

Sam Beckham

Sam is a front end developer and co-organiser of FrontendNE. He’s an advocate of pattern libraries and componentising elements; and has given talks on both topics at several events and conferences in the past year. Yes, the D stands for David; and no, there’s no relation (unfortunately).

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