About Us


What is PolyChord?

PolyChord Ltd is a spin-out from Cambridge University Astrophysics. Dr Will Handley originally designed the first PolyChord algorithm along with Prof. Mike Hobson and Prof. Antony Lasenby to examine the 10-billion-year dataset collected by the Planck satellite. Realising the underlying theory would have benefits across many different commercial sectors, they sought to commercialise the tool under the direction of Mike Handley and formed PolyChord Ltd.


After several stages of R&D with the initial algorithm, PolyChord Ltd is now a growing team of bright-minded scientists creating exciting commercial software. Ranging from protein folding to predictive maintenance algorithms, PolyChord Ltd prides itself in finding innovations in a multitude of fields. PolyChord Ltd has aspirations to build a bigger, stronger, and more diverse team of data scientists to tackle more challenging projects, mainly focusing on predictive maintenance technology and sensor-configuration optimisations.

Meet the Team


Mike Handley

Chief Executive Officer

A Marketing and Advertising consultant with 40 years of experience working on branded goods and services, Mr.Handley manages commercial relationships in the company. Mike has successfully run The Handley Partnership for the last 20 years and brings commercial expertise to PolyChord Ltd.


Dr. Will Handley

Chief Technology Officer

Dr.Handley is the core inventor of PolyChord's main engine. He has created fundamental technology for many of PolyChords projects. His work focuses on developing novel Bayesian algorithms for high-dimensional parameter estimation and model comparison using nested sampling. Dr.Handley is both a Royal Society University and Alan Turing Fellow.


Professor Mike Hobson

Chief Science Officer

A professor in Astrophysics and Cosmology at Cambridge University and head of Trinity Hall College, Professor Hobson is a key inventor of PolyChord's cutting-edge Bayesian science technology. Mike has authored over 500 publications on machine learning and Bayesian statistics (including the acclaimed book "Bayesian Methods in Cosmology").


Professor Antony Lasenby

Academic Advisor

Professor Lasenby is our leading expert in Bayesian science and geometric algebra. He assists in the development of the company's core technologies. Professor Lasenby is also an Emeritus Cambridge Professor of Astrophysics and Cosmology and a Fellow of Queens College.


Dr. Catherine Watkinson

Technical Commercial Lead

Dr.Watkinson has been the main driver in deploying parameter optimisations in digital simulations of complex industrial processes. She's worked for over 13 years as an astrophysicist at world-leading institutions such as Imperial College London and University College London. Dr.Watkinson joined PolyChord Ltd in January 2021 and has since led several successful projects and is now heavily involved in developing PolyChord's product and business strategies.


Dr. Maud Formanek

Data Scientist

A computational physicist with a passion for bio-inspired design and self-assembly, Dr.Formanek is currently working on PolyChord Ltd's protein folding initiative, specialising it to predict protein-protein binding affinities. She has been the leader of PolyChord Ltd's initiative to join data science and biotechnology. Dr.Formanek has over 7 years of experience in data analysis in biology, physics, and chemistry.


Dr. Paolo Mason

Data Scientist

Dr.Paolo Mason specialises as a developer of models for risk quantification using sparse or incomplete data. He is heading activities involved with predictive maintenance. During his time with EDF Energy, an operator of UK nuclear power stations, Dr.Mason used Bayesian data science to create software to predict inspection regimes that EDF Energy employs today.


Dr. Thomas McAloone

Data Scientist

Dr.McAloone has been heading PolyChord Ltd's efforts toward ground-breaking technology to optimise sensor placement. He has worked directly with the UK Ministry of Defence to create a telecommunications application of said software. Dr.McAloone completed his studies working directly with PolyChord technology and therefore effortlessly entered the company.


Dr. Tamas Stenczel

Data Scientist

Dr.Stenczel is crucial to the implementation and performance of PolyChord's software. He assists in the functionality of the core code developed at PolyChord Ltd. His background is mainly in Machine-Learning modelling and research-software engineering.


Dr. David Yallup

Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr.Yallup has been making great contributions to PolyChord Ltd's PolyNet interpretable-AI project. He's been conducting research around novel approaches to machine learning problems powered by principled Bayesian statistics. He brings machine-learning expertise to the PolyChord Ltd team.


Rebecca Handley

Business Collaboration Lead

Rebecca looks after Business Collaboration opportunities in the commercial side of PolyChord, if you think there are possibilities which could be explored, contact Rebecca. She has wide knowledge of what current collaborations have achieved and is ready to speak with you.

PolyChord Timeline



PolyChord was founded


STFC funds Postdocs for PolyNet


FoodScan is funded and begins development

2020 Q2

PolyChord partners with WM5G and begin work on PolyTrack

2020 Q4

STFC funds second phase development of PolyNet

2021 Q2

The MIDAS project hits late development

PolyChord achieves over £1,000,000 in total funding

2021 Q3

PolyChord and AccuPredict begin development on PolyStructure

2022 Q1

MIDAS, PolyTrack, PolyStructure, and FoodScan are ready for the public market

2023 Q1

PolyChord expands PolyStructure's engine for windmills and building construction

2023 Q2

Our team increases to further develop current and future projects

2023 Q3

PolyChord expands its market share in predictive maintenance


PolyChord looks into the life science applications of its software