The Team

MadLab is run by a board of Directors, who sit behind the vision and core values of the organisation. They represent a wealth of experience that drives its strategic direction and development ensuring that we continue to fulfil our mission.

Rachael Turner, Director

Rachael is the closest thing MadLab has to a CEO. One of the original founders back in 2009 she took  a break from the UK to work as a Producer at Al Jazeera in Qatar before returning in 2011. Since her return, she has been instrumental in MadLab’s continuing development – helping MadLab to become a Community Interest Company, launching a range of new initiatives in education, outreach and research, as well as putting together an ongoing programme of refurbishment.

Rachael’s background is television production and journalism. At Al Jazeera English she produced the station’s weekly business and economics programme, Counting the Cost, and made programmes about the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Mavi Marmara and the last week of Hosni Mubarak’s rule in Egypt, Egypt Burning: Fall of Mubarak, which was shortlisted for Best Documentary at the Monte Carlo TV Awards. She also series-produced the critically-acclaimed short film series, Frames.

Before this, Rachael was a Producer and Director at the BBC where she worked on current affairs documentaries, such as Force Fed (This World, BBC2) and for Panorama. She also worked to re-open cases into alleged child abuse (Stolen Babies, BBC1) and uncovered unethical dog breeding practices that led to Crufts being taken off network television.

In 2012, Rachael gave a talk to the FBI Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate about perceptions of amateur biotechnology (DIYbio) in the media in San Francisco.

Contact Rachael at

Asa Calow, Director

Asa is a creative technologist, civic hacker, DIY biologist, lapsed mathematician and one of MadLab’s founders. A MadLab hacker-in-residence, Asa is responsible for new project development – looking for interesting emergent technologies which have the potential to be misappropriated and re-applied in a community innovation context. He is a part of MadLab’s professional development team, running regular creative technology workshops and assisting in the technical aspects of project delivery.

Asa found himself accidentally in the technology industry at the tail end of last century. Since then he has worked for a range of NGOs, award-winning creative agencies and startups – delivering projects for a range of public and private clients including UK Gov, KPMG, AstraZeneca and Manchester Art Gallery amongst others.

When not making e.coli glow in the dark or sending balloons into space, Asa can be found tinkering with embedded electronics and getting to grips with Modernist Cuisine. He makes an excellent Manhattan.

Contact Asa at

Gemma Cameron, Director

Gemma is a software developer and consultant with over 10 years of programming experience. She is currently Senior Developer at Co-op Digital, where in addition to working as the technical lead, she supports the team in reaching out to the digital community.

She was founder of Girl Geek Dinners Manchester, Barcamp Liverpool and Hack Manchester – the UK’s largest annual coding event – to name but few groups; she is Director of Tech Events North West – an online/in person grassroots community tech events support forum that meets at MadLab – and a member of Manchester Digital’s elected council.

Her heavy involvement in the local tech community was recognised in 2014 when she received an invitation from Her Majesty the Queen to a reception for the UK Technology Industry.

She has previously supported with tutoring unemployed women as part of MadLab’s Digital Skills for Women programme joining the MadLab board in 2017.

Dave Carter, Director

Dave is Honorary Fellow at The University of Manchester’s School of Environment, Education and Development, as well as the Former Head of the Manchester Digital Development Agency (MDDA) at Manchester City Council. He left Manchester City Council in 2014 taking the opportunity for early retirement, and is now involved in research on smart cities, digital production and the future of employment in the digital world, as well as a few other interesting things, not least joining the MadLab board this year!