Karen Etheridge
Karen Etheridge

Managing Director

Having studied history at University, I have always had an interest in research. This then went onto business and marketing, working at KPMG for around 3 years before joining M·E·L Research in 2003. I’ve worked both corporately and as a researcher here over that period of time and have recently become the Managing Director.

As the new MD, this has been both extremely exciting and challenging. I love the variety of my job and the importance of the work that we do in helping to give valuable insight to clients that helps them to make important decisions, at a time when this has never been more crucial. I am a trained marketer by trade and am a qualified Chartered Marketer and love putting this to good use to help clients.

As a mum to 2 small children, I don't get much time to relax outside of work, so I spend most of my time trying to keep them occupied and tiring them out! BK (Before Kids) I liked reading, eating, cooking and watching films and trying to keep fit where possible. I manage to do the first few quite well (and recently finished 2 half marathons), but Paw Patrol and Peppa Pig seem to have taken over the TV in recent years!

Jenny Chen
Jenny Chen

Commercial Director

I started my career as a marketer focusing on public and media relations. In 2005 I decided to take a career break and come to the UK to pursue a Masters in Marketing. The plan was to stay one year in the UK and then go back to my home country Taiwan but as fate would have it, I met my husband at the university and the rest is history! I joined M·E·L Research in 2008 as a Data Analyst. Throughout my career in the company I have progressed to various roles and taken on more and more corporate responsibilities.  Now my role is Commercial Director, looking after our sales and finance. 

The things I most enjoy are the variety of the projects and clients we work with, and the learning we could get from each of them. What really makes me tick is that we work mainly with public sector clients, and the findings and recommendations we put forward through research and evaluation can help improve people’s quality of life and wellbeing.

Outside of work I am a keen dinghy sailor and hence I spent most of my Saturday afternoons racing at my home club, Midland Sailing Club at Edgbaston Reservoir. Weather permitting I also enjoy jogging or cycling along the canals.

David Chong-Ping
David Chong-Ping

Head of New Business 

I am a senior researcher with over 20 years’ experience covering B2B and B2C market research and public and third sector social research. I joined M·E·L Research in October 2012 and I currently lead the Social Research and Behaviour Change team where I am responsible for a range of client sectors including local authorities, social housing providers, police and the criminal justice system, health and wellbeing, third sector networks and umbrella organisations, environment, waste and recycling. I am a Member of the Market Research Society (MMRS).

I thrive on the wide range of projects that the team and I work on and in trying to find innovative solutions and ways of engaging with the public and wider stakeholders. I find health and wellbeing evaluation projects particularly interesting, being able to turn the findings into accessible and useful learning that improves interventions, service re-design and future services.

As a youngster I was involved in Scouting at an early age, volunteering to become a Scout and Venture Scout Leader for over 15 years. This fuelled my love of the outdoors, whether hiking, camping, canoeing or climbing. I still have a passion for all of these activities and try to participate in these when I have the time, both here and abroad - the west coast of Scotland and British Columbia in Canada are definite favourites of mine.

Darren Coss
Darren Coss

Head of Waste Technical Services

After travelling and working abroad in my twenties, I moved to Nottingham in 2002 where I worked for the City Council’s waste management department. Since joining M·E·L in 2005 I have expanded the waste analysis department and diversified the services we offer to both the public and private sectors.

I really enjoy putting together proposals and project managing commissioned work. The technical side of projects can be challenging as well as rewarding and I am constantly evaluating the best way of carrying out projects which are both representative and cost effective for the client.

Outside of work I enjoy playing badminton and have been a member of several Nottinghamshire league teams over the years. As a family we enjoy travel and visiting new places both at home and abroad. I enjoy going to the theatre as well as watching my two kids participate in the sports and drama groups they are members of.

Adam Knight-Markiegi
Adam Knight-Markiegi

Head of Research

I’ve worked in research, consultancy and policy for 15+ years, in the housing, public and voluntary sectors. This includes researching housing and regeneration, training and advising supported housing providers, drawing insight from data while at HouseMark, helping organisations understand welfare reform and shaping the future model of care at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice. I have an MSc in Housing Research and Policy, a certified PRINCE2 Practitioner, and a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing and the Housing Studies Association.

I relish turning complex information into compelling insight in plain English. I naturally weave structure from knotty situations to deliver quality outputs. And I thrive on a variety of work.


Outside of work I enjoy swimming, tai chi and bell-ringing, having started as a tick on my bucket list a few years ago.

Azim Khan
Azim Khan

Head of Field and Data Services

Straight after college, I worked for the Jobcentre for 6 years and progressed to become the Head of the Employment Section. I then joined BMG Research in 1998 as Consumer Research Manager and worked there for about 3 years before joining M·E·L Research in 2003 to head up the Field and Data Services Department.

In my role there are no two days that are exactly the same and it is that unknown factor that makes it exciting but also challenging and keeps me on my toes!

I am a keen sports person and still enjoy playing cricket and football although my best years have long gone! As a youngster I played cricket in the Birmingham Premier Cricket league where I had the opportunity to play with and also against international cricketers. I also enjoy watching films, sport and documentary programmes.

Phil Wells
Phil Wells

Senior Project Manager

After graduating, I moved to Shropshire where I worked in both the food and heavy manufacturing industries. I joined the M·E·L Waste Analysis team back in 2005 with a view to streamlining the department and to increase both the diversity and number of contracts that it could undertake.

Filling the calendar and keeping field teams busy is both satisfying and challenging.  Being able to provide flexible sampling approaches enables clients to obtain the best value and most representative findings to suit their needs.  From design to analysis and reporting, I am able to be hands on from project inception to completion.

I enjoy being involved rural village life.  I am a keen gardener which has the added advantage of supplying me with copious amounts of fruit and veg. out of which I make my own country wine and preserves.  When I get the time I like to draw and paint or go on camping breaks with the family.

Sophi Ducie
Sophi Ducie

Senior Research Manager

I moved to the United Kingdom in 2007 after graduating with a degree in Media and Communications, as well as a degree in Environmental Sciences. I joined M·E·L in 2008 and currently work in the waste and environment sector. I work within a number different topic areas up and down the waste hierarchy and provide robust, fit for purpose monitoring, evaluation and behaviour change consultancy.

I enjoy the diverse range of research projects, so every day varies. I also enjoy getting best value for my clients, whether that’s offering better insight into target populations or creating fit for purpose research design that will get the information they are after. I also head the Insite CACI GIS department and enjoy working with both clients and colleagues in getting more out of their projects.

I am definitely an outdoor person and enjoy camping with my son and husband in our VW van ‘Lily’.  I spend most of my time biking, tending to my veggie patch or running around after my toddler!  I am also horse mad but nowadays I just reminisce!

Clare Rapkins
Clare Rapkins

Senior Research Manager

I studied Business Decision Analysis at UWE, Bristol. Since graduating, I have worked in a number of research roles for the public and private sectors, including: National Audit Office and Marketing Birmingham. I joined M·E·L Research in August 2013 and was promoted to Research Manger after one year.

I enjoy the variety and challenges of working in a number of different sectors across the business – no two days are ever the same!

I have recently purchased a bike and have spent most weekends cycling around Sutton Park and Stratford upon Avon. I also enjoy clothes shopping, travelling to different countries and spending time with friends and family.

Anne Forshaw
Anne Forshaw

Senior Consultant

I have worked in a range of roles since joining M·E·L in 1998, with the core always being bidding for work and managing and delivering a range of commissioned projects. Prior to having my daughter I combined this with a range of senior corporate responsibilities. Since 2011 I have worked in a more flexible capacity as a consultant, and was seconded to WRAP for five months where I managed Framework research suppliers. I am currently responsible for business development, opportunity selection and bidding in the Healthcare and Communities sector, and I carry out direct work for clients via evaluation consultancy projects.

I enjoy the fact that I am able to combine an interesting and rewarding professional role alongside my family commitments, which can be challenging at times because of the need to juggle almost constant tight deadlines. My role is very varied and no two days are the same. I enjoy using a range of social research and evaluation methodologies to help identify practical solutions for clients.

Outside of work I enjoy spending quality time with my family and looking after my young daughter. I get involved with helping to source raffle prizes and donations from local businesses for her school fundraising Christmas and Summer Fayres. I am also involved in the Patient Participation Group of my local GP surgery. If I get any other time(!) I enjoy catching up with friends, eating out and reading.

Muneer Wahidi
Muneer Wahidi

Project Manager

I developed an avid interest in technology & systems at a young age. I continued to pursue my dream and subsequently completed a BSc degree in Business and Information Technology from Coventry University. Shortly after graduation I joined M·E·L Research as a Data Administrator and was soon promoted to a Data Analyst. Currently my role includes Project Management along with Data Analytics. I have also completed PRINCE2® Practitioner certification in project management.

I enjoy the dynamism involved in my work, and I am excited that my contribution to M·E·L Research indirectly improves public sector services.

Outside of work I like spending time with family, watching investigative documentaries as well as films and sports. I also have an interest in reading legal documents as I am also a qualified legal interpreter.

Diana Danaila
Diana Danaila

Research Executive

After completing both my Bachelor and Masters degrees in Psychology, I’ve pursued a career in the market research sector. After a few years working in my home country of Romania as a freelancer on a mixture of qualitative and quantitative projects, I decided to make the next step towards my dream and get involved in some large scale, big impact research. Thus, I have moved to UK and joined M·E·L Research in May 2016.

I love the dynamism and varied nature of the work that we do. Working on a range of projects, offering better insight and indirectly helping to improve public sector services is at times challenging, but very satisfying.

I am generally an outdoor person. I like nature walks, hiking, camping and everything that implies travelling. Being a mountain fanatic, I sometimes go skiing and even take it up a notch and enjoy some dirt biking. When I’m not outside, which with age seems to happen more frequently, I enjoy a glass of wine while watching documentaries, movies, reading a book or cooking.

Zak Hassan
Zak Hassan

Marketing Executive

I graduated with a BA Honours in Economics from Wolverhampton University. I have previously worked as a New Deal Manager within the Civil Service  for 10 years.

I enjoy working at M·E·L Research due to the ethos the company has in looking after their employees.

Outside of work I enjoy playing cricket for a local team.

Lisa Morris
Lisa Morris

Finance Administrator

As I started my employment at M·E·L in April 1990, I can’t really remember work life before!

What I like most about my job is the challenge of getting everything to balance every month, it always gives me a little buzz.

I have a great work/life balance as my working week is split: 2 days in the office and 2 days working from home. I have a loving family and everyone who knows me, knows my secret love is my two shih tzu dogs Saffie & Dudley.  I lead a very active life, dog walking, cycling and step exercise.

George Larner
George Larner

Database and IT Administrator

My work history has been very varied from working in the motor industry to working in the electric industry, both for over 10 years. All my jobs included some type of computing from building and maintaining computers to now being the DBA and IT Executive for M·E·L Research.

As the DBA and IT Executive, my job is different from day to day which makes my job very varied and extremely interesting.

My spare time is either spent looking after my two children, designing and building something for the children or the house, doing something technical whether it is drawing or cooking and listening to music while doing these, I also spend time researching the next bit of tech to come out.

Dr Robert Pocock
Dr Robert Pocock

Principal Consultant

I founded M·E·L Research in 1985 after completing my PhD and research fellowship at Aston University’s School of Environmental Planning and Design. I led the growth and development of the business culminating in the successful transfer of the company to a new internal management team in 2015.

Nowadays, I mostly enjoy sounding off on my opinions about where the long term future of the company lies, and hoping that these views are helpful!

Outside of work I enjoy watching West Brom win 5-0 (but this is a very rare pleasure), walking in wild places and feeding my thriving garden hedgehogs. I am also a Councillor elected to Birmingham City Council and the new Sutton Coldfield Town Council and enjoyed winning those elections with a record majority!

MRS Evidence Matters