About us

Find out more about the team and MATL here

Meet the Team

Peter Francis

Peter Francis, Managing and Engineering Director

Peter is a Chartered Engineer and has specialisations in process control and automation. He has always been keen to understand how everything functions and (generally) puts them back together again, fortunately!

He is always looking for ways to improve what people do in their daily workload – not just from an efficiency perspective, but to help them feel more involved and part of their work.

He is a co-presenter of the Practical Process Engineering CPD course set up by Aston University and prefers to share his knowledge and information through discussion and interaction rather than lecturing.

On a practical side he will always analyse a problem first before trying to fix it and is always open about where he is at with it. He believes that clear communication is a key to overcoming many problems.

Peter is an enthusiastic winemaker and allegedly produces very drinkable beverages.
He often turns his hand to repairs and repurposing around the home, particularly if it involves wood.

He is a volunteer with young people to support their career choices through schools and has 2 now-adult children who have finished university and now forging their own careers!


Peter’s Q&A

What’s your job title?

Director – Managing and Engineering

Why do you do what you do?

I have a desire to help people make the best of whatever they have. This can be from reusing or repurposing stuff that’s no longer being used, to showing them new skills and equipment that will make their lives easier.

I love being able to sort out the little irritations in technology and machinery that people tend to put up with because they think it’s too hard to fix or help isn’t available.

Often, clients are surprised at how much of a difference this can make, and I just get a buzz from helping to make that happen.

Helping people has always been my main driver, so I doubt it’s going to go away now!

What’s your favourite MATL value, and why?

Hmmm, tricky to choose a favourite…

It would have to be to view and treat everyone as human beings. I get frustrated by how much we’re considered just part of a system when having contact with a large majority of businesses, in the interests of their own efficiency.

It’s impersonal and I don’t want that to happen to any of our customers, suppliers, employees or associates and I’m determined that they have to be treated as people first, not objects.

What’s something about you that isn’t common knowledge?

Somehow, I always seek out the slightly different, so at school I learned to play the pipe organ – partly because it was unusual, but also so I could make a bit more noise!

That means I could read multiple staves of music, play with my feet and slide up and down the bench without getting splinters! I did get asked once at a church if I would slow the pace down a little so that the choir could catch their breath.

I suspect I’d be a bit rusty now, since a pipe organ isn’t something you could fit into the average living room!

Cath Francis

Catherine Francis, Training and Operations Director

Catherine was formerly a teacher of maths and science in UK state schools and has continued to support young people by providing one-to-one tuition up to GCSE level.

She brings her science skills and training abilities to MATL. Her understanding of how people need to gain technical and scientific knowledge is particularly beneficial when collaborating with operations and skilled workers on the manufacturing floor.

She has played golf since she was able to drag a cut-down club around with her big brothers and has maintained an irritatingly low handicap ever since. She loves to pay back by supporting less experienced golfers around the course in a way that doesn’t make them feel uncomfortable or embarrassed.

Catherine holds horticultural qualifications, which allows her to be green-fingered and keep her garden very well stocked and maintained. She has spent the last 30 years trying to teach Peter the Latin names of many plants, but it’s an uphill battle yet to be won!



Catherine’s Q&A

What’s your job title?

Director – Training and Operations

Why do you do what you do?

I’m passionate about enabling people – both young and mature – to not be frightened of science technology and maths and showing them how they can use the skills they didn’t realise they already had. “Can’t do maths” and “don’t understand science” aren’t phrases I believe in. People learn in different ways, and they don’t follow a linear path, so it’s really enjoyable to see their self-doubt turn into confidence.

What’s your favourite MATL value, and why?

It’s being authentic. Too many people claim that they’re being “authentic” but they’re still playing a role, and you see them behave differently in other situations.

I’d rather see the real person where they tell it straight and there are no airs and graces; it’s so much easier to help them. I also know that I’m not able to help every type of person and that’s not a measure of failure or criticism. Everyone I deal with gets to know that.

What’s something about you that isn’t common knowledge?

Whilst most people know that I’m a golfer and an enthusiastic gardener, it’s not commonly known that I occasionally make embroidery samplers – mainly as gifts for friends’ weddings or family births. They’re quite time-consuming and I usually do them from ideas in my head, not from a pattern or printed design, so every one is unique. But satisfying.

Our Associates

Chris Wrapson

Chris Wrapson – Risk Management/Health and Safety

Chris is a Risk Management specialist providing in-context advice for business owners both big and small on all their Health & Safety needs, across a wide range of sectors including construction, roadside assistance, manufacturing, wedding and event venues, retail, locksmith and security services, boiler and heating installation, external building maintenance and more.

He advises company directors on all aspects of Health & Safety management and employee engagement and works with businesses to promote and achieve a safety-first culture.

He became the first UK adopter of the Health & Safety Index – An online assessment which enables companies to measure, focus and act on improvements that matter in safety leadership, safety engagement, health & wellbeing and safety systems.

Chris has lots of letters to his name, but although Health and Safety is often a dreaded topic of conversation, his energy, passion, knowledge, and experience makes it all sound quite exciting in a practical and pragmatic way!

Michelle Spaul

Michelle Spaul – Customer and Employee Experience

Michelle is a Customer Experience specialist with a phenomenal ability to understand and clearly convey what customers and end users think and experience from their interactions with a business.

She is part of the MAT team because of her passion and knowledge of manufacturing in all shapes and sizes of business. Her insights ensure that complaints are driven right down, internal processes are efficient and seamless for the benefit of both employees and external customers, and they form a significant part of our toolbox to make the best use of the existing resources, equipment and skills.

Unlike other business consultants who treat Customer Experience as just a standard business consulting “add-on”, Michelle specialises in making the client important, which elevates your profile, her profile and ours and we’re proud to have her as part of our team!

Whether you are looking for a sounding board or want some hands on support, Michelle can give you insights and help you change the way you see and support your customers.

Melissa Mooney

Melissa Mooney – Quality and Environmental

Melissa is our go-to specialist for anything structured, organised and most importantly, understandable. Although she specialises in both ISO9001 and 14001, for businesses both small and larger, she is keenly interested in making sure that any system makes sense, is usable and doesn’t disrupt the operation of a business.

She is an advocate of environmental improvement where possible and certainly shows us how to make small changes for ourselves, as well as to advise others.

She has a fondness for loud noise and taking pictures of bark, mushrooms, leaves and puddles; perhaps an unrequited dream of being a Mycologist.  (Go on! Look it up!)!

Steve Parker

Steve Parker – Export and Product Development

Steve has worked with clients locally, nationally and in markets worldwide, creating considerable success for businesses for about 40 years. Energetic and enthusiastic, he still does so on a daily basis and achieves that success by advising, demonstrating and actually doing!

With a primary focus on exporting, and establishing business and partnerships overseas, he has also achieved additional successes in new product and service development and, more recently, onshoring supply chains.

Whether it is a strategic global growth or boardroom level issue, or just helping clients to convert an opportunity, he is always here to talk and meet and bring some sanity.

As the host and principal driver of a weekly business radio broadcast, Steve has his finger on the pulse of manufacturing activity.

Admin Team

Tilly the Cat

Tilly, part-time admin assistant (senior)

Meg the Cat

Meg, part-time admin assistant (junior)

Tilly and Meg (Nutmeg)


This delightful pair frequently visit the offices and whilst they are classified as “Admin Assistants” their function is more as “disruptors” – but sometimes as welcomed ones. Often called on to “purr review” our documentation. They play with the paperwork, type messages if the computer isn’t locked and push food under the desk. Usually only one is in the office at a time to avoid arguments 😉

Tilly’s Q&A

What’s your job title?

Part-time admin assistant (senior)

Why do you do what you do?

Someone has to check the filing cabinets and shuffle paperwork on the desk. Besides, there are mice near computers which need to be kept in their place.

What’s your favourite MATL value, and why?

I like the inclusivity. I feel that cats don’t get enough acknowledgement and attention, and there’s always opportunities being given to us to be the centre of attention.

What’s something about you that isn’t common knowledge?

I can climb 5 metres up a tree in seconds, particularly when Meg is chasing me. Unfortunately coming back down isn’t always that simple, but there’s usually a human around to help me out – see the point above.

Meg’s Q&A

What’s your job title?

Part-time admin assistant (junior)

Why do you do what you do?

I need to be on hand in case Tilly gets more attention than me.

What’s your favourite MATL value, and why?

I think it’s the one where we’re focused on YOU. I’m always keenly interested in what other people are doing and I want to get in there and help, and make it better. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always work, but I’m still learning on the job.

What’s something about you that isn’t common knowledge?

I like to pick up my food with my paws. I’m good at pulling it out of small spaces too, and sometimes I push it there too, just to give me a challenge later on. If I remember it.

About MATL

Midland Automation Technology Ltd (MATL) was originally established in 1993 as a platform to supplement turnkey process contractors with automation and electrical design skills. We then started to take on turnkey design projects ourselves, working in collaboration with other subcontractors and our own associate skillbase.

Although the design remit was always fairly defined, the Clients almost always gravitated us towards their concept stages and troubleshooting.

Our ability to convert their ideas into clear specifications and requirements made purchasing or manufacturing much easier. At the same time we captured and designed industrial processes and sequence controls in ways that enabled other parties to understand them simply and accurately.

Planning each stage and module to be aligned to regulation, construction, commissioning and documentation ensured a smooth project build that everyone appreciated.

With our primary focus now on smaller businesses in manufacturing and engineering, we bring the best of established methods from across multiple industries with a willingness to embrace newer techniques with a practical purpose.

We understand how people work with equipment and industrial processes as both new design and retrofit.

We’ve gained the experience of ensuring processes are regularised to make them predictable and efficient. As a small business ourselves, we can relate to the pressures and concerns on small business owners to improve their operations, but we have the skills to actually make that happen.

Certifications and Recognitions

What our clients say about us

“The engagement of MATL literally transformed supplier performance, providing greatly enhanced electrical design and general systems capabilities.”

John C., Automation Manager,
Water supply company

“The information sharing was of the highest standard and a vast improvement on the practice already in place.”

James E., Business Manager,
Training and skills provider

“I worked alongside Peter and MATL, and they demonstrated they were keen to find the best solution, never shy to challenge the status quo, and were always structured, professional, inclusive and pragmatic.”

Adrian W., Commissioning Manager,
Renewable energy developer

“Peter shows commitment and dedication to ensuring that MATL is the best it can be in terms of providing solutions for its customers.”

Peter B., Owner, Business support company

“The work you’ve done will certainly help lay the pathway to a full engineered solution, so money well spent in my view.”

Andrew C., Plant Manager, Pharmaceutical manufacturer