Charlie Hull

open source application development
OpenSource Connections (UK, US)

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Charlie co-founded search consultancy Flax and recently joined OpenSource Connections where he acts as a Managing Consultant and leads operations in the UK. He writes and blogs about search topics, runs the London Lucene/Solr Meetup and regularly speaks at, and keynotes, other search events across the world. He co-authored Searching the Enterprise with Professor Udo Kruschwitz.

Max Irwin

search relevance, open source search applications
OpenSource Connections (UK, US)

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Max is a Managing Consultant and Training Dean at OpenSource Connections, where he empowers search teams and helps companies solve difficult search relevance problems.  He hosts the weekly Haystack LIVE! speaker series, bringing his deep practical expertise in search technology, natural language processing, business strategy, and growing engineering culture.  He has over 20 years of experience directing delivery and strategy of large scale applications, with 8 of those years focussed on search.

Miles Kehoe

strategy, implementation and recruitment
New Idea Engineering (USA)

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Miles is founder and president of New Idea Engineering (NIE) which helps organisations evaluate, select, implement and manage enterprise search technologies. NIE works and partners with most major commercial and open source enterprise search and related technologies.

Helen Lippell

taxonomy development

LinkedIn  |  Twitter

Helen is a taxonomy consultant. She works on taxonomy development projects, including taxonomy audits, ontology modelling, tagging initiatives, semantic publishing, metadata training and more. Her clients include the BBC,, Financial Times, Time Out, RIBA and the Metropolitan Police. She writes and speaks regularly, and is the programme chair of Taxonomy Boot Camp London.

Agnes Molnar

Microsoft 365 search
Search Explained (Hungary)

Web LinkedIn Twitter  |  YouTube

Agnes is the managing consultant and CEO of Search Explained. She specialises in information architecture and enterprise search. She shares her expertise on the Search Explained blog and has written and co-authored several books on SharePoint and Enterprise Search. She speaks at conferences and other professional events around the world. 

Agnes is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 2008, and Microsoft Regional Director since July 2020.

Maish Nichani

Search-driven experiences
PebbleRoad Pte Ltd (Singapore)

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Maish Nichani is co-founder of PebbleRoad, a strategy, design and innovation practice based in Singapore. 
He is on a mission to help well-established organisations thrive in a digital world.
PebbleRoad helps design digital products and services, and often these are search-driven experiences. 
Maish finds that many organisations are not aware of the benefits of enterprise search and are missing on a lot. He gives talks and demos at every opportunity but hopes to do more.

Eric Pugh

e-commerce search
OpenSource Connections (USA)

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Eric Pugh is the co-founder and CEO of OpenSource Connections.  Today he helps OSC’s clients, especially those in the ecommerce space, build their own search teams and improve their search maturity.
Fascinated by the craft of software development, Eric Pugh has been involved in the open source world as a developer, committer and user for the past twenty years. He is a member of the Apache Software Foundation and an active committer to Apache Solr.  He co-authored the book Apache Solr Enterprise Search Server, now on its third edition.  He also stewards Quepid, an open source platform for assessing and improving your search relevance.

Avi Rappoport

search quality user experience
Search Tools Consulting (USA)

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Avi Rappoport has been working on improving search since 1998, having previously earned a Master’s in Library and Information Studies and worked in small software startups.  She has advised companies on multi-source internal enterprise search, site search, informational search, and high-traffic ecommerce large product catalog search. 


search user experience
UXLabs (UK)

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Tony Russell-Rose is founder of 2Dsearch, a start-up applying artificial intelligence, natural language processing and data visualisation to create the next generation of advanced search tools. He is also director of UXLabs, a research and design consultancy specialising in complex search and information access applications. Previously Tony has led R&D teams at Canon, Reuters, Oracle, HP Labs and BT Labs. He currently serves as Visiting Professor of Cognitive Computing and AI at Essex University and publishes widely on information retrieval, NLP and human-computer interaction. He has a PhD in Computer Science and a first degree in engineering, majoring in human factors.

Cedric Ulmer

open source enterprise search applications
France Labs (France)

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Cedric is the CEO cofounder of France Labs, startup specialised in open source search engines and maker of Datafari, an open source enterprise search solution. He manages the company and handles the innovation and marketing aspects. In terms of ecosystem, he manages the open source business community at the largest association for IT entities in the French Riviera. He has been teaching entrepreneurship for 4 years at the Data Science European MsC of the EIT. Prior to that, he spent ten years at SAP in the research department. Cedric holds the French grande ecole diploma from Telecom SudParis, with the Eurecom certificate.

Martin White

strategy, search application selection,
implementation and evaluation
Intranet Focus (UK)

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Martin is an information scientist and the author of Making Search Work and Enterprise Search. He has been involved with optimising search applications since the mid-1970s and has worked on search projects in both Europe and North America. Since 2002 he has been a Visiting Professor at the Information School, University of Sheffield and is currently working on developing new approaches to search evaluation.