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Meet the team

Paul Cranfield
Partner and Co-founder

30+ years experience

A chartered engineer with over 30 years experience of mission critical environments across the aviation, telco, banking and technology sectors and specialising in Power, Sustainability and Compliance.

Having held senior roles in BAA, WSP, Vodafone, UBS and most recently Digital Realty, Paul has significant experience in M&E design and operational performance of Data Centre facilities. Most recently Paul has managed a team of compliance professionals delivering excellence across Energy, Environment, Security, Business Continuity and Supply Chain.


Paul holds a BEng (Hons) in Energy Engineering and is a member of the Institute of Energy (CEng, MinstE).

Vijay Mistry
Partner and Co-founder

30+ years experience

An established figure in the Data Centre Industry with over 30 years’ experience in Financial Services, Infrastructure and Data Centre Environments. Prior to VIPA Digital, Vijay was the Operations, VP at Digital Realty, responsible for the company's portfolio of Data Centres across Europe.


Vijay also spent 20 years at Morgan Stanley where he held a number of senior leadership positions including the European Head of Enterprise Computing, Global Head of Data Centre Portfolio Management and European Head of Enterprise Data Centres, where he transformed the team into a world class organisation, earning numerous industry accolades .


Vijay holds a BSc in Information Systems Design, and sits on a number of advisory boards within the DC Industry.

Stuart Hall
Technical Director

25+ years experience

A chartered mechanical engineer with over 23 years of technical experience in Data Centre and IT environments.


Stuart has held senior engineering roles at Digital Realty, ARUP, DELL and Future Facilities. Bringing to VIPA Digital a broad range of technical expertise, Stuart is dedicated to maximizing Data Centre potential for our clients from optimising existing facilities to delivering on multi-megawatt campus deployments for Hyperscale Cloud providers. Through exceptional client focus, execution and delivery Stuart has attained numerous accolades at the companies he has worked for. 


Stuart holds a BEng (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering and is a member of ASHRAE.

Jacob Bond

15+ years experience

A chartered engineer who has worked in Data Centre and IT environments for over a decade.


Jacob has a great deal of international experience in the data centre industry, leading the US engineering team for Future Facilities and most recently leading projects in Amsterdam for Digital Realty's design and construction team. Whether it's enterprise, colocation or hyperscale, Jacob's knowledge of the Data Centre lifecycle is exemplary having led numerous projects from concept design through to commissioning.


Jacob holds a MEng (hons) in Mechanical Engineering and is a member of the IMechE.

Ross Smyth
Senior Associate

3+ years experience

Ross is a qualified Electrical & Electronic Engineer with over 3+ years of experience working in a specialised, technical engineering environment.

Having previously worked in advanced electronics, focusing mainly on complex problem solving and technical analysis, he brings a fresh perspective on Data Centre technology and operations. Ross has gained vital knowledge and experience through various university modules, such as Electricity Supply; Networks and Communications; and Smart Grids, as well as being team lead in multiple projects. He has the ambition to learn and grow to become a key member of the team at VIPA Digital and contribute to the Data Centre industry.

Ross holds a MEng (Hons) in Electronic and Electrical Engineering

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Karina Penska

2+ years experience

Karina is a qualified Computer Scientist with experience within IT and Data Analytics industries. Karina brings a broad range of technical skills to VIPA Digital as she joins from Vodafone, where she worked on developing projects using Python programming language and implementing SQL for data analysis. Her knowledge and experience in Artificial Intelligence were gathered through extensive research for her dissertation on image recognition and deep learning. During her master’s degree, she specialised in business strategy and completed various modules, such as Risk Management, Strategic Management, and Operations Management. Combining both her technical and business degrees, Karina would help to set VIPA Digital apart from their competition by demonstrating proficiency in business analytics, as well as software expertise.


Karina holds a MSc in Management, and a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science

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Paul Dracea 
Associate Director

15+ years experience

Paul brings over 15+ years hands-on experience in Project/Construction Management capable to adapt and thrive in demanding work environments with a proven track record in delivering various size multi-million fast track commercial projects, including mission critical facilities in live environment.


His extensive experience covers both client-side and contractor project leadership roles with high profile companies including Ford, JLR , KIER  , DIGIPLEX , PURE Data Centers,  combining deep technical knowledge with excellent project execution skills whilst successfully developing positive working relationships, establishing business needs, providing advice and customer aligned solutions.

Paul holds a MSc in Construction Management, MSc in Project Management in construction, and a BSc in Civil engineering and Building Services.


Jim Slater 
Associate Director

10+ years experience

Jim joins VIPA Digital having worked in the Data Centre industry since 2011. His journey began at Future Facilities, where he provided consultancy services focused on Data centre Cooling infrastructure. His expertise then led him to the Capacity Management team at Equinix, where his focus encompassed energy efficiency projects, capacity optimisation, and site expansions, primarily within colocation retail sites across EMEA.

Jim holds a MEng in Mechanical Engineering and is also studying for a BSc in Astrophysics and Planetary Science.

Felix Maldonado 

1+ years experience

Felix is a qualified Aerospace engineer, specialising in renewable energy, hydrogen energy and energy storage research for his undergraduate degree dissertation. Undertaking modules in static structures, dynamics, CFD, thermodynamics, risk management and project management.


His master’s degree has granted him knowledge of industrial operations and facility design, allowing him to generate solutions for maximum operational efficiency. Proficiency in project, quality, supply chain, and operations management adds to Felix's comprehensive skill set. Both his undergraduate and postgraduate research dissertations centred around designing and coding algorithms, which demonstrates his range of abilities.


Felix holds an MSc in Industrial Engineering & Operations Management, and a BEng in Aerospace Engineering.

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Joe Robertson 

1+ years experience

Joe is a qualified Electrical Engineer with experience working in a technical engineering environment. Having previous experience from working in the electric drivetrain industry, focusing on complex problem solving and technical analysis,


Throughout his master’s degree Joe has gained vital knowledge through a variety of challenging modules such as feasibility studies for installing renewable energy which included risk and strategic planning as well as operations management and maintenance. Joe is excited to embrace the challenges and possibilities that lie ahead at VIPA Digital.


Joe holds an MEng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

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Matthew Hall
Associate Director

20+ years experience

Matt joins VIPA Digital having worked in the Data Centre industry for the past 13+ years with Digital Realty.  A proficient DC professional with extensive Property Management and Vendor Management experience and exposure to all DC related operational deliverables. Matt has an excellent reputation within the data centre industry and has a proven track record of service excellence.


Matt has Health and Safety and Facilities Management qualifications having spent 18+ years in Facilities management for both  private and public organisations.

A family man with three teenagers at home who also enjoys playing most sports as time permits, alongside his local church responsibilities and commitments.

Patrick Griffiths
Associate Director

35+ years experience

Patrick is a fully qualified Electrical Engineer with over 35 years of Technical Mechanical and Electrical Operational experience within the Telecoms, IT and Data Centre environments.

Patrick has a wealth of DC Operations experience in building, maintaining, and optimising Data Centre environments, having worked both at client side and operator side. Senior roles have included Technical Operations Manager (M&E) for BT, Business Unit Director for the Critical Data Centre industry at CBRE, and VP of Data Centre Operations at Morgan Stanley UK.

In addition to a full Tech City & Guilds Certificate in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Patrick also holds a DMS and a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA)

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