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Meet the team

Paul Cranfield
Partner and Co-founder

28+ years experience

A chartered engineer with over 28 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

28+ years experience

An established figure in the Data Centre Industry with over 28 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

23+ 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
Associate Director

14+ 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

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

Vaia Kontou

1+ years experience

Vaia is a qualified Mechanical Engineer with experience working in a operational and technical engineering environment. Having worked at an Energy from Waste power plant, Vaia has insights into operations and circular economy. During her master’s degree, she was exposed to strategy & innovation and combined with her technical skills like CFD modelling, she can provide a fresh viewpoint on Data Centre technology. Having presided over the Women in Engineering student society she is a big advocate of diversity and inclusion in the industry. Vaia joins the Data Centre industry as a part of the VIPA Digital team.


Vaia holds an MSc in Mechanical engineering & Industrial Management, and a BEng in Mechanical Engineering.

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Karina Penska

1+ 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.

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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