Foundational Team

Zain Khawaja – Founder and CEO

Zain has completed a 4 year Master of Engineering (M.Eng) degree from the University of Oxford, where he studied Computer Vision, Robotics, Machine Learning, Control Systems and Advanced Mathematical Methods. His capstone project at Oxford, on ‘Visual Motion Magnification’ of imperceptible motions, was completed under the supervision of Dr. Andrea Vedaldi, and it extended the work performed by MIT researchers in ‘Eulerian Video Magnification’. Zain won the prestigious departmental ‘Sony Award’ for his academic poster presentation. For 4 years while at St Anne’s College, Oxford, Zain was privileged to be under the direct academic tutorship of Professor David Murray, who set up Oxford University’s ‘Active Vision’ Laboratory.

Zain has worked as a Software Engineer, with Oxbotica as part of their early team, and has hands-on experience of several autonomous car platforms, working on; vehicle sensor integration and configuration, autonomous run data logging, autonomous vehicle computer assembly and install, performing autonomy trials and conducting autonomous vehicle testing.  Zain was involved in the logistics management and development of the testing protocols for the first autonomous car trials in Milton Keynes (LUTZ), and he has also worked on the testing and deployment of the first ‘GATEway Pod’ at Greenwich, UK.

Zain has previously developed applications of optical flow techniques for detection of moving obstacles including vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists, using a monocular camera, as well as applied visual motion magnification techniques for detecting imperceptible motion of parked vehicles when in ignition state. Prior to completing his engineering degree at Oxford, Zain contributed to the development of the ‘STING’ project at Imperial College’s ‘MIMs’ lab and he also interned at Haque Design and Research (now Umbrellium) among other international placements. He was the recipient of the ‘Andy Wilcox Award for Engineering and Design’ scholarship while at Merchant Taylors’. After setting up Propelmee, Zain has led the technology development of the company’s entire autonomy stack with a view to developing an autonomous capability that can scale up to true L5 autonomy in complex urban environments. In this context, he has developed new technology approaches and he is a lead author on three US patent applications relating to segmentation techniques in pointcloud and image data.

Sabdezar Ilahi, CFA – Co-Founder – CSO and IP Lead

SabdezarSabdezar is a CFA Charterholder, qualified from CFA Institute Virginia, USA.  Sabdezar’s sector focus has been on transport and telecommunications and her core expertise is IP, budgeting, planning and articulating business strategy. Sabdezar has worked with Jardine Flemings, as an equities analyst, Merril Lynch as an investment strategist and Bank of America, for deposit mobilisation from HNW clients. Sabdezar has handled investor relations for a large, listed UK enterprise, and has developed AIM listing documentation and investor packs as an investment consultant. Sabdezar has taught investment management, securities analysis, derivatives and portfolio management for the CFA Program qualification, taught through prominent business schools in the UK, including ‘London School of Business and Finance’ and ‘Quartic Training’.

Sabdezar also has an MBA from LUMS and a BBA (Hons) from IBA.  Experienced in Corporate Law and Corporate Finance, Sabdezar has assisted financial conduct authorities in analysing complex financial transactions related to layered director dealings in listed companies that involve complex structured instruments. Sabdezar is also certified in Brokerage Operations from New York Institute of Finance. For Propelmee, Sabdezar has responsibilities for IP creation and protection, business intelligence, fund raising, and developing strategic corporate relationships. She is a co-author on two patents filed in the US, relating to frameworks for autonomous vehicle technology.

Board Advisors

Usman haque

Usman Haque is founding partner of Umbrellium, and Thingful, a search engine for the Internet of Things. Earlier, he launched the Internet of Things data infrastructure and community platform Pachube.com, which was acquired by LogMeIn in 2011. Trained as an architect, he has created responsive environments, interactive installations, digital interface devices and dozens of mass-participation initiatives throughout the world. His skills include the design and engineering of both physical spaces and the software and systems that bring them to life. He has also taught at the Bartlett School of Architecture, including the Interactive Architecture Workshop (until 2005) and RC12 Urban Design cluster, “Participatory systems for networked urban environments”. He received the 2008 Design of the Year Award (interactive) from the Design Museum, UK, a 2009 World Technology Award (art), the Japan Media Arts Festival Excellence prize and the Asia Digital Art Award Grand Prize.

Pilgrim BEART

Pilgrim Beart FIET has spent thirty years bringing technology innovation to market. At the start of his career he helped create some of the world’s first digital audio and video editing systems, then in the 1990’s experienced his first IPO in Silicon Valley. Over the past 20 years he has co-founded five UK companies including Antenova (billions of smartphone antennas shipped) and AlertMe (creators of the UK’s first successful Smart Home platform, Hive). He now leads DevicePilot which provides Service Assurance for connected products.