Leadership Team

Ulrik Juul Christensen, MD

Executive Chairman (Area9 Group)
Chief Executive Officer (Area9 Lyceum)

Dr. Christensen is recognized worldwide as an expert in learning technology. He has pioneered adaptive learning, data-driven content development, simulation and debriefing technologies. He is responsible for the strategy of Area9 Group’s businesses, that span from purpose-built platforms for optimization of business processes for large corporations over digital product design to corporate training based on intelligent, adaptive learning.

He founded his first company, Sophus Medical, in 1997 while still in medical school. Sophus Medical was acquired by Laerdal Medical in 2002. Dr. Christensen was responsible for Laerdal’s global learning technologies initiatives from 2002–2006. Dr. Christensen co-founded Area9 Group in 2006, which has been at the forefront of adaptive and personalized learning with more than 1500 adaptive learning products based on the Area9 technologies and millions of students using the systems every semester. Area9 Education was sold to McGraw-Hill Education in 2014 and Area9 Learning was established to focus on adaptive learning in corporate and organizational environments.

Dr. Christensen was part of the McGraw-Hill Higher Education leadership team from 2011 to 2014 and the MHE Executive Leadership Team from February 2014 to 2016, where he stepped down to focus on the rapidly growing Area9 Innovation and Area9 Learning enterprises.

His primary focus is Area9 Lyceum which in January 2018 assembled all the group’s educational investments and technologies, and set out to create the 4th generation adaptive learning platform and the first generation supporting four-dimensional education.

Dr. Christensen is on the boards of the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and LEAP Innovations. He is also on the advisory board for Mastery Transcript Consortium, Transcend Education, CharacterLab, Center for Curriculum Redesign and Moonshots.org.

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Khurram Jamil, MD

President - Global Markets

Dr. Khurram Jamil is President Global Markets where he focuses on regional expansions and partnerships, as well as oversees projects for all levels of education and training.

Dr. Jamil’s entrepreneurial experience extends over 20 years. He has successfully led dozens of teams comprising of medical professionals and educational scientists, spearheaded large development and partnership efforts, and managed multi-million-dollar educational software development projects.

After earning his medical degree in Denmark in 2002, Dr. Jamil chose to advance health care outside the clinical arena through the development of novel educational simulators at Laerdal Medical. These simulators were used in the U.S. Department of Defense for Combat Medic Training. Following this, revolutionary screen-based simulators were created for the American Heart Association (HeartCode ACLS & PALS) used by millions of providers.

He co-founded Area9 in 2006 to evolve and expand these concepts beyond health care, while partnering with McGraw-Hill Education to deploy adaptive learning technology. Since then, more than 25 million students have used LearnSmart & SmartBook (property of McGraw-Hill Education – acquired in 2014).

Dr. Jamil is a cultural bridge builder and is involved with various cultural & art organizations to support building creative and reflective societies. He is a board member at the Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library – a center than develops programs to inspire curiosity and learning among people of all ages by using cartographic materials to illuminate history, geography, world cultures, science, and contemporary issues. He is a board member of American Friends of SMK – The National Gallery of Denmark. He also on the Education Council of the Center for Global Education (CGE) at Asia Society.


Asger Alstrup Palm

Group Chief Technology Officer
Chief Architect

Mr. Palm has been an early pioneer of high-performance, agile programming. He is a specialist in translating computer science from the cutting edge academic environments to the solutions that address real commercially viable needs.

Mr. Palm has been part of the current leadership team since the owners’ first company (which he was a co-owner of) where he joined the team in 1998.

Mr. Palm and his second-in-command, Mr. Tommy Olesen, have built a unique team of the absolute best, high performance software architects. Their recruitment tests are considered amongst the hardest in the industry.


Niels Vildbrad

Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Vildbrad has several years of strategic business management experience incl. substantial M&A experience from healthcare-IT and educational industries. He has led cross-border teams from acquisitions through the integration phase, with focus on growth and streamlining of operations.

Prior to joining Area9, Mr. Vildbrad ran a US-division for a large listed German healthcare-IT company, where he completed a successful turnaround, re-establishing a sales organization and reduced customer churn.

He is responsible for all business development and partnerships for the Area9 Group and works closely with the executive chairman in the management of the group.

Mr. Vildbrad holds an M.Sc. in Economics & Management from Aarhus University of Denmark, and is based in Milan, Italy.


Tashia Dam

Chief Pedagogy Officer

Ms. Dam has 10 years experience with developing intelligent, educational technologies and content at scale. She originally joined Area9 in 2008 and was part of the small team building the early versions of our adaptive systems. When Area9 was sold to McGraw-Hill, Ms. Dam was part of the McGraw-Hill transition team from 2014-2016.
From 2016 to 2018, Ms. Dam was VP. of Research and Innovation at Lix Technologies, and she brings significant state of the art knowledge of learning, education, pedagogics and technology.
Prior to joining Area9 in 2008, she was teaching at Institute of Pedagogics at Copenhagen University, from where she also earned her MA in Philosophy of Education & Theoretical Pedagogics.
Ms. Dam was expert advisor in the Danish Ministry of Education’s Council on Technology in Education timeboxed for 2017-2018, and she is on the Employer Panel Advisory Board at Institute of Pedagogics & Education, Århus University.
She also does peer-reviews for Association for Learning Technology, UK and regularly writes reviews of technology-philosophy books for the Danish magazine, Altinget.



Lars Kirkeskov Sørup

Chief Technology Officer

Mr. Soerup combines the skill sets and experience of both start-ups and large corporate environments. Being one of the four main owners of Sophus Medical, Mr. Soerup has been on the journey building companies from scratch. When the current owners left Laerdal Medical to start Area9, Mr. Soerup stayed at Laerdal Medical to head up the R&D department and being a member of the executive management team of the company that is one of the largest emergency medical device, training and simulation companies globally

Mr. Soerup brings significant strategic leadership experience as well medical and educational product development experience.

Mr. Soerup has a M.Sc. in civil engineering from Technical University of Denmark with a specialty in electronics and mathematical modeling.


Jan Krogh Larsen

Chief Product Officer

Jan Krogh Larsen is a senior leader in the publishing and EdTech industry. He holds a Master’s Degree from University of Copenhagen (English, Learning and Pedagogics) and was employed in Egmont from 2004 to 2018 (Danish media group with activities in 30 countries and 6,200 employees).

As an Editor, Editorial Director and Editor-in-chief, Jan has knowledge and hands-on-experience of all aspects of the publishing industry. As president for Egmont’s high school publishing house running editorial, sales, marketing, organizational development, innovation andstrategy and as the architect of a national digital platform used by 10 competing publishing houses Jan has executed successful business innovation with special focus on effective publishing systems across companies.

Today, Jan is head of development and product management of the publishing and educational platform from Area9 Lyceum and he has the overall responsibility for commercialization and partnerships in the K20 space, globally.


Tommy Olesen

Executive Vice President,
Core technologies

Mr. Olesen was educated at the University of Copenhagen as computer
scientist, specializing in semantics and implementation of programming languages, areas crucial in building the Area9 tools that help people realize their potential with IT.

Mr. Olesen has 16 years of experience in adaptive learning solutions and computer simulation, agile software development and managing software development in geographically distributed teams.


Kristen Raffetto

Chief of Staff

Kristen has 17 years’ accounting and finance experience.  Before joining the Area9 team in 2014, she served as the Assistant Controller and HR Manager for a private healthcare consulting firm.  She specializes in GAAP Compliance, staff recruitment, and maintaining operational excellence.

As Chief of Staff for the CEO, Kristen leads the Product Management task force, as well as overseeing US finance and HR.

Kristen holds a BS in Accounting from Bryant University.


Mads Diermayr

Executive Vice President,
Product Management

As the Executive VP of Product Management at Area9 Lyceum, Mads is responsible for bringing development teams and the product vision together while keeping customer satisfaction high. His 17 years of experience in the Learning and Simulation field, have made Mads a veteran of developing easy-to-use advanced learning and eSimulation software. Among the top tier projects he has worked on in the past, you can find AHA HeartCode®, RQI® and MHE LearnSmart® Adaptive Learning Suite. He brings extensive international experience ranging from product and project management, to development, as well as team building, QA and customer service. Mads’ core beliefs is having an agile mindset and doing what it takes to get things done.


Merethe Stjerne Thomsen

Executive Vice President
Global Implementation

Ms. Stjerne Thomsen is the Senior Vice President of Implementation Strategy and comes with +15 years of experience from strategy to business growth at the intersection of technology, design, and industry.

Prior to Area9 Lyceum, she has led a healthcare SaaS start-up, headed up organizational development at Design Management in the LEGO Group, been strategic innovation lead at Grundfos, and independent consultant for leadership in SMEs and large multi-national organizations in the renewable energy sector.

Ms. Stjerne Thomsen holds a M.Sc. Engineering in Industrial Design from Aalborg University, Denmark and did research on innovation management at University of Southern Denmark.

She is external lecturer at Copenhagen Business School, Denmark.


Søren Frank Andersen

Senior Vice President
Integrations and Architecture

Mr. Andersen has a strong background in Development and Technology management through more than 25 years of work in the simulation and education space. Being one of the founders and four main owners of Sophus Medical. Mr. Andersen been part of the architectural and technology development leadership team from the startup phase, through the acquisition as part a larger group at Laerdal Medical.

In 2018 Mr. Andersen joined Area9 as SVP of Integrations and Architecture utilizing the strong experience in integration and technology.

Mr. Andersen hold a Master of Computer Science from the Department of Computer Science (DIKU) at Copenhagen University.


Andreas Kambach

Managing Director, D-A-CH

Andreas Kambach has over 25 years of experience in training, coaching and personnel development with a focus on sales and concept development. He is managing director of a renowned training institute with locations in Hamburg and Leipzig as well as subsidiaries abroad.

In the past, he was also a member of the board of the Baltic Chamber of Commerce.

He last brought in his trainer expertise as author of the book “Dynamisch Verhandeln – Entscheiden, was andere entscheiden” (“Dynamic Negotiating – Deciding What Others Decide”).

At Area9 he is the Managing Director of Area9 Lyceum GmbH based in Leipzig.


Ulrike Dienemann

Chief of Staff, D-A-CH

Ulrike Maria Dienemann has several years of experience in business development, organizational & personnel development in communication, as well as in university & training services sectors.

Before joining Area9 Lyceum GmbH in Leipzig, she worked for many years as a site manager at a training institute and was responsible for business development at a private business school.

At Area9 Lyceum GmbH, Ms. Dienemann is responsible for managing the Leipzig office, personnel recruiting and development and organizational development.

Ms. Dienemann holds a master’s degree in communication and media sciences as well as business administration from the University of Leipzig.


Global Solutions Team

Maike Anton

Head of Global Marketing

Maike Anton has over 10 years of experience in marketing, with a focus on marketing planning and controlling for the online and offline sector. In her previous position at a renowned company in the field of personnel development, she was responsible for setting up and supporting a Europe-wide sales network.

Since joining Area9 in 2019, she is responsible for the strategic planning and implementation of all marketing activities in the DACH region at Area9 Lyceum GmbH based in Leipzig. She brings her extensive experience in international partner management to the company. Since February 2022, Maike has been responsible for the company’s global marketing.

Maike Anton studied at the Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg and the Free University Berlin and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy Neuroscience Cognition and a Master’s degree in Business Marketing.


Marc Berg, MD

Chief Clinical Advisor

Dr. Berg is an internationally recognized and respected clinician, scientist and educator. He serves as Professor of Clinical Pediatrics (Critical Care) at Stanford University and Director of the REVIVE Initiative in Resuscitation Excellence at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. He has published numerous manuscripts in over 20 years of academic medicine, primarily in critical care, resuscitation and CPR performance. In teaching, he led the 2010 American Heart Association Emergency Cardiac Care Pediatric Subcommittee in producing Guidelines for Pediatric Resuscitation and the PALS and PEARS courses, taken by millions of students worldwide. He has been with Area9 since it’s inception and is currently Chief Clinical Advisor for the Area9 Group.


Claus Biermann, MD MPH

Chief Medical Advisor
Healthcare Education

Dr. Claus W. Biermann serves as Area9 Lyceum’s Chief Medical Advisor, Healthcare Education. He advises on our growing healthcare partnerships, including NEJM Group’s Knowledge+, American Association of Clinical Chemistry, Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery and future partners. He also advises on Area9’s efforts to partner with the healthcare industry, both for internal and external stakeholder medical education.

Dr. Biermann has a background as MD from Medical University Bochum in Germany and a Master in Public Health (MPH) from University Bielefeld in Germany. He was trained in transplantations and abdominal surgery as well as urology at several international universities, including serving at University of Chicago. He has been a Research Fellow for Experimental Research and has an extensive publication list.

Dr. Biermann was very active in Outcomes & Value Based Healthcare Research next to basic scientific clinical work and publications. He worked as an Executive cross sectoral in all major healthcare industries; Pharmaceutical, MedTech, IT and Services.His last position was Chief Strategy & Healthcare Policy Officer in a global renal care services company.

Claus was appointed Visiting Professor Medicine at Hochschule für Gesundheit University of Applied Sciences in Bochum. The HSG is the only university in Germany to offer five bachelor and master  degree programs for healthcare professions.


Sumedha Chhabra

Implementation Excellence

Sumedha is an Implementation Manager with extensive account management experience within global markets.
Having worked with a diverse set of clients globally for several years, Sumedha has helped them devise various digital strategies through SAAS platforms and supported them by understanding their requirements, use cases and pain points. She has a sterling command over various Market Intelligence tools and platforms, gaining around5+ years of erudite experience in the same.

She is now an Implementation Manager at Area9 Lyceum for the APAC region and operates out of Hong Kong. She helps in providing truly personalized solutions to the clients based on their requirements and pain points. Hence providing techno-functional support to the customers. She also works closely with the team of learning engineers, to ensure the qualitative deliverables and customer success with Area9’s adaptive learning technology.


Natasha Guindy

Enterprise Solutions Architect, Nordics

Natasha has always been involved with educational matters throughout her career, both as an educator and a business consultant. Her diverse experiences within the learning space include public and private organizations such as the Danish Defence College, large corporations, colleges, and universities.

Natashas core work reflects respect, humility, and understanding of the subject matter while supporting her customers on an academic and strategic level by co-developing the latest and most appropriate learning cultures and quality assurances. This character trait has, amongst others, led Natasha to become a member of the Employer Panel Advisory Board for the Institute of Pedagogics at the University of Copenhagen.

Furthermore, Natasha was the editor of the Journal of Danish Pedagogics, and she is still performing peer-reviews for the Scandinavian Journal of Military Studies.

Natasha holds a MA in Education and Theoretical Pedagogics from the University of Copenhagen.


Hannah Güntzel

Manager Implementation Excellence,

Hannah Güntzel completed her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology as her major and Oriental Archaeology and Art History as her minor at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. She then pursued a Master’s degree in Technical Documentation and Knowledge Communication to deepen her skills in knowledge preparation and effective communication between subject matter experts and learners.

After completing her Master’s degree, Hannah Güntzel gained initial professional experience in the field of medical technology before transitioning to a full-service IT service provider in the critical infrastructure (KRITIS) sector. There, she was responsible for establishing and managing the internal knowledge base, as well as planning and conducting training programs and internal audits in preparation for the annual ISO certification examination of the company group.

Currently, Hannah Güntzel supports the team at Area9 Lyceum as an Implementation Success Manager in Leipzig. In this role, she is accountable for the development and implementation of projects for clients from a wide range of disciplines.


Kat Daz

Senior Implementation Manager

Kat is a graduate of Northeastern University, where she earned a B.S. in Finance and Political Science. Her previous professional experience includes her tenure at Merrill Lynch as a Financial Advisor.

Kat joined Area9 Lyceum Inc. soon after it was founded in 2018. She sits at the nexus of business operations, procurement, strategic implementation, and the technical arm of the company. She specializes in idiosyncratic implementations that require deeper analysis and customization work. Insatiably curious about the empirical research underpinning the educational technologies that power Area9’s platforms, she has found a perpetual stream of fodder through the evolution of Area9’s product suite.

Currently Kat resides in Rhode Island with her German Shepherd, Ace. When not focused on delivering value to clientele and supporting the international team, here at Area9, Kat can be found immersed in political campaign work, exploring cities and the intricacies of urban planning, and convincing Ace he indeed, is not a lap dog.


Dr. Juliane Dinse

Medical Learning Architect

Dr. Juliane Dinse is Medical Learning Architect and oversees medical and pharmaceutical education, training and further education topics. Dr. Dinse advises customers and partners as well as internally on strategy and implementation of content in the various learning products of Area9 Lyceum’s Rhapsode™ platform. In addition, she accompanies the continuous training of a team of Medical Learning Engineers.

Dr. Dinse studied Medical Computer Science at Otto-von-Guericke University until 2010 and completed her PhD in Applied Computer Science/Neurosciences in 2015 in cooperation with the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig. At the interface between clinicians, surgeons, scientists and subjects/patients, Dr. Dinse succeeded in developing and implementing AI-based algorithms and methods that enable anatomical and functional analyzes of the vital organs (brain, heart, lungs) on various types of imaging (MRI, CT, US, microscopy) which are still in use today.

During this time, Dr. Dinse took over professional onboarding and training in the areas of anatomy and (patho)physiology, algorithms and data structures as well as medical imaging. After qualifying as an e-learning manager, Dr. Dinse has been working for Area9 Lyceum since 2020.


Charlotte Dwyer

Learning Solution Architect, UK & Ireland

Charlotte is an experienced Learning Solution Architect. She has worked for some of the UKs leading digital learning agencies in senior positions over the past twenty years, most recently Client Director at Brightwave Group/Capita Learning were she was responsible for managing complex digital learning solutions for both public and private sector clients.

Charlotte brings creativity and experience in delivering innovative solutions which span across all industry sectors and develops effective and trusted partnerships. She is passionate about turning business needs into measurable business outcomes by helping to bring systemic change through effective and immersive learning solutions.


Elena Filatova

Learning Architect

An advocate of e-learning, Elena believes that in many cases, if used effectively, e-learning provides more effective learning experiences and takes learners to mastery more quickly than any other form of instruction.

With a background in language teaching, training, and curriculum design, Elena has been developing and building engaging and meaningful learning experiences for adults for over fifteen years.

She joined Area9 Lyceum in 2019. She helps clients transform their materials into adaptive courses, trains novice learning engineers on best practices in learning design and makes sure that the final product each client gets is up to the highest standard.


Dr. Marcel Finke

Manager Implementation Excellence, D-A-CH

Dr. Marcel Finke has 16 years of experience as a university lecturer and researcher. With a PhD in art history, he worked at various universities in Germany and Austria. Most recently, he was assistant professor at Eberhard Karls University Tübingen (from 2016 to 2022). His research projects have been supported by the German Academic Scholarship Foundation, the German Research Foundation, and the Austrian Science Fund, among others. He is author and co-editor of five textbooks, and has published about forty scientific papers.

In 2022, Marcel Finke joined Area9, where he is working as Manager Implementation Excellence at the Leipzig office. He brings his extensive practical experience and knowledge of the specific challenges and requirements of higher education to the work of the DACH team, in which he is particularly responsible for K20 education.


Yazan Hamwi

Learning Architect

I am a passionate e-learning professional with over 8 years of experience in the virtual and e-learning industry. I have worked for 5 years in a virtual university, where I was responsible for providing timely and effective solutions to various technical issues faced by students and faculty. I have also been involved in adaptive learning technologies for almost 4 years, where I have applied data-driven and personalized approaches to enhance the learning outcomes and satisfaction of diverse learners. I am always eager to learn new skills and explore new challenges in the field of e-learning. I believe that online education has the potential to transform lives and empower people to achieve their goals. I am looking for opportunities to collaborate with other e-learning professionals and organizations who share my vision and values.


Olivia Hansen

Director of Process and Implementation

Olivia is directing content curation processes and implementation at Area9. Olivia is in charge of resource planning and -management, delegation of work tasks and project reporting all to ensure smooth workflow processes and business efficiency throughout the content production.

Prior to joining Area9, Olivia worked as Head of Support at the e-learning company, Lix, where her primary focus was to improve support processes and to apply the knowledge gained from the user feedback in the product development. Olivia took part in the development of a new AI support platform in terms of identifying and designing the needed functionalities, metrics and creating a ticket routing system to optimize response time.

Olivia holds a MA in Culture, Communication and Globalisation from Aalborg University with a specialisation in Organisation and Leadership.


Christian Hense

Implementation Excellence, D-A-CH

Christian Hense studied linguistics and philosophy and focused himself to the core areas of logic, science and argumentation theory. He has 10 years of experience in project management. He was able to apply and expand his skills at a pharmaceutical company as well as in one of the largest organisations for applied research and development services in Europe.

In his subsequent job he contributed his expertise especially in business organisation. He expanded his area of responsibility and headed the operations organisation department of a renowned Road safety Management. He advanced the digitalisation and modernisation of the process map and successfully implemented challenges such as GDPR in the company.

Since 2021, he has been working as Manager Implementation Success for Area9 Lyceum GmbH, based in Leipzig. In his current position, he is responsible for the development and implementation of processes in the area of customer satisfaction and customer development. He is the head of Area9’s education team and continues to drive project processes in K12.


Dr. Diana Herbert-Nguyen

Implementation Excellence, D-A-CH

Dr. Diana Herbert-Nguyen studied biology in Leipzig and worked as a research assistant in medical research during her studies. She completed her doctorate at the University Hospital in Leipzig in the field of dermatology.

Diana worked, among other things, as a science editor in a Leipzig-based startup for 3D visualization of scientific content and was primarily concerned with content creation of exam-relevant content into the online platform for medical students.

After further education in life science management, she brings extensive know-how from the pharmaceutical industry, such as drug development and approval, legal basics as well as project management, sales and business administration.

Since May 2021 she supports the Area9 team at the Leipzig location as Manager Implementation Success.


Paul Felix Hoffmann

Learning Solutions Architect, D-A-CH

Paul Felix Hoffmann studied sports psychology (MSc) as well as business psychology (MSc) and has always been particularly interested in educational psychology.

During his work as a trainer in a leading DAX company he was able to train employees and executives in the field of soft skills.

During his last job as a business psychologist, he led assessments as well as individual and group coaching. Today, he also works as a lecturer at the Humboldt University in Berlin.

Paul is now part of the solution architect team at Area9 Lyceum based in Leipzig.


Martin Holmes

Senior Director
Implementation Excellence, D-A-CH

Martin Holmes has experience in a number of different fields all relating to Education. Before moving to Germany in 2017, he worked as a Teacher in the UK. Mr. Holmes lead the implementation of a new computing curriculum and provided regular training to teachers on the topic of incorporating the use of technology and e-learning in the classroom. Following this, Martin Holmes joined a training institute in Germany, specializing in corporate training and e-learning. This role involved collaborating with sales teams and developers, as well as a large partner network in Europe in order to plan, coordinate and manage the success of training and e-learning projects with clients.

He is now Product and Implementation Excellence Manager at Area9 Lyceum GmbH. Mr. Holmes works closely with the team of learning engineers as well as the product development team to ensure the customer success with Area9’s adaptive learning.


Daniel Hong

Key-Account-Manager Enterprise, D-A-CH

Daniel Hong has more than five years of experience in B2B sales. His previous work experience includes sales for a well-known Korean car manufacturer while he was part of a team at a renowned airbag and seatbelt manufacturing company.
More recently, he was a sales manager at an Adtech company, in the Google My Business industry, where he was able to further sharpen his skill set.
Daniel is now part of the solution architecture team at Area9 Lyceum based in Leipzig.


Khalid Al Kaff

Solution Architect

With more than nine years experience Khalid Al Kaff has progressed through different roles in sales and business development in the HR consulting industry.

Prior to joining Area9, Khalid worked in sales and business development for executive education focusing on change management and digital talent management solutions.

Khalid manages the business development for Area9 in the MENA region.


Maddie Kilminster

Senior Director Product Management, K-20 and Publishing

As a Senior Director on the Product Management team, Maddie works closely with publishers, schools and universities to roll out Area9 Rhapsode™. Maddie’s main focus is on ensuring a seamless implementation and on aligning the technology development with real use cases.

Maddie is passionate about learning, language and social impact. She has worked for a number of educational publishers and EdTech firms, in editorial and marketing roles. She has taught English in Germany, taken part in reading outreach schemes in UK schools, and is currently studying for an MA in Education: Culture, Language and Identity at Goldsmiths, London.

With a bachelor’s degree in languages, Maddie speaks German and French.


Ave Lausing

Senior Implementation Manager,
Learning Architect

Ave is passionate about creating transformative learning experiences and has a double role as a Learning Architect and an Implementation Excellence Manager.

Ave has a Master’s degree in Educational Technology from the University of Tallinn (Estonia) and wrote her thesis about formative and diagnostic assessment on adaptive platforms. For her Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics, her research interest was language learning technology.

Before joining the Area9 team in 2019, she worked for several years as a Senior E-Assessment Manager in an educational foundation, focusing on creating digital assessments for K-12 learners.

In addition to teaching and tutoring experience, she has more than a decade of background in business management.


Sara Melson

Learning Architect

Knowledge sharing and learning design have been guiding passions for Sara throughout her professional life. She has worked in different startups with local and international partners and teams as a project manager, program director of urban development and art conferences, and concept developer of a physical learning platform.

Sara’s focus at Area9 is to design, build and ensure sublime adaptive e-learning products. She herself teaches external partners in building adaptive e-learning experiences, and acts as a supervisor and mentor for team members.

Sara holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Sociology from Copenhagen University and Bilgi Universitesi, Istanbul.


Torsten Meyer-Efland

Learning Solutions Architect, D-A-CH

Mr. Meyer-Efland has more than 20 years of successful sales experience in the automotive industry. For a well-known German premium car manufacturer, he was responsible for the sales results in various metropolises and was instrumental in implementing the expansion strategy in the commercial segment. He has played an intensive role in the development of customer relationship management for retail.

Prior to this, he gained many years of sales and management experience in the music industry. Mr. Meyer-Efland has an excellent network in the automotive industry and maintains relevant contacts to decision makers in the German industry. At Area9 Lyceum he is a member of the sales team and drives the distribution of Area9 Lyceum in the industry.


Peter Miller

Learning Architect

Curiosity, experience, growth, and enrichment are anchored by a singular concept – learning. Creating and delivering all types of learning experiences has been at the core of Peter’s professional journey.

Peter’s natural tendency for autodidactism has taken him into many intellectual spheres. However, his love for sharing knowledge became his profession when he taught writing and literature to high school students for 10 years. During this time, it was his passion for learning design that he found most rewarding.

Peter believes that a top quality learning experience is beautiful, efficient, and built for purpose.

Peter has been with Area9 Lyceum since 2018. Here, he extends his love of teaching and learning into a global arena. He designs e-learning experiences for industry leading clients, teaches the conceptual and practical applications of adaptive learning, contributes to edtech platform development, and leads and coaches team members.

Peter holds a BA in psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Bridgewater State University.


Kaili Mitt

General Manager
Area9 Excellence Center Europe

Kaili coordinates day-to-day activities at Area9 Excellence Center Europe.

With 10+ years experience as a Administrator, Supervisor or Team Lead, Kaili has been responsible for running day-to-day operations, overseeing the hiring, onboarding and scheduling of staff, as well as maintaining budgets and optimizing business expenses.

Kaili holds a B.A. in business management and continues studying practical educational technology.


Stephanie Puls

Senior Implementation Manager

Stephanie joined Area 9 Lyceum in 2021. She brings over 10 years experience in the claims and contact services industry, having held senior leadership roles in client implementation, quality development, and team management.

She has led quality review projects that ensured tools, processes, and resources were streamlined in for successful utilization and compliance. Under her leadership and implementation management, she directed successful client collaborations that bridged gaps across all support group departments. She worked closely with clients to put their procedures in production, as well as reviewing analytical data to continuously improve processes. Her experience also includes onboarding, training, and mentoring new colleagues remotely across the US and in person. Her emphasis is on aligning colleague and client partnerships with a vision that will establish a successful, efficient, and productive environment.

Stephanie holds a BA degree in Business Marketing from Loras College in Dubuque IA, where she currently resides. In her free time she enjoys running outdoors, reading, traveling, hiking, camping, and spending time with family.



Felix Rabe

Implementation Excellence, D-A-CH

Felix Rabe has a background in sports management, having studied in this area at the University of Leipzig, Germany. Alongside his studies he worked in sales marketing for an international sports equipment manufacturer. As a scout in professional football he developed competencies in digitalization of analogue processes, in order to make them more time- and cost-efficient.

Through successful execution of a variety of projects and further professional experience within a fit-tech start-up he has acquired a broad knowledge-base and set of skills within project management and business development.

Felix Rabe has joined the team at Area9 Lyceum GmbH in Leipzig as Manager Implementation Success.


James Tubb

Director Learning Solutions Architect, UK & Ireland

James is an experienced Client Relationship Director and Team Leader. Prior to working for Area9, he worked for the largest technical training company in the UK. He has worked within learning for over 10 years, supporting both public and private sector clients to achieve business outcomes through learning.

In his most recent role at QA ltd., he took the lead in supporting key Central Government organisations, working on complex solutions that were aligned to key digital transformation initiatives.

James is a proud Dyslexic thinker and uses his industry knowledge and ‘out of the box’ thinking to find innovative solutions to his client’s requirements. His experience of education led him to study Psychology at Brunel University and has given him a passion for supporting a neurodiverse audience through technology driven learning.


Waseem Al-Sabbagh

Implementation Manager

Waseem is an Implementation Manager with great experience in leadership roles in client implementation, quality development, and team management. He is passionate about helping clients to successfully implement their learning programs and achieve their desired outcomes. He has extensive experience in deploying content packages, setting up workflows, assigning classes, and enrolling learners. He also monitors learner progress, analyzes learner data, and provides reports to stakeholders.

Before joining Area9 in 2020 as a Learning Engineer, he worked for several years as a Project Manager and has held senior leadership roles in client implementation, quality development, and team management.

Waseem is a highly motivated and results-oriented individual. He is always looking for new ways to improve the implementation and delivery of adaptive learning content. He is also committed to sharing his knowledge and expertise with others.


Daria Safonova

Implementation Manager

Daria holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration and Management. Her career in the software industry began over ten years ago. During this time, she has worked with various types of software products such as document management, analytical and marketplace platforms.

She has participated in integrating products and implementing processes, conducted customer, competitor and industry research, collaborated with clients. As an Analyst, Daria worked with an analytical SaaS platform that included complex linguistic, statistical services, and machine learning technologies.

In February 2022, Daria joined the Area9 team as a Technical Product Specialist with learning engineering expertise. She obtained a learning engineer certification and is responsible for solving clients’ cases in this field. In March 2023, she joined the Implementation team as an Implementation Manager.


Hannah Scanlon

Learning Architect

Hannah joined the Area9 team in 2020. As a Learning Architect on the STEM team, she works with clients to design adaptive courses, and trains Learning Engineers in the best practices of learning engineering in STEM content.

Prior to working at Area9, Hannah studied Biology and Psychology at McGill University (BSc) and has been involved in STEM education for 6+ years. Her background includes tutoring math and sciences at the secondary and post-secondary levels, developing 1-on-1 learning strategies for students with learning disabilities, and teaching English as a second language.


Knut Sonnabend

Implementation Excellence, D-A-CH

Knut Sonnabend has more than 20 years of sales experience and brought in his expertise especially in the logistics and building materials sectors. Most recently, he was very successful in the sales of technical solutions for a leading mobile phone provider in Germany. He expanded his area of responsibility due to his high sales experience and also supported the personnel development for numerous teams within the company. He was significantly involved in the conception of trainings as well as the onboarding of new employees.

In his subsequent position at a training institute, he deepened his knowledge in the area of coaching and personnel development and was responsible for the sales of a video-based online training platform.

Since the beginning of 2019, he has worked first as an Account Manager and today as a Business Development Manager for Area9 Lyceum GmbH, based in Leipzig. In his current position he is responsible for the development and implementation of customer satisfaction and customer development processes.


Kathrine Storm

Learning Architect

Kathrine joined Area9 in 2018. She designs and builds digital learning architecture, conducts internal learning engineer supervision, and trains our partners to become certified learning engineers within Area9 U. Kathrine translates subject matter into adaptive delivery for corporations and organizations, designing the best solutions to meet specific client needs.

Prior to working at Area9, Kathrine was employed in the Danish media group Egmont where she was an editor of digital teaching materials as well as textbooks for high school level. Kathrine has also worked as a translator, and as a communications consultant for The Danish Reader Organization (an NGO working to improve mental health through shared reading).

Kathrine holds a master’s degree in Danish and Philosophy.


Ahmad Tawalbeh

Team Lead - Implementation and Customer Success MEA

With more than 8 years of experience in education, I am deeply committed to creating engaging learning experiences. As a certified trainer for LEGO Education and TETRIX Robotics, I am proud to contribute to the future of STEM education. My dedication to education goes beyond robotics. Currently, I lead the Implementation team for Area9 in the MENA region, where we are innovating education delivery and making a meaningful impact on the future of learning.


Deepankar Tiwari

Managing Director
India & Southeast Asia

Deepankar Tiwari, has over 24 years of experience in the Automotive / Mobility space. He spent 22 years with the Tata Group. Post acquiring his Engineering degree in Metallurgy & Material Science, in 1995, he began his career with the Tata Group joining as a management trainee with Tata Motors Limited at their commercial vehicle division. Subsequently, he joined the prestigious Tata Administrative Services (TAS) and spent a year getting experience across different operating companies of the Group, across different sectors. He spent a year at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad perusing an executive management program.

In 1999, when Tata Motors was setting-up its passenger car business, Deepankar was selected to be a part of the founding team. In this capacity, he played a key role in the introduction of some of Tata’s popular car brands including Tata Indica, Tata Indigo and Tata Safari. Thereafter, Deepankar headed the marketing, Sales and Servicing verticals for the passenger car business across geographies and also for the international markets.

Between 2005-2008, Deepankar was a key member of the team that designed, developed and launched the world’s lowest cost car, the Tata Nano. During the same  period, Tata Motors acquired Jaguar Land Rover and Deepankar was part of the integration team to assimilate the businesses and for initializing the JLR  operations in India. He was also part of the team which negotiated the architecture of Tata Motors – FIAT Group JV where in a JV was set up in India to produce Tata / Fiat products and retail them using the established Tata Motors retail network.

In 2012, Deepankar was drafted into the Office of Tata Sons Chairman Cyrus Mistry, as a Vice President to lead globally the Business Development Initiatives & Policy narrative of Tata Group, supporting the Groups Operating Companies from Tata Sons Group Centre.

In 2017, Deepankar moved to Uber Technologies Limited as the Asia-Pacific Head for Vehicle Solutions & Business Development. Here he was responsible for all external partner facing engagements, including strategic collaborations with global automotive players head-quartered out of Asia Pacific.

Based out of Delhi, Deepankar leads Area9 Lyceum’s business development efforts in India and Southeast Asia.

Personally, Deepankar has an ear for Indian classical music and is himself a Tabla (Indian percussion instrument) player. Deepankar lives in New Delhi with his wife Priyanka, who is an intellectual property and patents attorney and when not travelling, he’s learning the many uses of the internet from their 9 years old son, Shaurya.



Andy Wooler

Senior Vice President
Product Management (Learning Systems & Integrations)

Andy Wooler has some 20 years experience in the world of Learning Technologies.

Prior to joining the Area9 Lyceum team in 2021, he has served as a Learning Strategist for a leading company in the Data and Digital Solutions space. Prior to that, he has led learning platform projects in global Financial Services organisations.

Andy holds an MBA from the Open University and is a Fellow of the Learning & Performance Institute.


Karis Amata Zecchi

Learning Architect

Karis studied Physics at the University of Florence (BSc, Italy) and at the University of Copenhagen (MSc, DK). At the latter, she did a PhD in biophysics with a thesis on polarization in biomembranes.

Karis’ educational/pedagogical experience consists of more than ten years of teaching, and includes private tutoring to students from primary school to University students and teaching assistant activity in different courses at the Niels Bohr Institute.

After her research activity, she has been developing interactive educational material in the form of virtual laboratories simulations for both Web and VR.

In addition to being a learning engineer, Karis is the learning architect at Area9 for math where she is responsible for math content and content technology.

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