We are an award-winning team of specialists providing outstanding search solutions

As specialists in all aspects of search and related technology, we have experience of many of the search systems available today, including Apache Lucene/Solr, Elasticsearch and Xapian. The open source software we favour can be used to build cutting-edge search, monitoring and classification applications.

Whether designing a new search system or upgrading your existing search architecture, we can add powerful new features such as facets, geospatial search and spelling correction.

We are experts in all aspects of search: from extracting data from legacy systems, internal and external sources, to building fast indexes, tuning search accuracy and creating elegant user interfaces. We can also build taxonomy and classification systems to help you organise and categorise your documents.

We can help you scale your systems to potentially billions of items while making significant savings on your hardware budget. We provide a quality service to clients across the world with excellent, personalised support.


The Team

  • Charlie Hull

    Charlie Hull

    Charlie Hull has been an electronic engineer developing high-spec test equipment for the professional sound industry, a software engineer working on both embedded and PC applications, a team leader, project manager and application developer and an independent software consultant. While at Webtop he helped lead a team that developed a half-billion-page internet search engine. As well as being an expert in Windows development, Charlie keeps a strategic view on developments in the Search industry, and contributes to several blogs. A founder of Flax, he holds a BEng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Manchester.

  • Tom Mortimer

    Tom Mortimer

    Tom Mortimer has many years experience working in search applications, starting at Muscat in the mid-90s and going on to lead server software development at Webtop. A founder of Flax, he is passionate about creating elegant and functional user interfaces. His technical skills include Linux and Mac OS X system administration, C++, Python, HTML/CSS, PHP, Javascript, SQL etc. Tom writes about practical search issues on the Flax blog. He holds a BSc in Physics from Imperial College, London and a BSc Hons First Class in Psychology from the Open University.

    Lucene/Solr Certified Developer
  • Tom Winch

    Tom Winch

    Tom Winch has worked for several leading sofware companies in Cambridge, including 1Spatial (geographical information systems), Autonomy and Broca Networks (speech technology). With the Flax team, he has been particularly involved in research and development in web-scale indexing and search. He is skilled in Web technologies, C++, Python, PHP, object oriented analysis and design (including UML), SQL, Java and XML. He completed a PhD in Mathematics at the University of Nottingham and an MA from Cambridge University. He is also much in demand as a drummer on the local music scene.

    Lucene/Solr Certified Developer
  • Chris Dawes

    Chris Dawes

    Chris Dawes has over 20 years management and technical experience in high technology industry, and specialises in sales and marketing and strategic planning. Amongst his business development achievements, Chris managed the operations and commercial direction of a new generation search engine developed under a collaborative R&D UK Government grant, administered through the Technology Strategy Board and the Department of Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. He holds a BSc in Psychology from the University of Bristol.

  • Alan Woodward

    Alan Woodward

    Alan Woodward worked for many years at Proquest on a large scale multinode installation of the FAST ESP search engine, and gained skills in managing search applications over hundreds of millions of documents. At Flax Alan has worked on the development of new search technology for a leading UK newspaper publisher and in media monitoring applications. Alan has experience with Apache Lucene/Solr, OpenText and ElasticSearch. He is skilled in Java, Python, Ruby on Rails, Perl, PHP and Javascript and has an MA in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University. Alan is a Lucene/Solr Committer.

  • Matt Pearce

    Matt Pearce

    Matt Pearce worked at the Press Association, leading digital agency netXtra and at Proquest before joining the Flax team, where he has been working on a document management system and on upgrading a news search application. Matt has experience with Apache Lucene/Solr, MySQL, Postgres and the Tapestry component framework. He is skilled in Java, Perl, PHP and Javascript and holds a degree in Computer Science from the University of Kent.