Events > COVID-19 and the Future of the University Estate > Speakers


AUDE thought leadership virtual event: COVID-19 and the Future of the University Estate Speakers 




Rachel Adams
Director of Human Resources
Keele University              

Rachel is HR Director at Keele University in 2018 having undertaken a variety of HE and people management roles since joining Keele in 2001. Prior to this she worked in HR roles in the private sector in both manufacturing and hi-tech organisations. Rachel is responsible for development and delivery of the University’s People Strategy, which has a strong focus of promoting equality valuing diversity and fostering a culture of inclusion. Keele is one of only fourteen HEI’s to hold the bronze Race Equality Charter award. Rachel’s team were named “Team of the Year” 2020 in the Universities Human Resources (UHR) 2020 having been shortlisted in 2019 for their work on “Communication and culture to advance race equality at Keele.      

Dr Ghazwa Alwani-Starr
Pro Vice-Chancellor Strategy, Planning and Partnerships; and Director of Property and Facilities Management
University of London

Ghazwa is a chartered civil and structural engineer with 31 years’ experience in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. She has held Project Directorship roles at BAA, the Prince’s Foundation and the NHS and has been a board level director for the last 17 years. Ghaz joined HE as Director of Estates and Campus Services at the University of Roehampton where she implemented the University’s extensive capital programme. Ghaz is currently Pro Vice Chancellor Strategy Planning and Partnerships and Director of Property and Facilities Management at the University of London. In this role she leads for the University of London on strategy development, planning office, risk and audit, strategic communications and Marketing as well as Governance and legal services. In relation to estates, she is responsible for strategic asset management for the University’s portfolio of property assets in Bloomsbury. She is also responsible for estates maintenance and services management across the University’s academic and residential buildings.

Ghaz was a member of the Oversight Panel for the UUK’s Diamond II review of efficiency and effectiveness in HE and the lead for the work stream focussing on space efficiency in UK HE. She has non-executive director experience at Notting Hill Housing Association and at Regent’s University – London, and has served as a school governor. Ghazwa chaired the London Region of AUDE for 4 years and is the current Chair of the Higher Education Design Quality Forum.

Lucy Black MSc FIWFM
Head of Facilities & Student Accommodation
University of Plymouth and Chair of AUDE Strategic Facilities Management Group

Lucy is the University of Plymouth’s Head of Facilities and Student Accommodation and chair of AUDE’s Strategic FM group.

Lucy has previously held similar roles in university, local authority, NHS and charity sectors and has 30 years’ experience in facilities management, leading and developing teams and services. She is a fellow of the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management, where she was a non-executive director for 6 years and was chair of a large leisure trust.

Professor Rufus Black   
Vice-Chancellor and President
University of Tasmania 

Rufus Black is the Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Tasmania. Previously, he was Master of Melbourne University’s Ormond College and an Enterprise Professor in the Department of Management and Marketing and a Principal Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Melbourne.

Rufus’ private sector experience includes nine years as a partner at McKinsey and Company, serving clients in Australia and Asia, and as a Director for national law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth. His educational and social sector experience includes being the President of Museums Victoria, the Deputy Chancellor of Victoria University, the founding Chair of the Board of Teach for Australia, a Director of the New York based Teach for All and a Director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research.

He has worked extensively for government at Federal and State levels.

He conducted the Black Review into the Department of Defence and the Prime Minister’s Independent Review of the Australian Intelligence Community and was the Strategic Advisor to the Secretary of Education in Victoria. He was a Board Member of Innovation Science Australia. Rufus holds degrees in law, politics, economics, ethics and theology from the University of Melbourne and Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar.

Richard Brabner
UPP Foundation 

Richard Brabner was appointed Head of UPP Foundation in July 2016 and was promoted to Director in 2018. Working with the trustees, he sets its strategy and leads on all aspects of the UPP Foundation’s activities. Richard joined UPP in 2015 as Business Development Manager and his responsibilities included setting up the UPP Foundation.

Prior to joining UPP, he was Head of Policy at the University of Hertfordshire, advising the Vice-Chancellor and senior management team and leading the University’s public affairs function. Before this, he worked as a researcher for two MPs in Parliament. He graduated from the University of Essex in 2007 and holds an MRes in Public Policy and Management from Birkbeck, University of London.

Laura Brimacombe
Business Development Director

Known as the ‘wild card’ by my colleagues, my route into the facilities management (FM) industry is different to many of my peers! Having spent most of my career working in the charity and third sector, making a positive difference to the lives of others has always been a passion of mine. Sodexo’s ‘Quality of Life’ mission intrigued me and drew me to the business. The social impact that FM can have on people, places and the planet is huge and it’s our aim to ensure we maximise this potential for clients, customers and the communities within which we work.

Jamie Brogan M.Sc., MBA
Head of Innovation & Skills
Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation
University of Edinburgh 

Jamie is Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation’s (ECCI) Head of Innovation and Skills.  His focus is in delivering ECCI’s support for companies in low carbon innovation, and on developing the partnerships and projects that ensure ECCI helps Edinburgh and Scotland to deliver some of the most ambitious climate targets in the world.  Recently, he has been a key player in the setting up of the Edinburgh Climate Commission, which gathers together environmental experts from across the city to catalyse climate action for Net Zero.

Jamie joined the University of Edinburgh from Edinburgh Napier University, where he used his expertise in work-based learning to lead industry partnerships across the university which delivered specialist skills into emerging industries and drive transformative change.  He has more than 20 years’ experience of advising businesses, from small start-ups to senior management teams in some of Scotland’s fastest growing companies.

Contact details

Dr Nicola Byrom
Senior Lecturer in Psychology
Kings College London

Dr Byrom is a senior lecturer in psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neurosciences at KCL. Her research focuses on university student mental health. With a particular interest in peer support, informal networks of support and settings-based approaches to improving public mental health. She is currently directing SMaRteN, the UKRI funded Student Mental Health Research Network.

Nicola’s research here is inspired by her personal experiences and her work in the charity sector. She founded the student mental health charity, Student Minds, in 2009 with the ambition for all students to feel confident talking about mental health. She has worked to build and support better formal and informal networks of peer support to normalise conversations around mental health.

Professor Joy Carter
Vice-Chancellor & Climate Commissioner
University of Winchester

Professor Joy Carter is Vice-Chancellor of The University of Winchester. She is an academic with research based in Geochemistry and Health and was a former President of the international society in her field.

Professor Carter is currently a Co-Chair of the Climate Commission for UK Higher and Further Education, Chair of St Ethelburgas Centre for Reconciliation and Peace and Chair of the National Governing Body (NGB) of Squash. 

Professor Carter was formally the Chair of GuildHE, and for many years served on the Universities UK Board. She has also chaired the Cathedrals Group of Universities and the Church of England’s Advisory Group for the Foundation for Educational Leadership.  As an ambassador for higher level skills and vocational learning, Professor Carter chaired the University Vocational Awards Council (UVAC). She is currently the Vice-Chair of the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) and a former board member of the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA).

Professor Carter is Patron of 7 charities and is a Deputy Lieutenant for the county of Hampshire. Passionate about all aspects of sustainability and social justice, she has particular interests in climate change, widening participation and animal welfare.

Professor Carter was awarded a CBE in the New Year Honours in 2018 for services to Higher Education.

Amanda Clarke
Principal Consultant, Leadership and Talent Consultancy GatenbySanderson

For over 20 years Amanda’s passion has been in transforming client organisations through developing and coaching senior leadership teams. Her consulting and coaching experience in transformation planning and organisational change is grounded in supporting the development of board, senior leadership teams and individuals. She has led projects with a range of boards and executive teams across the Public, Private and Not-for-Profit sectors to create the most effective development interventions – enhanced using technology. 

In her current role, Amanda focuses on client projects within the Health, Education and Local Government sectors to support organisations to navigate through periods of transformation and culture change. She has created inspirational, thought provoking learning interventions that provide a safe haven to support board reviews, succession planning and board member coaching.

Amanda has previously held positions including Non-Executive Director, Board Advisor, Trustee and Chair for various organisations across the Not-for-Profit, Health and Private sectors. As a NED, she brings an independent perspective to the organisation along with a broader, external view of matters.

Louisa Dale
Director of Insight

Louisa is facilitating Learning and Teaching Reimagined. A Covid-19 response support programme with UK university leaders, shaping a UK vision and roadmap for technology-enhanced learning and teaching for UK universities.

Before Covid-19, Louisa was leading insight function at Jisc, ensuring the organisation respond to members and customer needs.

With nearly twenty experience in a variety of national roles advocating for the transformative power of technology in the education and research sectors.

Louisa’s early career experience was gained in Mercer Consulting, KPMG, and Royal Mail. Prior to this she earned an MA and a BA in Philosophy from University of Leeds.

Dr Steve Davies 
Lecturer, researcher, writer and Head of Education
Institute of Economics Affairs 

Dr Steve Davies attended the University of St Andrews between 1972 and 1976, graduating with a First Class degree in Medieval and Modern History. He obtained a PhD from the same institution in 1984. From 1979 to 2009 he taught in the Department of History and Economic History at Manchester Metropolitan University. Since 2010 he has worked as an independent scholar and in the think tank sector, where he has been Head of Education at the Institute of Economic Affairs since 2010.

His published works include many articles and shorter pieces and several books including The Dictionary of Conservative and Libertarian ThoughtEmpiricism and HistoryThe Wealth Explosion: the Nature and Origins of ModernityThe Economics and Politics of Brexit: the Realignment of British Public Life; and The Streetwise Guide to the Devil and All His Works (forthcoming). In his spare time he listens to heavy metal music and follows the fortunes of Manchester City.

Russell Day 
Sector Head Education
Sir Robert McAlpine 

Following early years in consultancy and Local Authority design offices Russell’s career has spanned over 30 years with a main contractor. Specialising in education for the last 15 years, as Education Sector Head, he leads a national approach that brings expertise from across a broad education portfolio as well as other specialist fields. Associated with in excess of 130 education projects, he has been instrumental in helping Sir Robert McAlpine build an education portfolio in excess of £1bn.

He is renowned as an enthusiastic team player, motivator and problem solver at strategic and operational levels. Passionate about excellence in design and construction and with a keen interest and involvement in learning environment study and research, Russell has chosen to extend his studies at The Bartlett, UCL.

Umesh Desai
Director of Estates & Commercial Services
De Montfort University and AUDE Chair Elect

Qualified as a Chartered Building Surveyor, I have worked at De Montfort University in the Higher Education sector for over 30 years, working in the estates and property field.

I am an experienced professional working at Director level on strategic and operational matters with a track record of managing large complex campus development programmes and a directorate of over 300 staff. I have experience in managing multi- site campuses, all aspects of estates matters from major capital development, maintenance, facilities management through to student accommodation, leisure, security and energy & sustainability. At DMU I am a member of a number of strategic boards that cut across all aspects of university business and held a position on the Board of Governors for a local Sixth Form College for 6 years.

I am currently Chair of ProCon Leicestershire being a Board member since October 2018, whereby we connect professionals in property and construction in the Leicestershire area.

In addition since July 2020, I have been elected to the role of Chair-Elect for the Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE), the Higher Educations lead on all matters relating to estates and facilities.

Born in Leicester, I have lived, studied and worked here all my life, I am very proud of the City and have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to directly influence major changes to the landscape at the University’s City Centre Campus.

Dean Drobot MSc. CEng. CEnv
Head of Energy & Utilities
University of Edinburgh 

Dean leads the Energy and Utilities strategy at the University of Edinburgh, responsible for planning and delivery of utilities infrastructure, energy efficiency projects and engaging with internal and external stakeholders on broad sustainability strategy. 

Dean has expertise in energy infrastructure strategy, energy and water efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, material resource efficiency, sustainable procurement, sustainable construction, biodiversity enhancement and stakeholder engagement programmes.

Contact details

Fiona Duggan

Fiona Duggan is founding director of FiD, a London-based consultancy set up in 2006 to work with organisations and institutions undergoing change. Using a combined background in architecture and organisational psychology, Fiona works at the place where users and buildings meet, seeking ways in which the design and use of space can support change. Over the past 35 years she has worked in design, teaching, research and consultancy roles across more than 200 organisations and institutions.

Ian Dunn
Coventry University

Ian is the Provost of Coventry University, where he has held various posts over the last 28 years. His responsibilities include student services, the Students’ Union, library, centre for academic writing, registry, and the teaching and learning function at the University. In 2016 he was awarded “Inspiring Leader” of the year in the Guardian Higher Education Awards. Ian led development of the University’s colleges in Coventry and Scarborough. A Coventry graduate, he is a member of the jobs and skills group of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership. He is a board member of the Midlands Academies Trust and a Justice of the Peace in Coventry and Warwickshire.

Dr Mike Entwisle
Partner and Education Sector Director
Buro Happold

Mike is global director of the Education Sector at Buro Happold, and has worked on a wide range of projects across over twenty universities.  With a background in academia, he has a deep understanding of the complexity and drivers of Universities and the challenges and opportunities which they face in this rapidly evolving sector.  A sustainable building designer at heart, one particular focus has been the drive to zero carbon and increased health and wellbeing.  He has led a number of cutting edge initiatives, including designing for student mental health and more recently the use of spatial analytics which has helped seven leading universities to plan their post lockdown reopening.  He is a board member of the HEDQF and speaks regularly at conferences in the UK and abroad.

Elliot Felix
Founder and CEO

Elliot founded and leads brightspot, a consultancy transforming the higher education experience with smart strategy that connects people, programs, and places – on campus and online –  to enable active learning, create seamless student services, and build community. Elliot is an accomplished strategist, facilitator, and sense-maker who has helped transform over 90 colleges and universities including Carnegie Mellon University, Emory University, Harvard University, New York University, NC State University, Stanford University, University of Michigan, and University of Virginia. He is a frequent speaker and writer on reimagining higher education, having presented at more than 60 conferences including EDUCAUSE, SXSW, and SCUP and written more than 30 articles in publications such as Planning for Higher Education, Library Journal, and Touchpoint: The Journal of Service Design.

Professor Moira Fischbacher-Smith
Professor of Public Management and Vice-Principal (Learning & Teaching)
University of Glasgow

Moira Fischbacher-Smith is Professor of Public Management and Vice-Principal (Learning & Teaching) at the University of Glasgow. She leads the University’s strategy and policy development for learning and teaching, has responsibility for teaching quality, and works with colleagues across the University to support student and staff development in relation to teaching and learning. Moira is also on the Project Board that is developing a new Learning and Teaching Hub on the University's main campus and leads the work on refurbishing teaching spaces on campus.  Moira has also led on the University’s response to Covid-19 in terms of moving to online and blended learning.

Chris Forster
Director of Estates and Facilities
University of Greenwich

Chris is an experienced Director of Estates and Facilities working in the healthcare and higher education sector. Chris’s career began in the manufacturing and private sector progressing from apprentice to engineering manager. Chris has worked in the FM sector for 15 years and is a chartered engineer and a member of the institute of mechanical engineers.

Iain Garfield
Director of Estates & Facilities
Newcastle University

Iain joined Newcastle University as Head of Estate Planning and Development in January 2016. In this role he has been responsible for the major capital developments of the University estate. He was then appointed Director of Estates and Facilities in February 2019.

Having undertaken a degree and research in Mining Engineering at Newcastle University Iain embarked on a career with British Coal working as an engineer and Colliery Undermanager at various mines throughout the North East.

In 1994 Iain moved into the HE sector at the University of Sunderland, firstly in the School of the Environment and then the Business School before moving into the Estates department in 2004, taking up the role of Head of Estate Services from 2010 before leaving to join Newcastle.

Iain had a key role in the strategic development of the estate and implementation of the estate capital investment programme at both institutions and has been instrumental in introducing numerous estate innovations and novel estate planning processes including the now widely accepted Soft Landings process. He has also presented nationally in several fora on a variety of collaborative projects.

Connor Gayle
Psychology Student
Nottingham Trent University 

It is quite easy to get stuck on a moment and forget about how each moment precedes another. I admire Psychology as it makes a conscious effort to develop ourselves moment to moment and enable us to enrich our lives so that we can thrive. I am passionate about student mental health as it undeniably effects the world we live in, the conversations we have and thus the future that we will live in. As how can we expect to live in a world above water if a significant proportion of our population feels like they’re drowning.

Though the university environment applies a distinctive kind of anchor which halts progressive movement towards ones own personal goals, socially and academically. Hence to identify why this anchor burdens so many students will allow the future of us all to be brighter than any of us imagined.  

Mark Gibson
Regional Managing Director Northern
Sir Robert McAlpine

Mark has been responsible for leading this division of Sir Robert McAlpine for the last seven years. With over 25 years’ construction industry experience, he has successfully delivered numerous academic facilities across the northern part of the country.

Through active team leadership, he knows that working closely with our clients and stakeholders through the whole project lifecycle is the way to accomplish exactly what they’re looking for. His understanding, and ultimately his delivery of the vision, values and culture of each project, has been crucial in their successful delivery.

Pete Gladwell
Head of Public Sector Partnerships
Legal & General Investment Management Real Assets

After an erstwhile life as a Youth Worker, Pete joined Legal & General in 2007, launching a new generation of property funds focussed on liability matching and Defined Contributions pension schemes, and L&G’s joint venture with PGGM, which total over £5bn.  In 2015, Pete moved to lead L&G’s investments with the Public Sector - including the Cabinet Office, Local Authorities, NHS, Housing Associations and Universities - which now total over £4.5bn. 

Pete holds an MA from Brasenose College, Oxford in Computation, the IMC, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and Honorary Professor at UCL.

Pete is heavily involved in local community projects in Harlesden, west London and a Trustee of the Young Foundation, which works to create a more equal and just society through social innovation.

Jody Goldsworthy
Executive Director, Leadership and Talent Consulting GatenbySanderson

Jody is an Executive Director at GatenbySanderson, leading our Leadership and Talent Consulting Practice since 2016. Her team of talent practitioners share her passion for transforming client organisations through board reviews, leadership development, assessment and executive coaching.

She has deep insight as to what good leadership looks like in public life. Her psychology-based development approach centres on changing individual and collective mindset to optimise performance. Her support for national leadership programmes with the NHS Leadership Academy and DFE is balanced with deep cross sector experience with Vodafone, EE, Barclays Bank, Nestle and HSBC.

Jody previously worked for 13 years for Human Capital experts Hay Group and SHL. Prior to that she served 11 years in HR and recruitment roles across the private and not for profit sectors.

Over the last 4 months Jody and her team have run over 45 virtual learning interventions with senior teams from across the public sector on personal resilience and recovery planning.

Gary Guadagnolo
EAB Research


Gary Guadagnolo is a Director in EAB’s research division. He specializes in operational and strategic issues facing higher education leaders and has helped institutions develop process improvement capabilities to find administrative efficiencies and stand up structures for ongoing conversations about academic program performance. Other research studies led by Gary have focused on everything from mitigating the risks associated with academic medical centers to managing the total cost of ownership of a campus’s physical plant.

Gary leverages his many years of experience as an academic researcher and instructor to help “translate” ideas between academic and administrative units on campus.

Sheila Gupta MBE
Vice-Principal for People, Culture and Inclusion
Queen Mary University of London

I joined Queen Mary University London in January 2020 as its first Vice-Principal People, Culture and Inclusion. My remit covers staff, students and alumni and, in this regard, offers the opportunity to work across all aspects of the employee and student life cycles. I was previously Director of Human Resources at the Universities of Sussex, Cambridge and Edinburgh, and four other Higher Education Institutions prior to that. In my career, I have been Chair of Universities HR and the Russell Group HRD Forum. I have been invited to speak at Conferences in the UK, Europe and the United States, on topics relating to good governance, advancing gender equality, embedding equality and diversity into leadership development in higher education and, most recently, to serve on panels to discuss race equality. I also served as an Independent Member of the Education Honours Committee for six years.

Martin Hamilton
Writer, Futurist & Innovation Advisor

Martin Hamilton is a British computer scientist with thirty years’ experience of working at the global digital forefront. He runs a digital innovation consultancy,, which has a particular focus on research and education.

Martin recently undertook a study with the Association of Commonwealth Universities exploring how their membership of over 500 universities in 50 countries has responded to the pandemic. He is currently supporting Innovate UK’s £200m Sustainable Innovation fund, which is helping businesses impacted by COVID-19 to recover and grow sustainably.

Martin's clients include LGfL, where he helps to manage the Department for Education’s edtech demonstrator programme. This provides peer-to-peer advice and guidance for schools and colleges looking to adopt remote and hybrid learning practices in response to the pandemic. Martin also project manages the ExCALIBUR Hardware and Enabling Software exascale supercomputing initiative for UKRI.


Matthew Harrison
UK Director for Specialist Consulting
Buro Happold

Matthew is the UK Director for Specialist Consulting at Buro Happold. He joined Buro Happold in 2014 bringing with him almost 25 years of experience in engineering higher education and in the field of engineering dynamics. Matthew has provided specialist consulting advice to clients, architects and contractors around the world in a wide range of sectors: higher education, civic buildings, concert and entertainment venues, education buildings, health and scientific facilities.

He has taught acoustics to Masters level in three universities and has supervised the research of more than 80 post-graduate students. He has written one of the standard textbooks on noise and vibration control and is a member of teaching staff and a visiting Professor at Cranfield University.

Sofie Hooper
Head of Policy

Sofie Hooper leads on the IWFM’s wider policy work and helps to raise the voice of the Institute, its members and the wider FM sector to position the Institute as the trusted voice of the profession. She translates best practice into policy objectives and engages with stakeholders to ensure best practice is taken on board and concerns affecting workplace and facilities professionals are mitigated. Since she joined IWFM in 2017, Sofie has been working closely with the members to identify key issues and messages to be taken to government and other external stakeholders relevant to the wider FM industry.

Graham Howard
Director of Estates and Facilities Management
Loughborough University

Graham joined the University in early 2019 as Director of Estates and Facilities Management. He is responsible for the strategic development and operational management of the University’s two campuses, in Loughborough and London. His department consists of over 700 staff responsible for the planning and delivery of Operations, Projects, Maintenance & Engineering, Campus Services and Catering. Before his appointment at Loughborough, Graham was a director working for KPMG and prior to that was the Assistant Chief of Defence Staff responsible for the logistics support of all UK Armed Forces.

Andrew Kane
FaulknerBrowns Architects

Having graduated with a distinction and an MA from the University of Sheffield, Andrew commenced his early career with a period of research at the University, focusing on computational support for design processes. In the early 1990s, Andrew joined FaulknerBrowns Architects and has been a partner since 2000 where he leads their work in the HE sector.

This combination of research thinking combined with architectural practice has been a consistent thread throughout his university work on sustainable laboratories, business schools, sports centres, libraries, and residential projects. Current research themes include the design of teaching and learning spaces to enhance educational outcomes, design interventions to improve mental health, and the implementation of value management processes to enhance strategic estate planning.

Having won a host of RIBA, RICS and BCO awards, Andrew’s real passion is combining sustainable architectural design quality with the testing and exploration of new ideas to improve the performance of the built environment.

Professor Osama Khan
Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Education and Professor in Practice
University of Surrey

Professor Osama Khan is the Vice-Provost, Education, at the University of Surrey, Guildford, UK. He is the strategic lead for the University's education agenda providing talented and motivated students from all backgrounds with an outstanding education that is inclusive, research-informed, technologically enhanced and professionally enriched with industry partnerships. He holds a Professor in Practice title at the Surrey Business School. He also manages the University's centres of excellence in education: Department of Higher Education and Department of Technology Enhanced Learning. Currently, he has been leading on the Hybrid Education model at the University as a strategic response to the Covid19 pandemic and driving digital transformation in education and student experience.

Karen Maddison
Land and Property Manager
University of York and Chair of AUDE Estates Management Group

Karen joined University of York in 2014 as Land and Buildings Manager. As a Chartered Surveyor she predominately manages the leasehold portfolio along with the Building Surveying team. Leasehold assets range for residential colleges to a donkey field.

Projects undertaken by Karen support all teams within the department delivering a range of strategic initiatives. Current projects include introduction of a campus based Covid test centre, facilitating the introduction of e-scooters and reviewing the leasehold estate.

Earlier this year Karen was elected chair of the AUDE Estate Managers Group. Karen was a founding member of the group and hosted the Group’s first conference in 2017.

Having undertaken a degree in surveying at Bristol, Karen’s career started in the Newcastle in private consultancy.  An opportunity arose to move to North Yorkshire and a new role at Harrogate Borough Council, as Estates Manger. At Harrogate Karen managed a diverse portfolio and lead on a number of economic development initiatives and the capital disposals programme.

Alexi Marmot
Professor Facility & Environment Management; Director Global Centre for Learning Environments

Alexi combines academic and professional roles as Professor of Facility & Environment Management in UCL’s Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, and Director of the Bartlett Global Centre for Learning Environments, Honorary Professor in University of Sydney’s School of Architecture, Design and Planning, and founding director of AMA Alexi Marmot Associates, a London-based international consultancy specialising in evidence-based consultative design. Educated as an architect and urban planner in Australia and the USA, she has authored several books and many academic and professional papers. Her research focuses primarily on the design, management and post-occupancy evaluation of workplaces, educational estates and libraries.

Garry Metcalfe

My early years (influenced by my father) were spent training as an Accountant, he was an Electrical Engineer. His view, accounting was the future, and whilst he had a point, I spent the rest of my working life in engineering.

First in the heavy power sector, when coal-fired power plants were being constructed around the globe, this took me from the UK to Africa, the USA, India and China. Whilst my engineering knowledge improved, my understanding of a global business was transformed, but at some point, one had to re-establish roots.

I returned to the UK for a period of full time study at the London Business School (as a mature student) following which I spent some time away from engineering, only to return to it a few years later.

I led a management buyout of an ABB subsidiary, becoming the principal shareholder and CEO of technical services provider Inviron (a national Hard FM business with over 1,200 direct employees) for ten years before the company was approached and ultimately sold.

Following a short (welcome) sabbatical, I took on my current role at Invida.

Negar Mihanyar
Associate Director

Negar is an Associate Director at Hawkins\Brown and has gained extensive experience working in the Higher Education sector, including projects for the University of Oxford, Cambridge, Manchester, Westminster, and UCL. Negar is passionate about supporting ways to broaden access into the profession and champions Hawkins\Brown’s Apprenticeship scheme and outreach programmes. She is also a member of the RIBA Academic Validation Panel and an External Examiner.

Oliver Milton
Senior Partner

Oliver is a Senior Partner of Hawkins\Brown and one of the leading architects working in the UK Education and Research sectors. His experience ranges from student accommodation to state of the art research institutes, and he thrives on the variety and challenge that the sector offers. His buildings have received wide recognition - most notably six national RIBA awards for buildings at University of Oxford, Royal Veterinary College, UEA, University of Exeter, and City of London Freemen's School. Alongside his project work, Oliver leads the innovation group within the practice, looking at how architects can use new digital tools to improve processes and design.

Richard Moir
Managing Director
Creative Project Thinking

Richard is the Managing Director and founder of Creative Project Thinking. With a career working at Executive, Director and Partner level in consultancy and government organisations, Richard is an experienced Project, Programme and Management Expert of multi-disciplinary teams for projects and transformation programmes ranging in size and complexity. His key personal driver is the pride he feels working in teams that make a real difference and deliver results and benefit’s, both to the client and to society, through improved design, creative project thinking and project delivery.

Marcelle Moncrieffe-Johnson
Group Chief People Officer
London South Bank University Group 

Marcelle is the Group Chief People Officer at London South Bank University Group and is a member of the Executive, having joined as Group Executive Director, People and OD in 2019. LSBU Group has a diverse student population with over 50% Black Asian and Minority Ethnic students. Marcelle has over 20 years HR experience gained in several sectors. Prior to joining LSBU Group Marcelle held a number of senior roles in Local Government. Marcelle was previously Head of HR at the BBC overseeing cultural change, employee relations cases and HR support services for 20,000 staff and was seconded to deliver major change in BBC News and BBC Television. Marcelle is completing a part time doctorate exploring the impact of public sector workplace cultures on the career progression of Black employees.

Andrew Nolan
Development & Sustainability Director
University of Nottingham and Chair of AUDE Sustainability Advisory Group

Andy Nolan is Director of Development and Sustainability at The University of Nottingham having joined the university in late 2013. Andy’s portfolio includes the university’s estate development framework and capital programme, the sustainability strategy, and operations (including energy and carbon management, space management, and the university’s farm). He leads the on cross-cutting initiatives including staff engagement and equality, diversity, and inclusion work.

He previously worked for Sheffield City Council as Director of Sustainability for 9 years and, prior, at the universities of Sheffield, Leeds Metropolitan and Bradford. He is Chair of the Association of University Directors of Estate Sustainability Advisory Group, and a Fellow of the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges and of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment. 

Reniera O'Donnell
Higher Education Lead
Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Reniera is the Higher Education Lead, working with Universities and Higher Education Institutions as part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's Learning Team. Reniera's work focuses on growing the Foundation's University network and leveraging the value of taking a whole campus approach across teaching, research, student-led activities, and campus management to support the transition to a circular economy. Reniera's work also seeks to understand and maximise the influential role universities play within their local context and seek ways to better integrate higher education activity across the Foundations key programme areas such as Cities and Governments and the Systemic Initiatives.

Kaushika Patel
Interim PVC for Equality Diversity and Inclusion and Interim Dean for the Faculty of Health & Life Sciences
De Montfort University

I am the Interim PVC for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and the Interim Dean for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at DMU and the only woman of colour at executive board level.  I have been at DMU for 14 years and have worked up from senior lecturer and have done the full range of roles and activities. Prior to working at DMU I practiced as social worker in Leicester in child protection and as a manager within the Leicester Youth Offending Service.  I was also co-chair of the Leicester Social Services Black Workers Group for a 2-year term.

Trevor Payne
Director of Estates 
University of Birmingham

Trevor Payne -  Director of Estates at the University of Birmingham managing  over half a Million M2 of floor space in a complex portfolio of over 200+ buildings, and over 700 acres of award winning grounds and sports fields that support 40,000 students and 8000 staff. Trevor is currently delivering a £1BN capital programme to 2021 and is halfway through the delivery of a ten-year estates strategy that will see a further £500M invested in developments to 2026. He is also working on the delivery of a new 4,500 student Dubai university campus to open in Dubai in Sept 2021.

Trevor completed a successful 28 year career in the UK Health service managing a portfolio of the largest, oldest and newest NHS healthcare buildings & sites. His first book “Facilities Management – A Strategy for Success” was published in May 2000 (ISBN: 1 90237535 1). He regularly presents papers nationally & internationally at seminars and conferences on a wide range of matters relating to Facilities, Estates Management, SMART/intelligent Campus design and Sustainability.

Julia Roberts

Julia has experience in a wide range of higher education and research projects and is skilful at coordinating complex projects and large multi-disciplinary design teams. She is a Partner of Hawkins\Brown and is part of the practice’s Education and Research team. She has successfully managed a number of award-winning buildings for clients including Royal Veterinary College and Cardiff University.

Professor Jane Robinson
Dean of Engagement and Place
Newcastle University

Jane joined Newcastle University in 2019 as its first Dean of Engagement and Place, focusing on building partnerships to enhance the University’s contribution socially, economically and culturally. Previously, Jane was Durham University’s Chief Operating Officer with strategic oversight of operations and external engagement.

Before taking up her position at Durham, Jane was Chief Executive of Gateshead Council. Jane also played a leading role in the establishment of the North East Combined Authority and the Commission on Health and Social Care Integration.

Jane has also held leadership positions in the cultural sector, including Director of External Relations at Arts Council England, where she led major corporate initiatives that included Local Government liaison, creative industries development and overseeing capital programmes. She is also a Fellow of the RSA; Chair of Culture, Creativity and Education (an international charity, supporting creative learning) and holds non-executive positions with the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, Centre for Life, and the Tyne Community Learning Trust.

Miranda Routledge
Director of Planning
Loughborough University

Miranda has worked at Loughborough University since 1997, and previously held the position of Head of Student Office. Miranda became Director of Planning in 2015. Miranda’s role includes managing a small, highly skilled team and coordinates the establishment of effective monitoring and reporting processes.

Miranda is responsible for integrating the University’s planning processes with the delivery of the University strategy and the preparation of the University’s budget. Miranda provides advice and guidance on key policy and funding issues whilst supporting major projects that have a University-wide dimension.  

Jon Roylance
Higher Education Director
ADP Architecture

Jon leads ADPs higher education and science and research sectors.

He has advised 30+ university clients, delivering sector-leading facilities. His projects have won awards including the Guardian Higher Education “Facility of the Year”, the CUBO “Student Project of the Year”, S-Lab, SCONUL University Library of the Year, the Higher Education Academy, and several RIBA awards.

Jon promotes knowledge share amongst universities, science and research institutions, and ADPs own technical teams. His role involves chairing best practice groups, and offering new ideas in space optimisation, project social values, teaching and learning environments, sustainability and wellbeing, student experience, and the smart campus of the future

Dr Kerstin Sailer
Reader in Social and Spatial Networks
The Bartlett School of Architecture at UCL

Dr Kerstin Sailer is Reader (Associate Professor) in Social and Spatial Networks at the Bartlett School of Architecture at University College London. She investigates the impact of spatial design on people and social behaviours inside a range of buildings such as offices, laboratories, hospitals and schools.

An architect by training, her research interests combine complex buildings, workplace environments and space usage with social networks, organisational theory and organisational behaviour. At the Bartlett she leads the module ‘Buildings, Organisations, Networks’ in the MSc ‘Space Syntax: Architecture and Cities’. Her research has been funded by both industry and research councils including the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Innovate UK and Google. Kerstin has co-founded the think-tank brainybirdz to advance scientific thinking in workplace design.

She also runs the blog and comments as @kerstinsailer on Twitter.

Wendy Sammels
Think Forward

Wendy Sammels is the founder of Think Forward, an independent consultancy to the higher education sector that focuses on developing exceptional experiences for both staff and students.

With a longstanding career in the interiors sector Wendy has worked with a substantial number of blue chip companies and universities both in the UK and globally to research and understand how the next generation will want to learn and work.

She now utilises this advanced thinking to achieve a competitive position for clients in an ever-demanding sector, joining the dots between strategic vision, people, process and place to unlock unique and relevant student and staff experiences.

Rachel Sandby-Thomas
University of Warwick

Rachel joined the University of Warwick as Registrar in September 2016 and is responsible for the professional services of the University under the direction of the Vice-Chancellor. Rachel chairs the University’s fundraising trusts in Singapore and South Africa, and is a member of the Friends groups established in the USA and in Hong Kong. Rachel also plays an active role in the development of the international partnerships for the University and serves on various Boards.  Prior to this, Rachel was shadow CEO of the UK Government’s Institute for Apprenticeships (“IfA”). This followed eight years of being a Director General in the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills where she held a number of roles in legal, corporate services and policy (skills, regulation, large and small businesses and local government).

Professor Sean Smith
Professor of Future Construction and Director of the Centre for Future Infrastructure
University of Edinburgh 

Sean is Professor of Future Construction and Director of Centre for Future Infrastructure, within the School of Engineering at the University of Edinburgh.

In 2001 he joined RMP Acoustics and Napier University and was deputy director of the Building Performance Centre.  From 2010 to 2020 he was Director of the Institute for Sustainable Construction managing 5 research centres involving offsite, energy, timber engineering, wood science and acoustics & vibration.

He has led:

  • the low Carbon Building Technologies Gateway applied research team, supporting over 200 new products and systems.
  • the government review of the Scottish Offsite construction sector in 2012 and initiated the 11 universities partnership with industry to form the CSIC. 
  • the £6M Housing, Construction & Infrastructure (HCI) Skills Gateway for SE Scotland City Region Deal; and
  • chaired the Scottish government working group on Future New Housing Construction Skills with government report published in 2019 and recommendations were adopted in Programme for Government 2020.

He serves on a range of external committees and boards involved in innovation, housing and infrastructure and has led and co-invented 17 patented construction products involving a range of companies.

Contact Details

Shrikant Sharma
Director of Analytics
Buro Happold

Shrikant is a Director and Head of Analytics team at BuroHappold Engineering. He uses realtime data analytics and human behaviour modelling to optimise university campuses delivering measurable improvements in outcomes such as student experience, space utilisation, operational efficiency and ultimately the resilience and economic performance. He is currently steering the development of methodologies and simulation tools to empower several universities in the reopening in the post-covid world.

Ilma Stankeviciute
Learning Designer
Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Ilma is part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's Learning team and focuses on creating digital business oriented circular economy content as well as designing face to face learning experiences for circular economy professionals. She has also been managing the work stream to develop the learning resources to support circular economy implementation in specific business functions, such as procurement.

Derrick Tate 
Director Real Estate Advisory

Derrick is a Director at PwC leading Real Estate Operations within Real Estate Advisory and Real Assets. Derrick focuses on strategy and cost reduction in real estate operations and services, global occupier advice, proptech and real estate services M&A.

Recent clients include a  global oil services company, a global tech company, a leading hospital group, an aerospace company, a top ten law firm, and two leading retailers.

Derrick has a Master’s degree in Facilities Management, is a fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (FRICS), a certified member of the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (CIWFM) and is the author of the RICS & IFMA Global Code of Practice for Procurement of Facility Management.

Damien Toner
Director of Estates
Queen’s University Belfast

Damien joined Queen’s as Director of Estates in March 2015. Prior to joining Queen’s Damien was a senior Director for one of the UK’s largest infrastructure support service companies and has worked in both the public and private sectors. Damien is a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a graduate of the University of Ulster with over twenty years’ experience in the construction, estates and facilities management industries.

Alison Walsh
Gardiner & Theobald

Alison is a specialist in strategic FM procurement and public sector change programmes, with a depth of experience from a wide variety of sectors including central government, local authorities, universities, transport and museums. She started her career as an operation Facilities Manager and has worked in FM consultancy for the last 20 years.

Stephen Wells 
Director of Estates, Facilities and Commercial Services
University of Surrey and AUDE Chair

Stephen Wells has worked in the Higher Education (HE) sector for over twelve years in a variety of different Universities.  Currently Stephen is the Director of Estates, Facilities and Commercial Services at the University of Surrey. Stephen is a chartered member of the Institute of Building, with a degree in Project Management and an MBA.  Prior to working in the HE Stephen held similar roles within the NHS.

Stephen is Chair of the Association of University of Directors of Estates (AUDE); AUDE is the representative body for higher education estates and facilities management (FM) in the UK.

Emilie Wielezynski
Biomedical Science Student
Kings College London

Emilie Wielezynski joined the Smarten Network last year, as part of the student research team, motivated by her interest in student mental health, and specifically, how to focus attention on the importance of mental health support services.

Emilie has completed her first undergraduate year studying Psychology at King’s College London. Due to her interest in the more clinical aspect of mental health, such as psychiatry and neurodevelopmental biology, she decided to transfer, within KCL, to Biomedical Science and is starting as a first year again this fall. Emilie is a French/US national who has spent the last six months in Kenya due to COVID lockdowns; she completed her secondary education in Rome before moving to London.

Andrew Wilkinson
CEO, Schools and Universities
Sodexo UK & Ireland 

Fifty years ago, Sodexo was a start-up selling sandwiches in the dockyards of Marseilles.  Today, Sodexo operates in 84 countries worldwide, employing more than 420,000 people who serve more than 75 million customers every day.  Sodexo has transitioned from a French contract caterer to a credible global provider of Integrated Facilities Management.  Our aim is to improve the Quality of Life for our Employees and those they serve so that we improve the performance of people and their organisations.  Andrew will talk about this journey, the challenges that Sodexo has faced and where the future will lead.     

Andrew is a facilities management professional with 30 years experience in all aspects of property, facilities and outsourced business services.  His career includes a variety of board level client advisory and supply side roles working for large consultants and integrated contractors like WS Atkins plc and Sodexo.  Andrew has worked with both private and public sector clients operating all over the world, including some of the world’s largest property owners/ occupiers in the financial service sector, pharmaceuticals and FMCG/ manufacturing sectors.         

Andrew is a Fellow of the RICS.  Andrew and his teams have won a variety of industry awards covering partnering and innovation.  Andrew is a frequent speaker at conferences and seminars.  Andrew is now the CEO for Sodexo’s Schools and Universities segment in the UK & Ireland region, leading 4,500 colleagues who improve the quality of life for pupils and students at over 300 sites across the region.  Services range from food and retail services to soft and hard FM.  Andrew is passionate about helping young people to prepare for a future where digital and the human touch enable a better consumer experience.    

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