Structure of Trust and associated Groups


Daniel Locke-Wheaton
Mr Daniel Locke-Wheaton
Rachael Grant
Rachael Grant
Attendance and Welfare Officer
Michael Coulson
Mr Michael Coulson
Subject Leader for English Literature

Wider Trust Membership

Neil Scott
Mr Neil Scott

Chief Operating Officer, Aston University

Position: Chair of Governing Board/Trustees


Neil Scott is the Chief financial Officer for Aston. He has previously held executive-level positions at Staffordshire University, Wyvale Garden Centres plc, Marston, Thompson & Evershed plc and the Ford Motor Company. He joined Aston from the University of Hull where he was Chief Finance Officer.

Neil holds a number of external board appointments. He is a Director and Treasurer of the Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges (EAUC) and a board member of the British Universities Finance Directors’ Group. He also directs a number of spin-out companies, and is an associate of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

Iain Roche
Dr Iain Roche

Head of Innovation, High Speed Two (HS2) Limited

Director of Innovation, HS2. Iain Roche joined HS2 Ltd as Head of Innovation in September 2015, having previously held the same role at Rolls-Royce Plc. Although having worked in a number of product design and R&D positions, Iain has spent the majority of his career in innovation management. He has worked across Europe and the Middle East supporting organisations (from start-ups to blue chips) and governments create a sustainable culture of innovation to drive growth. He has successfully embedded process and structure to catalyse innovation within organisations and facilitate external collaboration. He has worked across a number of vertical markets, from fast moving consumer goods to safety critical industries such as Nuclear and Aerospace.

Iain has an Engineering Degree and a PhD, both from Loughborough University. He is a fellow of the institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange (FIKE) and sits on the NEF innovation council.

John Walter
Mr John Walter

Director of Governance, Aston University

John is responsible for all corporate governance matters and provides the professional secretariat for the University’s main governance bodies, including the Council (and its sub-committees: Audit Committee, Finance and Major Projects and Nominations Committee), the Senate and the Executive Team. He is also secretary to the Governing Body of the Aston University Engineering Academy and to its Leadership and Finance Forum. John oversees the University’s Data Protection and Freedom of Information policies and procedures. John is a longstanding member of the University's Research Ethics Committee.

John was a member of the AUEA Pre-Opening Board, and supported the establishment and sponsorship of the UTC by Aston University.

Paul Harper
Dr Paul Harper

Lecturer, SEAS, Aston University

Paul started his research career at Aston in 1994 as a PhD student studying high speed optical telecommunications in the early days of what would become the world renowned Photonics Research Group.

After graduating in 1997 he continued this work at Aston as a Post Doc. In May 2002 along with co-workers, he left the university to form a spin-out project Marconi-Solstis to commercialise his research work. Paul was a Senior Development Engineer on this project working on system design, test and field installation. Following the first field deployment of their 1.6Tb/s 3000km system he continued with Marconi as Photonic System Test Manager.

Paul is a founding member of AUEA's Pre-opening Board and has chaired AUEA's Disciplinary Board since 2012.

Tracey Linton
Ms Tracey Linton

Governor - Lead for Safeguarding

Tracey has been employed by Birmingham City Council for over 25 years and have  a history of employment across the field of early years and childcare services. She currently works in a strategic leadership and management role within the Early Years and Childcare Service.  Tracey has lead responsibility for safeguarding, quality improvement, workforce development and Inclusion. Her role includes overseeing the  implementation of the  Statutory Duty to securing sufficient childcare and provide access to high quality childcare and early education for 2,3 and 4 year old children.  In addition to this, Tracey leads on the implementation and management of processes to support providers of early years services fulfill their responsibility to effectively safeguard children.  This includes working closely with the Local Safeguarding Board, Early Help and Family Support services, Ofsted and learning and development teams and partners across the city.

Peter Hazzard
Mr Peter Hazzard

Senior Associate, Cundall

Peter Hazzard, Associate Director at Cundall

Peter is a Chartered Mechanical Design Engineer with 29 years of engineering consultancy experience covering services design from inception to completion on a wide range of projects, in the commercial, education, residential, retail, leisure, transport and defence sectors. Currently Peter is focusing his career on providing excellent designs in the education sector. He has delivered seminars on the experiences he has gained from the use of the DCSF’s Carbon Calculator, and on how to achieve zero carbon schools by 2016. He was heavily involved in Birmingham BSF, of which AUEA was one of the delivered schemes, and is currently involved in a number of school projects under the ESFA’s Priority schools building programme (PSBP). He has also been involved with many other further education college and university projects. Within Cundall he has a particular interest in delivering innovative low energy design solutions and champions Best Practice initiatives and improving the quality of project deliverables.

Peter graduated from the University of Hertfordshire in 1996 with a BEng(Hons) in Building Services Engineering.  In 2005 he undertook a distance learning MSc in Energy and Sustainable Building Design at DeMontfort University, graduating in 2008 with distinction. He is a Member of CIBSE and is a Chartered Engineer.

Richard Billingham
Richard Billingham

Director of HR and Organisational Development, Aston University

Richard Billingham is the Director of HR and Organisational Development at Aston University.  He has extensive experience working with leaders and organisations, across public and private sectors, both in the UK and internationally, to bring about change.  

He has previously held a number of executive level roles focusing on leading complex workforce and culture change. He joined Aston from Bristol City Council where he was Director of Human Resources and Change.

Richard has previously been a Chair of Governors at a local primary school. He is recognised by friends and colleagues as an out and out, total enthusiast (and cricket fan)! He is passionate about working with organisations and people, to help them become the very best that they can be.  

Richard Toy
Richard Toy

CEO of Auctus Management Group Limited

Richard has worked with the recruitment and people training and development sector since 1987, including 10 years as Regional Director for Adecco before moving to Carillion Plc to launch SkyBlue which he grew to a £118M turnover in 9 years within the rail and civil infrastructure sector. In May 2012, Richard set up Auctus Management Group, purchased Rail Safety Solutions Ltd (RSS) who are a rail contractor and safety critical labour provider, then formed Auctus Training Solutions Ltd to meet the skills gap in the rail sector training apprentices, NEET’s, unemployed, ex-offenders and armed forces leavers.

As a local entrepreneur, Richard has extensive knowledge in setting strategy, driving change management processes, business development and leading multi-million pound companies.

Mrs Aman Gill-Knobbs

Director of Operations College of Engineering & Physical Sciences Aston University

Dr Antonio Fratini

Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering, School of Life and Health Sciences

Sarah Plumb
Sarah Plumb

Parent Governor

Lee Harvey

Parent Governor

Mandy  Ross
Mandy Ross

Associate Non-Voting Governor