Our Team

The CREST@UCS team of dedicated researchers and business-facing staff is headed up by Paul Kirkbright and Dr Julieanna Powell-Turner.

Paul Kirkbright

Paul Kirkbright

Deputy Provost of University Centre Shrewsbury, CREST Project Director

Paul has played a leading role in the development and implementation of University Centre Shrewsbury (UCS).  In particular he has lead the strategic and operational management aspects of UCS activities. Prior to this, he was Director of the Riverside Innovation Centre at the University of Chester and heavily involved in all things innovation, enterprise, and start-up. Since 2014, Paul has lived in Shrewsbury with his wife and young daughter, both of whom are becoming devoted Salopians.

Julieanna Powell-Turner

Julieanna Powell-Turner

CREST Research Director

Julieanna joined CREST@UCS from Cranfield University where she was Head of Research and a Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Supply Chains. Julieanna’s experience includes environmental management and policy development which builds on her background in environmental sciences. Her work at Cranfield covered the interfaces between environmental sustainability and the circular economy where products and services are considered through life from design to final disposal in a supply network. The aim of this through life approach is to investigate and advance early stage innovative ideas. Therefore reducing the likelihood and/or the impact of supply disruptions to business through risk identification (disruptions), assessment (occurrence and impact), action (strategy and mitigation) and monitoring (reduce risk).

Qualifications
BSc (Hons), MSc (Lancaster University), PhD (University of Sheffield), CEnv, CEng, MCIWM, MCILT, MIEMA

Jonathan Britten

Jonathan Britten

CREST Project Manager & Head of Academic Development

Jonathan has over 20 years project management experience, implementing a variety of projects in both the public and public sector. He was head of e-learning for Europe, Middle East & Asia for the management consultancy & leadership training team at Pearson. Moreover he has implemented bespoke leadership & management programmes for corporate clients, local government and large public agencies. Since joining the University, Jonathan has been instrumental in expanding the corporate team and offering at Chester Business School. More recently, as part of the UCS Management team, he has been developing and supporting delivery of the University Centre Shrewsbury Curriculum.

Qualifications
BA Hons (UCLAN), MBA (University of Chester)

Professional affiliations
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, PRINCE2, MSP

Dr Jane Yardley

Dr Jane Yardley

Leading Research Fellow, Environmental Science Technology and Management

Jane is passionate about the environment and how we impact it; what we can learn from natural systems, and how we can implement innovative ideas to make all businesses and “living” sustainable.

Her recent experience involves Project Managing Proof of Concept, a business programme working with Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) across Worcestershire, to facilitate innovation and bring new products to market. She also worked for E4environment as Principal Environmental Consultant where she project managed and worked with businesses across a wide range of sectors including renewable energy, flood alleviation, innovative R&D recycling technologies, and large scale foundry installations.

Jane is passionate about innovation, and working with a team she set up and ran metnet; the business led Marches Environmental Technologies Network across Herefordshire, Worcestershire & Shropshire. Engaging with regional SMEs to encourage participation in new markets, information exchange, knowledge transfer, collaboration and innovation.

With a background in Applied Biology and Molecular Genetics, Jane has worked as a Research Fellow at Reading University and subsequently at Long Ashton Research Station, Rothamsted Research and was a Visiting Fellow at Bristol University. She left academia to work for the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory DSTL (Ministry of Defence) where she carried out research across all sectors of defence. This fascinating work involved all areas of energy usage: monitoring, generation and storage, and the development of innovative materials. From this Jane started to work with and motivate businesses within the environmental sector, as well as businesses who could/should be made aware of the sector technologies, how to practically implement them and the potential benefits they could bring to the profitability and long term sustainability of their businesses.

Qualifications

  • PhD (Leeds University); BSc Hons (Plymouth)
  • Royal Society of Biology MSB, CBiol
  • Institute of Food Science & Technology MIFST
Simon Burgess

Simon Burgess

CREST Business Development Manager

Simon has been involved with the energy sector for the past 25 years. Much of this has been in project development and consultancy relating to renewable energy resources such as landfill gas and biomass.

After university, Simon moved to The Cranfield Institute as a Research Assistant investigating erosion and corrosion in fluidised beds. He then went on to be a Marketing Manager at ETSU, who oversaw the UK’s R,D and D programmes on energy efficiency and renewable energy. In 1992, Simon was seconded to work with the European Commission in Brussels, which led to him establishing a consultancy business in the city.

Since 1997, he has worked for the European Commission in the evaluation of R, D and D proposals submitted to Horizon 2020 and the earlier R&D programmes (FP5-7) in areas such as bio-based industries, renewables, CCS, smart grids, smart cities, and green transport.

Simon grew up just outside Oswestry, left for Birmingham when he was 18 and has since lived in Cardiff for 11 years before moving back to the beautiful borderland of Shropshire in 2007.

Qualifications

BSc Hons (Aston University)

Vicki Ayton

Vicki Ayton

CREST Business Development Manager

Vicki comes from a science background, with expertise lying in economic and business development. She has worked for a range of private, public and not-for-profit organisations and also been self-employed. Before starting with CREST she spent nine years working in business development at Telford & Wrekin Council; specifically on supported employment and skills strategy development work, and SME business support as part of other ERDF programmes.

She is originally from Cornwall, and grew up working for a successful entrepreneur. After her degree she worked and lived abroad for a number of years as part of the marine/leisure industry. Vicki then taught as an FE/HE lecturer in Hampshire for 5 years, before relocating to Shropshire in 2008.

Vicki is a committee member of the Shropshire Constructing Excellence network and a big supporter of STEAM educational activities.

In her spare time she enjoys volunteering for a range of organisations in one capacity or another and has her own small business. She now lives on the Shropshire/ Cheshire border.

Qualifications

MBA (Keele University), PGCE, BSc Hons (University of Worcester)

 

Dr Philip Marren

Dr Philip Marren

Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography

Philip is a physical geographer with a wide range of research interests and expertise but with a particular emphasis on fluvial geomorphology, sedimentology and hydrology. Since completing his PhD in 1999, he has undertaken Postdoctoral research at the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of British Columbia, and worked as a Lecturer in Physical Geography at the University of Melbourne. Over this time he has investigated rivers in Australia, New Zealand, southern Africa, Canada, Iceland and the UK. His research includes work on the role of flooding in forming and modifying river channels and floodplains; the impacts of glacier retreat and catastrophic flooding on rivers in glaciated landscapes; and Quaternary environmental change.

Dr Fiona Williams

Dr Fiona Williams

Senior Lecturer in Human Geography

Fiona’s background is in the social sciences with a specialist interest in rural geography and corresponding research experience in the socio-economic dimensions of rural change – perspectives relating to the digital economy, health and well-being, farm household adjustment, and rural tourism. She has had Principal Investigator and Co-investigator involvement in EU projects and RCUK funded studies. She also has experience of initiating, designing and developing research commissions for Welsh and Scottish Governments, the private sector and the third sector.  Prior to joining the University of Chester, she worked at the University of Aberdeen.

Dr Andrew Miles

Dr Andrew Miles

Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography & GIS

Andrew is a physical geographer with research interests in coastal processes and coastal management, as well as a broader research interest in the applications of geographical information systems (GIS) and remote sensing and technology to geographical research. This skill set will allow him to support a wide range of projects within the scope of CREST, encompassing both the physical and human environment. This may include providing new insights through the spatial analysis and interpretation of existing data as well as supporting the use of technology to help produce new and innovative datasets. He is also a keen proponent of open source software and open data, and can help organisations to exploit the growing library of available tools and datasets in order to develop novel products and solutions.