Staff and operations

SELA's strategic direction, and day-to-day operations are managed by a small team of staff at the University of Sheffield. This is supported by an operations board, who have responsibility for the development and delivery of the SELA programme.

Programme staff

Michael Wright - Administrator

Michael joined the University of Sheffield as Faculty Teaching Experience Officer in 2014 and has worked in Higher Education since 2006.

He currently supports the Faculty of Engineering’s Interdisciplinary Project Weeks, and manages the Faculty Programme and Module Evaluation Survey.

He also provides support to the Faculty Continuing Professional Development programme, ‘Engineering and Teaching Shorts’ (EATS), and Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL).

Jo Marriott - SELA Coordinator

Jo is the joined the Faculty's Deputy Director of Operations for Academic Service and is responsible for overall delivery of the SELA programme during 2021/22. Jo has worked in Higher Education since 2003.

In her role, Jo leads the Faculty's professional administration that supports Learning and Teaching, ED&I and student recruitment. She works closely with each of the Faculty's academic directors to develop and deliver strategic priorities across this portfolio.

Liz Taylor - Head of SELA (Year 1)- Student Engagement

Liz completed BSc Business and ICT in 2010 and is has a PGCert in Leadership, Coaching and Mentoring. As part of her degree, she completed a placement year at Sheffield Hallam University’s Enterprise Centre where she represented the university and the UK at NEW 2008 (National Enterprise Week) in Sri Lanka. She also took part in Ideators, the Sri Lankan version of the Apprentice.

Liz has worked in enterprise at the University of Sheffield since 2010. Her role is centralised on providing extracurricular enterprise skill development opportunities. She was part of the team that designed SELA in 2013/4 and has been involved with SELA ever since. She ran the first session at the first ever bootcamp!

Liz was the University Advisor of the Year for Enactus in 2015. She is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

When Liz isn't doing SELA, she is the project manager for the LTPRS (Learning and Teaching Professional Recognition Scheme), which supports educators from across the University to become Higher Education Academy fellows.

She is also a Beaver Scout Leader and supports 6-8 year olds to develop skills for life, including fire lighting, dam building as well as leadership skills.

Operations board

The operations board is responsible for the development and delivery of the SELA Programme.

Dr Ceri Batchelder - Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence

Through her Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence role, Ceri supports University staff and students in business engagement and innovation, with a particular focus on digital technologies. SELA is one of the programmes with which Ceri is closely aligned, connecting students to industry and technology to support their projects.

Ceri’s consultancy business, Connect&Create, delivers innovation and ecosystem projects between the digital community and other business sectors. Recently she has run Connected Healthcare and Connected Manufacturing and co-ordinated the TechTown digital jobs and skills group for Barnsley Council.

Currently she is developing partnerships for IoT Tribe, an accelerator for technology start-ups, and promoting adoption of digital technologies by manufacturers in the Sheffield City Region.

Prior to this, Ceri was Business Development Director at HMA Digital Marketing, a creative and digital agency. Here she grew HMA’s science and healthcare activities, bringing in multiple new clients and setting up partnerships to develop mobile healthcare apps with the University, securing funding from several sources.

Trained as a PhD bio-scientist at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, Ceri held postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard University in Boston, USA. As a molecular biologist, her specialism was in the regulation of gene expression.

Previously, Ceri used her science background in other commercial roles - at the University of Manchester knowledge transfer company, a biotechnology firm and at Smith & Nephew, the global medical technology company - and gained an MBA from Manchester Business School.

Dr Richard France - Engineering Research and Innovation Hub

Richard is Senior Business Development Manager for Manufacturing Research in the Faculty of Engineering and the EPSRC MAPP Hub at Sheffield.

He supports the development of large strategic research bids and research partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders including industry and sponsors. He has worked in a variety of business development and research centre management roles at the University since 2007 across different faculties, departments and central services.

Prior to this Richard worked as a researcher and project manager in industry (CellTran Ltd and RegenTec Ltd) working on the development of biomaterials for tissue engineering applications, novel assays for drug testing, and the implementation of quality management systems.

Richard has a degree in Polymer Science and Technology and PhD from the University of Sheffield.

Karen Wood - Department of Materials Science and Engineering

With a background and qualifications in science and management, Karen has many years’ experience working in both the public and private sectors.

Initially employed in research laboratories, she took on a commercial role before moving to a UK cancer charity where she was responsible for the rapid and sustained growth of one of the technology transfer business areas.

Later, Karen moved into higher education where she took responsibility for various areas including Intellectual Property, Commercialisation and Enterprise and Entrepreneurship. She successfully expanded early entrepreneurship programmes and took on advisory roles, as well as working with regional businesses on growth programmes.

At the University of Bedfordshire, Karen was responsible for the ‘Basics of Building a Business’ lecture series which was recognised by HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England) as an ‘Exemplar in enterprise education’. She also built up a successful track record of funding applications.

Since moving to Sheffield nine years ago, Karen has been an award winning Business Incubation Manager at Sheffield Technology Parks before becoming a self–employed business advisor and school enterprise champion. She developed and delivered a variety of enterprise and employability programmes aimed at providing young people with transferable skills for the workplace.

Joining the University of Sheffield five years ago, Karen initially established the Advanced Biomanufacturing Centre, in the department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. She also introduced an innovative module combining skills education with industry context for master’s students, which gained international recognition.

Now part of Materials Science and Engineering, Karen manages a large EPSRC funded hub in Manufacture using Advanced Powder Processes (MAPP) involving five other universities and many industry partners.