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Council members

Council Members Mini Biographies April 2018

Professor Julia Buckingham (Vice-Chancellor and President) - Ex officio Member of Council

Professor Julia Buckingham joined Brunel University London as Vice-Chancellor and President on 1 October 2012 from Imperial College London where she was Pro-Rector for Education and Academic Affairs, Professor of Pharmacology and Head of the Centre for Integrative Physiology and Pharmacology and previously held the roles of Head of the Department of Neuroscience and Mental Health and College Dean for Non-Clinical Medicine.  Throughout her career Julia has combined research and education with supporting the broader aspects of academic life through work with the research councils, medical charities and learned societies.  She has published widely in her field, served on numerous national and international review panels and received a number of prestigious awards and honours for her work.  Former roles include President of the British Pharmacological Society, President of the Society for Endocrinology, Chairman of BioScientifica Ltd and Trustee of the Royal Institution.  She is currently a Trustee of Universities UK, STEMNET and the Royal Society of Biology, a Director of Imperial College Health Partners and the National Centre for Universities and Business and member of the All-Party Parliamentary University Group Council and the Heathrow Employment and Skills Taskforce.

Professor Andrew George MBE – Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Strategic Projects and Global Engagement), Ex officio Member of Council

Professor George joined Brunel from Imperial College London on 1 October 2013 where he was Professor of Molecular Immunology and Director of the Graduate School and the School of Professional Development.  He did his first degree at the University of Cambridge, before going on to the Tenovus Laboratories in the University of Southampton to do his PhD with Professor Freda Stevenson, developing a vaccine for B cell lymphoma. He was awarded a Beit Memorial Fellowship and stayed in Southampton for his first postdoctoral period, before going to Dr David Segal’s laboratory in the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, USA, where he used recombinant techniques to generate novel antibody molecules. In 1992 he returned to the UK as a lecturer at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, Hammersmith Hospital, which merged with Imperial College in 1997.  He is currently Chair of the UK’s National Research Ethics Advisors’ Panel and is on the Clinical Trials, Biologicals and Vaccines Expert Advisory Group for the Commission of Human Medicines/MHRA. He is a Governor of Richmond Adult Community College and is on the Training Advisory Group of NERC.

Ms Hema Ghantiwala – Independent Member of Council

Ms Ghantiwala is a highly accomplished senior executive with ten years’ experience operating at board level in a variety of executive and non-executive roles for large, complex organisations. She currently works for the NCR Corporation. She formerly held the post of Head of Legal – Global Telecoms Market at British Telecom PLC and former roles include Non-Executive Director for Brent Teaching Primary Care Trust, EMEA Region Counsel, Head of Legal Department for UK and Northern Europe, Director and Company Secretary for NCR Ltd. Ms Ghantiwala is also an Ambassador for Public Appointments for the Government Equalities Office, a Non-Executive Director of North West London Strategic Health Authority and a Non-Executive Director for Brent and Harrow Health Authority. 

Mrs Leanne Hunt - Member of Council elected by administrative, clerical or technical staff of the University

Mrs Hunt is the College Education Manager within the College of Engineering Design and Physical Sciences. She was previously the Senior Quality Assurance Officer in Registry. She joined the University in November 1998 following a period of time in the health service and training as a Paramedic. She is also Chairperson of a self-managed estates company with specific responsibilities for legal and financial issues affecting the freehold of a large residential estate. 

Ms Lucinda Hunt – Deputy Chair and Independent Member of Council 

Ms Hunt was previously Head at Notting Hill and Ealing High School, GDST. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Physics from Imperial College London and a PGCE from the University of Oxford. Ms Hunt began her career in 1982 as a Teacher at The Cherwell Upper School in Oxford. After a variety of teaching posts in Australia and France, she returned to the UK in 1991, joining Putney High School as a Teacher of Physics. She moved to Wimbledon High School a year later, progressing to Head of Sixth Form in 1996 and to Head of the Faculty of Sciences in 1998.

Following a secondment to Goldman Sachs in 2000, Ms Hunt assumed the position of Deputy Head (Director of Studies) at St Paul’s Girls’ School. She assumed her current role as Head in 2008.

Ms Hunt stepped down from her role as Head at NHEHS in August 2016. She plans to spend more time sailing, skiing and improving her French, and is looking forward to having the time and the opportunity to develop other aspects of her professional life, including her new role on the Brunel University London Council and existing commitment to the Royal Institution.

Mr Praveen Kanakamedala – Independent Member of Council 

Mr Praveen Kanakamedala is the COO of Agilis Investment Management LLP. He was formerly the Global Head of Risk Management at Permal Group. He holds a BSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois in Chicago, an MSc in Computer Science from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and an MBA from the University of Chicago. Praveen began his career in 1992 as a Systems Analyst at Dunn Systems, thereafter joining AC Nielsen as Consultant. He progressed to Senior Systems Analyst in 1995 and to Project Manager the following year, before founding an internet start-up subsidiary, KTech Solutions, in 1997 – also serving as President. Between stepping down as President and re-joining KTech on a consultancy basis, Praveen served as Vice-President for Technology Development at United Breweries Group. In 2004 he joined Harris Alternatives as Quantitative Analyst and became Partner and Head of Risk Management at Fauchier Partners in 2007. 

Professor Bill Leahy – Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic Affairs and Civic Engagement), Member of Council nominated by Senate

Professor Leahy is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic Affairs and Civic Engagement) at Brunel University London. He has been at Brunel since 1996 when he began his PhD studies in Shakespeare’s History plays and Elizabethan Processional literature. Immediately before that, Professor Leahy worked as an English Language teacher for the Adult Education Service in Berlin. Since joining Brunel, he has been involved in teaching English, though he has specialised in teaching Shakespeare and the Renaissance. He has been convener of the MA in Shakespeare Authorship Studies and was awarded the Vice Chancellor’s award for Teaching Excellence in 2005.  His research interests include the Shakespeare Authorship Question as a cultural phenomenon.

Mr Paul Markwell - Independent Member of Council 

Mr Markwell, VP, Global Upstream Oil & Gas Research & Consulting at IHS Markit Limited, a leading international advisory organisation. Mr Markwell managed the provision of strategic insight and business advice to oil and gas industrial companies globally. He has over 30 years’ experience in general management, engineering and research; and advisory roles in this sector including many years at Shell International and McKinsey & Company.  Mr Markwell has lived or worked in a diverse range of situations across Asia, North Africa, Middle East and Europe.

Ms Pauldy Otermans (President, Union of Brunel Students) - Ex officio Member of Council 

Miss Pauldy Otermans was elected as President of the Union of Brunel Students in 2017 whilst in her final year of PhD.  Miss Otermans has extensive experience in the Students Union having been previously elected as Vice President Postgraduate Students; and has significant experience in academic work having been a student representative and committee member at Universities in 4 countries while completing two previous Masters Degrees and an Undergraduate degree in Natural Sciences. In addition to her work in the Student Unions, she has been a researcher in the University of Basel, Switzerland and companies like Philips.

Professor Geoff Rodgers – Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), Ex Officio Member of Council

Professor Rodgers is the University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation, tasked with leading the University in the next stage of its research development to ensure that it sustains a diverse and evolving, vibrant, research community.  Professor Rodgers gained his BSc in Mathematics at Imperial College London and a PhD in Disordered System Theory at Manchester University.  Professor Rodgers has an impressive research record, with many publications, conference presentations and grants to his name.  In 1998, Professor Rodgers won a European Postdoctoral Fellowship from The Royal Society to work with Professors Cyrano De Dominicis and Bernard Derrida at the Service de Physique Théorique, CEN-Saclay, France.  As well as supervising many PhD students, Professor Rodgers has extensive experience in a very broad range of administrative and academic roles including major involvement in quality and standard issues, managing postgraduate bursaries and scholarships for the University and acting as undergraduate admissions tutor.  Professor Rodgers has championed the introduction of the open access archive BURA and the University publication database BRAD, as well as developing successful strategic partnerships for research with a number of research and technology organisations.

Ms Tone Rosingholm - Independent Member of Council

Ms Rosingholm is an investor and advisor at Dreamstake Capital, a London based accelerator for technology start-ups. She is on the Board of Aid:Tech, a fintech company delivering development aid through blockchain digital identity, and Quarkonics, an AI driven technology solutions company. Ms Rosingholm was previously an Executive Director at J.P. Morgan Investment Bank, and has studied in Norway, France and North America. She is a graduate of l’Ecole Superieure de Commerce de Paris (ESCP, Grande Ecole) and has completed the General Management Program, Executive Education, at Harvard Business School.

Ms Amanda Rowlatt CBE - Independent Member of Council 

Ms Rowlatt is an experienced director in the civil service and is currently Chief Analyst and Strategy Director at the Department for Transport.  She has been Chief Economist in several government departments, and has held policy director roles at the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for International Development. She was a former board member of the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust. She is currently a board member of Voluntary Services Overseas, a Council Member for the Society of Business Economists and a Governor of Richmond Adult Community College.    

Ms Amanda Spielman - Independent Member of Council

Ms Spielman was Chair of Ofqual.  Ms Spielman is HM Chief Inspector OFSTED. She was a co-founder of the academy chain Ark Schools, where she was Research and Policy Director. She is a Council member at Brunel University London and was a former Governor at STEMNET.  She previously spent more than 15 years in finance, investment banking and strategy consulting at KPMG, Kleinwort Benson, Mercer Management Consulting and Nomura International.

Professor Michael Spyer - Chair of Council

Professor Spyer was a former Vice-Provost (Enterprise) at the University College London and until 2013 was Chairman of NHS London. He was a member of HEFCE’s Research Selectivity Review Board for Basic Medical Sciences on two separate occasions. Professor Spyer has held several positions in the field of medicine such as Director at the Autonomic Neuroscience Institute, Director of the British Heart Foundation Neural Control Group at the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, Chairman of Basic Medical Sciences at the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine and Vice Dean of the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine.

Mr Peter Teague – Independent Member of Council

Mr Teague is currently Chief Executive of New Technology CADCAM Limited having previously been Chief Executive Anisa (UK), Chief Executive Unicorn Entertainment, Managing Director of BBC Worldwide UK and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at AT&T. He has also fulfilled chair, non-executive director and executive roles in public regulatory bodies and the IT services, media and telecommunications industries. This experience includes Chairing Audit Committees at the Gambling Commission, OFCOM and Elexon Limited. Mr Teague is an advisory group member of the Ofcom 700MHz Oversight Group.

Dr Kevin Thomas – Independent Member of Council

Dr Thomas is a non-executive Chairman of civil nuclear joint ventures at Babcock International Group plc. He joined Babcock International Group plc in 2002, initially heading its facilities management business as Managing Director, before moving to head the Group’s business development function and acquisition programme. In 2009 he became CEO of the Support Services Division at Babcocks, a position he held until 2016. He is an alumnus of the University graduating with a Master’s in Public and Social Administration. His early career included working in local government, heading the Policy and Administration at the London Borough of Southwark, before joining Serco Group plc.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and a non-executive Director of FTSE-listed recruitment company, Harvey Nash Group plc.  

Ms Anne Waltham - Independent Member of Council

Ms Waltham is an experienced real estate litigation Partner at Gowling WLG (formerly Wragge Lawrence Graham/ Wragge & Co) which she joined in 2003 having previously been a Partner at Hogan Lovells between 1998 and 2003.  Prior to this Ms Waltham was a Solicitor at Lovell White Durrant, Oppenheimers and Linklaters. 

A graduate in Law from King’s College London, Ms Waltham is also a Trustee at Our Sorority and a mentor for students at her alma mater.

Professor John Wood, CBE - Independent Member of Council

Professor Wood has now retired from the Association of Commonwealth Universities, where he was formerly the Secretary General. He holds the posts of Honorary Professor of Materials at Imperial College London and Honorary Professor of Nanotechnology at University College London.  His previous appointments include Senior International Relations Adviser to Imperial College London, Principal of the Faculty of Engineering, Imperial College London and Chief Executive for the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils.  Professor Wood has held several directorships and public appointments, the most recent being Director of M4 Technologies Ltd, Member of the European Commission’s “Research, Innovation and Science Experts” High Level Board and Chair of the Working Group on Open Science and Open Innovation.


Charities of which Council Members have Trustee or similar status:

The Royal Society of Biology – Professor Julia Buckingham [Trustee]

Universities UK – Professor Julia Buckingham [Trustee]

STEMNET - Professor Julia Buckingham [Trustee]

Richmond Adult Community College – Professor Andrew George [Governor]

John Hampden Grammar School – Professor Andrew George [Governor]

Bishopshalt School - Professor Bill Leahy [Governor]

Shakespearean Authorship Trust – Professor Bill Leahy [Chairman]

Union of Brunel Students (Board of Trustees) - Ms Pauldy Otermans [Chair]

Richmond Adult Community College – Ms Amanda Rowlatt [Governor]

Voluntary Services Overseas – Ms Amanda Rowlatt [Board Member]

Society of Business Economists – Ms Amanda Rowlatt [Council Member]

Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust – Professor Michael Spyer [Trustee]

Our Sorority - Ms Anne Waltham [Trustee]

Daphne Jackson Trust – Professor John Wood [Trustee]

Stables Christian Centre – Professor John Wood [Chair and Trustee]