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Council members

Council Members Mini Biographies August 2019

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

Professor Julia Buckingham CBE is the President of Universities UK.  Her tenure as President of Universities UK commenced on 01 August 2019 for a period of two years - until 30 July 2021.  In May 2019, The Academy of Medical Sciences named Professor Julia Buckingham CBE as one of its newly elected Fellows. Professor 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 where she is now a Patron.  She is a Trustee of STEMNET, the Chair of the FE/HE SORP Board, a member of Council for the All Party Parliamentary University Group, the Chair of the Advance HE: Athena SWAN Review, a member of the Heathrow Employment and Skills Taskforce and the Chair of the UKRI Researcher Concordat’s Strategy Group.  Professor Buckingham is also a member of the National Physical Laboratory: Science and Technology Advisory Council; and a member of the CBI: Innovation Council.  She is an Emeritus Governor at St. Mary’s Calne. Professor Buckingham is a member of the Appointments Panel at the University of Bath and a member of the Royal Society: ‘Widening the Curriculum to 18 Working Group’.

Ms Hema Ghantiwala – Independent Member of Council

Ms Ghantiwala is a highly accomplished senior executive with over 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; and a Director and Company Secretary for NCR Ltd. Ms Ghantiwala is also an Ambassador for Public Appointments for the Government Equalities Office and a trustee for the National Foundation for Educational Research. 

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 previous 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 Rebecca Lingwood - Provost

Professor Rebecca Lingwood joined Brunel University London as Provost (and Professor of Fluid Dynamics) in August 2018 from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) where she was Vice-Principal for Education and Professor of Fluid Dynamics.  Rebecca has a successful track record of combining research and education with supporting partnerships between academia and private-, public- and third-sector organizations.  She researches laminar-turbulent transition of complex fluid flows, and holds an affiliated professorship at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, where her research group is based. She continues to publish widely in her field and has served on several national and international review panels and boards. Rebecca is a member of the board of the West London Institute of Technology, a trustee of the Daphne Jackson Trust, Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and of the Royal Aeronautical Society, and Principal Fellow of the HEA. In earlier years, Rebecca graduated in Engineering from the University of Cambridge and, after completing her PhD, was awarded a Maudslay Research Fellowship and then a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellowship in Cambridge. She then held a number of posts in Oxford, before returning to Cambridge in 2009 to become Director of the Institute of Continuing Education, Warden of Madingley Hall and hold a number of university-wide roles. During this time, Rebecca led the establishment of the University Technical College (UTC) Cambridge on behalf of Cambridge University Health Partners, becoming Founding Member and Vice-Chair of Governors. In 2015, Rebecca joined QMUL and, in addition to her substantive roles, was Chair of the Estates Strategy Board and had senior executive oversight of QMUL’s two sponsored two multi-academy trusts (MATs); she led the process of academization of two schools and, in parallel, the formation of one of these MATs, becoming the founding Chair of the MAT Board. Rebecca is a member of the Universities UK TEF Working Group and is co-lead of a Universities UK-sponsored project looking at the effect of social background on graduate success.

Mr Chris Miller - Elected Member of Council

Chris Miller has been a Senior Student Programmes Manager at the University since July 2017, overseeing the Gaskell Taught Programmes Office as well as the Partnership Development Unit, ensuring the delivery of a high quality service to students within the College of Business, Arts and Social Sciences. Chris has worked at the University since 2010, first as aSITS Development Officer prior to taking on the role of Student Programmes Manager in January 2015. Chris previously worked at the University of Reading (May 2008 – December 2009) in their equivalent of the SITS Data Management team. Chris studied for his English Literature degree at the University of Hertfordshire, graduating in 2005.

Mr Andrew Murphy, BEng, FCA (Chief Financial Officer)

Andrew joined the University as Chief Financial Officer in October 2018.  Prior to taking up this role Andrew held the position of Chief Financial Officer at the University of London (UoL) for 5 years (a unique organisation that looks to support its seventeen independent member institutions as well as its own development).  During his time at UoL, Andrew reshaped and reorganised the Finance and Planning department, overseeing major investments such as the £140M redevelopment of the university's halls of residence at Cartwright Gardens and the development of a new 511 bed 32 story residence in Stratford.

Prior to this Andrew worked for 7 years as Finance Director at Imperial College London, and before this held increasingly senior finance positions for over 15 years at British Airways, Amersham plc and GE.  Andrew trained as a chartered accountant with Price Waterhouse after obtaining his degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Birmingham.  

Professor Mariann Rand-Weaver - Vice-Provost [Education]

Professor Rand-Weaver is a member of Council and the Vice-Provost [Education] at Brunel University London where she provides academic leadership and strategic guidance to enhance the University’s educational provision.  Professor Rand-Weaver is responsible for the University’s external regulatory compliance. Born and educated in Norway until the age of 17, Mariann attended United World College of the Atlantic (Wales) to study for her International Baccalaureate Diploma. She remained in the UK, gaining a First Class BSc Honors Degree and a PhD in Biochemistry from Queen Elizabeth College (now part of King’s College London).  Following postdoctoral work in Norway and Japan, Mariann came to Brunel as a Research Fellow in 1991, and was appointed lecturer in 1995. Mariann is a Principal Fellow of AdvanceHE previously Higher Education Academy, and an experienced academic who is championing sector leading initiatives such as digital examinations and integrated programme assessment. She has held a range of senior roles, including Head of Biosciences; Deputy Head of School of Health Sciences and Social Care; and for several years was Pro-Vice Chancellor (Quality Assurance and Enhancement). Mariann has published widely in comparative endocrinology and ecotoxicology, served on editorial boards and acted as expert reviewer for international research councils. She is committed to integrated academic practice, and continues to teach, supervise PhD students and peer review. Mariann has served on its Curriculum Committee and is now a Fellow of the Royal Society for Biology.  Mariann is a member of the Society for Endocrinology, a Trustee and Board Member of the AQA [The Assessment and Qualifications Alliance], and is a Governor of HCUC (Harrow College and Uxbridge College).

Mr Ranjeet Rathore (President, Union of Brunel Students) - Ex officio Member of Council 

Ranjeet is the President of Brunel Students Union; he provides leadership for the organisation and is the main figurehead and external spokesperson for the Students’ Union. The role includes working with senior members of Brunel University London, local government staff and officers, local MP’s and other external stakeholders. The President leads the team of full and part time Student Officers and works closely with the Students’ Union’s senior management to ensure that the organisation is delivering its charitable purpose and working towards its vision and values. The President is lead on key campaigns and sits with the University Senior Management Team to ensure students are at the heart of any and all decisions the University make.

Ms Tone Rosingholm - Independent Member of Council

Ms Rosingholm is a Venture Partner 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 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 and a Council Member for the Society of Business Economists. 

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.  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.  Professor Spyer is now the Deputy Chair of the Committee of University Chairs [CUC]; and a Board Member of the Universities & Colleges Employers Association [UCEA].

Mr Peter Teague – Independent Member of Council

Mr Teague is the Company Secretary and a shareholder at Mark3D UK Limited.  Mr Teague was previously Chief Executive of New Technology CADCAM Limited, 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 and a Director at FROG Consulting limited.

Dr Kevin Thomas – Independent Member of Council

Dr Thomas was 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.  

Paul Thomas CBE - Chief Operating Officer

Paul Thomas is the Chief Operating Officer at Brunel University London.  Paul joined the University in 2007 after a full career in the Royal Air Force, retiring in the rank of Air Commodore having undertaken a wide range of roles on Royal Air Force stations, (including the command of RAF Uxbridge), Command Headquarters and in the Ministry of Defence.  He is a President and Trustee of the Hillingdon Partnership Trust, the President of the 1083 (Uxbridge) Squadron ATC and the Chair of Trustees of the Friends of No 11Group Operations Bunker on the former RAF Uxbridge Site.

Dr Peter D. Thomas - Elected Member of Council

Dr Peter D. Thomas joined Brunel University London as a Lecturer in the History of Political Thought on 1 July 2010. He studied at the University of Queensland, Freie Universität Berlin, L’Università “Federico II” in Naples, and the Universiteit van Amsterdam, where he completed his doctorate. He has been a member in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, a research fellow at the University of Helsinki and the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht, and a recipient of Australian, British, German, Italian and Dutch government-funded research fellowships. He has also held visiting professor and scientist positions at the Universität Wien, Fudan University, Università degli Studi di Cagliari, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, and the University of Sydney. He has published widely in the fields of the history of political thought, the history of philosophy, and political theory, and has translated scholarly monographs and articles in these fields. A Brunel Student-Led Teaching Award winning supervisor, he has twice been elected to the Brunel Senate, and has acted as the Senior Tutor and Director of Undergraduate Programmes in Politics and History and as a member of the Education Enhancement Committee. He currently serves on the Brunel Misconduct and Professional Suitability Board and the Academic Appeals Committee. Dr Thomas is a member of the editorial boards and scientific councils of a number of international peer-reviewed journals, book series and scholarly collaborations.

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 was a Trustee at Our Sorority and is 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, Honorary Professor of Nanotechnology at University College London, Honorary Chairs, Liverpool Hope University, University of Cumbria and the World University of Bangladesh. Professor Wood is also a Honorary Distinguished Research Fellow, Department of Materials, University of Cambridge, a Honorary Fellow, Synchrotrone Trieste, Italy, a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a Honorary Citizen of Honour, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, a Fellow of the Institutes of Physics; and a Liveryman and member of Court, Worshipful Company of Founders.  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 [Nottingham], Bio-nano Consulting and Aquafirm [part of Bio-nano holdings] [London]; and a Director of CRAC [Cambridge].  Professor Wood is also an Adviser to Warwick University on Brexit.


Charities of which Council Members have Trustee or similar status:

Universities UK – Professor Julia Buckingham [Trustee and Board Member]

National Physical Laboratory – Professor Julia Buckingham [Member]

National Foundation for Educational Research – Ms Hema Ghantiwala [Trustee]

West London Institute of Technology - Professor Rebecca Lingwood [Board Member]

Daphne Jackson Trust - Professor Rebecca Lingwood [Trustee]

Royal Aeronautical Society - Professor Rebecca Lingwood [Council Member]

Harrow College and Uxbridge College [HCUC] - Professor Mariann Rand-Weaver [Trustee]

The Assessment and Qualifications Alliance [AQA] - Professor Mariann Rand-Weaver [Trustee and Board Member]

The Society for Endocrinology - Professor Mariann Rand-Weaver [Member]

Union of Brunel Students (Board of Trustees) – Mr Ranjeet Rathore [Chair]

Voluntary Services Overseas – Ms Amanda Rowlatt [Board Member]

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

Universities & Colleges Employers Association – Professor Mike Spyer [Board Member]

Committee of University Chairs – Professor Mike Spyer [Deputy Chair]

Hillingdon Partnership Trust - Paul R Thomas CBE [a President and Trustee]

1083 (Uxbridge) Squadron ATC - Paul R Thomas CBE [President]

Friends of No 11Group Operations Bunker on the former RAF Uxbridge Site - Paul R Thomas CBE [Chair of Trustees]

Piddington Village Hall, Bucks - Paul R Thomas CBE [Trustee]

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