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About us

Board of governors

Dr Muhammad Safwan Akram

Dr Muhammad Safwan AkramPrincipal Lecturer in Biological & Process Engineering in the School of Health & Life Sciences. Safwan obtained his PhD in Analytical Biotechnology from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Cambridge where he also did his post-doc developing low cost diagnostics. Prior to that he completed his M.Phil in Bioscience Enterprise under the auspices of Cambridge/MIT Partnership. His work has been published in reputed journals like Nature Biotechnology, Lab on a Chip & Annual Reviews of Analytical Chemistry. He has been awarded Medimmune Award and CambridgeSens Innovative Idea award for research excellence. He provides consultancy to venture capital funds, biotech and pharma companies. In 2018, Safwan was voted by students to win a University Star Award for most outstanding teaching . Safwan is also an Associate Director of the University’s state of the art research and innovation facility, National Horizons Centre.


Dean Benson

Dean BensonCEO, Visualsoft


Madhu Bethina

Madhu BethinaPresident Welfare, Teesside University Students' Union. Madhu is originally from Andhra Pradesh in India and is currently in the first year of a Masters in Computer Science here at Teesside University. He is relatively new to the University so has not had previous involvement in TUSU but aims to bring a fresh perspective to the services we provide for students. He is one of the three lead members of the Teesside University Students' Union Board of Trustees and will represent students' views on the Board of Governors. In his role, he runs campaigns, events and activities around student safety, health and wellbeing. He also works closely with staff from the University and external agencies such as Cleveland Police, Cleveland Fire Service and the NHS on issues around student welfare.


Paul Booth OBE, Deputy Chairman

Paul BoothChair of Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership; former resident, SABIC-UK Petrochemicals; former Vice President of Huntsman Petrochemicals UK; ICI Teesside Sites Engineering Manager; Deputy chairman of NASPI (National skills academy for the process sector); Director of TTE (Apprentice and adult training college); Deputy chairman of NEPIC (north eastern process cluster); Board member of the CIA (chemical industry association); former chairman of Redcar and Cleveland college.


Ada Burns

Ada BurnsAda was Chief Executive of Darlington Borough Council until 2018 and prior to moving to the north east in 2005, occupied senior positions in London Councils. She has played leadership roles in the Tees Valley and in the North East, and has experience in governance of FE and Sixth form institutions. Ada is currently an Associate with the Local Government Association, and Vice Chair of public policy think tank, The New Local Government Network.


Dann Cooley

Senior Technician: School of Health & Life Sciences.


James Cross CDIR FInstD

James CrossFounding Chief Executive of Urban Green Newcastle, a pioneering new charity which has taken over all of Newcastle’s 33 parks and over 60 of its allotments from the city council. Chair, Newcastle Parks Enterprises. Founder and Chair of Teddy’s Towers Charitable Association. Board Director, Environment Bank. Managing Director, Westgate Consultancy. Trustee, th Redcar and Cleveland Voluntary Development Agency. Former: Chief Executive of Natural England, Chief Executive Marine Management Organisation. Former Member of Defra’s Executive Committee with responsibility for Strategic Leadership and Governance of The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.


Professor Paul Croney

Professor Paul CroneyVice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Teesside University.


Harriet Dryden

Harriet Dryden President Activities, Teesside University Students' Union. Harriet is originally from Linthorpe in Middlesbrough and completed an undergraduate degree in Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation at Teesside University before moving on to a Masters in Applied International Public Health. She has been heavily involved in the students' union throughout her time at University, including being a member of the Women's Football Club and helping to lead/ run it as a committee member. She also widened student awareness of and participation in TUSU campaigns as a Campaigns Rep. She is one of the three lead members of the Teesside University Students' Union Board of Trustees and will represent students' views on the Board of Governors. In her role, she works with student sports clubs and societies to develop their groups and improve their skills and employability. She also works closely with staff from the University and external agencies on student employability and ensures the student voice is heard when decisions about facilities such as the gym and Olympia Building are being taken.


Nick Johnson

Nick JohnsonCommercial Director, CPI


Professor Philip Jones

Professor Philip JonesFormer Vice-Chancellor: Sheffield Hallam University


Yasmin Khan

Yasmin KhanDirector/trustee of the Teesside-based Halo Project charity; National Advisor to the Welsh Government on Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence; Alumna of Teesside University.


Sue Kiddle

Sue Kiddle, Consultant and Director of Advantage Business Coaching LtdConsultant and Director of Advantage Business Coaching Ltd. Performance coach, mentor and senior business leader in the service sector. Former Area Corporate Director at Barclays in the North East.


Alastair MacColl, Chairman and Pro-Chancellor

Alastair MacCollChairman, Umi Ltd. Non Executive Advisor to a number of companies. Previously led several high profile organisations in the contract services and media sectors.


Fiona Macleod

Fiona MacleodManaging Director, Billions Europe


Michael Poole

Michael PooleSenior Partner, Michael Poole Property Consultants. Magistrate, currently Deputy Bench Chairman of Cleveland Magistrates Court and former Chair of Lord Chancellors Advisory Committee for Cleveland. Chair of The Teesside Family Foundation. Former Chair of The Hospital of God at Greatham. Honoured Fellow of The National Association of Estate Agents. Deputy Lord Lieutenant County Durham.


Dermot Russell

Dermot RussellGroup Chief Financial Officer, PD Ports. Formerly: Northumbrian Water Group; Grainger Trust plc; Deloitte Haskins & Sells (later Coopers & Lybrand Deloitte)


Steve Tonks

Steve TonksFormer Group Executive and Board Director Hertel BV, Managing Director of Hertel UK and Board Director The Banks Group. Governor of Galley Hill primary trust.


Claire Vaughan

Claire VaughanSenior Corporate Counsel, Establishment Labs


Godfrey Worsdale OBE

Godfrey Worsdale OBEDirector, Henry Moore Foundation. Formerly: Director, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead; Founding Director, MIMA, Middlesbrough; Director, Southampton City Art Gallery; Director, Cultural Instructions, London