Advisory Board

Ritu Anand

Ritu Anand, IDFC  
Ritu Anand is the Group Head-Policy and Chief Economist at IDFC. Her areas of expertise include macroeconomics and public policy.  Prior to joining IDFC, she was Deputy Managing Director and Chief Economic Adviser at the State Bank of India; Lead Economist at the World Bank, Washington; Adviser at the Reserve Bank of India; and positions with the Finance Commission, Planning Commission, Bureau of Industrial Costs and Prices, Government of India, and Tata Consultancy Services. Ritu holds an M.Sc. in Economics from the London School of Economics and B.A. from Wellesley College, Massachusetts, USA.

Rob Brighouse
Rob Brighouse, Managing Director Chiltern Railways

Rob has over 30 years of rail experience. He spent nine years overseas in Australia and then Hong Kong where he was responsible for a major route upgrade. In 2000 he joined Chiltern Railways and as Projects Director lead the Chiltern Railways major investment programme. He went on to mobilise London Overground and became Deputy Managing Director in 2007. Rob returned to Chiltern Railways in 2011 when he was appointed Managing Director. Rob is an alumnus of Aston Business School, completing his MBA in 1989.

Bill Cooper

Bill Cooper, Partner KPMG LLP
Bill has been an equity partner of professional services firms for eight years, initially with Deloitte and more recently with KPMG.  He is a management consultant specialising in delivering cost reduction and performance improvement through the introduction of new technology. He has a track record of forming productive business partnerships with technology organisations, and understands the need to leverage business networks to differentiate his propositions to clients.

Pro-Vice Chancellor of Business Partnerships and Knowledge Transfer

Dr Phil Extance, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Business Partnerships and Knowledge Transfer
Dr Phil Extance was Director of Innovation at Advantage West Midlands, the Regional Development Agency. Phil's previous experience includes spells as Executive Director at the Shropshire Learning and Skills Council, Chief Executive of Rapra Technology Ltd, and Director of Advanced Engineering at Lucas Industries. He has considerable personal experience of working in the field of technology transfer and R&D which he will bring to the University.

Malcolm Harbour - ABS Advisory Board

Malcolm Harbour, MEP
Malcolm Harbour has been a Conservative MEP for the West Midlands since June 1999. After his re-election in July 2009, as a Member of the newly formed European Conservatives and Reformists Group, he was nominated as Chairman of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee. He is Vice-Chairman of the Parliament's Science and Technology Options Assessment Panel (STOA) and a Member of the Inter-Parliamentary Delegation to Japan. He is the MEP member of the Conservative Shadow Business team. He is an Aston Business School alumnus and received an Honorary DSc in 2008. 

Tony Horrocks

Tony Horrocks, Enterprise Sales Technical Leader, IBM Europe
Tony has held numerous upline senior management roles in IBM. He is currently the Enterprise Technical Sales leader for IBM in Europe. He previously held leadership roles for Cloud, Analytics, and key ISV partners across Europe, and led the UK & Ireland Software Group pre-sales team. He joined IBM in 1988 in Newcastle, having graduated from Sheffield University where he read Chemistry. He is a Fellow of the British Computer Society and a Chartered IT Professional. 


Neil Phillip Bushell, Aston Students’ Union President, 2013/2014 
Neil was elected as the President of Aston Students’ Union after completing a honours degree in Human Psychology with an integrated work placement. He has had been a active member of the Students’ Union  being involved in committees in both societies and clubs such as welfare officer and secretary of LGBT society and Vice-President of Fencing. Neil has also been involved in Union standing committees such as the Equalities & Ethics committee (to which he was acting Chairperson for meetings) and the Welfare Committee. Neil has also been involved within the Raise and Give organisation having previously organised the 2010 Relay for Life as Cancer Awareness chair and continued his involvement with this event by Raise and Give by taking part each year and forming teams for the 2012 & 2013 relays.

Yasmin Aladad Khan
Yasmin Aladad Khan, Senior Vice President, SE Asia, DHL Express Singapore
Yasmin has a wealth of experience in managing business in Asia. She has previously worked for Chase Bank as Vice President and General Electric International Operations Inc. Thailand as Chief Operating Officer. During her career with DHL Express, Yasmin was General Manager in Singapore and then Malaysia, before moving into her current role as Senior Vice President for South East Asia. She is based in Singapore and has P&L responsibility for 11 countries in the South East Asia region. Yasmin is an alumna of Aston Business School, completing the Aston MBA in 1983.
Fiona Jonasson
Fiona Jonasson, Senior Vice President Human Resources (Europe), International Automotive Components Group (IAC)
Fiona  drives the HR function by way of a strategic business partner and provides forward thinking HR solutions in order to assure that IAC adapts its costume to the changing market requirements.  Fiona has more than 12 years within an international environment, having worked in the automotive, off-highway and recruitment industries.  Prior to moving into HR full time Fiona had gained experience in M&A activities and general employment law.  Fiona began her career having served in the Royal Air Force in various positions and locations.

Santrupt Misra - ABS Advisory Board
Dr Santrupt Misra, Director, Aditya Birla Management Corporation Ltd
Santrupt is the director of Aditya Birla Management Corporation Ltd which is the apex decision making body of the Aditya Birla Group, a group of blue-chip organisations. In addition to his directorship, Santrupt is also responsible for Group HR and Corporate Information Technology for the Group and holds directorships on a number of Boards. Santrupt holds a number of awards in the HR area and two PhD’s, one of which is from Aston University in 1993.

Susan Morton - ABS Advisory Board

Susan Morton, Group HR Director, Carillion plc
Most recently Susan was HR Director of Carillion plc, during her 30 year executive career she has worked in Construction, Services, Finance, Manufacturing and Management Consultancy. Her career has focused on HR, M&A, change management and operations. Susan was a founder Board member of the Government's Training Standards Council, and the Deputy Prime Minister's private sector Advisory Board on Neighborhood Renewal. She is a Board member of Central YMCA, a Governor of ARK Tindal Academy and a business mentor. Susan is an Alumna of Aston University graduating in 1982 she gained her MBA in 1991 from Warwick.

Keith Robson
Keith Robson, Chairperson of the Board of Directors, The Federal Bridge Corporation Limited Canada
Keith began his career with Chrysler UK/Europe before becoming President at Varity Corporation Aftermarket Parts. After leaving Varity Corporation, Keith spent several years as President and Chief Executive in the Transportation and Logistics industry in North America before taking up the post of Chief Executive of the Hamilton Port Authority. Keith is also Chair of the Advisory Board of a Systems Integration company based in Oakville, Ontario and a Strategic Management Consultant to a privately owned Logistics company in Hamilton, Ontario. Keith is an alumnus of Aston University graduating with a degree in General Science with a specialty in Botany and Zoology in 1966.
David Schmidt

David Schmidt, President, Hartzell Aerospace Group (US)
David’s career covers 26 years of challenging assignments in product engineering, international operations and strategic growth in the aerospace industry at Honeywell, Esterline Technologies, Meggitt Plc. and currently, as President of the Hartzell Aerospace Group. David holds a BSc from Roger Williams College, an MBA from Loyola University and a PhD from Aston University. He is currently a Senior Visiting Industry Fellow at Aston University.

Bijan Sedghi - ABS Advisory Board
Bijan Sedghi, Partner, Corporate Group, Wragge & Co
Bijan joined Wragge & Co as a partner with the Corporate Group following a successful career at HBJ Gateley Wareing.  Bijan holds numerous directorships in the manufacturing sector, as well as acting as a non-executive adviser to Government departments.
Stefan Tesche - ABS Advisory Board

Stefan Tesche, Director Global Account Novartis at Unisys
Stefan has forged a career in the IT sector, with a strong focus on international business. He led multinational teams in the areas of M&A, turnaround management, and restructuring before joining Unisys Corporation to lead the global business with one of their large European-based clients. Stefan is an Aston Business School alumnus after being awarded his MBA in 2004.

Alison Trauttmansdorff-Weinsberg - ABS Advisory Board

Alison Trauttmansdorff, HR Director, Rothschild
Alison’s career in HR started with Goldman Sachs, where she worked for 14 years in both Germany and the UK. In 2008 Alison moved to NM Rothschild & Sons to take over the role of HR Director, where she is responsible for the business facing HR functions across offices in EMEA and Asia. Alison is an alumna of Aston Business School and graduated with a degree in International Business and German in 1993.

Paul Williams

Paul Williams, Non-Executive Director of Hogg Robinson plc
Paul is a Non-Executive Director of Hogg Robinson plc where he also chairs the Remuneration Committee. He is a member of the Governing Council at Aston University and member of the Audit Committee. He has just completed a 6 year term as  a member of the Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB) which advises the Prime Minister's Office on top pay in the public sector. Paul has over 35 years’ experience as a senior HR Director with NCR, Heinz,Glaxo, Rolls-Royce and Smith & Nephew - where he was also President of the subsidiary company in Japan.

Mike Wright
Mike Wright, Executive Director, Jaguar Land Rover
Mike Wright took up the position of Executive Director, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) in December 2010. Mike Wright began his career in the automotive industry at Rover Triumph in 1975. He has held a variety of senior sales and marketing positions in a number of international markets - including four years in Germany. Mike was one of the executives responsible for leading the transition of the worldwide commercial activities from Ford Motor Company to Tata following the latter's purchase of Jaguar and Land Rover in 2008. He graduated from the Aston University in 1975 with a BSc in Communications Science and Linguistics.

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research