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Where are former KTP Associates now?


Krishna Balthu has recently completed a two-year KTP with law firm Higgs & Sons. He is now employed by the firm. His project was rated ‘Outstanding’ by Innovate UK.

What were the objectives of your KTP?
My KTP was focused on transformational change, enabling Higgs & Sons to better understand client needs and expectations. I re-examined the pricing strategy and improved the operations.

Krishna Balthu KTP

What did you achieve throughout your time at Higgs & Sons?
By applying some of the novel academic techniques and frameworks in a professional service setting, we developed interesting models and innovative ways of working which enhance the service experience of clients as well as the effectiveness of lawyers. The project has directly contributed to the firm’s improved financial performance and positioned it as a role model for adoption of modern operational practices in the legal sector. I had some great opportunities too, like presenting at international conferences and receiving executive education from Harvard Business School.

What are you doing now your KTP has finished?
I have recently been appointed as Higgs’ manager for organisational change and project management. I am also studying for a PhD (part-time) at Aston. Completing such a successful KTP project has really helped my career progression and unlocked fantastic opportunities.


Rachel Walsh worked on a one-year project with UK charity The Macular Society and academic supervisor Dr Hannah Bartlett. 


What were the objectives of your KTP?

My task was to design and implement two online nutrition portals. The first one was published on The Macular Society’s website and educates patients with age-related macular degeneration how nutrition can reduce and/or slow down the progression of their condition. The second is a more detailed portal for health professionals, on a microsite off the main website.

Rachel Walsh KTP

What did you achieve throughout your time at The Macular Society?
I finished the portal and everyone involved in the project seemed really impressed – we received positive feedback from a large number of users. It’s great to see a project from beginning to completion and be able to see the results of your hard work.

What are you doing now your KTP has finished?
After seeing my work on the KTP, Dr Bartlett suggested I do a PhD in Ocular Nutrition at Aston, so that’s what I’m doing now. I don’t think I would ever have this experience and type of opportunity without my KTP.


Syed Shahrukh Kazmi completed a two-year KTP with Pace Systems, a company that designs and manufactures specialist surveillance equipment. He now works as a Lead Engineer at Jaguar Land Rover.


What were the objectives of your KTP?
The objective of my KTP was to develop an integrated design and prototyping capability for short production run components and assemblies.

Syed Kazmi KTP

What did you achieve throughout your time at Pace Systems?
I developed a new product design process and robust quality protocols for key processes and launched unique new product designs. I also reduced ‘concept to manufacture’ time, all of which led to higher margins, growth and profitability. I led the implementation of ISO 9001 Quality Management System at Pace too, which gave me an understanding of the business and its processes. The ISO 9001 accreditation has enabled the company to promote its products and services to markets for which accreditation is a pre-requisite.

I’ve gained a lot of recognition through my KTP, winning awards such as the KTP Business Leader of Tomorrow award, the Matthew Boulton medal and Young Business Leader certificate. Pace Systems International was ‘highly commended’ for its KTP Project at the Innovation and Technology Business Awards 2010.

The KTP was awarded the highest grade of ‘Outstanding’ by Innovate UK for its achievement in meeting KTP's Objectives.

What are you doing now your KTP has finished?
I am currently working as a Restraints Lead Engineer in Body Engineering at Jaguar Land Rover and have recently taken an exciting additional role of Restraints Launch Leader. Completing the KTP has really helped me not only to acquire the technical skills but also a broad understanding of how processes interact with in an organisation. This is helping me in my current role at Jaguar Land Rover.

To find out more about working on a KTP project with Aston University, email ktp@aston.ac.uk or call Martin May, KTP Manager on 0121 204 4253.

Find out more about being a KTP Associate at Aston with our graduate guide.

Find out more about being a KTP Associate at Aston with our graduate guide.