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More than most universities, Aston was shaped by its environment and given its mission by the practical needs of the world around it. This continues today.

The municipal technical college of 1896, founded to supply skilled workers to the workshop of the world, has grown into a leading university giving its students entry to successful careers in science, technology, business, and healthcare.

We are proud of this, just as we are proud to be the UK’s most diverse university; proud to be ranked number one for the improvement in the grades of students from when they arrive to when they graduate; proud to consistently rate so highly in employment rates, year after year; proud of our students and our academics; proud, of course, of our alumni and their achievements through the years.

The bond between past and present is strong at Aston, which we see each year in the number of alumni who generously support students, fund vital research, and provide employment opportunities, ensuring that the routes they pioneered remain open to the next generation.

How you can help

Advancement Board

Dr Anthony Hayward

Tony is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Energy Transition Partners, an Amsterdam listed SPAC focussed on the energy transition. He is Founder and Executive Chairman of SierraCol Energy, Colombia’s largest independent oil company, a Managing Partner of St James’s Asset Management LLP, a Board Member of the Bahrain Oil and Gas Holding Company (Nogaholding) and Chairman of a number of private companies.

Tony was Chairman of Glencore from 2013-2021 and Group Chief Executive of BP from 2007 to 2010, He joined BP in 1982 as a rig geologist in the North Sea. He became Group Treasurer in 2000, Chief Executive for BP’s E&P Business and a member of the Main Board of BP in 2003.

In 2011 Tony founded Vallares plc, a $2.2bn SPAC listed on the LSE. Following the mergerof Vallares plc and Genel Energy he became Chief Executive in November 2011 and subsequently Chairman (2015-2017).

He was Senior Independent director of Corus from 2002-2007 and a member of the board of Tata Steel from 2007-2009. He was a member of the UK Business Council from 2008-2010 and the US Business Council between 2008 and 2013.

Tony chairs Aston University Development Board and is a member of the British Museum Chairman’s Advisory Board.

Tony studied geology at Aston University in Birmingham and completed a PhD at Edinburgh University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, on the Advisory Board of Edinburgh University’s Ocean Leadership programme and holds honorary doctorates from the University of Edinburgh, Aston University, the University of Birmingham and Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University.

He is based in London, Valencia and Colombia.

Professor Matthew Crummack

Matthew Crummack is an experienced executive having led the transformation of big consumer-facing digital brands across different geographies, and currently serves as the CEO of Domestic and General.

Previously Matthew served as Group CEO of GoCo Group plc (GoCompare) prior to its sale in 2021 to Future plc for $794m, and wasthe CEO of Group where he led the turnaround of the business prior to its sale to Bravofly Rumbo Group for $120m in 2015. He started his digital and executive career at Expedia where he was Senior Vice President of Lodging, managing the supply of hotels and transportation inventory for the global group, and started his career in consumer goods across Europe at Procter & Gamble and Nestle.

Matthew serves as a Senior Non-Executive Independent Director at National Express plc, a Non-Executive Director and advisor to Kidadl (start-up), and as an Independent Council Member of Aston University. Matthew received a BSc in International Business and Modern Languages from Aston University and in 2016 was made an Honorary Doctor of Science by Aston University.

Dr Stephen Billingham

Dr Stephen Billingham CBE, graduated from Aston in 1987, having completed his PhD under Interdisciplinary Higher Degrees (IHD) scheme, involving the Business School and the Maths Department. 

He is currently Chairman of Urenco Ltd, one of the world’s leading nuclear fuel companies. He is also Senior Independent Director and Chair of the Audit Committee of Balfour Beatty plc, the UK’s largest civil engineering contractor. 

Previously, he was Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the FTSE 100 electricity generator, British Energy Group plc, and CFO of the FTSE 250 engineering consultancy WS Atkins plc.  

His past non-executive roles have included, Chairman of Punch Taverns plc, The Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust and Anglian Water Group. 

He was awarded an honorary DSc from Aston in 2016 and a CBE by the Queen for services to publicly owned and regulated businesses in 2019. 

Professor Kevin Morley 

Kevin Morley joined Ford Motor Company in 1977 before being appointed Marketing Director of Rover Group in 1986. In 1988 he was promoted to Sales and Marketing Director, then Commercial Director and in 1990 became Managing Director of Rover Group Cars and a member of the Rover Group Board. Instrumental in turning Rover Group around and making it profitable for the first time in over a decade, he left the company in 1992 to set up his own integrated marketing agency. He then grew KMM to become the 6th largest agency in Europe with over £200 million turnover and 300 staff in seven countries before it was purchased by Interpublic in 1995. 

Kevin is a member of the Aston University’s Advancement Board and was a member of the University’s Council until 2020. He holds a MSc from the University of Surrey, an MBA and honorary doctorate from Aston University and is associated with many charities. He is also a Freeman of the City of London, and an Honorary Professor at Aston University. 

Professor Rooney Anand 

Rooney Anand is Executive Chairman of PE backed RedCat Pub Company Limited and Chairman of private equity backed businesses Away Resorts and Purity Soft Drinks.   He is also Chairman of WorldSkills UK, the skills and apprenticeship Government backed charitable foundation. 

Until the end of October 2021, Rooney served as Senior Independent Director for Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc and was the Chair of their Corporate Compliance & Risk Committee. 

Rooney was a director at Greene King plc from August 2001 to May 2019. Initially Managing Director of the company’s brewing division, he was appointed Chief Executive in May 2005 stepping down in May 2019.  During his tenure as CEO at Greene King the enterprise value grew threefold to just under £5Bn, the market capitalisation grew fourfold to £2.7Bn and the business was transformed from a regional pub-brewer to the UK’s leading pub company.  

Prior to joining Greene King, Rooney built a career in the food industry at Sara Lee Bakery UK (the bakery subsidiary of the US-owned Sara Lee Corporation) and before that with United Biscuits Plc, at both McVitie’s biscuits and Terry’s confectionery in various marketing, commercial, logistics and strategic planning roles. 

He has a MBA from Aston Business School, where he majored in Corporate Finance and a BSc (Hons) in Construction Management. 

He was made a Honorary Professor by Aston Business School and awarded a Honorary Doctorate by Aston University in July 2016, and was named the Lloyds ‘UK Business Leader of the Year’ 2016. He joined the Aston Advancement Board and became a Visiting Professor in 2021.

Dr Nigel Howe 

Nigel is a British property developer, and a property consultant to the owner of Reading Football Club, who currently play in the SkyBet Championship in England.

The majority of Nigel's career was in property management before joining John Madejski in 1995 when he took over as chief executive of Reading F.C. Nigel led the redevelopment of both the club's Madejski Stadium and its business management, and is also a non-executive director of a number of other businesses in which John Madejski has invested including the Benham Goodhead Print Group, Sackville Properties and the Ark Group. He is also a non-executive director of the Clearview Traffic Group.

Professor Carmen Watson 

Carmen is the Main Board Director for Pertemps Network and has been with the business since the 1970s, rising through the ranks after joining the company as a secretary. Carmen joined the Board of Directors aged 30 and has always been a staunch advocate of equality and diversity, wholeheartedly believing that everyone should have equal opportunity to shine and progress.
She continues to work, through various projects, to promote the achievements of women in leadership roles and to further improve cultures of diversity and inclusivity in business.
Carmen received an honorary degree from Aston University in 2022 for her contribution to the development of employment opportunities for people from all sectors of the community and has more recently been appointed as a Visiting Professor at Aston University.

Our people 

Geoff Savage

Development Manager (Regular Giving)

+44 (0)121 204 4199

Christiane Dickens

Director of Advancement

+44 7919 396254

Christina Bone

Development Manager

Alexis Clifford

Trusts and Foundations Manager

Changing Lives

Meet people who benefited from Aston scholarships