University of Sheffield Alumni

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University of Sheffield Alumni

The Alumni Board has been created to support, advise, monitor and comment on the effectiveness of the University’s alumni engagement programme. The Board works closely with the Office to develop and strengthen programs that enhance the relationships alumni have with the University and with each other. Members are committed to supporting The University of Sheffield’s overall interests among the entire alumni community and in the world at large. Membership represents a broad diversity of departmental affiliations, class years, geographies and personal backgrounds. Members will serve either a two or three year term, with the possibility of staying for one additional term. No one will serve more than two terms and they will meet three times per year either in Sheffield or London.


Sir Peter Middleton – Honorary President
Richard Mayson – Chair Mark Ansell Susan Belcher
Susanna Chiu Chris Furness Alison Gardner
Elizabeth Gillott Guilherme Guimarães Alison Hope (Deputy Chair)
Sally Jones Mina Kasherova Claire Kilner
Emily Knights Dr Keith Layden Claire McGourlay
Martin McKervey Dr Trevor Richards Dr Kathryn Riddle
Tom Slatter Abdi Suleiman

Contact the Alumni Board

If you would like to speak to, or raise any issues with, the Alumni Board they can be contacted via the dedicated Alumni Board email address

Sir Peter MiddletonSir Peter Middleton

BA Economics 1955, Hon LittD 1984

Sir Peter is a former Chancellor of the University, and the Honorary President of the Alumni Board.

He was born and raised in Sheffield, before going on to study economics at the University. After achieving a first class degree Sir Peter completed postgraduate work at the University of Bristol, and spent some time teaching accountancy during his National Service.

From here Sir Peter then joined the Civil Service, initially in the Central Office of Information, before later moving into the Treasury, where he stayed for nearly 30 years. In 1983 he was appointed Permanent Secretary where he served until 1991, having worked closely with nine Chancellors.

On leaving the Treasury Sir Peter joined Barclays Bank as Group Deputy Chairman, and later Group Chairman, before retiring from them in 2004. From 2004 to 2006 Sir Peter was President of the British Bankers Association, and he is currently UK Chairman of Marsh & McLennan Companies.

In 1984 Sir Peter returned to Sheffield to receive an honorary degree from the University, as well as receiving his knighthood in the same year. Sir Peter stepped down as Chancellor of the University in July 2015, a position he had held since 1999.

Mr Richard MaysonRichard Mayson

BA Geography 1983

Richard has been a member of the University Council since 2013. He has worked in the wine trade since graduation, initially with the Wine Society where he won the Vintner’s Company Scholarship in 1987. A freelance writer since 1989, he has written four books on wine including ‘The Wines and Vineyards of Portugal’ (winner of the André Simon Award 2003), and ‘Port and the Douro’, now in a third edition. He writes regularly for a number of magazines, Chairs the Port and Madeira panel for the Decanter World Wine Awards, and won the Louis Roederer International Wine Feature Writer of the Year Award in 2014. Richard owns a vineyard and wine producing company, SonhoLusitanoVinhos, in the Alto Alentejo, Portugal. He is Series Editor for the Infinite Ideas Wine Library and is currently writing a book on the wines of Madeira. Apart from wine, his interests include twentieth century British art, modern architecture and when time permits, walking and running in the Derbyshire Peak District.

Mr Mark AnsellMark Ansell

BA Social Policy & Sociology 2006

Mark Ansell is a Sheffield-based Broadcast Journalist at BBC Look North, the most watched news programme in Yorkshire with 2.5 million viewers each week. He researches, films, scripts and edits stories in South Yorkshire. Mark is a former BBC Radio Tour de France and Tour of Britain reporter and has produced a half hour documentary for BBC Radio 4 on the closure of the Remploy factories. He blogs at:

Susan BelcherSusan Belcher

BA Business Studies 1985

As an Associate Hospital Manager for North East London Foundation Trust, Susan listens to appeals relating to people who have been sectioned under the Mental Health Act. She is also a cover supervisor at two senior schools and an exam invigilator.

Susan began her career in quite a different sector, working as an accountant at Conoco (UK) Ltd, an oil and gas exploration and production company. Starting out in the Head Office, she went on to work on a variety of projects building oil and gas rigs. Latterly, she was responsible for combining two companies’ accounting systems when she worked on a joint project, Britannia Operator Ltd.

Susan has been to a number of reunions organised by the University of Sheffield Alumni Office and has always enjoyed returning to Sheffield, seeing the changes to the city and the University. She has also attended alumni events held in London including the House of Lords tour and reception with Lord Blunkett. Volunteering at the Achieve More and ThinkCreate events for first year students at the University has proved to be very interesting.

At the London 2012 Paralympic Games Susan was proud to be a volunteer Gamesmaker and worked as an International Paralympic Committee Assistant helping the team from the United Arab Emirates.

Ms Susanna ChiuSussana Chiu

BA Economics 1982

Susanna Chiu graduated from the University of Sheffield with a First Class Honors degree in Economics, and was awarded the ‘Distinguished Alumni Award’ by the University in 2014 because of her outstanding achievements. She also holds an Executive MBA degree from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Susanna is currently the Director & Group Chief Representative for Eastern China of Li & Fung Development (China) Limited. She is responsible for Chinese government relations and business development. Professionally, Susanna is a qualified Chartered Accountant, a China CPA, a qualified CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor), and a member of the HK Institute of Directors. Susanna is the Immediate Past President of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA), and was the first woman to attain this leadership position in the 40 years of history of the Institute.

Apart from the profession, Susanna has been contributing continuously in community services and voluntary sectors for many years. She was awarded one of the ten nationwide ‘Chinese Women of Achievement’ awards in the UK in 1991, and has been appointed by the Hong Kong Government to sit on many voluntary committees, including the Equal Opportunity Commission and the Hong Kong Institute of Education. Due to Susanna’s contribution to the Hong Kong community, she was awarded the Medal of Honor by HKSAR in 2013 for her outstanding achievements especially in the accounting profession. In 2014, Susanna was awarded the ‘Outstanding Women Professionals Award’ by the Hong Kong Women Professionals and Entrepreneurs Association. In China, Susanna is appointed by the Chinese Government in the committee of the China People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) of Shanghai Minhang District, and formerly in the Shaanxi Province CPPCC. Susanna has over thirty years of professional experience in business management, corporate governance and operations.

Mr Chris FurnessChris Furness

BA English & History 2005, MA 19th Century Studies 2007

Chris Furness was raised in the Hope Valley in Derbyshire, where he now lives, and attended New Mills Grammar School.

His career was mostly in marketing, sales and exports within the plastics industry. He retired in 2000 to fulfil a long-held ambition to obtain a degree at the University of Sheffield, and to enter local politics. He later gained admission to Oxford University to study English History and graduated with an MSc in 2011 (aged 70).

Chris currently represents his village (Bradwell) on Derbyshire Dales District Council, where he is a member of the Cabinet. Chris is also a Member of the Board of the Peak District National Park.

Alison Gardner (née Muir)Alison Gardner

BA Geography 2007, MSc Sport and Recreation Management 2008

Alison Gardner graduated from the University of Sheffield with a BA in Geography in 2007 and went on to complete a Masters Degree in Sport Management. After graduating, Alison joined the University’s Development and Alumni Relations Office, in September 2008, as Head of Alumni Relations. She spent four years working in both the alumni relations team and also in project fundraising. She worked on the alumni publications, including Your University, and organised events including many overseas in Hong Kong, Japan and Brussels. She was part of the team that launched the Elite Sport Performance Scheme and the programme of community fundraising amongst sports clubs.

In 2012 Alison moved to Sheffield High School in Broomhill to set up a Development and Alumni Relations programme for the school. She also ran, for five years, the Sheffield Varsity 10k with the aim of encouraging alumni from both the University and Sheffield Hallam to return to the city and to represent their former University in the Varsity race.

Alison lives in Sheffield with her husband and young son and is still in touch with many of her friends from University.

Professor Elizabeth Gillott, FCAElizabeth Gillott

BA Accountancy & Financial Management 1971

Elizabeth graduated from Sheffield in Accountancy and Financial Administration in 1971. She qualified as a Chartered Accountant (ICAEW) with Peat Marwick Mitchell & Co., (now part of KPMG). Later she worked in higher education as a lecturer in financial accounting and taxation at Sheffield City Polytechnic (now Sheffield Hallam University); and then as Head of Department, Professor (Emeritus from 2003) and Deputy Director at Newcastle Business School, University of Northumbria. She also served as a Governor of Newcastle College for five years. Since 2003 Elizabeth has been a freelance consultant, based in Buckinghamshire, working with various professional bodies and educational organisations, primarily in the areas of assessment and quality assurance.

Previously Elizabeth has been a member of several University committees including: Court, since 1975; Convocation Executive, from 1978 (Chairman 1987-90); Council, 1987-92; and Selection Committee for the Vice-Chancellorship, 1989-90.

Guilherme GuimarãesGuilherme Guimarães

MSc Sport and Recreation Management 2008

Guilherme Guimarães is an experienced Brazilian sports marketer who focuses his work and research on sponsorship, activation and digital. He finished a Masters in Sport Management at the University of Sheffield in 2008, under the Chevening scholarship programme. A major aspect of his studies looked at the impact of social media in sports.

He has worked in major sports projects, such as the Rio 2016 bid and Olympic Games, Athina Onassis International Horse Show, World Surf League, Brazil 2014 World Cup, etc. Most recently, he led Twitter initiatives for the World Cup and sports in Brazil, and is now running his own consultancy in which he has Coca-Cola and Facebook as clients for the 2016 Olympic Games, as well as the Brazilian Volleyball Governing Body for their digital platforms. He has published a number of papers, the most recent being Brand community, loyalty and promise in, in Sports Business and Management: an International Journal.

Alison HopeAlison Hope

BSc Chemistry 1978

Alison works with organisations including The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, the Marsden Building Society and KPMG LLP. She is also a volunteer with several groups including serving as a trustee for Eureka! The National Children’s Museum, and St. Anne’s Community Services, Leeds. She is also the treasurer for the Hickleton Golf Club, and has a passion for The Arts, Italy, Golf, Running and Skiing.

Alison is the Deputy Chair for the Alumni Board and in August 2017 will join the University Council as a Pro-Chancellor.

Sally JonesSally Jones

MEng Civil and Structural Engineering with Study Abroad 2014

Sally Jones completed her undergraduate degree at the University Sheffield and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is now reading for a PhD in Civil Engineering, focusing on hydrodynamics in drinking water distribution systems. She has presented at two international conferences and plans to pursue a career in academia. Sally’s interests include travelling, being active and baking.

Ms Mina KasherovaMina Kasherova

BA Journalism Studies 2010

Mina Kasherova served as the University of Sheffield Students’ Union International Students’ Officer in 2010-2011, and during this time set up the “Protect International Students’ Rights” campaign. Following her term, she has successfully completed a leadership graduate scheme with Argos, Home Retail Group, and is currently working as a digital development product manager.

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Mrs Claire KilnerClaire Kilner

BSc Anatomy & Cell Biology 1995, MA Journalism Studies 1997

Claire is a double alumna of the University (BSc Anatomy & Cell Biology 1995, MA Journalism Studies 1997) and a former Students’ Union President (1995-96).

Apart from a few years in accountancy, running small businesses and as a full-time Mum, she has spent her career working in Public Relations and Alumni Relations in Higher Education at the Universities of Sheffield, Nottingham and latterly Manchester, where she is currently Deputy Director and Head of Alumni & Donor Communications & Engagement.

Claire sees serving on the Alumni Board as a fabulous way to stay connected to the University and to share her skills and experience for the benefit of today’s students.


Emily KnightsMiss Emily Knights

BA Philosophy 2008, MA Philosophy 2010

Emily completed a degree in Philosophy in 2008 before completing a Master in the same subject. She received scholarships from the Alumni Fund during her study and thoroughly enjoyed her time fundraising as a Student Caller on the telephone campaigns. She worked as a Residential Mentor in the student residences before joining the team full time. In 2011 she moved down to London on the Boots Graduate Scheme and after opening a Store on Oxford Street, she joined Michael Page in retail recruitment. She is keen to give back to the University as she personally knows how much of a difference University Alumni can make to current students.

Dr Keith Layden FRSCKeith Layden

BSc Biochemistry & Chemistry 1981, PhD Chemistry 1985

Dr Keith Layden has worked for Croda International Plc in various technical, operational and general management roles, since being awarded his PhD. He is currently Chief Technology Officer, a Main Board position he has held since 2012. In this capacity Keith is responsible for directing global technical innovation within the organisation, including acquisition. He represents Croda as a member of the advisory board for Chemistry at the Universities of Nottingham and York, and as a member of the Learning and Teaching Committee at the University of Sheffield. He is a member of the Innovation Strategy Board for Chemistry Innovation and the Industrial Biotechnology Leadership Forum. Keith was appointed as a Member of Council of the Royal Society of Chemistry in January 2014

Keith is married with two daughters and has a passion for classic cars, walking in the Peak District, and Rotherham United Football Club.

Professor Claire McGourlayClaire McGourlay

PhD Law 2002

Professor Claire McGourlay joined the School of Law after completing her PhD. She became a senior lecturer in 2008 and was the first person in the Faculty of Social Sciences to be promoted to Professor of Student Education in 2013. In 2008 Claire received a University Senate Award for excellence in learning and teaching, and in 2009 an Award for Excellence in Inquiry Based Learning. In 2014 she won the Academic Award for Employability, and in June 2015 she was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship, the most prestigious award for excellence in higher education.

Claire helps run the School of Law widening participation and is also the senior admissions tutor. She also manages the School of Law’s student-led Miscarriages of Justice Review Centre and co-manages the FreeLaw Legal Clinic. In 2011 Claire was appointed as Faculty Director of Undergraduate Student affairs, and in September 2014 she was appointed to the position of Faculty Director of Teaching Enhancement. In 2012 Claire was made an Academic Fellow of Gray’s Inn.

Martin McKerveyMartin McKervey

LLB Law 1984

Martin is a partner in the Infrastructure, Construction and Energy Group at the international law firm Nabarro LLP. His experience includes litigation, arbitration, adjudication and ADR processes. Martin’s sector expertise includes the construction and engineering of power generation plants, commercial and residential developments, regeneration, infrastructure and manufacturing plants.

Martin is an accredited and practising mediator with ADR Group and is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He is recognised as a leading individual in the legal directories. Legal 500 describe him as “exemplary, pragmatic, available and supportive”. Chambers recommend Martin as an “erudite and personable solicitor” and clients praise him for his “pragmatic, sensible advice, which helps us manage issues which otherwise might lead to litigation”.

Martin is a Private Sector Board Member of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership and sits on the Transport for the North Partnership Board.

Dr Trevor RichardsDr Trevor Richards

BSc Chemistry 1977, PhD Synthetic Organic Chemistry 1983

Dr Trevor Richards began his professional career as an accountant at a manufacturing company in northwest England, where he became closely involved in the implementation of a new financial system. The company subsequently appointed him IT Director, and he went on to implement his first Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) system in 1988.

Since his relocation to the United States in 1990, Trevor has specialised in EDI and E-Business, working for software development companies and system integrators. He joined Oxford Consulting Group in 2000 as E-Business Integration Manager. In 2004 he joined QAD, Inc. (QADI), a global provider of enterprise software and services, as the co-founder of a B2B Global Services Team. After establishing QAD’s B2B Global Services Teams in Europe, Asia and South America, Trevor returned to Oxford Consulting Group, now Lightwell Inc., in 2009. Today he is Chief Technology Officer for Lightwell, managing project implementation teams for business integration customers worldwide.

A former lacrosse player and long-time live music fan, Trevor is a director of the University of Sheffield in America. He lives with his wife Julie in Austin, Texas where he is a member of Black Fret, a public charity dedicated to supporting local musicians, and the Paramount Theatre Centennial committee.

Dr Kathryn Riddle OBE JP DLDr Kathryn Riddle

BA Sociology 1967, LLB Law 1986, HonLittD 2014

Kathryn Riddle is the Chairman of Health Education Yorkshire and Humber. Prior to this she had been the Chairman of Strategic Health Authorities South Yorkshire 1996-2006; Yorkshire and Humber 2006-2011; and North of England 2011-2013. Kathryn served as a member of the University Council from 1983-2013 – as a Pro-Chancellor from 1999-2013 and as Chair of Council from 2005-2013. She was a Law Tutor at the University from 1988-98, served as the High Sheriff of South Yorkshire from 1998-99, and was the Honorary Colonel of Sheffield Universities OTC from 2006-2013. Kathryn is currently a Non-executive Director of The Christie Hospital and is a Patron of St Lukes Hospice in Sheffield.

Dr Tom SlatterDr Tom Slatter

MEng Mechanical Engineering 2004, PhD Mechanical Engineering 2010

Dr Tom Slatter is a lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sheffield. Tom’s teaching activities are in the area of manufacturing and design. He is the Deputy Director of Learning & Teaching for Mechanical Engineering, and in 2012 he was awarded a University Senate Award for Excellence in Learning and Teaching. Tom is also the Deputy Centre Director (Learning & Teaching) for the EPSRC iT-CDT and is the Faculty Advisor for the University’s Formula Student team, ‘Sheffield Formula Racing’. He is also a member of the Leonardo Tribology Centre.

Tom is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), an Associate Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), and serves on the committee of the Yorkshire Centre of the IMechE Automobile Division. He is also a member of the University of Sheffield Senate. Tom continues to be involved in automotive research (his PhD was sponsored by the Ford Advanced Research and Materials Group in Aachen, Germany) and he has ongoing technical advice contracts with Perkins/Caterpillar and McLaren Racing.

Abdi SuleimanAbdi Suleiman

BA Philosophy 2014

Abdi-aziz Suleiman was born in Somalia and came to live in Sheffield aged 3. He completed a BA in Philosophy in 2014. He served as President of the Students’ Union 2012-13 were he launched the ‘Reclaim Your Education’ campaign to resist the marketisation of education and co-launched the award winning ‘#WeAreInternational‘ campaign with the Vice-Chancellor to protect and celebrate international students and staff.

He has also served on the National executive of the National Union of Students, National Youth committee of the Labour party and is a governor of his former secondary school in Sheffield, Silverdale.