Speakers

Friday 14 July 2023 9am – 4.30pm

We're pleased to announce our speakers for the TILE conference. 

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About our speakers

Keynote: Sarah Knight

Sarah Knight is Head of Learning and Teaching Transformation within the higher education and research directorate at Jisc and is taking forward the outcomes of Jisc’s learning and teaching reimagined initiative by supporting universities with their digital transformation of learning, teaching and assessment. Sarah established the Jisc student experience experts group, an active community which provides valuable consultation and dissemination opportunities for Jisc. Sarah continues to champion Jisc’s change agents’ network: to support staff-student partnership working on technology enhanced curriculum projects. During her time at Jisc, Sarah has led large transformation projects on curriculum design, digital capabilities and learners’ experiences of technology. 

Sarah Knight

Emeritus Professor Dr. Lorna Uden 

 Prof. Lorna Uden is Emeritus Professor of IT systems in the school of Computing, Faculty of Computing and Digital Technologies at Staffordshire University. She has published widely in conferences, journals, chapters of books and workshops. She co-authored the book, ‘Technology and Problem - Based Learning’, published by IGI publishers. Professor Uden travels round the world to give workshops in Problem Based Learning and Research seminars. She is on the editorial board of several international journals. She is founder and editor in chief of the International Journal of Web Engineering and Technology (IJWET) and the International Journal of Learning Technology (IJLT), published by Inderscience, UK. Professor Uden is also visiting professor to many universities in different countries giving talks in many different areas especially in learning, teaching, and research. She is also keynote speaker at many international conferences.  
Dr. Lorna Uden

Nik Perring 

Nik Perring is an author and educator. He’s published six books and written award-winning short stories and screenplays. Nik’s taught writing internationally for almost two decades – in schools, libraries, universities, to teachers, and at the BBC – opening the door to writing to thousands of young people, mentoring many to national awards (including the BBC Young Writer Award). He’s worked with UNICEF, Arvon, was Writer in Residence for Sheffield (UK) libraries, and Never Such Innocence. 

Image of Nik Perring

Mary Jacob 

Mary Jacob is a Lecturer in Learning and Teaching and member of the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit (LTEU) at Aberystwyth University. Her professional qualifications include SFHEA, PGCTHE, and CMALT. Since December 2017, she has led the Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education (PGCTHE) programme and contributes to the ARCHE scheme for Fellowship in Advance HE. From 2006-2017, she served as E-learning Advisor at Aberystwyth University. She was lecturer in Chinese language and literature at University of California at Davis from 1998-2005. The constant element throughout her career is a passion for pedagogy. She is an advocate of active learning, inclusive teaching, evidence-based teaching, and working with students as partners. She frequently presents at HE sector events and contributes to Tweet chats such as #LTHEchat as @MaryJacobTEL1. She compiles the  of resources to help staff teach effectively, including webinars, podcasts, online toolkits, publications and more. 
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Andrew Barker 

Andy Barker is a Director of Teaching, Learning and Assessment at The City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College. He has worked within a range of 11-18 institutions during the last 20 years as Head of department, Assistant Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher. Andy has a passion for teaching, learning and CPD leadership alongside a dedication of teaching Geography. Andy is a former graduate of Staffordshire University. 
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Jodie Heap  

Jodie Heap is an Academic Librarian and Skills Tutor with a keen interest in information literacy, digital literacy, and gamification, dedicated to empowering students and educators by providing engaging and effective learning experiences in navigating information, technology, and fostering digital citizenship through the integration of game elements. 
Jodie Heap

Adele Cushing 


Islam Abohela

Islam Abohela is the Architecture Course Leader at Staffordshire University with a keen interest in Architectural knowledge acquisition through extracurricular activities as well as exploring the pedagogy of integrating live projects and real clients in the Design Studio. Hisresearch interests focus on investigating the relationship between film and architecture, implementing simulation tools in understanding building physics, energy performance in buildings, retrofitting micro renewable sources of energy in urban areas and effect of behavioural interventions on energy consumption in buildings. 

Islam Abohela

Sean Wheatley 

Sean Wheatley is an health service lecturer at Staffordshire University with a keen interest in digital technologies and simulation.

John Wheeler 

Dr John Wheeler is Associate Dean of the School of Justice, Security and Sustainability and SFHEA. His interests lie in the interface between academia and the workplace, and the ways in which each can influence, inform and stimulate the other.  He has established academia-employer collaborations to facilitate workplace and work-based learning and is currently evaluating support processes and mechanisms for students undertaking apprenticeships in a range of sectors. 
John wheeler

Tina Allen


Lisa Bach

Lisa is the Communities Engagement Manager at Staffordshire University. Lisa is part of the Student Recruitment, Admissions and Partnerships team at Staffordshire University and is involved in the development and delivery of the outreach strategy for pre-16 and primary pupils in the region including Staffordshire Children's University. 

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Scott Walker

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Scott (Photo ID Photo)

Philip Cooke

Philip Cooke is an Esports Lecturer and Level 4 Lead. He is joined by Ross Wilson. They have a keen interest of gamification and wonder-learning, with a focus on engagement, creativity and development of methodology. 

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Ross Wilson

Ross Wilson is an Esports Lecturer and Level 5 Lead.
Ross Wilson

Kathryn Mitchell


Mohammad Ali Wasim


Nick Heywood

Nick Heywood is a Planning Administrative Assistant and has a keen interest in incorporating valuable and innovative educational experiences with a focus on inclusion and disability. He is also a Business Inclusion Consultant and is a former Innovation Advisor for Staffordshire University's Pathfinder project. 

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Sam Lau 

Sam Lau is a Principal Lecturer at Hong Kong Baptist University. Having nearly 20 years’ experience in higher education, Sam has a keen interest in technology-based, active learning strategies. Sam's interests also lie in learning design, experiential learning, collaborative virtual exchange learning, cross-cultural competence, career development, and teaching pedagogical development. His outstanding contribution to teaching and learning has been recognized by Dean's Recognition for Teaching Achievement. He has also been recognized as a Fellow of Higher Education Academy (HEA) in 2018.  

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Swati Virmani 

Swati is a Senior Lecturer in Economics, and Deputy Director for the Doctor of Business Administration programme at De Montfort University, UK. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and has previously worked at Universities of Manchester, Lancaster and Huddersfield. Her research aims to bridge the gap between academia and industry, focusing on AI and its impact on professions, building inclusive smart cities, and digital strategy building within the Higher Education. As an educator, Swati is keen to design effective pedagogy approaches to help graduates navigate responsibly through the new technology driven landscape. Her work centres around staff and students’ skill development, aiming to build teaching strategies and education standards that embrace the use of AI, in particular Large Language Models.   

Swati Virmani

Dan Herron

Dan Herron is a Senior Lecturer of Psychology at Staffordshire University and has a keen interest in collaborative projects for applied learning that support the local area. He is joined by his colleague, Dr Birney. Dr Megan Birney is a social psychologist interested in identity processes, intergroup contact, communication, social stigma, obedience, and social exclusion and loves teaching about how these theories can be applied to real-world problems in society.

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Megan Birney


Sarah Rhodes

Sarah Rhodes is an Academic Developer at Staffordshire University and has a keen interest in what defines professional identity and the impact of elements such as induction and how we identify ‘belonging’. 

Most recent research:

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John Hendy 

John Hendy is the Head of Digital Pedagogies at Staffordshire University , including the Teaching Innovation and Learning Enhancement (TILE) Hub. His main focuses are around digital pedagogies, distance learning, AI and digital transformation. 

Anthony Hadley 

Anthony is part of the Voice Team at Staffordshire University Students' Union, who are collectively responsible for supporting both academic and demographic representation, advocacy, governance and democracy, handling informal student complaints, training and coordinating a 500-strong team of student volunteers, and equipping and supporting elected representatives to become effective politicians. He puts the dusty systems design and programming knowledge earned as a game designer and ludology PhD candidate to use as the team's go-to infrastructure guy. He's also a proud ADHD advocate, and writes fiction and makes music and video games in his spare time. 

Anthony Hadley

Anshul Lau

I currently serve as the Team Lead at the Teaching Innovation and Learning Enhancement (TILE) Hub at Staffordshire University, focusing on enhancing digital learning ecosystems. My work encompasses aligning digital services with university goals, managing a team, and improving services through collaboration with diverse stakeholders. I've led several projects across Higher and Further Education institutions, from inception to implementation. 

Holding an MSc in Digital Education from the University of Edinburgh, I'm a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Certified Member of the Association for Learning Technology. As a certified Lego Serious Play Facilitator, I encourage creative problem-solving and collaboration. Currently, I'm pursuing a Data Science and AI Educators programme at the Alan Turing Institute. My mission as a creative technology and education leader is to continuously improve the student learning experience through innovative digital learning practices. 

Anshul Lau

Ethan Butler

Ethan Butler is a Customer Success Manager at Vevox, the #1 rated student polling and Q&A platform. Ethan is responsible for the success of Vevox across numerous institutions worldwide, including at the University of Staffordshire!

Ethan Butler
in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021