Team

Director: Professor Graeme Evans

As the FTT Partnership Director, Graeme draws on over 40 years experience in project management in international industry working for UK and US as director of a design consultancy and cultural facility; and as a leading research and policy expert on the creative industries in UK and Dutch universities. He has led over 30 research projects for Research Councils, UK government, the European Commission, cultural agencies and industry/trade bodies. In his role as a research centre and institute director, he has attracted over £25m in R&D funding. This has included leading large research consortia working on themes such as city growth, electric vehicles, sustainable design, rapid prototyping and digital clusters (e.g. Digital Shoreditch/Tech City). Graeme regularly advises the UK Culture Ministry and other agencies, as well as overseas cultural and economic ministries (e.g. OECD) on creative city and industries strategy, including programme evaluation and investment appraisal. He has held chairs/professorships in Design at both Brunel and Middlesex Universities, specialising in sustainable/urban design and innovation.

Deputy Director: Professor Jane Harris

As the FTT Partnership Deputy Director, Jane draws upon
over 20 years experience in transdisciplinary research, with a background in
textile design and extensive experience of computer graphic imaging. Jane
devised novel approaches to the digital representation of dress and textiles,
with a track record of leading collaborative industry and academic research and
development initiatives, involving a wide range of creative industry practitioners.
Jane’s experience includes board-level representation in sector-leading
organisations such as the Victoria & Albert Museum and advisory roles for
the EU, EPSRC, AHRC and Arts Foundation. Core skills and competences include:

  • Computer graphic imaging for fashion and textiles
  • Design research in digital cultures
  • Knowledge Transfer Partnership development

Co-Director: Professor Tracy Bhamra

Tracy is a University leader with a mission to integrate enterprise into all aspects of academic work, and with extensive experience of developing and implementing strategies with attention to fairness, accountability and empowerment.  Tracy’s role includes working with internal and external stakeholders up to Government Ministerial level. Alongside her leadership responsibilities, she is also Professor of Sustainable Design and therefore holds a strong interest for effecting change within an industry expressing increasing commitment to sustainable practice. Core skills and competencies include:

  • Leadership and project direction
  • Sustainable design consultancy
  • Knowledge Transfer Partnership development

Co-Director: Professor Susanne Kuechler

Susanne’s extensive experience and expertise in material cultural studies includes working with a wide range of industrial partners, and understanding the opportunities represented by, and innovating with, alternative materials. An anthropologist of international renown, Susanne leads a forward-thinking Department at UCL, which consciously seeks to bring anthropological insights to bear on contemporary industrial challenges.  Susanne has led large-scale RCUK, EU Commission and consultancy projects with businesses seeking to understand the cultural impacts of their practice. Core skills and competences include:

  • Uptake and acceptance of new material innovations
  • Culture and commerce
  • Ethnographic research

Project Manager: Luigi Galimberti

Luigi has nine years of experience in managing complex research, training and capacity building projects internationally. Before joining UAL, Luigi was Research Manager at Tate, where he managed projects funded by the AHRC and the EU Horizon 2020. Luigi is a Chartered Manager (CMgr MCMI), and holds PRINCE2 Foundation, Practitioner and Agile Practitioner qualifications. He has degrees in sociology and management for the arts and culture. Since 2017, he is a Board Member (Non-executive Director) of the Res Artis Foundation, the world’s largest network of artist residencies. He is currently a member of the British Library Research Affiliate network.  Core skills and competences include:

  • Research and project management
  • Cross-sector partnerships and network building
  • Creative industries advisory

Business Programme Manager:
Yanina Aubrey

Yanina is a strategist, entrepreneur, senior researcher and experienced project leader. She has led projects ranging from fashion business strategy and policy to qualitative and quantitative consulting for FMCGs. During the last eight years, her work has focused on industry-academia strategic collaborations, where she has applied her expertise on start-ups, sustainability and innovation strategies within the fashion sector. She has been a lecturer and speaker at venues around the world and is an academic at the Centre for Sustainable Fashion. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA). Core skills and competences include:

  • Strategic programme management
  • Sustainable innovation within the fashion industry
  • Industry-academia knowledge exchange & innovation  

Dr Alessandra Vecchi (UAL)

My research operates at the intersection of
international business and fashion, with a focus on the internationalization of
fashion businesses, brand acquisition and the influence of disruptive
technologies on fashion and textile companies. I also hold a Marie Curie Fellowship
at the University of Bologna, and have a background in consultancy for UN
bodies. Core skills and competences include:

  • Fashion business and management
  • Mixed-methods business research
  • International partnership building

Professor Dilys Williams
(UAL)

Founder and director of the Centre for Sustainable
Fashion, the internationally renowned research, policy and education centre
focusing on sustainability issues as these intersect with the fashion industry.
A regular contributor to national and international press, central to my
philosophy is the applicability of research findings to industry stakeholders
in practice settings. Testament to this approach are my positions on the
Observer Ethical Awards judging panel and as Co-secretariat to the House of
Lords All Party Parliamentary Group on Fashion, Sustainability and Ethics. Core
skills and competences include:

  • Sustainable business consultancy for FTT
  • CPD development
  • Sustainability thought leadership

Dr Kate Goldsworthy (UAL)

Kate is Co-Director of the Centre for Circular Design at UAL, a world-leading research centre using practice research to innovate, steer and support circular economies and communities around the globe. Kate’s design research operates at the intersection of materials science with design and sustainability principles. As industry and Governments raise the priority of sustainable business, Kate has undertaken a range of industrial consultancy projects for fashion and textiles organisations including Worn Again Technologies Ltd, Filippa K, VF Corporation and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Core skills and competences include:

  • Laser finishing for fashion and textiles
  • Circular economy and circular design research
  • Sustainable business consultancy in the fashion sector

Dr Veronika Kapsali (UAL)

Veronika’s research unites insights from fashion and
textile design realms, with expertise in material engineering, and a particular
interest in biomimetic approaches to textile innovation. In addition to her
academic role, Veronika runs her own business, through which she has invented,
patented and launched INOTEKTM, a biomimetic fibre-based technology
to control moisture. Veronika has consulted for Unilever and the US and UK
Military, working in collaboration with industry to solve challenges through
R&D. Core skills and competences include:

  • Materials engineering
  • Biomimetic design
  • Consultancy on textile design

Professor James Busfield
(QMUL)

James’s primary research interests lie in the functional
properties of soft materials, with particular focus on elastomers, including
the design of smart textiles (smart-strain sensing or colour-changing flexible
fibres), and the recycling of elastomers. Prior to joining QMUL, James designed
suspension components for companies such as Jaguar Land Rover, Volvo and
Mercedes. Consequently the majority of his research is undertaken in close
collaboration with industry, as demonstrated by industry-funded PhD students
and research projects with companies such as Jaguar Land Rover, Hyundai and
Schlumberger Oilfield. James also maintains an interest in innovation with
teaching at FE and HE level, especially incorporating industrial placements to
improve graduate employability. Core skills and competences include:

  • Soft matter engineering
  • Smart materials
  • Industrial research degree design

Dr Richard Blackburn (Leeds
University)

Richard is a chemist with a passion for textile science;
all his research is undertaken in partnership with industry and with a strong
sustainability lens. His vision is for a future where alternative materials
match the performance of traditional synthetic or unsustainable natural fibres.
Richard’s experience includes developing alternative fibres for textiles, from
sourcing raw material to processing and finishing. Core skills and competences
include:

  • Alternative materials development
  • Sustainable dyeing and coloration for textiles
  • Contract chemistry research

Professor Steve Evans
(Cambridge University)

Following a career in the aerospace industry, and as
Engineering Systems Manager at Martin-Baker Engineering – the world’s leading
manufacturer of ejection seats, Steve transitioned to researching and
developing sustainable solutions for industrial manufacturing. Since joining
the University of Cambridge as Director of the Centre for Industrial
Sustainability, he has led over £15m-worth of academic-industry collaborative
projects with partners including Unilever, Toyota, Dyson, Airbus, M&S, JLR,
ASICS, Hugo Boss, Brandix and ASDA. Core skills and competences include:

  • Sustainable business consultancy for manufacturing
  • Toolkit development
  • Industrial collaboration