Team

Prof Graeme Evans

Director

As the BFTT 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. He is currently Professor in Creative and Cultural Economy at University of the Arts London.

 

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Prof Jane Harris

Deputy Director

As the BFTT 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. She is currently Director of Research and Innovation (Stratford) and Professor of Digital Design & Innovation at University of the Arts London.

 

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Prof Tracy Bhamra

Co-Director

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
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Prof Susanne Kuechler

Co-Director

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
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Dr Alessandra Vecchi

Co-Investigator

Alessandra is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Management at the University of Bologna in Italy where she has held a Marie Curie Fellowship from 2012 to 2018 and works as a Senior Research Fellow at London College of Fashion at the University of London Arts in the UK. Among other areas, her 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. Core skills and competences include:

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

Co-Investigator

Founder and director of the Centre for Sustainable Fashion at the University of the Arts London, 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:

  • Fashion Design for Sustainability methods and practices for designers
  • Fashion Design for Sustainability teaching and learning frameworks
  • Sustainability thought leadership
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Prof Steve Evans

Co-Investigator

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
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Dr Kate Goldsworthy

Co-Investigator

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

 

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Dr Veronika Kapsali

Co-Investigator

Veronika is a Reader in Material Technology and Design at LCF where she is developing novel biomimetic approaches to design and innovation of Active Material Systems within the textile industry that intersect biology, material engineering and textile design. Veronika is an LCF graduate who was awarded a PhD scholarship to study engineering design at Bath University. Her practice intersects academic and manufacturing sectors both within her role as Reader and as co-director of MMT Textiles Limited and inventor of INOTEK TM (an award winning biomimetic textile platform that draws on ambient moisture to trigger reversible mechanical changes in the fabric structure, typically for advanced moisture and insulation management). Veronika is also a bestselling author in industrial design and consults extensively with private and public organisations in material science, textile technology, functional apparel and fashiontech. 

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Dr Richard Blackburn

Co-Investigator

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
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Prof James Busfield

Co-Investigator

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. 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
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Sue Bagwell in images

Sue Bagwell

Project Evaluator

Sue specialises in research on small business policy and practice. Key areas have included ethnic minority, migrant and refugee enterprise, the fast food sector, and creative industries.  Her experience includes over 20 years of evaluating a range of programmes and projects for the European Commission, central and local UK government, Research Councils, academic institutions, the private and not for profit sector. She is competent in the use of both qualitative and quantitative methodologies and believes in working with organisations to identify what has worked well and why, and to identify the lessons learnt that can help inform future practice. Her studies have frequently incorporated the development of policy documents and toolkits designed to provide practitioners with practical support in tackling complex issues.

 

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Yanina Aubrey

Yanina Aubrey

Creative R&D Programme Manager

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
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Dr Arantxa Echarte

Innovation Manager

Arantxa is an academic and professional with more than ten years experience in arts and management. She is a Chartered Manager since 2013 and a specialist in a wide range of artistic disciplines. Since her experience as a KTP Associate of the first Fine Art KTP in the UK – Acme Studios and Central Saint Martins (2010-13) – she specialised in investigating and developing art related notions of Research, Development and Innovation for sectors such as HEI and the charity sector. Before joining UAL as an Innovation Manager, Arantxa was Research and Knowledge Exchange Officer at the Royal College of Art. Core skills and competences include:

  • Strategic research and project management
  • Knowledge of Research, Development and Innovation within the Arts and the Creative sector
  • Cross-sector partnerships and network building
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Jack Connor in image

Jack Connors

Innovation Manager

Jack has developed and delivered innovation programmes across the sustainability, fashion and automotive, health and wellbeing sectors – working across business, government, higher education and third sector organisations to deliver innovative approaches to sustainable development throughout the UK and beyond. As Innovation Manager at UAL, Jack is now identifying new opportunities that enable a sustainable fashion and textiles industry fit for the future. Core skills and competencies include:

  • SME development
  • Cross sector partnerships
  • Programme development and management
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Salah ud Din

Salah ud Din

Project Support Coordinator

Salah has over three years of experience working in Higher Education setting. Salah had previously worked at the LSE as an administrator in various roles focused on student services, research centre support, finance administration, organisation of events and dealing with Estates and IT.

Salah has a degree in Textile Design and a graduate of Central Saint Martins, UAL, specialising in woven textiles. Salah is also working from his London based studio as a freelance designer.

Core skills and competencies include:

  • Woven textiles, research to sample development
  • Finance administration
  • Research projects support
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Luigi Galimberti

Project Manager

Luigi has nine years of experience in managing complex research, training and capacity building projects internationally. Before joining University of the Arts London, Luigi was Research Manager at Tate, where he managed projects funded by the AHRC and the EU Horizon 2020 Programme. 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. He is a Non-executive Director at Res Artis Foundation, the world’s largest network of artist residencies.  Core skills and competences include:

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