Advisory Board

The Northern Power Inclusion Matters project has set up and independent Advisory Board whose members bring a wealth of experience and insight to the project. The Advisory Board meets regularly throughout the entirety of the project, and consist of:


(Chair) Mrs Susan Johnson OBE –Commissioner with the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Since her retirement Susan has been appointed as a Non-Executive Director for the Health and Safety Executive, The Planning Inspectorate and the Sports Ground Safety Authority. Susan also serves as Commissioner with the Equality and Human Rights Commission and has done since 2016.

Susan joined Durham University Council as a lay member in 2010 and served as a member of the Nominations Committee and the Audit Committee. She was also a co-opted lay member of the Diversity and Equality Group.

Susan was Chief Executive at County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service. Her appointment in 2005 meant that she was the first woman and non-uniformed chief executive to lead a Fire and Rescue Service in the United Kingdom.

In 2000, Susan was awarded an OBE for her services to New Deal in the North East, and in 2006 Susan was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the University of Sunderland, the university she holds a first class honours degree in Business Studies from. She was also awarded an MBA from Durham University.


Professor Sarah Sharples – Pro-Vice-Chancellor (PVC) for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Nottingham.

Sarah was President of the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors from 2015-2016, was appointed to the Council of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council in March 2018. She is a member of the Science Advisory Council for the Department for Transport and Non-Executive Director for the Transport Systems Catapult.

After completing a first degree in Psychology, she has spent the majority of her academic career based within the Faculty of Engineering, where she has led a number of research programmes which apply human factors within the domains of Transport, Healthcare and Manufacturing. She continues to teach in the Faculty, delivering a module on Cognitive Ergonomics in Design, and has written the Ergonomics/Human Factors core text ‘Evaluation of Human Work: 4th Edition’, published in 2015.

Sarah is a passionate supporter of equality, diversity and inclusion, having championed one of the first successful Athena SWAN submissions for the School of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering in 2008. She will be working towards ensuring that EDI is embedded in all that we do at the University, and to use her human factors expertise in systems design and evaluation in the development of the new EDI strategy.


Dr Bernadine Idowu-Onibokun – Founder and Chair of the BME Early Career Researcher – How to stay in academia conference, Kings College London.

Bernadine is an award-winning scientist and was awarded the Roger Cotton Prize (10,000 Euros) for the best paper in the Histopathology Journal in 2007. She currently lectures on the Intercalated BSc Regenerative Medical Course at the King’s College London Dental Institute. She is a personal tutor and a Diversity & Inclusion Champion. Bernadine is a STEM ambassador and mentors Black Minority & Ethnic (BME) students, especially females who wish to pursue a career in science. She chairs a committee for the BME Early Career Researchers – How to Stay in Academia, conference, which will be in its third year (April 2019).

She is a Philanthropist having founded the registered charity Youth Against Crime not Crime Against You (YACnCAY) in 2010. The charity organises peer mentoring to young people in underprivileged schools, who are paired with University students. This mentoring relationship assists pupils to make positive choices in their lives and helps them to fulfil their full potential.


Cheryl Millington – Non Executive Director of Atom Bank Plc, Intu Properties and Equiniti.

Cheryl has over 25 years of experience leading business transformation, with digital, commercial, sales, marketing and operational experience in a wide range of industries, including retailing, banking and energy. One of her responsibilities includes managing a turnover of £27bn. She spent five years at HBOS plc (now Lloyds Banking Group) in a number of roles, including Director of Group Programmes and Managing Director, Retail Branch Network. She also served as a member of Wal-Mart’s Global IT Executive Board. Cheryl has worked as a Chief Digital Officer for Travis Perkins plc and had previous Chief Digital and Data Officer roles at Waitrose and Asda.

Atom Bank was founded in 2014 and is built exclusively for mobile. The bank offers fixed rate savings products, retail mortgages and business banking secured loans. It has deposits of £1.4bn, loans of £1.2bn, 34,000 customers and 310 employees. Member of Group Risk Committee and Group Remuneration and Nominations Committee.

Intu is a developer, owner and manager of prime regional shopping centres, 17 in the UK (including Trafford Centre and Lakeside) and 3 in Spain. The group also has an important growing digital and online presence. They are a constituent of the FTSE250 with a market cap of £1.44bn and revenue of £616m. Member of Remuneration, Audit and Nomination & Review committees.

Equiniti is a specialist technology outsourcer providing non-discretionary payment and regulated administration services, including share registration services, pension administration and digital solutions for corporate and retail customers. Equiniti is a member of the FTSE250 with revenue of £500m, EBITDA of £120m and 4,500 employees. Member of the Group Risk Committee and Group Audit Committee.


Professor Patrik Öhberg – Head of Photonics and Quantum Sciences Research Institute at Heriot-Watt University.

Patrik Öhberg joined Heriot-Watt in 2006 as a Lecturer in Physics. He obtained his PhD in 1998 from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. He has held research positions at the Leibniz University in Hannover, Germany, at St Andrews University in Scotland, and a Royal Society of Edinburgh Research Fellowship in the Department of Physics at Strathclyde University in Glasgow. Since 2014 he is a Professor in Physics at Heriot-Watt University.

Patrik has also been involved in Heriot-Watt’s Athena Swan applications for a number of years.


Professor Claire Warwick – Pro-Vice-Chancellor (PVC) (Research) at Durham University.

Claire leads on the University’s Research Excellence Framework (REF) submission, chairs the Research Committee and has responsibility for Research Institutes, Knowledge Exchange and Research and Innovation Services at Durham University.

Claire joined Durham University in September 2014, having previously served as Professor of Digital Humanities at University College London (UCL). Also while at UCL, she served as Vice-Dean Research for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Director and Co-Director of the Centre for Digital Humanities and Head of the Department of Information Studies. She served as Graduate Tutor for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and Deputy Director and Head of Training of the London Arts and Humanities Partnership. Previously Claire was a Lecturer in the Department of Information Studies at Sheffield University. Claire is the Chair of the Russell Group’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research Committee. She is a member of the advisory board for CLARIN, DARIAH-DE, the Russell Group’s EU Advisory Group and the Conseil Scientifique du Campus Condorcet in Paris.

Claire’s research is concerned with the way that digital resources are used in the humanities and cultural heritage; the use of social media in these areas; and in reading behaviour in physical and digital spaces.


Professor Dorothy Monekosso – Director of Research at Leeds Beckett University (School of Computing, Creative Technologies & Engineering)

Dorothy holds a PhD in Space Systems Autonomy (autonomous spacecraft) from the Surrey Space Centre, a Master’s in Satellite Engineering and Bachelor in Electronic Engineering. Her research interests are building Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) systems, Intelligent Environments (smart homes), and Assistive Robotics. Specifically, she conducts research into sensor data analytics and decision support systems; applying machine learning techniques to human activity recognition, behaviour analysis and automated sensor failure detection and recovery.

Dorothy began her career in space technology R&D at Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, developing on-board computers and control systems for spacecraft. She became interested in Artificial Intelligence during her PhD (2000) research at the Surrey Space Centre, applying machine learning methods and techniques to autonomous spacecraft. On the basis of this work, she was awarded a Royal Academy of Engineering, Engineering Foresight Award and spent a year at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena California.

Much of her work is in the healthcare domain developing ICT-based ‘intelligent’ systems to enable people living with dementia to remain longer at home and to support the rehabilitation of Stroke survivors.


Professor Jeremy Sanders CBE FRS – Emeritus Professor and Diversity Champion at the University of Cambridge.

Professor Jeremy Sanders graduated from Imperial College London in 1969 and in 1972 he completed his PhD in Chemistry at The University of Cambridge. He served as a Professor of Chemistry at Cambridge for nearly 20 years, was Head of the Chemistry Department, became Deputy Vice-Chancellor, and was then Head of School for Physical Sciences. Between the years of 2011-2015 Jeremy was Pro-Vice Chancellor for Institutional Affairs at Cambridge.

He is recognised for his work in supramolecular chemistry and has been at the forefront of developing dynamic covalent chemistry and the closely related dynamic combinatorial chemistry. For his work on dynamic covalent chemistry, in 2009 he received the Davy Medal, an award given for an ‘outstandingly important recent discovery in any branch of chemistry’. His research group ‘Sanders Group’ at the University of Cambridge, focuses on molecular recognition.

Currently Jeremy is a council member for Imperial College London, is Editor-in-Chief for the Royal Society Open Science and is the Chair for the Athena Swan Forum. Jeremy also serves on the International Advisory Board for Gender Equality at the Southern Denmark University in Aarhus.


Dr. Javad Yazdani – Senior Lecturer in School of Engineering at University of Central Lancashire

Dr. Javad Yazdani began his career in Marine Engineering with British Petroleum (BP) after a number of years sea-going experience which then led him to become Chief Engineer Officer. Javad joined National Nuclear Corporation (NNC) as a Mechanical/Electrical Commissioning Engineer working at Heysham II Nuclear Power Station. Javad’s previous experience includes Rolls Royce Nuclear Engineering where he was seconded to work for British Energy at Heysham II Nuclear Power Station, British Nuclear Fuel Limited (BNFL) at Sellafield’s “Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant” (THORP) and on “Magnox Encapsulation Plant” (EP1) and Filtration plants, as well as Heysham I Nuclear Power Station commissioning “Vertical Fuel Built Facility”.

Javad completed his formal education at Lancaster University. He was awarded a PhD in Digital Communications Systems researching in “High Frequency Digital Power Line Transmission for Terrestrial and Marine Networks”, MSc in Digital Signal Processing and its Applications and BEng and MEng Honours degrees in Mechatronics Engineering.

Currently, Javad is leading the Powerline Research Group that began at Lancaster University in 1995, his niche research area is well known internationally for the excellence of his research.


Dr Derek Alan Wann – Senior Lecturer in Department of Chemistry at University of York.

Dr Derek Wann received his MChem from the University of Edinburgh in 2002, having spent his penultimate year in a laboratory at the University of Stuttgart in Germany. Derek stayed at Edinburgh to undertake a PhD in the field of gas electron diffraction and, after completing that in 2005, managed an EPSRC service providing gas-phase structures to UK researchers. He was awarded an EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellowship in 2010, and in 2013 was appointed to Lecturer, in the department of Physical Chemistry at the University of York. In 2014 Derek was awarded a membership on the American Chemical Society.

Derek’s interests lie within diffraction techniques. His research uses electron diffraction as a probe to study the structures of chemical species undergoing changes that occur on a variety of timescales. Diffraction techniques can directly give us information such as the geometry that a molecule adopts, whether that geometry changes depending on the physical state of the substance, and what products are yielded when two or more molecules react. Derek’s research involves determining molecular structure, often in the gas phase, with increasing focus on structures that are evolving over time.