Main Speakers

Annmarie Hanlon – Academic and Practitioner in Digital Marketing
Annmarie is an academic and practitioner in digital marketing strategy and the application of social media for business.Originally a graduate in French and Linguistics from University of London, Annmarie gained a Master’s in Business Administration, focusing on marketing planning. She studied for the Chartered Institute of Marketing Diploma for which she won the Worshipful Company of Marketors’ award for the best results worldwide. She subsequently gained a distinction for the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s E-Marketing Award and her PhD investigated social media marketing within organisations and she was awarded the Mais Scholarship. As Course Leader for Social Media Management on the International Executive MBA programme at the University of St Gallen, she planned, designed and delivered this intensive elective course.


Gorkem Memisoglu – MSCA postdoctoral Fellow 
Gorkem is an experimental Physicist and MSCA Postdoctoral Fellow in project MULTIPLY, currently on secondment at Aston University from Universidad del País Vasco. Gorkem received her PhD in 2015 for her work on hybrid UV-A photodetector preparation and characterization. Having worked in industry for 6 years Gorkem is the inventor or co-inventor of 58 patent applications in both Europe and the US in a wide range of areas, including photonics, optoelectronic devices and consumer electronics.


Michal Parker – Editor of “The Conversation” UK

Michael is a news and features journalist with more than 12 years’ experience covering everything from crime to culture for British newspapers and magazines, formerly Associate Editor at The Big Issue in London for three years before leaving to write travel guides in the US. Prior to entering journalism Michael worked in technology as a systems administrator, and he retains interests in Linux and open source software, digital rights, privacy and surveillance.
Marc Smith – Executive Director of Business Engagement at Aston University
Mark Smith is Aston University’s first-ever Executive Director of Business Engagement. Mark joined Aston from Birmingham City University where he was Director of Enterprise and Employability. His career has involved working across government, regeneration and online education taking on big projects including establishing new airports and fostering enterprise in inner-city areas. Mark takes strategic responsibility for all business engagement activities at the University and showcases the commercial benefits of working with Aston to business, professional and public sector organisations. This includes Aston’s business growth programmes, student placements, knowledge transfer partnerships (KTPs), and other initiatives.
Rachel Won – Internal Editor Nature Photonics
Rachel joined Nature Photonics in June 2006 from Aston University’s Business Partnership Unit in Birmingham, UK where she worked as a Medici Fellow commercializing photonics research. She obtained her PhD in optical fibre sensing, microwave photonics and fibre nonlinearities as a member of Aston’s Photonics Research Group. Prior to that, Rachel worked for Philips Optical Storage in Singapore as an Optics Engineer. She holds a Master’s degree from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and a Bachelor’s degree from the National University of Malaysia. Rachel is based in London.
Malcom Horne – Open Access and Research Repository Specialist at Aston University
Malcolm works as an Open Access and Research Repository Specialist at Aston University. His previous roles include Information Specialist at Aston University and Academic Support Librarian at the  University of Warwick.
Srikanth Sugavanam – Post-doctoral Research/EU Project Manager at Aston University
Srikanth Sugavanam is a post-doctoral research scientist/EU Project Manager with the Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies (AIPT), Aston University, He completed his PhD in 2015 from the AIPT under Prof. Sergei Turitsyn, specializing in the area of real-time intensity and spectral measurements of fibre laser dynamics. He has also worked in the area of optical metamaterials, Raman fibre lasers, and random fibre lasers. His contributions have been featured in several international journals, including Nature Photonics and Nature Communications. Apart from actively pursuing research, Srikanth is fulfilling the role of Programme Manager for the Marie S.-  Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship programme, MULTIPLY, co-ordinated by Aston University.
Richard Fallon – Marketing Engineer
Richard gained his Ph.D. in Electronic Engineering from Aston University in 1998.  He went on to work for British Airways as part of their Business Analyst graduate scheme.  In this role, Richard acted as a consultant between the delivery parts of the business and the IT department.  He was responsible for putting business cases together and translating customer’s needs into IT requirements and developing new business processes to enable the new system to be efficiently used.  While at BA, he became a Qualified Facilitator with the International Association of Facilitators. He then worked at a senior BA level for npower before starting his own business in 2004.  Since 2005, he has helped UCB students develop employability skills, has worked with BSEEN and NCGE graduate entrepreneurs and spoke numerous times at BCU.  He has also delivered the Chartered Management Institute’s Level 4 Diploma in Management to numerous companies in Birmingham.