LJMU governors enjoyed a “terrific day” at Byrom Street as guests of the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Engineering and Technology.
It was a timely update to the board’s working knowledge of STEM at LJMU after a quartet of leading businesspeople joined as new governors in December. They are Debbie Francis OBE, Damian Waters, Liam Kelly and Paula Basnett all of whom bring a wealth of industry experience and outstanding leadership qualities.
Pro Vice-Chancellors Professor Laura Bishop and Professor Ndy Ekere and their teams introduced them to some of the heritage, highlights and future plans of the faculties as they progress towards the objectives of the Strategic Plan 2023 - 30.
The governors were given tours of teaching facilities and research laboratories, met students and staff and gained an insight into the impressive concentration of activities at Byrom St.
On the tours they saw the Smart Homes, LIVE Lab, Conservation AI, Ship Simulator, Formula Student, Stair Climbing Lab, Flood Modelling and drone technology and more as well as seeing students conduct a cycling and nutrition experiment.
Chair of Governors Mike Parker said: “I’m sure I speak on behalf of the whole Board when I say it was a terrific day. We have learned a lot and seen some impressive ideas and innovations which are already making an impact on the world.”
The governors also recently enjoyed a fact-finding tour of the Faculty of Arts Professional and Social Studies.
Who are our new governors?
Debbie Francis OBE is currently Chair of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and formerly Managing Director of Direct Rail Services and a Commercial Director of Network Rail. A graduate of LJMU, she is a Chartered Director and Fellow of the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants.
Damian Waters is Director of the Confederation of British industry (North West) and is or has been a member of the Liverpool City Region Skills Commission, the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation, United Utilities Customer Challenge Board, the Nuclear Network North and Gordon Brown’s Joint Economic Council for the North West. For ten years he was Chair of Governors of Britain’s largest primary school and is believes “education is the best strategy for growth”. In his spare time Damian runs his own nature photography business.
Liam Kelly is CEO of Make CIC, a regional social enterprise and a non-executive director of Magenta Living, the community housing association. He was chair of the Baltic Triangle Area CIC for five years and a commissioner for the LCR Metro Mayor on the LCR Town Centres Commission and the LCR Land Commission. He has also worked as a coaching and development manager for Ultimate Frisbee.
Paula Basnett is Chief Executive of Wirral Chamber of Commerce and a former investment manager at Wirral Borough Council. She has extensive experience in supporting business development and developing services and support which encourage growth and economic prosperity. She is also a strong advocate of women in business leadership.