Professional Services Forum

Read short biographies for each director in Professional Services, along with links to full profiles and their professional service area.

Professional Services leadership team


Executive Director of Corporate Services

Heidi Fraser-KraussHeidi-Fraser-Krauss

Heidi joined the University on 1 August 2020 as Executive Director of Corporate Services. She joined us from the University of York where she was Deputy Registrar and Director of Corporate and Information Services.

As Executive Director of Corporate Services here at Sheffield, Heidi will be tasked with providing leadership to all corporate service departments, including Estates and Facilities Management, Human Resources, Corporate Communications, IT Services, Events, Campaigns and Alumni Relations, Health and Safety, Sport Sheffield and the Vice-Chancellor’s Office.

Over her career, Heidi has been responsible for various university projects, including forming a team in charge of business change initiatives at St Andrews, the development and expansion of York's Information Strategy, overseeing York's preparations for a No Deal Brexit and leading the initial response to Covid-19. Outside of work Heidi holds positions of responsibility including as a member of UCAS Council.

Executive Director of Academic Services

Rob Sykes

Rob Sykes

Rob was appointed as Director of Academic Services in May 2017, providing overall leadership and coordination of a number of key professional services. Immediately prior to this appointment, he had been the Director of Operations in the Faculty of Social Sciences since August 2008. He is a member of numerous University bodies and committees including Senate, Council, Estates Committee and the Strategic Group on Student Numbers and Fees.

His previous roles include working in postgraduate student admissions, progression and examination, scholarships, research support and research management, during which time he held external secondments to the HEFCE and to the UK research councils, in addition to being an elected non executive Director of the Association of Research Managers and Administrators (ARMA).

Rob has a BA in Social History from Sheffield and has undertaken several CPD and executive education programmes, most recently a strategic leadership programme at Said Business School, University of Oxford.

Chief Financial Officer

Joanne JonesJoanne Jones


Joanne joined the University on 3 February 2020 as Chief Financial Officer. Prior to this, she was Finance Director at Queen Mary University of London.

She has overall responsibility for developing and implementing our financial strategy, and for maintaining sound financial oversight and administration in managing our financial affairs.

Over her career, Joanne has taken a lead role on a number of successful projects. This includes working with Siemens to open the first new school of engineering in 24 years at Lincoln. Whilst working at Oxford Brookes, she helped oversee the financial management of a £120m teaching and learning building. To deliver Queen Mary University of London's 2030 strategy, she raised a £160m private placement to fund teaching and research infrastructure requirements.

Professional Services directors


Director of Accommodation and Commercial Services and UNICUS

Caryn MastersCaryn Masters

Accommodation and Commercial Services

Caryn joined the University in 2011 bringing with her 20 years' experience gained in both the private and public sector, within the UK and South Africa.

As Director of Accommodation and Commercial Services, Caryn is responsible for the teams who provide a range of services and facilities to staff, students and visitors across the University, including student accommodation, catering and delivered hospitality, conferences and event management.

In addition, Caryn is a Director of UNICUS, a wholly owned subsidiary company of the University. UNICUS was set up in 2012 to develop a commercial proposition to enhance the offer to the University. UNICUS operates a boutique hotel, a village store for the community, a high end restaurant, a number of retail outlets and a staffing agency.

Interim Director of Human Resources

Ian Wright

Human Resources

Ian joined the University in 2008 and has undertaken a variety of roles within the Human Resources Department Ian Wright 160 x 160 pxsince then. Following 3 years as Deputy Director, in May 2020 Ian took up the post of Interim Director of HR with leadership responsibility across our three key teams; HR Services, Organisational Development and Reward. Ian also leads the University’s Business Continuity Management Team. 

The University’s HR Department strives to effectively partner with all areas of the University to support our key strategic aims and ambitions through responsible, effective and people focused strategy, interventions and practice. 

Ian’s career in HR spans more than 25 years and prior to joining the University he worked in a wide range of private and public sector employers ranging from the software industry, a local authority, professional services and retail/catering organisations. Ian has a Bachelor's degree in Management Studies with French from the University of Bradford and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. 

Ian is a Trustee of the University of Sheffield Pension Scheme and a governor at Silverdale School in Sheffield.

Director of Corporate Communications & External Relations

Tracy WrayTracy Wray

Corporate Communications and Events

Tracy joined the University in 2011 and was appointed Director Corporate Communications & External Relations in 2020 (moving from her previous position as Director HR & Communications). She is responsible for the operational leadership of the Corporate Communication department which covers all media & PR, digital/social, marketing, internal/external communications across all audience groups. She also has responsibility for public affairs and sustainability.

Tracy works closely with the senior leadership team to drive reputation and engagement in a global market.

Tracy is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD).

Director of IT Services

Bella AbramsBella Abrams

IT Services

Bella joined the University of Sheffield as the Director of Information Technology in 2019.

She has 19 years' experience working in IT in the public and private education sector. Most recently she was Chief Information Officer at the Sheffield College and held a number of roles developing and delivering online education and assessment services for Ufi/learndirect ranging from product and system testing, project and programme management to finally leading the strategic change function.

Bella leads IT Services who deliver IT and business services designed to support learning, teaching, research and corporate services at the University of Sheffield. This year, she will be developing a new IT strategy with her team and colleagues across the University that will ensure the department continues to deliver high quality, future proofed technology services to the whole University.

Bella is a member of the board of trustees of the Association for Learning Technology and has a BA in History and an MBA, both from the University of Sheffield.

Director of Infrastructure

Keith Lilley

Estates and Facilities Management (EFM)

Keith Lilley

Keith became Director of Infrastructure in January 2019. Prior to that Keith was Director of Estates and Facilities Management (EFM).

He started his career with the NHS as a management trainee. Keith has held a number of senior positions, including Director of Facilities at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and latterly at the University of York where he worked as Director of Facilities Management.

EFM is responsible for estates management and maintenance, facilities management, Sport Sheffield, Safety Services, Portering, Cleaning, Transport and Logistics, energy and environment. Keith is passionate about delivering services of the highest quality and best value. Central to this is the need to support our students and ensure that they become our ambassadors for the future.

Keith holds a first degree, is a member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, has an MBA from Warwick University and is a Member of the British Institute of Facilities Management.

Director of Global Engagement

Malcolm Butler

Global Engagement

Malcolm ButlerMalcolm became the interim Director of Global Engagement in April 2017. His role is to drive the University's Internationalisation Strategy and to closely support the President and Vice-Chancellor, and members of the University Executive Board in their international activities. The Global Engagement team delivers internationalisation through overseas student recruitment, student exchanges and summer schools, staff mobility schemes, identifying research opportunities, and developing international partnerships.

Prior to this Malcolm was Faculty Director of Operations for the Faculty of Engineering, during which time the faculty doubled student numbers and research income. Malcolm was part of the team that designed and delivered the Diamond building. Malcolm joined the University as an employee in 2003 as manager of the Polymer Centre, and as part of this was co-founder and Managing Director of FaraPack Polymers Ltd.

Malcolm is a University of Sheffield alumnus, with a PhD in engineering materials (1993) and also has a physics degree (Warwick, 1989). The first half of his career was spent in the steel industry working across the UK and Europe for British Steel/Corus (now Tata Steel) in a variety of technical posts culminating in being the Research and Development Programme Manager for a £9 million annual research and development programme. During this time he completed both an MSc(Eng) in Ferrous Metallurgy (Leeds, 1994) and an MBA (Warwick, 2003).

Interim Director of Planning and Insight and Director of the Strategic Change Office

Al Carlile

Planning and Insight

Strategic Change Office

Al CarlileAl joined the University in 2010 and has extensive experience of working in higher education having held a variety of roles covering areas including admissions, student recruitment, student services and the delivery of change projects.

Planning and Insight is responsible for enabling strategic decision making and objective setting by providing business intelligence, insight and support for senior managers and the planning cycle.

The Strategic Change Office supports the University's delivery of major projects. The office delivers capabilities and approaches in change management, project/portfolio management and service design.

Director of Partnerships and Regional Engagement

Sarah Want

Partnerships and Regional Engagement

Dr Sarah WantSarah joined the University in 2006 and was appointed Partnerships and Regional Engagement in June 2017.

Sarah's team supports the academic delivery of partnerships, regional engagement and Vice-Chancellor-led collaborations where institutional coordination is required. The team also leads on activities to improve the vibrancy and cultural life of the city, the implementation of the University's Impact, Innovation and Knowledge Exchange (IIKE) strategy, provides support for academics to engage the public with research, and helps run the University’s business innovation centres.

Previously Sarah held various roles at the University within Research & Innovation Services and the Faculty of Science. Before that, her role involved building public and private relationships for Business in the Community.

Sarah is an alumnus of the University, with a PhD in civil and structural engineering.

Director of Research Services

Deborah McClean

Research ServicesDeborah McClean

Deborah joined the University in 2005, having enjoyed a varied career in the private sector, including periods in travel, legal services and manufacturing.

She is responsible for teams offering research support services to postgraduate research students, researchers and other members of the Professional Services. Research Services supports researchers to develop their careers, to win grant funding and publish high quality outputs, to supervise research degrees, to translate their research into impact beyond the academy and to commercialise intellectual property.

Deborah works closely with the Vice-President for Research and Innovation and with his deputies, contributing to the development and of research strategy and implementation of its operational delivery. She also works closely with academic leaders in the faculties on a range of postgraduate researcher and research developments.

University Secretary

Tony Strike

Tony StrikeUniversity Secretary

As University Secretary, Tony works to ensure the highest standards of governance in liaison with the Chair of Council, President and Vice-Chancellor, University Executive Board members and Professional Services Directors.

He provides strategic, independent advice and support to Council and Senate including on their powers and procedures. He also provides advice to the Council and the Senate on their schemes of delegation and related governance structures including their respective committees.

In addition, Tony attends and works closely with the University Executive Board as Secretary to the Council and to the Senate and is responsible for the administration of the corporate governance of Council, Senate and their respective committees.

He is accountable to the Council through the Chair of Council and reports to the President and Vice-Chancellor.

Tony coordinates legal services, information governance, the risk and ethical frameworks and provides higher education policy advice. He coordinates institutional responses to sector consultations, leads on external liaison with, and representation to, external sector bodies. On behalf of Council, he manages communication to and from the Office for Students, as the principal regulator, ensuring compliance with the public interest governance principles, ongoing registration conditions and advising on reportable issues.

Prior to this Tony was Director of Human Resources at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust and then with the University of Southampton. He was Director of Strategy and Planning with the University of Southampton and then Sheffield. He has a PhD from Southampton in higher education management and policy.

Chief Executive, Students' Union

Jaki Booth

Sheffield Students' Union

Jaki BoothJaki joined Sheffield Students' Union in 2014 having worked in Chief Executive roles for over 25 years, mostly in Higher Education Students’ Unions in various midlands Universities and most recently for 5 years at Southampton Students’ Union. She was also General Manager at mac; one of the Midlands’ leading arts centres.

As Chief Executive of the Students’ Union Jaki reports to the Trustee Board and works with colleagues to support the aspirations of our student members for their organisation. She loves the possibilities and variety of working in Students’ Unions and is especially proud to now work at the UK’s top Students’ Unions regularly placed first for student satisfaction by our students.

Jaki is something of a volunteer and networking junky, having been a trustee and chair of a number of arts organisations, active within her own professional network and now an external trustee on the Girlguiding UK Board.

Interim Director of Library Services and University Librarian

Anna Clements

The University Library

Anna ClementsAnna joined the University in January 2020 as Associate Director of Digital Strategies, Research & Engagement, providing strategic direction for the Library’s digital services, scholarly communications, open research, faculty engagement and partnerships. She has worked collaboratively across the organisation to advance the University’s aspirations for learning, teaching and research in a rapidly evolving open, online and digital age. In September 2020, Anna became the Interim Director of Library Services and University Librarian.

Prior to joining the University, Anna held positions at the University of St Andrews in IT Services, Research Services and the Library. Anna has more than 20 years' experience as a consultant, software developer and project manager, designing and building systems for UK and US educational and academic publishers.

Anna serves on the White Rose Repositories Board, the euroCRIS Board, the Snowball Metrics Steering Committee, OCLC Research Library Partnership and is a member of the UUK/Jisc Expert Group for journal negotiations.

Faculty Director of Operations for Arts and Humanities

Nicola TalbotNicola Talbot

Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Nicola joined the University in 2016, with over 25 years' management experience across a range of public and private sector organisations, including over seven years in higher education.

As Director of Operations for Arts and Humanities, Nicola works closely with the Faculty Vice-President to develop and deliver faculty strategy, and leads the professional staff in supporting its delivery. She is also an active member of a number of faculty and University committees, including the Faculty Executive Board and Senate.

Nicola is a member of the Chartered Management Institute and has an MBA from Sheffield Hallam University. She is also a parent governor at All Saints Catholic High School.

Faculty Director of Operations for Engineering

FranFran Mason

Faculty of Engineering

Fran joined the University in March 2018, following over 20 years of experience in a variety of project and operational management roles, in both the private and public sector. This included 8 years at the University of Nottingham, where Fran established the Executive Project Management Office, with responsibility for the strategic change portfolio, on behalf of the University Executive Board. Directly prior to joining Sheffield Fran worked in the private sector, most recently at the TDX Group, where she held the role of International Head of Client Delivery. A diverse role which brought the opportunity to work with colleagues in the UK, Spain, Canada and Australia.

As Director of Operations Fran has a broad and varied remit, working closely with the Faculty Vice- President to develop and deliver faculty strategy, and in tandem partnering with the broader management and professional service teams, to ensure smooth and effective operational delivery for Engineering.

Fran is a graduate of Social Sciences (1994), attended Loughborough University to gain her PG Dip Leadership and Management (Higher Education) and is professionally qualified in project, programme and change management.

Married with 3 children (one a student at the University of Sheffield), Fran is a keen runner and musician when time permits.

Director of Student Support Services

Susan BridgefordSusan Bridgeford

Student Support Services

Susan joined Student Support Services in 2017 following nine years as Faculty Director of Operations in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health. Prior to this, she had a 15-year career in university administration in a variety of central and faculty roles at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.

She is a member of the University Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the Race Equality Steering Group. She also chairs a Trustee Board externally for Saffron Sheffield, a women's counselling and therapy service.

Susan studied French and German to Masters level at the University of Aberdeen and later obtained an MBA from the University of Strathclyde.

Director of Academic Programmes and Student Engagement

Michelle NolanMichelle Nolan

Academic Programmes and Student Engagement

Michelle joined the University in 2014, prior to which she spent five years as Head of Professional Services at Sheffield Hallam University. Michelle has extensive experience of working in the higher education sector having held a variety of roles covering the areas of academic administration, examinations, registry services, student services, planning and knowledge transfer.

Michelle holds a BSc in Chemistry and Chemical Technology and an MBA, both from Bradford University.

Faculty Director of Operations for Social Science

KarenKaren Ball

Faculty of Social Science

Karen started work as the Faculty Director of Operations in Social Sciences in March 2018, bringing with her a wealth of experience from the public, private and third sectors. Latterly she was Director of Operations for the College of Social Sciences at the University of Exeter.

Her role is to support the Faculty Vice-President in the leadership and management of Social Sciences, helping ensure its ongoing success through effective business coordination and working in partnership with colleagues across the institution

Karen has a first degree in Politics from Hull, and MBA from the Open University. She is a part qualified accountant with a CIMA Advanced Diploma in Management Accountancy.

Director of Student Recruitment, Marketing and Admissions

Dan Barcroft

Student Recruitment, Marketing and Admissions

Dan joined the University as the Director of Student Recruitment and Admissions in January 2020.

He has 15 years' experience working in student recruitment within the higher education sector. Most recently he was Head of Global Student Recruitment at Lancaster University and has held a number of roles at institutions around the UK including Reading, Essex and Cumbria.

Dan leads Student Recruitment, Marketing and Admissions. The team deliver services to a range of prospective students and applicants from a wide variety of backgrounds to support their enrolment at the University. The Department also works closely with faculties and other professional services to ensure that prospective students have a successful journey to the University.

Outside of the University, Dan enjoys walking and is a member of the board of trustees for an LGBT+ charity that supports its members in accessing and participating in outdoor pursuits. In addition, Dan participated in LGBT Charity Stonewall’s Leadership Programme in 2015. Dan has a BA in English Literature from Lancaster University and a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing from the University of Durham.

Faculty Director of Operations for Medicine, Dentistry and Health

MichelleMichelle Nuttall

Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health

Michelle is responsible for the leadership, management, development and delivery of professional services across the Faculty. She works to provide the technical and operational infrastructure required to support the academic business of the Faculty and its departments. She is an active member of the Faculty Executive Board and chairs the Faculty Managers Group, as well as representing the Faculty on University committees.

Before joining the University Michelle worked across local and central government supporting change and transformation initiatives. She has worked with a wide range of organisations both in the UK and in New Zealand, most recently as Head of Transformation for Kirklees Council.

Faculty Director of Operations for Science

Penny JacksonPenny Jackson

Science at Sheffield

Penny joined the University in 2020 after spending seven years as Director of Operations for the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Leicester. Prior to that, she worked for AstraZeneca in a number of different roles ranging from Discovery research to Director of Scientific Services, and Director of Safety, Health and Environment.

As Director of Operations, Penny works closely with the Faculty Vice-President and the other Faculty Directors to shape the strategic direction of Science at the University of Sheffield and ensure its success in teaching and research.

Penny graduated with a degree in Genetics from the University of Nottingham in 1993. In her spare time she enjoys running, singing, playing the trumpet and flying kites.

Director of English Language Teaching Centre

RichardRichard Simpson

English Language Teaching Centre

Richard joined the English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC) in February 1995 and became Director of ELTC in September 2007. Since 2016 he has also had management responsibility for the Modern Language Teaching Centre (MLTC).

Many hundreds of international students start their University journey at the ELTC and many more are supported there during their studies. The MLTC is a major language provider for University degree courses and contributes greatly to the University’s ‘Languages for All’ initiative, available to students, staff and the public.

Richard is currently Chair of the Extra Faculty Learning & Teaching Committee and is serving his second term on Senate. He is a trustee and board member of English UK, the national association of British Council accredited language providers.

Richard gained a BEd in Northampton and spent a sabbatical year as president of the Students Union there. He taught English in Italy and Japan before taking an MA and teaching at the University of Newcastle. He is also a part-time doctoral student in our School of Education.

Director of Sport and Physical Activity

Andrew Cox

Sport Sheffield

Director of Health and Safety

Tom Fleming