The PIU Team

PIU photograph

The team is comprised of the Head of Process Improvement, one Senior Process Improvement Consultant, one Process Improvement Facilitator and one Clerical Officer.     

Rachel McAssey - Head of Process Improvement 

Rachel McAssey

Rachel graduated from The University of Sheffield in 1996, with a degree in Modern History. She also has a Postgraduate Diploma in Education Management and Leadership. She has twenty years of experience working in a variety of roles in Higher Education.

Rachel is on the Lean HE Steering Committee and is Vice-Chair for the UCISA Project and Change Management Group.

Rachel said “Higher Education is in the midst of dealing with so many changes, both internally and externally; I see colleagues struggling with many processes; I hope that my role in the Process Improvement Unit helps people to redesign and review processes to improve their working life and give a better service to our students and staff".


Dave Speake - Senior Process Improvement Consultant

Dave Speake has been at the University for over 20 years, starting as a programmer in the Data Processing Unit, and eventually taking on the role of Assistant Director in CiCS with responsibility for Technical Services. His interest in technology is all about what it can do for people, and it’s this interest, and the realisation that computer systems can only ever be a part of a solution, that led him to take on the role in the Process Improvement Unit. Dave says that learning about Lean was a lightbulb moment for him. Having a method to improve the way work is done, and being able to help the University along the road to better processes is very exciting and energising.

Process Improvement Facilitator (vacancy)

Gillian Norton - Clerical Officer

Gillian commenced the role of Clerical Officer in the Process Improvement Unit in January 2015 and provides administrative support to the Unit.

Gillian has held various posts within the University since 2009. Firstly as Secretary to Professor Henry Smithson within the Academic Unit of Primary Medical Care, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health and subsequently in the role of Faculty Administration Assistant within the Pro-Vice Chancellor’s Office, Faculty of Engineering.