Our governance

STEM Learning is the largest provider of STEM education and careers support to schools, colleges and other groups working with young people across the UK.

Meet the board members

The Baroness Brown of Cambridge

The Baroness Brown of Cambridge - Chair of the Board

After an academic career at Cambridge University, Baroness Brown held senior business and engineering posts at Rolls-Royce. She returned to academia as Principal of the Engineering Faculty at Imperial College and served as Vice-Chancellor of Aston University from 2006 to 2016. 

Baroness Brown advises the Government as vice-chair of the Committee on Climate Change. She is the Prime Minister’s Low Carbon Business Ambassador and is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Decarbonizing Energy. 

She also chairs the Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials and is a non-executive director of the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult.

Baroness Brown is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and of the Royal Society, and was awarded DBE for services to higher education and technology. In 2015 she was elevated to the Peerage as The Baroness Brown of Cambridge. She sits as a crossbench Peer, and is a member of the House of Lords European Union Select Committee.

Rosie Bailey

The hon. Rosie Bailey

Rosie Bailey has worked in finance in the City for 17 years, since studying mathematics at Oxford University. She comes from a family with a long-standing passion for science and engineering and is committed to passing that enthusiasm on to the next generation, including to her three daughters.

Until recently, she was a Managing Director in Investment Banking at the Royal Bank of Canada, having previously worked at Morgan Stanley and Lazard. She advised large multinational corporations on strategy, acquisitions and financing and was responsible for the bank’s relationships with key consumer and retail clients including Tesco and Unilever.

At STEM Learning, Rosie brings her significant experience in finance, strategy and corporate governance as Chair of the Audit Committee, Chair of the ENTHUSE Charitable Trust, Chair of the ENTHUSE Charitable Trust Audit Committee and as a key contributor to our overall strategy.

Professor Peter Jimack

Peter is Professor of Scientific Computing in the School of Computing at the University of Leeds, and is a former Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering (2010-2019) and interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education (2020-2021). Peter obtained his BSc and PhD from the University of Bristol and joined Leeds as a Lecturer in 1990.

In his time at Leeds, he has led many STEM-based educational initiatives, including the development of external partnerships such as the dual-degree collaboration with Southwest Jiaotong University in China and the fully online Leeds Masters programmes with Pearson. Peter’s research is highly interdisciplinary, working with researchers from across the spectrum of STEM. He has published over 150 international research papers and is the Director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Fluid Dynamics at Leeds.

Professor Tracy Lightfoot

Professor Tracy Lightfoot became the new Pro-Vice Chancellor for Teaching, Learning and Students at the University of York in October 2020. Prior to this she has held a number of senior leadership roles within the University including, most recently, Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Teaching, Learning and Students, and Deputy Head of Department for Postgraduate Education in the Department of Health Sciences.

Tracy has a multi-disciplinary background with over 15 years’ experience of conducting research into the pathogenesis of cancer in both adults and children, coupled with the design and implementation of cross-disciplinary undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. Her focus has been very much targeted at the development of innovative novel provision, including new online learning credentials, and towards creating a thriving, supportive and dynamic community to enable all to succeed.  

Nick Novak

With over 15 years of driving growth in EdTech organisations across the UK, US and Africa, including founder, senior leadership and non-exec director roles, Nick has unique expertise in building and leading teams across public and private sectors. He is an experienced operator, with a deep understanding of how to scale teams successfully, and is passionate about building customer-centric organisations that deliver positive social impact. He is particularly excited about his work with STEM Learning as we continue to build a strong foundation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education across the UK.

Despite living in Britain since 2012, Nick is still no closer to losing his American accent or his love for baseball.

Chris Robinson

Chris Robinson is a Senior Investment Director in the private equity team at abrdn plc (formerly Standard Life Aberdeen plc), where he invests into private companies across Europe. He is an experienced Non-Executive Director, with previous Board roles at companies including Partner in Pet Food, Kurt Geiger and Medpace. Chris has an MA in Economics from the University of Cambridge and two sons who are very passionate about STEM.

David Thorpe

David Thorpe

Prior to taking up the role of Chief Operating Officer with STEM Learning, David enjoyed a successful career as a Finance Director and a Chief Executive. He has worked in a range of industries ranging from branded fast moving consumer goods – Nivea – and in Healthcare. 

David’s role with STEM Learning is focused on ensuring the organisation’s operational and financial performance fully supports and enhances its academic delivery. He has been instrumental in delivering the cultural change necessary to build its operating capacity throughout all regions of the country.

David is proud to be associated with an organisation that has such an important and proven impact on the quality of STEM education in the UK. He strongly believes that only through improvements in teaching will learning outcomes and young people’s engagement and enthusiasm for STEM subjects increase. 

Professor Gill Valentine

Professor Gill Valentine is interim Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sheffield. Working closely with the President and Vice-Chancellor, she acts as his Deputy and undertakes a wide range of portfolio roles in the University, including oversight of strategic planning and international engagement. 

Previous posts include Head of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Sheffield; Head of School of Geography, Director of the Leeds Social Sciences Institute and Professor of Geography at the University of Leeds.  She is a member of the ESRC Research Committee and previously served on its Evaluation Committee.

Mark Whitby

Mark provides Board level support to fast-growing technology companies looking to scale their businesses and develop their commercial and leadership capabilities. 

He is Chairman of BibliU, a London-based EdTech company who have developed a modern eTextbooks platform that integrates fully with all library and university systems. He is also Chair of ReaLife Tech who provide a digital SaaS platform for entertainment venues globally to enrich the guest experience, and at Simms International, a specialist distributor of memory and storage solutions to industrial and consumer markets. He is also a NED at Candy Mechanics, a personalisation B2B business, and a Governor (Digital) at Box Hill and Amesbury Schools. 

He also provides executive coaching support to senior leaders as a Criticaleye Board Mentor and is a volunteer coach in the UK Teach First programme. He has over 20 years’ experience as a technology and telco executive working for multi-national companies such as Intel, Vodafone and Seagate in various leadership and GM roles.

Chris Wigginton head shot

Professor Christopher Wigginton

Professor Chris Wigginton is Pro Vice-Chancellor with responsibility for Culture and for the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at Sheffield Hallam University.

With a background in the Creative Industries, Chris's work covers a range of cultural and creative forms including poetry, writing, art, film, media and digital production. He also leads a wide range of departmental disciplines at Sheffield Hallam, including the Sheffield Institute of Education, whose areas of nationally and internationally recognised expertise include Science and Maths education.

 

Meet our Chief Executive