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MTI Operations Board

The MIRA Technology Institute is a collaborative project led by North Warwickshire & South Leicestershire College alongside its partners HORIBA MIRA, Coventry University, Loughborough University and the University of Leicester. The partnership is overseen by an Operations Board.


Vehicle workshop
Marion Plant - Chair of MTI Board

Marion Plant OBE FCGI, Chair of MTI Operations Board and Principal and Chief Executive NWSLC

Marion Plant is Principal and Chief Executive of North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College in Leicestershire and Warwickshire, and also Chief Executive of the Midland Academies Trust which sponsors four secondary schools. Marion served a three-year term as a non-executive director at the Department for Education and in March 2018 was awarded the ‘Businesswoman of the Year Award’ by the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce. She serves on several national/ regional bodies including:

  • Deputy-Chair and Trustee of WorldSkills UK
  • Board member of Coventry University and Co-Chair of the Academic Affairs committee
  • Board member (Director) for the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) and skills lead
  • Member of Coventry and Warwickshire Skills Advisory Panel
  • Member of the Leicester and Leicestershire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Programme Board
  • Trustee of the National Society Council (Church of England)
  • Member of the Education & Skills Funding Agency Advisory Group
  • Vice Chair of the FE and Skills Productivity Group, West Midlands.
Lisa Bingley - MTI Operations Director

Lisa Bingley, MTI Operations Director

In her role as operations director for the MTI, Lisa led on the initial development and the build phase of the MTI and is now responsible for its overall management including building links between partners and industry.

Lisa is a Chartered Engineer who moved into her current role following a 19-year career with HORIBA MIRA. Leading a team of around 30 engineers, Lisa was responsible for large engineering programmes covering several advanced engineering areas with responsibility for project finance, delivery and governance.

Lisa is an experienced IMechE mentor supporting individuals through continuous professional development on their path to Chartership. During her career, Lisa managed large consortium-funded and commercial programmes including the Urban Vehicle Range (UVR) programme, which saw the rollout of a range of low emission and fuel-efficient prototype vehicles for waste collection applications through Finance Birmingham and Innovate UK.

Lisa is currently chair of the IMechE Automotive Events Programme Committee and has been a member since 2004. Lisa is also vice chair of IMechE Automotive Division Board and was treasurer of her local IMechE centre in Coventry for 14 years.

Lisa’s engineering experience commenced with a five-year toolmaking apprenticeship after which she became a technician apprentice with Ivertech/Magnesium Services Ltd, progressing on to become project engineer. While studying for a degree in engineering at Brunel University, Lisa completed an industrial placement at Daewoo. From there, Lisa joined the HORIBA MIRA graduate programme moving through a range of roles from safety integration engineer to programme manager.

Lisa is a STEM ambassador for Warwickshire and has been responsible for setting up Imagineering clubs at local schools and acting as a judge at the finals of the Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair at the NEC in Birmingham. Lisa regularly makes presentations on women in engineering citing her own career as an example of what can be achieved.

Thomas Hamilton-Dick - NWSLC

Thomas Hamilton-Dick, MTI Curriculum Group Chair and Deputy Principal, NWSLC

Tom has worked in further education since 2002, beginning his career as a Film and Television Lecturer and quickly progressing to management and then senior management roles at North Nottinghamshire College then South Essex College. Prior to joining NWSLC Tom was Executive Director of Curriculum at Nottingham College where he played an instrumental role in the successful merger of New College Nottingham and Central College Nottingham, creating one of the largest colleges in the UK.

Tom has a wealth of experience at a senior level within the Further Education setting, which includes extensive experience in curriculum development and innovation, management of productive business mergers and the successful delivery of large scale and ambitious capital projects. Tom has wide-ranging budget management experience and has successfully led the curriculum elements of numerous colleges to financial stability and sustainability. Tom has extensive experience of working with funders and regulatory bodies, including the ESFA, OFSTED and the OFS as well as working closely on a number of occasions with the FE commissioner.

Tom has played a significant role in driving up outcomes for students and student satisfaction alongside working with colleagues to create financial sustainability, he has a proven track record in the sector and a genuine passion for Further Education.

Lisa Rowles - HORIBA MIRA

Lisa Rowles, Human Resources Director, HORIBA MIRA

A global HR director with over 25 years’ experience in people and skills activities, Lisa represents the industry partner, HORIBA MIRA, on the MIRA Technology Institute Board. With experience in the public, private and trade association sectors, Lisa has held a range of roles in the automotive and defence industries. Lisa created and launched the MIRA Academy in 2013, providing business and specialist training to the global automotive industry delivered by technology experts.

Lisa chairs the AIRTO HR Interest Group within the UK, a cross-industry group of HR professionals in the innovation, research and technology sector. The group shares best practice in HR and skills topics faced by employers within the sector.
HORIBA MIRA has won the Employer of Choice and Employers Commitment to Young People Award in Coventry and Warwickshire.

Paul Fairburn

Paul Fairburn, MTI Business Development Group Chair and Director of Enterprise & Innovation, Coventry University

Paul is an experienced director, and Chartered Mechanical Engineer, with a background in the pharmaceutical industry, NHS, utilities, and higher education. Paul has significant experience of leadership, organisational change and strategy implementation, and a broad knowledge of supplier/client management, collaborative partnerships, and the development of large-scale projects.

Paul was appointed to the role of Director, Enterprise & Innovation (E&I) at Coventry University in January 2015. As Director of E&I, Paul is currently leading an international business development and sales team of 40 people, including staff in mainland Europe, South America, and South East Asia. The team is focused on developing public/private sector partnerships, and securing investment and funding for IP exploitation, research, innovation, and workforce skills development.

The Enterprise & Innovation (E&I) Group is responsible for establishing strong links between the University’s academic expertise, and a wide breadth of public and private sector organisations across global markets. Active in a wide range of sectors (including healthcare, transport, construction, and the creative/digital economy), individual members of the team are typically involved in managing IP, supporting drafting of contracts and legal agreements, marketing/PR, and the writing of bids, tenders, and business plans.

Dr Alistair McEwan

Dr Alistair McEwan, Associate Professor in Software Engineering and Real-time systems, University of Leicester

Dr Alistair McEwan is an Associate Professor in the Aerospace & Computational Engineering Research Group in the Department of Engineering and has been at the University of Leicester since 2007. Alistair holds a BSc from the University of Aberdeen, and a DPhil (Ph.D.) from the University of Oxford.

Prior to Leicester, Alistair held several post-doctoral research fellowships at the Universities of Oxford, Kent, Surrey, and UCL. Alistair is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a member of the IEEE Software Initiatives team.

Alistair also reviews for several international journals (including JSA, CCP&E, IJEEE) and serves on the programme committee of several international conferences (including IEEE CIT, ICECCS, Euromicro DSD, CPA, FECS)

Professor Chris Reilly

Professor Chris Rielly, Professor of Chemical Engineering, Loughborough University

Professor Chris Rielly is a chemical engineer, who completed his BSc and PhD at Imperial College and then had a three-year Postdoctoral Research Associate position at Cambridge University’s Engineering Department. Chris was a lecturer in Chemical Engineering at the University of Cambridge for 13 years from 1986, before joining Loughborough University in 1999 as a Professor of Chemical Engineering. During his time at Loughborough, Chris has been Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering and an Associate Dean for Research in the School of Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering. Since 2017, Chris has been Dean of the School of Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering.

Professor Rielly has 30 years’ experience in experimental and computational fluid mechanics, applied to multi-phase flow, mixing and control of chemical reactors, fermenters and crystallisers, using techniques such as multi-phase PIV, coupled CFD and population balance models and direct nucleation control. Other research interests include dispersion and deagglomeration of formulated nano-particulate products and spray drying and spray-freeze-drying of nano-dispersed ceramics, foods and pharmaceuticals.

Chris’ recent research work includes the use of PAT tools to monitor and control nucleation and growth in continuous flow crystallisers, to achieve a target size distribution and morphology of a particulate product. Chris has over 160 publications in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings and has supervised more than 40 Ph.D. students and PDRAs. Chris is currently a Co-I on the EPSRC Future Continuous Manufacturing and Advanced Crystallisation Research Hub and on the EPSRC grant “An artificial intelligence (AI) for the optimal design and manufacture of pharmaceuticals”, both in collaboration with the University of Strathclyde.