Dr Joanne Tippett, Lecturer in the School of Environment and Development, University of Manchester

Joanne TippettJoanne Tippett is teaching the next generation of planners about planning neighbourhoods, sustainability and community engagement. She began working in the field of community participation in ecological planning in 1993, developing new ways to communicate about sustainability and design alternative futures.

In 2000 she started an ESRC-funded CASE studentship at the University of Manchester in partnership with the Mersey Basin Campaign, a partnership to clean up the River Mersey and its tributaries. This research was short-listed for the 2007 Michael Young Prize for impact from ESRC funded research and the ideas were short-listed for the UK Sustainable Development Commission’s Breakthrough Ideas for the 21st Century.

"The CASE PhD award has enabled me to develop an academic career at the interface of theory and practice, and gave me a great start in developing partnerships as well as the scholarly side of my research," says Joanne.

After completing her PhD, Joanne was awarded an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship. During this time, she started thinking about developing the hands-on kit for creative engagement she had been using in her PhD into an enterprise.

Several years later, Ketso was launched as a social enterprise. It has since been used in settings as diverse as urban regeneration, working with orphans in Rwanda, counselling bereaved children in the UK, exploring drinking water issues in Peru, feminist research and research with asylum seekers.

Chief economist

Dr Amelia Fletcher, Chief Economist and Senior Director of Mergers, Office of Fair Trading

Amelia Fletcher has a DPhil, MPhil and BA (Hons) from Oxford University, and was previously an economic consultant at Frontier Economics and London Economics. She has been Chief Economist since 2001, ensuring that the economics carried out within the OFT is of high quality and state-of-the-art.

She became Senior Director of Mergers in late 2008, heading the UK's Phase I merger control. Amelia has presented and written on a variety of competition policy issues.


Richard Thorpe, Pro-Dean for Research at Leeds University Business School

Richard ThorpeRichard Thorpe began his career as a management trainee in the footwear industry, before moving on to the water industry and then becoming manager of a small outdoor-clothing manufacturing company in Scotland.

After a part-time MSc at Strathclyde University Business School researching payment systems, he decided to carry on his career in academia working full time at several Scottish universities, before moving to the North West and developing his interests in management learning, organisational development and change.

Enrolling on a PhD at Lancaster University developed his interests further, and on completion, he published in conjunction with his supervisor, a management research text book, Management Research, which remains the most cited book on management research in the world.

Since then, Richard has excelled at developing new Management and Business curriculums for universities and is now Professor of Management Development and Pro-Dean for Research within the Business School at Leeds University.

Projects director

Joe Twyman, Special Projects Director at YouGov

Joe Twyman started his career as political researcher at the age of 14, helping a group of Essex academics analyse computer data during the 1992 elections. After graduating, he worked on market research at Research Services Limited (now Ipsos-MORI).

He has been a project director for the 2001, 2005 and 2010 British Election Studies, co-ordinated election studies in a several countries, and provided expert analysis for the media during the 2010 UK general election campaign.

Research consultant

Dr Siobhan Campbell, research consultant with the Government Social Research Unit, HM Treasury

Siobhan Campbell is responsible for professional standards guidance for the broader government social research community, and organises the Permanent Secretaries Strategy Sub-Group. Siobhan has a first degree and a PhD in psychology and has worked as a government social researcher since 1999.

Her first post was within the Home Office, working in a variety of areas from youth crime and justice, to mentally disordered offenders, to drug- and alcohol-related crime. She has also worked in the Scottish Executive, running their criminal justice research programme.