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Our faculty’s Business Advisory Board, made up of leaders from across the creative industries, architecture and engineering sectors, plays a leading role in enabling our staff and student community to strategically work with industry while driving positive mutual outcomes for all. The Board meets four times a year, helping to inform our curriculum development, student success, and incubate knowledge exchange.

Chaired by Solent Honorary Doctorate, Dr Vanessa Brady OBE, Founder and CEO at Society of British and International Design, the Board features a diverse mix of individuals who work across a variety of industries, with extensive knowledge and expertise in their respective fields. As well as helping inform our faculty, the Board acts as a two-way platform for knowledge exchange, enabling businesses to gain insights from their latest recruits.

Collaboration and innovation are at the core of the board and we’ll be working on a number of programmes and initiatives that enable our students’ success. If you’d like to find out more about the board please contact Associate Professor Sarah Radif, Head of Architecture, Design and Built Environment.

Headshot of Vanessa Brady

Dr Vanessa Brady OBE, Hon Dr Design
Founder and CEO, Society of British and International Design

Vanessa Brady is an international multi-award-winning interior designer, business consultant, and founder of the Society of British and International Interior Design (SBID) with over 30 years' experience in the construction, B2B procurement and post-analysis of the design profession. As a proponent of best practice in the field of interior design, she has worked tirelessly to advance the profession from setting benchmarks for industry training to professional trading standards, receiving an OBE from the Queen for services to interior design and the UK economy. In 2013 she won the Women in the City Award for the Built Environment and was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Design from Solent University in recognition of her achievements to the education of interior design.

Headshot of Sarah Radif

Associate Professor Sarah Radif
Head of Architecture, Design and Built Environment, Solent University

Sarah is Head of Architecture, Design and Built Environment and Associate Professor in Professional Practice. She is the Faculty Strategic Lead for Learning and Teaching. Sarah is Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (FCIAT). She qualified as an architect in the MENA region and gained a master’s degree in Architecture from the University of Liverpool. Prior to becoming head of subject, Sarah founded the BA (Hons) Architectural Design and Technology and BA (Hons) Interior Design courses at Solent University

An experienced academic, Sarah has led the validation and revalidation of numerous courses including foundation, undergraduate, postgraduate and apprenticeships. Sarah has contributed directly to the evolution of architectural technology as a modern academic discipline and profession through driving excellence in teaching practice,and her involvement with the professional body, Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT), where she sits on the Education Board and Accreditation Group. Sarah acts as technical judge for the Society of British and International Design (SBID) annual awards. Internationally, Sarah serves as Visiting Juror of Interior Design at New York School of Interior Design and New York's Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) where she is also a Member of the Advisory Board for Interior Design.

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Pauline Traetto HonDEd, FCIM, BA Hons
CEO and Founder, Reconstructing Minds Ltd

Pauline has over 25 years' experience working across various industries, leading and managing businesses and people in the face of change. Pauline is an inspirational and experienced business leader who has the commercial acumen and flair to lead and win business strategy across multisession-functional teams to deliver impact, results, and growth. Pauline is the Director of Reconstructing Minds, a management consultancy which works with construction businesses to enable them to develop and grow. Previously, Pauline was part of the senior leadership team at BRE and the Executive Director of the BRE Academy, a global training business. Pauline has a proven track record in bridging the gap between businesses and academia and collaborations to secure education for the future generation. Pauline is also involved in developing robust and rigorous academic qualifications and is a passionate educationalist with a robust background working collaboratively with senior teams on a regulatory level. More recently Pauline is the Co-Founder and Director of new online training business, the College of Professional Practice.

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Brett Trafford
Innovation Director, Fawley Waterside

Brett joined the Fawley Waterside team in 2016 and was instrumental in the creation of the Intelligent Merchant City concept. Brett is primarily responsible for engagement with stakeholders from the private sector, academia, local, and national government. Previously, Brett worked with Hampshire County Council and East Hants District Council to create a Village of the Future at Whitehill and Bordon, Hampshire. Brett spent thirty years in marketing with the Daily Express, the Financial Times, Benetton Formula One, and with Sigma Capital, investing in university IP. Earlier in 2020, Brett was appointed Visiting Senior Innovation Fellow at the University of Portsmouth.

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Sara Scott
Executive Director, MAST/Mayflower Theatre

Sara is a cultural educator and leader with over 25 years' experience working in strategic planning, evaluating, design of services and delivery of activity both within youth and community settings, including building based and detached work, as well as in the voluntary sector, local authority, schools, colleges and universities, NHS and cultural sector.

Sara has worked at Mayflower Theatre since March 2013 and is now Executive Director at MAST Mayflower Studios. Sara is absolutely committed to reducing barriers to participation and developing opportunities for all to take part and engage with the Arts.

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Adam Wheeler
Design Office Manager, Sunseeker International

Adam Wheeler graduated from Solent University in 2002 in what is now known as BEng Yacht Design and Production. Today, Adam is the design office manager at leading yacht manufacturer, Sunseeker International based along England’s south coast. Before his tenure at Sunseeker, Adam worked across the marine industry, from small inflatable race craft to Round The World Racing yachts and, more recently, luxury motor yachts up to 155 feet.

During his 20-year career, Adam has developed a focused management style with a proven transformational management track record, comprehensive technical knowledge and astute commercial awareness. In a typical working day, Adam manages the daily workloads of the Sunseeker design team, facilitates cross-departmental collaboration and plays a vital role in the delivery of rapid new product development.

Adam has led in the development of Sunseeker’s digital twin platform, a state-of-the-art design process using NX CAD software to digitalise the design process and streamline data delivery in production. Adam’s depth and breadth of experience at Sunseeker has provided a well-rounded business view which enables him to make rapid and accurate decision-making and brief development. It was his time in the warranty department that truly anchored his exceptional delivery of customer expectations to the highest level.

A passion for all things marine finds him equally at home on his paddleboard or family boat cruising the UK.

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Raymond Yuen
Director, Bridges South, Ramboll

Raymond is a chartered engineer, project manager and structural designer specialising in multidisciplinary project management working on road widening and smart motorway schemes a background in steelwork design and a track record in automation, standardisation and designing for manufacture and assembly. A programme manager with overall responsibility over a market dominating team, Raymond ensures all projects within the programme benefit from a consistent approach and continuous improvement through the application of lessons learnt, and applies product design approaches to traditional civil engineering situations, striking a balance between structural efficiency and product standardisation to bring optimal value to the project with processes and automation in an increasing digitalised industry. His team is one of the most innovative and disruptive teams in the sector through industry press and awards.

As a leader responsible for engineers, project managers, software developers and technicians, Raymond is a keen believer in growing individuals to the best of their ability regardless of background, acting as mentor and coach to bring the best out of developing staff. In the wider professional world, Raymond is a trustee and fellow of the Institution of the Engineering Designers, connecting best practice and knowledge across different design disciplines to the benefit of projects.

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Ben Jepson
Divisional Director Architect, Head of Maritime, Stride Treglown

Ben is Divisional Director at the Winchester office of Stride Treglown where he helps to lead the architectural team. He has over 20 years' post-qualification design and consulting experience and is active on a range of projects across the office. Ben heads up Stride Treglown’s maritime sector, tying together the company’s strengths in cruise and port-centric buildings. He has previously held roles as an associate lecturer at Solent University and part 3 external examiner at Portsmouth University. He has also been a member of the Design Review Panel for South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils.

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Rachael Lane Assoc. CIPD
L&D Advisor, McCarthy and Stone

Rachael is an adaptable and proactive professional who specialises in project management, early talent, and talent development. Her fields of work include customer and financial services, early talent and learning and development.

Rachael is currently a L&D advisor at McCarthy Stone, the UK’s leading property developer and manager. She is a Certified L&D Practitioner and Management graduate from the University of Leeds and a Social Mobility Foundation and Women in McCarthy Stone network mentor.

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Alex Whittaker
Design Director, Baxter & Bailey

Alex is one of those rare design directors who value insight and strategy as highly as ideas and craft. He has fully developed and honed this interest over the past decade, working for a series of respected London and Brighton-based design agencies. In that time, Alex has applied his rigorous thinking to a broad range of sectors, from finance and property to food and beverage, chalking up great packaging and identity projects for Waitrose & Partners, Hammerson, Network Rail, Royal Mail, New Scientist and Deutsche Bank. Alex brings this enviable Venn diagram of sectors and skills – along with a generous dash of determination – to his creative endeavour.

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Alex Naraian PPCIAT MCIAT
Chartered Architectural Technologies
Past President, Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists

Alex started his career in the late 1980s studying at Southampton Institute of Higher Education (now Solent University).

He is a specialist in:

  • Architecture
  • Interior architecture
  • Technical design and delivery
  • Project management and contract administration
  • Client liaison/representation

With expertise in the following sectors:

  • Developer housing and apartments
  • Super prime residential
  • Country houses
  • Conservation and listed buildings

He also possesses wider knowledge and expertise in the design and delivery of:

  • Boutique hotels
  • Care homes
  • Educational
  • Offices and retail

A leader in delivering complex projects to exacting standards, Alex's expertise lies in classical, traditional and interior architecture, though he is also versatile to embrace modernism.

Committed to gender balance, equality and inclusivity, he is an ambassador in the construction industry.

Alex served as the Institute of Architectural Tecchnologists 28th President from November 2017 to November 2019. Previously he has served as Councillor and Chairman for the South-East Region of CIAT and was instrumental in developing its first and subsequent five-year strategic plans, embedding a business-minded approach into the future of the Institute. Alex has also sat on various advisory panels across architecture, engineering, contracting and housebuilding.

An Honorary Fellow of Solent University, Alex has sat on various CIAT accreditation panels for universities offering honours degree programmes and continues to judge various industry related awards.

Alex continues to speak publicly on a variety of industry related subjects in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. As an author, his articles continue to be published in various publications.

A keen cyclist and supporter of local community projects, Alex carried out various cycles for both recreation and to raise awareness and much needed funding for charities. As part of his charitable and community interests, he has also designed various community structures.

Simon Gill headshot

Simon Gill BEng (Hons) CEng FCIBSE MIMechE MASHRAE
Associate Director, Arup

Simon is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers with over 25 years’ experience. Having been based in South Africa, Mauritius, the Netherlands and the UK during his time with Arup, he brings a wealth of national and international experience and client insights.

Passionate about sustainable development and decarbonisation of the built environment, Simon is the office leader for Arup in Winchester and head of Arup’s hotels and leisure business across the UK, India, Middle East and Africa. He was the Arup lead on the whitepaper 'Transforming Existing Hotels to Net Zero', prepared in collaboration with industry partners, which explores the route to net zero for the hotel sector.

Simon has a strong background in supporting higher education having lectured building services engineering modules of the Architectural Engineering degree at Cardiff University, and acted as an external critic for the Architectural Degree for the University of Cape Town Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment. More recently, Simon has acted as an external judge for the University of Southampton’s Faculty of Engineering and the Environmental Design Show.

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