Our People

Academic team - Professors

Professor Simon Collinson

Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Regional Economic Engagement and Director of City-REDI

Find out more about Simon

Simon Collinson has recently taken up the role of Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Regional Economic Engagement at the University of Birmingham. He is also Director of City-REDI, the City-Region Economic Development Institute and a Professor of International Business and Innovation at Birmingham Business School where he was the Dean from 2012-2016. Simon is Chair of the Chartered Association of Business Schools (C-ABS), which represents over 120 UK business schools. He is also a Member of the UK ESRC Council, a member of the Council of the Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA). 

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Simon Collinson profile image

John Bryson

Professor of Enterprise and Economic Geography


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John Bryson is Professor of Enterprise and Economic Geography at the University of Birmingham. He is an internationally recognised scholar who has made significant contributions to understanding and explaining the complex ways in which economic activities are organized through space and in place. Recently, he has made major contributions to understanding the functional economic geographies of city regions by exploring the dynamics of economic activities located in large and small towns.

He has published seven books and over 120 journal articles, research reports, and books chapters and he is also editor of the book series on Services, Economy and Innovation published by Edward Elgar. He is Vice-President of RESER, the leading international research association on services and expertise-driven economies, Director of the Aston Reinvestment Trust, the UK’s leading Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI), and is Independent Chair of the Worcestershire Partnership Climate Change Task Group. He has also advised the Finnish Presidency of the EU (2006).

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John Bryson

Anne Green

Professor of Regional Economic Development


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Anne Green joined the University of Birmingham as Professor of Regional Economic Development in June 2017. Her research interests span employment, non-employment, regional and local labour market issues, skills strategies, urban and rural development, migration and commuting, associated policy issues and evaluation.

She has published in high profile journals and has written numerous reports for UK Government Departments and agencies. Anne is experienced in disseminating the results of her research to academic, policy and practitioner audiences.

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Anne Green

Raquel Ortega-Argilés

Professor of Regional Economic Development


Find out more about Raquel

Currently, Raquel Ortega-Argilés holds the Chair in Regional Economic Development at the department of Strategy and International Business and the City-REDI research institute at Birmingham Business School, The University of Birmingham, UK.

Her current research work focuses Productivity, Innovation, Regional development, SMEs, entrepreneurship and industrial dynamics and on regional and European Policy.


Raquel Ortega-Argilés

Dr. Chloe Billing

 Research Fellow


Find out more about Chloe

Chloe joined the City-REDI team in November 2016 as a Research Fellow, working on the Urban Living Birmingham Project. She is responsible for undertaking a detailed review of end-user and open innovation to explore its application to urban services. This is based on the understanding that service reform in many fast growth and highly innovative private sector firms is driven by the application of new approaches to innovation.
Chloe has recently completed her PhD in Economic Geography at the University of Birmingham, which explored the competiveness, organisation and governance of the UK satellite industry. She also has experience with teaching within the Geography department and Birmingham Business School. 

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Chloe Billing

Dr. Andre Carrascal Incera

Research Fellow


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Andre joined the City-REDI team as a Research Fellow in Economic Modelling in July 2018. He holds a PhD in Economics and his main lines of research are related to multisectoral modelling and impact analysis from a regional perspective. In particular, he has experience on working with economy-wide models such as Input-Output, Social Accounting Matrices and Computable General Equilibrium Models. Some of the topics he has recently studied are the impact of tourism in the generation and distribution of income, the main determinants of youth unemployment in Europe and its micro and macroeconomic consequences, as well as exploring the links between the economy, the environment and the availability of natural resources. He has previously held a postdoctoral position at the University of Santiago de Compostela, and has been a visiting researcher in the University of Illinois and in the University of Groningen.

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Andre Carrascal Incera

Dr. Magda Cepeda Zorrilla

Research Fellow


Find out more about Magda

Magda joined the City-REDI team as a Researcher in February 2019. She has a background in Sustainability and Transport and holds a PhD in Transport from the Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds. Her main lines of research are related to the study of the factors that influence individuals’ travel choices and particularly focusing on the strategies to make travel choices more sustainable. In particular, she has experience using qualitative and quantitative methods such as questionnaire surveys, interviews and focus groups and multivariate statistical analysis techniques. She has previously worked as Research Assistant for the University of Leeds contributing to the analysis of the role of positive incentives to change travel behaviour and encourage the use of more active travel choices. Some of the topics she has recently studied are the psycho social aspects of modal choice and the use of social marketing techniques to segment the population and tailor transport interventions. Her current line of research is related to the Economic impact of Transport infrastructure and skills profile and public transport access.

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Dr. Diana Gutiérrez Posada

Research Fellow


Find out more about Diana

Diana became a member of City-REDI in January 2019. She is a quantitative researcher specialized in Regional Economic Analysis using Spatial Econometric techniques. Her research have explored territorial inequalities in various demo-economic aspects like population and industrial concentration, wage differentials, or income and poverty levels. In her Ph.D. dissertation she studied the differences in population and employment concentration at the local level for Spain, taking into account the interplay between areas across the urban system. She also looked into the territorial dynamics related to the ageing process and the wage gap between tiers of the urban hierarchy. Additionally, she has participated in studies about the relationship between the industrial structure and the growth of youth unemployment in European regions, and about the location of second-homes in Spanish municipalities.

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Diana Gutiérrez Posada

Dr. Sara Hassan

Research Fellow


Find out more about Sara

Sara Hassan is a Research Fellow at City REDI with a strong multidisciplinary background: a Doctorate in Urban Transport Planning, a Master’s degree in Urban Planning and Landscape and a Bachelor in Architectural Engineering. Her research and teaching interests include a focus on urban and transport planning by developing innovative policy evaluation models and policy reform issues, policy analysis and how it impacts poor and marginalised communities, community development and urban planning. She also researches in the area of local economic development, migration and commuting. Her recent projects include £3.45 million ERDF funded project USE-IT! Unlocking Social and Economic Innovation Together looking at Urban Poverty in Birmingham. She has broad experience in teaching, both at undergraduate and postgraduate level, including courses on urban and regional planning, urban regeneration, urban design and transport planning. 



Dr Tasos Kitsos

Research Fellow


Find out more about Tasos

Tasos is a Research Fellow in City-REDI. He holds a PhD in Economics and his research interests span from regional resilience to entrepreneurship and regional development as well as fiscal devolution and the spatial distribution of government grants. Besides academic research, Tasos has helped to produce City-REDI publications such as the West Midlands Databook and the Birmingham Economic Review as well as the production of policy briefings. He has previously held positions in the private and public sector including research assistant and Associate Lecturer positions in various universities.


Tasos Kitsos

Dr Max Nathan

Senior Birmingham Fellow (Regional Economic Development)


Find out more about Max

Max is Senior Birmingham Fellow (Regional Economic Development) at Birmingham Business School, and is a Deputy Director of the What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth.

He is an economic geographer with a background in public policy. His research focuses on urban economic development, in particular the economics of immigration and diversity; innovation systems and tech clusters; and public policy for cities, especially policy design and evaluation.

Max has over 15 years’ public policy experience in think tanks, consultancy and government, including at DCLG as an ESRC-DCLG Senior Policy Adviser. Max also co-founded the Centre for Cities, where he ran the research programme for the Centre’s first three years.


Max Nathan

Dr Massimiliano Nuccio

Research Fellow


Find out more about Massimiliano

Massimiliano joined City REDI as Research Fellow in February 2019 after more than 10 years of academic experience in Italy and Germany. He is an applied economist with a background in policy and management (MA/MSc) and information economics (PhD).

His research interests cover different topics on urban and regional studies, but in particular, he has specialized in the cultural and creative industries, cultural-driven economic development, cultural consumption and consumer behaviour. His social sciences perspective is sincerely multidisciplinary combining approaches and theories from economics, sociology and geography.

His latest publications have explored the impact of digital transformation and the nature of the data-driven economy. In particular, over the past few years at the University of Torino, he has contributed to establishing a research centre on big data analytics and has been managing projects to improve the knowledge and understanding of data science applied to social and economic problems.


Massimiliano Nuccio v1

Dr Fengjie Pan

Productivity Research Fellow


Find out more about Fengjie

Fengjie joined the City-REDI team in 2019, working on the Productivity and Prosperity: Inclusive Growth for the West Midlands project. She is responsible for identifying local factors that underlie and explain regional differences in productivity, with a focus on mismatches between the supply of and demand for specific skills. This is based on prior research which identifies lags in productivity performance at the national and regional levels and the significance of internal skills gaps and external skills shortages. Fengjie has recently completed her PhD in Science, Technology and Innovation Policy at the Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, which explored the knowledge sharing and co-creation in service innovation based on the Knowledge-Intensive Business Services.  She also has experience with technology commercialisation and teaching within Alliance Manchester Business School. 


Dr Juliane Schwarz

Research Fellow

Find out more about Juliane

Juliane is a Research Fellow who joined City-REDI in October 2018. Her expertise lies in evaluation and impact studies. She predominantly supports a Leverhulme funded project to evaluate the causal impact of Tech Accelerators on Startups. Trained as a social scientist, her contribution covers the qualitative aspect of the research project. She is responsible for the data collections (in-depth interviews), coding and analysis (NVivo) and contributes to the dissemination of the results.

Juliane holds a PhD in Linguistics from Lancaster University and has more than 15 years experiences in managing and conducting research projects. She has contributed to and organised impact evaluation studies for the ESRC, the NHS and NHS Scotland and several private sector organisations. In her previous positions at Aston University and UCAS, she was engaged in research on good practice in education and evaluating the impact of different education policies. She managed a research project on knowledge sharing and management at WBS and several research projects on quality assurance at BCU.



Dr Deniz Sevinc 

Research Fellow


Find out more about Deniz

Deniz Sevinc is a Research Fellow within the Birmingham Business School, City-REDI. She is an applied economist and her main areas of research are income inequality, population and development economics with a focus on the development of multidimensional approaches to the measurement of poverty and its societal impacts including skills gap in regional labour markets, health inequalities and public participation methods. She is involved in a range of collaborative research networks and projects, most recently Brexit’s economic impact on the UK, its regions, cities and sectors (funded by ESRC), Urban Living Birmingham (funded by RCUK), USE-IT! Unlocking Social and Economic Innovation Together (funded by ERDF) and Skills Development Interventions (DEIM funded by WMCA). Her most recent study 'A person centric approach to understanding the contribution of socio-economic position to health inequalities' undertakes a renewed focus on the relationship between diversity, household income and poor health in deprived areas and focuses on the impact that diversity and socio-economic conditions have on health outcomes.


Deniz Sevinc

Professional Services team

Rebecca Riley

Adminstrative Director


Find out more about Riley

Rebecca joined City-REDI as Administrative Director in September 2015, leading on the strategic direction of the Institute especially in relation to consultancy work and partnership development. She brings with her experience in the private consultancy sector providing the Idox Information Service to clients across the higher education, local government and national policy sectors. Prior to this she was Head of Research at the Northwest Regional Development Agency and led a regional economic observatory, providing the evidence base for regional, local and policy specific strategies and programmes.

She has managed over 200 projects across all local government policy areas, designing, advising, commissioning, collaborating and delivering research services. Her focus has been on regional and local economic intelligence and analysis services, forecasting and skills. 


Rebecca Riley

George Bramley

Senior Analyst


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George joined City-REDI as a Senior Analyst in March 2018. George has significant experience in designing, managing and conducting research, evaluations and systematic reviews within government, the private sector and academia. His interests include public service redesign, skills, enterprise and innovation, school improvement and health technology assessment. George’s previous roles include Head of Evaluation at the Small Business Service where he was closely involved in business support simplification, the UK Enterprise Strategy and was the UK Delegate to the OECD Working Party on SMEs and Entrepreneurship; Research Director at National Foundation for Educational Research undertaking studies on skills, school improvement, enterprise education and citizenship. Since joining the University of Birmingham, George has been involved in health service redesign and the appraisal of new health technologies including the development of the Medtech Early Technical Assessment tool for NICE Scientific Advice. He has been a member of UK Evaluation Society Council since 2010.

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George Bramley

Sarah Jeffery

Centre Manager

For any enquiries about the Centre please contact Sarah. 


Find out more about Sarah

Sarah joined the City-REDI team in June 2016 as Centre Manager. Upon graduating from the University of Birmingham (BA Hons French Studies) she worked in Retail Management and HR with Boots before returning to the University as a PA in the Department of Economics. She has since moved onto various roles within the University developing a firm knowledge and understanding of the University and the Higher Education sector.

Her role as City-REDI Centre Manager (Projects and Administration) sees her work alongside Stuart to manage the day-to-day activities of the Centre, including staff co-ordination, project and event management, budget management and supporting knowledge exchange activities. 


Sarah Jeffery

Stuart Mitchell

Centre Manager

For any enquiries about the Centre please contact Stuart. 


Find out more about Stuart

Stuart joined the City-REDI team in March 2017 as Centre Manager. After graduating from SOAS with an MA in African History, Stuart worked for Unltd, a charity that provides support for social entrepreneurs. He then went travelling around the world for a year before returning to the UK and working for Linking London, a partnership organisation of colleges and higher education institutions in London working in collaboration to maximise its contribution to targeted widening participation, student engagement and success, social mobility and improvements in social justice through education. In 2011, Stuart became the Linking London Office Manager, a wide role encompassing all aspects of Linking London’s work, and helped to grow the partnership to 41 members.

His role as City-REDI Centre Manager (Events and Communications) sees him work alongside Sarah to manage the day-to-day activities of the Centre, including stakeholder communication and centre promotion, staff co-ordination, event organisation, project management and supporting knowledge exchange activities.


Stuart Mitchell

Liam O'Farrell

Policy and Data Analyst

Find out more about Liam

Liam is a Policy and Data Analyst at City-REDI. He joined in October 2018, having previously worked as a user researcher in the Department for Work and Pensions and before that as a delivery manager at High Speed Two. He has also worked as a teacher for the British Council in Austria.
Liam has an MA in International Relations and Political Economy from the University of Birmingham and a BA in History and East European Studies from University College London. He is interested in the regional lived experience and how this is impacted by policies around social mobility, urban planning and design, infrastructure development, access to education, devolution, and responses to de-industrialisation.

He is currently working as the qualitative researcher on the USE-IT! project to connect communities in a deprived area of Birmingham with the resources they need to remain resilient and overcome poverty. He is also the lead researcher for the Birmingham component of the Democratic Foundations of the Just City project, which is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation to understand ghettoization, segregation and access to affordable housing in three European second cities.



Dr Abigail Taylor

Policy and Data Analyst

Find out more about Abigail

Abigail joined City-REDI in October 2018 as a Policy and Data Analyst. Abigail completed her PhD at the University of Sheffield supervised by the Departments of Geography and French. Her thesis examined the experiences of out-of-work partnered parents in France and the UK contrasting experiences at the micro-two level under two differing national and local contexts to contribute to understandings of how policy affects individual lives and how it can be made more effective. Prior to joining the University of Birmingham, Abigail worked as a Teaching Associate at Aston University. Abigail works on various projects at City-REDI including a literature review of Employment Support for the West Midlands Combined Authority. Abigail is partly seconded to the Smart Specialisation Hub where she is undertaking a review of Funding LEP level. She is particularly interested in international comparisons of employment support policy; regional and local labour markets and skills; and funding strategies.


Abigail Taylor