Board Members

The Board oversees the performance of the organisation and of each of the co-ordinating Committees.

Upcoming vacancies on the PraxisAuril Board are notified to PraxisAuril members via the PraxisAuril website, NewsUpdate and Directors’ Jisclist.

Ms. Alicen Nickson
Director, Research and Innovation, Cranfield University

Alicen is an experienced leader and has worked in a range of roles in the Higher Education sector for almost 20 years. In her current role as Director of Research and Innovation at Royal Holloway, Alicen develops and delivers strategies for the generation of high quality research, knowledge exchange and commercialisation, and she leads the Research & Innovation Directorate. Alicen is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Research Management and Administration, the ARMA Stakeholder Engagement Committee. She is passionate about professional development and evidence informed practice, and has published in the wider research management field. Alicen studied International Relations and Social Anthropology at St. Andrews University, and was awarded an MBA from the University of Southampton and an MSc Social Research Methods from the Open University.

Mr. James O'Mahony
Board Member
Managing Director, HIOM Advisory

James is Managing Director of HIOM Advisory, a boutique financial and investment advisory practice focused on the agriculture and horticultural sectors. He is currently a Non-Executive Director for Agaricus Robotics an Agri-tech business and as a consultant to Agri Frontier, an advisory business focused on emerging African markets. He has a range of clients with interests in a number of territories.

Previous roles have been in the Agricultural and Finance sectors, both in the UK and overseas having spent many years living in Australia and Singapore. He was Head of Agriculture (Europe) for NAB Group, GM (NSW) for Westpac in Sydney and Director of HIOM Advisory based in Singapore and London. James has advised a range of clients on investments globally, principally within the Agriculture, Food and Green Energy Sectors. He has a degree in Agricultural Business Management from Wye College (Imperial) and is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Farmers.

Dr. Amanda Baxendale RTTP
Board Member
Head of Research and Innovation Services, University of Derby

Amanda is Head of Research and Innovation Services for the University of Derby.  She has spent her career working at the interface between university and industry. This has included working for a spin-out company of the University of Nottingham which exploited the properties of super critical fluid in drug delivery technologies.

Amanda has worked in technology transfer and knowledge transfer roles in healthcare and biosciences at the Universities of Birmingham and Sheffield before moving to Derby. 

Mr. Ersel Oymak
Board Member
Strategic Alliances Advisor and Innovator in Residence, University College London

Ersel Oymak brings in 33 years of international experience at senior ICT
industry roles with focus on co-creation, technological innovation partners, sales, strategic business development, digitisation and verticalization. He is currently Strategic Alliances Advisor and Innovator in Residence for University College London (UCL), Computer Science Department. He was formerly Head of Strategic Alliances Directors and Corporate Relationships for UCL and an Advisory Board Member at Hounslow Chamber. He has significant global technology sector experience with leading corporates including CISCO, working closely with government, industry and start-ups. His career includes Head Network Design Consultant at KOCSISTEM (formerly KOC-UNISYS, 1995- 1998), Regional Technical Manager Turkey & Middle East at ENTERASYS NETWORKS (formerly CABLETRON SYSTEMS, 1998-2002), International Sales & Marketing Director at NEVOTEK (2002-2005) and Strategic Sales Business Development Manager at CISCO Enterprise Business Group EMEAR covering Retail, Consumer Packaged Goods, Smart Connected Real Estate, Smart Connected Communities, Business Energy Management, Sports & Entertainment, Hospitality, Museums, Gaming and Mega-yachts & Cruise-liners vertical solutions (2005-2013). He then served as an Innovation Technology Manager at CISCO Corporate Strategic Innovation Group (CSIG) as an overlay function to the UK & Ireland Innovation Team (2013- 2018).

Most recently he was Head of Strategic Alliances Directors & Corporate Relationships at UCL (2019-2021) where he sought to develop Transformational Strategic Alliances with key industry partners to drive a step change across the twelve entities of UCL EAST, UCL’s largest campus expansion project in its 200-year history that is aimed to create a world-leading innovation district in the UK. He also served as a Non-Executive Director & Advisory Board Member overseeing innovation and technology at Hounslow Chamber in London, UK (2017-2021).
He is the co-author of ‘University-Industry Partnerships for Positive Change: Transformational Strategic Alliances Towards the UN SDGs’ published by Bristol University Press and Policy Press (
Ersel holds a MSc(Eng) degree in Microelectronic Systems and Telecommunications from the University of Liverpool and a BSc(Eng) degree in Electronics & Telecommunications Engineering from Yildiz Technical University.

Mrs. Amanda Selvaratnam
Associate Director Research Innovation and Knowledge Exchange, University of York

Amanda is Associate Director of Research Innovation and Knowledge Exchange at the University of York responsible for the strategic development of innovation and enterprise.

She has portfolio responsibility for enterprise development, consultancy, training and executive education, local and regional economic development, collaborative partnerships, commercialisation of the University’s intellectual property, business and incubation space and start-up support.

She has institutional responsibility for the KEF, KEC and HEIF.

Amanda is a PraxisAuril Board Member and a member of the #PrAConf23 Conference Committee.

Dr. Adam Stoten RTTP
Board Member
SVP Academic Partnerships, Evotec (UK) Ltd

Adam is SVP Academic Partnerships at Evotec SE, a global multi-modality drug discovery and development company. Adam has specific responsibility for creating new BRIDGE partnerships to accelerate the translation of academic science into new therapeutics. He has worked for more than 15 years in commercial roles encompassing business development and licensing, new venture formation, product development, lobbying/advocacy and general management. Prior to Evotec, Adam was Chief Operating Officer and board director at Oxford University Innovation Ltd (OUI) where he led Oxford's technology transfer and consultancy activities. While at OUI he was a member of the team that negotiated the Oxford COVID vaccine partnership with AstraZeneca, was a founding director of Vaccitech Ltd and EvOx Therapeutics Ltd, served as a board observer for MiroBio and Dark Blue Therapeutics, and was a co-architect of Evotec's first BRIDGE; LAB282. Between 2010 and 2013 Adam worked as Deputy General Manager for the Oxford-Emergent Tuberculosis Consortium Ltd, a joint venture between the University of Oxford and Emergent BioSolutions Inc, which conducted the first ever efficacy study of a next generation TB vaccine in infants. Prior to this Adam worked in healthcare consulting with Technomark Ltd and then in increasingly senior commercialisation roles at Isis Innovation.

Dr. Matthew Sutherland
Board Member
Associate Professor, Northumbria University

Matthew is a Senior Lecturer in Marketing. His research interests include work-based learning, Higher Education marketing, knowledge exchange, and small business growth.
Matthew is an active member of the HEA, and has over 10 years’ experience of teaching on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. As a teaching mentor, he works with colleagues across the department and supports and trains new teaching staff. He has extensive module tutorship and programme management experience.
Matthew is currently supervising 4 doctorates (PhD and DBA) in the marketing field and has supervised to completion. He is also an external examiner at Anglia Ruskin University.
In 2013, Matthew established the Marketing Internship Programme and currently works with over 240 North-East SMEs, as well as some of the region’s larger businesses including Greggs plc. He is a trained assessor for the Small Business Charter and currently leads the Northumbria University reaccreditation submission 2020. Matthew has secured over £1 million worth of research income from his extensive knowledge exchange activity. He is currently leading a team of 10 on a national project with Sage (UK) Ltd, only 1 of 6 such projects funded nationally.
Outside of work Matthew is a school governor, sits on a number of boards, and is chair of a North-East based charity.