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The West Midlands University Debate

Wednesday, 20th February 2013 @ 1600hrs - 1900hrs

Council House, Birmingham, Victoria Square, B1 1BB

The West Midlands University Debate | Event

Map | Venue website

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Alan Charters; Aston University Executive Director of Capital Developments

Alan has over 35 years’ experience in the construction and property industry. He started his career as a ‘trainee site engineer’ with Tarmac and between Tarmac and Balfour Beatty over 20 years working his way through a construction career ladder which saw him become a Senior Project Manager;, controlling construction projects up to a value of and exceeding £20m for various prestige clients such as Barclays Bank, Steeley Industrial Estates, Birmingham City Council; Embassy Developments, Brixton Estates and Rolls-Royce.

The successful completion of the Test Bed 57 for Rolls-Royce secured Alan a high commendation in the 1994 Construction Industry Awards. In 1996 Alan stepped across the ‘great divide’ and entered the world of Project Management Consultancy. Working for both Vector Management and Gardiner & Theobald, where he was a partner, he cut is consultancy teeth with clients such as Pillar Properties; Hammerson and Stockdale Land. During this time he contributed to major construction undertakings at the Bullring; the expansion of Winson Green prison; the ill-fated Bath Spa and Bicester Town Centre Redevelopment.

With perfect timing in 2007 he left the safe haven of Gardiner & Theobald to work in a client position at Miller Developments looking after the £2 billion Omega Opportunity, a huge regeneration development  in Warrington; unfortunately the acute down turn in 2008 saw him leaving Miller to join Regenco – the URC for Sandwell, his first venture in the public sector. Here he had responsibility (for a short time) to drive forward the transformation of West Bromwich, the results of which, today can be seen coming out of the ground.

At the time when the public funding tap was being turned off, and Regenco closed, this position arose at Aston. Alan initial remit was restricted to the major projects and capital development however very soon became responsible for the wider estate management. His major focus is to deliver the Estates Masterplan which will transform the whole campus and improve the general service level achieved by the wider Estates team.  These major, truly transformational challenges allow Alan to fully draw on his years of experiences, every day is different exciting, rewarding and is probably the best job he has ever had!

Henry Gun-Why; University of Wolverhampton Director of Estates & Facilities

Henry has been involved in the development of suitable and sufficient environments for Universities (Research and Teaching) and also large scale Science and Technology Research Facilities, with a keen focus on good sustainable design and the application of low to zero carbon technologies.

Appointed in March 2009, he is responsible for the strategic development and management of the University’s property, estate and facilities capital programmes, ensuring optimum use of buildings and facilities. He also oversees provision of a range of commercially successful, customer focused services across the University Campus for students, staff and the wider community.

Henry has also held positions as Chair of Association of University Engineers, Daresbury Regional Planning Group and Halton Science and Technology Action Group, Board member of the Daresbury Strategic Development Partnership and is past Chair of Governors at The Mosslands School – a Technology College on the Wirral. Currently he is an Executive Member of the Association of University Directors of Estates for Training and Annual Conferences.

Over the last 25 years, Henry has held a number of senior management posts within the University of Liverpool’s Department of Buildings & Estates – and more recently with the Science Technology Facilities Council, as Head of Estates Management and Operations, including the Master Planning of the proposed Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus circa £600m over next 25 years.

Henry is an M&E engineer by training and CIBSE Low Carbon Consultant.

Currently, Henry is leading the redevelopment of the University of Wolverhampton Estates which includes the delivery of proposed new science laboratory facilities and the University of Wolverhampton Business School, all to be delivered by September 2014.

Phil Butters – Keele University – Director of Estates & Development

Phil is Director for Estates & Development at Keele University. Phil is a fully qualified accountant with a career covering telecommunications, facilities management, sustainable energies, project and estate management, business modeling and investment appraisals.

Phil’s expertise captures the broad range of facilities management services, ranging from the delivery of hard and soft FM services, both directly and through strategic partners, through to FM and Environmental consultancy including procurement advice and organisational change.

He is passionate about sustainable energy sources with current projects focused around this burgeoning subject matter including deep geothermal energy and carbon reduction policy and strategy.


The West Midlands University Debate | Details



Wednesday, 20th February 2013
1600hrs - 1900hrs


Council House, Birmingham
Victoria Square, B1 1BB


Built Environment Networking Ltd
0113 251 5703