Equality & Diversity HUB

Meet the People

Meet some of the people involved in delivering EDI improvements at the College.

See the full committee membership

Professor Karen Halliday FRSE - Dean of Systematic Inclusion, College of Science & Engineering

photo of Professor Karen Halliday

Professor Halliday is Dean of Systematic Inclusion with oversight of Diversity Equality and Inclusion (EDI) governance in the College of Science and Engineering. She has been an advocate for inclusion and diversity for over 12 years through mentoring, delivering national and international talks, hosting public exhibitions, and as an expert adviser for UK Research Councils. A molecular geneticist, she draws on her expertise in deciphering biological complexity to understand how biases emerge in institutional culture. Through collaborations with social scientists, notably, on the EPSRC-funded Inclusion Matters project, “evidenceBase”, she is working to ground EDI policy in evidence drawn from those experiencing discrimination and from the lived experience of minorities.


Dr Jean O'Donoghue - Head of Student Support, School of Chemistry

Jean O'Donogue portrait photo

I have been involved in Equality Diversity and Inclusion formally in the university since 2018 when I became the EDI Coordinator for the School of Chemistry. I have since stepped down from this role – but as the Head of Student Experience, Disability Contact for students and Athena SWAN Lead at the School of Chemistry it remains a key focus of my work.

Since 2018 I have been involved in a number of EDI-related projects including reviewing and improving our sector-leading Christina Miller Fellowship for under-represented chemists, partnering with Hidden Disabilities to provide Sunflower lanyards to Chemistry staff and students, working on an RSC Inclusion and Diversity grant for looking at the Barriers to Combining Pregnancy and Breastfeeding and an Academic Career and leading our successful Silver Renewal for Athena SWAN recognising our commitment to promoting gender equality.

The focus of my EDI work is now very much on an inclusive student experience – whether that’s working with Widening Participation (WP) colleagues on improving WP sense of belonging and access to the university, developing improved ways to deliver learning adjustments for disabled or neurodiverse students or supporting our wonderful new student support team to deliver the best care for all our students. We still have a lot of work to do – but I am always heartened by the enthusiasm of colleagues and students to improve inclusion and equity in our School and College. I am happy to be contacted about aspects of EDI in Chemistry, the College and beyond – so feel free to get in touch.


Dr Srinjoy Mitra - Deputy Director EDI committee (School of Engineering), Co-convenor DoC working group (College of Science and Engineering)

Image of Srinjoy Mitra

While decolonisation is being discussed in various disciplines, engineering remains firmly grounded in the idea of Eurocentric knowledge and its excellence. A reflection on the colonial history that brought about technological development and engineering progress that enhances and reinforces neocolonialism, are rarely part of the curriculum. I would want to alter this narrative by bringing in changes to the curriculum and to the understanding of technological development in general. 



Professor Jane Hillston FRS MBE - School of Informatics

Jane Hillston

Professor Jane Hillston has worked at the University of Edinburgh since 1989 when she arrived as a research assistant in the Department of Computer Science, one of very few women in the Department at that time. Partly based on that experience, she has been a long-time champion for EDI. She was the Head of School in the School of Informatics until 2023, which now has a much more diverse membership. She is also Deputy Vice Principal Research and leading the University’s work on Research Culture.


Professor Linda Kirstein - Dean Education, Quality Assurance & Culture

Linda Kirstein

Creating a positive learning environment where every individual feels part of their academic community, is supported through their academic endeavours and can achieve their aims is vitally important for all. No group should be disadvantaged and we are working hard to make sure we identify and remove barriers that impact attainment.


Professor Stephen Warrington - College representative on the Disability and Inclusion Subcommittee (DISC)

Stephen Warrington portrait

I have worked at the University since September 1993. Across that time, I have been involved in EDI through roles as Head of Mechanical Engineering Teaching, the School of Engineering’s Disability Contact, Director of Teaching in the School of Engineering and Dean of Students Experience in the College of Science and Engineering. As a member of the University Mental Health Strategy Group, I have been heavily involved in the development and implementation of the University’s mental health strategy. Through my work in student recruitment across almost thirty years, I have been active in the recruitment and support of students from a widening participation background. 


School EDI leads

Professor Sinead Collins - Director for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion,  School of Biological Sciences

Sinead Collins in a biology lab

The School of Biological Sciences aspires to building a work and study environment where people of diverse identities, and from diverse backgrounds, can excel. We do this through coaching and mentorship, support for carers,  and fostering grassroots EDI leadership within the school. We also gather data on the EDI impacts of current challenges, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, within our school.



Professor David Ingram - Director of Diversity and Inclusion, School of Engineering

Professor David Ingram portrait

I hold a personal Chair in Computational Fluid Dynamics in the School of Engineering and I am the School’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion and a Fellow of the Institution of Maritime Engineers, Scientists and Technologists (IMarEST).

My personal journey has given me a strong interest in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and a firm belief that it is our duty to ensure that everyone is given the opportunity to achieve their full potential.  

I am a dyslexic (and dyspraxic) who attended a state comprehensive school in Plymouth. Problems with handwriting, spelling, coordination and organisation meant that life at school was not particularly happy. All this changed when an education inspector visited the School.  He noted that I was mathematically gifted and so I got stretching tuition in mathematics at the same time as remedial tuition in English! About the same time I got interested in computers and learned to program them. After scraping through A-levels I went to the University of Greenwich to do a joint honours degree in Mathematics, Statistics and Computing.  

I’ve been at Edinburgh since 2006 and was awarded a personal Chair in 2009. I am passionate about undergraduate teaching and have helped restructure the teaching of both mathematics and programming for undergraduate engineers. I enjoy supporting and mentoring junior academic colleagues, and research students and collaborating with international partners. 


Dr Chris Heunen - Director of People and Culture, School of Informatics

Portrait of Chris Heunen

Since joining the University of Edinburgh in 2015 I have always felt welcome and part of a community that works and looks out for each other. I feel strongly that everyone in the School of Informatics should similarly feel included in way that is fair to everyone. As Director of People and Culture, I want to improve and strengthen the policies and practices that make our staff feel enthusiastic individually, and that make for a vibrant community. A sizeable part of this role is to do with Equality, Diversity, and Inclusivity. For EDI aspects, I am supported by deputy director Dr Nadin Kokciyan, who joined the School of Informatics in 2019 as a Lecturer. She has had several related roles to help our School be a more equal, diverse and inclusive place: the School's Athena Swan Committee; the "Decolonizing the Curriculum" working group; raising awareness to make Informatics courses more diverse and inclusive; and Athena Swan Implementation Coordinator. We are excited to be part of the change we all need.



Professor Victoria Martin, - Chair of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, School of Physics & Astronomy

Victoria Martin

I'm Professor Victoria Martin, co-Director of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion for the School of Physics & Astronomy, and a particle physicist. I share the role with my colleague Dr Yanyan Gao; we co-chair our School's EDI committee.

The aim of our EDI committee is to make the School of Physics & Astronomy a more inclusive environment to study, work and research.

In March 2023, we were awarded Institute of Physics Juno Champion Status - as part of the application we had to develop an action plan of EDI activities which our EDI committee are now implementing.


Dr Charlotte Desvages - Co-Director of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, School of Mathematics

Charlotte Desvages profile image

I'm a Lecturer in the School of Mathematics with a full-time teaching role in mathematical computing. I have taken the role of Co-Director of EDI in October 2021, which I share with my colleague Grace Sansom.


Dr Claire Hobday - UKRI Future Leaders Fellow and University of Edinburgh Chancellor’s Fellow, School of Chemistry

Photo of Claire Hobday

I’m Claire - a Chancellor’s Fellow and UKRI Future Leaders Fellow. I’ve been actively involved with the EDI committee within the School of Chemistry since joining in 2019. In November 2022, I took on the role of Chair of the School of Chemistry EDI committee. Our aim as an EDI committee is to be proactively monitoring, implementing and promoting EDI in the School of Chemistry, in the College of Science and Engineering, in the University of Edinburgh and the wider community. 


Dr Mary Lawhon - Director of EDI, School of GeoSciences

photo of Mary Lawhon in the Meadows

I joined UoE in 2020 as Senior Lecturer in Human Geography. Concerns with EDI have long been important to me as an aspiring professor, mother of two, and scholar of postcolonial places and ideas. My first academic jobs were in South Africa, and this has shaped my broader awareness of the dynamics of race and gender in the university. I am excited by the many opportunities to contribute to change at UoE, including recruitment and support for students and staff from underrepresented groups and helping transform our teaching to better address equality, diversity and inclusion.


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