At Solihull College & University Centre we are proud of our staff.

Have a look at the profiles of some of our university-level teaching staff below.


Alex Gibb studied Computer Science at Thames Polytechnic (now Greenwich University) and worked as a programmer in the flight simulation industry, before becoming an FE teacher for 5 years. He studied for an MSc in Human-Computer Interaction at Sussex University and was then invited to do a PhD at the University of Birmingham, within the Electronic and Electrical Engineering Department.  This involved designing a computer model for radiotherapy treatment planning and was followed by a three-year Research Fellowship at Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital working on the development of a Decision Support System for Health Professionals to use in the diagnosis of childhood brain tumours. Alex joined Solihull College in 2010 and has worked in both FE and HE supporting students in gaining skills in software engineering and programming.  He has also assisted with the development of a HND in Enterprise Information System (SAP) which feeds into a final degree with Birmingham City University and with the creation of a BSc (Hons) in Business Systems and Technology validated by Newman University.  Alex is the co-ordinator at Solihull College for both programmes and has helped to write the course content. Along with Michelle Kempson, Alex champions the development of research skills amongst students and staff.  Alex believes research skills are valuable beyond the academic environment, allowing people to gain strategies for resolving complex problems, develop independent thinking and the ability to systematically evaluate information.  Such skills are needed in many kinds of employment in an increasingly complex world.

alex gibb

Deborah completed her degree in Civil Engineering at Southampton University as well as her Masters and is also a qualified Chartered Civil Engineer. Deborah then worked in the industry for 25 years before being made redundant. Deborah realised that it would be difficult to find another career in the industry that would be able to fit in with her family life so Deborah retrained to become a teacher as a teaching career would fit in with her family life. Deborah gained her teaching qualifications including her Dtlls – maths qualification before working for Solihull College teaching HNC Civil Engineering as well as being the GCSE Maths Co-ordinator. Deborah uses her 25 years of industry experience to her advantage as she has the life experience to be able to inform her students of situations within the workplace. Deborah has published a book relating to reclaimed land and the environment and takes a keen interest in the idea of new buildings in comparison to old buildings. Deborah enjoys getting her students to talk of projects that are in their office and to think broader about work and to ask questions whenever possible. Deborah comments: “learning I informed by work and work is informed by learning and if this doesn’t happen and link together then it all becomes disjointed and students wonder why they are doing it.”

deborah bunce

Katie completed her HND in Early Years at Warwickshire College before moving to Solihull College to complete her BA(Hons). Katie had always wanted to pursue a career in teaching but had been previously discouraged to follow this career. Whilst completing her BA(Hons) in Early Years at the College Katie was inspired by her tutors as they were passionate and taught Early Years so well. Katie decided to speak with her tutors with regards to being able to teach and they encouraged her to pursue her ambitions. Katie is now currently completing her PGCE whilst working at Solihull College tutoring Early Years, which she has done since September 2014. Katie started working at the College on a voluntary basis and her skills were noticed and subsequently her hours were increased until she was tutoring Early Years on a regular basis. In September 2015 Katie is looking to complete her Masters and will be looking to focus on Special Educational Needs (SEN) support in Early Years. Katie has a particular passion for SEN studies as well as practitioners perceptions of outdoor environment; which she completed her dissertation in. Within Katie’s teaching she teaches students who study a Top-up degree in Early Years; she particularly enjoys teaching the children’s literature module as she believes it puts a twist on usual academic teaching and believes it is interesting to see the students value the importance of poetry. Katie also commented “I like to see students achieve goals and develop their practice. It’s rewarding to see students take what they have learnt and use it in their own settings.”

katie lee

Michelle completed her doctorate at the Centre for the Study of Women and Gender at the University of Warwick, after having obtained her Masters in Culture and Media Analysis from Coventry University. She taught across a variety of modules within the Sociology department at the University of Warwick, and later worked as an Early Career Fellow within the Institute of Advanced Study. She has published within the areas of Youth Studies and Feminist Theory and has coedited a book (‘The Subcultural Imagination: theory, research and reflexivity in contemporary youth cultures’) with Professor Shane Blackman from Canterbury Christ Church University that was published in 2016. She also co-convenes the Solihull Research Forum and is currently working on a research project in collaboration with several local universities looking at students’ transitions from FE to HE. Michelle has worked at the College for 3 years teaching on the BA (Hons) 2+2 Social Studies Degree and within the level 3 Access programme, and comments “It is rewarding to see students generate their own knowledge and to come up with new ideas.”

michelle kempson

Nadine completed her studies at UWIC where she gained her BSc (Hons) in Sports Science. On completing her degree Nadine then continued to study at UWIC to gain her Master’s degree in Sports Science. After completing her studies in 2010 Nadine started working at Solihull College teaching on both further and higher education modules. At this time Nadine was also training with British Athletics team and was able to make her way into the squad for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Dehli. Nadine progressed with the team and was part of the women’s 4x400m relay team who secured themselves a silver medal at the games. Nadine returned to teaching and now teaches on the university level programmes. She is able to pass on her experience in the industry to students and takes a specific interest in sports psychology, lab methods and exercise physiotherapy. Nadine has complete research in the mentioned areas as part of her studies and now teaches research projects as well as field-based testing modules on different courses.
Nadine aims to share her passion for sport and exercise science with her students in the hope of them progressing within their career in the sport industry.

nadine okyere

Nicola is the Higher Education Admissions Officer at the College. Nicola has worked for the College for over 8 years and is responsible for queries that students may have with regards to their course application. Nicola is able to give students advice on areas such as UCAS applications, appropriate courses and finance. Nicola is the main contact for students in the application process as she answers students enquiries, assists with applications, arranges interviews as well as placement offers. Nicola also works closely with the College’s partner institutions to ensure that the courses run smoothly.

nicola bates

Adam is the Director of Student Services at the College and is responsible for looking after students’ needs outside the curriculum. Adam previously worked at University College Birmingham before moving to Solihull. He, therefore, has a vast amount of experience with student welfare as well as issues concerning applications. Adam ensures that student’s needs are met and looks after areas such as student welfare, finance, counselling amongst others.

adam thomas