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Enterprise Academy Mentoring Scheme Launch

Need help progressing your career or research?

The Enterprise Academy Mentoring Scheme is a free mentoring and career development programme, which can last for up to 6 months. Designed for Newcastle University staff, either in research or professional services, the scheme aims to help staff get their ideas off the ground, progress their careers, provide leadership advice or simply help them to develop a network of external contacts and partners.

Our Scheme will benefit Newcastle University staff interested in industry collaboration, research commercialisation and other external facing projects. Our mentors can help you to create real impact with your work or research through applying your knowledge and skills in an environment outside the boundaries of academia.

Our Mentors

Staff can access a wealth of advice from one of our dedicated mentors, matched to their specific and individual needs:

  • Barrie Mecrow: Professor of Electrical Power with over three decades of industry experience in the aerospace, automotive and consumer product sectors. He leads the skills and training element of the EPSRC Power Electronics Centre.
  • Boguslaw Obara: Professor of Image Informatics in the School of Computing and Dean of Business Innovation and Skills within the SAgE Faculty. Founder of Gliff.AI, his own start-up company from Durham University and non-executive director at the company.
  • Che Connon: Professor of Tissue Engineering and Director of Business Development within the Faculty of Medical Sciences. Founder of three successful spin-out businesses (Atelerix, 3D Bio-Tissues and CellRev), where he maintains his position as Director at all three companies.
  • Fiona Whitehurst: Director of Impact and Senior Lecturer in Management at the Centre for Knowledge, Innovation, Technology & Enterprise at Newcastle University. Fiona leads a project supporting small firms in the region to develop leadership and entrepreneurship skills, whilst also supporting academics in the Business School to apply their research to organisations, policy and wider society. Previous Director of Engagement with significant links to industry.
  • Dr. Jane Nolan MBE: Lecturer in Music Enterprise in the International Centre for Music Studies, within the School of Arts & Cultures. During her academic career Jane has developed extensive networks and connections in the creative sector through her engagement work and research. Prior to joining Newcastle University in 2010, Jane gained three decades of experience as an owner of a multi-award winning business.
  • Mark Birch-Machin: Professor of Molecular Dermatology at Newcastle University since 2005 and Dean of Development and Commercial Interface. Collaborator, co-inventor on multiple patents and founder of three spin-out companies.
  • Mike Capaldi: Dean of Innovation & Business and Head of Enterprise Academy. Previous Chief Executive in various early-stage spinouts and three decades of experience working in industry.
  • Nicola Patterson: Senior Lecturer in Leader Development and Organisation Futures Team which focusses on bringing together organisations and the university in a shared ambition of supporting leaders. A qualified coach in authentic leadership with expertise in collaborating with entrepreneurs, business leaders and EDI professionals.
  • Rick McCordall: Head of Company Creation, collaborating closely with Northern Accelerator, a funding body supporting commercialisation within North East Universities. Previous business founder and entrepreneur.

What Can They Offer? 

  • Offer opportunities for personal and professional development
  • Bridging a gap in knowledge
  • Providing an opportunity to be challenged in a positive way
  • Providing a sounding board to help understand difficult situations
  • Helping you work out direction and appropriate choices
  • Help you develop greater confidence and grow your networks
  • Help you develop strategies for managing difficult relationships
  • Help you put things into context or perspective

How to Apply

We currently work differently from the NU Mentoring scheme in that we do not operate in mentoring cycles. This means you can register at any point in the year and be matched with an Enterprise Academy mentor who can offer the expertise and guidance you require.

For enquiries about the Enterprise Academy Mentoring Scheme, you can email: or