About us

The Advanced Services Group is a centre of excellence at Aston Business School, Aston University in the UK. We provide education, training, research and a global network of like-minded professionals around advanced services and servitization. We work help global manufacturers and technology innovators to develop services-led strategies. 


Tim Baines

Professor and Executive Director

Tim is the leading international authority on servitization and spends much of his time working hands-on with both global and local manufacturing companies to understand servitization in practice and help to transform businesses. 

More about Tim       Contact Tim

Ali Ziaee Bigdeli

Senior Lecturer

Ali’s research interests lie in the operational and organisational change brought about when businesses intend to introduce technological innovations to the market. His research explores how servitization helps a business to bring its products to market, expand the scale of its operations and increase financial sustainability, and the business model innovation that is required to enable this.


More about Ali       Contact Ali  

Andreas Schroeder

Senior Lecturer

Andreas’ research and teaching interests lie in the systems and strategies needed to help businesses grow through the use of information technology (IT). His interest in servitization focuses on the value from the data that accumulates as part of the service provision. 

More about Andreas     Contact Andreas

Daniel Andrews

Research Fellow 

Daniel is a key member of the research team on our EPSRC-funded project, Gamification for Servitization. His expertise lies in the use of visual, interactive and/or digital tools and programmes to capture and display stories. 


Daniel is also experienced in the conceptualisation, design and creation of multimedia games. He teaches a number of programmes and courses on business games and gamification for industry.


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Gill Holmes

Senior Project Manager

Gill manages our research projects and is Industry Liaison Manager for our EPSRC funded Digitally Enhanced Advanced Services (DEAS)Network Plus. She is an experienced manager, who has worked in a number of manufacturing industries and in several research management postings in leading UK universities.

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Kawaljeet Kapoor

Research Fellow 

Kawal's expertise lies in the diffusion of innovations, both product and social innovations. She works on publications related to various strands of Servitization. Presently, Kawal is working on clarifying the concept of platforms, and exploring their possible association with business models that incorporate the element of Servitization.


​Contact Kawaljeet

Eleanor Musson

Senior Partnerships Manager

Eleanor manages our business partnerships and communities, most notably the Advanced Services Partnership, a network of like-minded senior executives from global manufacturing businesses.


Contact Eleanor

Ian Machan

Industrial Fellow and Commercial Director

Ian's expertise, developed throughout his 30 years working with manufacturing businesses, are in supply chain, strategy and continuous improvement. An experienced university industrial fellow, Ian leads our advisory services, including organisational development workshops, executive education and commissioned projects.


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Iain McKechnie

Director of Programmes

Iain is responsible for building relationships with industry and for securing government funding to improve the level of industrial / strategic engagement with servitization and advanced services.

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Paula Cresswell

Business Engagement and Programme Director

Paula leads the Group’s SME business support projects, funded by the European Union (ERDF). Working to support up to 185 companies in the Black Country, Birmingham and Solihull, the projects provide manufacturing SMEs with unique access to ASG’s tools and expertise to improve performance and stimulate growth through the introduction of advanced services.

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Danny Harrison

Programme Manager

Danny is the Programme Manager for the ERDF funded project ‘Advanced Services Growth'. The role focuses on working with senior executives, from manufacturing SMEs in the Black Country Local Enterprise partnership region, to help them transform their businesses through the adoption of advanced services and servitization.


Contact Danny

Sandra Starke

Programme Manager

Sandra is the Programme Manager for the ERDF-funded business support programme 'Advanced Services Growth: Developing Innovative Strategies for Improved Growth in SMEs'. Focusing on the Greater Birmingham and Solihull region, Sandra works with regional manufacturing and technology innovating SMEs on their servitization journey. 


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John Morley

Business Community Manager

John brings a wealth of experience in the corporate business, healthcare and university sectors to his role of managing the community of small and medium sized enterprises with whom the Advanced Services Group is working. The community of SMEs are all supported to adopt strategies of advanced services in order to grow and take on new employees.

Contact John

Jill Forrest

Business Engagement Coordinator

Jill brings her extensive project support experience to our SME programme, managing events and relationships with partner organisations to promote servitization to the business and academic communities. 

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Chris Owen

Senior Teaching Fellow 

Chris has held a number of roles in operations and supply chain management and operations competency. He has a particular interest in applying Lean principles to improve business performance in a wide range of situations.

More about Chris       Contact Chris

Ahmad Beltagui


Ahmad's research concerns a broad range of topics related to design, innovation and service management. In particular, Ahmad is currently investigating the impacts of Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing on business and society. 

More about Ahmad       Contact Ahmad

Parikshit Naik

Research Associate

Parikshit specialises in the promotion of servitization using digital Innovations and the Internet of Things. His work aims to understand changes in manufacturing business models towards successful integration of servitization and digitalization.

 Contact Parikshit

Kristina Anders

Marketing and Communications Partner

Kristina manages our Marketing and Communications, promoting the work, research and programmes of the Advanced Services Group to engage with the business, manufacturing and academic communities.

Contact Kristina

Honorary Professors and Industrial Fellows

Jim Euchner

Honorary Professor | Advanced Services Partnership Co-Chair

Jim is Honorary Professor at Aston Business School and Editor in Chief of Research-Technology Management, a peer-reviewed journal for practitioners of innovation, technology and research management. He was previously Vice President of Global Innovation at Goodyear Tyre & Rubber Company, where he led the development of new businesses and helped launch businesses on three continents. 

Des Evans OBE

Honorary Professor | Product Manager

Des, former Managing Director of MAN Truck & Bus UK Ltd is a passionate advocate of servitization in the transport industry. Together with the UK MAN Team, he transformed the business model of MAN Truck & Bus UK Ltd and helped the company become one of the country’s leading providers of advanced after sales and fleet management services for the haulage industry. His knowledge of what does and doesn’t work in practice, as well as tools, techniques and tips for implementing services strategies are key assets to the Centre’s work with industry.

Andrew Harrison

Honorary Professor | Engineering Associate Fellow at Rolls Royce

Andrew has been a leading figure for 15 years in Rolls Royce’s ongoing development of advanced services offerings. He is an expert in how services requirements and principles should inform the design and engineering of aircraft engines in order to both optimise the service delivery to customers and also make the provision of services profitable and sustainable for the manufacturer. 

Michael Hulme

Honorary Professor | Managing Director at Alstom

Michael played a pivotal role in the introduction of advanced services contracts to Alstom and he is a key ambassador for advanced services within the rail industry. Michael’s expertise in managing the complex organisational and technological pathway for an organisation to offer advanced services successfully is an invaluable benefit to our partners in other industries.

Sandra Benbow

Senior Industrial Fellow

Sandra has over 15 years’ commercial experience and proven track record of supporting companies to grow. Having spent two years as the Programme Manager for the Advanced Services Growth programme she has specialist knowledge of advanced services and servitization in the manufacturing sector. She holds an MBA from Aston University and supports our advisory services, including organisational development workshops, executive education and commissioned projects, particularly in Europe. 

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Neil Tumber

Senior Industrial Fellow

Neil acts as the bridge between partner organisations and the research team. An engineer by training, he has enjoyed leadership roles in manufacturing and operations across many industries from utilities to FMCG in a variety of organisations including SMEs and large multi-nationals. He has a particular interest in how open collaboration leads to sustainable value.


Contact Neil

Paul Jackson

Visiting Industrial Fellow | Chair of the SME Roundtable | MD at UV Light Technology 

Paul is founder and Managing Director of UV Light Technology Limited who manufacture ultra-violet light equipment for a wide range of industrial, healthcare and food applications. He is also the  chairman of the SME Transformation Round Table.

Recent exposure to leading academic practice  encouraged him to start a new journey on the Executive DBA programme at Aston University. His doctoral studies are based on servitization and he is a member of the Advanced Services Group Research Team.

Luke Benton

Visiting Industrial Fellow | Managing Director at MNB Precision

Luke is Managing Director of MNB Precision Ltd, a Birmingham manufacturer. He has made significant changes to his business as a result of his work with Advanced Services Group. Luke is a passionate advocate of the work of Aston Business School and it is fitting that he joins us as a Visiting Industrial Fellow to be able to share his experiences more widely with the Aston community.

Stefan March

Visiting Industrial Fellow | MOE Business Development Manager at MTC

Stefan is the MOE Business Development Manager at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC). Operating across the West Midlands, Stefan’s role brings him into daily contact with manufacturing SMEs and he spends the majority of his time helping them to reduce waste and improve productivity. Stefan was the first Visiting Industrial Fellow to join the Advanced Services Group and, given his significant manufacturing experience and knowledge, he brings a wealth of expertise to Aston Business School.

PhD Students

Katja Dmitrijeva

Doctoral Researcher

Katja is a doctoral researcher focussing on servitization transformation in large manufacturing organisations. Her research explores the organisational development from a product-focused to a service-focused business model, aiming to identify organisational pathways and evaluate the experiences of servitization transitions.

Patricia Garcia

Doctoral Researcher

Patricia is a doctoral researcher specializing in the value architecture of servitization from a network perspective. Her work aims to understand how partnerships can support manufacturing SMEs to capture the value emerging from the transformation towards service-based business models.

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