The team

Here, you will find information about all of the academics working within the Centre for Brexit Studies.

The Centre boasts staff from across the University, displaying the cross-sector impact Brexit will have on the UK, Europe, and the world. 

Centre Director 

Alex de Ruyter is a professor at Birmingham City University and serves as Director of its Centre for Brexit Studies. He brings a wealth of research experience and academic engagement in the areas of globalisation, regional economic development, labour market and social exclusion issues. He has published over 60 academic outputs in leading national and international economic journals and has been the recipient of research funding, including being an investigator in an ESRC funded study on the effects on subsequent employment experience of workers from MG Rover after plant closure in 2005.

Professor de Ruyter has undertaken numerous media interviews and is currently researching on the likely impact of Brexit on the UK automotive supply chain in addition to exploring working in the "gig economy". He is also a Board member of the Regional Studies Association.

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  • Di Li


    Di Li is a  Lecturer in Supply Chain Management at Birmingham City Business School and Senior Fellow at the Centre for Brexit Studies.

  • Dr Steven McCabe

    Associate Professor

    Steve is an accomplished lecturer, researcher and economist, with considerable knowledge of business, manufacturing and construction. Steve has worked with organisations in both the private and public sectors in understanding how people are crucial when it comes to long-term development, innovation and creativity. Drawing on...

  • Beverley Nielsen

    Associate Professor and Senior Fellow

    Beverley has worked for Birmingham City University for over a decade in a variety of exciting roles. Positions have included Visiting Tutor, MA Design Management and Business Development Manager for Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, as well as Director of Employer Engagement and Director of Corporate Affairs for the...

  • Jay Rowe

    PhD Student

    Jay gained a BSc (hons) from the University of Birmingham, and later earned an MA from Keele University. Having worked for several SME and non-profit organisations, he returned to academia to read for a PhD in Social Science at the Centre for Brexit Studies.

  • Dr Jacob Salder

    Visiting Professor

    Dr Jacob Salder   is a Lecturer in Enterprise in the Masood Enterprise Centre at the Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, where he teaches units in entrepreneurship and in venture creation. He specialises in SME development and growth, entrepreneurship, regional development policy, and has research...

  • Dr Rebecca Semmens-Wheeler

    Senior Lecturer; Mental Health and Wellbeing Co-lead

    Rebecca Semmens-Wheeler  joined BCU’s Psychology department in 2016 and is co-Course Director for the BPS accredited MSc in Psychology. 

  • Dr Shishank Shishank

    Associate Professor in Digital Transformation and Operations Management

    Dr. Shishank Shishank has a multidisciplinary background with a PhD in Operations Management from the University of the West of Scotland. His PhD brings together both management and engineering concepts and was titled Outsourcing: Decision-making during the stages of Design and Engineering.

  • Poppy Surplice

    Event Assistant at the Centre for Brexit Studies

    Poppy Surplice is currently undertaking an events internship with the Centre for Brexit Studies. She is also an Events Management student at Birmingham City University, graduating in 2021. Her role at the Centre consists of supporting the Communications team with a variety of jobs, including social media promotion of events,...

  • Professor Phil Tomlinson

    Visiting Professor

    Phil is a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Brexit Studies, and Professor of Industrial Strategy at the University of Bath.  Phil's research embraces an inter-disciplinary approach with a strong research interest in the interplay between economic governance (which includes regulation), innovation, regional development and...

  • Dr Vangelis Tsiligiris

    Visiting Professor

    Vangelis Tsiligkiris (also known as Tsiligiris) (FHEA, FCMI) is a Principal Lecturer in Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University. He is an established academic and researcher with 18+ years of experience in UK and European universities. Vangelis’ research activity is concentrated around two areas:...

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