Explore our large inter-disciplinary research team from various universities and institutions.

Core team

Wendy Loretto

Professor Wendy Loretto

University of Edinburgh, Business School
Role in SHAW: Principal Investigator

Wendy is Dean of the Business School and Professor of Organisational Behaviour at the University of Edinburgh. She is also the Principal Investigator for the Beyond The 10,000 Steps: Managing Less Visible Aspects of Healthy Ageing at Work project. Wendy's main research field is age and employment, with a particular focus on changes in employees’ and employers’ attitudes and practices in extending working lives.

She is especially interested in the ways in which gender, health, and age interact to affect work and retirement experiences among older men and women.

After graduating with a BCom from the University of Edinburgh, Wendy was employed as a Commercial Manager with Marks and Spencer plc. She worked for three years in the University of Edinburgh Alcohol Research Group and prepared a PhD that investigated social and cultural aspects of illicit and licit drug use among young people.

Wendy is currently leading a growing body of research at the Business School, focusing on supporting healthy ageing at work. Projects include a 5-country study examining the ways in which national and organisational policies intersect with individual circumstances to affect decisions around extension of working life.

She has published widely in the arena of age and employment, and her work has been used in informing national policy and workforce practices around later-life working.

Belinda Steffan

Dr Belinda Steffan

University of Edinburgh, Business School
Role in SHAW: Project Manager and Co-Investigator

Belinda has a PhD in Management from University of Edinburgh (2020) and is a Chartered Management Accountant (qualified 2003). She earned an MSc in Strategic Management Accounting from London Metropolitan University (2002), a Graduate Diploma in Psychology from Monash University (2016), and an MSc in Psychology of Individual Differences from University of Edinburgh (2017).

Her research area is how experiences of gender and age, ageing, age bias, and age-related stereotyping at work influence continued labour force participation. She is particularly interested in the individual and individual differences as well as the organisational context of work, leading on to an interest in the future of work. While her research to date has focused on workers over 50, she also currently researching intergenerational work and age-inclusion.

Jakov Jandric

Dr Jakov Jandric

University of Edinburgh, Business School
Role in SHAW: Co-Investigator

Jakov is the Nick Oliver Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour at the Business School. His research focuses on the interplay between institutions, organisations and individuals in the workplace. In his empirical work, Jakov focuses on age and ageing in the workplace, and on management learning and education. He is currently involved in three projects:

  1. UKRI Healthy Ageing Challenge funded project ‘Supporting Healthy Ageing at Work’, in which he is a Co-I and a core team member
  2. Collegiality in Contemporary Higher Education: the UK perspective
  3. Voices of Graduating Students

He is particularly interested in policy and organisational practices surrounding work, employment, and career paths of workers over 50. Between 2017 and 2021, he worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow on an international large-scale project Dynamics of Accumulated Inequalities for Seniors in Employment (DAISIE). His work is published in high-quality journals including The Sociological Review and Management Learning. He is an active member of academic community, regularly attending and presenting at international conferences.

Project team

Billy Dixon

Billy Dixon

University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art
Role in SHAW: Design Research Technician

Billy Dixon is a Product and Interaction Designer at the Institute for Design Informatics of the University of Edinburgh, and Design Technician for the Supporting Healthy Ageing at Work project (SHAW). He conceptualises artefacts and systems, both digital and physical, that embody critical issues of different projects.

He also supports prototyping and development of these systems, facilitation of research using the systems (both 'in the wild' and in workshops) as well as the communication of projects to wider audiences.

Billy has worked in varied and interdisciplinary contexts such as autonomous energy systems, blockchain for agriculture, and co-design for informal care with the Advanced Care Research Centre (ACRC).

Mike Douglas

Mike Douglas

Age Scotland
Role in SHAW: Co-Investigator

Mike is the Director of Social Enterprises at Age Scotland. One of the enterprises he leads is the Age Inclusive Workplaces team, which works to promote age inclusion across Scottish employers. It does this through HR consultancy delivered by the award-winning Age Inclusive Matrix programme which is free to organisations and is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.

It also delivers workshops covering health and wellbeing, inclusion, and retirement planning. More than 10,000 older workers have been impacted by the programme from more than 210 Scottish organisations and 99% would recommend their workshop to a colleague.

Mike joined Age Scotland in 2012 as the independent Chair of the charity’s Insurance Enterprise Board and then took on his current role as a member of staff in February 2018. He is proud of how Age Scotland positively impacts the lives of older people across Scotland. Before joining Age Scotland, Mike worked in financial services where he developed products for older people such as pensions, annuities, draw-down, and long-term care. He has a degree in Biochemistry from St Andrews and an MBA from University of Edinburgh Business School.

Kiersten Hay

Kiersten Hay

University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art
Role in SHAW: Research Associate

Kiersten Hay is a Designer-Researcher based in Design Informatics Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) at the University of Edinburgh. She is currently working as a Research Associate within the SHAW project, with specific focus on participatory and co-design activities.

She undertook an interdisciplinary PhD in Design Studies at Northumbria University (2017- ), which focused on using community based participatory design (CBPD) and communication design approaches, to evaluate and design community-based digital social support tools and services with women living with HIV in the UK, and their social support service providers.

Kiersten has an MA in Design Informatics from the University of Edinburgh (2017) and a BDes Hons. in Fashion Communications from Ryerson University (2014). Her research interests include communication design, co-design, CBPD, ethics, design praxes, health, and service design.

David Lain

Dr David Lain

Newcastle University, Business School
Role in SHAW: Co-Investigator

David is a Senior Lecturer in Employment Studies at Newcastle University Business School. He first began researching employment in older age while working on an evaluation of the New Deal 50+ unemployment scheme in the early 2000s. Since then, his research has explored the experiences and management of older workers and the impact of pressures to extend working lives.

He has published a number of journal articles and book chapters in this area, alongside reports for the UK government and the European Commission. He is the author of the book Reconstructing Retirement (2016), which explored employment beyond age 65 in the UK and USA and prospects for the future of retirement.

His research has been funded by the Leverhulme Foundation, Economic and Social Research Council, and Norwegian Research Council. He has been invited to present his research to academic and policy audiences in Europe, the USA, and Japan, and he has organised two events with the general public as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science. He teaches on, and leads, the Global Human Resource Management MSc at Newcastle University.

Susan Lewis

Dr Susan Lewis

University of Edinburgh, School of Social and Political Science
Role in SHAW: Co-Investigator

Sue Lewis has a PhD in social anthropology from the University of St Andrews, and a pre-academic qualification in accounting and business management. Her doctoral thesis focused on the performance of social and cultural identity, specifically in the Isle of Man.

Her postdoctoral research career has been spent working as an embedded ethnographer with new organisational forms in public health and conducting collaborative and co-production research with communities of place or of interest on health interventions, social and health inequalities, and empowerment.

While at Durham University she also worked with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research Design Service. At the University of Edinburgh, she worked on Gender, Care, Families, and Work in the School of Social and Political Science before joining the Advanced Care Research Centre as Senior Research Fellow and Project Manager for its qualitative work stream.

Damien McElvenny

Professor Damien McElvenny

Institute of Occupational Medicine, Research
Role in SHAW: Co-Investigator

Damien McElvenny is a biostatistician (MSc) and epidemiologist (PhD) who has actively worked for over 30 years on the effect of work on people’s health and health on people’s work. He is currently the Principal Epidemiologist at the Institute of Occupational Medicine in Edinburgh and Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Manchester.

He became particularly interested in the effects of the health of older workers, when the UK Government raised the state retirement age and the reduction in the availability of final salary pension schemes meant that many people were having to work longer out of financial necessity. This raised the question as to whether this working later in life was having an adverse effect on people’s health.

Linda McKie

Professor Linda McKie

University of Edinburgh, School of Social and Political Science
Role in SHAW: Co-Investigator

Linda McKie took up post as Dean/Head of School of the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Edinburgh in October 2017. She is a Professor of Sociology and Social Policy. Prior to joining Edinburgh, she was Head of the School of Applied Social Sciences at Durham University for three years and prior to that, Director of Research.

Linda is currently Principal Investigator on the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), Healthy Ageing Programme Grant on Healthier Working Lives and Ageing for Workers in the Care Sector: developing careers, enhancing continuity, promoting wellbeing. She is also working with the Advanced Care Research Centre at the University of Edinburgh on transitions in care.

Linda graduated from Durham with a PhD in Sociology in 1989 on the topic of adult trainers working in the then youth training scheme (YTS). In the intervening years she has held posts at the University of Aberdeen, Glasgow, and Glasgow Caledonian researching and teaching in the sociologies of health and illness, gender and work, and research methods and management. In 2004 she was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS).

Chris Phillipson

Professor Chris Phillipson

University of Manchester, Social Sciences
Role in SHAW: Co-Investigator

Chris Phillipson is Professor of Sociology and Social Gerontology at the University of Manchester, where he is also co-director of the Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research into Ageing. He has been involved in several projects relating to older workers and retirement, including research on:

  • Pre-retirement education
  • Training issues and older workers
  • Health promotion in the workplace
  • Adjustment to retirement

He has written extensively on theoretical and policy-related issues concerned with the transition from work to retirement, most recently on problems connected with the policy of extended working life. His most recent (co-edited) book is, Precarity and Ageing: Understanding Insecurity and Risk in Later Life (Policy Press, 2020).

Larissa Pschetz

Dr Larissa Pschetz

University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art
Role in SHAW: Co-Investigator

Dr Larissa Pschetz is a Lecturer in Design Informatics, Programme Director of Product Design, and an Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI) Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. Her research is in Interaction Design and related areas of Human Computer-Interaction, Social Sciences and Humanities, focusing on themes such as socio-technological narratives, technology inclusion, and temporality.

Her work incorporates the design of physical-digital artefacts to facilitate engagement with critical issues and enable greater participation in the design of new technologies. Larissa has experience working for large companies such as IBM and Microsoft, and small design agencies such as IxDS and HID in Germany. She has published in high-impact journals and conferences in Human-Computer Interface (HCI) and Design-related areas, including:

  • Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (ACM CHI)
  • Tangible Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI)
  • Interact
  • Design Research Society (DRS)
Lynne Robertson-Rose

Dr Lynne Robertson-Rose

University of Edinburgh, School of Social and Political Science
Role in SHAW: Co-Investigator

Lynne is the lead on the financial wellbeing steam of the Beyond The 10,000 Steps project. Lynne's background is in the financial sector but she earned a PhD in Social Policy from the University of Edinburgh in 2016. Her PhD thesis investigated behavioural responses to automatic enrolment in workplace pension schemes.

She specialises in mixed-methods research into retirement savings behaviour and she has lectured extensively on pensions policy. Lynne's research interests and expertise lies at the crossroads between social policy, behavioural insights, and personal finance.

She is also currently lead investigator on a project funded by the Standard Life Foundation: Examining financial distress amongst financially vulnerable older workers and determining the impact of income volatility on financial security in retirement. Older Workers' Later Lives.

Katherine Sang

Professor Katherine Sang

Heriot-Watt University, School of Social Sciences
Role in SHAW: Co-Investigator

Kate Sang is a Professor of Gender and Employment Studies at Heriot-Watt University (Edinburgh Business School), and the director of the Centre for Research on Employment, Work, and the Professions (CREWS). Kate’s research draws on feminist theory aiming to improve working lives for under-represented and marginalised groups, particularly women, disabled people, and migrants.

Adopting an intersectional approach, Kate’s research uses participatory action research to co-design interventions in the workplace to improve work-related wellbeing, recognising the intersections between gender, disability, and race/ethnicity. Kate has worked with the Scottish Government, MSPs, trade unions, and businesses to embed disability inclusion into policy and practice.

Publishing regularly in leading journals, Kate is also committed to knowledge exchange and public engagement and has been awarded a Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) Equality Award and a Heriot-Watt impact award for her impactful research.

Chris Speed

Professor Chris Speed

University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art

Role in SHAW: Co-Investigator

Professor Chris Speed FRSE, is Chair of Design Informatics at the University of Edinburgh where he collaborates with a wide variety of partners to explore how design provides methods to adapt and create products and services within a networked society. He especially favours transgressive design interventions, to help identify and promote the values we care about most, including coffee machines that order their own ethical supplies, hairdryers that ask you to wait for the right time to blow dry your hair, and apps for sham marriages.

Chris Co-directs the Institute for Design Informatics that is home to a combination of researchers working across the fields of design, social science, and data science, as well as the PhD, MA/MFA and MSc, and Advanced MSc programmes. Chris has an established track record in directing large complex grants with industry partners, applying methods to challenges in the following sectors:

  • Creative industries
  • Health and care
  • Banking
  • International development
  • Cultural heritage
Thanasis Tsanas

Dr Athanasios Tsanas ('Thanasis')

University of Edinburgh, Centre of Population Health Sciences
Role in SHAW: Co-Investigator

Thanasis studied Engineering and completed a DPhil in Applied Mathematics at the University of Oxford (2012). He worked at the University of Oxford as a:

  • Research Fellow in Biomedical Engineering and Applied Mathematics (2012-2016)
  • Stipendiary Lecturer in Engineering Science (2014-2016)
  • Lecturer in Statistical Research Methods (2016-2019)

He currently is an Associate Professor in Data Science at the:

Thanasis is Co-founder of the NHS Digital Academy leadership programme, where he leads the development and delivery of 'Clinical Decision Support and Actionable Data Analytics'.

He has received the:

  • Andrew Goudie award (top PhD student across all disciplines, St. Cross College, University of Oxford, 2011).
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Doctoral Prize award (2012).
  • Young scientist award (MAVEBA, 2013).
  • EPSRC Statistics and Machine Learning award (2015).
  • BIOSTEC/Biosignals best paper award (2021).
  • 'Best reviewer award' from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Journal of Biomedical Health Informatics (2015).

Thanasis sits on the Editorial Boards of:

  • Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) Mental Health
  • JMIR mHealth and uHealth
  • Frontiers in Neurology

He is a Senior Member of IEEE and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine. Group lead for the Data Analytics Research and Technology in Healthcare (DARTH) group.

Mariska van der Horst

Dr Mariska van der Horst

Free (VU) University of Amsterdam, Department of Sociology
Role in SHAW: Co-Investigator

Mariska van der Horst is an Assistant Professor (University Lecturer/Universitair Docent) at the department of Sociology at the VU Amsterdam in the Netherlands, as well as honorary researcher at the University of Kent in the UK. Her research focuses on a variety of labour market issues, with a special interest in older workers, gender differences, disability, and intersectionality.

She is interested in research methods and the opportunities these bring for social science research. Her teaching is mainly related to research methods and statistics. Mariska did her Bachelor in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, followed by a Master in Sociology and Social Research, and a PhD at the department of Sociology, all at Utrecht University.

After her PhD, she moved to England, where she spent multiple years working as a postdoctoral research associate on various projects at the University of Kent, including one on extending working lives.

Back in the Netherlands, now at VU Amsterdam, she received funding with Professor Sarah Vickerstaff from the ESRC to work on a project on internalised and gendered ageism and ableism and its consequences for labour market participation of older workers.

Heather Wilkinson

Professor Heather Wilkinson

University of Edinburgh, College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
Role in SHAW: Co-Investigator

Following her first degree in Geography, Heather went on to a PhD in Social Policy at Lancaster University. She discovered her love of qualitative dementia research through a post-doc position at Stirling University in 1998. She moved to the University of Edinburgh in 2001 on a personal Fellowship from the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In 2001 Heather was a founding member of the Scottish Dementia Working Group.

Since 2013 she has been Professor of Dementia Participation and Practice, and the Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Research on the Experience of Dementia (ECRED). She has recently become part of the leadership team of the new Advanced Care Research Centre, hosted by Edinburgh University and funded by Legal and General for a five year period (£20 million).

Over the last 23 years her work has centred on increasing the involvement of people with dementia in research, with a focus on issues of co-production, inclusion, and quality of life for people living with dementia, and for people with learning disabilities and dementia. She is also a practising Psychotherapist.