Meet the Team

Dr Steven Ariss

Role in CLAHRC: Lead Evaluator (New Technologies)

Activities in CLAHRC: My main role is providing evaluation advice and support for complex interventions and large programmes. I am currently providing evaluation and general academic support for the  EnComPaSS program of research: engaging industry, care providers and academic stakeholders across Yorkshire and Humber. This program is currently funded by an NHS England Nursing Technology Fund award [].

Activities outside CLAHRC: Steven is a Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield, School of Health and Related Research where he is the Health Services Research Lead for Innovation and Knowledge Transfer.

He currently leads a number of research and evaluation projects including:
  • Evaluation of a Cancer Survivorship Programme
  • Electronic Records in Care Homes (ERiCH), Research and Development
  • Evaluation of 'Fresh Start' rehabilitation of offenders programme
He also works for the National School for Public Health Research (SPHR) providing evaluation advice and support on regional and national projects:
  • Evaluation of a domestic abuse perpetrators programme
  • Guide to guidance for public health practitioners
Steven is the module lead for 'Complex Evaluation Methods' (Masters level), he convenes a short course on Evaluating Programmes and supervises Masters and Doctoral Students.

Claire Bentley

Role in CLAHRC: Research Associate, Technology Theme

Activities in CLAHRC: Main role is around evaluating whether the use of telehealth and mhealth interventions for patients with long term conditions such as COPD can help them to self-manage their condition, and as a result help them improve their health and quality of life. Claire also helps to deliver the Telehealth and Telecare Masterclass for University of Sheffield medical students.

Work outside CLAHRC: Previously worked as a Senior Research Executive in pharmaceutical market research. Research projects ranged from evaluating perceived performance of pharmaceutical products to assessing usefulness of devices to aid self-medication of patients with long term conditions.

Professor Jim R Bonham
Role in CLAHRC: Lead for the Rare Disease element of the TaCT theme. Based at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT.    

Activities in CLAHRC: Jim leads the User centred development and evaluation of new-born screening web based support materials delivery project which will explore parent and clinician perceptions of support following a positive rare disease screening result for new-borns. The project, working with colleagues at the Universities of Manchester and Coventry will be predominantly qualitatively based and will develop appropriate web-based resources to further support parents during this beyond.

Work outside CLAHRC: Clinical Director for Pharmacy, Diagnostics and Genetics at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT

National Laboratory Lead, Newborn Screening, UK National Programme Centre, Public Health England

Professional roles

  • Vice President and Treasurer of the International Society of Newborn Screening
  • Hon Chair of Inherited Metabolic Disease, University of Sheffield
  • Assessor for the UK Accreditation Service
  • Scientific Advisory Board Member, ERNDIM - EQA provider for Inherited Metabolic Disorders
  • Financial sub-committee member, Society for the Study of Inherited Metabolic Disorder

Research activity and interests

  • Co-applicant in the HICF funded NGS project
  • Research submissions in preparation or submitted to: The NIHR HS&DR workstream relating to how we communicate positive newborn screening results to patients and to the Global Challenge Research fund in relation to work in Bangladesh and India

Commercial collaborations

  • Working with the IT company, Northgate on the production and evaluation of an App for Newborn Screening
  • Working with Public Health England and numerous centres overseas to market expertise and services in the delivery of newborn screening into emerging markets.

Professor Paul ChamberlainProfessor Paul Chamberlain

Lead for the Design element of the CLARHC YH Telehealth and Care Technologies (TaCT) theme and Evidence based transformation (EBT) theme

Activities within CLARHC

Paul leads the inTaCT project which is a critical enquiry that focuses on inequalities in telehealth and care technologies to identify and creatively challenge cultural (e.g. language/rituals/socio economic) barriers to adoption. The research investigates how technology (in general) is used by people in their every day lives how it is and can be used to support their health and wellbeing. The project will explore, identify and promote participatory approaches and ways of empowering citizens, consumers in the design and creation of products and services, to build resilience and to help generate community ownership of health issues.

Activities outside CLAHRC: Paul is Professor of Design at Sheffield Hallam University where he is Head of the Art & Design Research Centre and Director of lab4living an interdisciplinary research group with a focus on Design and Healthcare.

Paul has a track record in both industrial and academic design practice and research that explores the role of artefacts in multi-disciplinary human-centred research. Central to this activity has been the development of creative methods for user and public engagement in participatory research and co- creation. He has led major projects (funded by EPSRC, AHRC, NIHR,) with diverse academic specialists and commercial partners realising new knowledge that often informs and is demonstrated in commercial outputs. He has applied this research in the design of furniture, medical, healthcare, special needs and therapeutic products and systems that have achieved international recognition through publication, exhibition and awards. Paul has delivered keynote lectures at leading international venues on innovation strategies and sustainable approaches to design and manufacture.

Dr Claire Craig

Claire is a researcher in Lab4Living, an interdisciplinary research cluster where she is a Reader in Design and Creative Practice in Health. Her research very much focuses on improving quality of life for older people and in the development of interventions to promote well-being for individuals living with a diagnosis of dementia and their families.  She is particularly interested in the role that design and creative practice play in supporting communication and in promoting inclusion.

Dr Peter Cudd

Role in CLAHRC: Senior Research Associate, Technology Theme (Half time)

Activities in CLAHRC: Technology innovation, Technology theme part of web site, Public and Patient Involvement

The goal in the Technology Theme innovation activity is to identify people with long term conditions needs and match those to new technology – i.e. either novel products or later stage prototypes. This will include trying these technologies in small evaluations and disseminating the findings.

It is essential that any health service technology (indeed any technology) is usable by the people expected to operate it. Hence the Technology Theme has a plan to engage both the public and patients in its activities – both in advisory roles and as research participants

By identifying unmet clinical ambitions for tele-technologies (i.e. telehealth, telemonitoring, telecare, meHealth and/or eHealth) from the literature novel technologies that have proof of concept but not sufficiently strong evidence are also of interest. Collaboration with the Obesity and Diabetes themes have lead to a joint activity to seek funding and to publish systematic reviews.

Work outside CLAHRC: In a National Institute for Health Research funded Healthcare Technology Co-operative – Devices for Dignity - development of a web based resource that allows inventors, manufacturers, health and social care workers, and the public exchange Assistive Technology innovations and needs. Also development of an application called Maavis (Managed Access to Audio, Visual and Information Services) for children with physical and/or learning impairments. 

Seeking funding and collaboration for new projects that relate to any of the Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Group interests, but especially any that relate to Maavis and broader Assistive technology, e.g. integrated assistive technology systems.

Past: Past EU projects have included : Remote prescription of Electronic Assistive Technology (Artemis); Location based services to support vulnerable people while travelling (Locomotion); Health impact on habitual use of Automatic Speech Recognition (Enabl); and, Speech synthesis with attitudes and emotions on a touchscreen portable robust pc based voice output communication aid (VAESS). 

Other AT related activities have included: drive systems, the Electromagnetic Interference issues of an integrated AT system and automatic safe driving for powered wheelchairs; optimisation of switch access; and Characterising stammerer’s problems when using the phone.

Dr Cudd has a background in Physics and Computer Science (BSc) and High Frequency Electromagnetic Interference (PhD in Electrical Engineering); and also worked in propagation of microwaves in the human body and in quality improvement for the health service.

Dr Helen Denney

Helen has a long-standing interest in healthcare, having worked as a Support Worker within Learning Disabilities and completing a doctorate in Neuroimmunology. Her substantial research experience, obtained in commercial, academic and NHS healthcare settings, has involved recruiting children as young as 18 months old onto research projects.


Helen is the Tracking Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Cohort – Sheffield (TrAC-S) Research Project Manager, based at Centenary House (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services). She works with children, their families, health professionals and schools across Sheffield to implement the use of an online, animated HealthTracker system, serving as a database for children and adolescents diagnosed with ADHD. The aim is to use the HealthTracker system for monitoring and obtaining long-term outcome data on a population-based cohort of children and young people with ADHD, as they progress to adulthood. The continued use of HealthTracker will serve as a valuable research tool. 

Professor Deborah Fitzsimmons

Role in CLAHRC: Deborah is seconded (part-time) to the Theme to lead her programme of research on Enhanced Community Palliative Support Services [EnComPaSS].

Activities in CLAHRC: Leading the EnComPaSS programme of research, engaging industry, care provider and academic stakeholders across Yorkshire and Humber and nationally. This programme is currently funded by an NHS England Nursing Technology Fund award.

Activities outside CLAHRC: Deborah is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Western University, Ontario, Canada ( where she teaches a number of innovative courses on ‘Innovation in Care Delivery’, ‘Emerging Trends in Health Care’, ‘Cross-sector Health Partnership Models’ and ‘Advanced Health Policy’. She is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Internal Auditors (UK) and has extensive health care management and health informatics experience with community, acute and provincial organizations having worked as Director of Decision Support for the Provincial cancer treatment provider and previously as an information systems developer, policy analyst and consultant for agencies of the Ontario Ministry of Health. Whilst her doctorate focused on health care costing and the information systems underpinning them, her research has expanded to consider the development, implementation and evaluation of technology and infrastructure to enable community care delivery and aging in place ( She is the Technology Enabled Care (TEC) Theme Lead for the Sam Katz Community Health & Aging Research Unit at Western University and is  currently working with several award-winning integrated real estate development and property management companies regarding the development of highly innovative models of communities for life

Tim Ellis

Tim works as Senior Programme Lead in the NHS England Technology Strategy team. He is currently engaged in establishing the Global Digital Exemplar programme which will develop a number of acute trusts into global digital centre of excellence and demonstrate the benefits of being paper free to the rest of the NHS. These exemplars will also create Blueprints which will enable other trusts to more quickly adopt digital solutions across their entire enterprise.

Dr Val Harpin 
Dr Val Harpin is a consultant neurodevelopmental paediatrician at the Ryegate Children's Centre, part of the Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust, where she has practiced for more than 18 years. Prior to joining the Ryegate Centre, Dr Harpin held the post of consultant community paediatrician at the Child Development Centre in Oxford. Her special interests include the care of children and young people with special needs and neurodisabilities, particularly Autism, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Asperger's Syndrome, ADHD and learning disability. Dr Harpin's main current research interests are in ADHD and Transition to Adult services. She is also Chair of the Steering Group leading the Sheffield Distance Learning MSc Course in Paediatric Neurodisability. Dr Harpin was Chair of the Royal College of Paediatrics Specialty Group for Paediatric Neurodisability (BACD) from 2004 to 2007 and is now a member of the BACD Strategic research group. She was also a member of the NICE Guidelines Development Group on ADHD. Val is also the co-project lead on the Tracking Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Cohort – Sheffield (TrAC-S) project.

Professor Mark Hawley

Role in CLAHRC: Theme lead for Telehealth and Care Technology (TaCT) theme

Activities in CLAHRC: To lead and manage the activities of the theme, ensuring that the aims of the CLAHRC YH. My interests are in developing, evaluating and (where appropriate) implementing new healthcare technologies and technology-supported services which benefit people with long-term conditions in South Yorkshire and beyond.

Activities outside CLAHRC: Mark Hawley is Professor  of Health Services Research at the University of Sheffield, UK, where he leads the Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Research Group. He is also Honorary Consultant Clinical Scientist at Barnsley Hospital, where he works with the Assitive Technology Team, which provides complex disability equipment services throughout Yorkshire. Over the last 20 years, he has worked as a clinician and researcher –  providing, researching, developing and evaluating assistive technology, telehealth and telecare products and services for disabled people, older people and people with long-term conditions.

Mark is Director of the Centre for Assistive Technology and Connected Healthcare (CATCH) at the university. He leads a number of projects funded by the National Institute for Health Research and Innovate UK, and co-leads the Assistive and Rehabilitative Technology theme of the NIHR Devices for Dignity Healthcare Technology Cooperative. In 2007, he was awarded the Honorary Fellowship of The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists for his service to speech therapy research.

Kinga Lowrie

Role in CLAHRC: PhD Student 

Kinga obtained her MSc in Public Health from Collegium Medicum Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland in 2010. Her Master’s thesis was in Health Services Research. Before starting her PhD she was working on International Knowledge Transfer Consortium Project (Poland) and gaining experience of performing the research in NHS while working in CLAHRC SY Diabetes Theme.

The main scope of Kinga's PhD project is focused on enhancing usefulness of economic modelling in telehealth. The main components of the study include qualitative interviews with telehealth stakeholders and usability testing of a web-based economic and financial model.

PhD supervisors: Prof Simon Dixon. Dr Praveen Thokala and Prof Gail Mountain. 

Dr Katarzyna Machaczek

A Public Health specialist and a Research Fellow in Centre for Health and Social Care Research. Katarzyna gained her BSc and MSc in public health from Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland and PhD in Health Services Research from Sheffield Hallam University. Since 2003 Katarzyna has been involved in a number of projects relating to public health and focusing on prevention of cardio-vascular disease and mental health problems. Katarzyna's research has involved qualitative and mixed methods approaches.

Katarzyna's research interests include the investigation of two mechanisms of behaviour change: (a) the process of individual self-empowerment and (b) changes in the environment within which individuals live and work. Katarzyna also has expertise in realist methods and their application in evaluating public health interventions.

Professor Sue Mawson MCSP Bsc (Hon) PhD

Role in CLAHRC: Director, NIHR CLAHRC for Yorkshire and Humber 

Professor of Health Services Research In the Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies research group at the School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield

In 2008 I led the successful South Yorkshire application to become a National Institute of Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in applied Research and Care (CLAHRC) and following the completion of the pilots led the successful Yorkshire and Humber application for a further 5 years funding.  Our vision is to undertake high quality applied research and evidence based implementation that is responsive to, and in partnership with, our collaborating organisation, patient, carers and the public. The outcome being an improvement in both the health and wealth of the population of Yorkshire and Humber.

I believe that our new collaboration can have a major impact on regional health inequalities, at the same time as supporting the NHS and local authorities in developing new knowledge and exploring new ways of working to improve the health and wellbeing of our population. Twitter @clahrcyh

As a Professor of Health Services research and physiotherapist by profession my work focuses on improving the quality of life and end of life for people with long term conditions and cancer, capitalising on new innovations in sensor and digital technologies. This interdisciplinary work, has integrated clinical researchers with engineers, designers, and digital media specialists, leading to close links with industry and a number of publications in the field of telehealth and self-managed rehabilitation.

My commitment to teaching has been recognised recently as I have been appointed the Academic Ambassador for the Masters in Clinical research at ScHARR. It’s an honour to hold this role and I will seek to promote the course locally and nationally and support the development of a curriculum that is responsive to NHS needs and embraces innovative research and implementation methodologically.

Nationally I have been an elected member of the HSRUK Board for 4 years and have just become an academic advisor on the NIHR CCF External Reference Board for Impact Assessment and Evaluation.

Professor Gail Mountain

Role in CLAHRC: Gail is Professor of Applied Dementia Research in the School of Dementia Studies, University of Bradford and retains a part time position as Professor of Health Services Research (assisted living research) within the Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies group, University of Sheffield. She is also a Visiting Professor at Sheffield Hallam University and at the University of Ulster.  Gail is a qualified occupational therapist with substantial past experience as a practitioner and manager of services for older people and people with mental health problems.

For CLAHRC Y&H Gail is co-applicant within both the Technology and Care (TaCT) and Frailty themes.  Within TaCT she continues to collaborate with others on the development and testing of technology to support self management of people with long term conditions and is also concerned with the embedding of best design within technology development.  She is Director of studies for a studentship funded  by Abbeyfield trust into the use of video conferencing for access to health care by care homes.  For the Frailty theme she is participating in a a study of resourcefulness in later life. 

Dr Nasrin Nasr

Role in CLAHRC: Nasrin is a Research Fellow within Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology group, School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield

She is currently involved in developing grant applications (project grants, product development and themed calls) for the ARUK, NIHR RfPB and I4I).

She is a physiotherapist by background and an interdisciplinary researcher with extensive experience of Qualitative research and Experience-centred approach relevant to long-term conditions. She applies a participatory approach in her research to test and evaluate home-based self-management technologies for stroke and neuropathy. She has developed an interest and gained knowledge of innovative methods for evaluating complex interventions. As a result and in collaboration with CLAHRC YH new technology evaluation lead, she has developed and runs a short course and a Masters module on complex evaluation methods in the ScHARR.

Louise Newbould

Role in CLAHRC: PhD Student.

Activities in CLAHRC: A PhD student looking at the use of telemedicine for remote health care provision by care homes for older people. A project funded by the Abbeyfield Trust. 

Role outside CLAHRC: Previously worked as a Research Assistant within the university on two MRC funded RCTs; ‘Lifestyle Matters’; an occupational therapy based intervention for those aged 65 years and over and  'Putting Life in Years' (PLINY) a telephone friendship group-intervention to improve mental wellbeing in community living older adults aged 75 years and older. She has also worked as part of the Late Effects Team at the Academic Unit of Clinical Oncology, investigating models of follow-up care in cancer survivors and on a range of trials in the Cardiovascular Research Unit (CVRU).

Dr Rebecca Palmer

Speech and language therapist in stroke care by background and a Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Sheffield/Sheffield Teaching Hospitals. 

Rebecca’s clinical and research interests are in the field of stroke rehabilitation, specifically the assessment and treatment of aphasia and dysarthria, use of computer technology for self managed rehabilitation of communication disorders and the inclusion of people with aphasia in research.

Rebecca’s work  focuses on the evaluation of the clinical and cost effectiveness of using commercially available software for the self management of continued intensive treatment of aphasia in the longer term post stroke. 

Rebecca is the chief investigator of the 'Big CACTUS’ which received funding from the NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme. Development of methods for inclusion of groups of people with communication disorders in  research are an integral part of this work, including methods of obtaining informed consent, patient and public involvement in all aspects of the research. 

Dr Jack Parker

Role in CLAHRC: Jack is currently a Research Fellow at the School of Health and Related Research and the Theme Manager for the Telehealth and Care Technologies (TaCT) theme of NIHR CLAHRC YH. His research focuses on rehabilitation and in particular, neurodisbailities, musculoskeletal conditions, long-term conditions and innovative models of service delivery.

Following a 13 year career as a Royal Marines Commando where he specialised in physical training and rehabilitation, he undertook a BSc (Hons) in Physiotherapy at Sheffield Hallam University where he undertook his PhD ‘Stroke patients’ utilisation of extrinsic feedback from computer-based technology in the home: a multiple case study realistic evaluation.’ He has published in a number of peer reviewed journals, book chapters, and NIHR publications. He has presented at and chaired national and international conferences as well as to academic and NHS trusts. He has also had the opportunity to lecture undergraduate and postgraduate Physiotherapists, University and NHS staff and medical students. 

Hilary Piercy

Role in CLAHRC: Researcher in the Telehealth and Care Technology (TaCT) theme

Activities in CLAHRC: Hilary 's main activity in CLAHRC is to lead the project the 'Developing a decision aid to support informed family planning decisions for parents of children with a rare genetic condition.' 

Role outside CLAHRC: Hilary works as a principal lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University.  Her main activities are research in the areas of sexual and reproductive health and post graduate education.  She is programme lead for the professional doctorate programme which currently has 52 doctoral students from a wide range of discipline s across the areas of health and wellbeing. 

Lauren Powell

Role in CLAHRC: Research Associate, Telehealth and Care Technologies (TaCT) Theme.

Activities in CLAHRC: Previous projects within CLAHRC have included the usability of the "Ready Steady Go" Telehealth Implementation Toolkit (Brownsell & Ellis, 2012), exploring the barriers to telecare adoption (Bentley et al, 2016), "Journeying through Dementia", a feasibility study exploring the development of an intervention to promote well-being in people diagnosed with early-stage dementia and leading on a systematic review of wearable technology for stroke survivors (Powell et al, 2016). Teaching activities involve the Telehealth and Telecare Masterclass for medical students and the Research Methods module on the Masters in Public Health at the University of Sheffield. She also supervises medical students during their research placements. 

Lauren currently works on a variety of projects including the use of mobile application for parents and young people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), medication compliance in young people with ADHD, the use of an app to encourage physical activity in patients diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), the use of wearable technology to encourage upper limb rehabilitation in stroke survivors,and the management of a citizen science database, which aims to encourage the inclusion of members of the public in our research activities.

Role outside CLAHRC: Following a number of appointments working in Primary and Secondary Schools as a Teaching Assistant, Lauren gained a BSc in Psychology and  MSc in Psychological Research, both from the University of Sheffield.  She then worked for the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SWYPFT) Research and Development (R&D) Department assisting with the recruitment for several National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) funded research projects. She then moved to working at the University of Sheffield to work on an Medical Research Council (MRC) funded Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT); "Lifestyle Matters"; an occupational therapy based intervention for those aged 65 years and over.

Michaela Senek

Activities in CLAHRC: Michaela is a Maternal & Infant Health PhD Researcher within the Centre for Health and Wellbeing at Sheffield Hallam University.  Her research interests are in maternal health and in particular maternal obesity. Her PhD involves development and implementation of a feasibility RCT that is incorporating social media and technology in order to increase physical activity in pregnant obese women.   Prior to starting her Phd Michaela obtained a Master of Public Health &Epidemiology, a Master of Arts in Science Technology and Society and a BA in Human Biology.

As part of her training, she interned on a World Health Organisation- funded collaborative malaria and polio eradication project in Ghana.  Alongside her PhD work Michaela has an interest in maternal health research in developing countries and has attended workshops in Indonesia, Argentina and India.