Meet the judges

Meet the judging panel for the AOP Awards 2019

Fiona Anderson

FionaAndersonDispensing Optician Fiona Anderson, was reappointed President of the International Opticians Association in April 2018 and is the Immediate Past President of The Association of British Dispensing Opticians(ABDO). Fiona was also appointed to the Board of Trustees of the European Academy of Optometry and Optics (EAOO) in May 2018. Additionally Fiona is also a member of Optometry Scotland and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers.

Fiona currently works as Dispensing Director of an independent practice in Ellon. She is an ABDO examiner and provides training and mentoring both in the UK and abroad.

Sally Bates

Sally Bates As a dispensing optician, lecturing in the field of optics since 1993, Sally Bates is passionate and enthusiastic about her profession.

Recognising the need to support trainee dispensing opticians and their employers, Ms Bates established a training company that offers courses for all sectors of the optical profession.

At ABDO College, Ms Bates is responsible for teaching all elements of the professional practical examinations, as well as the theory of communication skills to dispensing students at all levels

Ms Bates also locums in practice as a self-employed dispensing optician.

Ian Beasley

Ian Beasley Dr Ian Beasley has been working in optics for 29 years and joined OT as Clinical Editor in September 2013 and the AOP team, as Head of Education, in May 2015.

As well as his roles at the AOP and OT, Dr Beasley is a postgraduate researcher at Aston University and in 2013 was the first person in the UK to receive a professional Doctorate in Optometry.

Julie Hughes

Julie HughesJulie originally trained as an Ophthalmic Dispensing Optician at City & East London College on the correspondence course, whilst being employed by Dolland & Aitchison in 1989. Due to a change in location she then worked in the Supertension cable industry and obtained her first degree in Physics and Materials Science.
Returning to Ophthalmic Dispensing in 2006 by reading the Optical Management honours degree, and then subsequently BOptom (Hons) in 2009. She has worked for large multiples and independent optical practices as a qualified Dispensing Optician. During her time at ARU Julie became a part-time research assistant in 2012, whilst completing her optometry degree. During this time she was involved in the early process of accreditation for the Foundation degree in Ophthalmic Dispensing. 

On completion of her Optometry studies she embarked upon her academic aspirations and has been course leader since 2014 together with Fellowship of the Higher Education Authority and PGCert. Subsequently Julie has increased her involvement with all processes around the management of the FdScOD and is currently studying for an Educational Leadership and Management MBA.

Byki Huntjens

BykiHuntjens306 Byki Huntjens is an optometrist from the Netherlands, who obtained her MSc and PhD in optometry from the University of Manchester. She is a senior lecturer at City, University of London, where she is module lead for Contact Lenses (UG) and Professional Higher Certificate in Contact Lenses (PG). She is supervisor of several MSc and PhD students, covering a wide field of clinical research. She leads the dry eye clinic at City, and co-facilitated workshops in contact lenses (City WinC). Byki holds fellowships of the BCLA and IACLE, and has recently been elected as council member of the BCLA.

Henry Leonard

Henry Leonard Henry is the Professional Advisor to the Association of Optometrists.

After graduating from Aston University in 2002, Henry undertook his pre-registration year in multiple practice, during which he was awarded second prize in the pan-European Essilor Varilux University essay competition. Since qualifying, Henry has worked for independent opticians, small groups and multiples, and has been an active member of his Local Optical Committee for over 10 years, most recently taking on the role of Clinical Governance Lead. 

Henry has a particular interest in IT, having developed the AOP’s GOS audit tool, which allows contractors in England to audit their GOS claiming. Henry has also been involved in charity work, travelling to Tibet in 2006 to help set up an optometry clinic in the remote town of Yushu on behalf of ROKPA, a medical charity working in Tibet, Nepal and Zimbabwe, and is also a current Trustee of the Optical Benevolent Fund.

Nicola Logan

Nicola LoganNicola is Director of Research for the Ophthalmic Research Group, School of Optometry, Aston University, Birmingham, UK.

Nicola’s research interests are the epidemiology of refractive error, the development and aetiology of myopia and myopia control. Her current research projects span these areas of interest and include clinical trials in myopia control and risk factors for progression of myopia in children.

Nicola has set up a myopia clinic at Aston University and she collaborates with other researchers working in the field of myopia as part of the Myopia Consortium UK and internationally as part of The Myopia Institute.

Fatima Nawaz

Fatima NawazFatima graduated in 2010 from Aston University and works as an optometrist in the West Midlands. She is currently studying to become an independent prescriber. Since 2015, Fatima has been an AOP Councillor for Early-career Optometrists and a member of the AOP Policy Committee. She is on the Advisory Board for Eyecare which is the largest independent provider of continuing education and training in the UK. Additionally, she is a member of Walsall Local Optical Committee. 

Fatima also works as a tutor/examiner for Optom Academy which specialises in pre-registration optometrists students' training. She volunteers with Hope for Humanity, a UK based charity that shares her passion in helping disadvantaged and vulnerable people and is based on a purely 100% donations policy.

Ceri Smith-Jaynes

Ceri Smith-JaynesCeri is the clinical editor for multimedia at Optometry Today (OT) and a media spokesperson for the AOP. Her role mainly involves creating CET videos, delivering peer discussion and writing clinical content for OT.

Originally from South Wales, Ceri is also an optometrist, working in independent practice in Lytham St. Annes, Lancashire. She studied optometry at UMIST, graduating in 1999, where she won the year prize for pharmacology. She is undertaking her independent prescribing qualification.

Ceri has been a pre-reg supervisor and clinic supervisor at the University of Manchester undergraduate clinics. Her special interests include dry eye, orthokeratology and irregular-cornea contact lens fitting.

Brian Tompkin

Brian TompkinOptometrist and practice owner Brian Tompkins has over 40 years’ experience in optics and is a former AOP Awards Contact Lens Practitioner of the Year.

Mr Tompkins is a passionate advocate of contact lens use for all and was elected President of the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) in 2015, a role he held until mid-2017. As well as working in his own independent practice in Northampton, Mr Tompkins lectures internationally on contact lens use and technology.

Farah Topia

Farah Topia Farah is an optometrist currently working within the legal team at the AOP providing clinical and regulatory advice to members. She also works as a research optometrist at St Thomas’ hospital and as a locum in community practice.

Farah has obtained further qualifications in glaucoma and therapeutics and has previous experience of working in hospital glaucoma and eye casualty clinics. She has also worked as a clinical supervisor at Aston and City Universities. 

Lizzy Yeowart

Lizzy Yeowart Elizabeth Yeowart graduated from Aston University in 1996 with a first-class degree in Optometry. She worked in practice for 15 years before taking a career break to raise her children. It was then that she started writing her blog: What Lizzy Loves: Life and Style Through The Eyes of An Optometrist. Today, as well as her blog, Lizzy writes the Get The Look column for Optometry Today and enjoys collaborating with brands from the worlds of both fashion and optics. 

Lizzy lives in Skipton, North Yorkshire and has two teenagers and an Instagram Husband.