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Durham University announces appointment of new Executive Dean for Science Faculty

Professor Clive Roberts has been appointed as the new Executive Dean (Science) for Durham University.

Professor Roberts will take up his new role on 4 March 2024and will be a member of the Durham University Executive Committee.

He will have a key role to play in delivering the University Strategy 2017-2027 for the Science Faculty. In particular, he will be responsible for shaping and leading the Science Transformation Programme. 

Professor Robertsis currently Director of the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) at the University of Birmingham. 

Until recently,he was the Head of the School of Engineering at Birmingham when he oversaw the construction and move to a new £82million building which was underpinned by a business case to increase the scale of the School’s operations by 2025, meeting targets ahead of schedule. 

He also founded and leads the national UK Railway Research and Innovation Network (UKRRIN), a £182million academia/industry partnership supported by Research England and 30 industrial partners. 

Professor Roberts’s academic interests cover a range of interdisciplinary areas including sensing and data analysis; complex system simulation; control systems; energy and sustainability; risk and safety assessment; AI and machine learning; cybersecurity and systems engineering. 

His group was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2018, the PraxisAuril Knowledge Exchange ‘Partnership of the Year Award’ with Siemens, and the Guardian University Award for ‘Business Collaboration of the Year’ with Porterbrook in 2020.

In 2022, Professor Roberts received the ‘Innovation Thought Leader Award’ at the Technology Supply Chain Awards.

He brings over 25 years’ experience in Higher Education and a track record in attracting significant research income and in international growth, facilities and partnerships development. 

Recent successful research bids include the £92million Research England Research Programme Infrastructure funding for UKRRIN and the £90million Research England Research Programme Infrastructure funding for extension of UKRRIN with facilities in Goole and South Wales.

Professor Roberts said: “Durham has a longstanding global reputation for conducting cutting-edge scientific research while also providing a high-quality education and student experience. 

“It is a very exciting time to join the University, which has committed to expanding and enhancing the impact and reach of the Science Faculty over the coming years. 

“Working with colleagues, I will ensure the Faculty continues to extend its significant contributions to local, national and global communities through theoretical, translational and multi-disciplinary work that addresses key challenges facing society.”

Professor Mike Shipman, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost at Durham University, said:

“Clive is a highly impressive academic leader with a strong track record inestablishing large scale interdisciplinary research in partnership with industry as well as international growth and facilities development.  

“His appointment will ensure we can take our Faculty of Science to a new level of success and significantly enhance its reputation globally.” 

Professor Roberts succeedsProfessor Stefan Przyborski, who has been Interim Executive Dean (Science) for the past ten months. Professor Shipman thanked Professor Przyborski for his leadership of the Science Faculty and his achievements at a critical time for the University.

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