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University of Sussex appoints next Deputy PVC for Research

Professor Seb Oliver

Professor Seb Oliver has been appointed as a Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University of Sussex.

He will replace Professor Sriram Subramanian who is stepping down after six months in the role to focus on his other academic and professional commitments.

Stepping into the role, Professor Oliver will focus on increasing the value of research grants captured by the University’s research community and improving research performance. He will work closely with Professor Anna Barnett, who is Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research with responsibility for business engagement and industrial strategy.

Professor Oliver is Professor of Astrophysics and was Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange in the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences from 2012-2019. He has strong engagement with UKRI and chairs the STFC Education, Training and Careers committee.

He is also director of an STFC funded data intensive science centre for doctoral training, called DISCnet, co-ordinating work across multiple institutions to place talented PhD students in local, national and international businesses and other partners.

In his 20-year academic career at the University of Sussex, Professor Oliver has attracted a number of high-value research grants for his work studying the evolution and distribution of galaxies. He led the largest project on ESA's Herschel Space Observatory, HerMES, to take pictures of the distant Universe and is now coordinating the Herschel Extragalactic Legacy Project which brings together data from the best observatories on Earth and in space to show how stars and galaxies formed billions of years ago. He has also worked with a number of researchers at Sussex, applying data analysis to a variety of interdisciplinary challenges.

Adam Tickell, the Vice-Chancellor, said: “I’d like to thank Sri for all his hard work in the role to date. While I regret his decision to step down, Sri will continue to be one of the University’s most highly regarded and innovative researchers.

“In Seb, the University’s leadership is gaining an extremely accomplished and well-respected research leader to step into the role. 

“His work on observational astrophysics is world renowned and we will greatly benefit from his extensive connections in the wider research community.

“What’s more, Seb is hugely committed to the University of Sussex and has invaluable experience of the institution going back two decades.

“We are all looking forward to working alongside him and Anna as we move into the next phase of our Research with Impact strategy.” 

Professor Oliver said: "I look forward to working with the hugely talented researchers across the University and the amazing professional staff who support them to push forward the boundaries of knowledge in exciting and creative ways."

By: Charlie Littlejones
Last updated: Tuesday, 31 March 2020