Sussex appoints new PVC for Research
The University has appointed a new Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) to replace Professor Bob Allison, who is leaving Sussex this summer to become Vice-Chancellor at Loughborough University.
Professor Michael Davies, who is currently Dean of Engineering at the University of Auckland and Pro-Vice-Chancellor of its innovation campus, will join Sussex in January 2013.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Farthing, chaired the appointing committee. He said: “Professor Davies has had a distinguished research career, has been successful in attracting large-scale research funding, and has had the leadership experience in Dundee and Auckland to take research at Sussex to the next level.
“His experience in running the innovation and enterprise campus at Auckland will be invaluable as we seek to make our research even more relevant to local, national and international needs in the future.”
Professor Davies has been in New Zealand since 2007. Prior to that he was Professor of Civil Engineering for ten years at the University of Dundee, where he held posts as Deputy Principal and Dean of Engineering & Physical Sciences.
From 1983-97 he was a Lecturer in Soil Mechanics at Cardiff University, following a research post at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Professor Davies studied at the University of Cambridge for both his MPhil and his PhD in Soil Mechanics, after taking his undergraduate degree at King’s College, London.
His research has been in the fields of geotechnical engineering and earth science. Professor Davies has published some 160 papers in journals and conference proceedings, and edited two conference proceedings and a research monologue.
He has obtained research income from UK research councils (including EPSRC, NERC, MRC and BBSRC), higher education funding councils, the EU, current and former government research agencies and industry.
Professor Davies has played a leading role in a number of learned societies: he is currently Vice-President for Australasia and the First Vice-President of the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, and from 2005-07 he was Chairman of the British Geotechnical Association. In 2003 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
Professor Davies said: “I was attracted to the post of Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) at Sussex because, although the University has a richly deserved reputation as an internationally competitive research-intensive university across its disciplines, it has aspirations to continue to grow this renown.
“It is an exciting opportunity for me to be able to make a tangible contribution to the University achieving its strategic goals for research. I will be bringing to Sussex my experience in conducting and managing both fundamental and applied research in the UK and overseas, together with working across traditional disciplinary boundaries and developing research strategies at an institutional level.
“I am looking forward very much to working with my new colleagues from across all the schools in order to develop and implement strategies that will make the University of Sussex recognised unequivocally as an internationally leading centre of creative thinking, learning, discovery and innovation.”
In the interim period until Professor Davies takes up his post, the key roles and responsibilities of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) will be taken on by specific named senior staff, including other pro-vice-chancellors and heads of school. Those details are being finalised, and the list will be published shortly on the web pages for the Vice-Chancellor’s Office.