Universities UK announces President for 2013 - 2015

Friday 2 November 2012

Universities UK (UUK) announced today that Professor Sir Christopher Snowden, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Surrey, will be the next President of Universities UK.

He will succeed the current President, Professor Eric Thomas, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol, on 1 August 2013 and will hold the post for two years until July 2015. He was unopposed in the nominations process.

Sir Christopher has been President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Surrey since August 2005. He is a distinguished engineer with wide experience of the international microwave and semiconductor industry. He is Vice-President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Chairs the Academy’s Engineering Policy Group and was President of the Institute of Engineering and Technology 2009-10. He is a member of the Prime Minister’s advisory Council for Science and Technology and was Knighted in the 2012 New Year’s Honours for services to engineering and higher education.

Sir Christopher is currently a Vice-President of Universities UK - representing England and Northern Ireland - and is a member of the Council for Industry and Higher Education.  

Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive of Universities UK, said: “Chris has tremendous knowledge of higher education, industry and government which will be a great asset to him in this role. He has already made an enormous contribution to Universities UK’s work, both as a member of the board and leading on higher education and industry links. He is widely respected, both as a leading academic and vice-chancellor, and we look forward to working with him as president from next summer.”

Professor Sir Christopher Snowden said: “I am extremely privileged and delighted to be nominated to become the President of UUK as of August 2013. This is a very challenging period for UK higher education and I look forward to representing the sector and promoting it, both nationally and internationally. I will seek to present the sector’s views to government, and other major stakeholders, and to ensure that UUK is positioned as a key influence in steering higher education policy and able to help institutions capture new opportunities as they arise. This is a time to ensure that the UK higher education sector continues to be seen as world class and a great national asset.”

Editors' Notes

1. Professor Eric Thomas remains President until 31 July 2013. Professor Snowden will not be giving interviews about this post until later in 2013. For further information, please contact the Universities UK press office on pressoffice@universitiesuk.ac.uk or 020 7419 5407.

2. Prior to his appointment at Surrey on 1st August 2005, Sir Christopher was Chief Executive Officer of Filtronic ICS. He joined Filtronic plc in 1998 as Director of Technology before being promoted to Joint Chief Executive Officer in 1999.

3. After graduating from the University of Leeds in 1977 Sir Christopher worked for Mullard Ltd in Surrey.  His PhD studies were later conducted at Leeds in association with Racal MESL Ltd. He worked as the Senior Staff Scientist in Corporate Research and Development at M/A-COM Inc. in the USA, from 1989 to 1991 and was retained as their corporate consultant until 1998.  He has been a consultant for several other major international microwave electronics companies in the USA and UK. Sir Christopher held the personal Chair of Microwave Engineering at the University of Leeds from 1992-2005 and was Head of the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering from 1995-98.  He was the founder and first Director of the Institute of Microwaves and Photonics located in the School.  During his time at Leeds he supervised 50 successful PhD candidates. He was a Visiting Professor at the University of Durham until 2005 and University of Delft from 1996-98.

4.  Sir Christopher (FRS FREng  FIET FIEEE FCGI) is a Fellow of the Royal Society, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Fellow of the IEEE, a Fellow of the IET and a Fellow of the City and Guilds Institute. He was awarded the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Silver Medal in 2004 for his “outstanding contributions to the UK microwave semiconductor industry”. He was a Distinguished Lecturer for the IEEE Electron Devices Society for seven years until 2005. He was awarded the 1999 Microwave Prize of the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society – only the second UK citizen in 58 years to receive this accolade. In 2009 he was awarded the IEEE Distinguished Educator Award of the Microwave Theory and Techniques Society.  He has just received the 2012 Outstanding Career Award from the European Microwave Association. He has published 8 books and over 300 technical papers.

5. Universities UK is the representative organisation for the UK’s universities. Founded in 1918, its mission is to be the definitive voice for all universities in the UK, providing high quality leadership and support to its members to promote a successful and diverse higher education sector. With 134 members and offices in London, Cardiff and Edinburgh, it promotes the strength and success of UK universities nationally and internationally. Visit: www.universitiesuk.ac.uk.

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