Professor Christopher Snowden
Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive
Qualifications: FRS FREng FIET FIEEE FCGI
Room no: 13 SE 08
Professor Snowden is Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Surrey, Guildford, UK and a distinguished engineer, businessman and academic with wide experience of the international microwave engineering and semiconductor industry.
He is Vice-President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Chairs the Academy’s Engineering Policy Group. He was President of the Institute of Engineering and Technology 2009-10. He is a member of the Council of the Royal Society.
Professor Snowden is a member of the Prime Minister’s advisory Council for Science and Technology and he is a member of the Council of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. He has recently been appointed to represent the UK on the governing board of the EU Commission’s Joint Research Centre. He is a member of the governing board of the UK’s Technology Strategy Board and a member of the Government Office for Science’s Advisory Board on Foresight. He is a Member of the Board of Universities UK (UUK) and, following his recent re-election, he is Vice-President for England and Northern Ireland. Until recently he chaired the UUK Employability, Business and Industry Policy Committee. He is a member of the Council for Industry and Higher Education and the Defence Scientific Advisory Council. He is a Patron of Surrey Youth Focus, Transform, Housing and Support, and the Daphne Jackson Trust.
Prior to his appointment at Surrey, Professor Snowden 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. He was Chair of HERO Ltd from 2006-2008. He has experience as a Non-Executive Director of several technology companies.
After graduating from the University of Leeds in 1977, Professor Snowden 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. Professor Snowden 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.
Professor Snowden 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 published 8 books and over 330 technical papers.