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Senior officer profiles

Unless otherwise stated, the contact address for senior officers is:

The University of Manchester
Oxford Road
M13 9PL

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor


Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, FRS, President and Vice-Chancellor, leads by example.  Her own research in the field of neuroscience, which is ongoing, has contributed towards major advances in the understanding and treatment of brain damage in stroke and head injury.

She joined the Victoria University of Manchester in 1987, became Professor of Physiology in 1994 and held an MRC Research Chair from 1998 to 2010. Concurrent with her Faculty posts she has also held University roles as Vice-President for Research (2004–2007) and as Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (2007–2010). 

She was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in June 2004 and made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in June 2005 in recognition of her services to science. In September 2016 she began a year-long term as President of the British Science Association.

Dame Nancy became President and Vice-Chancellor in July 2010, the first woman to lead The University of Manchester or either of its two predecessor institutions. 

She was the founding President of the Society of Biology, and was a non-executive Director of AstraZeneca and a Royal Society Council Member. She is currently co-Chair of the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology, a Deputy Lieutenant for Greater Manchester, and a member of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership Board.

Dame Nancy takes a strong and active interest in public communication of science.

The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PT
Tel: +44 (0) 161 306 6010

Professor Colin Bailey, Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Colin Bailey

Colin Bailey is the University’s Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, providing strategic leadership and operational management across the full-range of University functions. 

Colin joined the University of Manchester in 2002 as a Professor of Structural Engineering. He previously worked for design consultants Lovell Construction, Cameron Taylor Bedford, and Clarke Nicholls and Marcel, where he designed and supervised the construction of a number of building structures. He has also worked for the Steel Construction Institute and the Building Research Establishment, where his practical and research experience resulted in significant developments in structural engineering. His main specialties are fire safety engineering of structures, membrane action, wind loading, and steel-concrete composite systems. He is author of over 120 research papers and practical design guides, and has been awarded nine prizes for his research work. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institution of Structural Engineers, and a member of the Institution of Fire Engineers.

From May 2009 until October 2014 Colin was Vice-President of the University and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences (now the Faculty of Science and Engineering). As Vice-President, he contributed to the strategic leadership and operational management of the University as a whole to deliver its mission of becoming one of the leading universities in the world while maintaining its distinctiveness. As Dean, Colin was responsible for the strategic leadership and operational management of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, with an income of more than £270m, more than 10,000 students and more than 1,900 academic and support staff.  Between 2007 and 2009 Colin was Head of the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering.

Tel: +44 (0) 161 306 9111

Lemn Sissay, Chancellor

Lemn Sissay

Lemn Sissay MBE is an award-winning writer and broadcaster. He is associate artist at the Southbank Centre, patron of the Letterbox Club and the Reader Organisation, and ambassador for the Children’s Reading Fund.

Lemn is a fellow of the Foundling Museum and was official poet of the London 2012 Olympics. His public-art Landmark Poems are installed throughout Manchester and London, with Gilt of Cain unveiled by Bishop Desmond Tutu.

He is the author of a series of books of poetry alongside articles, records, radio documentaries, public art, and plays. His installation poem What If exhibited at The Royal Academy, touring the world from Tokyo to New York, and 21st Century Poem was released on the multi-million selling, award-winning album Leftism by Leftfield. A violin concerto performed at the BBC Proms by Viktoria Mullova was inspired by and named after his poem Advice For The Living.

The BBC television documentary Internal Flight and radio documentary Child of the State were both broadcast about his life and his TED talk about childhood has more than half a million views. Lemn was the first Black Writers Development Worker in the north of England, based in Manchester. In 2010, he was awarded an MBE for services to literature. The Sissay PhD Scholarship for Care Leavers, the first of its kind, has been running for six years. He regularly reads on stages and in universities across the globe as an inspirational speaker and poet. He wrote the official poem for the 2015 FA Cup.

Tel: +44 (0) 161 306 6010

Edward Astle, Chair of the Governing Body and Pro-Chancellor

Edward Astle

Edward Astle joined the Board of Governors in 2014 and was appointed Chair in 2016.

Edward has spent most of his career in the telecoms and utilities sector. He served on the boards and ran substantial divisions of Cable and Wireless (1989–97), BICC (1997–99) and National Grid (2001–08). Between 1999 and 2001 he chaired two start-ups and one plc that had just floated on the London Stock Exchange, all of which were telecoms-related.

From 2008 to 2013 Edward was Pro Rector (Enterprise) at Imperial College London, leading a team that supported the university’s links with business, particularly for corporate research funding and its international ventures. He also oversaw the university’s relationship with Imperial Innovations.

Educated at Manchester Grammar School and Queens College Oxford, and with an MBA from INSEAD, Edward is currently a non-executive director of Intertek plc, one of three independent members of BT plc’s Equality of Access Board, and Vice Chair of the prisoner literacy charity Shannon Trust.

Tel: +44 (0) 161 306 3251

Gillian Easson, Pro-Chancellor


Gillian Easson started her career as a solicitor in Stockport 30 years ago and went on to become one of the first female prosecuting solicitors in the North West.

Gillian is Chairman of Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, which provides hospital services for children and adults across Stockport and the High Peak, as well as community health services for Stockport, Tameside and Glossop.

She was previously a non-executive director of the Christie Cancer Centre and is currently the first female pro-chancellor of The University of Manchester, a member of the University’s Global Leadership Board and Chairman of the Management Board of Manchester University Press. She regularly lectures, contributes to publications and has undertaken reviews on behalf of Monitor, the NHS foundation trust regulator.

Tel: +44 (0) 161 306 6010

Will Spinks, Registrar, Secretary and Chief Operating Officer


Will Spinks took up his role as Registrar, Secretary and Chief Operating Officer in 2011. In this role he heads the administration of the University and leads the Professional Support Services. He is a member of the University Senior Leadership Team and is involved in University strategy and policy and provides advice to the President and Vice-Chancellor and other senior colleagues. As Secretary to the Senate and the Board of Governors he is responsible for University governance.

Before joining Manchester, Will worked both in higher education, as Chief Operating Officer at Loughborough University, and in the private sector in a number of senior appointments at ICI, Zeneca and AstraZeneca.

Will has a number of higher education roles nationally. These include roles within the Association of Heads of University Administration and in evaluating students’ unions for the National Union of Students. Outside of higher education he chairs two charitable trusts.

Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 2066

Professor Luke Georghiou, Vice-President for Research and Innovation


As Vice-President for Research and Innovation, Professor Luke Georghiou is responsible for developing and implementing the University’s research strategy, and for knowledge transfer activities and engagement with business. In this role he is seeking to raise the quality and ambition of the University’s research from its already high levels and to ensure that it makes an important contribution to the economy and society.

His own research on science and innovation policy, public procurement and foresight has been highly influential, particularly in the European arena. He has chaired and been a member of several high-level inquiries, including being rapporteur of the influential Aho Group report to European leaders, 'Creating an Innovative Europe'. His publications include articles in journals such as NatureScienceHarvard Business Review and Research Policy.

He holds a PhD (1982) and BSc from The Victoria University of Manchester and has been the Director of the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research. Most recently he was Deputy Dean and Associate Dean for Research in the Faculty of Humanities. He also served two terms as a senate representative on the University’s Board of Governors.

Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 5933

Professor Clive Agnew, Vice-President for Teaching, Learning and Students


As Vice-President for Teaching, Learning and Students, Professor Clive Agnew is responsible for strategy and policy development in this area. He aims to ensure that the University excels in all aspects of its educational mission.

Clive holds a Chair in Physical Geography. He researches and teaches in the fields of water resources development and applied hydrology. His first degree was in Physical Geography (BSc) from Newcastle University in 1976. His PhD was awarded in 1980 from the School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia for work on water resources and drought in west Africa. He worked for his PhD at the CILSS/WMO AGRHYMET Centre at Niamey, Niger and has continued to work on problems of environmental degradation and water management.

He has worked extensively in both the drylands and the wetlands of Africa, Europe and the Middle East, developing strategies for the management of water shortages at local and regional levels. His most recent book, Water Resources and Development, written with Philip Woodhouse,examines stewardship of the water environment to give a balanced treatment of the role of environmental, social and political priorities in the allocation of water. Currently he is engaged in research projects investigating the management of water and ecosystems in the UK uplands, Bangladesh and Tanzania.

He was appointed to the Systems Department of the Open University in 1979 and, from 1981 to 1999, was a lecturer then senior lecturer in Geography at University College London.  In 2000 Clive was appointed as Head of Geography at Manchester and from 2004 to 2009 served as Head of the newly created School of Environment and Development (Including Architecture, IDPM, Geography and Planning). He was appointed Vice-President for Teaching, Learning and Students in 2011.

Clive continues to teach undergraduate and postgraduate students. In earlier appointments he has held various teaching management positions, including Director of Geography Programmes, Chair of Geography QAA, Director of MRes and numerous programme leads. He has written on interactive teaching for large groups and developing numeracy skills, and has held national positions as a curriculum and teaching reviewer and training facilitator. The three main goals of his current position are the enhancement of student experience, to support widening participation and to improve student employability. 

Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 3654

Professor Martin Schröder, Vice President and Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering

Professor Martin Schröder

Professor Schröder is an expert in materials chemistry applied to energy research and nanosciences. He leads a programme of research in the development of porous metal organic frameworks (MOFs) for a variety of applications including H2 storage, CO2 capture and the separation of fuel and toxic gases and hydrocarbons. He joined The University of Manchester in June 2015 as Vice President and Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering and Professor of Chemistry. He was previously Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Nottingham.

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, he is also currently Principal Investigator for the EPSRC Programme Grant ‘Coordination Chemistry for Energy and our Sustainable Futures’ and has previously held ERC Advanced and Proof of Concept Grants. He has won many awards for his research, most notably from the Royal Society of Chemistry, including the Corday Morgan Medal and Prize (1989), the Tilden Lectureship and Medal (2001), the award for Chemistry of the Transition Metals (2003) and the award for Chemistry of the Noble Metals and their Compounds (2008). He has held a Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award (2005-2010), a Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship (2006), and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Tallinn Technical University, Estonia in 2005.

Previously Martin has held a Personal Chair at the University of Edinburgh, and Visiting Professorships at the University of Toronto, the University of Otago in New Zealand, and the Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg. He was Lecturer of the Year of the Leiden Institute of Chemistry in The Netherlands in 2010 and Guest Special Professor of Wuhan University, China in 2013. He has published 470 papers, reviews and patents.

The University of Manchester, Sackville Street Building, Sackville Street, Manchester M13 9PL
Tel: +44 (0)161 306 9112

Professor Keith Brown, Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities


Professor Keith Brown graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1979 with an MA in Modern and Scottish History, and was also awarded a PhD there in 1983.

He was appointed Glenfiddich Research Fellow at the University of St Andrews in 1983 and went on to hold a number of fellowships there until becoming a Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Stirling in 1991.

In 1995 he returned to the University of St Andrews as Professor of Scottish History and was appointed Head of the School of History in 1997. He became Vice-Principal (Teaching) for the University in 2001 and in 2003 was appointed Master of the United College, managing the overall academic operation of the University.  His remit was extended to include the role of Deputy Principal in 2006.

In 2010 he joined The University of Manchester as Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities.  The Faculty of Humanities is the largest of the University’s four faculties with 17,000 students, around 2,000 academic and professional support staff and a diverse portfolio of disciplines organised around the Schools of Arts, Languages and Cultures, Environment, Education and Development, Law, and Social Sciences, as well as Alliance Manchester Business School.

Keith is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His field of research is early modern Scottish and British History. He led the team that in 2007 launched the acclaimed online archive of the proceedings of the original Scottish Parliament, from its first surviving act of 1235 to its union with the English Parliament in 1707.

In recent years he has published a three-volume edited history of the Scottish Parliament and a monograph entitled Noble Power in Scotland from the Reformation to the Revolution (Edinburgh University Press; 2011). His current work is on Scottish migration to England from the 16th to the 18th century, for which he holds an Arts and Humanities Research Council Network Grant.

The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PT
Tel: +44 (0) 161 306 1111

Professor Ian Greer, Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

Professor Ian Greer

Professor Ian Greer is a clinician, scientist and leader of international note who joined Manchester in the summer of 2015 from the University of Liverpool.

At Liverpool, he was Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences from 2010 and Provost responsible for research policy from 2013.

Professor Greer led a major period of change during his time at Liverpool, significantly increasing research income, instituting practices to develop progression for early career researchers, recruiting internationally renowned scientists and attracting new investment in partnership with the private sector, the NHS and government.

Professor Greer is also Director of the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC), and Chair of the Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA) – a partnership of the eight research-intensive universities in the north of England with their major partner NHS Hospital Trusts, and the four Northern Academic Health Sciences Networks.

Previously, he was Dean and Professor of Obstetric Medicine at Hull York Medical School, Regius Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Deputy Dean of the Medical Faculty at the University of Glasgow, and Clinical Scientist at the Medical Research Council Reproductive Biology Unit, Edinburgh.

His clinical practice and research focuses on medical disorders in pregnancy, and women’s vascular health, particularly in relation to haemostasis and thrombosis, and he has attracted over £10 million in funding during his career.

The University of Manchester, Manchester, M13 9NT
Tel: +44 (0)161 306 0533