New Vice Chancellor welcomed to The University of Northampton

Date 11.11.2015

Previously Pro Vice Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) at Bournemouth University and, before that, Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Kingston University, Nick has worked in industry (BP) and on academic and commercial research projects throughout the world.

A former Royal Society University Research Fellow and Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge, Nick has held visiting research appointments at the Universities of Michigan and Vermont (USA) and NASA and is currently Visiting Professor at Macquarie University (Australia) and the Open University. He has published more than 250 research articles and books and is a highly cited author.

I am honoured to join The University of Northampton as Vice Chancellor. Universities look set to face unprecedented challenges over the next few years. But I am tremendously excited by the prospect of working with colleagues on the next stage of our journey towards becoming a university recognised internationally for the excellence of its teaching, research and community engagement.

Professor Nick Petford, Vice Chancellor

Widely known for his expertise in volcanoes and the engineering properties of rock, Professor Petford’s research work embraces field investigations and mathematical modelling in the flow of molten rock, or magma slurries, on earth and other planets. He is currently working with colleagues at NASA on the physics of ice magma. Most recently, he has turned his attention to modelling blood flow with colleagues at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital.

Nick’s contributions to the media on volcanoes include appearances on Sky News, BBC TV and Radio and Richard and Judy. In 2005 the BBC featured the work of his research team in an hour-long documentary Krakatoa Revealed. During the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano this year, Professor Petford was flown over to the volcano to front a Channel 4 documentary, The Volcano That Stopped The World.

A Fellow of the Geological Society London and American Geophysical Union, Nick is one of the youngest Vice Chancellors in the UK. He is married with three children.

He succeeds former Vice Chancellor of The University of Northampton Ann Tate who retired in August after eight years at the higher education institution in her role.