October 3rd, 2023
Professor Tom Rodden is the university’s new Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange. He takes up the role from 2 October 2023.
Professor Rodden is a Professor of Computer Science in the Faculty of Science and had been working at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport as its Chief Scientific Adviser.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Shearer West said: “I am delighted to welcome Tom as our Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange. His many roles in research leadership across his impressive career, alongside his work in, and knowledge of, government will prove invaluable.”
“Recent results from the 2023 Knowledge Exchange Framework have reconfirmed Nottingham’s excellence in knowledge exchange and the vital role we play supporting innovation, addressing global challenges, and driving local economic growth.”
“We placed 7th in the UK for research power in results for REF202I and Tom will build on these achievements and lead preparations towards the next Research Excellence Framework. I look forward to Tom working with our community to enhance further our research quality and performance and strengthen our commitment to the sharing of knowledge.”
Professor Rodden takes over from Professor Sam Kingman, who served as Interim Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange.
Professor Rodden sits on the University Executive Board and has responsibility for the university’s research portfolio, implementing the Research Strategy, which aims to transform our research quality, performance and culture and ensure it is robust and truly reflective of our whole community.
He also chairs the university’s Research Excellence Framework (REF) Steering Group, leading its post-REF2021 review to lay the foundations in preparing for the next REF exercise, as well as chairing the Research and Knowledge Exchange Committee and Nottingham Technology Ventures, which manages the university’s portfolio of spinout companies.
Professor Rodden, who joined Nottingham in 2001 from Lancaster University, said:
“I am privileged to take up this important, exciting and challenging role at the University of Nottingham and building upon the achievements of my predecessor, Professor Dame Jessica Corner, and Professors Neil Crout and Sam Kingman, who maintained our progress while serving as interim Pro-Vice-Chancellors for Research and Knowledge Exchange.
“I look forward to working with colleagues from across the university as together we strengthen a culture of excellence to support the delivery of innovative solutions to key challenges and make a real difference to people’s lives.”
Professor Rodden will be supported by Professor Sarah Metcalfe, who will be taking up the role of Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange in January 2024 once her interim appointment as Provost for the University of Nottingham in Malaysia concludes.
As Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department for Culture Media and Sport from January 2019 to September 2023, Professor Rodden advised ministers and senior officials, ensuring government policies were supported by the best science and technology advice available, and supporting effective communication between government, academia and industry. He providing scientific lead for a range of government digital strategies, including the Events Research Programme during the Covid pandemic, in which 37 large-scale pilot events attended by over five million people were monitored, leading to the safe easing of national restrictions.
He served as Deputy Chief Executive of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) from April 2016 to April 2018 and Deputy Executive Chair between April 2018 and January 2019, with responsibility for research strategy, acting as the UK Research and Innovation lead in both Artificial Intelligence (AI) and e-Infrastructure.
He is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, a fellow of the British Computer Society and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.
Professor Rodden’s research is highly interdisciplinary. By better integration of computer, digital and data science with the social sciences and humanities, he seeks to enhance understanding of the impact of novel digital technologies on our lives and the social, ethical and technical challenges presented by the prevalence of personal data and emerging AI technologies.
He is a leading member of the Mixed Reality Lab, an interdisciplinary research facility and creative studio that is home to a team of more than 70 researchers and media artists with strong links to the creative and cultural industries.
He founded and previously co-directed Horizon Digital Economy Research, an RCUK-funded institute that brings together academic, commercial, public and third sector partners to shape the digital economy of tomorrow. Horizon provides solutions to societal challenges such as keeping young people safe online and ethical use of personal data, while helping policymakers keep pace with and anticipate digital innovations.
As Director of the EPSRC Equator Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration, Professor Rodden and colleagues showcased some of the first applications of mobile technologies to support tourism and worked with leading art groups to produce innovative, award-winning media performances.
He has authored over 300 articles, ranging from distributed systems to novel interdisciplinary design methods. His work has helped shaped the interdisciplinary fields of Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), Ubiquitous Computing and Interaction with Smart Environments.
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