Chris Baker graduated from his doctoral studies at the University of Cambridge, before beginning a Research Fellowship there at St Catharine’s College and the Department of Engineering. In the early 1980s he worked in the Aerodynamics Unit of British Rail Research in Derby, before moving to an academic position in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Nottingham.
He remained there till 1998 where he was a lecturer, reader and professor with research interests in vehicle aerodynamics, wind engineering, environmental fluid mechanics and agricultural aerodynamics. In 1998 he moved to the University of Birmingham as Professor of Environmental Fluid Mechanics in the School of Civil Engineering.
In the early years of the present century he was Director of Teaching in the newly formed School of Engineering and Deputy Head of School. From 2003 to 2008 he was Head of Civil Engineering and in 2008 served for a short time as Acting Head of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. He was the Director of the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education 2005-2014. He undertook a 30% secondment to the Transport Systems Catapult Centre in Milton Keynes, as Science Director.