Leading mineral and chemical engineer, Professor Richard Williams OBE has been appointed by the University of Birmingham as Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of College of Engineering and Physical Sciences.

Professor Williams joins Birmingham from the University of Leeds where he is currently Pro-Vice-Chancellor for International Partnerships and holds a Chair in Mineral and Process Engineering. He will take up his post at Birmingham on 1 September 2011.

Richard brings a wealth of leadership experience in a variety of areas within the higher education sector. His international experience in mineral and chemical engineering has been gained with academic posts at the Universities of Exeter and Manchester, honorary posts in Australia and China, and industrial roles in Sweden and South Africa.

He also acts as a consultant to several international companies in the chemical engineering, fine chemical and energy related sectors. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Richard comments: “The University of Birmingham is a world leading university for science and the very  heart of engineering in the UK. I am looking forward to working across the disciplines to further develop this reputation and exciting student experiences in both education and research relevant to the region and international employers

Richard will join the University’s senior management team (UEB), with the Vice- Chancellor Professor David Eastwood, who comments: “We are delighted to have appointed Richard to lead the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. He brings an outstanding academic record and exceptional leadership experience as well as extensive knowledge of international higher education, which will support Birmingham’s ambitious plans to be a leading global university. 

I would also like to thank Professor Nigel Weatherill, the outgoing Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Head of College for his enthusiasm and considerable achievements in helping to develop the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences.”

 For further information contact Ben Hill, PR Manager, University of Birmingham, Tel 0121 4145134, Mob 07789 921163.


Shortened biography Professor Richard Williams OBE 

Richard A Williams OBE FREng FTSE is currently Pro Vice Chancellor for International Partnerships at the University of Leeds and is also Professor of Mineral and Process Engineering. He is a visiting professor at UNSW, Sydney and at the China Academy of Sciences (Institute of Process Engineering). He graduated from Imperial College and after research and work experience with Anglo American Corporation and De Beers became lecturer in Chemical Engineering at UMIST (Manchester). He has held posts at the University of Exeter and University of Leeds. At Leeds he founded the Institute of Particle Science and Engineering and the British Nuclear Fuels-University of Leeds Research Alliance. He works in on-line process instrumentation (tomography), emulsion technology, particle and mineral separation, simulation of particulate processes, nanoparticle manufacturing and in nuclear waste disposal. He has received several national and international awards and prizes relating to his own innovation in chemical engineering in the area of personal products manufacturing, process measurement, nuclear decommissioning and energy systems. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. He currently chairs a UK-China Energy Storage Workshop between the Royal Academy of Engineering and Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is co-chair of the UK-USA Frontiers of Engineering conference series between the European Academies of Engineering and National Academy of Engineering. He was awarded OBE by Her Majesty the Queen for services to science and engineering in 2009.

Further details of Professor Williams activities are accessible via: