Professor Mark Simmons has been appointed as the new Head of the School of Chemical Engineering, beginning his new post today (24 April).


Professor Simmons started out as an undergraduate student in Chemical Engineering at the University of Nottingham, where he also subsequently completed his PhD. He spent a year as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, USA, before taking up his first lectureship in the School of Chemical Engineering here at the University of Birmingham, in the year 2000. From there his career has developed and he was appointed the Deputy Head of School, in 2009 and Professor of Fluid Mechanics, in 2012.

He leads an internationally-recognised research group in fluid-mixing and multi-phase flow, which he has built over his time at the University. His research has received funding from the EPSRC, BBSRC and industry: he is Deputy Director of the EPSRC Programme Grant in multiphase flows (MEMPHIS) and has long-standing collaborations with Unilever, Rolls Royce and Johnson Matthey, with whom he held a Royal Society Industry Fellowship.

Professor Simmons takes on his new role with the School of Chemical Engineering having enjoyed a sustained period of strength in terms of student recruitment and research performance, under the out-going Head of School Professor Peter Fryer.

Professor Richard Williams, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College, said, “I would like to sincerely thank Professor Fryer for his work and achievements as Head of School. Under his leadership the School of Chemical Engineering has become a beacon of quality in the College, producing high quality graduates and researchers, and raising the profile of research performance in the College. I am delighted that Professor Simmons has been appointed as his successor. He comes with a strong track-record and is much respected within the School and the research community here at the University and further afield.”

On his appointment, Professor Simmons comments,

I am delighted to take on the role of  Head of School and thank Professor Williams and the Vice-Chancellor for their support. I look forward to working with my colleagues to build on our recent successes and to further strengthen our international reputation for research and teaching excellence.