UCL Vice-Provost (Research) appointed

25 September 2007

Professor David Price, Executive Dean of UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences, has been appointed UCL Vice-Provost (Research). He will take up the post on 1 October 2007.

David Price

UCL Vice-Provosts are appointed by the President and Provost to assist and advise him as required. The UCL Vice-Provost (Research) is responsible to the President and Provost for leading on UCL’s research strategy – including planning for the higher education funding bodies’ 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) and chairing the Research Strategy Committee – and chairing its working group on full economic costing.

Professor Price said: “UCL is a world-class centre for research, and it is my aim to help develop an environment in which the research community here can grow and achieve still greater levels of excellence. UCL has global expertise across the entire spectrum of academia, and researchers here are uniquely placed to provide solutions to major international problems, such as global health, the development of the urban environment and intercultural understanding. I hope to enable the study of such interdisciplinary problems, which consequently will allow UCL to continue to make a global and national contribution to scholarship and to provide solutions to real-world issues.”

Professor Price is a mineral physicist who two decades ago was one of the first to establish the now major field of computational mineral physics, and in this time has published more than 190 research papers. His work has not just been computational, however – he has always combined experiment, theory and modelling to tackle major deep Earth sciences problems. His research led to the discovery of the first natural occurrence of beta-Mg2SiO4, which he named wadsleyite, and which is now believed to be the major constituent of the upper part of the transition zone of the Earth's mantle (400 km below the surface of our planet).

He joined UCL in 1983 as a Royal Society University Research Fellow in the Department of Geological Sciences, researching the behaviour and properties of mantle-forming minerals. In 1991 he was made Professor of Mineral Physics, tenable jointly at UCL and Birkbeck College. From 1992–2002 and 2004–2005, he was Head of the Department of Geological Sciences (UCL Earth Sciences since 2004) as well as Director of the UCL/Birkbeck Research School of Geological & Geophysical Sciences. He has also served as Faculty Vice-Dean (Research) of UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences and Chair of the UCL Research Computing Sub-Committee and has been a Member of UCL Council (2003–2006).

He has been a member of the Research Assessment Exercise Panel for Earth Sciences, the Natural Environment Research Council’s Earth Science & Technology Board and the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (HECToR) Science Board.

Professor Malcolm Grant, President and Provost of UCL, said: “David’s contribution to UCL over nearly 25 years has been considerable – at departmental, faculty and institutional levels, and as an outstanding researcher in and teacher of mineral physics. That breadth of experience will stand the UCL community in good stead as it faces the challenges of implementing a new research strategy and the run-up to the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise.

“I would also like to pay tribute to David’s predecessor as UCL Vice-Provost (Research), Professor Dave Delpy, whose work has put us in a strong position to face those challenges. We are proud that he has been chosen to perform the important role of Chief Executive of the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council.”

To find out more about the President and Provost’s Senior Management Team, use the link at the top of this article.