Professor Richard Davies
Professor Richard Davies has today been announced as the University of Plymouth’s new Vice-Chancellor.
Richard, who is currently Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Global and Sustainability at Newcastle University, is joining Plymouth at the beginning of October.
He will succeed Professor Dame Judith Petts DBE, who retires at the end of September following almost a decade in the role.

I can’t wait to come to Plymouth and get started. My experience during the recruitment process, and especially when I came here and met people in-person, was one of genuine warmth and enthusiasm – it felt easy to make connections and I felt instantly at home.

Everyone I met in Plymouth was friendly. People from outside the University were full of praise for it as a place that makes a real, positive difference to the city’s prosperity and diversity, and makes them feel proud to live here.
There’s also recognition that we’re dealing with significant challenges in the higher education sector, and I know I have a great team that’s ready to face whatever comes our way in the next few years.
Professor Richard Davies
An earth scientist who studied at Reading and Edinburgh Universities, Richard started his career in the oil and gas industry, in the UK and abroad.
His research now focuses on climate change, marine methane hydrates and building projects in the area of carbon capture and storage.
On his past experience and joining the University, Richard said,
"For me, coming to Plymouth is part of a journey. I left the energy sector 21 years ago, because I wanted to do something more meaningful to me, and I’ve gone full circle to researching ways of putting carbon back under the ground to slow climate change. I am excited to be joining an institution that has an impressive track record on sustainability and is leading the world in areas of excellence such as the development of offshore renewable energy."

What I see in Plymouth is a University that changes people’s lives for the better in the city and region, as well as having a growing international impact through teaching and research excellence. It has an even greater role to play globally, as well as in the South West and wider United Kingdom.

Within that, our focus has to be on creating the best possible student experience in every facet of student life, including generating life-changing opportunities, here on campus and through partners worldwide. I can already see the team at Plymouth has a strong understanding of students’ needs and how they are changing.
On the personal front, my sons Fraser and Gregor are 20 and 18, so they’re of an age where my wife April and I have the chance to move, and we’re looking forward to finding a new home in the Plymouth area.
Professor Richard Davies

I am delighted to welcome Professor Richard Davies as our next Vice-Chancellor, following a highly competitive selection process.

Richard is a senior university executive with an extensive record of strategic and operational leadership. He brings significant experience and expertise in regional, national and international contexts; most importantly, he has a set of values and aspirations that align very closely with those of the University of Plymouth.
He is therefore perfectly placed to build on the very substantial progress made by the University under Dame Judith’s leadership.
Professor Simon Gaskell
Chair of the University's Board of Governors