Dr David Adkins

Dr David Adkins

Deputy Head of School

Plymouth Business School (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)



Interim Deputy Head of School. Experienced academic leader and lecturer covering a range of subjects across maritime business and supply chain management. Research focused on regional development and cluster issues in the maritime sector.


I joined the university in 2011, following a variety of industrial experiences, including a seagoing logistics role; and commercial and procurement management. My teaching focuses on two broad areas - procurement, and maritime business, including commercial practice and law. My research supports this, with my PhD linked to the competitiveness of regional maritime economies. 
I am particularly interested in student's academic and professional development, from their initial experiences in the early days of year one, through to the completion of the dissertation at undergraduate and postgraduate level. I have some close industry ties, acting as a link between students, alumni and industry. 

Professional membership

  • Fellow of the Regional Studies Association
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply
  • Member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport

Roles on external bodies

I was Joint Chair of the Devon & Cornwall Branch of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply 2017-2018


Teaching interests

Maritime business, regulation, legislation, policy, security, and history. Supply chain management, focusing on commercial and procurement management.

Staff serving as external examiners

  • External Examiner for Doctor of Business Administration at Liverpool John Moores University - 2023 to present     
  • External Examiner for MSc International Business Management (collaborative provision), MSc Logistics & Supply Chain Management, and MBA at Kingston University – 2023 to present
  • External Advisor for MSc Management and MSc Supply Chain Management Periodic Review at University of Brighton – 2023
  • External Examiner for MBA at Cardiff Metropolitan University and TNE Partners – 2018 to 2022
  • External Advisor for DBA Approval at University of Portsmouth – 2022
  • External Advisor for Institutional Review, and MBA Periodic Review at London Metropolitan University – 2022
  • External Examiner for MBA at Manchester Metropolitan University – 2017 to 2021
  • External Advisor for Pre-Masters Programmes, University of Strathclyde International Study Centre – 2021
  • External Examiner for Pre Masters Management Programmes, Cambridge Ruskin International College – 2019
  • External Advisor for Pre-Masters Programme, Lancaster University International Study Centre – 2019
  • External Advisor for MBA Periodic Review at Cardiff Metropolitan University and TNE Partners – 2018
  • External Advisor for MSc Strategic Procurement Management Programme and Partner Validation – University of South Wales & Cape Breton University – 2017
  • International Academic Liaison (Maritime Programmes), Business College of Athens – 2016 to 2023
  • External Advisor for BSc Logistics and Supply Chain Management approval at American College of Greece and Open University Programme Validation - 2015 
  • Link Tutor for Maritime and Logistics Programmes at Plymouth University International College 2013 to 2020


Research interests

My research interests focus on maritime clusters, cluster management and their role in developing a sustainable maritime industry. 
PhD 2021: The Governance of Maritime Clusters and the Impact on Sustainable Development and Social Capital

Research degrees awarded to supervised students

Supervision of 2 maritime PhDs and 1 DBA student.

Grants & contracts

2024 - UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office: A Pilot Study for Establishing and Operating a Green Corridor between the UK and ASEAN Region through Singapore 
2019 - Faculty of Arts & Humanities Knowledge Exchange Small Grants Scheme - Connecting Us to Our Oceans: Shipping in Schools Project
2016 - Marine Institute Education Fund Grant
2015 - Faculty of Business Research Facilitation Grant


'Maritime Cluster Governance: A Key Pillar of Sustainable Regional Development', The Port and Maritime Sector: Key Developments and Challenges - World Conference on Transport Research Society Special Interest Group 2 Conference, Antwerp, 3-4 May 2018

'The Effect of Cluster Governance', MLBP PhD Research Seminar, Plymouth, 15 December 2017

'Measuring the Impact of Clusters on Sustainable Development', Regional Studies 2017 Annual Conference 'the Great Regional Awakening: New Directions', Dublin, 4-7 June 2017

'Beyond GDP: A Framework for Measuring Sustainable Development in Maritime Clusters', 19th TCI Global Conference, Eindhoven, 8-10 November 2016

'Examining the Impact of Social Capital on Sustainability in UK Maritime Clusters', Eleventh International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic, and Social Sustainability, Copenhagen, 21-23 January 2015

'UK Maritime Clusters: Assessing the Impact of Social Capital on Innovation and Sustainable Development', Geography of Innovation, Utrecht, 23-25 January 2014 

'Knowledge is power: Social and Environmental Success for UK Maritime Industries?', RSA Early Career Conference, Hamburg, 1-2 November 2012



Reports & invited lectures

'Policies for Maritime Industry 4.0', Korea Maritime Institute & Pusan National University, May 2019 
'Maritime Clusters: Developing a Sustainable Maritime Industry', World Maritime Day - Plymouth, September 2017
'The Contemporary Role of Procurement in the Supply Chain', Fontys University of Applied Sciences, Venlo. November 2016.

Conferences organised

2018 LRN Conference: 23rd Annual Conference of The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, Logistics Research Network