Interim Director of a new Lancaster research institute announced

Photo of Professor Phil Barker

Professor Phil Barker has been announced as interim Director of a new Lancaster research institute that will address the broad area of sustainability and capitalise on Lancaster’s expertise across the University.

The new institute will be built from grassroots up, evolving with input from members across the University community. Phil will lead a process to organically shape Lancaster’s niche, build upon our established expertise and create new opportunities.

Phil has recently ended a period as Director of Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC), the University’s biggest academic department and itself a multidisciplinary institution.

He commented: “This is an important opportunity to harness the expertise we have in Lancaster to address the most important questions we face as a society. We have rich traditions relevant to these challenges in each of our faculties. I am very excited to lead the development of the new institute.”

The new institute will target research and enterprise opportunities – Professor Louise Heathwaite, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) explained: “I have long thought that we should be recognising, developing and promoting externally our excellence across the institution in research and enterprise endeavour relating to sustainability. Here at last is the opportunity to grow this flagship initiative. It is deliberately cast as one that builds from grassroots so that all can feel empowered to engage. I can think of no better person to lead this exciting opportunity than Phil and am hugely grateful that he is prepared to take on this role. I am sure colleagues will support him in its delivery.”

The new institute will also complement the University’s drive for operational sustainability and aim to be net zero by 2035 – an area led by Professor Simon Guy, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Global (Digital, International, Sustainability).

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