The University of Sheffield appoints new Vice-Chancellor

The University of Sheffield has appointed Professor Keith Burnett as its next Vice-Chancellor. He will take over from Professor Bob Boucher whose period of office comes to an end in December 2007.

An eminent scientist with an outstanding leadership track record, Professor Burnett is currently Head of the Division of Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences at the University of Oxford. Before taking up this position he was Chairman of Physics at Oxford, where he has enjoyed a successful career of almost twenty years.

He was born in Llwynypia in the Rhondda Valley and attended Brynteg Comprehensive in Bridgend. He went on to study for a BA and PhD in Physics at the University of Oxford.

His academic career started in Colorado, United States, as a research associate at the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics. He went on to become an assistant professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Colorado. He was then a Lecturer in the Physics department at Imperial College for four years before moving to Oxford.

Professor Burnett was awarded a CBE for service to Physics in 2004 and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2001. With extensive involvement in science policy in Britain, he is currently Chairman of the International Science Advisory committee of the UK's national laboratories. His research interests are in the areas of atomic, molecular and optical physics.

Under his leadership, Oxford's Division of Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences has developed a new research strategy and was awarded 12 Research Councils UK (RCUK) fellowships as well as number of Science and Innovation awards.

Professor Burnett also enjoys teaching and before taking his head of Division role was a Tutorial Fellow in Physics at St John's College.

Married with two children, his personal interests include Chinese language and culture. He is currently in his third year of learning the language.

Professor Keith Burnett said: "I am honoured and excited to have been chosen as the next Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield. The University has a great reputation and I look forward to building upon that and shaping our vision of education in the next decade."

Kathryn Riddle, Chairman of the University Council, added: "Professor Burnett brings an outstanding combination of abilities and achievements in leadership, research and teaching. He is the right person to build on the excellent work already achieved and our growing global reputation. We are extremely happy to have secured his appointment and look forward to welcoming him and his family to Sheffield."

Professor Bob Boucher, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: "I am delighted about the appointment of Professor Burnett who will take over from me after my period in office expires in December 2007. I am sure everyone will join me in extending a traditional warm Sheffield welcome to Professor Burnett and his family."

For further information or for a photograph please contact: Lindsey Bird, Media Relations Officer on 0114 2225338 or email l.bird@sheffield.ac.uk