New University VP for regional recovery and development

A new post has been announced to help the University of Aberdeen play a key role in the north-east of Scotland's recovery and redevelopment from the pandemic.

Professor Pete Edwards – who has been Head of the University’s School of Natural and Computing Sciences – will step down from that role to take on the new position of Vice-Principal for Regional Engagement and Regional Recovery.  

Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor George Boyne said:  

“Professor Pete Edwards is a long-standing member of our academic community and will lead our work to ensure that the University continues to bring benefits to organisations and communities in the North East  

“Covid-19 brought into sharp focus the part the University can play in helping the north-east of Scotland bounce back and build as we emerge from the pandemic.   

“This new post will lead the development and implementation of a strategy for the University to make a comprehensive and effective contribution to the economic, social and cultural recovery and development in the north-east of Scotland.   

“Professor Edwards will support the identification of new regional development opportunities and collaborations, expanding our links with external partners to ensure responsiveness to regional priorities as well as enhancing our work on entrepreneurship, start-ups, consultancy and commercialisation.   

“Overseeing our commitments as a civic University and our engagement with community planning is also key to this role. This is a dynamic and progressive time for our University as we work towards achieving the commitments made in Aberdeen 2040 - our strategic vision for the future.”   

Professor Edwards joined the University us as a Research Fellow in the Department of Computing Science in October 1988.  Since then he has held a number of academic positions including Head of Computing Science and Head of the Graduate School in the College of Physical Sciences. Most recently he has been of Head of the School of Natural and Computing Sciences.   

With more than 20 years’ experience of research and innovation working with partners from the public, private and third sectors, including time as Director of the UK Digital Economy Research Hub known as dot.rural, Professor Edwards has been an active contributor across a number of regional activities, including as a member of the Aberdeen City Region Deal Digital Working Group, the Opportunity North East (ONE) Digital & Entrepreneurship Board, and as an advisor to Aberdeen City Council’s Smart City strategy.  

He said: “This is a challenging time for the north-east of Scotland as it deals not only with the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, but the wider socio-economic implications of the energy transition. I am delighted to be taking up this new role which will work towards recovery and redevelopment - putting the University at the heart of the region and working to realise the ambition in our foundational purpose to be ‘in the service of others’. “