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Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Engineering and Environment

John WoodwardProfessor John Woodward


Professor John Woodward became Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Engineering and Environment in September 2018 after 5 years as Faculty Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation). He studied at the University of Leeds and University of Liege, Belgium, graduating with a BSc (Hons) First Class in Geography in 1994. He then completed an MSc at the University of Alberta, Canada in 1996 and a PhD at the University of Leeds in 2000. After a research post at the University of Leeds, a Lectureship at Brunel University and a research post with the British Antarctic Survey, he joined Northumbria University in 2003 as a Lecturer in Physical Geography. He was promoted to Reader and Director of Research in 2008 and was appointed Professor of Physical Geography in 2012. Having completed a Teaching & Learning PCAPL qualification in 2004 he is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA). He is also a Member International Glaciological Society (IGS) and a Core Panel Member of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Peer Review College.

As Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellor for Engineering and Environment Professor Woodward is a University Executive member with key responsibility for a diverse Faculty comprising over 340 academics, 100 support staff and researchers, 250 PhD students and over 5,000 taught students. Departments cover:

Architecture & Built Environment

Computer & Information Sciences

Geography & Environmental Sciences

Mechanical & Construction Engineering

Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering

The Faculty has recently grown research across the portfolio with focussed excellence in: Cold and Palaeo Environments, (including ice/ocean modelling), with a NERC Doctoral Training Partnership, One Planet, in collaboration with Newcastle University; Renewable Energies with an EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training, ReNu, with Newcastle and Durham Universities; Solar Physics; Human Computer Interaction (HCI); and Smart Surfaces and Materials. The Faculty is based around our recently developed STEM laboratories, funded through a HEFCE infrastructure grant, our state-of-the-art Computer Science Building and the recently developed Architecture studios in our historic Sutherland Building.

Professor Woodward is a glaciologist with expertise in near-surface geophysics. His interest in ice/sediment/water interactions in glacial environments has led to NERC funded projects to study Subglacial Lake Ellsworth, Antarctica, the history and dynamics of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and his current project on ice sheet instability as part of the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration, funded by NERC and the National Science Foundation (NSF). He has conducted cryospheric research projects in Arctic Canada, Iceland, Greenland, Svalbard and Scandinavia and has spent over a year in Antarctica during seven successful science expeditions. He has a passion for outreach, working to support disadvantaged youngsters, particularly females, access STEM futures through Science and Technology Funding Council (STFC) funded projects, using creative arts to engage primary school children in STEM disciplines. His interest in student welfare has led to his role as Co-Investigator in a large Office for Students project on Mental health and analytics: a continuum approach to understanding and improving student mental health. His work on visualising the natural and built environment has resulted in research projects monitoring hazards to critical infrastructure, developing analytical approaches to highways and infrastructure engineering problems, and solutions to environmental challenges facing indigenous communities in the Canadian Arctic threatened by climate change. He is a Director of the BIM Academy, a collaborative venture with Ryder Architecture, which won the Times Higher Education award in 2017 for most innovative business/university collaboration.

Contact the Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Engineering and Environment 

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