Professor Dave Petley

Vice-Chancellor, University of Hull

Professor Dave Petley joined the University of Hull as Vice-Chancellor in September 2022.    

A geographer and earth scientist with more than 30 years’ experience in higher education, Professor Petley began his academic career at the University of Sunderland and the University of Portsmouth before moving to the University of Durham in 2000.  His research focuses on natural and environmental hazards, and he was appointed the inaugural Wilson Professor of Hazard and Risk at Durham in 2006.  He is recognised widely as a world leader in the study and management of landslides and, alongside advising national and international organisations on the management of slopes, has for over a decade maintained a popular blog on landslides which receives over 500,000 individual visits per year. 

While at Durham, Professor Petley held leadership roles including Executive Director of the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience, Dean of Research and Dean of Global Engagement.  In 2014, he joined the University of East Anglia as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise and, in 2016, was appointed Vice-President for Research and Innovation at the University of Sheffield, where he led the development of a new research strategy, the formation of four new research institutes and a transformation of the University’s approach to commercialisation. 

Professor Petley became Vice-President for Innovation at Sheffield in early 2020 in order to establish innovation as a key strategic focus for the institution.  In this role, he was responsible for knowledge exchange, impact and the University’s regional programme.  He also provided Executive Board level leadership of the Advanced Manufacturing Group, is a founding Non-Executive Director of Northern Gritstone, an investment company supporting research commercialisation in the north of England, and has led the development of the University of Sheffield Innovation District. 

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