Professor Zahir Irani
Professor Zahir Irani is the Dean of the College of Business, Arts and Social Sciences having returned from a Cabinet Office secondment where he was a Senior Policy advisor to Government during 2014.
"I have had significant HE leadership experience through being Head of the Department of Information Systems and Computing, and in 2006, appointed Head of the Brunel Business School through to 2014.
As Head of the Brunel Business School, my main job was to provide strategic leadership through a period of transformational change to allow the School to reposition itself as a leading business school that is focused on the student experience and high quality research with impact. This ambition was realised and evidenced through being awarded the Times Higher Education Business School of the Year in 2013.
For me, research and entrepreneurial activity should be at the core of a modern business school, and with that in mind, I introduced a number of strategic measures aimed at expanding such activities so that we can attract the best students and staff. In my new role as Dean, I look forward to transferring best practices across all six departments within the College of Business, Arts and Social Sciences that will help the College to become distinctive and sustainable.
I believe strongly in Brunel University London’s research-intensive ethos. Academic staff should normally be underpinned through strong research profiles and for the Business School in particular, it is important that this research, when appropriate, is undertaken by engaging with industry so we can continue to promote knowledge transfer. It is also very rewarding to see such engagement benefitting students in what and how they are taught. It is this approach, where appropriate, that I will seek to embed more broadly through my new role as Dean of College. The size and shape of the College will allow for significant interdisciplinary collaboration with students and staff to take place, in doing so, helping our students to become ready for work, ready for life.
I also consider it important for me personally to remain research active and in doing so, leading by example. My own area of research interest is in the area of information systems evaluation, specifically, within the context of electronic Government where I have / had significant research council funding. More broadly, I am also active in the area of food security, within the context of waste and waste management where I am working on a Qatar Foundation funded project with international partners.