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Brunel appoints Professor Stuart Palmer as Chair of Council


Professor Stuart Palmer has been appointed Chair of Council at Brunel University London and will begin his tenure this month.

He succeeds outgoing chair Prof Mike Spyer and Dr Vineta Bhalla, Deputy Chair of Council, who took on an interim chair role.

Following a distinguished academic career in physics, Prof Palmer has held several high-profile roles in Higher Education and chaired or served on a wide range of committees for HEFCE and EPSRC.

Prof Palmer said: “I am delighted to be invited to Chair the Council of Brunel University London. I have long admired Brunel’s commitment to students and their future careers through research-informed teaching. I hope I can contribute to the success of the University as it embarks on an exciting and challenging period ahead.”

After studying physics at the University of Sheffield, Prof Palmer took up a lectureship in the Applied Physics Department at the University of Hull before taking up roles including Head of Physics, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and then Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Warwick. His research has spanned condensed matter physics, medical physics and non-destructive evaluation and has led to the formation of three spin-out companies in conjunction with research students. His research into ultrasonic investigation of osteoporosis was recognised with the naming of a train on the East Coast Main Line – the Professor Stuart Palmer. More recently he has chaired the Council of Cardiff University for six years and was Visiting Professor at Queensland University of Technology. He is currently the Honorary Treasurer of the European Physical Society.

Outgoing chair Prof Spyer has held office as Chair of Council since 2017, during which time he has overseen the fruition of Brunel’s current 2030 strategic vision, as well as significant growth in the University’s global partnerships and international reputation; and research base, in line with the current Research Strategy. Central to Prof Spyer’s tenure has been the development of Brunel’s Medical School, a project close to his heart and one reliant on his wealth of experience and commitment.

Prof Andrew Jones, Vice-Chancellor and President of Brunel University London, said: “We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Mike for everything he has done in his time as Chair of Council. Despite some huge challenges nationally, his commitment to Brunel and its growth as an institution has been considerable, and the completion of our new Medical School is evidence of his absolute dedication. 

“I’m delighted that Stuart is joining Brunel at such an exciting time in our history. His passion and experience will be crucial as we take Brunel to new heights.”

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