Abertay University announces new Principal and Vice-Chancellor


15 May 2012

The Court of the University of Abertay Dundee is pleased to announce that it has appointed Professor Nigel Seaton as the new Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University.

Professor Seaton, who is former Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Surrey and a former Vice-Principal of the University of Edinburgh, will take up his appointment on 20 August.

Professor Seaton gained his BSc (Honours) in chemical engineering at the University of Edinburgh in 1982, and MSE and PhD in chemical engineering at the University of Pennsylvania in 1986.  He then worked as a research engineer with Atkins Research and Development and BP.  From 1989 to 1997 he was lecturer in chemical engineering at the University of Cambridge and fellow, tutor and Director of Studies in Chemical Engineering and Natural Sciences at Clare College.  He was visiting Professor, School of Chemical Engineering at Cornell University 1996-97.

>From 1998 to 2008 at the University of Edinburgh he was firstly Head of the School of Chemical Engineering becoming Head of the Division of Engineering and then Head of the Institute for Materials and Processes.   From 2003 to 2007 he was Dean of Undergraduate Studies, College of Science and Engineering.  He then became Assistant Principal (Taught Programme Development) and later Vice-Principal (Academic).

In 2008 he moved to the University of Surrey firstly as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic Development) and then as Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor when he was responsible for the academic activities of the University as well as strategic planning, student recruitment, internationalism, and the library and controlled a budget of c £110million.

Professor Seaton (51) was born in Falkirk.  He is married with three grown up children.

Professor Seaton said:  "It is an honour to be appointed Principal of the University of Abertay Dundee.  I look forward to working with colleagues, and with our students, to build on Abertay's record of success in education, research and knowledge transfer, and to joining the wider community in the City of Dundee."

Mr Nigel Hawkins, Chair of Court, said:  "Professor Seaton brings a depth and wealth of experience and personal qualities to his new role. The University Court is looking forward to working with him as he assumes the leadership of the University and takes Abertay forward as a vibrant and independent university making an outstanding contribution to the local community and to Scotland and as a highly respected player nationally and internationally.

"Court has every confidence in Professor Seaton's ability to engage with academic and support staff and with our student community in building on the firm foundations here at Abertay and in delivering on our exciting shared vision for the future.

"On behalf of Court I would like to thank and pay warmest tribute to Professor Nicholas Terry, Vice-Principal, for taking on the role as Acting Principal for more than a year and managing and leading the University with distinction through challenging times.  The whole University community is deeply indebted to him.

"I would also like to thank Professor Steve Olivier for taking on the additional responsibilities of Acting Vice-Principal during this period and discharging those responsibilities with diligence, energy and skill."

The Chancellor of the University, Lord Cullen of Whitekirk, said:  "I am delighted to welcome Professor Seaton on his appointment as Principal and Vice-Chancellor, and look forward to his leading the University to further achievement and the enhancement of its reputation as a centre of excellence".


Media enquiries: Kevin Coe, Director of Communications, M: 07850 904110  E: k.coe@abertay.ac.uk

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