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Landslide expert to take key role at University of East Anglia

PUBLISHED: 16:04 30 May 2014 | UPDATED: 16:05 30 May 2014

Prof Dave Petley, who is due to become the UEA's Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise in September 2014

Prof Dave Petley, who is due to become the UEA's Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise in September 2014

Andrew Heptinstall

An expert in landslides has been named as the University of East Anglia’s next pro-vice-chancellor for research and enterprise.

Dave Petley is due to take the role in September, when David Richardson succeeds Edward Acton as vice-chancellor of the university.

Pro-vice-chancellors act as deputies to the vice-chancellor, and often assume responsibility for a particular area.

Prof Petley is currently dean of research and global engagement at Durham University, and his research focuses on landslides, especially in high mountain areas in low income countries.

In particular, he is interested in the use of novel combinations of field monitoring and laboratory testing to understand the internal mechanisms of mass movements, and he also maintains a database of landslides that cause loss of life around the world.

The father of two said: “I am thrilled to be joining the University of East Anglia at this exciting time in its development. The university is renowned for the strength of its academic programmes, the quality of the student experience, its world-class research and excellent staff.

“UEA is rightly very ambitious in terms of its research and enterprise activities, so I am greatly looking forward to working with colleagues across the university to achieve these aims.”

Prof Petley graduated with a degree in geography from King’s College London and a PhD in earth science at UCL, and his first academic post was at the University of Sunderland, followed by a lectureship in engineering geology at the University of Portsmouth.

He joined Durham as lecturer in physical geography in 2000 and was promoted to a readership in 2004, before eventually taking his current role in 2012.

Prof Richardson said: “He is an active and authoritative researcher in his field and an experienced manager of research, having led much of the Durham 2014 Research Excellence Framework return.”

He is a keen runner and supports Coventry City FC.

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