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New Vice-Chancellor appointed to Aberystwyth University

Professor Jon Timmis Picture credit: David Wood

Professor Jon Timmis has been appointed Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University.

Professor Timmis is currently Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Commercial) of the University of Sunderland where he is the executive lead for academic and service planning, research and knowledge exchange, strategic development, international activity, student recruitment and equality, diversity and inclusion.

Professor Timmis is a former student of Aberystwyth University, having studied Computer Science as a mature student before then embarking on a PhD in artificial intelligence.

The announcement was made today (9 October, 2023) following a recruitment process led by the Chair of the University’s Council, Dr Emyr Roberts.

Dr Roberts said: “After a highly competitive process, I am delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Timmis to the role of Vice-Chancellor.

“We are extremely impressed by Professor Timmis’ proven track record of delivery and innovation, his enthusiasm for Aberystwyth as an institution and a town, and great vision for where the University’s future lies. It is a highly competitive time for the higher education sector, with institutions working under tough economic conditions; myself and fellow Council members know that Professor Timmis is fully committed to building upon our proven track record of success and innovation.”

After studying at Aberystwyth University between 1993 and 2000, Professor Timmis joined the University of Kent in 2000, where he became Senior Lecturer. In 2005, he joined the University of York as a Reader between the Computer Science and Electronic Engineering departments, before becoming Professor. He was York’s head of the Electronic Engineering department between 2015 and 2017, then Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Partnerships and Knowledge Exchange between 2017 and 2019, prior to joining Sunderland.

Professor Timmis is a former recipient of a Royal Society-Wolfson Research Merit Award and a Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Fellowship. He has published around 300 papers and raised more than £30 million in research funding.

Professor Jon Timmis said: “It is an honour to be appointed Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University. It is an institution that is very dear to my heart and one that is renowned for its teaching excellence, student satisfaction and research innovation. Aberystwyth University’s innovative teaching and research is meeting the needs of a changing Wales and a changing wider world. I want to build upon this innovation, working with partners in both the private and public sectors, locally and globally, and affect change that benefits us all in the years to come.

“Having lived and studied in Aberystwyth, I am very familiar with the thriving bilingual community. Alongside its global impact, I have always been impressed by Aberystwyth University’s pivotal importance to its community and region, including its bilingual identity. As Vice-Chancellor I look forward to improving my Welsh and reconnecting with a community that played such a large part in my own life.”

Professor Timmis will take up the role on 1 January 2024. He succeeds Professor Elizabeth Treasure, who retires from the institution at the end of 2023 after nearly seven years in the role.

Dr Roberts said: “Aberystwyth University has changed profoundly and for the better during Elizabeth’s tenure and that is down to her determination, enthusiasm and passion for the University and the town. I’m delighted to have been able to appoint a new Vice-Chancellor who promises the same commitment, ambition and focus to our institution and our community.”