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Meet the Team

Professor Richard Williams OBE


Professor Richard A. Williams is the Principal and Vice Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University.  His background is an academic and entrepreneur working in mineral, energy storage systems and environmental technologies. He is a graduate of Imperial College (B.Sc (Eng), PhD) and has held posts at University of Manchester (UMIST), Exeter (Camborne School of Mines), and as Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of Leeds (2005-2011) and University of Birmingham (2011-2015). He has founded several business including two PLCs.  He is a Fellow and Vice President of the Royal Academy of Engineering (UK), a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (Australia) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He has worked extensively in establishing new educational and research collaborations in Middle East, Africa, Singapore, Malaysia and China. He is a visiting professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing), Southeast University (Nanjing) and Taylors University (Kuala Lumpur). In addition to his role at SIE, he is a trustee of the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, an Advisory Board member of the Lloyds Register Foundation, Lloyds Register 100A1 Ambassador, and a member of the Converge Challenge Strategic Advisory Board.