Leading mathematician and equality champion appointed Executive Dean of MACS



Sara Lombardo
Professor Sara Lombardo

An international figure in mathematics and advocate of equality, diversity and inclusion has been appointed into a key leadership role at Heriot-Watt University. 

Professor Sara Lombardo begins her new role as Executive Dean of the School of Mathematical & Computer Sciences (MACS) next month. 

Throughout her career, Professor Lombardo has built a wealth of experience in leadership and management roles in higher education. Following positions in Manchester, Rome, Amsterdam and Newcastle, Professor Lombardo was, most recently, the Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching (AD (L&T)) of the School of Science at Loughborough University, a role she has held since 2017.  

Commenting on her ambitions as the new Executive Dean of MACS based at Heriot-Watt's Edinburgh campus, Professor Lombardo, said: “I'm excited to join Heriot-Watt and become part of its global community.  Universities contribute so much to the world and Heriot-Watt has a long history of producing leading edge, dynamic research that has delivered meaningful change. 

“I look forward to contributing my efforts to continue this legacy alongside my colleagues.” 

Professor Lombardo's research covers many areas of mathematics, from algebra to analysis and geometry to tackle fundamental problems often motivated by mathematical physics, attracting international interest. 

She is also Chair of the EPSRC's Mathematical Sciences Strategic Advisory Team and has a passion for diversity issues through her involvement with various Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) initiatives.

This includes her role as Chair of the London Mathematical Society Women and Diversity on Mathematics Committee as well as experience as Chair of the Advisory Board of NUSTEM, an organisation which encourages a more diverse group of people to consider STEM careers. 

For her scholarly contributions and for the advancement of equality, diversity and inclusion in Mathematics and Computer Science, Professor Lombardo received the 2020 Suffrage Science award by the London Institute of Medical Sciences. 

Welcoming Professor Lombardo's appointment is Heriot-Watt Vice-Principal and Provost, Professor Mark Biggs, who said: “Heriot-Watt is privileged and delighted to welcome Professor Lombardo to the University, and I look forward to working with her to take MACS to even greater heights.  

“Her experience and skillset will be crucial in advancing the goals of the School, and in helping deliver intellectual excellence for the benefit of our students and the wider communities we serve around the world.”     

Professor Lombardo has been appointed Executive Dean of MACS for an initial five-year period commencing on 25 August 2022.  


Craig McManamon

Job title
Communications officer