Prof John Ludden
Professor John Ludden

One of the UK’s most respected geologists is joining Heriot-Watt University.

Professor John Ludden will take up his new post full-time from September 1, following a successful 13-year spell leading the British Geological Survey (BGS) as its Chief Executive Officer. In this new role as a Bicentennial Research Professor, Professor Ludden will draw on his extensive experience as an international leader in the earth and environment sector. The focus of this exciting appointment will be on earth and environmental science governance, with a remit to develop links across the sciences and strengthen communication with the public and politicians.

Professor Ludden said: “I am extremely pleased to be taking up the role of Heriot-Watt Bicentennial Research Professor. This new Lyell Centre post will also be collaborating with the University’s Institute of Geoenergy Engineering (IGE). It will provide a platform to develop a world-class energy testbed in Krafla Iceland and also to build a sustainability focus inside the Lyell Centre that will investigate the feasibility of the environmental solutions required to ensure that the Earth continues to be a safe, habitable environment.” 

Among the first to welcome Professor Ludden to the University is Professor Malcolm Chrisp, Head of the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society. He said: "I am delighted that Professor Ludden is joining the Lyell Centre, bringing his expertise and research leadership to bear on these ambitious projects. He is already proposing new and exciting research into extracting heat from molten rock within the earth’s crust and will foster cross-institutional collaboration and debate, with the aim of instrumenting change in science strategy, development and governance.”

Prior to his time at the BGS, Professor Ludden was Associate Director for Earth Sciences at CNRS-INSU in France and spent 12-years as Professor and Research Institute Director at the University of Montreal.

In 2016, he was presented his CBE for Service to Geoscience and is a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.