University appoints new Vice-Principal and Provost



Professor Mark Biggs

A chemical engineering academic with extensive international experience has been appointed to the role of Heriot-Watt University’s Vice-Principal and Provost.

Professor Mark Biggs is currently Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of College of Science and Technology at Nottingham Trent University. He will take up the key leadership role in Edinburgh this summer with the aim of driving growth across Heriot-Watt’s UK and global network.

Announcing the appointment, the University Principal, Professor Richard Williams, says Professor Biggs brings a combination of experience and vision which strongly resonates with the University’s distinctive portfolio.

Professor Williams said: “I am delighted to welcome Mark to our Heriot-Watt community as Vice-Principal and Provost, a role which will be pivotal in shaping the future of our institution. Throughout his distinguished academic career, Professor Biggs has delivered enhanced performance across research and student experience and worked extensively in partnership with the wider community and internationally.

We are all engaged in developing the University’s response to the unprecedented challenges the world faces today and I know Mark will be a great addition to the Heriot-Watt team.”

Professor Biggs spent 8 years as an academic at Edinburgh University before becoming Professor of Chemical Engineering and Head of the School of Chemical Engineering at Adelaide University in 2008, and Dean of Science at Loughborough University in 2014.  

Professor Biggs said: “I am honoured and thrilled to be joining Heriot-Watt in a role that is focused on supporting the hugely talented students, staff and other stakeholder communities of Heriot-Watt to realise their aspirations. I am particularly attracted by Heriot-Watt as a values-led institution and look forward to bringing those values to life in what I do.

I am also delighted to be joining an institution with such a distinctive international presence and I am confident my extensive experience in Asia will be of real asset as Heriot-Watt further develops its campuses in Dubai and Malaysia.”

The current Vice-Principal, Professor Julian Jones will be returning to the University’s academic community. Congratulating him on his tenure, Professor Williams said ”I would like to thank Professor Julian Jones for the dedication and commitment he has shown throughout his time as Vice-Principal. His wise counsel has been an invaluable support to myself and the Executive team and I look forward to paying proper tribute to him when the transition takes place.”

Professor Biggs will be joined in the move to Edinburgh by his wife and their two children.