Dr Peter Bonfield

OBE, FREng, FIET, FICE, FIOM3, FCIOB, HonFIStructE, HonFCABE

Vice-Chancellor

Dr Peter Bonfield's profile photo

My role

As Vice-Chancellor and President of our University I have responsibility for directing all university activities and developments, ensuring the wellbeing, health and safety of our students and colleagues, leading on and progressing our commitments towards equity and inclusivity without racism and harassment. I also have statutory reporting duties on behalf of the University to the Office for Students.

My work provides me with the opportunity to stimulate and facilitate widespread engagement in teaching, research, enterprise, business support and knowledge exchange activities as well as seeking out and developing innovative ideas, superior quality and progressive practice to enhance the University’s capability.

I work closely with the University Executive Board, to ensure we are providing a first-class education for our students, and that we continue to build strong relationships with industry through our enterprise and research, making a difference to many professions in the UK and globally.

Background

I was previously Chief Executive Officer of the BRE Group, which focused on research, standards and training to enable a safer and sustainable built environment around the world.

External roles

I was President and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) during 2019/20, which has some 170,000 professional members around the world and extensive knowledge services activities

I am currently the Deputy-Chair of London Higher, the organisation representing the 39 or so London Universities, where I also founded and Chair the Health, Safety and Wellbeing Network focused on students and colleagues who collectively face many challenges – especially around mental health and wellbeing.

I am senior Non-Executive director of UK Active which focuses on how physical activity can support a healthier and happier society through its mission to make more people, more active, more often.

From 1 February 2021 I was appointed Chair of Trustees of the Board of the Institution of Occupation Safety and Health (IOSH), the chartered body that represents the safety and health profession. 

I have worked across many government departments as a non-executive expert on a wide range of briefs, including chairing four independent reviews for the Government – on Forests and Woodlands, Public Sector Food Procurement, Property Flood Resilience, and Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies. I was appointed as a Non-Executive Director of UK Government (2015–18) assigned to the Department of Food, Environment and Rural Affairs, and to the Talent Advisory Group (until 2020) which looks at development, recruitment and retention of civil servants across England. I was appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government as one of four appointees on the Expert Panel established soon after the tragic Grenfell Fire to advise on actions to be taken to help ensure the safety of residents in high-rise housing who may be at risk; a role I fulfilled for some nine months.

Between 2006 and 2012, I was part-time seconded into the Olympic Delivery Authority where I co-created and delivered the Sustainability Strategy and led on the sustainable procurement of construction products. A project that delivered so well because of the culture arising from health, safety and wellbeing as the overriding priority.

I was awarded the OBE in 2012 for services to research and innovation in the construction industry. I am a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institution of Engineering and Technology, the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, the Chartered Institute of Building, the City and Guilds Institute, Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Structural Engineers and the Chartered Association of Building Engineers. I have Honorary Doctorates from the Universities of Edinburgh Napier, Hertfordshire, Loughborough and Bath.

I am a former National Cycling Champion and coach, which included the women’s triathlon team for Athens in 2004.