Professor Geoff Petts Professor Geoff Petts

Vice-Chancellor and President

My role and vision

In my operational role as the Vice-Chancellor of the institution I am responsible for its finances, people management, and estates and facilities development.

My role is to advance a long-term strategy for developing a distinctive and sustainable institution with global networks. We will provide opportunities and facilities for staff and students to be creative in developing new knowledge and in applying that knowledge to make a difference to people’s lives.

As Vice-Chancellor, I am committed to lifelong learning for all and to bringing the best academics into key leadership roles at the University. I aim to be an ambassador for the institution, to be someone who contributes to big debates both about higher education and about my own academic specialism, and to maintain my professional networks and support to relevant societies internationally.


I’ve held posts at Loughborough University and then Birmingham University, which led me to become Vice-Chancellor here at the University of Westminster.

As a student I studied geography, zoology and geology at Liverpool University before embarking on a research path that took me to Exeter and Southampton universities, before short posts at what is now Bournemouth University and UC Los Angeles. 


Research is a passion and it provides me with relaxation and satisfaction outside of the day job. My own research is at the interface of hydrology, geomorphology and ecology to address the sustainable development of water projects.

I founded and continue to edit the leading international journal in the field, River Research and Applications, and have held a number of leading positions as president, fellow and member in various committees and associations.

External roles

I have been elected President of the British Hydrological Society. I am also the elected Chair of London Higher, which works across all universities in London.

Letters in a card index

Academic directory

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Honorary doctorates and notable alumni

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