Teesside University has appointed a new member of staff to its executive team who will help to shape the institution’s bold and ambitious research agenda.
Professor Steve Cummings is to become the university’s pro vice-chancellor for research and innovation.
He will take over from professor Simon Hodgson who has been in the position since 2015 and been instrumental in growing the University’s research activity and setting a clear strategic vision.
Professor Cummings is taking over at an exciting time for Teesside University as it is set to launch its new corporate strategy, Teesside 2025, which provides a focus on delivering excellent research that enhances wellbeing, productivity and prosperity and shapes the research challenges of tomorrow.
The university’s research grand challenge themes have recently been redefined to focus on three core areas – forging a smarter, greener industrial economy; shaping the future of health, care, and wellbeing; and creating vibrant, cohesive and resilient societies.
These grand challenge themes are underpinned by eight bespoke, specialist research centres and Teesside is committed to utilising the impact of research to embed its position as a civic university and anchor institution, as well as contributing to national and global economic and societal recovery resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Vice-chancellor and chief executive professor Paul Croney said: “I am delighted that professor Cummings will be taking up the important position and am sure that his extensive experience and expertise will help the ongoing growth of research activity, the generation of research funding and the realisation of the University’s strategic aims.
“I would like to thank Professor Hodgson for his hard work, vision and dedication, which has transformed the research culture at the University. I have no doubt that under the leadership of Professor Cummings, research at Teesside University will continue to thrive.”
Professor Cummings joined Teesside University in 2016 and has held a number of senior academic positions, most recently dean of the School of Health & Life Sciences, where he has led the development of a more innovative curriculum offer and nurtured the growth of research across multi-disciplinary base areas.
More recently, he has played an instrumental role in the development of the National Horizons Centre as a UK centre of excellence for the bioscience industry. He has placed research and innovation at the heart of strategic developments and has prioritised the growth of external partnerships.
Before moving to Teesside, professor Cummings was associate dean academic in Health and Life Sciences at Northumbria University.
His academic background is in microbiology and he has published over 100 articles, secured research funding from the National Institute for Health (USA), NIHR, Danone and charity TinyLives, and is an editor of two international peer-reviewed journals.
“The university has a strong and vibrant research culture embedded across the institution,” said professor Cummins.
“I am looking forward to building on the foundations that have been put down to further strengthen our position as a university which delivers challenge-led research that addresses regional, national and international priorities and delivers outstanding impact.
“I would also like to thank professor Hodgson for all the work he has done and the support he has given me and wish him all the best for the future.”