President: Professor Sir Keith Burnett CBE FRS CPhys FInstP FLSW
Term of office: October 2023-September 2025
Photo credit: Hannah Veale
Professor Sir Keith Burnett is Chair of the Nuffield Foundation and of the Academic Council of the Schmidt Science Fellows.
Born in the Rhondda Valley, Wales, he attended Brynteg School in Bridgend and went on to study physics, both at undergraduate and postgraduate level, at Jesus College, Oxford.
He was a postdoc and then assistant professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, returning to the UK to be a lecturer at Imperial College London and then at the University of Oxford where he was also a Fellow of St John’s College. He was Chair of Physics and then Head of the Mathematical, Physical, Engineering and Life Sciences Division at Oxford before becoming Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield.
He has served on a large number of councils, including the Institute of Physics, the Royal Society, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Science and Technology Facilities Council, the Royal Society, and the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology, as well as the Higher Educational Funding Councils for England and Wales.
He is a longstanding advocate for high-quality vocational education and technician training, and has served as the President of the Science Council, the Chair of Heated and supported the foundation of the National Technician Development Centre.
He received a CBE for contributions to the scientific community in 2004, and he was awarded a knighthood in 2013 for services to science and higher education.
He is Chair of the Nominations Committee and of the Honorary Fellows Committee and is a member of the Remuneration Committee and the Awards Committee.