Innovation and project management scholar returns to his roots with prestigious SPRU role

Professor Andrew Davies has been appointed to the RM Phillips Freeman Chair and Professor of Innovation Management.

Professor Andrew Davies has returned to the University of Sussex after over 14 years away to take up the prestigious post of RM Phillips Freeman Chair and Professor of Innovation Management.

Andrew is a leading expert on how innovation can improve the performance of infrastructure megaprojects having researched and advised on multi-billion pound schemes including Crossrail, London Olympics, Heathrow Terminal 5, Thames Tideway Tunnel, Westminster Palace and HS2.

Prof Davies first attended Sussex as an undergraduate, masters and DPhil student between 1981 and 1991. During his first spell at Sussex, he rose to become Deputy Director of the ESRC Complex Product Systems Innovation Centre in SPRU before leaving for Imperial College Business School in 2005. He has most recently spent seven years as Professor of the Management of Projects at the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment at UCL.

The new position in innovation management honours SPRU founder and inaugural director Christopher Freeman, who taught Prof Davies as an DPhil student in 1985, and businessman Reginald M Phillips, who established the RM Phillips Charitable Foundation and bequeathed his entire estate to the University.

The role comes with the opportunity to develop a programme of research and to appoint a Research Fellow/s with 5 years’ worth of funding as well as an allowance for research costs.

Prof Davies said: “I am delighted to be returning back to Sussex where it all began for me academically. I’m really looking forward to my time as RM Phillips Freeman Chair and Professor of Innovation Management in SPRU where I will develop and lead research and teaching on the management of innovation and projects.

“I am particularly interested in how the global economic, political and ecological challenges we face over the next few decades will impact on our infrastructure and cities and what new insights in innovation and management will be required to deliver future projects.”

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