University of Derby drives innovation forward with two key leadership appointments

3 January 2018

The University of Derby has strengthened its senior leadership team with the appointment of two new Pro Vice-Chancellor Deans.

Dr Warren Manning recently joined the College of Engineering and Technology from De Montfort University where he was Pro Vice-Chancellor Dean for the Faculty of Business and Law.

Professor Keith McLay has been appointed to the College of Arts, Humanities and Education at the University following nearly four years as Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Humanities at Canterbury Christ Church University.

In their new roles, Dr Manning and Professor McLay will be leading the University’s ambitious plans for the Colleges, responding to the needs of the government’s industrial strategy by forging close links with industry and helping to boost regional growth.

Dr Manning said: “My vision is to bring the College to industry, and industry to the College. I want to continue to grow our strong ethos of getting students learning on site and this year we launch three new apprenticeships in Aerospace, Civil Engineering and Cyber Security.

“Our desire to work with local businesses through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships is also clear. We are currently working with Bombardier on a project to address the future of rail in Derby, and we start an ERDF funded project with several local SME’s this year to provide technical support to transport engineering and manufacturing businesses.”

Professor McLay explained: “I see my role as one of creating context, environment and opportunity for colleagues and students to flourish and embody professional and personal pride as the University.

“The College will enhance its excellence in delivering engaging, innovative and applied degree programmes, underpinned by active research agendas. Our aim is to give students the opportunity of work based, experiential learning and industry links, so they possess the skill-set, and crucially the experience, to be demonstrably employer-ready.

“To this end, the College will be firmly located within, and working in partnership with, the local cultural, artistic and educational communities, and from these local collaborations and relationships will open up the global and international experience for students.”

 Keith McClay and Dr Warren-Manning side by side

Graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Salford University and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Leeds University, Dr Manning has previously led departments in Engineering and Sustainable Development.

A doctoral graduate from the Scottish Centre for War Studies at the University of Glasgow, Professor McLay also brings with him his experience as Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History, and Head of the Department of History & Archaeology, at the University of Chester. 

Professor Kathryn Mitchell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, said: “Dr Warren Manning and Professor Keith McLay have specialist expertise in engineering and humanities respectively. Their knowledge and understanding of applied teaching and learning will be instrumental in supporting and enhancing the local and regional economy. They are both excellent leaders who bring very distinct skills to their roles, and their commitment to driving innovation and transformation will make a significant impact on our students, the University and wider business community.”