Staff profile

Professor Christopher Bussell

Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean, College of Science and Engineering

Dr Chris Bussell


College of Science and Engineering


Office of the Vice-Chancellor




Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I joined the University of Derby in March 2013 as much for personal as professional reasons.  I was born and grew up in Derby and my family have a long connection with the city going back to 1918 when my great-great-grandfather came up from Dorset to manage a wholesale news-agency which, became A.J. Bussell’s and Sons based in John Street. Having been away from Derby for many years it was great to come back and support the city’s continuing development through the work of the University. 

I am Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean for the College of Science and Engineering and provide the executive leadership for the College which is comprised of the School of Built and Natural Environment, the School of Computing and Engineering, and the School of Human Sciences. The College is the University’s focal point for STEM teaching, research and innovation. The College’s research and innovation is led through our research centres, i.e. the Human Science Research Centre, the Data Science Research Centre, the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, the Rail Research and Innovation Centre and the Institute for Innovation and Sustainability in Engineering. The College is also home to the UK's Centre for Mineral Products which delivers teaching, research and innovation across the extractives sectors.  

Prior to joining the University of Derby, I led the Sport and Exercise Science team at Nottingham Trent University (2007-2013) having previously been a lecturer and senior lecture in Sport and Exercise Science at NTU (2000-2007). Outside of work, I continue to be involved in sport through my community coaching at Derby Rugby Football Club

Teaching responsibilities

As Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the College of Science and Engineering, I am primarily involved in the leadership of colleagues along with my College Executive Team, but I maintain my teaching commitments through PhD supervision and support of undergraduate and postgraduate project students. Periodically I deliver the occasional lecture and support practical work in my areas of expertise in the field of sport and exercise science for which I am grateful to my colleagues in the School of Human Sciences for allowing me into their modules!

Research interests

I am the Principal Investigator for the research and innovation project - Derby’s Urban Sustainable Transition (DUST) (£640k, 2020-2025) which is supported through the University’s first family endowment funding in memory of Professor Richard Horsley Osborne, a professor of human geography with a passion for economic regeneration and urban development across the East Midlands, especially of Derby. The project aims to develop an augmented reality fly-through of the city to demonstrate and showcase what the city could look like through embracing sustainable city design principles and through ‘greening the grey’.

This multidisciplinary project will bring together the University’s expertise in urban planning and architecture, biodiversity and sustainability, computer science and visualisation to create an immersive district-level representation of a future city design for Derby capitalising on its blueways, greenways, clean growth plans and post-Covid regeneration. Working with key stakeholders across the City, the DUST project will reimagineer Derby for a sustainable, vibrant, and resilient future.

I am the strategic lead for the University of Derby’s new Facility for OMICS Research in Metabolism (FORM) which is a £1.7m investment in biomedical research (2020-2025). Supported through local growth funding by the D2N2 LEP, FORM will bring together biomedical scientists, data scientists, and regional medi-tech industries to undertake research and innovation at molecular and cellular levels to better understand health conditions and diseases associated to changes in the metabolism of living organisms. The application of the omics-technologies will advance our understanding of metabolic pathways in order that we can take steps towards personalising medical care, treatments and interventions so improving health outcomes.

I was Principal Investigator for the Derby: a City on the Move research project (£1.06m, 2015-2019) funded through Sport England’s Get Healthy – Get Active programme (£437k) and consortium partners (£626k) including the University of Derby, Derby College Group, Derby County Community Trust and Derby City Council. The project reached out to c. 5,000 inactive citizens of Derby and successfully engaged them in physical activity interventions that saw 85% of participants sustain their increased physical activity levels at 3 months follow up. Core to the project's approach was to design and implement a person-centred approach to behaviour change that proved successful for inactive people to adopt pro-active lifestyle changes. The legacy of the project continues today through Derby’s physical activity strategy – Move More Derby.

Membership of professional bodies


Additional interests and activities

Recent publications