Staff profile

Louise Pigden

Deputy Dean, College of Science and Engineering

Louise wears a pink jacket and is smiling.


College of Science and Engineering




Kedleston Road, Derby Campus, Markeaton Street, Derby Campus



I am Deputy Dean in the College of Science and Engineering. Our core focus is to generate and disseminate new knowledge in applied contexts.  We do this through our research activity, engagement with businesses and industry, and through our research-informed undergraduate and post-graduate courses. We enable people to find innovative and creative solutions to current issues and real-world challenges. We inspire individuals to capitalise on their curiosity and fulfil their goals and ambitions. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are at the heart of the Industrial Strategy nationally and locally and we are responsive to meet the needs of these agenda.

Within the College, I have responsibility for Learning, Teaching and Student Experience. I am responsible for leading the implementation of apprenticeship delivery, quality assurance and international development.  Working closely with the PVC/Dean, Dr Chris Bussell, I am responsible for setting the strategic direction of the College and accountable for achieving our success measures. 

Our College has undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, alongside research and knowledge exchange, in Human and Natural Sciences, Computing, Mathematics, Built Environment and Engineering.

The School of Computing and Engineering capitalises on the interface of computing and engineering aligning to external priorities such as automation, AI, clean energy, data science, robotics, data visualisation and advanced materials. The School has a high level of currency and relevance to local and regional agenda, focusing on digitisation, decarbonisation, and future fuels. The School houses the Data Science Research Centre, the Institute for Innovation in Sustainable Engineering, the Rail Research and Innovation Centre and links into the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.  

The School of Built and Natural Environment has huge potential derived from the synergies of the subject areas. Aligned to priorities within the Construction Sector Deal, the 25Y Environmental Plan and regional economic development plans, the School’s focus is on the conception, construction, and coordination of sustainable lived-in landscapes. In 2018, 55% of the World’s population lived in urban environments, this is projected to increase to 68% by 2050 meaning that a further 2.9 billion people will live in urban settings. The School has all the component parts to become one of the UKs ‘go to’ places for sustainable urban transitions. 

The School of Human Sciences aligns with the Healthy Ageing Industrial Strategy Grand Challenge and provides a backdrop to focus on health across the lifespan through preventive measures such as positive lifestyle choices including physical activity and exercise as well as diagnostic medicines through molecular and cellular research into chronic diseases, those associated to metabolism. Collaborations with the Data Science Research Centre enable the School to push forward in areas of bioinformatics, a priority area in the Life Sciences Sector Deal and the D2N2 LEP as a health-tech zone.  

I am a passionate advocate for the power of higher education as a transformative route to social inclusion and equality of opportunity. 

Professional interests

I am the Academic Board staff governor on the University's Governing Council, and a member of Strategy, Finance and Planning Committee, a sub-committee of Governing Council.

Research interests

I am actively researching the learning experience and outcomes for students studying joint or combined honours degrees, roughly 10% of undergraduates in the UK. I examine the lived experiences of the students, but also analytically explore their outcomes in terms of good honours and graduate employability. Gender, age and educational advantage (via POLAR quintiles) have all added additional dimensions to the research. 

Pigden, L. and Moore, A.G. (2019). ‘Educational advantage and employability of UK university graduates’, Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, Vol. 9 No. 1, pp. 603-619 won the ‘Outstanding Paper’ in Emerald Publishing’s Literati Awards 2020, selected by the journal publishing director and editorial advisory board.

Membership of professional bodies

Membership of professional bodies


Recent conferences

Experience in industry

Recent publications