Dr Phil Richards named chief innovation officer at Jisc

Dr Phil Richards, director of IT at Loughborough University has been appointed chief innovation officer at Jisc.

Prior to his role at Loughborough University Phil undertook IT roles within other academic institutions, these included head of ICT at Plymouth University and assistant director of information services at Aberystwyth University. More recently, he has become known for his novel approach to data centres: Loughborough’s ‘hybrid cloud’ model has delivered millions of pounds and hundreds of tonnes of carbon savings. It has also won plaudits including the 2012 Times Education Leadership and Management Awards ICT initiative of the year.

Phil, who has a first class honours degree in physics and a doctorate in nuclear structure physics from University of Oxford, was involved early in his career with e-learning. First as a courseware developer in physics at Cardiff University, next as an e-learning advisor working directly with academics at the University of Hull and finally as head of e-learning at King’s College London. Whilst at Hull, he obtained a postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education Teaching, leading to Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

Phil tells us:

“I am really pleased to accept the role of chief innovation officer at Jisc. I share Jisc’s passion for working together with learners, researchers, IT departments, libraries and academic leaders across the sectors to show the potential that digital technologies can have in transforming the learning and research experience.  I am looking forward to getting started and seeing what we can achieve for the future of innovation.”

Martyn Harrow, chief executive of Jisc comments:

“We are delighted that Phil is joining Jisc to strengthen our senior team and pursuit of our mission to enable people in UK higher education, further education and skills to perform at the forefront of international practice by exploiting fully the possibilities of modern digital empowerment, content and connectivity.

Phil brings a wealth of knowledge of the needs of our communities and his research background and experience in ICT and e-learning. He is ideally placed to lead our digital futures directorate working with colleagues in Jisc and across the sectors to identify and carry out cutting-edge practical exploration and experimentation that can really make a difference to UK education and research”

Dr Richards will take up his appointment in November 2013.