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Loughborough University

History - Vice Chancellors of Loughborough University

Chancellors of Loughborough University
Vice Chancellors of Loughborugh University

Vice Chancellors Shirley Pearce David Wallace David Davies John Phillips Clifford Butler Elfyn Richards Herbert Haslegrave

Dr H L Haslegrave Wh.Sc., M.A., Ph.D., M.Sc.(Eng.), M.I.Mech.E., M.I.E.E., M.I.Prod.E.

Born in Yorkshire in 1902, Dr Herbert Leslie Haslegrave was educated at Wakefield Grammar School and Bradford Technical College.  Following an apprenticeship with the English Electric Company he won a Whitworth Senior Scholarship and entered Trinity Hall Cambridge.  A brilliant scholar, he was awarded a first in Mechanical Sciences Tripos and won several prizes.  On leaving Cambridge, he spent over two years as an assistant designer in industry, before joining the lecturing staff of the Wolverhampton & Staffordshire Technical College in 1931, and of Bradford Technical College in 1932, from which he came first came to Loughborough in 1935.  In 1938 Dr Haslegrave left to become Principal of St Helen’s Technical College and then Barnsley Technical College before returning to Leicestershire to a similar position at Leicester College of Technology.   By the time he returned to Loughborough as Principal in 1953, he had acquired a wide experience of educational administration and was becoming an acknowledged national figure in the field of Technical Education.  Dr Haslegrave made many significant advances at Loughborough, introducing the respected four year Diploma of Loughborough College (DLC), establishing new Departments strengthening and broadening the institution and managing a major building programme.  His efforts were rewarded when in 1957 the College became one of only ten Colleges of Advanced Technology in the country.  Dr Haslegrave managed the transition from College to University in 1966 and was the first Vice-Chancellor until his retirement.


Professor Elfyn Richards O.B.E., M.A., D.Sc., C.Eng., F.R.Ae.S., M.I.Mech.E.

Born in Barry, Wales and educated at the Grammar School there, Professor Richards moved away to continue his education first at University College Aberystwyth and later at St John’s College in Cambridge where he read mathematics and physics.  After a short period with the Bristol Aeroplane Company he spent his war years at the National Physical Laboratory in charge of aerofoil research.  In 1945 he was appointed Chief Aerodynamicist at Vickers-Armstrong in Weybridge, responsible for the aerodynamic design of the Viking, Viscount and Valiant.  It was here that he developed an interest in aircraft noise that would lead him to become one of the country’s leading exponents of aircraft design and a world authority on noise acoustics.  In 1950 he took up the new Chair of Aeronautical Engineering at Southampton University and in 1963 became Professor of Applied Acoustics setting up the internationally renowned Institute of Sound and Vibration Research.  He was appointed Vice-Chancellor of Loughborough University in 1967 and here he achieved his three main goals for the University.  Firstly to broaden its academic base, secondly to become more co-educational and encourage female applicants and finally that it should embrace its University status and expand its research activity and post-graduate work.  He ‘retired’ from Loughborough in 1975 and returned to Southampton to a Chair within the Institute he had founded.


Sir Clifford Butler B.S., Ph.D., D.Sc.(Hon.), D.Tech.(Hon.), M.Inst.P., F.R.S.

Sir Clifford was a physicist educated at Reading School and Reading University.  In 1945, after graduating early with a first, he went to Manchester where he worked with fellow physicist George Rochester under Professor Blackett.  Together they are credited with the discovery of ‘Strange Particles’ which challenged preconceptions about our physical world.  In 1961, Sir Clifford was elected to the Royal Society, and after succeeding Lord Blackett as the Head of the Physics Department at Imperial College he moved in 1970 to become Director of the Nuffield Foundation.  Here he was responsible for many new initiatives in science education.  In 1975 he brought his considerable energies to Loughborough where he led the University through a period of political, financial and administrative challenges with great vision and good management.  The University prospered under his leadership.  Under his guidance the campus evolved again with the construction of the Library and a six lane running track and research income and activity steadily rose.  In 1982 Sir Clifford was knighted for his national contribution to science and education.  He retired from the University in 1985 after ten successful years as Vice-Chancellor.


Professor J.G. Phillips, B.Sc., Ph.D., D.Sc., D.Sc.(Hon.), F.I.Biol., F.R.S.

Professor John Phillips had his term as Vice-Chancellor cut tragically short by his untimely death in 1987.  He was a distinguished zoologist and gerontologist who was Wolfson Research Professor and Director of the Wolfson Institute at the University of Hull where he had established an international reputation for his research.  During the fifteen months he was Vice-Chancellor he had already made a mark as an academic leader and was establishing himself as one who would contribute greatly to the University’s future development.



Professor Sir David Davies, C.B.E., B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D., D.Sc., D.Sc. (Hon.), F.I.E.E., F.R.S., F.R.Eng, FIERE.

Professor Sir David Evan Naunton Davies (known to many as DEN) was born in Cardiff and educated at the University of Birmingham where he was also a Lecturer and subsequently Senior Lecturer in Electrical Engineering.  He was Assistant Director of Electrical Research at the British Rail Board and appointed Professor of Electrical Engineering at University College London in 1971 and served as Vice-Provost for two years until 1988.  He served as Vice-Chancellor of the University from 1988 until 1993 and as Chief Scientific Adviser for the Ministry of Defence from 1993 until 1999.  He has served as a member of the Science and Engineering Research Council, the IT Advisory Board of the Department of Trade and Industry and as a member of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. He was Chairman of the Defence Scientific Advisory Council, President of the Institution of Electrical Engineers and Vice President and President of the Royal Academy of Engineering. From 1998 until 2001 he was Pro Chancellor of the University of Sussex. He is currently non-executive chairman of Railway Safety and a non-executive director of Lattice plc and ERA Technology Ltd.  He was appointed CBE in 1986, received his knighthood in 1994 and has been awarded honorary degrees by the Universities of Birmingham, Loughborough, South Bank, Bradford, Surrey, Bath, Heriot Watt, UMIST and Warwick. He holds an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Wales, Cardiff and is an Honorary Fellow of the Institutions of Mechanical, Chemical and Structural Engineers. His prizes include: Rank Prize for Optoelectronics (1984) and the Faraday Medal, Institution of Electrical Engineers (1987). His publications include technical papers and articles on radar, antennae and aspects of fibre optics.


photo Professor Sir David Wallace, C.B.E., D.L., B.Sc., Ph.D. Edinburgh, F.R.S., F.R.Eng, F.R.S.E., F.Inst.P., F.R.S.A., M.B.C.S., C.Eng.

Born in the Scottish Borders in 1945, Sir David was educated at the University of Edinburgh where he undertook undergraduate and postgraduate studies in theoretical physics. Following this he continued his research at Princeton University as a Harkness Fellow before returning to a lectureship at the University of Southampton in 1972. In 1979 he returned to the University of Edinburgh as Tait Professor of Mathematical Physics. In 1980, he was awarded the Maxwell Medal of the Institute of Physics and in 1998 was elected to the Royal Academy of Engineering. From 1994, he was Vice-Chancellor of the University and in 2002 he also began his two-year presidency of the Institute of Physics. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1986 and became its Treasurer and Vice President in 2002. He has been a member of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (chairing its Technical Opportunities Panel), a member of the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council, and has advised the European Commission in a number of areas. At the University of Edinburgh, Sir David established and, as Director, built up Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre to a professional staff of more than 50. This work involved building partnerships with supercomputer companies and a wide range of applications, including artificial neural networks and advanced graphics. Two spin-off companies were formed. In 1996 he was awarded a CBE for services to parallel computing. Sir David is currently Director of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences and NM Rothchild & Sons Professor of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge.


photoProfessor Shirley Pearce, C.B.E, B.A. (Oxon), M.Phil(Lond.), PhD(Lond.)

After graduating from St Annes College Oxford University with a degree in PPP (Psychology, Physiology and Philosophy) Professor Pearce trained as a clinical psychologist gaining an MPhil in Clinical Psychology from the Institute of Psychiatry in London.

She then worked at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington as a clinical psychologist before becoming lecturer in Psychology at University College London. She studied part time as a post graduate student obtaining her PhD in 1986. In 1994 she moved to the University of East Anglia where she established the School of Health Policy and Practice. In 1986 she led the bid for a new medical school at UEA to enable medical students to learn in an inter-professional environment. As Pro-Vice Chancellor for the Health and Professional Schools, and Director of the Institute of Health she was a member of UEA’s executive team for 5 years prior to moving to Loughborough. During that time she was also a Non-executive director of Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Strategic Health Authority and a Commissioner for the Healthcare Commission which is responsible for the regulation of NHS and private healthcare providers in England and Wales. In 2005 she was awarded the CBE for services to education in the National Health Service. Shirley Pearce succeeded Professor Sir David Wallace on his retirement in January 2006.

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