From 1st October 2015, Prof John Dennis will become Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Cambridge.
Prof Nigel Slater will step down from this position, having completed his term of office and will go on to become a Pro Vice Chancellor.
Prof John Dennis has a long history with this department. He was an undergraduate in the Engineering Department here at Cambridge and then transferred to the Chemical Engineering Tripos, graduating in 1981. He stayed on to do a PhD with Allan Hayhurst. Immediately after that, in 1984, he was promoted to an assistant lectureship in the Department and undertook teaching and research until 1989, working on the control of sulphur emissions from fluidised bed combustors and on gas combustion in fluidised beds.
During a period in industry, he worked closely with ICI on the initial translation of the Quorn fermentation from laboratory to production scale.
He was also an Engineering Consultant specialising in the solution of detailed process or economic problems, before returning to the Department and progressing to become Professor of Chemical Reaction Engineering in 2012.
He says, "I’m amazed at the enormous span CEB’s research portfolio has, covering healthcare, processes, materials, metrology and modelling. The strength of our research lies in our commitment to working at a fundamental level at the interfaces among the underpinning disciplines of Engineering, Chemistry, Biology and Physics, whilst being able to formulate collaborations between research groups to work on new problems in sustainable processes, healthcare and materials development.
Moving onto the near future, the Department’s overall aim will be to continue to address the world’s most pressing challenges through our teaching and research, benefiting society by creating world-leading engineering knowledge that fosters sustainability, prosperity and resilience. To achieve this, our absolute commitment is to recruit and retain the very best academic researchers and teachers, and to provide our staff with a supportive and sustaining environment that encourages them to function effectively at the very highest level of academic achievement. As a result, we shall continue to ensure that we are able to offer attractive opportunities for work and study irrespective of gender and to demonstrate our commitment to equality and diversity. I am very pleased that we have just completed the recruitment of four new lecturers, three of whom are female, to enhance our activities."
For the full version of this article, please see the next edition of CEB Focus.