Dr David Richards took up his post as Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) on 1 September 2014.
In collaboration with ICI, Dr Richards completed a DPhil in Chemistry at the University of York in 1986 before starting his working life with BP Chemicals at the Saltend Site in Hull.
His first role was in manufacturing, before moving into technology, business development, support services, and HR, and then returning to a senior leadership role in manufacturing in 2000.
David has worked in speciality, performance, and bulk chemicals and supported BP’s activities in a range of sectors from agriculture and forestry to advanced manufacturing.
He then moved to the corporate centre to become the HR manager for BP Petrochemicals in Europe before taking a leading role in the separation and sale of Petrochemicals in 2005.
After supporting the restructuring of refining and marketing businesses in Europe, David joined the strategy team in the newly formed Biofuels business in 2006.
He moved back to Hull in 2007 to lead the BP, ABF and DuPont joint venture, Vivergo Fuels - one of the largest Bioethanol businesses in Europe and the largest supplier of high protein animal feed in the UK.
After completing the construction of a world-scale production facility and taking the business into early operations, David then moved back to BP to support the deployment and development of new technologies for advanced biofuels in the US and Brazil.
He has supported a variety of local initiatives including the Local Nature Partnership (LNP), and Humber Chemical Focus (HCF), and was an Exco and Board member for the European Ethanol Industry Association.
David is now leading on the changes in research and enterprise and is helping drive the University’s ambitions to become an internationally-renowned centre of research excellence.