Professor Davies has been the Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University since October 2003. Under his leadership, the University has adopted a radical and ambitious agenda for change, building on strengths and attracting substantial external investment to accelerate the pace of development. This includes a Medical School and a large new Science and Innovation Campus, both pioneering new ways of partnershiping with industry and business.
Professor Davies’ perspective on higher education is, in his own words, “traditional but still relevant”. He emphasises that the University has a role in developing confidence and character, preparing students for a good life not just a good career. He also encourages his colleagues across the University to have the same aspirations for the students they teach as they have for their own sons and daughters or other relatives.
Professor Davies was brought up in West Wales. He studied Engineering at Cambridge, and obtained a PhD at Bristol University.
His first academic appointment was at Bristol University. Subsequently, he worked in the department of City and Regional Planning at the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology (UWIST), now Cardiff University. He was appointed to a Chair in Applied Statistics at Lancaster University in 1989. He was successively director of this 5* department, Dean of an Applied Sciences faculty, and then Pro-Vice Chancellor at Lancaster.
As a statistician, Professor Davies has worked across an unusually wide range of disciplines including Medicine, Metallurgy, and Social Science. Most of his academic research was concerned with the development and application of statistical methods for the analysis of repeated measurements. He has worked extensively with industry and has also undertaken contract research for government ministries.