University aims to strengthen ties with commercial partners

Date posted

20 September 2021


An academic with a strong interest in information processing in complex systems, artificial intelligence and data science will lead two key Schools at Edinburgh Napier into the post-pandemic era.

Professor Peter Andras has joined the University’s Senior Leadership Team as Dean of the Schools of Computing, and Engineering & the Built Environment.

Earlier this year, it was agreed by the University’s Academic Board that there were clear synergies and benefits in developing a more collaborative relationship between the two Merchiston-based Schools. Michael Greenhalgh took on the role of Interim Dean of both.

Mr Greenhalgh has now joined the University on a permanent basis as the new Director of Strategy & Planning, and will lead on the annual planning processes.

Professor Andras takes the reins at the Schools of Computing and Engineering & the Built Environment, and will continue the work of developing stronger ties across the two Schools. 

Peter Andras, bearded, on campus and leaning on a fence in front of a welcome sign

The University also aims to strengthen its collaborations with industrial partners, particularly in the context of cyber security, timber and sustainable and smart construction and transport policy, and will continue its strong engagement with professional societies relevant to its educational and research portfolios.

Professor Andras comes to Edinburgh from Keele University, where he headed up the School of Computing and Mathematics, and has a wealth of experience in leadership, education portfolio development and governance roles.  He is an active researcher with significant results in the areas of artificial neural networks, invertebrate neuroscience and modelling of evolution of social institutions.

Prior to starting at Keele seven years ago, he had various academic roles over a 14-year period at Newcastle University, and earlier held teaching posts at universities in the Netherlands and Romania.

He is a member of a number of scientific societies, encompassing computer science, biology, artificial intelligence and neuroscience, and has been involved in setting up three start-up companies and a series of collaborations with industry.

A keen stamp collector, he also has a strong interest in politics, having served as a city councillor in Newcastle and campaigned for investment in renewable energy sources.

Professor Andras said: “The Schools of Computing, and Engineering and the Built Environment, have an excellent reputation in cyber security, timber research and sustainable construction, social informatics, transport policy research, evolutionary optimisation and renewable energy.

“We have increasingly popular programmes and very active and wide-ranging engagement with industry. These provide a fantastic foundation to grow our research strength, educational portfolio and industry engagement in areas aligned with the Industry 4.0 revolution.”

Professor Andrea Nolan, Principal & Vice Chancellor at Edinburgh Napier University, said: “We are delighted to welcome Peter to the Senior Leadership Team at Edinburgh Napier as we look forward with excitement to the new academic year and beyond.  He brings a wealth of academic experience to what is a key role, and I know he is very much looking forward to building relationships with our staff, students and external stakeholders.”