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Credit FotohausSchool of Mathematics, Fry Building - Grade II-listed Fry Building at The University of Bristol

University of Bristol – Professor Phil Taylor, Pro vice-chancellor for research and enterprise, University of Bristol

Professor Taylor is an internationally leading researcher and industrial expert in energy systems, who has worked in industry and academia for over 25 years. Joining the university in July 2020, he’s optimistic about the net-zero future, and Bristol’s place in its forefront.


What do you do?

I am responsible for shaping Bristol’s research and enterprise activity, ensuring it meets the university’s strategic ambition to be a world-leading research-intensive university making a positive contribution to the key global challenges facing society.

I am also in charge of engaging with a wide range of organisations –  from funders to corporates and charities – regionally, nationally and internationally, and enhancing an already high-performing research environment at Bristol.

What have you been most proud of since joining Bristol?

In the past six months I’ve been able to fully immerse myself in Bristol’s vibrant research environment and witnessed the university’s hugely impressive and inspiring research response to COVID-19. My respect and appreciation for the dedication, skill, and agility with which staff and students contribute to Bristol’s scholarly, educational and civic endeavour has only grown.

Professor Phil Taylor

How are you meeting and addressing the challenges in the sector and society?

I’m looking forward to working closely with colleagues and students across the university on a strategic approach to using our fantastic research portfolio to help address key structural issues linked to, or caused by, challenges such as Brexit, climate change, or persistent social inequalities.

I want to celebrate our unique strengths within the institution and beyond. I’ll engage with a wide range of partners, develop ways to further enhance these strengths and explore how they can be translated into positive societal impact at the regional, national, and international level.

There’s no doubt this has been a uniquely challenging time for the university, but in looking ahead to the next six months and beyond, I want to ensure that we make the most of what we’ve learned during these most difficult months.

The interdisciplinary, challenge-led approach personified by Bristol UNCOVER and ReCOVer are obvious examples. I want us to retain as much of the positive learning and agility we’ve gained over the past year work together as an institution, with our partners and our city.

What do you next want for Bristol?

Our region is already a hub for climate expertise, and Bristol was the first university in the UK to declare a climate emergency. We are also fortunate to have strong partnerships with excellent external organisations such as the Met Office. This all means we are very well placed to be at the forefront of helping to develop real world solutions to meeting ‘net zero’.

University of Bristol