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Imperial announces first Principals of Faculties

For Immediate Use
16 May 2001

Imperial College today announces the appointments of its first ever Principals of Faculties, who will take up their appointments on 1 August 2001.

Faculty of Engineering
Professor John D Perkins FREng Professor John D Perkins FREng, currently Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering & Chemical Technology, will become Principal of the Faculty of Engineering.
Faculty of Life Sciences
Professor Michael P Hassell FRS Professor Michael P Hassell FRS, currently Head of the Department of Biology and Biochemistry, will become Principal of the Faculty of Life Sciences.
Faculty of Medicine
Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz FRCP FMedSci Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz FRCP FMedSci, Principal of Imperial College School of Medicine, will become Principal of the Faculty of Medicine. Sir Leszek will also retain his existing role as Principal of the School.
Faculty of Physical Sciences
Professor John B Pendry FRS Professor John B Pendry FRS, currently Head of the Department of Physics, will become Principal of the Faculty of Physical Sciences.
The Rector of Imperial College, Sir Richard Sykes FRS said:
"I'm delighted to announce the appointment of the first Principals of Faculty at Imperial College. These are pre-eminent teachers and researchers who are respected internationally for their work in science, engineering and medicine.

"I see exciting newopportunities for teaching and research both within and between our new Faculties. Scientists, engineers and doctors can no longer afford to sit in a 'silo' of narrow interest because the biggest opportunities for discovery are in-between specialities. We need people well educated in their specialities but also educated to cross the boundaries. The silos are already being broken down at Imperial - they have to be - and our first Faculty Principals are the ideal leaders to help evolve the College in this direction."

Each Principal reports directly to the Rector, and will represent all the departments and centres within their Faculty on the Executive Committee, the College's major management and planning body.

They will have strategic and management responsibility for the academic leadership, planning, finances and for staff and student matters within their Faculty. They will act as facilitators of cross-faculty communication and working, and will also be leaders of the College as a whole.

Particular benefits of the new Faculty structure that Principals will promote are:

  • fostering integration and collaborative working within College on both research and teaching
  • effective management of change and evolution of the teaching mission
  • ensuring that accountability and responsibility are more clearly defined to ensure Corporate Governance requirements are addressed
  • representation for academic staff within their Faculty at the College's key management and planning body

The assignation of departments and centres to Faculties is ongoing. The process to select new Heads of Departments for Biology and Biochemistry, Chemical Engineering and Chemical Technology, and Physics is now in progress.


For further information please contact:

Tom Miller
Imperial College Press Office
Phone: +44 20 7594 6704

Notes to Editors:

1. About the new Faculty Principals:

Professor John Perkins FREng, 51, has been Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemical Technology since 1996. Between 1992 and 1998 he was Director of the Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Process Systems Engineering, which researches the problems of the processing industries in design, operation and management and develops mechanisms to transfer the technology of its successful research into practice. He was the President of the Institution of Chemical Engineers in the year 2000-2001.
Web page at:

Professor Michael P Hassell FRS, 58, was appointed Head of the Department of Biology and Biochemistry on 12 February 2001. He was previously Head of the Department of Biology from 1993. He is Director of the Silwood Park campus of Imperial College and also Head of the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Section. Professor Hassell's research focuses on the dynamics of insects populations and he has a particular interest in the study of insect host-parasitoid interactions. He is a Trustee of the Natural History Museum, London and is the current President of the British Ecological Society.
Web page at:

Professor John Pendry FRS, 57, became Head of the Department of Physics on 1 April 1998. Professor Pendry is a theoretical physicist renowned for his work on the structure of surfaces and their response to electrons and photons. He was dean of the Royal College of Science from 1993-96 and served on the Council of the Royal Society from 1992-94. Professor Pendry is serving a second term on the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council for the period 1st April 2000 to 31st March 2003. He has published over 200 scientific papers.
Physics web site at:

Sir Leszek Borysiewicz FRCP FMedSci, 50, is the Principal of the Imperial College School of Medicine. He took up this post on 1 February 2001. Before this he was Professor of Medicine and Head of the Department of Medicine at the University of Wales College of Medicine. Professor Borysiewicz is a physician specialising in viral immunology, infectious diseases, cell mediated immunity, virus associated malignancy and vaccine development. He has published extensively on immunology and pathogenesis of virus infection, and viral induced cancer. He is the author of reports for the World Health Organisation, Medical Research Council and the Department of Health. He has also chaired the Department of Health research advisory committee collating research on CJD, the human form of mad cow disease. He was knighted in the New Year's honours list 2001 in recognition of his research into developing vaccines, including one to prevent cervical cancer.
Profile of Sir Leszek Borysiewicz here
ICSM web site at:

2. The College Infrastructure comprises: four major Faculties: Engineering, Medicine, Physical Sciences and Life Sciences. These Faculties will be complemented by the Management School and supported by College Administration and AcademicServices.

3. Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine is an independent constituent part of the University of London. Founded in 1907, the College teaches a full range of science, engineering, medical and management disciplines at the highest level. The College is the largest scientific, technological and medical university institution in the UK, with one of the largest annual turnovers (UKP339 million in 1999-2000) and research incomes (UKP176 million in 1999-2000). Web site at