Imperial College London

Expert on networking is named as one of “Top 40 Under 40” business professors


image of Anne ter Wal

An academic from Imperial College Business School has been named among the top 40 business professors under the age of 40.

Dr Anne ter Wal, Associate Professor of Technology and Innovation Management, was recognised for his outstanding teaching and research by Poets&Quants, a leading US title that covers the latest news about top tier business schools from around the world.

The Poets&Quants’ annual “Top 40 Under 40” lists the best MBA professors under the age of 40 from business schools around the world. The list is based entirely on the strength of nominations from current and former students and colleagues and nominations must include concrete examples of teaching.

Dr ter Wal, who was nominated by Imperial staff, students and alumni, joined Imperial in 2009 after gaining his MSc and PhD in Economic Geography from Utrecht University in the Netherlands. He currently leads an elective course for MBA students called “Strategic Networking” which is designed to help students develop the networking skills, habits and practices they need to succeed in their careers after graduating from Imperial.

His research focuses on the role of networks in innovation and entrepreneurship, which often involves collaborating closely with large companies as well as start-ups. His work examines how people access new knowledge and ideas through networks within and between organisations, and the challenges they face when seeking to apply these ideas to the creation of new products and services.

Dr ter Wal said: “I’m very proud to be recognised by Poets&Quants for my work and I’d like to say a big thank you to all the Imperial community – the staff, students and alumni who put my name forward for this incredible opportunity.”

Dr ter Wal leads an EU-funded research programme entitled “Networking for Innovation” which examines how networking enables entrepreneurs and innovators to achieve success. Working with a team of post-docs and PhD students as well as local and international collaborators, the project aims to understand how people go about building the right connections they need to develop professionally and how people can best leverage their networks to help them become more innovative.

He recently teamed up with Dr Michelle Rogan, Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship and Richard Broyd, Director of ScaleSpace White City, for a webinar hosted by Imperial’s Executive Education team, “Is Coronavirus Destroying Your Network?” which looked at the challenges and opportunities of networking in the virtual world whilst real-life encounters have been restricted due to the pandemic.

"Anne is passionate about teaching and greatly inspires his students to succeed in their chosen careers after leaving Imperial. He is a pleasure to work with and makes a valuable contribution to the life of the Business School." Professor Francisco Veloso Dean of Imperial College Business School

Professor Francisco Veloso, Dean of Imperial College Business School said: “Congratulations to Anne for this wonderful achievement. Being named as one of the leading young business academics in the world by Poets&Quants is a fantastic recognition for Anne’s pioneering research on networking and the outstanding quality of his teaching.

"Anne is passionate about teaching and greatly inspires his students to succeed in their chosen careers after leaving Imperial. He is a pleasure to work with and makes a valuable contribution to the life of the Business School. I’d like to extend my thanks to everyone from our community who took the time to nominate Anne for this year’s “Top 40 Under 40” list.”

This is the fourth year that an academic from the Business School has been included in the Poets&Quants’ list. Previous academics named in the “Top 40 Under 40” include Professor Andreas Eisingerich, Dr Laura Noval, Dr Harveen Chugh, Dr Ileana Stigliani and Dr Paolo Taticchi.

Outside of work, Anne listens to Bob Dylan and has a passion for collecting miniature cars. You can read a full in-depth interview with him on the Poets&Quant’s website.


Laura Singleton

Laura Singleton
Communications Division


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