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RIO Leadership


Prof Nick Antonopoulos - Vice Principal of Research and Innovation

Nick joined Edinburgh Napier in January 2019 from the University of Derby, where he was Pro Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation) and Research Professor in Cloud Computing.


He has more than 20 years of academic and leadership experience, with a very strong background in initiating, leading and delivering improvements at an institutional level.


Nick has an excellent international reputation in his field, evidenced by his papers, books, chairing of prestigious conferences, and his active leadership of broad reaching research partnerships nationally and internationally. He has an extensive network across government, commerce and industry.


As well as the Dean and Research and Innovation Office, the Deans of the Schools of Computing, Engineering & Built Environment and Health & Social Care report to Nick.


Prof Jessie Kennedy - Dean of Research and Innovation

Prof. Jessie Kennedy became the Dean of Research and Innovation at Edinburgh Napier in January 2015. Her first degree was in Biology followed by an MPhil in Computing, which led to a research assistant post in Medical Computing at the University of Edinburgh in 1983. She joined Edinburgh Napier University in 1986 as a lecturer, was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1992, Reader in 1995, and Professor in 2000. She held the post of Director of the Institute for Informatics and Digital Innovation from 2010-2014.


Jessie has published widely with over 100 peer reviewed publications, has had over £2 million in research funding from a range of funding bodies including EPSRC, BBSRC, National Science Foundation and KTP and has had 13 PhD students complete. She has been programme chair, programme committee member and organiser of many international conferences and has been a reviewer and panel for many national and international computer science funding bodies.  She has been a Member of EPSRC Peer Review College since 1996 and is a Fellow of the British Computer Society.


Jessie has a long-standing record of contribution to inter-disciplinary research, working to further biological research through application of novel computing technology. Her research in user interfaces to databases and data visualisation in biology contributed to the establishment of the field of biological visualisation where she is a recognised international leader. She hosted the first biological visualisation workshop at the Royal Society of Edinburgh, was an invited speaker at a BBSRC workshop on Challenges in Biological Visualisation, was a founding member of the International Symposium in Biological Visualisation, being Programme Chair in 2011, General Chair in 2012 and 2013 and Steering committee member since 2014. She has been Keynote speaker at related international conferences and workshops such as VIZBI, International Visualisation conference and BioIT World and is currently leading a BBSRC network on biological visualisation.


Her research in collaboration with taxonomists at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh produced a data model for representing differing taxonomic opinions in Linnaean classification. This work led to collaboration on a large USA funded project with ecologists from 6 US Universities and resulted in a data standard for the exchange biodiversity data which has been adopted by major global taxonomic and biodiversity organisations.


Contact: j.kennedy@napier.ac.uk


Norman Turner - Head of Research & Innovation Office

Norman heads up the Research & Innovation Office, overseeing the Research and Innovation support activities ensuring that it provides the aspirations for growth in volume, quality and value of Research and Innovation activities, as set out in the Strategy 2020. The office provides expert support for researchers across the full range of research, knowledge exchange (KE) and commercialisation activities.


Norman joined Edinburgh Napier University in 2008, initially as a Management Accountant and then as Head of Project Finance overseeing the accounting for all commercial, research and EU activities. Prior to joining the University, he worked as a Management Accountant at Communities Scotland, involved in the Scottish Government community ownership programme. Most recently, Norman worked at the Bank of Scotland as a Senior Accountant in the Corporate Finance and Planning department and was responsible for the West of Scotland Commercial and Real Estate business support. He went on to work in the Bank’s joint ventures department as a Senior Analyst.


Norman is a graduate of Edinburgh Napier University and is an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.


Contact: n.turner@napier.ac.uk - ext 6362


Professorial Leads

Key area Leader
Research Degrees Dr Calum Neill and Dr Janice McMillan (International)
Impact Professor Sean Smith
Research Leadership Professor Brian Williams
Research Integrity Dr Grainne Barkess
Public Engagement Vacant
Equality Vacant
Research Environment Professor Emma Hart

Theme Leaders

Theme Leader
Wellbeing Theme Professor Brian Williams
Information Society Theme Vacant
Sustainable Communities Theme Professor Mark Deakin

School Directors of Research

School Director
School of Arts & Creative Industries Professor Linda Dryden
The Business School Professor Alison McCleery and Dr Gerri Matthews Smith ​
School of Computing Professor Ben Paechter
School of Engineering & the Built Environment Dr John McDougall
School of Life, Sports & Social Sciences Dr Peter Barlow
School of Nursing, Midwifery & Social Care Professor Thanos Karatzias