Richard Thomas


Following ten years as an engineer and engineering and logistics manager in manufacturing industry, Richard embarked on a career in education, initially as a lecturer in Mechanical  & Manufacturing Engineering at Carmarthenshire College, where he became HE manager for the faculty and then at Swansea Metropolitan University, where he became Head of School of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering, subsequently managing the successful merger of the School with the School of Logistics & Transport and managing the merged department. He became Associate Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Engineering with responsibility for industrial, international and further education partnerships, subsequently becoming Associate Pro Vice Chancellor (International) for University of Wales Trinity Saint David. In 2016 Richard was appointed as Provost at Bradford College in which capacity he was the executive lead for the College’s Higher Education provision, one of the largest in the UK college sector. In January 2019 he moved to the University of Bolton to become Assistant Vice Chancellor (Student Outcomes), where he continued to work on international partnerships in addition to leading on initiatives on student retention and satisfaction. He was also acting Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering & Creative Technology.

Richard is a member of the Institution of Engineering & Technology and the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport and during his thirty year career in HE has developed a strong track record of strategic management, curriculum development, international and UK partnership development and applied research and knowledge transfer. He undertook a two-year secondment to Swansea University to oversee a major European knowledge exchange project and continued to work on inter-institutional applied research projects. He has secured considerable external funding for collaborative applied research with industry partners and has a long track record of developing partnerships with companies such as Ford Motor Company, Tata Steel and TWI. He has worked with numerous government and sector bodies, including working for three years as a member of the management board of the Teaching Excellence Framework.