Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering

Dr Peter Bonfield OBE


Chief Executive of the BRE Group

Dr Peter Bonfield is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering.

Dr Bonfield joined BRE in 1992 as a Senior Scientific Officer, progressing to Director of the Timber Division and then Managing Director of BRE's Construction Division. Peter became Chief Executive of BRE in January 2007. On 2 January 2012 he took up the role of Chief Executive of the BRE Group of companies.

A materials engineer with a PhD in wind energy and the design of turbine blades, Peter's focus as BRE's Chief Executive is to drive innovation and improve sustainability across all sectors. He believes that research has a key role to play in this, providing the crucial evidence base that underpins successful delivery.

Peter has led major initiatives in the areas of new build and existing housing, as well as in commercial and public sector buildings. The award winning BRE Innovation Park, designed to give a glimpse of how the future delivery of sustainable buildings and communities can be achieved, was Peter's brainchild. It has had a significant impact on the UK and the global sustainability arena since its inception in 2005 and is now being replicated in China, Brazil and the US helping set the standard for sustainable development internationally.

Peter was on part-time secondment to the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) from 2006 until 2012, where he helped create the sustainable development strategy for the Olympics and support its delivery. From November 2006 he led for ODA on construction products, playing a key role in ensuring that the significant quantities of materials required to construct the games were sustainably procured and delivered and performed as required.

To enhance the delivery of a new research resource for the built environment and to ensure that BRE has access to world class research and expertise, Peter has been instrumental in establishing partnerships with the universities of Strathclyde (Energy), Cardiff (Design and Engineering) and Bath (Materials). This has helped to create a strong BRE university research base of more than 100 PhD students and 70 academic staff, with an annual research programme valued in excess of £20 million.

Peter is a Visiting Professor at the University of Bath, where he has also been awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Engineering. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers (FICE), a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (FIOMMM) a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building (FCIOB) and a Fellow of the Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE). He has been a Chartered Engineer for over 20 years. Peter is Chairman of the Health, Safety and Environment committee for AIRTO - the Association for Independent Research and Technology Organisations.

In May 2012 Peter received the prestigious Peter Stone Award from the Association of Building Engineers (ABE) at a ceremony in the House of Lords. The award was in recognition of his outstanding contribution to building engineering and the built environment.

Peter was awarded an OBE for services to research and innovation in the construction industry in the Queen's Birthday Honours in June 2012.  In July 2012 he was elected as Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in recognition for his contribution to and leadership of innovative research associated with the built environment, and in applying systems engineering to sustainable development.

Peter's passion is sport. He is a former National Cycling Champion and acted as Trainer for the Women's Triathlon Team in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.