As Professor Jonathan Knight finishes his role as Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the end of July 2021 and takes up the role of Vice-President (Enterprise), we pay tribute to his achievements over the last six years.

Professor Knight took up the post of Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) in August 2015, taking responsibility for developing and implementing our Research Strategy.

Professor Knight has led the University’s submission in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF), which is due to be published in 2022. In contrast to our 2014 submission when we submitted 74% of our staff to REF, in 2021 we submitted virtually all of our staff, and the size of our submitted research base rose from 473 researchers in 2014 to 798 in 2021.

Professor Knight has also played a leading role in enhancing the support given to doctoral students at Bath as well as growing our innovation and networks, including through his role as a member of the GW4 Board and the Board of Setsquared.

Professor Ian White, Vice-Chancellor and President, said:

“Professor Knight has ably steered us through a challenging and exceptionally competitive time in research for all universities. Under Jonathan’s leadership, our reputation for applied research, with real-world impact, has grown at all levels.

“Professor Knight has been instrumental in shaping our future direction on research, including overseeing the analysis of our research base which has led to our agreed institutional research priorities and Bath Beacons. I am so grateful for the firm foundations he has laid for our next research strategy.

“Anyone who has had the pleasure of serving on a committee with Jonathan will appreciate the leadership, deep insight and clear, analytical thinking he brings to every topic. We are lucky enough to be able to continue to benefit from his many skills as he starts in the role of Vice-President (Enterprise).”

Professor Jonathan Knight said:

“I have had the pleasure of working with dedicated and talented colleagues across Bath’s research community and beyond over the last six years and I would like to thank everyone most sincerely for their support. Our new University strategy provides a wonderful platform for research and innovation at Bath and I look forward to seeing our research staff and doctoral students continue to thrive.

“I am particularly pleased to see the progress being made on responding to the place agenda locally and regionally, including through innovation activities. In my new role, I hope to contribute even further to enabling partnerships in support of our enterprise agenda.”

Professor Knight takes up his Vice-President (Enterprise) role on 1 August 2021.

After completing his PhD, Jonathan worked as a research fellow at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris and at the Optoelectronics Research Centre in Southampton.

Professor Knight was Head of the Department of Physics here at Bath from 2008 to 2013, and Associate Dean for Research (Science) from 2013 to 2015. He was the founding director of the Centre for Photonics and Photonic Materials and has published over 200 peer-reviewed journal papers in top-flight international journals. He was the winner of a Leverhulme Research Fellowship (2009), the Institute of Physics Optics and Photonics Division Prize (2012), the Rank Prize for Optoelectronics (2018), a Chinese Academy of Sciences Presidents International Fellowship for Distinguished Scientists (2019) and Fellow of the Royal Society (2019).