GuildHE has today announced that Dr Andy Dixon, Director of Research at the University of Chichester, will become the third Director of the Consortium for Research Excellence, Support and Training (CREST). Dr Dixon will take over the post from Prof Kerstin Mey (Director of Research and Enterprise at the University for the Creative Arts), who is leaving to become Dean of the School of Media, Arts and Design at the University of Westminster. Prof Mey reflected on her experiences as Director of the Consortium:


“CREST has been a very exciting and unique project that has enabled the smaller and more specialist HEIs within GuildHE to work together collaboratively to advance their research base and researcher development. Many of these institutions have excellent academic expertise and specialist facilities and CREST has provided the framework within which their researchers, often working in small groups in their own institutions, can engage with the wider academic community and build partnerships for research collaboration, for sharing of resources, for bidding for joint grants and for organising research training activities in a cost effective and mutually supportive way. CREST has already led to some exciting new collaborations as well as new grants being awarded. I am sure that the framework laid down by CREST will help to develop new ways of institutional collaborations and consolidate the important research already taking place.”


Professor Chris Gaskell, Chair of CREST and Vice Chancellor of the Royal Agricultural University, recognised the contributions that Prof Mey and Dr Dixon have made and will make to the Consortium:


“GuildHE is very grateful to Kerstin Mey for the work and enthusiasm that she has put into CREST, and we are very pleased that Dr Andy Dixon is taking up the reins. CREST has proved to be enormously valuable to our research community and Andy’s perspectives and commitment will more than keep the momentum going.”


Dr Dixon, who will assume the Directorship in June 2013, said that he was “delighted to be asked to take up the role” stating that, “it would be a privilege to serve the smaller and specialist institutions where so much excellent research is undertaken. The spirit of collegiality, the focus on the quality of the staff and student experience coupled with creativity and ingenuity makes CREST an exciting and rewarding initiative/consortium in which to be involved.”

Dr Dixon was previously a Research Fellow in Eco-Design at Sheffield Hallam University following his doctoral work at Imperial College, London. His research has focused particularly on urban sustainability issues relating to domestic water usage and has published on greywater and rainwater re-use and life cycle analysis relating to urban water systems. Prior to taking up his role at the University of Chichester he led a team of research funding officers at the University of Sheffield to support research bidding under themes of Global Environmental Change, Energy and Identities.

Looking to the future, Prof Mey again voiced her support for Dr Dixon and the Consortium:


“Dr Andy Dixon has already contributed so much to CREST, driving forward many initiatives with his constructive insights and informed enthusiasm, and I am absolutely delighted that he will take over as Director. This bodes very well for the Consortium as a whole and for the participating institutions. I look forward to seeing CREST grow from strength to strength in the years to come.”


Dr Dixon is particularly looking forward to working with CREST colleagues to respond to and influence the fast changing HE sector with a particular focus on continuing to support an excellent PhD student experience, to promote research collaboration and developing shared and cooperative approaches to research services.