Petts, Judith

Professor Judith Petts CBE PhD AcSS FRGS FRSA (b. 1954) graduated in Geography from Exeter University in 1975. After a few years in business she became a research fellow in the Institute for Planning Studies, University of Nottingham and then in the Department of Chemical Engineering, Loughborough University on a project on major hazard control. In 1987 she moved into the Centre for Extension Studies taking over a series of post experience short courses, and developing the first postgraduate part-time course, in hazardous waste management. In 1996, she became Director of the renamed Centre for Hazard and Risk Management and was awarded her PhD by publication. In 1999, she moved to the University of Birmingham to become Professor in Environmental Risk Management, then Head of the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences and in 2007 Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Knowledge Transfer). In 2010 she moved to the University of Southampton as Dean of the Faculty for Social and Human Sciences and then Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise). She has held multiple advisory appointments including to a House of Commons enquiry on waste management, she was member of NERC Council (2000-6), and of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (2005-11). She was a Member of Defra’s Science Advisory Council (until February 2016); Co-Chair of the BIS Sciencewise Steering Group and Chair of the Defra/DECC Social Science Expert Panel. For 10 years she was a Member of Veolia’s Advisory Board. She was appointed CBE in 2012 for services to scientific research. Professor Petts moved to take up her appointment as Vice-Chancellor of Plymouth University in February 2016. Currently she is a Member of BBSRC Council, a Trustee of the Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science, and of the RCUK Public Engagement in Research Advisory Panel and of NRFC’s Innovation Advisory Board.

Petts, Judith: transcript of an audio interview

The Development of Waste Management in the UK c.1960–c.2000