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Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Knowledge Exchange)

Image of Louise BrackenProfessor Louise Bracken


Professor Louise Bracken was appointed to the post of Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange in August 2021. Before joining Northumbria University Louise was the Deputy Vice Provost (Research) (DVPR) at Durham University.

Professor Bracken joined Durham University as a lecturer in 1999 following the award of her Geography BSc from Leeds University and her PhD from Birmingham University. During her 22 years at Durham University Louise gained promotion to Senior Lecturer, Reader and Professor. In 2015 Louise was appointed as the Executive Director of the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience (IHRR) and the Wilson Chair of Hazard, Risk and Resilience. IHRR is a world-leading institute that undertakes outstanding research and translates this into practice to improve the lives of people living with risk. As Executive Director of IHRR Louise secured over £3M of philanthropic donations to support research, established the Action on Natural Disasters Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT), developed the GCRF CDT, secured five major funding awards and published an edited collection of papers to celebrate IHRR’s 10-year anniversary. Louise then secured the role of DVPR in 2019. As DVPR Louise supported the delivery of Durham University’s Research and Engagement Strategy and was the institutional lead for research culture.

Louise is an interdisciplinary researcher specialising in the science of fluvial geomorphology, flooding, and managing hazard and risk.  She applies her technical expertise to understanding flooding, communicating risk more effectively, managing land and water resources and supporting innovation in the water sector. She is experienced in conducting both physical and social science research including empirical field data collection of catchment processes, laboratory analysis of field samples (e.g. sediment analysis, water chemistry, geological analysis), participatory action research, interviews and focus groups. Louise has published over 80 articles, been principle and co-investigator on over £25M of research grants and has supervised over 25 postgraduate students to successful completion.

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