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University appoints award-winning academic to key research role

The new Pro Vice Chancellor for Research Prashant Pillai portrait picture

The University of Wolverhampton has appointed an award-winning academic to the role of Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange. 

Professor Prashant Pillai, MBE, was successful in securing the position, bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge to the role. 

The new position forms part of the University’s newly structured Offices of the Vice-Chancellor and will lead efforts to continue to grow and improve the institute’s world-class research.  

Professor Pillai is currently Associate Dean for Research and Knowledge Exchange and Centre Director for the Midlands Centre for Cyber Security based in Herefordshire. He recently received the Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) – deserved recognition of his many achievements since he came to the UK in 2002. He was also awarded the 2023 India UK Achievers Honours Award in the category “Education, Science and Innovation”. 

Prashant’s education and training is in Electronics and IT security with interest in Artificial Intelligence; he has over 20 years’ award-winning success behind him, recognised for his progressive vision and academic leadership.  

Professor John Raftery, Interim Vice-Chancellor at the University, said: “Having worked in three different UK universities for over two decades and in various senior roles, Prashant has been able to develop research and teaching programmes to support a diverse student cohort. His passion for the profession, his caring attitude towards our students, and his warm and friendly nature has made him a well admired colleague.”  

Professor Pillai said: “Focus in the coming months will be to ‘Embrace and Grow’ - to embrace all Research and Knowledge Exchange across the University and to embark on a journey of sustained growth. My top strategic priority area will be around ‘People, Culture and Ambition’ and I will specifically be looking at how to retain and recruit high calibre research staff and students, develop an open inclusive environment for growth, develop new internal and external collaborations, and embed an improved research culture across all business functions.” 

In his career to date, Prashant has led numerous research projects in the areas of networking protocols and cyber security. In his role as Director of the partnership project in Herefordshire - Cyber Quarter – The Midlands Centre for Cyber Security – he has pursued the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and developed novel security solutions for safety-critical systems. His research aims to understand and solve security threats in cyberspace, expanding knowledge of cyber-crime on a large scale, with the aim of protecting the smart cities of the future.  

Prashant has attained an enormous number of accomplishments in the 20 years since studying his Master's degree in informatics. He has published over 100 papers furthering international understanding of cybercrime, systems, security, and other associated topics. He continues to develop innovative education programmes and direct important research projects to increase global understanding of the threats we face as technology continues to progress. 

He takes up the position from 1 July 2023. 

Find out more about the University's research in the University’s eZene, Research Matters - showcasing our research successes and news from the sector. 


For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

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