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​Renowned Earth scientist to head College of Science at NTU Singapore 

Published on: 19-Nov-2018

Professor Simon Redfern, an accomplished Earth scientist and academic leader at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, has been appointed the new Dean of the College of Science at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore).

An experimental materials physicist, Prof Redfern is Professor of Mineral Physics and Head of the Earth Sciences Department at the University of Cambridge.

Before joining Cambridge, he taught Geochemical Spectroscopy in the departments of Geology and Chemistry at the University of Manchester. He has been the Chair of the Earth System Science Doctoral Training Programme at Cambridge, responsible for the development of PhDs university-wide, as well as Director of Studies at Jesus College, Cambridge.

He will begin his new role in summer 2019 as Dean of NTU’s College of Science which has three Schools: the Asian School of the Environment, School of Biological Sciences and School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. 

“I am very excited to join NTU Singapore in my new role as Dean of Science. I have watched with admiration NTU’s rise in global stature in recent years. The rise of Asia and the dominant position that both NTU and Singapore hold in this region present many exciting opportunities and I look forward to working with the leadership team led by Prof Subra Suresh to take NTU to greater heights,” said Prof Redfern.

Prof Redfern’s appointment follows unanimous recommendation from the international search advisory committee for the dean and unanimous endorsement from the university’s Academic Affairs Committee and members of the NTU Board of Trustees.

The search advisory committee, assisted by the international search firm Spencer Stuart, examined applications and nominations involving a large number of candidates, and interviewed candidates from within NTU and Singapore as well as around the world.

Announcing the appointment to staff, Professor Subra Suresh, President of NTU said, “The College of Science is a key part of the intellectual ecosystem of NTU in education, research, innovation and societal impact. We are delighted to welcome Professor Redfern to our academic leadership team.  His exceptional track record, experience and expertise will be an asset as NTU continues its next wave of major growth as a great global university.

“As the new Dean of Science, Prof Redfern will provide leadership for the strategic, academic, intellectual and administrative activities of the College and its three Schools. He will build collaborative environments among all five NTU academic colleges and a number of research Centres and Institutes to bring together learning, research and innovation across disciplines and drive the faculty recruitment of the College to further its growth.”

Prof Redfern is currently a member of the UK government committee on radioactive waste disposal and has held several important leadership positions in his distinguished career, including serving as a member of the Science & Innovation Strategy Board/Science Board of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the Peer Review College, as well as the Science Board of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) in the UK, with particular oversight of national neutron research facilities for environmental science. 

He has authored and co-authored more than 260 peer-reviewed publications. His research focuses on the behaviour of minerals and aqueous fluids at high temperatures and pressures. He has previously led large research projects investigating radiation in minerals and in the environment, within the context of searching for methods for high level radioactive waste disposal. 

Prof Redfern has served as a principal investigator in a number of successful research projects selected for major funding after competitive peer reviews in the UK.

His international academic distinctions include an award from China’s National 1000-Talents programme, the Schlumberger and Max Hey Medals from the Mineralogical Society, and the Medal for Research Excellence from the European Mineralogical Union. He is a Fellow of the Mineralogical Society of America, the Geological Society of London, and the Mineralogical Society. 

Alongside his scholarly achievements and advisory work for governments, he is active in science outreach and communication. In 2013, he was a British Science Association Science Media Fellow at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), producing almost 40 articles and commentaries on topics of science and environment. 

Prof Redfern received his MA and PhD in Mineral Sciences from the University of Cambridge in 1985 and 1989, respectively.

The Dean of the College of Science reports to the Provost, Professor Ling San, and serves as a member of the University Leadership Council.  Professor Ling San was the Dean of the College of Science from 2011-2017 before his appointment as Provost in January 2018. Prof Chee Yeow Meng will continue in his role as Interim Dean of the College of Science during the leadership transition. 

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Media contact:

Feisal Abdul Rahman 
Senior Assistant Director 
Corporate Communications Office 
Nanyang Technological University
Email: feisalar(at) 

About Nanyang Technological University

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and Graduate colleges. It also has a medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.
NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI) and Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N).
Ranked 12th in the world, NTU has also been placed the world’s top young university for the past five years. The University’s main campus is frequently listed among the Top 15 most beautiful university campuses in the world and it has 57 Green Mark-certified (equivalent to LEED-certified) building projects comprising more than 230 buildings, of which 95% are certified Green Mark Platinum. Apart from its main campus, NTU also has a campus in Singapore’s healthcare district.
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