Professor Rod Coombs

University of Manchester Representative on the board of Graphene Enabled Systems

Rod Coombs is the Associate Vice President of The University of Manchester. He has a BSc in Physics, and MSc and PhD degrees in the economics of innovation and technical change. After a short period at the beginning of his career working in laboratory research, he switched to social science. Thereafter, he worked for over 25 years on analysing the role of technical change in the economy; the management of R&D and innovation processes in large companies; and the role of government policy in promoting innovation in the economy. During much of this time he was in the School of Management at UMIST, becoming its first Professor of Technology Management in 1993. During that period he initiated and ran several large collaborative research programmes, and also worked as a consultant to a number of large research-intensive companies, as well as advising national and European government agencies.

In 2002 he became a Pro-Vice-Chancellor of UMIST, and thereafter was heavily involved in the project to merge UMIST with the former Victoria University of Manchester in order to create a new University of Manchester (which legally came into existence in October 2004).

In 2004 he was appointed as one of the Vice-Presidents of Manchester University and had responsibility for various aspects of Knowledge Transfer, Research and External Relationships.

In August 2010 he became Deputy President and Deputy Vice Chancellor of Manchester University.

In October 2014 he retired from his role as Deputy President and Deputy Vice Chancellor and now holds a part time Associate Vice President role.