Management and Structure

Professor Liz Bacon

Principal and Vice-Chancellor

Prof Liz Bacon Profile

Professor Liz Bacon FRSE, CEng, CSci, CITP, FBCS, FIScT, PFHEA, NTF is Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Abertay University.

She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, a National Teaching Fellow, a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a Trustee and Director of Bletchley Park Trust, a Board member of V&A Dundee.

She is a past President of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT and EQANIE (European Quality Assurance Network for Informatics Education), and in 2015 was voted the 35th Most Influential Woman in UK IT.

Liz is a Professor of Computer Science, with a PhD in Artificial Intelligence and is a regular worldwide speaker on preparing staff and students for the fourth industrial revolution’s impact on teaching, learning and work, and improving diversity and participation in STEM.

Professor Mohamed Branine

Dean of the School of Business, Law and Social Sciences

Mohamed Branine

Mohamed is a Professor of International Human Resource Management and an Academic Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Over the last 20 years, Mohamed’s work has focused on culture and human resource management with special emphasis on flexibility, diversity, equal opportunities and social inclusion.

Mohamed’s research is recognised for its contribution to the contemporary understanding of people management in different cultures and the efficient use of flexible working practices, equal opportunities in relation to gender and age, employment initiatives, and employment prospects for young people leaving third level education.

He has conducted research and consultancy work in the following areas:

  • Human resource management

  • Cross-cultural management

  • Graduate recruitment and labour market trends

  • Environmental awareness in the workplace

  • Job creation and social inclusion

  • The response of employees to organisational change

Mohamed has published two books, over 60 research papers – many of which have been presented at national and international conferences - and examined more than 50 PhD and MPhil students.

He is a guest lecturer at universities in the UK and abroad including the University of British Colombia and the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.

Ms Andrea Cameron

Dean of the School of Applied Sciences

Andrea Cameron

Andrea is responsible for managing the School of Applied Sciences which delivers programmes and applied research in the areas of biomedical sciences, mental health nursing, counselling, psychology, forensic sciences, civil and environmental engineering, food science, and sport and exercise.

A nurse and sport and exercise scientist, Andrea joined Abertay in 2003 and has held several roles since: Lecturer in Health and Sport Physiology, Programme Leader (Sport and Exercise) and Director of Academic Programmes. She has won awards for her work on enhancing student employability, and works with a number of charitable organisations within Dundee as well as the Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation.

Ms Eilidh Fraser

Director of People and Organisational Development


Responsible for the strategic leadership of People Services for Abertay, encompassing HR, Learning and Development, Occupational Health and Safety, and for taking the lead in the University's development as an organisation.  Eilidh joined Abertay in January 2014 and has extensive experience in HR and Organisational Development in higher education, including active involvement in the promotion of inclusion, diversity and equality in the sector.

Professor Alastair Irons

Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Prof Irons wearing a suit, pin badge and checked tie

Professor Alastair Irons is Professor of Computer Science and Deputy Principal and Deputy Vice Chancellor at Abertay University. Before coming to Abertay in July 2022 he was Academic Director for Digital Education at the University of Sunderland, having previously been the Dean for the Faculty of Technology. Prior to joining the University of Sunderland in 2008 he worked at ONE North East, Northumbria University and ICI having moved to the north east of England from Scotland after graduating in 1984 from Edinburgh University. Alastair became a National Teaching Fellow in 2010. Alastair was a visiting scholar at the University of Cape Town in South Africa from 2013 – 2017 and is currently a visiting professor at the University of Johannesburg and at the British University in Egypt.

His research interests focus on digital education and digital pedagogies, but also on digital forensics and cybersecurity. His current research includes digital skills frameworks for students and academics, digital skills for all and digital poverty, as well as cybersecurity in the classroom and learning safely in the classroom of the future. Alastair has over 20 refereed journal publications and has over 40 conference papers in the last 5 years. His recent book publications include a book on assessment and feedback in 2021 and an anthology of issues in higher education in a post-Covid world in 2022.

Alastair is currently Vice President (academic) of the BCS and is chair of the BCS Academy board (recently re-elected for a second three year term), he also sits on BCS Council and BCS Trustees, is a member of the BCS Academic Accreditation Committee and is a founding trustee of the BCS Foundation. Whilst in the North East he was chair of the Newcastle Branch of the BCS and since moving to Dundee has been elected chair of the Tayside and Fife Branch of the BCS. He is also currently the UK representative on IFIP and serves on the IFIP Board.

Find out more about Professor Irons.

Ms Claire MacEachen

Dean of International and UK Partnerships

Claire has been a member of academic staff at Abertay for almost 30 years. 

Starting in the School of Mathematics and Computing as Head of Division for Information Technology she moved to the Dundee Business School and then School of Business, Law and Social Sciences as Head of Teaching Quality and Learning Enhancement, when she was a member of the Quality Committee of the Scottish Credit & Qualification Framework. More latterly as Head of the Accounting, Business and Management division she helped Abertay expand its international partnerships.

Claire's current role is to support the University in developing new partnerships locally and to help expand our academic footprint globally.  She is committed to ensuring Abertay have deep, collaborative partnerships for the benefit of both parties.

Find out more about Ms Claire MacEachen

Ms Jackie McKenzie

Director of External and Corporate Relations

Jackie joined Abertay in April 2016 to lead the new External and Corporate Relations Directorate which encompasses our work in Recruitment, Marketing and Communications, Alumni and Development, International and Business Engagement. Jackie has diverse experience at a senior level in the third, HEI and public sector and expertise in innovation. The External Relations team’s remit is to lead and support engagement with our many audiences including prospective/existing students, our graduates, the wider business community, third and public sector community and our staff. Jackie can be contacted directly at

Dr Luke Millard

Dean of Teaching and Learning

Dr Luke Millard

Dr Luke Millard is Dean of Teaching and Learning at Abertay University and is a Principal Fellow of the UK’s Higher Education Academy.  At Abertay, Luke leads the work of the AbLE Academy and works with the Deans and Senior Management Team to guide activities that seek to improve student and staff experiences, and outcomes, through collaborative engagement.  The Principal Fellowship award was based on his experiences in developing student success through collaborative working with staff and students on the areas of student engagement and co-creation, student employment, transitions and the first year experience. His doctoral research continued this theme and considered the impact of students being employed on campus on students’ learning and their relationship to the institution.

In recent years, Luke has been invited to deliver keynotes at University Learning and Teaching events at Bath, Nottingham Trent, Liverpool John Moores, Munster Technological University, Worcester and Winchester Universities.  In addition, he has chaired the European First Year Experience conference; provided a presentation to the OECD in Paris on Learning Gain and chaired a national conference in London on ‘Increasing Student Retention Across Higher Education’. In 2019, Luke delivered a keynote on student engagement and quality enhancement at the University of Tsukuba (Japan) and presented at the Japanese Association of Higher Education Research.  Most recently, he has worked with the University of Szeged and members of the EULOGH university alliance to explore issues around student engagement and success.  Luke has published widely and has substantial experience of developing partnership arrangements with Universities across North America, Asia and Europe as a vehicle to improve institutional performance and the student experience.

Luke continues to investigate and research in the field of student retention and success with a particular focuses on the first year student experience and the addressing of inequalities through course design and student opportunity. Luke has written extensively on student engagement, success and employability. 

Mr James Nicholson

Director of Student and Academic Services


Leadership and responsibility for student experience, employability, equality and diversity, student administration, quality assurance of academic provision, library and learning services, student support (counselling, careers, advisory, support enquiry zone) and Abertay sport. Having previously worked within Student Services at two universities in England, James joined Abertay as Head of Student Services in April 2001. He is also a governor for the City of Dundee Educational Trust and the Angus Educational Trust and is currently an external member of the University of Edinburgh student support service quality audit.

Ms Caroline Summers

Vice Principal (Strategy and Governance) and University Secretary


Caroline was appointed as Vice Principal (Strategy and Governance) and University Secretary in May 2022, having previously held the posts of Vice Principal (Strategy and Planning) since February 2020 and Director of Strategic Planning since October 2013.

Caroline is responsible for leading the University’s strategic planning and governance functions. This includes developing and monitoring the University's Strategic Plan, leading internal operational planning processes, developing the University's Outcome Agreement with SFC, ensuring effective arrangements are in place to support the University’s governance framework, and providing support to Court and its committees.

Caroline has extensive experience in a range of roles within the HE sector having previously worked at Glasgow Caledonian University, the Scottish Funding Council, and the University of Stirling before joining Abertay.

Mr Gordon Weir

Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services

Gordon has responsibility for strategy and operations in areas covering finance, estates, information technology, campus facilities, business development, commercial contracts and services, residences, procurement, administration and project support and business continuity planning.

Gordon joined the University from the Care Inspectorate where he was the Executive Director of Corporate and Customer Services. Prior to that, he was Assistant Principal (Finance and Resources) at Adam Smith College and held a joint post as Assistant Principal of Fife College and Glenrothes College. Before moving to the college sector he held posts as Head of Corporate Services at Tayside Fire Brigade and Principal Accountant at Tayside Regional Council. 

Gordon is a member of the CIPFA Scotland Executive Committee, having been Chair of CIFPA Scotland in 2018-19 and is a former chair of the Central Government Procurement Shared Services Steering Board.

Gordon is a graduate of the University of Dundee, a Fellow Chartered Public Finance Accountant and a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Professor Gregor White

Professor of Applied Creativity and Director of Co-Star


Gregor became Professor of Applied Creativity in 2023. His is remit to deliver research impact across a number of projects including the Abertay University-led Realtime Lab as part of the UK R&D network for Convergent Screen Technologies and Performance in Realtime.

A graduate of Grays School of Art (BA Hons Design and Applied Art) and St Andrews University (Master’s in the History of Art), he has also worked at Dundee University, Duncan of Jordanstone and Angus College before joining Abertay University as Lecturer in Computer Arts in 2002, subsequently serving as Division Leader, Director of Academic Enterprise and latterly Research Director.

Professor Nia White

Dean of Research and the Graduate School


Responsible for strategy, leadership and operational management of University Research and Knowledge Exchange activity and member of the University Research Executive. A graduate of University College Cardiff (BSc Hons Microbiology) and the University of Wales College of Cardiff (PhD SERC/CASE ICI Biological Products), she gained post-doctoral experience at the University of Wales College of Medicine before joining Abertay as a researcher in 1992. Nia has had several roles since; lecturer in environmental microbiology, SIMBIOS researcher, Honorary Research Fellow of the Scottish Crop Research Institute, Masters Programme Leader, Division Leader, Head of the School of Science, Engineering and Technology and now Head of the University Graduate School, which was launched in 2014. She has over 20 years of research experience in Microbiology and Mycology and is Chair of the University Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team.

Senior Management and Organisational Structure


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