Management and Structure

Professor Liz Bacon

Principal and Vice-Chancellor

Profile of Professor Liz Bacon

Professor Liz Bacon joined Abertay University as Vice-Principal and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) in 2018, becoming Principal and Vice-Chancellor in May 2022.

A former President of BCS – The Chartered Institute for IT, Professor Bacon is also current President of EQANIE (European Quality Assurance Network for Informatics Education) and a past Chair of the BCS Academy of Computing and the CPHC (Council of Professors and Heads of Computing) national committee.

A Professor of Computer Science at Abertay, Professor Bacon’s research interests include computing policy, smart systems, security and technology enhanced learning. She is also a Trustee of Bletchley Park Trust.

She is passionate about the development of her discipline and is keen to inspire more people to choose computing as a career, with a particular commitment to supporting women in entering, and progressing in, the profession.

Find out more about Professor Bacon.

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

Professor Alistair Irons

Professor Irons joined Abertay in July 2022 as Deputy Vice-Chancellor from the University of Sunderland where he was Professor of Computer Science and Academic Director for Digital Education.

He is originally from Stranraer in Scotland and is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh. He brings a broad range of experience across teaching, research, knowledge exchange and innovation, in addition to expertise forged through working in industry and projects around pedagogy, transnational/international education and online learning.

Professor Irons became a National Teaching Fellow in 2010, was a visiting scholar at the University of Cape Town in South Africa from 2013–2017 and is a senior research associate at the University of Johannesburg.

Currently Vice President (Academic) of the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, and Chair of the BCS Academy Board, Professor Irons also serves on the management board of DYNAMO North East, the management board of Sphere North East and is a trustee of the NE Futures UTC. 

Find out more about Professor Irons.

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 & 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 ServicesJames

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

Dean of the School of Design and Informatics


Gregor became Head of School in 2015.  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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