New head of Life and Health Sciences appointed

Professor Chris Hewitt

5 November 2014

An internationally respected biological engineering expert has been appointed as the new Executive Dean of Aston University’s School of Life and Health Sciences (LHS). 

Professor Chris Hewitt joined Aston at the beginning of November. Previously, he was Professor of Biological Engineering, Associate Dean for Research and Director of the Cell Technologies Research Group at Loughborough University. 

In a career stretching over 20 years, Professor Hewitt has won more than £25.5m in grants and awards, delivered 60 full papers in leading journals and was appointed a Fellow of the Society of Biology and a Fellow of the Society for Engineering. He has worked as a Lecturer and Senior and Lecturer at the University of Birmingham, where he developed his research into the interface between Life Sciences and Engineering. 

Since 2006, Professor Hewitt has been a Professor at Loughborough. While there, he developed and co-founded the institution’s multi-disciplinary Centre for Biological Engineering in order to realise the potential of regenerative medicine and cell technologies to improve human health. 

He has also acted as a Consultant to such companies as GlaxoSmithKline, Unilever and Merck, advising on analytical techniques and bioprocessing strategies. 

Professor Hewitt said: “I am really pleased to be joining Aston during an exciting time in its further future development. I am looking forward to working with all people at every level to deliver future success and to cement our reputation for producing highly trained professionals.” 

Aston University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Julia King, said: “We are delighted to be able to welcome Professor Hewitt to Aston. He brings an excellent record of winning research funding, especially for big inter-disciplinary projects. He will further strengthen the growing links between the Schools at the University, building on exciting initiatives such as the new degree in Biomedical Engineering. As a small, agile and entrepreneurial institution, such collaboration will be critical to our future success. 

“Professor Hewitt will bring his wide array of skills to LHS to ensure the School continues to grow while maintaining its reputation as a centre of research excellence. Looking ahead to the University’s ambitious 2020 Strategy and Growth Plan, I am confident he will play a significant role in helping us achieve our targets.” 

Professor Hewitt will take over from the outgoing Executive Dean, Professor Helen Griffiths. She will continue to be an active member of the School’s Biomedical Sciences research team. 

Professor Dame Julia King said: “I would like to thank Professor Griffiths for her years of hard work and excellent leadership. She has led LHS with great distinction, overseeing a considerable increase in research awards and the formation of world-class research centres such as the Aston Research Centre for Healthy Ageing and the Aston Brain Centre.” 


For further media information, please contact Jonathan Garbett, Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4552 or