A computer science graduate from the University of Cambridge (Pembroke College), Richard returned to Northern Ireland to undertake a DPhil in computing science at Ulster University. Following a lectureship in computing science, Richard was later promoted to senior lecturer in 1996, Head of the School of Computing and Mathematics in 2000 and Dean of the Faculty of Computing and Engineering in 2004, a position he held for ten years.
From 2014 to 2016, Richard was Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Academic Planning, Partnerships and International Affairs before leading a strategic project for the University to redesign the Admissions Service. This came into operation in December 2017, transforming the applicant experience by streamlining the process and significantly improving offer turnaround times. The project then defined Student Services Centres, aiming to create a central hub on campus for all student support including examinations and financial advice, as well as a gateway to more specialist health and wellbeing services. These are now being piloted through UU Connect.
Most recently, Richard was seconded for two years as Chief Digital and Information Officer, leading digital transformation across the University. During this time he established the digital strategy for the next five years and the structures to deliver it, embracing the opportunities presented by new and emerging technology and embedding the user-centric ethos necessary for the success of a smart ‘digital first’ university. He has now returned to his academic roots as Professor of Computer Science in the School of Computing where he is supporting the Faculty’s transition to the Greater Belfast campus and enhancing the School’s links with the local Further Education Colleges and post-primary schools. His teaching and research interests are in image processing, software engineering and professional issues.
Richard is married to Belinda and they have one son, Zack, who is a doctor in Peterborough. Richard strives to maintain a work-life balance to pursue interests in golf, rugby and be an active member of his church.