NEWS24 June 2022

Founding Director appointed for the Surrey Institute for Sustainability

Former Italian Minister of State for Education, University and Research and political economist Professor Lorenzo Fioramonti has been named the founding Director of the University of Surrey’s Institute for Sustainability.

The appointment was made following an extensive international recruitment process. Professor Fioramonti will now be tasked with maximising the positive impact of Surrey’s sustainability-focused research and innovation, helping people to enjoy happy and fulfilling lives that do not further damage the health of the planet.

Professor Max Lu, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Surrey, said of the appointment:

“After a thorough and highly competitive recruitment process, I am delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Lorenzo Fioramonti as our first-ever Director of the Surrey Institute for Sustainability.

“Surrey is already home to highly creative and visionary research in the fields of clean air, net zero energy, veterinary health and economics. With the help of Professor Fioramonti, we will knit this work together and help shape a future in which we all live fulfilling and healthy lives within the limits of the planet.

The Surrey Institute for Sustainability will officially launch later this year. It will allow the University of Surrey to be a critical player as the world transitions to sustainable living through interdisciplinary research and innovation in partnership with national and international organisations, education and civic engagement.

Professor Tim Dunne, Provost and Senior Vice-President of the University of Surrey, said:

“We are very excited to welcome Professor Fioramonti to the University of Surrey. He brings extensive teaching and research coordination experience and a real passion for sustainability. He has much to offer the Surrey community.”

Professor Fioramonti said of his appointment at the University of Surrey:

“We must use our best expertise and passion to build a more sustainable and just society. It is the imperative of our generation. The Surrey Institute for Sustainability will be at the forefront of this endeavour bringing together all scientific disciplines, from the natural to the social sciences, developing technologies for sustainable prosperity and wellbeing, and working closely with innovators, policy makers and business leaders both in the Global North and the Global South.”

Professor Fioramonti will join the University of Surrey in the Autumn. He is currently a Professor of Political Economy and Director of the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation, University of Pretoria in South Africa, and co-leader of the Future Africa initiative, a transdisciplinary campus focusing on sustainability transformations in the Global South.

The current director of Future Africa, a pan-African, transdisciplinary platform at the University of Pretoria, and former CEO of the International Science Council, Dr Heide Hackmann, added:

“Professor Fioramonti will bring to Surrey’s new Institute for Sustainability the transdisciplinary vision, expertise and experience required to ensure that research, scholarship and innovation truly serves the global public good. We at Future Africa look forward to the opportunity to continue working with him in his new, important role.”

In April, the University of Surrey was ranked 55th in the world by the Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings, which assesses more than 1,400 universities’ performance against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Surrey is a leading research institution that focuses on sustainability to the benefit of society in order to deal with the many challenges of climate change. It is also committed to improving its own resource efficiency on its own estate in Guildford and being a sector leader. The University has set a commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030.