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Durham University appoints former Ofgem Director, Andrew Wright, as a Professor in Practice

Durham University is delighted to announce that Andrew Wright has joined as a Professor in Practice, jointly through the Business School and the Engineering Department.

Andrew, a Durham University graduate, has 30 years of experience in the energy sector, including 10 years’ experience working in various roles at the national gas and electricity regulator Ofgem. Most recently he led the Energy Systems Division in Ofgem, responsible for ensuring regulation kept pace with the rapid changes in the energy system.

Professors in Practice is a new initiative of Durham University to recognise the expertise, experience and commitment of senior members of the practitioner community who bring public distinction and practical insight, to enhance the educational opportunities of students at Durham University. Professors in Practice also provide unique connections for Durham University’s research and scholarship to increase its engagement with policy and practice.

The appointment of Andrew Wright as Professor in Practice builds on his existing role as member of the Durham Energy Institute (DEI) Advisory Board which he has held for more than 3 years.

Andrew’s time at Ofgem was preceded by various strategic and commercial roles within the energy and financial sectors, including senior equity research analyst covering UK and European utilities for a number of major investment banks. Andrew also worked in the electricity industry during its privatisation, spending six years in a variety of management and strategic roles.

Professor Simon Hogg, Head of Durham’s Engineering Department, said:

“Andrew’s appointment will provide an invaluable insight into government thinking and how the policy sector works. It is increasingly important for universities to work together with government, regulators and industry to ensure that research is timely and that decision making is informed by the latest research findings. Andrew’s advice and guidance will help us to enhance these links and ensure both research and training are effectively responding to challenges with the energy sector.

We have been very fortunate to work with Andrew Wright over the past few years through his role on the Durham Energy Institute Advisory Board where he has been a very active and effective member, providing support to Durham University through a number of events. We are delighted that this partnership can be extended and strengthened through the new Professor in Practice role.”

Professor Susan Hart, Dean of Durham University Business School added,

“Andrew’s high-level experience including board-level responsibility at Ofgem and CEO role during a challenging transition to new management, makes him an ideal candidate for a Professorship in Practice. Andrew will contribute towards teaching and will advise on teaching content sharing insights from his wealth of experience working in the energy sector and with the national regulator.

Andrew’s appointment will also further strengthen the Business School links to the Engineering Department and Durham Energy Institute”

Andrew Wright’s appointment to the role closely follows the appointment of Brent Cheshire, former UK Chairman of Ørsted (DONG Energy), as a Durham University Professor in Practice through the Engineering Department. We are delighted that two of the first Professors in Practice are distinguished experts from the energy sector with long-term ties to the Durham Energy Institute, as well as Alumni from the University – highlighting the importance of energy research to the University.

Speaking about his appointment and the importance of energy management Andrew said,

“I am looking forward to continuing and deepening my involvement with Durham University and the DEI now I have left Ofgem. The transformation to a decarbonised energy system that meets the needs of people and businesses is of profound importance. I am excited about the contribution that Durham can make towards achieving this goal and the opportunity to be a part of that as Professor in Practice.”

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