Meet the Team
Professor Ian White, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Bath, is GW4 Chair of Council. Professor White was appointed as Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Bath in September 2018. After completing his PhD in 1984, he was appointed as Research Fellow and Assistant Lecturer at the University of Cambridge.
Professor White has carried out substantial research in the field of optoelectronics and optical communications. Highlights of his research include the invention of new techniques for transmitting signals at low cost over optical fibre links for data and wireless communication systems. Several of these advances have made a commercial impact and he has published over 1,000 journal and conference papers.
Talking about his appointment, Professor White said: “I am delighted to be appointed to the post of GW4 Alliance Chair of Council. GW4’s approach to interdisciplinary, collaborative research is crucial in helping to address major regional and global issues such as net zero, climate change and sustainability, and antimicrobial resistance, and I look forward to leading the Alliance in our next chapter as we seek to strengthen new and existing partnerships between business and academia.
Evelyn Welch graduated from Harvard University, receiving her PhD from the Warburg Institute, University of London. She was previously Senior Vice-President for Service, People & Planning at King’s College London, and had been Vice-President (Arts and Sciences) and Provost (Arts and Sciences). She has taught at University of Essex, the Warburg Institute, and held leadership roles at University of Sussex (PVC Teaching and Learning) and Queen Mary, University of London (Dean, Arts and PVC Research and International). As Professor of Renaissance Studies, she has led major research programmes including ‘The Material Renaissance,’ and ‘Beyond Text: Performances, Sounds, Images’. She recently completed a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award for a project on ‘Renaissance Skin’ and has authored numerous books, including Fashioning the Early Modern: Creativity and Innovation in Europe, 1500-1800 (OUP 2017), and Shopping in the Renaissance (Yale 2005), winning the Wolfson Prize for History.
Professor Wendy Larner took up the post of President and Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University on 1 September 2023. Previously she was Provost at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington. She has held academic positions at the University of Waikato (NZ), University of Auckland (NZ), and University of Bristol (UK). She has also been a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (US), Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Queen Mary University, London (UK), and a Guest Professor at the University of Frankfurt (Germany).
Wendy’s research is in the interdisciplinary fields of globalisation, governance and gender. She has published over 80 refereed articles and book chapters, nine monographs, edited collections and special issues, and delivered over 100 invited lectures/keynote addresses across four continents.
She has served as a panelist for the NZ Performance-Based Research Fund, UK Research Excellence Framework, and German Universities Excellence Initiative. Wendy has more recently served as a member of the National Review Panel for the NZ Performance-Based Research Fund and as a Main Panel member for the UK Research Excellence Framework. Wendy was also Co-Chair of the Sector Reference Group and Co-moderator for the NZ Performance-Based Research Fund Quality Evaluation 2025, and Chair of Fulbright New Zealand.
Wendy is a Fellow of Royal Society Te Apārangi (and held the position of President-elect/ President 2017-21), a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (UK), a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS-IBG), a Fellow of the New Zealand Geographical Society, and a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She is a recipient of the Royal Geographical Society’s Victoria Medal, New Zealand’s Women of Influence Award for Innovation and Science, and the New Zealand Geographical Society’s Distinguished New Zealand Geographer Award and Medal.
Professor Lisa Roberts is President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Exeter.
Prior to this role, Professor Roberts was Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation at the University of Leeds where she led on the development of the University’s research and innovation strategy.
Professor Roberts is a Professor of Virology, having studied for her PhD at the BBSRC Institute for Animal Health (now the Pirbright Institute) and the University of Kent. Earlier in her career, she worked as a Product Development Manager for Procter and Gamble in the UK and Belgium.
Professor Roberts is a Board member of the Russell Group, Jisc and Universities UK, and is a Member of the National Centre for Universities and Businesses (NCUB) taskforce. In May 2022, she was appointed by the Minister of State for Further and Higher Education to chair a working group tackling the issue of spiking attacks against students, bringing together vice-chancellors, police, campaigners and victims to produce plans for practical action to help keep students safe.
Regionally, Professor Roberts is a member of the GW Council, an inaugural Commissioner for the South West Social Mobility Commission, and a Member of the Great South West Partnership Board.