Prof Francis Petersen Appointed as Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria

Posted on June 03, 2024

The University of Pretoria is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Francis Petersen as its new Vice-Chancellor and Principal, effective 1 October 2024.

Professor Petersen brings a distinguished record of academic leadership and a wealth of experience in higher education to his new role. With a diverse background spanning engineering, finance, and academic management, he is poised to lead the University of Pretoria into a new era of innovation and excellence.

Professor Petersen's educational journey is marked by notable achievements, including a Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical Engineering) and a Master of Engineering (Metallurgical Engineering) from the University of Stellenbosch, as well as a Ph.D. in Engineering. His academic prowess is complemented by a short course in Financial Skills for Executive Management from IIR Training.

Throughout his career, Professor Petersen has held various academic positions, including roles at the University of Stellenbosch, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, University of Cape Town, and University of the Free State. His leadership roles have ranged from Head of Department to Dean and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, showcasing his extensive experience in academic management at departmental, faculty, and institutional levels.

Professor Petersen's tenure as Vice-Chancellor and Principal at the University of the Free State underscores his commitment to academic excellence, institutional advancement, and community engagement. He has played a pivotal role in steering the university towards sustainable growth and fostering a culture of inclusivity and innovation.

In addition to his academic accomplishments, Professor Petersen has made significant contributions to industry and science councils, demonstrating his ability to bridge the gap between academia and real-world challenges. His strategic leadership at Anglo American Platinum Limited and Mintek has shaped industry practices and promoted research and development in mining, minerals, and environmental engineering.

Commenting on his appointment, Professor Petersen stated: "I am deeply honoured to join the University of Pretoria as its new Vice-Chancellor and Principal. I am committed to advancing the university's mission of academic excellence, research innovation, and societal impact. I look forward to working closely with the university community to realise our shared vision for the future."

“It is with great enthusiasm that I extend a warm welcome to Prof Petersen as the new Vice-Chancellor and Principal of our institution”, said Mr Kuseni Dlamini, Chairperson of the University of Pretoria Council. “Prof Petersen’s exemplary leadership, extensive academic achievements, and commitment to excellence uniquely position him to guide our university into a new era of innovation and growth. We are confident that under his stewardship, we will continue to uphold our tradition of academic distinction while forging new paths in research, teaching, and community engagement. We look forward to working closely with Prof Petersen to achieve our shared vision for the future.”,


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