Keith Burnett

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Sir Keith Burnett
Keith Burnett, December 2008
Born 30 September 1953 (1953-09-30) (age 65)
Nationality British
Alma mater University of Oxford (BA, DPhil)
Awards Young Medal and Prize (1997)
Scientific career
Fields Physics
Institutions University of Sheffield
University of Oxford
University of Colorado
Imperial College

Sir Keith Burnett, CBE, FRS (born 30 September 1953)[1] is a British physicist and past Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield.[2] Burnett announced his retirement in January 2018 and he stepped down in September of that year[3] when he was succeeded by Koen Lamberts[4].


Burnett was born in Llwynypia in the Rhondda Valley. He studied Physics at Jesus College, Oxford obtaining a BA degree in 1972 then a DPhil degree in 1979. He held academic positions in Physics at the University of Colorado, Imperial College and the University of Oxford before taking up his present post on 1 October 2007.[2] During his time at the University of Oxford he was appointed Chairman of Physics and then Head of the Division of Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences.[5] His research includes the study of Bose–Einstein condensates.


He was Chair of the board of the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) from October 2009 to September 2011.[6]

On 1 November 2010 he was appointed as a non-executive director of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority,[7] a position he was due to hold until October 2013.[8] However,as of Feb 2014, he is still listed on the management.[9]

He is also currently a member of the United Kingdom government's Council for Science and Technology,[8] and in September 2016 was elected president of the UK science council. He was appointed to the Advisory Council of Infrastructure UK in 2012 to advise the UK treasury on investments including on energy, transport, waste, flood, science, water and telecoms.[5] In March 2015 he joined the management board of HEFCE.[10]


He is married and has two children. His interests include the Chinese language and culture.[5]


He was awarded the Young Medal and Prize in 1997 for his physics research[11] and in 2001 was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.[5] He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2004 for services to physics,[12] and knighted for services to science and higher education in the 2013 New Year Honours.[13][14]

External links

  • Vice-Chancellor's pages University of Sheffield
  • Professor Sir Keith Burnett Professional website
  • Scientific Commons Keith Burnett


  1. ^ "Birthdays". The Guardian. Guardian News & Media. 30 Sep 2014. p. 35. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  2. ^ a b University of Sheffield press release 19 Dec 2006
  3. ^ "Online Services - The University of Sheffield". Retrieved 2018-01-29.
  4. ^ Sheffield, University of. "University appoints Professor Koen Lamberts as President and Vice-Chancellor - Latest news - Staff - The University of Sheffield". Retrieved 2018-07-04.
  5. ^ a b c d Biography: Professor Keith Burnet
  6. ^ UCEA announces new chair of board
  7. ^ UKAEA Corporate Governance
  8. ^ a b UK Council for Science and Technology - Members
  9. ^ UK Atomic Energy Authority Management
  10. ^ HEFCE News 27 March 2015
  11. ^ Institute of Physics Young medal recipients
  12. ^ The Times (online) 31 December 2003
  13. ^ "Knights Bachelor" (PDF). Cabinet Office. 29 December 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  14. ^ "No. 60367". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 2012. p. 1.
Academic offices
Preceded by
Bob Boucher
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield
Succeeded by
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