Keith O'Nions

Organization leader

1944 –


Who is Keith O'Nions?

Sir Robert Keith O'Nions FRS Hon.FREng, is a British scientist and current President & Rector of the Imperial College London. He is the former Director General of the Research Councils as well as Professor of the Physics and Chemistry of Minerals and was head of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Oxford.

He studied geology as an undergraduate at the University of Nottingham, receiving a PhD at the University of Alberta before taking up a postdoctoral position at the University of Oslo. He taught geochemistry at the University of Oxford from 1971 to 1975, when he became a professor of geology at Columbia University, a post he held until 1979 when he became a Royal Society Research Professor at the University of Cambridge. He remained there until 1995, when he returned to Oxford to take up the professorship.

He was knighted in 1999, and from 2000 to 2004 he was Chief Scientific Adviser to the Ministry of Defence. After a period as Director General of the Research Councils, he was appointed to lead the newly formed Institute for Security Science and Technology at Imperial College, London in July 2008. On 1 January 2010, following the resignation of Sir Roy Anderson, he became the acting Rector of Imperial College London, in July 2010 he was appointed to a full term as Rector, to run until 2013.

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Sep 26, 1944
  • United Kingdom
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Alberta
Lived in
  • London

on July 23, 2013


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