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Professor Colin Bailey CBE

Professor Colin Bailey CBE is President and Principal at Queen Mary University of London.

Image of the Principal of Queen Mary University of London, Colin BaileyProfessor Colin Bailey began his career as an apprentice draughtsperson after leaving school at 16. He worked for construction and consulting civil and structural engineering companies Lovell Construction, Cameron Taylor Partners and Clarke Nicholls Marcel. As an apprentice he gained, through day release and night school, an Ordinary National Certificate (ONC) and Higher National Certificate (HNC-BTec) from Slough and Richmond College respectively.

He was then accepted, through their widening participation programme, to study for a degree in Civil and Structural Engineering at Sheffield University, where he finished first in his year and was offered a scholarship to study for a PhD. Following his PhD, he returned to industry to work for the Steel Construction Institute (SCI) and the Building Research Establishment (BRE), where his practical and research experience resulted in the publication of a number of design guides, which are used widely by industry.

He joined the University of Manchester in 2002 as Professor of Structural Engineering, and became Head of the School in 2007. He was then appointed Vice-President of the Faculty of Science and Engineering in 2009, before becoming Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor in 2014.

He joined Queen Mary as President and Principal in September 2017.

Over his career he has gained significant non-executive experience, including as a non-executive Chair, sitting on the Board of several organisations in the education, charity, health, cultural, engineering and commercial sectors. 

Colin is author of more than 140 research papers and practical design guides, and has been awarded nine prizes for his research work. This has included the publication of the ‘Bailey’ fire design method, which has been used in design software and distributed to 2,500 companies in 20 countries.

He has also been involved in the structural fire design of a number of iconic buildings in London including the Shard, Heron Tower and the Leadenhall Building. He has also been an expert witness on several projects, including explaining the collapse of the World Trade Centre 7 Building in 2001, following the terrorist attack. He is also a member of the Independent Expert Advisory Panel advising government on building safety following the Grenfell fire.  

Colin is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng), a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, a Fellow of the Institution of Structural Engineers and a member of the Institution of Fire Engineers. He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to Engineering in the 2020 New Year Honours.

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