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Nick Braithwaite

Executive Dean STEM, Nick is the chief academic officer and, as head of a spending unit, he is also the chief administrative officer of the Faculty with accountability to the Vice-Chancellor for its overall management. As Executive Dean Nick ensures students receive the highest quality experience and have the greatest opportunity to succeed.

Nick joined The Open University (OU) in 1987 as a Lecturer in Electronic Materials in what was then the Technology Faculty. He has contributed to design, production and presentation of engineering modules at stages 1, 2 and 3. He is an active researcher in the science underlying technological applications of ionised gases (plasmas).

From 1998 to 2001 Nick led the Materials Engineering department before becoming a Professor of Engineering Physics in 2001. In 2002, he moved to Physics & Astronomy (Science Faculty), contributing to all undergraduate levels while maintaining research in plasma physics and beginning work on scholarship and pedagogy related to practical science. This ultimately led to the award-winning OpenSTEM Labs project in an online approach to teaching labs and practical subjects.

Nick went on to become Head of the Physics & Astronomy department from 2003 to 2011 when it merged with the Planetary and Space Science Research Institute. This, in turn, formed the basis for the School of Physical Science in the STEM Faculty.

Before becoming Associate Dean, Academic Excellence, Nick held the position of Director of STEM Scholarship Centre, eSTEeM from 2014 to 2017.

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November 2021

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