Professor James Powell

  • Honorary Professor (School of Education)

Biography

James Powell is an Honorary Professor in the School of Education at Glasgow University and Professor Emeritus of Academic Enterprise at Salford University. He is also UK Ambassador for  Social Entrepreneurship for Higher Education (HEFCE/UNLtd) and Director of Citizens Enablement project. He is a Chartered European Engineer with specialisation in Design, Academic Enterprise, Human Communications, Innovation, Leadership and Team Building.  His research areas include space and resource utilisation, design methods, the product introductory process, technology and knowledge transfer, multi-media for professional communications, partnering, cultural change, action learning, the information superhighway and simulation, including virtual reality, and especially higher education which empowers citizens to achieve their fullest aspirations form themselves.  He was the managing director of Britain’s first commercial learning videodisc company, designer of the Menuhin Auditoria in Portsmouth and head of two very different university departments, architecture and manufacturing and engineering systems. He then became a Deputy Dean of Technology and Dean of Postgraduate Studies before taking up the post as Director of Academic Enterprise responsible for Salford University’s ‘Reach Out’ initiatives into industry, commerce, the service industry, the voluntary sector and society at large.   For the past 40 years James has been researching into and leading all aspects of communication and the mid-career education of professionals, especially those in the construction industry, and now focuses his work on citizen enablement.  He has designed, directed and produced a number of national/European award winning multi-media learning packages and has been responsible for developing effective professionals’ learning strategy based upon a fourfold model of learning. He was responsible for the Powell Report on Postgraduate Education for SERC, which led to significant changes in its supported higher educational training, especially the development of their sponsored Engineering Doctoral and the IGOS programmes. 

Over his career James has received many prizes and awards the major ones being: Taylor Woodrow Prize 1967; British Interactive Multi Media Award 1978; European Multi Media Award 1979; Artificial Intelligence in Learning Award 1983; Bangermann IT Challenge for SMEs (British Best) 1990; Queen’s Award for Higher and Further Education (Construct IT) 1999; Shell LIVEWire North West Enterprise Award 2001 and North West Excellence Award for Innovative Excellence 2002; Leadership Award from the Times Higher Education Awards in 2010. On the 15th June 1996, in the Queen's Birthday Honours list, he was awarded the OBE for "services to science and to engineering research and education".

James Powell is now formally retired, after finishing a successful senior academic management, research and enterprise career, at which time he was appointed Professor Emeritus of Salford University; his last full-time role was as Senior Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic Enterprise) for Salford. He is now working on a range of research, development, innovation and academic enterprise projects which emanate from his successful time in Academic Enterprise at Salford University and especially research into the ‘leadership, governance and management’ of Academic Enterprise. He is also building on his pioneering ‘Smart City Futures’ conference, held in the Lowry Centre, Manchester, in 2009; the latter uniquely involved the local communities and small businesses in a highly interactive mode empowering citizens to undertake key developments in conjunction with the Greater Manchester Universities (www.smartcityfutures.co.uk). He is also presently developing his notion of the future of ‘Citizens Enablement’, developed with funding from the EU Socrates programme and the European Universities Association with, Board Members of the PASCAL International Observatory for place management, social capital and learning regions centred in Glasgow University and the European Leonardo Awards. James powerfully argues that the world will be a very different place with respect to higher learning  after Covid 19 if universities and further education colleges, and particularly their insightful academics, can learn to support citizens, communities and small businesses, in a very different way providing a true ‘bridge to an effective future’.  The Citizen Enablement project he has developed provides a constructive way through which academics can foster real and sustainable improvements to the lives of ordinary citizens. In particular , along with Colleagues in Glasgow and Manchester he is now developing a ways and means of achieving this, based on a comprehensive paper ccommissioned by the Leadership Foundation in Higher Education entitled ‘Leadership for improved Academic Enterprise’ (Powell and Clark, 2012). An early pilot theme of this work is to support the enablement and empowerment of Vulnerable Young Citizens. The key in all this latest work will be to closely listen to the needs and wants of young 16-25 year olds and to help them embark on new challenges, with confidence and enjoyment. The hope is that the approach will lead them to fulfil their aspirations; just some of the things  James Powell envisages that the project will explore with them include: 21st Century skills including social, soft, emotional and entrepreneurial skills; second chance opportunities in technology and commercia skills; digital inclusion, mindful learning; integration in society; learning to know; learning to do learning to live together; learning to be; gainful alternative employment; care leavers development post-18; community engaged scholarship; coping with disabilities, risk, protection, vulnerability and resilience. Powell stresses the  importance of all citizens tackling the problems and issues they perceive to be theirs and they and to tackle. To learn more about these latest ideas there is a short video presentation recorded n YouTube at this link.

Research interests

James Powell has an international network of over 30 design and action learning researchers who are brought together to tackle major projects.  His explorations include team building and simultaneous engineering for Lucas Industries, the development of Command and Control training simulations for the National Fire Services College and the Metropolitan Police Force and achieving Cultural Change with busy Chartered Builders.  Some of his latest research studies involve: creating and evaluating a portfolio of virtual reality demonstrators for the construction industry under LINK IDAC; developing an Action Learning Programme to empower ‘cultural change for innovation’ in small and medium enterprises; the motivation of academics to want to develop higher education for citizens and communities.   He was: a Director of Excellence North Awards; a Trustee of Salford City Reds Community Foundation NW; Chairman of EPSRC’s Education and Training Committee. His own creative leadership skills have recently been explored in a major study funded by the DTI.  He also co-initiated the Salford’s industry driven IGOS programme on IT for construction. 

Other major Research and Development projects James undertook included:

  • A global study of the leadership, governance and management of senior academic entrepreneurs in their development of higher academic enterprise, or what others refer to as University Reach-out or the ‘third mission’; this is based on funded HEFCE and CIHE study of 16 exemplary British leaders and will explore successful other academic leaders from other cultures, including in Canada, USA, Australia, Hungary, Holland, Japan, Turkey and Norway. He has now interviewed over 60 academic entrepreneurial leaders and is writing a review paper for the British Leadership Foundation in Higher Education.
  • The evaluation and implementation of a portfolio of postgraduate and industry based ‘knowledge transfer programmes’ for the Government of the Czech Republic based on his pioneering and successful implementation for SERC/EPSRC/DTI of the Teaching Company Scheme now known as ‘Knowledge Transfer Partnerships’ and the Engineering Doctoral programme.
  • A structured evaluation, open learning and coaching framework to drive traditional academics to become more enterprising; known as UPBEAT or the University Partnership for Benchmarking Enterprise and Associated Technologies, it has proved successful in the evaluation of over 200 exemplary British and European Reach-out projects. He is now simplifying the process and producing open educational material to help academics across the globe in the context of improving: their relationships, outcomes, outputs and impact with external partners to the university working in collaboration on projects for mutual benefit;
    – the successful implementation of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships   using a structured approach to collaborative project development, co-identification of worthy problems and the co-design of successful solutions through improved and creative team-working;
    – the understanding of the ’motivation’ of traditional academics to become involved in higher academic enterprise and improve their enterprising abilities.
  • Affordable and sustainable housing development based upon collaborative research within the Salford Construction Research and Innovation Initiative and his pioneering R&D with Salford University’s Community Finance Solutions on ‘Community Land Trusts’.
  • The development of ‘Community Reporters’ in a programme known as ‘Reuters in the Community’ with colleagues on the Board of ‘Peoples’ Voice Media; this presently resides within the Salford Innovation Forum – the building he conceived of, gain funding to develop, and stage managed into a successful existence as a partnership between the University and other partners in Salford including: the City itself, the New Deal for Communities, the Community, local businesses, local schools, the local college and all Salford citizens.

He is also presently acting as a mentor, coach and advisor to key staff in Sheffield Hallam and Bristol. He has been Chair of CONTACT – the Collaboration between the three Universities of Greater Manchester and of the Innovation Park Steering Committee, the body responsible for a major development of Salford for the Knowledge Economy and the ESRC’s Cognitive Engineering Panel.  He has also been on EPSRC’s Engineering Board.  He was SERC/EPSRC’s IT Awareness Coordinator and was charged with developing its Innovative Manufacturing Initiative programme known as ‘Construction as a Manufacturing Process’.

Publications

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Number of items: 24.

2022

Powell, J. A. (2022) Towards citizens enablement: a hand-up - not a hand-out. Local Development and Society, (doi: 10.1080/26883597.2021.1974284) (Early Online Publication)

2021

Powell, J. and Palme, P. (2021) Citizens Enablement. [Audio]

2020

Powell, J. and Palme, P. (2020) Citizen Enablement. [Website]

2017

Lantelme, E. M. V., Formoso, C. T. and Powell, J. A. (2017) Integrating technical and social competencies of construction managers. Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice, 143(4), 04017004. (doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)EI.1943-5541.0000332)

2015

Powell, J. A. (2015) Creative engagement and leadership by higher education in order to develop creative city regions which enable citizens to flourish in hard economic and social times through deep, meaningful and inclusive partnerships. In: Carlot, C., Filloque, J.-M., Osborne, M. and Welsh, P. (eds.) The Role of Higher Education in Regional and Community Development and in the Time of Economic Crisis. NIACE: Leicester, pp. 223-238. ISBN 9781862018907

2013

Powell, J. and Dayson, K. (2013) Engagement and the idea of the civic university. In: Benneworth, P. (ed.) University Engagement With Socially Excluded Communities. Springer: Dodrecht, pp. 143-162. ISBN 9789400748743 (doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-4875-0_8)

2012

Powell, J. A. and Clark, A. (2012) Leadership for Improved Academic Enterprise. Other. Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, London.

Powell, J. (2012) The university role in the innovative leadership of small to medium sized enterprises. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior and Research, 18(4), pp. 396-416. (doi: 10.1108/13552551211239465)

Powell, J. A. (2012) Enterprising: academics, knowledge capital and towards PASCAL universities. In: Yigitcanlar, T., Metaxiotis, K. and Carrillo, F. J. (eds.) Building Prosperous Knowledge Cities: Policies, Plans and Metrics. Edward Elgar Publishing Limited: Cheltenham. ISBN 9780857936042 (doi: 10.4337/9780857936042.00023)

2011

Powell, J. A. and Cooper, I. (2011) Universities for a Modern Renaissance – Towards Co-creation and Co-design between Universities and Society. In: EAIR 32nd Annual Forum, Valencia, Spain, 1-4 Sept 2010,

2010

Powell, J. A. (2010) UPBEAT: University engagement through virtuous knowledge sharing and academic staff development. In: Fitzgerald, H. E., Burack, C. and Seifer, S. D. (eds.) Handbook of Engaged Scholarship: Contemporary Landscapes, Future Directions: Volume 2: Community-Campus Partnerships. Michigan State University Press: East Lansing, pp. 459-478.

2009

Powell, J. A., Bowmaker, J. and Higson, A. (2009) SMART CITY FUTURES - Showcase Prospectus. University of Salford. ISBN 97819057327777

Powell, J. A. and Wainwright, C. (2009) Universities for a Modern Renaissance. Published jointly by the Institute of the Arts London and the University of Salford. ISBN 9781905732770

2008

Powell, J. A. (2008) Elaborating academic enterprise for the University of Salford. In: Lane, K., van der Sijde, P., Lahdeniemi, M. and Tarkkanen, J. (eds.) Higher Education Institutions and Innovation in the Knowledge Economy. ARENE Publishing. ISBN 9789526716503

Powell, J. A. and Houghton, J. (2008) Action learning as a core process for SME business support. Action Learning: Research and Practice, 5(2), pp. 173-184. (doi: 10.1080/14767330802185871)

2007

Powell, J. (2007) Creative universities and their creative city-regions. Industry and Higher Education, 21(5), pp. 323-335. (doi: 10.5367/000000007782311867)

2006

Powell, J. A., Druzhin, G., Khrykov, Y., Lawrence, K., Matei, L., Ozsoy, A., Reichert, S., Rzezu, T., Saerheim, I. and Wainwright, C. (2006) Final Report on the EUA Creative Education Programme. Documentation. European University Association.

2001

Powell, J. (2001) The noble art of academic enterprise – The Percival Lecture. Transactions of the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society,

2000

Powell, J. A., Harloe, M. and Goldsmith, M. (2000) Achieving Cultural Change: Embedding Academic Enterprise: A Case Study. In: IMHE Conference, Beyond the Entrepreneurial University? Global Challenges and Institutional Responses, Paris, France, Sept 2000,

1993

Powell, J. A. and Day, R. (Eds.) (1993) Informing Technologies for Construction and Civil Engineering. SERC: London.

1991

Wright, F. B. and Powell, J. A. (1991) The IRS Guide to the Noise at Work Regulations. Industrial Relations Services: London. ISBN 9781870771108

1984

Powell, J. A., Cooper, I. and Lera, S. (Eds.) (1984) Designing for Building Utilisation. Spon. ISBN 9780419134701

1982

Evans, B., Powell, J. and Talbot, R. (Eds.) (1982) Changing Design. Wiley. ISBN 9780471280453

1981

Jacques, R. and Powell, J. A. (Eds.) (1981) Design, Science, Method: Proceedings of the 1980 Design Research Society Conference. Westbury: Guilford.

This list was generated on Mon May 16 15:07:42 2022 BST.
Number of items: 24.

Articles

Powell, J. A. (2022) Towards citizens enablement: a hand-up - not a hand-out. Local Development and Society, (doi: 10.1080/26883597.2021.1974284) (Early Online Publication)

Lantelme, E. M. V., Formoso, C. T. and Powell, J. A. (2017) Integrating technical and social competencies of construction managers. Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice, 143(4), 04017004. (doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)EI.1943-5541.0000332)

Powell, J. (2012) The university role in the innovative leadership of small to medium sized enterprises. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior and Research, 18(4), pp. 396-416. (doi: 10.1108/13552551211239465)

Powell, J. A. and Houghton, J. (2008) Action learning as a core process for SME business support. Action Learning: Research and Practice, 5(2), pp. 173-184. (doi: 10.1080/14767330802185871)

Powell, J. (2007) Creative universities and their creative city-regions. Industry and Higher Education, 21(5), pp. 323-335. (doi: 10.5367/000000007782311867)

Powell, J. (2001) The noble art of academic enterprise – The Percival Lecture. Transactions of the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society,

Books

Powell, J. A., Bowmaker, J. and Higson, A. (2009) SMART CITY FUTURES - Showcase Prospectus. University of Salford. ISBN 97819057327777

Powell, J. A. and Wainwright, C. (2009) Universities for a Modern Renaissance. Published jointly by the Institute of the Arts London and the University of Salford. ISBN 9781905732770

Wright, F. B. and Powell, J. A. (1991) The IRS Guide to the Noise at Work Regulations. Industrial Relations Services: London. ISBN 9781870771108

Book Sections

Powell, J. A. (2015) Creative engagement and leadership by higher education in order to develop creative city regions which enable citizens to flourish in hard economic and social times through deep, meaningful and inclusive partnerships. In: Carlot, C., Filloque, J.-M., Osborne, M. and Welsh, P. (eds.) The Role of Higher Education in Regional and Community Development and in the Time of Economic Crisis. NIACE: Leicester, pp. 223-238. ISBN 9781862018907

Powell, J. and Dayson, K. (2013) Engagement and the idea of the civic university. In: Benneworth, P. (ed.) University Engagement With Socially Excluded Communities. Springer: Dodrecht, pp. 143-162. ISBN 9789400748743 (doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-4875-0_8)

Powell, J. A. (2012) Enterprising: academics, knowledge capital and towards PASCAL universities. In: Yigitcanlar, T., Metaxiotis, K. and Carrillo, F. J. (eds.) Building Prosperous Knowledge Cities: Policies, Plans and Metrics. Edward Elgar Publishing Limited: Cheltenham. ISBN 9780857936042 (doi: 10.4337/9780857936042.00023)

Powell, J. A. (2010) UPBEAT: University engagement through virtuous knowledge sharing and academic staff development. In: Fitzgerald, H. E., Burack, C. and Seifer, S. D. (eds.) Handbook of Engaged Scholarship: Contemporary Landscapes, Future Directions: Volume 2: Community-Campus Partnerships. Michigan State University Press: East Lansing, pp. 459-478.

Powell, J. A. (2008) Elaborating academic enterprise for the University of Salford. In: Lane, K., van der Sijde, P., Lahdeniemi, M. and Tarkkanen, J. (eds.) Higher Education Institutions and Innovation in the Knowledge Economy. ARENE Publishing. ISBN 9789526716503

Edited Books

Powell, J. A. and Day, R. (Eds.) (1993) Informing Technologies for Construction and Civil Engineering. SERC: London.

Powell, J. A., Cooper, I. and Lera, S. (Eds.) (1984) Designing for Building Utilisation. Spon. ISBN 9780419134701

Evans, B., Powell, J. and Talbot, R. (Eds.) (1982) Changing Design. Wiley. ISBN 9780471280453

Jacques, R. and Powell, J. A. (Eds.) (1981) Design, Science, Method: Proceedings of the 1980 Design Research Society Conference. Westbury: Guilford.

Research Reports or Papers

Powell, J. A. and Clark, A. (2012) Leadership for Improved Academic Enterprise. Other. Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, London.

Powell, J. A., Druzhin, G., Khrykov, Y., Lawrence, K., Matei, L., Ozsoy, A., Reichert, S., Rzezu, T., Saerheim, I. and Wainwright, C. (2006) Final Report on the EUA Creative Education Programme. Documentation. European University Association.

Conference Proceedings

Powell, J. A. and Cooper, I. (2011) Universities for a Modern Renaissance – Towards Co-creation and Co-design between Universities and Society. In: EAIR 32nd Annual Forum, Valencia, Spain, 1-4 Sept 2010,

Powell, J. A., Harloe, M. and Goldsmith, M. (2000) Achieving Cultural Change: Embedding Academic Enterprise: A Case Study. In: IMHE Conference, Beyond the Entrepreneurial University? Global Challenges and Institutional Responses, Paris, France, Sept 2000,

Audio

Powell, J. and Palme, P. (2021) Citizens Enablement. [Audio]

Website

Powell, J. and Palme, P. (2020) Citizen Enablement. [Website]

This list was generated on Mon May 16 15:07:42 2022 BST.

Additional information

Early in his career, James developed the CIOB’s strategy for research and was part of its OSTEM expert mission to Japan.   James led the £2 million NWDA project, known as ‘Bouncing Higher’, which ensures higher wealth creation through innovation of the small enterprises in the North of the UK.  He co-ordinated the European Universities Associations major programme exploring the relationships between universities and their creative city-regions.  He was a Director of Community Finance Solutions – a university community enterprise helping the developments of community banks and affordable housing using Community Land Trusts. James was a member of the HEFCE’s Business and Community Committee and with their support leads a consortium of five British Universities benchmarking themselves against the five best enterprise Universities in the rest of Europe with a view to developing  ‘performance metrics and drivers’ for University Third Stream activity, known as UPBEAT.  This has led to a pioneering way of structuring staff development for university academics to improve the levels and qualities of their engagement with business and the community.  Using this approach James increased the income to his own university per annum to around £15 million with a considerable contribution of funding for new project/process development. He is a UK Ambassadors for Social Entrepreneurship in Higher Education; this is a development where UnLtd and HEFCE have joined forces to raise the profile of social entrepreneurship and create a culture of social venture development within the HEI sector. One of James’ most major initiatives was Smart City Futures (SCF).  SCF is an academic coalition between the Universities of Salford, Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan  to work in partnership with civic leaders, professionals and citizens in the Greater Manchester Region and beyond to forge stronger relationships between academics, businesses and the community. This was an innovative drive to identify issues, share knowledge, and produce solutions to keep this thriving city-region at the forefront of policy, strategy development and decision making within the UK and as a model for regions throughout the World. It has also led to his recent interest in Citizens Enablement.

 

Some other fairly recently funded research includes

  • A Research and Development Grant of £150,000 from Manchester Innovation Fund, to develop the Smart City Futures International Conference with associated legacy web site with key components in regeneration through community empowerment and the development of affordable housing, the Lowry Centre
  • A Research and Development Grant of £30,000 from the Salford Strategic Partnership, to work with Kandu Arts to develop a Video and associated community engagement strategies for regeneration through innovation in Salford
  • A Fellowship Grant of £650 from the Foundation for Canadian Studies in the United Kingdom, as part of their Canada/UK University Partnerships Program (CUUPP,) to undertake Collaborative Research with both the University of Victoria (contact: Professor Budd Hall) and University of British Columbia (contact: Professor Hans Schuetze) developing case studies of best practices of joint interest, especially around the leadership, governance and management of university Reach-out to business and the community, including aspect of the impact of construction R&D in Canada.
  • ‘Preparation and implementation of pilot projects concerning postgraduate education for impact in business and industry for the Czech Republic, including the construction industry, using a foreign-based models of a Knowledge Transfer Programmes such at the KTP, Case Studentships and the Engineering Doctorate’. Research and Development Award by the Ministry of Trade and Industry of the Czech Republic, of £150,000 of grant to Salford University and a supplementary fund of 1 million euros to implement and evaluate the developed post-graduate programmes of knowledge transfer for innovation. This programme builds on the knowledge of the postgraduate research education implementation by James Powell and especially his deep awareness of UK and global knowledge transfer programmes which result in improved exploitation of research & development or innovation for impact