As chief operating officer, Dr Pickup will be responsible for the leadership, development and effective delivery of all student-facing professional services across the University of East London.
He currently works at SOAS University of London, where he is deputy chief operating officer (student and academic experience). In that role, he provides strategic leadership and management to a team of around 200 staff across a number of areas including marketing, student recruitment and admissions; quality assurance; widening access and participation; careers; teaching and learning development; registry services and student wellbeing. Prior to the role, he was director of academic services at SOAS.
Dr Pickup previously served as head of student experience at University College Cork and as director of student development and director of sport and wellbeing at the University of Roehampton. He has a PhD in education from the University of Roehampton, where he worked as a principal lecturer and was a national teaching fellow. Dr Pickup is also active in the sporting community, and was among the first wave of professional players with the Harlequins Rugby Club.
Dr Charles Prince, director of UEL's Centre for Student Success, will continue in the role of acting chief operating officer until Dr Pickup starts his tenure on 23 April.
Dr Pickup said, "I am very excited to be joining a university which shares my strong commitment to community, diversity and innovation. The University of East London puts learning and student success at the heart of its institutional strategy, and it is uniquely positioned to ensure that an increasingly diverse generation of students experience academic and career success. I look forward to using my skills and experience to help UEL and UEL students achieve their ambitions."
Professor Egbu has over 25 years of experience in higher education. He is currently dean of the School of The Built Environment and Architecture at London Southbank University, where he also holds the chair in project management and strategic management in construction. He has written 12 books, and has lectured nationally and internationally in areas such as sustainable development, resilient communities, construction economics, and innovation and knowledge management in complex environments.
Professor Egbu has over 300 research publications to his credit, and has received more than £25 million in research funding.
Prior to arriving at London Southbank, Professor Egbu was head of the School of the Built Environment at the University of Salford. He also served as that university's associate head of research and innovation. His other roles have included director of education and student experience at London Southbank and professor of project management and strategic management in construction and director of postgraduate research at Glasgow Caledonian University. He also served as chair of professional standards and knowledge at The Association for Project Management and has worked closely with many professional and industry bodies in the areas of training and competence frameworks.
He has a doctorate in construction project management from the University of Salford.
As UEL's pro vice-chancellor (education and experience), Professor Egbu will lead on 'Future Graduate' strategic objectives involving student participation, progression, academic experience and achievement. He will start at UEL on 1 May.
Professor Egbu said, "The University of East London is in the process of initiating a number of ground-breaking academic and experiential programmes, and I believe we can become the UK's leading careers-focused university. I will work with colleagues to ensure we provide students with true life-changing experiences and opportunities."
Dr Pickup and Professor Egbu will join Professor Verity J. Brown pro vice-chancellor (impact and innovation) and Dr Paul Marshall, pro vice-chancellor (careers and enterprise), on UEL's University Executive Board. The latter two appointments were announced on 14 January.
The University of East London has 18,000 plus students which represent 134 nationalities. With London campuses in Stratford and Docklands, it is at the heart of the industrial and creative shift east, and a powerful global gateway.