Phil Richards

Chief innovation officer


Phil leads and continuously develops a world class futures team: a group of experts with the capacity to identify, shape and exploit opportunities for new, digitally enabled, ways of working. As with all of Jisc, the focus of their activity is creating the greatest benefit for the sectors we serve. 


Formerly director of IT at Loughborough University.  Phil has undertaken IT roles within other academic institutions including head of ICT at Plymouth University and assistant director of information services at Aberystwyth University. More recently, he has become known for his novel approach to data centres: Loughborough’s ‘hybrid cloud’ model has delivered millions of pounds and hundreds of tonnes of carbon savings. It has also won plaudits including the 2012 Times Education Leadership and Management Awards ICT initiative of the year.

Phil, who has a first class honours degree in physics and a doctorate in nuclear structure physics from University of Oxford, was involved early in his career with e-learning. First as a courseware developer in physics at Cardiff University, next as an e-learning advisor working directly with academics at the University of Hull and finally as head of e-learning at King’s College London. Whilst at Hull, he obtained a postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education Teaching, leading to Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).


Media coverage

‘Students don’t necessarily want more digital – they just want it used better’
PublicTechnology, April 2018

Kortext awarded tender for the Jisc learning analytics purchasing service
Education Technology, October 2017

Tackle ‘reporting bias’ in pedagogy research, paper warns
Times Higher Education, February 2017

Jisc and Solutionpath Announce Learner Analytics Partnership
MarketWatch, February 2017