Published on 28/01/2022
Tony Cocker
  • Tony Cocker is senior independent director at SSE plc and chair of Infinis Energy Management
  • He was CEO and chair of E.ON UK from 2011 to 2017, and was also chair and non-executive director at various organisations, including Affinity Water Ltd, EIC, and the Energy & Utilities Industrial Partnership
  • Professor Cocker will work within Aston University’s College of Business and Social Sciences focussing on energy operations, innovations and sustainability.

Independent Director at SSE and Infinis and former CEO of E.ON UK has joined Aston University as a Visiting Professor within the College of Business and Social Sciences.

Tony Cocker will work closely with the director of the Centre for Circular Economy and Advanced Sustainability (CEAS), Dr Luciano Batista, and the director of the Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI), Professor Patricia Thornley, to develop connections between Aston University and the energy industry over the next three years.

In the next 12 months, Tony will engage with undergraduate and postgraduate students across Aston Business School and with researchers at CEAS and EBRI. He will support the development the CEAS Advisory Board, give programme specific and public talks, and participate in networking events that will appeal to a wide range of key stakeholders such as students, academics, industry, and government partners across Aston University.

The potential to support Aston student placements opportunities and mentoring for students will also feature as part of Tony’s engagement.

Professor Cocker will also work with colleagues at Aston Business School and EBRI to expand research connections in common areas of interest associated with energy innovations, business strategies and sustainability.

Professor Cocker said:

“I am excited and motivated to join Aston University as a visiting professor. I am looking forward to supporting the teaching and research agenda of the university, capitalising on the knowledge and industry connections I have built over the years in the energy sector and related industries.”

Dr Luciano Batista, Head of CEAS at Aston Business School, said:

“I am looking forward to working with Tony. His professional experience and vast industrial connections will add considerable value to the teaching activities and research collaborations we develop across key programmes and research projects in the business school. It is a great privilege to have an experienced business leader in the faculty team at Aston Business School. This well-deserved appointment recognises the notable contribution Tony has made, and continues to make, to the industry over the years.”

Professor Patricia Thornley, Director of the Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI), said:

“Tony brings a wealth of knowledge and experience which will be really valuable to Aston University. We already have a long list of areas where we will be working together so that our students can benefit from his expertise and I look forward to working with him to expand the relevance of our research and engagement, particularly in energy”.

Notes to Editors

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Saskia Loer Hansen is the interim Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston University was named University of the Year 2020 by The Guardian and the University’s full time MBA programme has been ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking. The Aston MBA has been ranked 12th in the UK and 85th in the world.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44)744691 0063 or email:

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