Ndy Ekere

​Getting to know our newest Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor

Ndy, welcome to Liverpool John Moores University. Tell us a little about yourself…

I am a manufacturing engineer with a passion for education and leadership. My academic expertise is in microelectronics: how components fit together in things like mobile phones and solar energy systems. As an educator, I want to contribute more to the preparation of STEM students and to their success as individuals.

You are originally from Nigeria but have huge experience of higher education in England, is that correct?

Yes, in 1983 I came to England to study a Master's at Loughborough and then completed my PhD at UMIST. I briefly held a lecturing post at Nottingham Polytechnic, as it was then, and held senior posts at Salford and Greenwich before being made Dean of Faculty at the University of Wolverhampton, so I hope I have taken quite a lot of lessons from a mix of institutions.

What are your early thoughts about Liverpool?

Well, I'm delighted to be here. I have lived in Manchester and know more about the 'rival city' by reputation than experience. It is a vibrant place with a youthful population and a progressive outlook. I know the high level of expertise in the Faculty having collaborated with Professor David Harvey in microelectronics research. LJMU is very attractive as a researcher and I intend to continue to research. The Faculty has a number of projects related to engineering and renewable energy and energy-efficiency both in electronics and in the Built Environment. There are some excellent grant successes and world leading areas of research.

What have you learned during the pandemic?

I think many of us can clearly see that as individuals we are just a little speck; we live in a global village and we either swim together or sink. Given my origins from a developing country, COVID has shown me the absolute connectedness of our society, and how education is a glue, which holds peoples and communities together. As we come out of this crisis, working together and not disparately will be paramount. The pandemic is a stark lesson that we must collaborate more than ever.

What is your message to staff and students after what we've been through during the past 18 months?

It has been difficult for everyone and we must recognise this. For students, the closing of the campus has not only changed the nature of academic engagement but has limited their social lives and impacted on the mental health of many. I'd say to them, we will genuinely listen to your views on what you need and how you want us to support you. I think staff really want to look after them, perhaps even more than they have ever done.

Our support in and out of the classroom has to be outstanding and it has to be negotiated. I am delighted with the Faculty's recruitment for 2021/2, so now we have our students, we must do everything we can to ensure they get the best experience possible.

How does it feel to be part of the LJMU community?

As we come back to campus, we have to work together to achieve the best outcomes. As we say in Nigeria, it takes a whole village to train up a child. In terms of the wider community, our partnerships in the city and region are key. This faculty is all about solving society problems; as engineers, we're looking to make the world a better place and take on the challenges, such as around climate change and net zero both at a local and a global level.

How do you relax outside of work?

I walk a lot. Also, one of my interests is helping out at a hospice near my home. I like chatting to 'seniors' and have made a lot of friends which is a lifetime of joy for my faith too.

Final thoughts

I'm pleased to be here and pleased to be back in the office! I'm delighted with management of the Faculty – led by Mike Riley – so my aim now is to move things forward and so we can perform at a higher level.

I'm looking forward to working with everyone to contribute to LJMU goals and support Liverpool's 'build back better' mission. I'm confident we have the tools to be successful.