Knowledge for a sustainable world

PhD, BSc
Professor Andrew Westby
Director, NRI, Interim Pro Vice Chancellor, Research, Enterprise and Knowledge Exchange


Natural Resources Institute, Faculty of Engineering & Science

+44 (0)1634 88 3478

Professor Andrew Westby completed his BSc at the University of Leeds in 1984 and then his PhD in Food Technology at the University of Reading where he researched the use of lactic acid bacteria in food preservation.

When he joined NRI in 1987, Andrew worked as a research scientist in food safety and quality management. His interest in tropical root and tuber crops starting in 1989 with his contributions to the Collaborative Study of Cassava in Africa. Since that time, he has focussed his research efforts on developing post-harvest and marketing systems for tropical root and tuber crops, including cassava, sweet potato and yam. This included development of the Global Cassava Development Strategy in the late 1990s. Andrew managed DFID’s (now FCDO) post-harvest portfolio on tropical root crops in the 1990s. He has promoted to Professor in 1998.

Andrew led the post-harvest and marketing component of the HarvestPlus led initiative between 2006 and 2010 on reaching end-users with orange-fleshed sweet potato as a source of provitamin A. Between 2008 and 2019 Andrew has led the Cassava Adding Value for Africa project in collaboration with partners in Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania and Malawi which has mobilised cassava roots from small-holder farmers into new market opportunities.

Andrew has been the Director of NRI since May 2010, prior to this he was Director of Research and Enterprise from 2001 to 2010. He led NRI’s Agriculture, Food and Veterinary Science submission to the Research Assessment Exercise in 2008.

As a principal investigator and researcher, Andrew has travelled extensively across the world working on collaborative projects with counterparts in Kenya, Uganda, Pakistan, Peru, India, Rwanda, Mozambique, Austria, France, United States of America, South Africa, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, Colombia, Cameroon, Brazil, Belgium, South Korea, The Netherlands, Ireland, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Papua New Guinea, Trinidad and Tobago, Indonesia, Cote D'Ivoire, South Africa, Thailand and China. Andrew has led many large multi-national and multi-disciplinary research projects with funding won from a wide range of donors including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UK Department for International Development, the European Commission RTD Framework and EuropeAid EDF programmes, Food Standards Agency and the Common Fund for Commodities. Andrew’s work on has resulted in a number of publications that can be found on his Google Scholar Profile:

Roles held:
  • 2010 to Present, Director, Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich. 
  • 2015 to 2018.  Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research and Enterprise)
  • 2001 to 2010 Director of Research and Enterprise, Natural Resources Institute
  • 1998 to 2001- Research Manager, Food Systems Department, Research Leader Post-Harvest Horticulture Group, Food Security Department and Specialist Adviser: DFID (now FCDO) Crop Post-Harvest Programme
  • 1996 to 1998 Head, Post-Harvest Horticulture Group, Food Security Department and Production System Leader: Crop Post-Harvest Programme
  • 1995 to 1996. Head, Root and Tuber Crops Group, Food Security Department and Production System Leader: Crop Post-Harvest Programme
  • 1995 Head, Post-Harvest Horticulture Group.
  • 1993 to 1995 Manager of Root and Tuber Crops Projects, including management of DFID (now FCDO) Post-Harvest Root Crops Portfolio.
  • 1987 to 1993 Research Scientist,  Food Safety Group

Andrew has more than 30 years post-doctoral experience of the design, implementation and management of international research, development and capacity building projects.  Internationally recognised expert on post-harvest issues, specifically of tropical root and tuber crops.  Food systems approach to improving food security and nutrition and commodity value chain development.  Specific expertise in post-harvest technology, microbiology, food safety, quality management and nutritional aspects of food processing, handling, processing and marketing of a wide range of commodities.

Director of Research and Enterprise (2013 – Present) Member of Academic Council (2010 – Present) Vice Chair University Research and Enterprise Committee Chair of Faculty of Engineering and Science Research and Enterprise Committee Director Greenwich University Enterprises Director Carbon8Systems Limited (2018-Present)

  • 2018 GRE Research Excellence Award for Cassava Research Team
  • 2018 UK’s Best Breakthroughs List – Universities UK
  • 2016 Cassava programme awarded Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education.
  • 2015 Leader of CAVA project awarded Guardian Award for Research Impact.
  • 2014 Leader of CAVA project awarded Times Higher Award for International Collaboration of the Year.
  • 2011 Times Higher Leadership and Management Award for Best Departmental Administration Team of the Year.
  • 2011-2014 President of Agrinatura EEIG
  • President of the International Society for Tropical Root Crops. (2003-2012) (formerly Council Member with responsibility for publications 2000-2003); Member of Council as past President (2012-2018).
  • Member of Steering Group of Sweetpotato for Profit and Health Initiative (2014-Present).
  • Member of the Steering Committee of Vitamin A for Africa (2004-2010).
  • Editorial board, Journal of Sustainable Development, Nigeria.
  • Member of the International Society of Tropical Root Crops - Africa Branch (1998-present).
  • Life Member, Indian Society of Tropical Root Crops.
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