Skip to main content

Photograph of Ian Baggett Business School professor in Practive

The School has appointed Dr Ian Baggett, a prominent North East businessman and entrepreneur, to join the Departments of Finance, and Management and Marketing as a Professor in Practice, from September 2023.

Professors in Practice

The Professors in Practice initiative brings experienced professionals from across a wide variety of disciplines and sectors into the Business School and the classroom to share their skills, insights and knowledge directly with students. Their expertise supplements a rigorous academic curriculum with a first-hand, senior-level insight into current industry thinking

Ian Baggett is the founder and CEO of Adderstone Group - one of the largest privately owned companies in the North East of England.

The School’s students will benefit from Ian’s impressive career and experience that has seen him at the helm of more than 50 start-ups, including North East construction giant Brims, creating in excess of £1.1bn in economic output and thousands of jobs in the region. Although Adderstone has remained headquartered in the North East, the business has a nationwide asset base valued at £200m, and offices in London and Barcelona. Ian's early accomplishments resulted in him being named North East Entrepreneur of the Year by his peers in 2007.

Varied experience

In his role as a Professor in Practice Ian will be able to draw upon a varied professional life that has also included service as a commissioned officer within the Royal Navy, backing a management buyout and de-listing of power electronics specialists Turbo Power Systems and being a shareholder director of Openworks Engineering Limited, a defence engineering business whose counter drone technology has been used to defend three successive US presidents.

Ian will deliver guest lectures and support the development of postgraduate curriculum at the School in relation to real-estate finance, and entrepreneurship.

In a further move to embed industry knowledge within academic practice, his expertise will also be called upon to support academic discovery, engaging in research conversations and projects with fellow Business School faculty.

Commenting on his appointment, Professor Cathy Cassell, Executive Dean said;

“Our Professor in Practice initiative has brought an invaluable wealth of expertise and real-world perspective into our classrooms and curriculums. Ian’s knowledge and his passion for the Northeast, alongside his immeasurable success as an entrepreneur and across the real estate industry, provides us with a tangible link into areas important for the future development, both in the North East and beyond. We look forward to welcoming him back to the campus and to the classroom.”

Durham Connections

Ian is no stranger to Durham University, where he earned his undergraduate and PhD qualifications, held a visiting fellowship position and was recently appointed Honorary President of Durham University Tennis. His business success has also been inspired by his studies with Adderstone Group being built on the back of his undergraduate geography dissertation on student accommodation in and around Durham City.

Undertaking the Professor in Practice role keeps Ian close to his heritage, as well as his business endeavours. Alongside his business ventures, Ian was appointed as the inaugural chair of Employability Groups for HMP’s Northumberland, Low Newton and Durham, and runs the Adderstone Foundation; which he founded to support a range of causes from tennis development for junior and visually impaired players, to supporting armed forces veterans and international humanitarian causes such as medical relief efforts in Ukraine and Durham University’s work with Sport in Action in Zambia.

Upon his appointment, Ian Baggett said;

“I look forward to doing whatever I can to help strengthen ties between the University and industry.  I also hope to inspire pupils from the region to choose Durham and students already at Durham to stay on in the region to build great careers, businesses and lives.  If I can, they can."

Other recent appointments

Ian Baggett will be joining the faculty alongside two further Professor in Practice appointments; Sarah Pritchard, Executive Director of Markets and Executive Director of International at the Financial Conduct Authority, and Michael Izza, Chief Executive at the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales, whose appointments were announced earlier this summer.

Other experts currently holding Professor in Practice titles at the School include Sally Guyer, Global CEO at World Commerce and Contracting, Victoria Saporta, Executive Director, Prudential Policy at Bank of England, Robert Gillespie, a non-executive Director at RBS Group PLC and David Jakubovic, Senior Director of L&D and Open Innovation for Asia at Proctor and Gamble, amongst other equally renowned and experienced professionals.

More information

  • To read more about the Professor in Practice initiative click here
  • Find out more here about the business programmes available to study with the School
  • See our partnership links that enhance our teaching and research
  • Find out more about our research