Contact Professor David Oglethorpe


David joined Cranfield University as Pro-Vice Chancellor and Dean of Cranfield School of Management in September 2019. Before that, he served as Dean at Sheffield University Management School for six years.

David has an undergraduate honours degree in Agricultural Economics (1988) and a PhD in Environmental Economics (1996), both from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Between his degrees, David worked in the property and food sectors and he has remained focused on land use, natural resource and food throughout his career. After working as a Research Associate at Newcastle University, David joined the Scottish Agricultural College and Edinburgh University as senior lecturer in 1996, becoming head of the Natural Resource Economics Department and later the Land Economy Division. David left academia in 2004 to work with the newly formed English Farming and Food Partnerships as Economics and Research Director, in a new venture supported by Defra to help re-engage and re-connect the food supply chain. David returned to academic life in 2006 to a Chair in Sustainable Supply Chain Management at Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University where he was also appointed as Associate Dean, Research in 2010 before leaving for Sheffield. David has been external examiner for undergraduate and postgraduate programmes at several leading Universities, is a regular member of Peer Review Teams for AACSB and EQUIS and is the only UK Dean on AACSB's global Continuous Improvement Review Committee.

Current activities

As well as Pro-Vice Chancellor and Dean, David is also Chair in Environmental Sustainability and as a trained environmental and natural resource economist, David's research has focused on the creation of, and demand for, externalities of production, principally food, taking a quantitative, operational research and mathematical modelling approach. Initially based on the land use sector, his research has expanded to examine the wider food supply chain and some of his recent research has tried to find optimal solutions to multi-dimensional environmental problems, examining trade-offs between triple-bottom-line objectives. Most recently, this research has focused on the economic value of water, examining how real-world resource allocation decisions might change if water were priced to reflect its environmental value as well as economic cost. His research published in leading environmental journals such as Science of the Total Environment, Ecological Economics, Environment and Planning A and Business Strategy and the Environment.


Over the years, David has worked both in academia and industry with a range of clients including Tesco, Premier Foods, AB Agri, a large number of agri-food cooperatives and with organisations such as CIPS and CILT. David has also been a member of several high-level advisory bodies and governmental panels, such as the Defra LINK Sustainable Arable Programme Committee, the Prime Ministers Strategy Unit Consultation on Climate Change, the USDA ERS Workshop on Local Food Systems and has served on the Council of the UK Chartered Association of Business Schools. He has been PI on over 30 research grants over the last 20 years funded by the ERSC, NERC, Defra, SERAD and the British Academy, with a total personal contribution of around £2m.


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Conference Papers