Nick Petford (b. 27 May 1961, Hoxton, London) is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Northampton. Previously he was Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) at Bournemouth University and before that Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Kingston University. He has also worked for BP and on academic and commercial research projects throughout the world, but is best known for his expertise in magmatic systems and volcanology.
Petford grew up in North London and Hillingdon, west London before moving to the Hiltingbury district of Chandlers Ford where he went to The Mountbatten School, a comprehensive, near Southampton. He is married with three children.
Petford trained initially as a refrigeration engineer and worked in industry before doing an Access Course in Science at Southwark College then reading Geology at Goldsmiths, University of London (1984–1987). He received a PhD from the University of Liverpool in 1991 and a DSc in 2009. He is a former Royal Society University Research Fellow and Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge. Petford’s contributions to the media on volcanoes include appearances on Sky News, BBC TV and Radio, and the Richard and Judy show. In 2005 the BBC featured the work of his research team in a documentary Krakatoa Revealed. During the 2010 eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano this year he fronted the Channel 4 documentary The Volcano That Stopped Britain.
He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of London, American Geophysical Union and Associate, Chartered Institute of Marketing, and was Vice President of the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland (2002–2004). He is a non-executive director of Fluvial Innovations, a university spin-out company that manufactures and sells flood defence barriers.
- "New Vice Chancellor welcomed to the University of Northampton". Retrieved 2010-10-18.
- "Unravelling Krakatoa's secrets". BBC News. 2006-05-07. Retrieved 2010-10-18.
- "The Volcano That Stopped Britain". Retrieved 2010-10-18.