Professor of Management in Property and Construction, University of Salford

Peter Barrett is Professor of Management in Property and Construction. His work is typified by a sustained interest in two main areas:

- optimising the experience of the built environment – from early QA work, to Facilities Management, Briefing, Revaluing Construction, “senses, brain and spaces”, and is currently focusing on a strongly interdisciplinary study of the impacts of school designs on pupils’ learning (the HEAD Project). This stream of activities is complemented by extensive involvement in built environment policy groups at UK, EU (ECTP) and international (CIB) levels.

- organisation and management in higher education – starting with a PhD on managing professional firms, to the concept of supple systems, innovations in postgraduate research and, more recently, a major collaborative, cross sector, initiative on the management of academic workloads (MAW), which is currently providing insights into gender inequalities in HE. These activities have been informed by extensive practical experience, including Head of Department, Dean and Pro-vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and in 1989 was the first Chartered Building Surveyor to gain a PhD. He has since supervised and supported a wide range of Post Graduate students.To date he has produced over 170 single volume publications, refereed papers and reports, and has made over one hundred and ten presentations in around sixteen countries.

Professor Barrett has undertaken a wide range of research, typified by a management focus around real world problems using a range of hard and soft research methods. He is currently focusing on the theme of Senses, Brain and Spaces, that is the impact of spaces on people through their senses as holistically interpreted by their brains. This is being pursued via the HEAD project.

Peter was President of the UN-established International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction from 2007-2010 (CIB) involving 2000 experts in 60 countries. He is a past Director of Salford’s top rated, 6* Research Institute for the Built and Human Environment and Chairman of the £5M EPSRC funded, Salford Centre for Research and Innovation.

From 2001 - 2008 Professor Barrett was Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research with overall responsibility for all research across Salford University, which in this period grew from involving 38% to 60% of academic staff. As well as pusuing research, supervising his doctoral students and teaching research methodology to postgraduate taught students, he has from 2014/15 become involved in the Salford Institute for Dementia as its Research Director.


  • –present
    Professor of Management in Property and Construction , University of Salford