Originally from Dundee, Professor Russell has held top management positions at several universities, most recently as Head of Dundee Business School at the University of Abertay. He has researched issues relating to oil and gas accounting, and regulation, for many years and is the newly appointed Chair of the Oil Industry Finance Association, the body which sets Standard Oil Accounting Procedures for the North Sea oil industry.
He utilises his knowledge of the energy sector and the many contacts he has within industry to develop courses in line with business needs, especially during this time of critical change as the North East moves into renewables. He spoke of his decision to join the academic community in Aberdeen saying,
"With a city recognised as the oil and gas capital of Europe and Robert Gordon University firmly established as the top modern university for research, I found the move quite irresistible. As part of Aberdeen Business School I am working with a pool of incredibly talented colleagues who have expertise in many areas, including executive training, project management and information systems. Aberdeen Business School is establishing a world-class reputation for providing training that meets industry needs and I am delighted to be part of that."
Professor Russell was instrumental is gaining approval for the Masters degree in Oil and Gas Accounting delivered at Aberdeen Business School. He says of this course,
"This masters course will compliment our existing postgraduate degree in oil and gas management. It will attract well-qualified students, many of whom will already hold influential positions either in the energy industry or in government departments. We will also strive to provide them with an educational experience second to none, because the best ambassadors we can have are our own satisfied graduates."
By designing new, quality degrees to address issues arising from the financial and energy issues that arise worldwide, Professor Russell hopes that he and his colleagues can help to ensure the region is strong economically and its energy needs are met from a blend of sources. For example, there is a shortage of qualified accountants in the oil and gas industry and Professor Russell believes that setting the university as a world-leading education provider in this realm is long overdue -
"Universities today must serve the needs of the community that supports them. Aberdeen Business School is fully committed to providing quality management and energy programmes that will help the region prosper in a sustainable and responsible manner. It is a privilege to be in a position to help with this transformation."
Professor Russell is a member of the Business & Enterprise theme research group within Institute for Management Governance and Society (IMaGeS) research institute.
His research has taken him around the world, working with institutions as far away as Kuwait, Nigeria, Australia and China. He cites international recruitment as an increasingly important function for the university. He has brought four outstanding Nigerian PhD students with him to the university and supervises PhD students from a wide range of countries including the following current students: