Sussex appoints new Director of Estates, Facilities and Commercial Services
By: Sean Armstrong
Last updated: Thursday, 22 August 2019
The University of Sussex has appointed Robert Hutton as Director of Estates, Facilities and Commercial Services. Robert will be joining Sussex from multinational engineering firm AECOM, where he has been Vice President for Management Services for the Asia Pacific region, based in Hong Kong.
Tim Westlake, Chief Operating Officer, says: “I am absolutely delighted that Robert is joining us to help deliver our vision of uplifting our campus estate for future generations while respecting its strong architectural heritage. Our physical campus plays a critical role in the experience of every student, member of staff and visitor to the University.
“Our new Estates Strategy will be one of the key enabling strategies that will support the delivery of the overarching vision of Sussex 2025. As part of this Strategy, we will be working in the coming years to ensure that IT and sustainability are integrated in the estate, and to enable accessibility.
“Robert offers us a unique perspective as we develop this vision, having worked on both the client side and as a professional service provider across multiple business sectors.
“With experience of managing multi-million dollar budgets and assets, he has all the credentials to steer Sussex towards our strategic goals.”
Robert has worked in the estates and facilities world for 20 years, mostly with US companies. His experience in real estate and integrated facilities management includes spells with major corporations in the UK and the Asia Pacific region. His role at AECOM followed a four-year post with commercial real estate services firm Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL) and 12 years at the pharmaceutical firm Pfizer.
In his most recent role, Robert revised a strategic plan to invest in education and life sciences, working with clients that included leading academic institutions across the region. He recalls: “It was an exciting time, given the rapid expansion in education throughout greater China.”
Robert also has extensive experience in the research field, during his career as the Site Operations Lead for Pfizer, whose pharmaceutical laboratories in Kent make up the largest dedicated research campus in Europe. Prior to his career in estates, Robert had a highly successful career in the British Army.
Robert says: “I’ve worked with many education clients over the years, supporting universities and schools, so this role at Sussex is a great continuation of that.
“My wife and I have had 12 amazing years in Hong Kong – and we always said that if we ever come back to the UK we would want to live in Sussex.”
Robert takes up his new post in late October, and before that he will be coming to Sussex at the end of August to spend some time with the Estates team.