Dr Peter Bonfield, OBE FREng
Chief Executive of the BRE Group
Dr Peter Bonfield joined BRE as a research scientist in 1992. He progressed through the organisation to become Chief Executive Officer of the BRE Group of companies in January 2012.
A materials engineer with a PhD in wind energy and the design of turbine blades, Peter is passionate about the role that building science can play in finding solutions to the challenges that the built environment faces in delivering buildings, homes and communities that work for people, the environment and the economy.
In 2005 Bonfield created the BRE Innovation Park, a mini-community of demonstration buildings and homes that have been designed to push the boundaries of global knowledge on sustainability and innovation. The tens of thousands of visitors to the park have included Prime Minister David Cameron, HRH the Prince of Wales and Chinese Premier Li-Keqiang.
Since Peter became Chief Executive, BRE's reach and impact has extended significantly, with BRE standards and schemes now operating in more than 75 countries, and with offices in the USA, China, India, Middle East, Malaysia, and in 5 countries in Europe. 40% of BRE's revenues are now derived from non UK sources.
Peter has been instrumental in establishing university Centres of Excellence with Strathclyde, Cardiff, Bath and Edinburgh universities and more recently with University of Brasilia, creating a strong BRE university research base. To date BRE University Centres of Excellence have awarded more than 300 PhDs, published over 450 papers, produced more than 150 papers in conference proceedings and raised over £60m of research funding. They have a current level of more than 100 academics and technicians. All UK Universities performed well in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, with Bath being ranked first. Peter has been active in extending this research capability with recent agreements signed with Tsinghua University, University of Chile, Loughborough, UCL and Hertfordshire.
He is a Visiting Professor at Bath University, where he has also been awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Engineering. He is a Visiting Professor of the University of Shenzhen in China since July 2016. In July 2014 he was also awarded Honorary Doctor of Science by Loughborough University and in 2016 an Honorary Doctor of Science by the University of Hertfordshire. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers (FICE), a Fellow of The Institution of Engineering and Technology (FIET), a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (FIOMMM), a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building (FCIOB) and a Fellow of the Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE). He has been made an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Structural Engineers. He has been a Chartered Engineer for over 20 years. Peter is Chairman of the Health, Safety and Wellbeing committee for AIRTO - the Association for Independent Research and Technology Organisations. He has also established and Chairs a task force of the main engineers and science institutions aimed at improving equalities for dyslexics.
From 2006 until 2012 he was on part-time secondment to the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), where he co-created the sustainable development strategy and took the lead on the sustainable procurement of construction products.
In May 2012 Peter received the prestigious Peter Stone Award from the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to building engineering and the built environment. CABE also awarded him Honorary Fellowship in 2013.
He was awarded an OBE for services to research and innovation in the construction industry in June 2012. The following month he was elected as Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in recognition of his leadership on innovative built environment research.
In 2013 former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson asked him to chair Grown in Britain, an initiative aimed at creating a sustainable future for UK woodlands and forests. In 2014 Paterson appointed him to lead a government-wide drive to improve public procurement of food. Bonfield’s recommendations to Government were published in July 2014.
In early 2016, UK Floods Minister Rory Stewart asked Peter to Chair the development of an action plan for property level flood resilience so that homes and buildings at risk of flooding are protected and recover quickly. Peter's Action Plan was published in September 2016.
In August 2015, Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) appointed Peter to lead a Review of Consumer Protection, Advice, Standards and Enforcement for UK Housing Energy Efficiency. The findings of the Review, due Autumn 2016, will inform future Government policy decisions in this area.
Peter was appointed a Non-Executive Director of UK Government at the Department of Food and Rural Affairs in December 2015. He is a Board director of AIRTO, the body representing applied research organisations in the UK. He is Vice President and a Trustee of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Europe's' largest engineering institution. He is a Non Executive Board director of UKActive, the organisation focussed on creating an active and healthy nation.
Peter has a passion for sport - he is a former National Cycling Champion and acted as Trainer for the Women's Triathlon Team in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.