News Releases

Professor Brian Copeland appointed Campus Principal Designate, UWI St. Augustine

For Release Upon Receipt - April 30, 2016

St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago. April 30, 2016 – Former Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Professor Brian Copeland, has been appointed Campus Principal Designate of The University of the West Indies (UWI) St. Augustine. The appointment was announced yesterday, April 29, at the annual business meeting of the University Council held at the Teaching and Learning Complex at the St. Augustine Campus. Copeland succeeds Professor Clement Sankat, who has served two terms as Campus Principal: beginning his first term in January 2008 and the second in January 2013.

Speaking on the Appointment, Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles said: 

Professor Copeland is a distinguished scholar, an experienced engineer, and a respected university administrator. He has served this University in many roles, including as Dean of his faculty. His reputation as collegial leader is well established within the Campus and throughout the University. He is known for demonstrating concern for students, and has shown deep commitment for the well-being of the University.  

Within Trinidad and Tobago, and the wider Caribbean, he is respected as a professional of integrity and a citizen concerned with the development of the people and communities our University serves. I have no doubt that he is most suited to take on this important task at this time in the history of the Campus, University and leader. 

Professor Copeland graduated from The UWI St. Augustine with a BSc in Electrical Engineering in 1978, with an MSc in Electrical Engineering (Control Systems) from the University of Toronto in 1981 and with a PhD in Electrical Engineering (Control Systems) from the University of Southern California in 1990. He has been a Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at The University of West Indies from 2007 to 2015. He was Head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The UWI from 1997 to 2007. He has lectured in Digital Electronics and Microprocessor Systems Design and Control Systems.

He was Coordinator of the Real Time Systems Group, a UWI unit for developing university/industry liaison through impactful R&D Projects. At the RTSG, Professor Copeland was Project Leader for design and construction of the Electronic Scoreboard at the Queen’s Park Oval. He currently co-ordinates the Steelpan Initiatives Project (SIP) which saw the development and patenting of the G-Pan, a re-engineered form of the traditional steelpan, as well as the Percussive Harmonic instrument (P.H.I.), an electronic form of the traditional steelpan. Professor Copeland is Convener of the Steelpan Research Centre, UWI and is a former Member of the Board of Directors, CARIRI.

Professor Copeland has won many prestigious awards. In 2008 he was the first recipient of the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and in 2007 he was joint recipient of the Chaconia Medal Gold as a member of the G-Pan development team. He received the Guardian Life Premium Teaching Award in 2002, the BP/AMOCO Fellowship Award for Senior Academic Staff at The UWI, 2001 and a LASPAU/Fulbright scholarship for Doctoral program at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1987 among others.

Professor Copeland’s appointment will be for a period of five years. 



About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in BarbadosJamaicaTrinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. Website: 


(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)