News Releases

The University of the West Indies confers emeritus titles on Copeland, Agard

For Release Upon Receipt - March 8, 2023

St. Augustine

The UWI St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago. Wednesday 8 March 2023 – The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has conferred Emeritus Professor titles on Professors Brian Copeland and John Agard, both of the regional institution’s St. Augustine Campus in Trinidad and Tobago.

 The title of Emeritus Professor (or, Emerita Professor, for women) refers to respective retired professors who are recognized and honoured by their universities for notable contributions to academia. Aside from the special title, an Emeritus status gives distinguished professors extra privileges at the university.


 Emeritus Professor Brian Copeland, Ph.D. served as the Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal of St. Augustine from 2016-2022, the last two years of which saw him navigating the campus through the COVID-19 global pandemic lockdown.

 In his tenure at The UWI, he has served as Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, and Head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. His focus areas have been in Digital Electronics and Microprocessor Systems Design and Control Systems.

 As Coordinator of the Real Time Systems Group, a UWI unit for developing university/industry liaison through impactful R&D Projects, Professor Copeland was the project lead for design and construction of the Electronic Scoreboard at the Queen’s Park Oval. He co-ordinates the Steelpan Initiatives Project 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 is the holder of 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.


 Emeritus Professor John Agard, Ph.D. is Professor of Tropical Island Ecology at the Department of Life Sciences in the Faculty of Science and Technology at the St. Augustine Campus. He also serves as the Executive Director of the Global Institute for Climate-Smart and Resilient Development (GICSRD) at The University of the West Indies.

 His research interest is in the field of sustainability science especially as it relates to mainstreaming environmental considerations such as biodiversity and

ecosystem services conservation, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and the development of blue and circular economy into the core of policy and decision making.

 Internationally he has served as an independent advisor on environment and sustainability policy to the Board of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington DC. He has also been on the Scientific Advisory Panel of UNEP for the Global Environmental

Outlook (GEO6) and was previously a Coordinating Lead Author for the Scenarios chapter in GEO4. He has also been a Coordinating Lead Author of the of the Intergovernmental (Science-Policy) Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), first global assessment chapter 5 ‘Pathways to a Sustainable Future’ as well as the Review Editor for Small Islands in the current 6th assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Professor Agard has previously served as a Lead Author in IPCC’s previous 4 and 5th Assessments.

Both conferrals are with immediate effect.


About The University of the West Indies

 The UWI has been and continues to be a pivotal force in every aspect of Caribbean development; residing at the centre of all efforts to improve the well-being of people across the region for the past 75 years.

 From a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948, The UWI is today an internationally respected, global university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Monain Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hillin Barbados, Five IslandsinAntigua and Barbuda and itsOpen Campus, and global centres in partnership with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe.

 The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Culture, Creative and Performing Arts, Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities and Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, Social Sciences, and Sport. As the Caribbean’s leading university, it possesses the largest pool of Caribbean intellect and expertise committed to confronting the critical issues of our region and wider world.

 The UWI has been consistently ranked among the top universities globally by the most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education (THE). The UWI is the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists since its debut in the rankings in 2018. In addition to its leading position in the Caribbean in the World University Rankings, it is also in the top 25 for Latin America and the Caribbean and the top 100 global Golden Age universities (between 50 and 80 years old).  The UWI is also featured among the leading universities on THE’s Impact Rankings for its response to the world’s biggest concerns, outlined in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Good Health and Wellbeing; Gender Equality and Climate Action.

2023 marks The UWI’s 75th anniversary. The Diamond jubilee milestone themed “UWI at 75. Rooted. Ready. Rising.” features initiatives purposely designed and aligned to reflect on the past, confront the present, and articulate plans for the future of the regional University.

 Learn more at