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I was educated in London, at Latymer Upper School, Hammersmith, and then at the University of Nottingham where I obtained my Joint Honours degree in Psychology and Physiology and then my PhD in Behavioural Pharmacology.  I was appointed to a Lectureship in Biological Psychology in what was then the Department of Psychology towards the end of my postgraduate study (1971). On completion of my doctorate, my interests developed to focus on the psychophysiology of stress and health in the context of work and, from 1979 to 1980, I worked on secondment to the Personnel Function of Rolls Royce Engineering as an occupational psychologist.  In 1985, I was promoted to Senior Lecturer and then in 1988 I was promoted to a Chair in Organizational Psychology. By this time, I was declaring a special interest in occupational health and in safety management.

I became the Head of the Department of Psychology in 1994. In 1999, I established the Institute of Work, Health & Organizations and became its Founding Director. The Institute was given school-status in 2002 and I remained its Director until 2010 when I stood down to take a research sabbatical. I received the University’s Long Service Award for academic staff in 2011 retiring early in 2012 to take up my current post with Birkbeck University of London as Professor of Occupational Health Psychology & Management and Director of its Centre for Sustainable Working Life.

I am a chartered psychologist and a full member of the Divisions of Occupational Psychology and of Health Psychology of the British Psychological Society. I was a made a Fellow of the Society in 1985 (FBPsS). I am currently the Chair of its Partnership & Accreditation Committee and a member of its Membership & Standards Board. In 1988, I was made a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health (FRSH). In 2007 I was made a Fellow of its successor body the Royal Society for Public Health (FRSPH). In 1994, I became a Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts, Commerce and Manufactures (FRSA). In 2001, I was elected an Academician of the Academy of Learned Societies in the Social Sciences (AcSS) and am currently a member of its Audit Committee.

I have received several honours; the major award being that of a CBE for services to occupational health in the New Year Honours List, 2000. In 2003, I was awarded Honorary Fellowships by the Faculty of Occupational Medicine, Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (Hon FFOM (Dublin)) and of the Ergonomics Society (Hon FErgS). In 2009, I was made an Honorary Fellow of the latter’s successor body the Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (Hon FIEHF). In 2008, I was presented with an award for a Distinguished Contribution to Occupational Health Psychology jointly by the American Psychological Association, the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Society for Occupational Health Psychology. In 2012, I was awarded an Honorary Chair in Psychosocial Oncology by the University of Aberdeen.

I have served as a Non Executive Director on the Rail Safety & Standards Board and was Chair of its Advisory Committee. I was also a member of its Audit and its Remuneration Committees. Previously, I had served as a Non Executive Director on its predecessor, Railway Safety, and acted as Chair of its Safety Advisory Board. I was also the Chair of the Board of Trustees of CIRAS a railway related charity. A long standing member of the Health & Safety Commissions’ Occupational Health Advisory Committee (OHAC), I have also been sometime advisor on work stress, workplace violence, safety and health to both the European Commission (DG Employment & Social Affairs) and to the World Health Organization (Occupational Health). I have recently completed a term as Occupational Health Adviser to the Roles & Responsibilities Committee of National Grid.

In 2012, I retired as the Founding President of the European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology, a role that I held for some 14 years, to take up a position on its Board of Trustees while maintaining a position on its Executive Committee.  In the 1980s, I established the journal Work & Stress and have remained its Managing Editor since then. I retire at the end of this year (2013) to take up an Emeritus position.

Professor Thomas Cox

Professor Thomas Cox

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