Professor Gabriela Medero has been signed up by the university, whose main campus is on the outskirts of Edinburgh, helping deliver its Shaping Tomorrow Together strategy.
It describes her as a highly experienced professor of geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering, who was recently named one of the top 50 women in engineering by the Women’s Engineering Society.
The university added that she is renowned globally for developing the award-winning K-Briq, branded the world’s first sustainable brick made from 90 per cent construction and demolition waste, and she is the co-founder of spin-out company Kenoteq, which is set to scale up to commercial production this year.
The remit of her new role includes leading multidisciplinary teams, delivering strategic partnerships and developing commercial enterprises from research to build a strong pipeline of academic entrepreneurs, and provide inspiration to students and the wider Heriot-Watt community.
The university’s deputy principal for business and enterprise Dr Gillian Murray said Professor Medero has an "impressive personal track record of driving enterprise through research”, and “will provide inspiration and guidance to others, which will build the pipeline of new opportunities within Heriot Watt”.
Dr Murray added: “This new role encapsulates our collective ambition to drive economic growth and social opportunity through creating entrepreneurial minds of the future.”
Professor Medero said: “I relish the challenge of supporting both academic and student entrepreneurs to realise their creative potential and using my personal experience to guide them as they pursue their own ambitious paths.”