Baback Yazdani

Baback Yazdani

Dean

Nottingham Business School

Staff Group(s)
School Management Team

Role

Professor Baback Yazdani is Dean of Nottingham Business School and Professor of Product Development. With an extensive senior international business and academic leadership experience, he is a strong advocate and driver in bringing business and higher education together for mutual benefit. He pays an active role in both academia and industry bodies. He is member of the Board Member of European Foundation for Management Development's (EFDM), Member of the Executive Board of UK Association Business Schools (ABS). He is also the Inaugural Dean of ABS' National Advisory Board Network with responsibility for forging stronger links between academia and business. He is former regional chairman of the CBI in East Midlands and a member of CBI's influential national chairmen's committee and a former Vice-Chair of the ABS.

Baback is an internationally recognised expert in the Automotive Industry, Lean Management and Product Design and Development, whose expertise is often sought by CEOs of major industries.  The Business Insider Magazine has successively voted him amongst the Top 50 most influential business leaders in the Midlands; he also makes frequent appearances national TV, Radio and International Press and he has authored numerous papers on product development, lean and the auto industry.

During his Deanship since 2007, NBS has transformed from a regional establishment to be internationally recognised as the business school for business and has become the first business school across the world to fully apply Lean as its Operating System.  Baback has invested in acquisition and the development of world-class faculty; developed NBS' research to international standards; deepened NBS links to business; doubled its executive education, revolutionised the NBS programme portfolio with the introduction of innovative programmes at undergraduate, postgraduate and executive education directly delivering value to students and business. He has emphasised the transformational nature of NBS for its students, clients and customers by intensifying applied research for the benefit of business, industry and public services.

He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering (Wales) and Chartered Engineer, has an MSc in Manufacturing Systems Engineering (Warwick) and a PhD in Product Development (Warwick). He is also a Fellow of Institute of Engineering Technology and a member of Federation Europeene D'Associations Nationales D'Ingeniers; American Society of Mechanical Engineers; and the British Academy of Management.

Career overview

Professor Baback Yazdani career spans both senior international business and top level academia in UK and USA.

Prior to his Deanship, Baback was a senior executive at Ford Motor Company's Premier Automotive Group's Product Design and Development Operations.

Between 2004-2007, he was the Director of Product Development Operations at Jaguar and Land Rover, where he was one of the main architects of FMC's new Global Product Development System, and introduction of Lean, increased the efficiency and speed of product development and brining its performance to world class standards, whilst introducing an entire range of new products into the market.

Between 2002-2004 he was the Director of Business and Operations at Ford's Premier Automotive Group responsible for Design at Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo Cars.

Between 2000-2002 he was the Director of Business and Operations at Lincoln and Mercury Design and Concept in the USA (Michigan and California).

Between 1993 to 2000, he was Principal Fellow at Warwick University's WMG where he led the Innovation and Product Development group working closely with industry and conducting leading edge research in Product Development.

Between 1990 to 1993, he was Manager of Design and Concept Engineering at Harland Simon Automation Systems (UK), responsible for automation of Design Systems.

From 1988 to 1990 he was the Head of Foundry, Forging and Tooling plant in Piraiki Orichalkouryia AE in Greece.

Baback is also fluent speaker in Greek, Persian and Turkish.

Research areas

Professor Baback Yazdani maintains an active research interest and supervises a number of doctoral candidates in the following fields:

  • Innovation and technology Management
  • Product Development in Automotive Industry
  • Sustainable Mobility
  • Lean in Education
  • Lean in Knowledge Intensive Firms
  • Use of Novel Techniques in Strategic Management of Product Design and Product Development

Please visit the NTU Doctoral School website for information on doctoral research opportunities at NBS.

External activity

  • Member of the Board Member of European Foundation for Management Development’s (EFDM).
  • Member of the Executive Board of UK Association Business Schools (ABS).
  • Member of Board of Academy of Business in Society (ABIS).
  • Member of CBI’s Regional Council.
  • Fellow of Institute of Engineering Technology (IET).
  • Inaugural Dean of ABS’ National Advisory Board Network with responsibility for forging stronger links between academia and business.
  • Honorary Professor at Chinese Academy of Science.
  • Member of Advisory Boards for a number of European Business Schools.

He is former regional chairman of the CBI in East Midlands and a member of CBI’s influential national chairmen’s committee and a former Vice-Chair of the ABS.

Press expertise

As a former car industry executive, Professor Yazdani regularly provides press comment on automotive industry developments in the UK, US and worldwide.

In addition to several other high profile media outlets, he has appeared several times on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Wall Street Journal, the BBC News Channel and in the Guardian.


He is an expert on business transformation and Lean Leadership and can also comment on manufacturing, product development, regional business, business education, and business schools.