Sir Paul held posts with NASA in California and the Universities of Sheffield, Reading and Swansea. His ecological Earth observation research uses satellite sensors to monitor our environment. He joined City in 2010 having served previously as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Southampton) and Vice-Chancellor (Bournemouth) and was knighted in 2016.
Sir Paul is President of the Remote Sensing & Photogrammetry Society and a Member of the Boards of London Higher and the Universities Superannuation Scheme Ltd. He was Chair of the national Review Body on Doctors' & Dentists Remuneration, The Conversation UK and Universities & Colleges Employers Association and a Member of the Natural Environment Research Council and Quality Assurance Agency.
He holds BSc (Sheffield), MBA (Southampton) and PhD, DSc (Bristol).
Sir Paul first visited the USSR in 1982 returning on many occasions as a guest of the Academy of Sciences and this resulted in a jointly authored book in 1990. Among UK universities, City welcomes the largest number and has the third highest proportion of Russian students. City's long-standing relationship with Peter the Great St Petersburg Polytechnic University started with Engineering and now incorporates all Schools at City. The University awarded an honorary degree to Sir Paul in 2019.