A BLACK Country professor has been named among the world’s most influential academics, according to a new website ranking scholars’ impact on their field.

David Edwards, professor of plant and machinery management at Birmingham City University, has made it into the top 10 per cent of all disciplines on social network Research Gate, which scores and ranks millions of academics according to their level of influence.

Professor Edwards, from Lower Gornal, has published more than 250 articles and has nearly 200 listed on the site which have clocked up a staggering 23,000 reads.

More than 11 million researchers and academics worldwide are listed on the site, with Professor Edwards’ score of 33.23 rating him above higher than more than 90 per cent of his peers.

His research, which includes engineering design, and machinery health and safety, has seen him work alongside the the UK and US Departments of Defence, various government bodies such and named as a Ghanaian Chief in a special ceremony held in Kumasi.

Research Gate takes into account the impact, number of views and citations of an academic’s work to calculate a score which ranks them against others from across the globe.

Professor Edwards said: “My good friend and colleague Professor Peter Love, distinguished professor at Curtin University Australia first pointed out that I was the most widely read researcher in the university for several months now. When he went onto inform me that I was also in the world top ten percent of academics across all disciplines - I was astonished.

“From a humble background of working in the UK construction industry, I would have never have dreamt this. It does demonstrate to the next generation of aspiring talent that anything is possible if you try hard enough.

“There is much to be said for the virtues of life-long learning and it is an honour to be able to share my knowledge and experience with the next and future generations of construction, engineering and management students.”