Britvic IT director Dr Rob Pritchard is taking up a role at Birmingham City University as Professor of Applied Information Technology and Corporate Strategy.

He will continue in his role at the soft drinks company, which owns the brands Robinsons, J20 and Fruit Shoot, while helping to boost the university's links with industry to enable students to graduate with skills relevant to the real, business world.

Pritchard has a had a long career in industry since graduating from Plymouth University with a degree in computing. He started at HP in 1990, working in IT consulting for eight years. He was then a director in Deloitte's management consulting department for six years, before joining Britvic in 2005 as head of IT planning and governance.

In addition, he is a fellow of BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT.

Based in the university's School of Computing, Telecommunications and Networks (CTN), Pritchard will also encourage graduate employment opportunities for students.

He said: "I am really looking forward to helping [the university] bring more industrial relevance to teaching and research."

Britvic has also had a long-standing relationship with Staffordshire University, where Pritchard has been awarded an honorary doctorate for the firm's partnership with the university. Under this partnership, he has helped develop academic awards for IT staff.