John Cole, an architect and health design champion, is an honorary professor at the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Queen's University Belfast. John retired in June 2013 from the role of deputy secretary and chief estates officer DHSSPS (2008-2013), having previously acted as chief executive of the Health Estates Agency (2003-2008). During that period, he was responsible for the oversight and implementation of in excess of £3 billion of capital expenditure, covering the full range of health and social care facilities – from major regional centres of excellence and new acute hospitals, to community hospitals, mental health facilities and primary and community health buildings.
John is currently procurement champion for RIBA and was IMPACT assessor in REF2014. John's involvement at Queen's University Belfast's School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering will strengthen its expertise in healthcare design and procurement systems that support design quality across public-sector buildings. John's inaugural professorial lecture, 'Architecture: the art of healing', was given on 19 November 2014.
From 2008 to 2012, John was chairman of the European Health Property Network, and in 2013, the Queen appointed him as a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for his contribution to the development of health infrastructure.