University of Luxembourg
A University of Manchester academic has been appointed vice-president for research at the University of Luxembourg. Ludwig Neyses, currently chair in medicine and cardiology at Manchester, will take up his position in April while retaining a part-time role at Manchester. Professor Neyses said he was drawn by Luxembourg's cultural variety, and the balance of a strong research environment with a tradition of close contact between teachers and students. "My aim is to further develop and expand these elements for the area of research. I am very much looking forward to this fascinating task and challenge," he said. After studying medicine at the universities of Mainz and Montpellier and Westminster Medical School, he trained in internal medicine and cardiology at the university hospitals of Zürich and Bonn. He has held positions at Duke University and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich. Before joining Manchester he worked in managerial capacities at the University Hospital of Bonn and the University of Würzburg. In his role he will, among other things, develop Luxembourg's research priorities, manage funding and create and enhance research strength in carefully selected fields.
Cardiff Business School
Martin Kitchener, who started his PhD at Cardiff Business School more than 20 years ago, has returned to his alma mater to take up the position of dean after a career that has included an eight-year stint in the US. An expert in healthcare system performance, Professor Kitchener worked at the University of California (Berkeley and San Francisco) before returning to Cardiff in 2007 as associate dean for engagement. After so long in the US, Professor Kitchener initially found it "hard to get re-established" in Welsh research networks but said he had since been winning research grants. He will bring to Cardiff experience of US institutions that work like a "research shop" with "inputs and outputs...very much like that in industry". In contrast, UK universities approach research more like a "cottage industry" with more staff in permanent positions than the US, where researchers' "noses are held quite close to the grindstone", Professor Kitchener said. He said the US approach is not without flaws and leads to an "individualistic" attitude by scholars, he said, adding that it was important to strike a balance between the two cultures. Professor Kitchener replaces George Boyne, who has taken up the position of pro vice-chancellor at Cardiff University's College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.
De Montfort University
The new director of the creative technologies institute at De Montfort University has expressed his delight at returning to the institute where he began his academic work nearly half a century ago, when it was Leicester Polytechnic. "I started making computer-based art amongst a group of pioneers 45 years ago and so it seemed very nice to come back and see that it still has a future," said Ernest Edmonds. Professor Edmonds began his exploration into the implications of computers for art in the 1960s and started the institution's continuing research programme in the field in 1974 by enrolling the UK's first art and technology PhD student. He said his goals were to promote both the impact of the arts on computer-based technology and of computers on art, which were "essential" to each other. "A lot of people still have an ancient view of computing, that it (only) helps us with financial things and organises," he said. "But the real serious area where it is important is enhancing and empowering our creative thinking." Professor Edmonds studied mathematics at the University of Leicester and gained a PhD in logic from the University of Nottingham. "I was an artist who decided not to go to art school - I found mathematics easier," he said. Besides his position at De Montfort, he has worked at Loughborough University and the University of Technology in Sydney, where he still holds a visiting position.
King's College London
Michael Lynskey, who has published extensively on a range of drug studies, has joined the addictions department of King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry. Professor Lynskey's research has focused on understanding the development of use and dependence on drugs and their links with common mental health problems. "My research has traditionally focused on early stages of drug use and I want to continue that emphasis. Obviously it's during adolescence that most drug use, including alcohol, is initiated but it's also during that period that first symptoms of dependence or problem use emerge as well." Professor Lynskey studied for his undergraduate and doctoral degrees at the University of Otago in New Zealand and has an MSc from the same country's University of Canterbury. He joins King's from Washington University in St Louis, where he was a professor in the department of psychiatry. He added that the controversial nature of his field led to "polarised" debates about what the appropriate response to drug use should be and occasionally during these debates, "the science gets a bit lost". "I see my role as trying to provide a fairly neutral evaluation of the effects of drug use and the potential approaches to limiting harms associated with drug use," he said.
The British Paralympic Association's chief nurse has been awarded an honorary degree by Edge Hill University. Austin Thomas, who has dedicated 40 years to helping disabled athletes, was given the accolade in recognition of his selfless commitment to ensuring athletes receive the best nursing care. Mr Thomas was appointed to the post of senior lecturer at Edge Hill in 1991 and continues to work there as an associate lecturer.
Veronica Hope-Hailey has returned to the University of Bath's School of Management to continue her research into strategy and human resource management. Professor Hope-Hailey was based at the school eight years ago but has since held positions at business schools in Cranfield University and the University of Cambridge. Most recently she was associate dean of the MBA programmes at City University's Cass Business School.
Middlesex University has appointed a leading fine artist, photographer and a nominee for the 2001 Turner Prize as professor in the creative industries. Richard Billingham, who was the first recipient of the Deutsche Borse Photography Prize, has a particular brief to mentor photography students.
Adrian Dobbs has joined the University of Greenwich as chair of organic and medicinal chemistry. Professor Dobbs, who is currently secretary and treasurer of the heterocyclic and synthesis group of the Royal Society of Chemistry, was previously senior lecturer in organic chemistry in the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences at Queen Mary, University of London.
Two academics at the University of Leicester have been recognised for their contributions to teaching in higher education. Alan Cann of the department of biology and Raymond Dalgleish of the department of genetics have achieved the status of senior fellows of the Higher Education Academy.