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September 12, 2013

University of Westminster

Roland Dannreuther

Roland Dannreuther, dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Westminster, said he felt an equal mixture of “excitement and trepidation” when offered the senior role. Along with the immense pride and pleasure he gained from getting the job, he also asked himself: “What am I letting myself in for?” Professor Dannreuther said that having led departments at Westminster and other universities, he felt he had come to a “crossroads” in his career and that a strategic role was the next step for him. He explained that as dean he was keen to promote interdisciplinary research, which he said was one of the strengths of the faculty and the university. “There are quite distinctive areas of research excellence, perhaps in areas that are cutting-edge and unconventional that don’t always get captured by traditional universities,” he said. “One of the things I’ve noticed from some of the people who have joined (myself included, to some degree) is that they felt quite liberated from the more traditional universities. There’s a bit more freedom to direct your research in new areas.” Professor Dannreuther studied at the University of Oxford and said that when he graduated, he promised himself he would “never go into academia”. “But, after three years of being a management consultant, I realised I was missing the world of the mind,” he admitted.

Kirill Horoshenkov, University of Sheffield

University of Sheffield

Kirill Horoshenkov

The new professor of acoustics in the Pennine Water Group at the University of Sheffield joked that if he were not an academic, he would probably be “building cool speakers and amplifiers for music geeks”. Kirill Horoshenkov, who joins from the University of Bradford, will work with novel acoustic instruments that are used by the water industry to gain better knowledge about the conditions of urban water equipment and its environment. His love for physics and engineering was established at an early age, he recalled. “I once came across a popular book written by a very prominent academic at the time, [Leonid] Brekhovskikh,” he said. “This book was about the ocean and its treasures, and it explained that we knew much more about the surface of the Moon than about our oceans, which are full of useful resources for the planet. The author made it clear in this book that the only way to learn more about the oceans is to use sound waves, which go where no one has gone before.” He added: “This made me study the science of sound as my major because I was very keen to learn more about these treasures hidden from us under the sea.”

Liz Barnes, Sheffield Hallam University

Sheffield Hallam University

Liz Barnes

Liz Barnes, who has been appointed deputy vice-chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, said she had always followed the development and success of the institution and so was pleased to join. “I have collaborated with it in the past when I was at Teesside University and visited to look at what I could learn from it,” she said. Professor Barnes started her career as a physical education and maths teacher, and did not dream of entering academia at that point. “When I went into school teaching, I probably envisaged the pinnacle as a headteacher in a large secondary school,” she said. “After making the transition into higher education, I don’t think that in my wildest dreams I would have anticipated reaching this level.” She added that “my love of teaching and my passionate belief in the value of education and the transformational effect that it has on individuals’ lives” had inspired her to move into the academy. Professor Barnes has held numerous positions in the sector, including pro vice-chancellor and deputy vice-chancellor at the University of Derby and dean of social sciences and law at Teesside. She gained her undergraduate and master’s degrees from the universities of Liverpool and Sheffield.

Chris Warhurst, University of Warwick

University of Warwick

Chris Warhurst

The University of Warwick has appointed Chris Warhurst as director of its Institute for Employment Research. Professor Warhurst, who joins Warwick from the University of Sydney Business School, is an internationally recognised expert in services work, job quality and skills, and has gained a substantial media presence in Australia. He described the institute as “one of the jewels in Warwick’s crown”, adding: “For more than 30 years it has been a leading research provider in its field, providing benchmark data for academics and influencing government policy.” He welcomed the chance to put his stamp on the institute. “This is an exciting time for me to become the new director; existing programmes of work will be extended and new programmes developed. A new batch of senior, mid and early career research posts are also being recruited to ensure that the next 30 years are just as successful.” Before taking up his post at Sydney, Professor Warhurst was director of the Scottish Centre for Employment Research. He has provided advice on employment matters to the Scottish, UK and other governments, as well as to campaign groups. He is also an international expert adviser to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Other changes

AbuBakr Bahaj, head of the Energy and Climate Change Division at the University of Southampton, has been made editor-in-chief of a new journal, the International Journal of Marine Energy, which is devoted to research and case studies on marine and ocean energy. 

The University of Huddersfield has promoted three members of its existing staff. Janet Hargreaves, associate dean for learning and teaching in the School of Human and Health Sciences, Paul Thomas, reader in youth and education within the School of Education and Professional Development, and Pierre-Alexandre Tremblay, reader in composition and improvisation as well as director of the institution’s Electronic Music Studios, have been made professors. 

Ashley Wheaton has been appointed principal of the College of Estate Management and will take up the post on 1 November after the retirement of his predecessor, Ann Heywood. The institution, based in Reading, is a distance-learning provider specialising in property and construction, and has 3,500 students in 105 countries. Mr Wheaton becomes the college’s ninth principal since the institution was founded 94 years ago.

Nicolas Forsans will join the University of Exeter Business School in December as director of the One Planet MBA and associate professor in international strategic management. He is currently an associate professor at the Centre for International Business at the University of Leeds, where he leads the James E. Lynch India and South Asia Business Centre. Professor Forsans’ expertise focuses on international business in relation to emerging markets, the corporate strategies of multinational firms in emerging economies and the emergence of “third world” multinationals. He previously worked in France and Canada.

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