June 12, 2008

Jonathan Seville has become dean of the University of Warwick's School of Engineering. The Midlands has been central to Professor Seville's career for many years: he began his engineering career in Coventry almost 30 years ago when he joined Courtaulds' research division as a chemical engineer, working on design and development for cellulose-based chemicals. He joins Warwick from the University of Birmingham where he was head of the department of chemical engineering, which became one of the country's top three departments in chemical engineering under his leadership.

The fellows of Peterhouse College, University of Cambridge, have elected radiologist Adrian Dixon as their 52nd master, succeeding Lord Wilson of Tillyorn. Professor Dixon will be the first medical master in the college's history. Commenting on the appointment, David Watkin, senior fellow of Peterhouse, said: "After very thorough and wide-ranging consideration, the fellows of Peterhouse were unanimous in electing Adrian Dixon to be our next master. We are delighted to elect one of our own, someone who has given immense devotion and service to the college and its members for over 20 years."

Helen Cooper, who has completed a number of research studies into diabetes and interprofessional education, joins the University of Chester's faculty of health and social care from the University of Liverpool. Professor Cooper has acted as an expert adviser to the Department of Health and to Diabetes UK, and is a member of the Medical Research Council's College of Experts. She was diagnosed with diabetes when she was eight years old, which prompted her interest in the issue of self-management. She said: "Living with diabetes generated my passion for studying and understanding it. You have to really understand how it all works and that demands education. I'm very interested in helping people to live more effectively with diabetes from a professional and a personal perspective."

The Welsh Assembly Government has appointed David Hawker, currently deputy chief executive of Westminster City Council in London, as director of the Department for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills. Professor Hawker, who studied French and German at the University of Oxford before taking a postgraduate certificate in education in its department of educational studies, was elected a professor of the College of Teachers last year in recognition of his work in educational quality development and evaluation.

John Porter has been appointed chair of the council for University College Plymouth St Mark and St John. Professor Porter becomes the first new chair of the institution's governing council since it gained university college status in 2007. He is emeritus professor at the University of Glamorgan where he spent five years as deputy vice-chancellor. Before he entered the higher education sector, Professor Porter served 37 years in the Royal Air Force, training as a pilot and then working as an engineer officer specialising in the procurement of defence systems.

Ken Swift has left the University of Hull after taking early retirement. Professor Swift has been a major contributor in research areas for the department of engineering and has won numerous awards for his work, including the Viscount Nuffield Medal for outstanding contribution to the advancement of manufacturing engineering.

Tony Avery, professor of primary care at the University of Nottingham's Medical School, has been recognised for his work in patient-safety research. He has been presented with the Royal College of General Practitioners' John Fry Award for promoting the discipline of general practice through research and publishing as a practising GP. Professor Avery said: "It is a great honour to receive this award and I would like to thank all the people who have contributed to my research over the years, including academic colleagues, research staff, National Health Service clinicians and patients."

Gary Campbell, who is an environmental scientist, has become dean of science and technology at UHI, the higher education institution that hopes to become the University of the Highlands and Islands. He was previously subject network leader for the sustainable science, heritage and development network at UHI and is an expert in nutrient cycling - once picking off all the leaves from five oak trees by hand - as well as the spread of alien plant species and greenhouse gas emissions. He graduated in environmental science from the University of Ulster before taking a masters in forest business management and development from the University of Aberdeen and a PhD in environmental modelling from the University of Sheffield.

Jude Davies, reader in American studies and English at the University of Winchester, has won the Arthur Miller Centre Prize for his journal article on anti-intellectualism among white men in the US. "Stupid white men: toward a political mapping of stupidity" was published in Resources for English and American Literature. Dr Davies said: "The idea behind 'Stupid white men' sprung from my desire to understand how anti-intellectualism works as a political virtue in the US, through examples such as the personae of George W. Bush and the ways that figures such as Al Gore, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton are at times represented negatively when showing levels of intelligence."

David Drewry, vice-chancellor of the University of Hull, has been appointed by the Prime Minister to serve an initial four-year term at the Natural History Museum. His background is in earth sciences and climate change, and he has held senior positions with academic and scientific organisations, as director of both the British Antarctic Survey and the Scott Polar Research Institute and as deputy chief executive of the Natural Environment Research Council. He also led a ten-year research programme to find out what lies beneath the ice of the Antarctic. A mountain and a glacier have been named in his honour for his work as a glaciologist. He hopes one day to climb Mount Drewry, a 10,000ft high peak close to the South Pole.

Ian Carter, who is currently director of research at the University of Liverpool, is to join the University of Sussex in September, where he will take up the new post of director of research and enterprise.

Al Brown, professor of molecular and cell biology at the University of Aberdeen, has become a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, part of the American Society of Microbiology - one of the largest life sciences organisations in the world. He is part of the university's Aberdeen Fungal Group and an expert on Candida albicans.

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