July 3, 2008

Northumbria University has appointed Philip Plowden dean of its Law School. A qualified solicitor and member of the Bar, Professor Plowden specialises in public law and human rights and has taught widely across the school's vocational courses. He won a National Teaching Fellowship three years ago for his work on learning and teaching issues in law.

The University of Westminster's Business School has appointed Jean Woodall as its new dean. She will take up the post in August. Professor Woodall said: "There is an opportunity here to strengthen the university's links with the world of business in London. We will do this through the delivery of a professionally informed curriculum, through strong engagement with professional practice and through research and knowledge transfer that is informed by, and in turn enhances, professional practice." Professor Woodall is currently associate dean (external relations and communications) at Oxford Brookes University's Business School. She remains an active researcher (she is entered in the recent research assessment exercise submission for Oxford Brookes) and intends to continue to maintain her research profile at Westminster.

Wendy Hall, professor of computer science at the University of Southampton, has been elected president of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) for a two-year term. This is the first time in 60 years that a person outside North America has held the position. As a past president of the British Computer Society (2003-04), and a researcher with international connections, Professor Hall said she wanted to guide ACM towards more initiatives in India and China. She also said that her goal as president is to help ACM reach its full potential by increasing the number of women in all aspects of computing.

A recent event at HM Treasury run by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) has highlighted the work of a number of UK scientists and scholars. Mick Tuite, from the University of Kent, was noted as one of the leading bioscience researchers contributing to the UK's economic and social wellbeing through his successful research leading to a generic technology for the production of biopharmaceuticals. Toni Slabas's research into sustainable industrial-oil alternatives from plants and Stefan Przyborski's work on technology to control the growth and function of cultured stem cells were also highlighted. The event, "Bioscience: Biomillions", illustrated how the UK's bioscience research base, principally funded by the BBSRC with more than £400 million of public money annually, is delivering substantial economic and social impact.

Birmingham City University has announced the appointment of Chris O'Neil to the post of executive dean of the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, which he will take up on 1 August. From prison teaching to serving as the head of Cardiff School of Art and Design, Mr O'Neil's academic experience is diverse. He has worked as a pro vice-chancellor at Thames Valley University and is an executive council member of the Arts Council of Wales.

Mamta Singhal, winner of the Institution of Engineering and Technology 2007 Women's Engineering Society Prize, has reached the final of the 2008 MBA Student of the Year awards. Ms Singhal is currently lecturing in design, manufacture and engineering management at the University of Strathclyde and studying for a triple-accredited MBA. The awards are organised by the Association of MBAs and the winners will be announced in November.

The University of Portsmouth has appointed Paul Hayes as its dean of science. Professor Hayes will be moving from the University of Bristol where he has been head of the School of Biological Sciences since 1998.

A lecturer at the University of Bedfordshire has been nominated for three national business and education awards for his research and teaching work. Muhammad Azam Roomi, a senior lecturer in entrepreneurship and director of research at the university's Centre for Women's Enterprise, is in the running for the Prowess 2008 Women's Enterprise Researcher of the Year award, for his research in making the case for women's enterprise development; the NGCE-Kauffman Foundation International Educators' Fellowship Award; and the UK Higher Education Academy National Teaching Fellowship Award - for outstanding teaching and learning performance at Bedfordshire. He said: "I am delighted that my teaching and research work has been nominated for these awards and I hope that the studies I have conducted will contribute to a better understanding of the ways in which women can succeed in business."

Juan Martin Serrano, of the department of infectious diseases at King's College London, has been awarded a Lister Institute Research Prize. The prize gives young scientists the opportunity to develop their potential as research scientists by providing them with flexible funding of £200,000 over a five-year period. Mike Malim, head of the department of infectious diseases, said: "This award represents some very well-deserved recognition of a rising scientific and scholastic talent."

Sian Maslin-Prothero has been appointed dean of the Graduate School at Keele University. Professor Maslin-Prothero joined Keele as professor of nursing in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, after moving from her previous position as a senior lecturer at the University of Southampton. She is a member of the Research Institute for Life Course Studies and she has said that she wants to build on her colleagues' expertise by developing partnerships across the university and beyond.

The University of Wales has announced two new appointments to its senior management team. Nigel Palastanga, formerly pro vice-chancellor for education at Cardiff University, will take up the new post of pro vice-chancellor (quality), while Dylan Jones-Evans, currently deputy director of Cardiff's inter-disciplinary Centre for Advanced Studies at Cardiff, becomes director of research and innovation.

Lord Foster, the architect who designed iconic buildings such as London's "Gherkin" and the new Wembley Stadium, is to be the new patron of the University of Salford's CUBE (Centre for the Urban Built Environment) gallery. His role will involve him promoting the Manchester gallery, which it is hoped will help to inspire a new generation of architects in the North West.

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