September 11, 2008

Annabelle Sreberny, professor of global media and communications at the School of Oriental and African Studies (Soas), has been elected president of the International Association for Media and Communication Research. Elected to vice-presidencies were Jon Downing, director of the Global Media Research Center at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and Ruth Teer-Tomaselli, professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Professor Sreberny holds Soas' first chair in media and is director of the university's Centre for Media and Film Studies. Before moving to Soas, she was director of the Centre for Mass Communication Research at the University of Leicester.

This year's Charles-Leopold Mayer Prize, awarded by the French Academy of Sciences, has been won by Adrian Bird, of the University of Edinburgh. The director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology was one of 60 academy award-winners. Previous recipients of the Mayer Prize have included Nobel prizewinners Francis Crick and Barbara McClintock. Professor Bird is a member of the editorial board of the journal Molecular Cell and has received the Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine and Gabor Medal of the Royal Society. He is a trustee of the Kirkhouse Trust and of the Rett Syndrome Research Trust, and has held the Buchanan chair of genetics at the University of Edinburgh since 1990.

Catherine Law of University College London's Institute of Child Health has been appointed director of public health research at the National Institute for Health Research. The programme aims to evaluate a wide range of public-health interventions. Professor Law will take up her post in October. She has previously worked at the Medical Research Council environmental epidemiology unit at the University of Southampton, and with regional and national government. She is currently professor of public health and epidemiology at UCL, an honorary consultant in public-health medicine at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust, and chair of the public-health interventions advisory committee of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.

Use of computer simulations in communication-theory lectures has won Dave Pearce, of the department of electronics at the University of York, the top prize at the Higher Education Academy Engineering Subject Centre Teaching Awards. The £500 prize recognises engineering academics' learning and teaching practices. The university reports that student motivation and attendance have improved thanks to Dr Pearce's new methods.

The 2008 Japan Society Award, in recognition of Anglo-Japanese relations, has been awarded to Lesley Millar from the University College for the Creative Arts. The university said Professor Millar has spent 20 years building links between textile-makers in both countries. She took a lead in "Japan 2001", a year of events coordinated by the Japanese Embassy in London, which aims to bring Japanese culture to the UK, and has been project director for four touring exhibitions featuring textile artists from the UK and Japan.

Chris Pyke, acting dean of the faculty of business, enterprise and lifelong learning at the University of Chester, has been appointed head of the business school. Mr Pyke, also a qualified accountant, joined Chester last year from a post at Liverpool John Moores University. He has published numerous papers on change management, management and accounting issues.

Kathryn Penaluna, Swansea Metropolitan University's enterprise manager, has completed a course promoting international entrepreneurship in education, one of the first from a European university to do so. Ms Penaluna and a small number of colleagues from the UK and Ireland have just finished the International Entrepreneurship Educators Programme led by the National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Educators UK. They have now been inaugurated as NCGE entrepreneurship education fellows, intended to create a network of expertise to help boost entrepreneurship in higher education.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) has named Wim Van der Stede the first CIMA professor of management accounting at the London School of Economics. In addition to developing and promoting the science of management accounting, Professor Van der Stede will contribute to CIMA's strategy by raising the profile of the profession and bridging theory and practice. He has held a variety of academic positions, including assistant professor at the University of Southern California. He has previously won the AAA Notable Contribution to Management Accounting Literature Award, and the USC Marshall School of Business MBA PM Golden Apple Teaching Award.

Ryszard Piotrowicz, a professor at Aberystwyth University's department of law and criminology, has been given a three-year appointment to the European Commission's Group of Experts on Trafficking in Human Beings. The 21-member group was set up to help the fight against human trafficking by advising the European Commission on policy and assisting it in implementing action against traffickers.

The University of Strathclyde Business School has appointed Ranjit Gajendra regional manager for the Gulf. Mr Gajendra previously worked at the Higher Colleges of Technology in the United Arab Emirates, where Strathclyde has run an MBA programme since 1996. He was dean of management systems and general manager of the Centre of Excellence for Applied Research and Training.

Jenny Anderson has been appointed dean of the faculty of business, sport and enterprise at Southampton Solent University. Previously acting dean of the faculty, she took up post on 1 September. Professor Anderson has a decade's experience in industry-based consultancy on strategic management of volunteers, policy and research and strategic market research. As a Quality Assurance Agency reviewer, she contributed to this year's pilot review of higher education strategy in further education colleges.

Two physicists who discovered graphene - a one-atom thick gauze of carbon atoms resembling chicken wire - have scooped a major award. Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov, of the University of Manchester, won this year's Europhysics Prize for their discovery of, and work on, graphene. Some previous recipients of the Europhysics Prize have subsequently become Nobel laureates. The winners will share a cash prize of €10,000 (£8,000).

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