October 2, 2008

Quentin Skinner will join Queen Mary, University of London, this month as Barber Beaumont professor of humanities. Professor Skinner, who has served as distinguished visiting professor at Queen Mary in the past, moves from the University of Cambridge, where he held the Regius chair of modern history from 1996 to 2008. He is also a fellow of Christ's College. His research interests lie in the intellectual history of Early Modern Europe. His two-volume study, The Foundations of Modern Political Thought, was named by The Times Literary Supplement in 1996 as one of the 100 most influential books published since the Second World War.

The former UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations is to take up post as chair of the new international advisory board at The Open University Business School. Sir Emyr Jones-Parry has enjoyed a distinguished international career since joining the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 1973. He was director at the European Union during the 1998 UK presidency, overseeing policy, co-ordination and organisation. Between 1998 and 2001, Sir Emyr was the FCO's political director; he then became the UK's Permanent Representative to Nato before moving to the UN.

The head of the electronics department at the University of Kent has received a fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering. Sarah Spurgeon was recognised for her contributions to the development of non-linear control and estimation methods. Lord Browne of Madingley, the president of the academy, said: "Our new fellows are among the very best engineers in the UK today. They are pushing the technical boundaries across the most challenging fields from medical imaging to aeronautics and energy technology. Together they demonstrate that engineering is at the heart of modern society."

A human-rights expert from the University of Nottingham has been re-elected to the United Nations human rights committee. Michael O'Flaherty won the support of the majority of the governments participating in the election. The committee comprises independent experts who assess whether states are meeting their obligations under the UN's major human rights treaty. Micheal Martin, the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, said: "He has served with great distinction during his first term and can now make a further valuable contribution. He will also be an independent and impartial voice as required by the covenant."

Soraya Dhillon of the University of Hertfordshire has been nominated for a Lloyds TSB Jewel Award in honour of her contribution to the public sector. The prize celebrates the contribution of members of the Asian community to life in Britain. Professor Dhillon is the first Asian to head a school of pharmacy in the UK and was instrumental in establishing the Hertfordshire school. She has 20 years' experience in pharmacy education and research and is the recipient of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Charter Gold Medal for outstanding services to the profession. She is also chairman of Luton and Dunstable Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Norma Daykin has received the 2008 Royal Society for Public Health Arts and Health Award for her contribution to music and health research. Her research focuses on creative activities in health settings and the benefits and pitfalls associated with music therapy. She intends to work with musicians and artists to develop best practice in participatory arts. In her spare time, Professor Daykin is a keen musician and composer - one of her compositions, commissioned by the Society for the Promotion of New Music, was performed at the London Jazz Festival.

The William Penney Fellowship has been awarded to Cranfield University's Dimitris Drikakis in recognition of his research into computational and compressible fluid dynamics. The award is part of the atomic weapons establishment technical outreach programme. Professor Drikakis' research has greatly advanced the design physics and engineering capabilities of the UK aerospace and defence sectors.

Hicham Idriss has been named chairman of the new Energy Futures Research Centre in Aberdeen, which will work to develop renewable and clean energy resources, and is jointly funded by the University of Aberdeen, The Robert Gordon University and Aberdeen City Council. Formerly an associate professor at the University of Auckland, Professor Idriss has also held posts at the universities of Delaware and of Illinois. He brings a record in research in catalysis and surface science to his new role. Paul Mitchell, a director of the Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, said: "(Professor Idriss) will play a crucial role in driving forward the development (of Energy Futures). His strong knowledge of renewable energy will be invaluable ... in bringing together an extremely high calibre of expertise from within the University of Aberdeen and The Robert Gordon University."

David Jobber, professor of marketing at the Bradford University School of Management, has been honoured for his lifetime services to marketing. He is one of only six marketing professors in the Academy of Marketing's 30-year history to receive its Life Achievement Award. After working in marketing for The TI Group, he became senior marketing lecturer at the University of Huddersfield and then joined Bradford in 1984.

Third-degree black belt Kung Fu master Laurence Wood has been appointed dean of art, design and architecture at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA). Currently associate professor at the Bergen Arkitekt Skole (School of Architecture) in Norway, Professor Wood is also an artist; his paintings are in the collections of the National Trust's Foundation for Art and of the Prince of Wales. UCA has also announced the appointment of Bill Foulk as dean for undergraduate and further education. Mr Foulk, who has worked as a producer, writer, director, cinematographer and editor, has also been course leader of the BA (hons) film and video course and deputy head of college at UCA's Farnham campus. He said: "We are at a pivotal point in the history of this institution and the birth of a university. Our graduates need to be equipped with conceptual and critical understanding as well as high levels of skills and knowledge."

Former migrant support worker David de Verny has taken up the post of Anglican chaplain at the University of Hull. He has previously worked as a teacher in countries including Turkey and Romania and was the honorary assistant curate at St Botolph's church in Boston and Lincoln diocesan link for black and Asian Anglicans. In his former role, Reverend de Verny offered spiritual comfort and practical support to workers who had travelled across Europe to work in Lincolnshire.

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