October 30, 2008

Anne Neville of the School of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Leeds has been awarded a ten-year research chair in emerging technologies - the first of its kind to be given by the Royal Academy of Engineering. Professor Neville will focus on examining engineering problems relating to her core research areas of corrosion and lubrication, but she also plans to spend some of her time as an ambassador for engineering, encouraging youngsters to consider the subject as a career. "In the UK, the perception of engineering can often be one of dirty overalls and car engines - hopefully this chair will help to portray it in a slightly different light," she said.

Chris Brady has been appointed dean of BPP Business School. A former semi-professional footballer, he previously spent 16 years in the Royal Navy and coached the national military football team. Professor Brady joins from Bournemouth University, where he is currently dean and professor of management studies. He said: "There are not many times in your career when you get the chance to redefine the accepted notion of scholarship. With a school that has only recently attained degree-awarding powers, this is that chance." Gemma Lines has also been appointed as marketing director to BPP's business and law schools, joining from her post as director of marketing and communications at Cass Business School. Current BPP marketing director John Herrmann will take up the post of chief operating officer at the business school from December.

Social statistician Denise Lievesley has been appointed to head the School of Social Science and Public Policy at King's College London, taking over from Christopher Dandeker. Her former posts include director of statistics at Unesco and director of the UK Data Archive; she was most recently a special adviser at the UN's African Centre for Statistics. Professor Lievesley is the current president of the International Statistical Institute, and was president of the Royal Statistical Society from 1999 to 2001.

The Institute of Physics has appointed Jocelyn Bell Burnell as its first female president, on a two-year term. Professor Bell Burnell, currently a visiting professor and a professorial fellow at the University of Oxford, was previously the dean of science at the University of Bath and professor of physics at The Open University. Professor Bell Burnell's aspiration to encourage more females into a career in science has led to her receiving a number of awards; she was appointed CBE in 1999 and Dame in 2007.

David Looseley, professor of contemporary French culture at the University of Leeds, has been named a "Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes academiques" by the French Government. The award, which is one of the world's oldest civil orders, was presented to Professor Looseley at the French Embassy in London for his services to French culture. Decisions on nomination and promotion are made by the French Minister of Education and ratified by the Prime Minister.

A professor from the University of Huddersfield has become the first English scientist to receive a lifetime honorary membership of the International Confederation of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry. Ted Charsley was given the award in recognition of his outstanding service to the confederation, which was set up to promote the international understanding of how properties of materials change in varying temperatures. Professor Charsley, who is the head of the Centre for Thermal Studies at the University of Huddersfield, was also this year made a fellow of the North American Thermal Analysis Society.

Joan Stringer, principal of Napier University, has become the first British citizen to be awarded the International Yellow River Friendship Award by China's Henan province. The award is made to foreigners who have made an outstanding contribution to economic development and social progress in central China. Napier has longstanding links with the region, including collaboration with Zhengzhou University of Light Industry.

Newport Business School in the University of Wales has appointed two new associate deans, Jo Smedley and Andrew Thomas. Dr Smedley, associate dean for learning and teaching, specialises in widening access and schools liaison. She joins Newport from a two-year secondment on a collaborative project between the Higher Education Academy and the Joint Information Systems Committee, where she was collaboration leader. Dr Thomas, associate dean for research and enterprise, was previously a lecturer in supply chain systems at Cardiff University. He came into higher education from an industrial career in aerospace engineering and manufacturing engineering.

The Institute of Psychological Sciences at the University of Leeds has appointed two new professors. Mark Mon-Williams will take up a chair in human movement science. Previously based at the University of Aberdeen, Professor Mon-Williams' research looks at the use of specialised technology in diagnosing and treating movement disorders in children and the elderly. Marion Hetherington moves from the University of Glasgow to take up a chair in biopsychology. Her research focuses on eating patterns and how people regulate their eating.

Tim Burt has been appointed the first dean of environmental sustainability at Durham University. Currently a professor of geography at Durham, he also chairs the pan-university Environmental Sustainability Action Group. Supporting this appointment will be Tara Duncan, who has previously worked for the Environment Agency. She will be taking on the role of environment co-ordinator. Anoush Ehteshami, the head of Durham's School of Government and International Affairs, has been appointed dean of internationalisation. Professor Ehteshami, who also serves as special adviser to the Islamic Criminal Justice Project, will be responsible for developing strategy and managing the university's global presence.

The Prime Minister has included three university vice-chancellors in his list of the Government's new business ambassadors. They are: Malcolm Grant, University College London, John Hood, University of Oxford, and Alison Richard, University of Cambridge. The Business Ambassadors network brings together business and university leaders who will work with the Government to promote the UK internationally, highlighting trade and investment opportunities. Professor Grant said: "This is a welcome recognition by the Prime Minister of the enormous contribution of UK universities to international trade, in terms both of world-leading research and rigorous education."

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