December 11, 2008

An academic who initiated a radical new style of induction for students and a GP who has been influential in developing family medicine education are among those whose commitment to teaching excellence has been recognised by the conferment of senior fellow status by the Higher Education Academy. The six to whom the title has been awarded were: Carolyn Roberts, co-director of the Centre for Active Learning, University of Gloucestershire; Elena Rodriguez-Falcon, senior lecturer in the department of mechanical engineering, University of Sheffield; Gilly Salmon, professor of e-learning and learning technologies, University of Leicester; Trevor Gibbs, visiting professor, Chinese University of Hong Kong; David Phoenix, deputy vice-chancellor, University of Central Lancashire; and Sue Palmer, an independent education consultant who advises schools and colleges on helping their students with university planning. Paul Ramsden, chief executive of the HEA, said: "It is important that academics leading in the field of teaching and learning are recognised and rewarded in this way. The contribution they make to students' experiences of higher education is vital, as is the knowledge and experience they share with colleagues."

Alan Clements, a professor of computing at the University of Teesside, has been elected vice-president of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The IEEE computer society, based in the United States, has a membership of around 80,000 computer professionals worldwide. Professor Clements' new role will see him chair its educational activities board, which is responsible for educational initiatives worldwide, including competitions, training programmes, accreditation and conferences.

Two University of Nottingham academics have been appointed members of the governing council of the General Medical Council, the national body that regulates doctors and ensures good medical practice. Terence Stephenson, professor of child health and dean of the university's faculty of medicine and health sciences, and Peter Rubin, Boots professor of therapeutics in the university's division of therapeutics and molecular medicine, will take office on 1 January 2009 and serve for four years. Professor Stephenson, a clinical academic, has received more than £1.5 million in research grant income and has published over 150 peer-reviewed publications and seven books. Professor Rubin is an honorary consultant physician at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and is a member of the board of the Higher Education Funding Council for England. He recently stepped down as chairman of the Postgraduate Education Medical Education Training Board after three years.

Scientists behind a technology that uses whisky by-products to treat contaminated land have been awarded £10,000 in the Research Councils UK business plan competition. Leigh Cassidy, Graeme Paton and Ken Killham from the University of Aberdeen secured financial backing for Dram (Device for the Remediation and Attenuation of Multiple pollutants), an environmentally friendly method of removing multiple pollutants from contaminated water. Dr Paton said: "The team is committed to applying this technology in an international context and are aware of the need for applied and sustainable solutions in the developing world, where the impacts of the pollutants are so apparent."

Two new visiting professors, Nick Bell and Joanna MacGregor, are joining the Royal College of Art's department of communication art and design. Nick Bell is founder director of design organisation Nick Bell Design, which uses design to help businesses engage and influence others. His work has been published in design magazines such as Eye and Idea and he has lectured widely in Europe, the US and Asia. Pianist Joanna MacGregor, professor of music at Liverpool Hope University, has received honorary fellowships from the Royal Academy of Music, Trinity College of Music and New Hall, Cambridge, and an honorary doctorate from The Open University. Professor MacGregor said: "I'm looking forward to finding ways to take music of all kinds into new creative spaces; collaborating with gifted young artists on thought-provoking, imaginative projects."

Broadcaster and educational specialist Andrew Law is taking up post as director of multi-platform broadcasting at The Open University. Currently head of BBC Worldwide Interactive Learning, he has also been responsible for developing educational media strategies for non-governmental organisations, and has worked for the Department for International Development, and for the ministries of education in Kenya, Ghana and Ethiopia. In his new role, Mr Law will be responsible for leading the university in its development and delivery of education using a range of broadcast media. Pro vice-chancellor for strategy David Vincent said: "Andrew is a talented broadcast executive, with more than 20 years' experience in the production of specialist education and e-learning materials."

Writer Jennifer Potter has joined the graduate school at King's College London, becoming the college's first Royal Literary Fund (RLF) Writing Fellow. Having published both fiction and non-fiction titles, she was long-listed for the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize in 2007 and regularly reviews for the Times Literary Supplement. Ms Potter was previously a writing fellow at Queen Mary, University of London. Her latest work, Strange Blooms: The Curious Lives and Adventures of the John Tradescants, led to an appearance on BBC One's The One Show. RLF fellows are established professional writers based in universities and higher education colleges who assist students in the art of writing.

Sir Richard Sykes has been appointed the new chair of CRAC: the Career Development Organisation, following the retirement of Kenneth Edwards. CRAC promotes career development and career-related learning. Sir Richard, former rector of Imperial College London and chairman of GlaxoSmithKline, said: "These are challenging times; never before have both those entering and in the workforce faced such bewildering and thrilling choices when it comes to taking decisions that will affect their entire lives."

Marketing expert Tony Grimes has taken up a new position at the University of Manchester's Business School as a lecturer in marketing. He joins from the University of Hull, where he held the role of marketing programme leader, teaching subjects at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. His specialist subjects include consumer behaviour and psychology, and the interface between these subjects and marketing communications. Mr Grimes is currently undertaking a PhD in consumer psychology and has published a series of journal articles and conference papers in this field.

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