January 29, 2009

Stephen Williamson has been made deputy vice-chancellor (research and innovation) at the University of Surrey and will take up the post this week. The appointment comes as part of Surrey's newly launched 10-year plan to become a leading national and international university, providing research that is "aligned to the needs of society". In his previous role as head of the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Manchester, Professor Williamson was responsible for the strategic direction and leadership of the UK's largest department of that type. During his career he has been a lecturer at the University of Aberdeen, a senior lecturer and reader at Imperial College London and a professor at the University of Cambridge.

The University of Huddersfield has appointed its youngest-ever head of department. Aged 34, Rupert Ward has been made head of its informatics department. Having joined Huddersfield's Oldham Centre as a senior lecturer in 2005, Dr Ward went on to become subject area leader for the School of Computing and Engineering in the university's Oldham and Barnsley centres, and last year gained additional responsibility for digital media at its Queensgate Centre. Dr Ward also introduced Huddersfield's digital film and visual effects production course at the University Centre Barnsley.

Imperial College London has named Edward Astle as its new pro rector for commercial development. He will be a member of the college's management board and will take charge of exploring opportunities for science, medicine and education-based partnerships around the world. During his career Mr Astle has taken on a variety of international roles in the energy and telecommunications sectors, including time served on the boards of two FTSE 100 companies. He said: "I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to apply my business experience to support one of the world's greatest universities. Imperial College has already been successful in translating its academic excellence commercially and I look forward to working with the whole team to take this forward."

Graham Spittle has been reappointed chair of the Technology Strategy Board, the organisation set up to encourage innovation in science and technology in the UK. IBM's vice-president (software) for the UK, Ireland and South Africa, Dr Spittle was previously vice-president, worldwide integration development, at the company and director of its Hursley Laboratory. A fellow of the British Computer Society, he is also a visiting professor at the universities of Edinburgh, Southampton and Bristol.

An academic from the University of Wolverhampton has been appointed to the board of the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Brian Clements is director of the university's Institute for Innovation and Enterprise and associate dean for applied research and development at Wolverhampton Business School. He said: "The University of Wolverhampton will continue to support higher education enterprise on a national level as well as within its West Midlands region and I appreciate the opportunity to participate in the process through these two key organisations."

Three University of Southampton professors have been named fellows of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the professional association for the advancement of technology. Bashir Al-Hashimi, Sheng Chen and Nick Jennings have been recognised by the IEEE for their "unusual distinction" in the field of electrical and electronics technology.

Also at the University of Southampton, Tony Strike has been appointed university secretary. He will take responsibility for the university's external reputation as well as internal governance in areas such as corporate planning, human resources and health and safety.

Vivienne Brown has become the first Scottish woman to be appointed president of the Institute of Career Guidance, the UK's largest association for career guidance practitioners, managers, researchers, trainers and students.

Betty Bott, a senior figure in Scotland's Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, has joined the University of Dundee's Law School as director of legal and professional development.

A professor at Queen's University Belfast has received a Royal Irish Academy Gold Medal. David Livingstone becomes the first person based at a Northern Irish university to be awarded the prize, popularly known as "Ireland's Nobel prizes". Professor Livingstone was presented the award for social sciences in recognition of his exceptional scholarly achievements.

Leeds University Business School has appointed a new chair in finance. Krishna Paudyal's areas of expertise include corporate financial decisions, security investments and market microstructure. He was previously based at Durham University.

Stuart Miller, the chief medical officer for the UK's Paralympic team, has become the first person in the country to achieve "specialist recognition" under the consultant recognition process set up by the Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board. Dr Miller is clinical director of sport and exercise medicine at the University of Bath. He is also a doctor at the English Institute of Sport and the NHS lead physician for a community sport and orthopaedic clinic.

A pro vice-chancellor at Aston University has been honoured with an accolade for his lifetime service to innovation. John Bailey, pro vice- chancellor for business partnerships and knowledge transfer, was presented with a Lord Stafford Knowledge Transfer Champion Award for devoting his career to creating closer links between business and academia.

Gordon MacKerron has been appointed the new director of Science and Technology Policy Research (SPRU) at the University of Sussex. Sussex vice-chancellor Michael Farthing said: "SPRU is a proud contributor to Sussex's reputation as an innovative, interdisciplinary, international university and a vital part of its future. This is therefore a major strategic appointment for the university."

The Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the Said Business School, University of Oxford, has appointed a new director, Pamela Hartigan. Her most recent role was as founding managing director of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.

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