May 21, 2009

Donald Harley has been named deputy vice-chancellor (resources) at the University of Bedfordshire, three years after he joined the institution as director of finance. Mr Harley will retain responsibility for finance in the new role, as well as taking control of estates and IT. Before joining Bedfordshire, he spent most of his career in the private sector in a number of senior finance and corporate development roles.

Royal Holloway, University of London has appointed Rosemary Deem dean of the faculty of history and social sciences. She joins from the University of Bristol, where she was research director in the faculty of social sciences and law. Professor Deem has served on several committees for the Economic and Social Research Council and has been a panellist in the past three research assessment exercises.

The principal of St Helens College in Merseyside, Pat Bacon, has been elected president of the Association of Colleges (AoC). She beat Nigel Robbins, the principal of Cirencester College, to the post after a closely fought campaign that ran for two months. She said: "This election was also a win for AoC, given the strength of the vote, and it says a lot about the work of the team." She will take over the post from the incumbent, David Collins, on 1 August.

John Perkins is to step down as vice-president and dean of the faculty of engineering and physical sciences at the University of Manchester. He is moving to become provost of the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi on 1 June. Professor Perkins presided over a period of growth and development in the Manchester faculty, which saw its research income rise 71 per cent under his leadership.

A research fellow at the University of Glamorgan has been named one of four winners of the Jerwood Prize for non-fiction. Rachel Hewitt, who is based in the department of humanities and social sciences, scooped the award and a cheque for £10,000 for her forthcoming biography of Ordnance Survey maps, Map of a Nation, which is due to be published in autumn 2010. She said: "It will make possible research trips and experiences that will contribute significantly towards the writing of the book."

Leeds Metropolitan University has announced a new appointment to its School of Architecture, Landscape and Design. Greg Keefe will join the institution next month from the University of Manchester's School of Architecture to take up the Downing chair of sustainable architecture. The position of Downing chair of sustainable housing in the school was filled by Malcolm Bell last year. The roles are sponsored by property group Downing. Both academics will focus on researching sustainable buildings, energy and the environment.

A new drug for treating cancer has earned scientists from the University of Bath and Imperial College London the Malcolm Campbell Memorial Prize and Medal for 2009. Lawrence Woo and Barry Potter from Bath and Atul Purohit and Mike Reed from Imperial were awarded the biannual prize for their work on steroid sulfatase inhibitors, which are being explored as potential cancer treatments. The award will be formally presented to the team during the Royal Society of Chemistry/Society of Chemical Industry's Medicinal Chemistry Symposium in Cambridge this September.

Geoff Mann, a lecturer at Gray's School of Art, The Robert Gordon University, has been selected to take part in the Jerwood Contemporary Makers exhibition. A sculptor who uses traditional glass-manufacturing techniques alongside computer-aided design, he is one of seven craftsmen and artists at the exhibition whose practices are helping to transform the way their fields of work are considered. His exhibition will investigate the theme "impact". It is due to be displayed in London next month.

Stephen Gomez has been appointed to the newly created role of head of work-based and placement learning at the University of Plymouth. He will take charge of overseeing student work placements and will liaise with businesses to ensure that continuing professional development needs and lifelong learning course standards are met. Professor Gomez previously worked as principal lecturer in neuroscience at the University of the West of England.

The University of Oxford has announced the appointment of the first holder of the Man professorship of quantitative finance. Thaleia Zariphopoulou will take up the post on 1 September, leaving her current position as V.F. Neuhaus centennial professor at the University of Texas at Austin, a joint appointment between the departments of mathematics and information, risk and operations management at Austin's Red McCombs School of Business. Neil Shephard, research director of the Oxford-Man Institute, said: "She has an outstanding reputation in quantitative finance, which will deepen our ability to use mathematics to study financial markets. The importance of this academic field has never been clearer."

The head of the Welsh Assembly Government Library and Public Enquiry Service has been appointed director of information services at Aberystwyth University. Rebecca Davies, who is a graduate of the institution, said: "Never have I been more reluctant to leave one job, and yet more excited about taking on the challenges of a new one." She is due to take over from Michael Hopkins, the previous incumbent, who is retiring, this month.

A graphic designer and academic has won a competition for depicting the unusual use of a typeface in a graveyard in Norfolk. Phil Gray, course leader of the graphic design BA at Norwich University College of the Arts, entered a photograph titled Heart into the contest run by the typographic firm Linotype, which aims to celebrate the different ways in which typefaces are used. He said: "I captured the image in a small graveyard in Wells-next-the-Sea, North Norfolk, last summer; the full inscription said 'Dear Heart', and I found it very poignant as well as a striking image."

A lecturer who has designed revolutionary ballet shoes has seen his invention hit the shops. Matthew Wyon, a lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton's School of Sport, Performing Arts and Leisure, came up with the pointe shoes to tackle the high rate of injury suffered by female ballet dancers. Dr Wyon said: "The accumulation of seven years' work and research is now finished. We have managed to produce the next generation of pointe shoe that incorporates the technology we see in sport shoes while maintaining the aesthetic beauty required for ballet."

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