June 18, 2009

Edward Steers, a retired physicist at London Metropolitan University, has been awarded a DSc in recognition of a career in research spanning 50 years. The award was announced at a celebration attended by former colleagues, graduate students and collaborators from across Europe who had taken part in his European Union-funded Gladnet project. Professor Steers, who was first appointed a lecturer in physics at the Northern Polytechnic in 1959, remains an active researcher in atomic spectroscopy.

A University of Liverpool historian has been awarded a prestigious fellowship to research the American Revolution using collections at the Library of Congress. Holger Hoock, a reader in the School of History, has been elected to a Kluge fellowship, which enables international scholars to study at the John W. Kluge Centre at the Library of Congress in Washington DC. Dr Hoock will use the library's collections to investigate the practices and representations of violence and terror in the American Revolutionary War and their impact on American patriots and loyalists, British forces and their German auxiliaries, as well as Native Americans.

June Thoburn, emeritus professor in the School of Social Work and Psychology at the University of East Anglia, has been appointed to the board of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service. The organisation champions the interests of children involved in family proceedings, providing independent advice to the family courts in England, and is one of the largest employers of qualified social workers in Europe. Professor Thoburn's research interests centre on finding innovative ways of helping social workers use knowledge from a range of sources in their practice.

Three senior researchers at the universities of Cambridge, Oxford and Edinburgh have received British Heart Foundation (BHF) chair awards. Nick Morrell, University of Cambridge, has been awarded the first-ever BHF chair of cardiopulmonary medicine to boost his research into the causes and progression of pulmonary hypertension. Shoumo Bhattacharya, a fellow of Green Templeton College, Oxford, has been awarded the BHF chair of cardiovascular medicine. His research aims to decipher the genetic causes and contributors to congenital heart defects and heart failure. David Newby, of the University of Edinburgh, has been awarded the BHF chair of cardiology, in recognition partly of his investigations into how the human body protects itself from blood clots, and the effects of air pollution on this natural defence mechanism.

Geoff Simm has been appointed the new academic director for the Scottish Agricultural College. At present, Professor Simm manages SAC's sustainable livestock systems group. His new role will involve building strong relationships with the Scottish Funding Council, the Scottish Government and other research and education institutions across the UK and beyond.

Physicist and broadcaster Kathy Sykes is to be awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Gloucestershire. The professor of sciences and society at the University of Bristol is co-founder and continuing director of the Cheltenham Science Festival. Professor Sykes has campaigned passionately on engaging the public with all aspects of science - including medicine, maths, engineering and social sciences.

The University of the West of Scotland has announced the retirement of David Rigg from the post of secretary to court. Mr Rigg, who joined the institution in 1979, held a range of key management roles during his career. Following the merger of the University of Paisley and Bell College in 2007, he was appointed the first university secretary of the University of the West of Scotland. Donna McMillan, who previously held the post of academic registrar and director of the quality enhancement unit at the university, has taken up the new dual role of academic registrar and secretary to court.

Bruce Yardley, of the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds, has been awarded a Humboldt Research Award by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The award is given to academics whose fundamental discoveries, new theories or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements in the future. He will spend 12 months carrying out research in Germany, based primarily at the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) and at the Free University in Berlin.

The new head of the University of Southampton's School of Education is Jacky Lumby. Professor Lumby has researched and published on leadership and management in schools and colleges, both in the UK and internationally. She has taught in a range of educational settings, including secondary schools, and adult, community and further education colleges. She has also worked for a training and enterprise council, developing leaders across the public and private sectors.

Kate Johnston has been appointed dean of the faculty of education, community and leisure at Liverpool John Moores University. Ms Johnston has been the director of academic delivery for the faculty for the past four years, leading staff working on a wide range of education, sport, tourism and consumer programmes.

An academic from the University of Lincoln has been appointed to a national commission set up by the Prime Minister to support England's nurses and midwives. Laura Serrant-Green, professor of community and public health nursing at Lincoln's School of Health and Social Care, is one of 21 members of the Prime Minister's Commission on the Future of Nursing and Midwifery in England.

Alan St Clair Gibson has joined the University of Worcester's Institute of Sport and Exercise Science as a visiting professor. Professor St Clair Gibson is currently director of research and chair of sports science at Northumbria University. He will be working with the senior management team at Worcester to develop and assist research projects by staff and students.

Ann Marie Di Mambro has been appointed lecturer on Glasgow Caledonian University's new MA in TV fiction writing. During her career as a television dramatist, Ms Di Mambro has written for shows including EastEnders, Casualty and Taggart. The qualification has been created in collaboration with Shed, the production company behind dramas including Footballers' Wives and Bad Girls.

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