August 13, 2009

William Wakeham, vice-chancellor of the University of Southampton, has been appointed chair of the South East Physics Network, an association of six university physics departments: the universities of Kent, Southampton, Surrey, Sussex, Queen Mary, University of London and Royal Holloway, University of London. The network is supported by a five-year £12.5 million Higher Education Funding Council for England grant.

A professor from Bangor University has been awarded a Royal Society accolade for his work on retrieving metals from mine wastewaters. Barrie Johnson, from Bangor's School of Biological Sciences, received a Brian Mercer Feasibility Award of £28,000 to develop methods for treating acidic mine pollution and recovering the metals present.

Two academics have been appointed executive committee members at the Political Studies Association, which aims to develop study in the field. Kevin Hickson is a lecturer and researcher in British politics at the University of Liverpool, and Iain McLean is a professor of politics at the University of Oxford and a fellow of Nuffield College.

Heather Ross, a lecturer from The Robert Gordon University's Gray's School of Art, took first prize at the Aberdeen Artists' Society Exhibition 2009. Her two submissions were based on the book The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, which explores female oppression within a patriarchal society.

David Brigden has been recruited as director of learning and teaching at the School of Medical Sciences at Bangor University. Professor Brigden began his academic career as a microbiologist but has since moved to focus primarily on higher education, with spells at the universities of Liverpool and Cape Town.

Piers Blaikie, emeritus professor in geography at the University of East Anglia, has received an honorary doctorate from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology for his contributions to geography.

The University of Worcester has appointed Dawn Brooker professor of dementia studies. She will also head a new multi-agency association to improve the care of people with the condition.

Ian Allison, head of The Robert Gordon University's School of Computing, has been selected to join the board of ScotlandIS, a trade body for the information and communication technology industry.

Tord Boontje has been appointed professor and head of design products at the Royal College of Art. He will continue to run his own design company alongside his new duties.

The University of Bradford has promoted a prominent HIV and Aids campaigner. Nana Poku has been appointed dean of social and international studies, succeeding John Cusworth in the position.

Mads Andenas, professor of law at the University of Leicester, has been appointed to the UN Human Rights Council's working group on arbitrary detention. His work will focus on special procedure mandates.

A scientist with links to the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA) has been honoured for his work on the development of superconductors. J.C. Seamus Davis, SUPA distinguished research professor at the University of St Andrews, is one of the winners of the 2009 Kamerlingh Onnes Prize. Professor Davis shares the award with his colleague John Tranquada at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, and Aharon Kapitulnik, of Stanford University.

The University of Westminster has appointed Jason Chuah head of the department of advanced legal studies in the School of Law. He is currently professor of international commercial law, and his new role will involve providing academic leadership and strategic direction for the department.

Jon Coaffee has joined the University of Birmingham's Centre for Urban and Regional Studies as chair of spatial planning.

A former adviser to Manchester United Football Club has been appointed honorary visiting professor at the University of Manchester. Paul Strzelecki, who was a technology and business adviser to the club, joins the university's School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council has announced three new board members, who will take responsibility for determining its policy, priorities and strategy: Tim Pedley, professor of fluid mechanics, University of Cambridge; Pierre-Louis Viollet, vice-president for research and development co-ordination and partnership at EDF; and David Watson, director of emerging technology at IBM's Hursley Laboratory in Hampshire.

Lord Norton of Louth, professor of government at the University of Hull, has been elected co-chair of the Parliamentary University Group.

Christopher Snowden, vice-chancellor and chief executive of the University of Surrey, has been awarded the 2009 Distinguished Educator Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in the US. He becomes the first British citizen to receive the award.

Chris Pickett, professor of chemistry at the University of East Anglia, has been awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry's Ludwig Mond Award for his research into inorganic chemistry.

John Gribbin, visiting research fellow in astronomy at the University of Sussex, has received a lifetime achievement award from the World Conference of Science Journalists in recognition of his science writing.

A visiting professor at Kingston University has been selected as a member of the independent inquiry into the Iraq War. Sir Roderic Lyne, also a member of Kingston's board of governors, joins the committee chaired by Sir John Chilcot.

Bob Fryer has been named the new chair of the Campaign for Learning, a charity that promotes social inclusion through education. Professor Fryer was previously the chief learning adviser and director of widening participation at the Department of Health. He takes over from Simon Fuchs.

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