October 8, 2009

Ian Diamond, chief executive of the Economic and Social Research Council, has been announced as the next principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Aberdeen. Professor Diamond, a social statistician, was based at the University of Southampton prior to joining the ESRC, starting as a lecturer in 1980 and rising to become deputy vice-chancellor. He will succeed Sir Duncan Rice at Aberdeen, who will have led the university for 14 years when Professor Diamond takes over in October next year.

An academic from the Institute for Animal Health has been awarded a prize for his research into biting midges that spread the bluetongue virus. Simon Carpenter, head of the entomology and modelling group in the institute's vector-borne diseases programme, received the Rooker Prize for his studies into various Culicoides midge species, which transmit the disease that affects livestock. The newly established accolade is named after Lord Rooker, the former Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

A former assistant director of the Higher Education Academy has been appointed dean of the University of Glamorgan's Business School. Monica Gibson-Sweet has previously held senior positions at the University of the West of England, Leeds Metropolitan University and the University of Huddersfield. Ms Gibson-Sweet's areas of expertise include enterprise and corporate social responsibility, and she has published widely on both topics. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing's senate and is also chair of the Academy of Marketing's education sub- committee.

Christopher Alan Lewis has been named professor of psychology at Glyn-dwr University, joining from the University of Ulster where he worked for 22 years. In his new role he will take charge of a new BSc (hons) psychology degree, as well as directing psychology research at the institution. His research interests include the psychology of peace, conflict and violence, and he is co-editor of the journal Mental Health, Religion and Culture.

The University of Northampton has appointed Paul Middleton as dean of the School of Arts. He has previously worked at De Montfort University and the University of Lincoln, in roles that include head of school and head of department.

Two academics who worked together for more than 18 years have been awarded the GlaxoSmithKline International Achievement Award. Barry Potter, professor of medicinal and biological chemistry at the University of Bath, and the late Michael Reed, professor of steroid biochemistry at Imperial College London, were awarded the prize for their contribution to pharmaceutical sciences. They discovered a new family of anti-cancer drugs called steroid sulfatase inhibitors.

A doctor whose work has included developing the clinical services available to osteoporosis sufferers has been appointed director of the University of Bath's Institute of Medical Engineering. Nigel Harris, an honorary senior lecturer in the School for Health at the university, is head of clinical measurement and imaging at the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases NHS Foundation Trust. His recent research has included using assistive technology to help stroke patients in their rehabilitation at home.

A former teacher has been elected as the national chairman of the University of the Third Age (U3A), an institution serving older students. Ian Searle, whose career has included a spell as district education officer in the Solomon Islands, as well as various teaching posts in primary, secondary and preparatory schools, takes over from Jean Goodeve. U3A is made up of local self-help organisations across the UK, providing educational opportunities for older people no longer in full-time employment.

The University of East London's human resources director Mike Moore has been appointed chair of Universities Human Resources, the representative body for staff within UK and Irish universities. Mr Moore is a former director of personnel at Birkbeck, University of London and has held HR management roles at King's College London and St George's, University of London. Matthew Knight, HR director at the University of Leeds, and Jane Embley, HR director at Northumbria University, have also joined the organisation as vice-chairs.

The Glasgow School of Art is expanding its faculty with several new appointments. Craig Williamson, head of registry at the University of Strathclyde, will be the new head of academic and student services; Charles Neame, former head of the Centre for Postgraduate Learning and Teaching at Cranfield University, has been appointed a senior lecturer; Paul Chapman, former director of the Immersive Visualisation Environment Centre at the University of Hull, has joined as deputy director of the school's Digital Design Studio; Jenny Brownrigg, exhibitions department curator at the University of Dundee, has been appointed exhibitions director; and David Simpson, former technical services manager at the University of Ulster, has been named head of technical services at the institution.

A former criminal lawyer has been appointed a legal services officer at the University of Brighton. Andrew Wilson will act as secretary to the Student Complaints Panel and the Academic Appeals Committee, with responsibility for dealing with student appeals and other complaints. He will also provide legal services at the institution. For the past ten years, Mr Wilson has specialised in employment law.

Kath McCourt has been named dean of the School of Health, Community and Education Studies at Northumbria University. Her promotion comes two years after she was handed a professorship in nurse leadership and workforce development and education. Professor McCourt began her career as a nurse and midwife, working at Newcastle General Hospital before taking on posts in Germany and America. She has also previously worked with the Egyptian Ministry on health and population issues, and has held several other international roles in related fields.

A former member of the armed forces has joined the University of Glamorgan. Alan Hawley takes on the position of professor of disaster studies and will also head the new Disasters and Resilience Centre at the institution. Professor Hawley joins Glamorgan after 34 years in the Army, where he served in countries including Bosnia, Rwanda, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Iraq, and most recently held the post of director general of the Army Medical Services.

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