Appointments

January 28, 2010

A professor of applied mathematics and solar physics at the University of Sheffield has been appointed director of the High Altitude Observatory and associate director of the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Colorado. Michael Thompson is a former professor of physics at Imperial College London, and will stay on as a visiting professor at the institution following his appointments in America. His research focuses on the seismology of the interior of the Sun and other stars.

An alumnus of the University of the West of England has been made pro vice-chancellor and executive dean of the institution's Bristol Business School. In her most recent post as associate dean of the school, Jane Harrington was involved in the academic development of programmes. Prior to that, she worked as a researcher and lecturer at UWE. Her expertise is in human resource management, with a particular interest in equality and research methodology.

Allan Sutherland, an author, scriptwriter and performance poet who articulates the lives of disabled people, has been named artist-in-residence at the Centre for Citizen Participation at Brunel University. Mr Sutherland will be interviewing users of the centre and intends to produce four collections of poems, which will be published by Disability Arts Online. Peter Beresford, the centre's director, described his appointment as a breakthrough for research and learning at the centre.

A team of early-career scientists from the University of Cambridge and Imperial College London have been honoured for their outstanding entrepreneurial skills in developing a hypothetical company. Fan Cheng, Lizzy Day, Harry Harris, Sarah Leigh-Brown and Daniel Naujoks won the Biotechnology Young Entrepreneurs Scheme 2009 competition for their work devising Gluten Replacement Technologies Ltd, an imaginary company producing a cheap, non-allergenic alternative to gluten. They beat 13 other teams to win the annual prize, which is presented by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the University of Nottingham's Institute for Enterprise and Innovation. They will now be provided with help to develop their research into a viable business.

The Royal Astronomical Society has announced the recipients of its medals and awards for 2010, honouring outstanding contributions to astronomy and geophysics. The prizes will be handed out in April at the 2010 National Astronomy Meeting. The gold medal for astronomy will be awarded to Douglas Gough, emeritus professor of theoretical astrophysics, University of Cambridge; and the gold medal for geophysics to John Woodhouse, professor of geophysics, University of Oxford. James Hough, director of astronomy research, University of Hertfordshire, is named winner of the Herschel medal; Bernard Roberts, professor of solar magneto-hydrodynamics, University of St Andrews, is to receive the Chapman medal; and Craig Mackay, professor of image science, University of Cambridge, will be awarded the Jackson-Gwilt medal. The Fowler prize for astronomy will go to Barbara Ercolano, of the Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge; and the Fowler prize for geophysics to Ineke de Moortel, of the School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of St Andrews. Elizabeth Stanway, of the department of physics, University of Bristol, will receive the Winton Capital prize in astronomy; and David Robinson, of the department of earth sciences, University of Oxford, will be awarded the Winton Capital prize in geophysics. The award for service to astronomy will go Francisco Sanchez, of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, while Frank Lowes, formerly of the physics department, Newcastle University, is named as the recipient of the award for service to geophysics. The group achievement award for astronomy will go to the SuperWASP team, consisting of the University of Cambridge, the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes, Keele University, University of Leicester, The Open University, Queen's University Belfast and the University of St Andrews. The group achievement award for geophysics will be awarded to the CHIANTI consortium, a team of scientists that developed the Atomic Database for Spectroscopic Diagnostics of Astrophysical Plasmas. The next Darwin lecture will be given by Carlos Frenk, director of the Institute for Computational Cosmology, Durham University; and the Harold Jeffreys lecture will be given by Stephen Miller, professor of science communication and planetary science, University College London.

Anglia Ruskin University has appointed two visiting professors to its faculty of health and social care. Graham Ramsay, chief executive of Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust, has been made visiting professor within acute care. Prior to joining Mid Essex Hospitals, he was the medical director and deputy chief executive at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust. Jenny Hunt has been appointed visiting professor of nursing. She has been involved in nursing research since the late 1960s, and was the founding director of the Nursing Research Initiative for Scotland.

Personnel changes have been announced at the Royal College of Art. Jeremy Myerson, director of the college's InnovationRCA network for business, is to step down to concentrate on his role as the first Helen Hamlyn chair of design. John Bound, head of innovation development, and Nadia Danhash, intellectual property manager, have been jointly appointed to replace Professor Myerson. Also at the college, Rama Gheerawo has been named deputy director of the Helen Hamlyn Centre, which focuses on "people- centred" design.

The founding chief scientific officer of SemBioSys Genetics Inc, a biotechnology firm based in Canada, has been named director and chief executive of Rothamsted Research. Maurice Moloney, an expert on plant cell biology, will join the agricultural research centre, which is run by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, in April. Professor Moloney, who has published over 80 scientific papers and holds more than 300 patents in the field of plant biotechnology, succeeds Ian Crute in the role.

A Lancaster University academic this week contributed to a chronic diseases session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Cary Cooper, distinguished professor of organisational psychology at Lancaster's Management School, joined heads of state, government ministers and industry leaders at the forum, where issues such as climate change, health, agriculture and food safety were discussed. He attended as chair of the WEF's Global Agenda Council for Chronic Disease and Wellbeing.

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