February 4, 2010

The president of the European Research Council is to step down to devote more time to his research at Imperial College London. Over the past three years, Fotis Kafatos, who also chairs the ERC's scientific council, has been instrumental in developing the council's ambition to create a "champions league" of researchers from across the EU. A new president will now be elected from among the council's 22 members, while Professor Kafatos will continue as a member of the scientific council. The ERC was launched by the EU in 2007 to enhance "frontier research" in Europe.

The head of a UK-based international energy company has been named the first patron of the University of Dundee's Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy. Sir Robert Wilson is currently chairman of the BG Group, and in his new post will aim to expand the centre's links with the energy and mining industries. The centre has masters and doctorate degree programmes, and carries out research on areas of international concern relating to energy and mineral law, economics and policy.

The director of the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge has been named the next president of the Singapore Management University. Arnoud De Meyer, professor of management studies, took over as director in 2006 and will step down in August before moving to Singapore in September. Prior to joining Cambridge, Professor De Meyer was the founding dean of Insead's Singapore campus.

An eminent figure in international biomedical science has been appointed director of the School of Biosciences at Cardiff University. Ole Petersen, a fellow of the Royal Society who has authored more than 300 academic articles, moved to the UK from Denmark in 1975. His research has focused on the causes of pancreatic cancer. In his new role, he will establish a scientific advisory board which will provide advice on research policy.

Russell Mannion has taken on the newly created post of professor of healthcare systems at the University of Birmingham's Health Services Management Centre. The founding director of the University of York's Centre for Health and Public Services Management, Professor Mannion is also a visiting professor at the University of Oslo and visiting fellow at Bocconi University in Milan.

In other Birmingham appointments, Stefan Wolff, professor of political science at the University of Nottingham, is to join as professor of international security in the College of Social Sciences. Kathleen Armour, director of research at Loughborough University's School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, will also move to Birmingham as professor of education and sport.

The University of Leeds has named Patsy Stark as director of clinical skills and professor of clinical education in its faculty of medicine and health. A former consultant to the British Council in Egypt, Professor Stark was previously based at the University of Sheffield.

A former MBA student and teaching fellow at Lancaster University's Management School has been appointed its new MBA director. Chris Saunders previously directed executive education programmes for Lancaster's corporate and non-profit clients and was deputy MBA director at the institution. He replaces Oliver Westall who has retired after 40 years at the institution.

A University of Salford professor has been confirmed as president-elect of the Association of Dental Implantology (ADI). Cemal Ucer is a specialist oral surgeon at Salford's School of Health, Sport and Rehabilitation Sciences, and is also the clinical lead for the diploma and masters programme in implant dentistry. He has been an active member of the ADI as its North West representative, and will officially take up the presidency in two years.

A new pro vice-chancellor (operations) has been appointed at Glyndwr University. Allan Howells will take on the recently created post, which includes responsibility for administrative functions and academic support services at the institution. He was previously director of academic services at Keele University, where he was involved in restructuring its academic framework.

A visiting academic at The Robert Gordon University, who is also the director of an architectural firm, has been granted a major commission. Neil Gillespie, visiting professor at the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment, has been commissioned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to develop a new £15 million facility for the national nuclear archive. His firm, Reiach and Hall Architects, is due to complete the project in 2013.

The former performance director of UK Athletics has been recruited by the University of Central Lancashire's School of Sport, Tourism and the Outdoors. Dave Collins will take on the position of professor of coaching and performance, working with athletes and coaches. Also at Uclan, Thankom Arun has been appointed professor of development finance and public policy, Andrei Zvelindovsky has been made professor of computational and theoretical physics and Warwick Fox has been appointed professor in philosophy.

Four new appointments have been announced in the University of East Anglia's faculty of health. Val Lattimer is the new head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery, joining from the University of Southampton. Jacqueline Collier, a health psychologist and nurse, will take on the role of head of the School of Allied Health Professions from April. Alastair Watson, who also joins the institution in April, has been appointed chair in translational medicine. His main research interests are in gastroenterology, colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease. And John Saxton, who researches the effects of exercise on the survival rates of heart and cancer patients, is to take up the post of professor of clinical exercise physiology in March.

A director of postgraduate environmental education at the University of Abertay Dundee has been appointed to the governing body of a French higher education institution. Joe Akunna joins the council of the Ecole Superieure d'Ingenieurs des Travaux de la Construction (ESITC), where he will be involved in developing its research policy. ESITC has been working with Dr Akunna and his colleagues at Abertay's Urban Water Technology Centre as it seeks to develop its research into water and wastewater.

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