A professor who left school at the age of 17, determined to turn his back on traditional forms of education, has had his work recognised by a royal award. Simon Denny, associate dean at the University of Northampton's Business School, has received the Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion. He said that when he left school to join the British Army, he made a decision to never read a book again, which, he said, "really does prove what a prat I was back then". Professor Denny changed his mind when the army, in which he served for a decade, sent him to study for a BA at the University of Exeter. "By the third year, I came to really enjoy the university experience," he recalled. He went on to study for a master's degree at the University of Warwick in his spare time, while rising "to the dizzy heights" of captain in the army. After leaving the forces, Professor Denny went to work for Tesco, running its corporate management-development department. After six years with the supermarket, he moved to Nene College, which became the University of Northampton in 2005. He has worked there ever since. Professor Denny said that the move to the academy was an easy one to make. "I enjoy the process of knowledge acquisition," he said, adding that a university was "an excellent work environment because it gives you autonomy, especially if you can raise money". In 2004, Professor Denny won a European grant to develop consistent and comprehensive business-support packages for people in Northampton. Since then, he has raised £8 million to aid enterprise promotion and new business start-ups in the wider region. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2008. Professor Denny said that the Queen's Award recognised not only his achievement, but also that of the "fantastic team that I just happen to lead".
The newly appointed dean of the School of Arts and Humanities at Nottingham Trent University can trace his love of his specialism back to holidays in France as a boy. Murray Pratt began his university career as an undergraduate at the University of Glasgow, before going on to study for a DPhil on contemporary French autobiography at the University of Oxford. He said his interest in France sprang from family holidays and his love of French literature. "The combination of both really got me exploring how French culture differed from British culture," Professor Pratt said. After his DPhil, he left Oxford to take up a position at the University of Warwick, where he taught for 10 years. A move to the University of Technology, Sydney followed, sparking an interest in the internationalisation of higher education. Professor Pratt brought this interest with him when he joined Nottingham Trent as academic team leader for languages and international studies in 2008 and introduced global studies to the syllabus. He served as vice-president of the Australian Society for French Studies in 2006-07 and is the director of Links into Languages, East Midlands. Professor Pratt said he was passionate about enhancing student-exchange opportunities and that his own experience of working in Lyon for a year as a language teaching assistant was something he wanted to share. "By living and working in another country, I discovered the potential for academic growth," Professor Pratt said. "It's incredible, and something I want to pass on."
Queen Mary, University of London
After working for 24 years at University College London, Trish Greenhalgh has moved on to pastures new at another of the capital's universities. The professor of primary healthcare at Queen Mary, University of London said she had joined the institution "because of its very strong links to the local community, its organisation and its delivery of health services". The scholar added: "I do work in the East End, and have done for a long time. In the end, some colleagues asked: 'Why don't you just come here?'" Professor Greenhalgh has always been fascinated by medicine. "I was about three when I got my first doctor's outfit," she admitted. She said she believed that the future of the discipline would be increasingly interdisciplinary, and in her new role she will help to set up the Healthcare Innovation and Policy Unit in the Centre for Health Sciences at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. Professor Greenhalgh said that it was an important time to be starting such a unit: "Lots of research now doesn't get done in ivory towers, it gets done in the community," she explained. The professor said that her experiences as a child of moving around the country influenced her research into the social and political aspects of medicine. "I personally experienced different healthcare systems and I can see that it is not just about the isolated bit of healthcare, it is also about the way in which it is accessed and delivered." A former member of the British Triathlon Team, Professor Greenhalgh said she was excited by the thought of cycling 24 miles on her daily commute. She took up her new post at the beginning of April.
The University of Nottingham has appointed 20 new professors in the research and teaching promotions round for 2010. They are: Svenja Adolphs, chair in English language and linguistics; Richard Marsden, chair in old English; Lynda Pratt, chair in modern English literature; Alan Booth, chair in history; Rosemary Chapman, chair in Francophone Canadian studies; Ed Lester, chair in chemical technologies; Barrie Hayes-Gill, chair in electronic systems and medical devices; Stephen Morgan, chair in biomedical engineering; Margot Feelbetter, chair in orthopaedic sciences; Alan Smyth, chair in child health; Reg Dennick, chair in medical education; Natalio Krasnogor, chair in applied interdisciplinary computing; Morgan Alexander, chair in biomedical surfaces; David Barrett, chair in analytical bioscience; Christopher Conselice, chair in astrophysics; Wyn Morgan, chair in economics; Dino Kritsiotis, chair in public international law; Sue Tempest, chair in strategic management and learning; Paul Martin, chair in science and technology studies; and Alison Pilnick, chair in language, medicine and society.
The NZ-UK Link Foundation, in collaboration with the University of London, has awarded the UK's first Link visiting professorship to Margaret Wilson, professor of law and public policy at Waikato University in New Zealand.
Stephen Wood has joined the University of Leicester as professor of management and director of research in the School of Management. He was previously deputy director of the Institute of Work Psychology at the University of Sheffield.
Dennis Tourish, deputy director of research at Kent Business School, has been made one of the founding Fellows of the Leadership Trust Foundation.