August 26, 2010

University of Nottingham

John King

An international lectureship has been awarded to a mathematician at the University of Nottingham. John King said that maths was a subject he "latched on to" from an early age, with the encouragement of some talented teachers. His desire to become an academic, he said, was "a serious intention pretty early on", and he studied for a DPhil in industrial mathematics at the University of Oxford. He then took a two-year postdoctoral position at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, where he worked with Julian Cole. Professor King said he was an "inspirational mentor" - and, appropriately, the lectureship he has been awarded by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (Siam) is named after Professor Cole. Professor King has spent the majority of his career at Nottingham, where he has been lecturer, reader and professor, and said that one of the reasons he had stayed put was the university's support of multidisciplinary research. The Julian Cole lectureship brings with it a $1,000 (£640) prize and the opportunity to deliver a lecture at the Siam annual meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

National Institute of Mental Health, US

Nora Vyas

An academic working to understand the pathophysiology of early onset schizophrenia has been awarded a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Award, which will allow her to work with experts at the National Institute of Mental Health in Washington DC. Nora Vyas, visiting research associate at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, said her interest in the mental disorder, which affects about 1 per cent of the general population, developed during her undergraduate studies at City University London. "My interest in schizophrenia research grew stronger as I learned about treatment and management of this debilitating disorder and the impact it had on patients, carers and their families," she said. Following her undergraduate degree, she embarked on a PhD on vulnerability indicators in psychosis and completed her doctorate in 2008. Previous international recognition for her work on early onset schizophrenia has included the Young Researcher Award 2008 at the International Conference on Schizophrenia Research in India and the Young Scientist Award 2009 at the Ninth World Congress on Biological Psychiatry in France. Dr Vyas said the Fulbright scholarship was "a trophy of encouragement to pursue my dream further".

University of Essex

Richard Bartle

Richard Bartle, the scholar who co-created the first text-based multiplayer computer game, has been awarded the inaugural Online Game Legend Award. Professor Bartle will receive the accolade at a glittering awards ceremony at the October Game Developers Conference Online - "as glittering as it gets in Austin, Texas, anyway" - after being nominated in open nominations by the online game community. He developed the multi-user dungeon - or Mud - game with Roy Trubshaw, whom he met as an undergraduate at the University of Essex. Despite pioneering what later became a multi-billion-pound industry, the two released the game into the public domain rather than selling their idea. Professor Bartle went on to lecture at the University of Essex until 1987 before leaving to work in the gaming industry, "making millions for other people". He returned to Essex in 2002 and is now visiting professor and senior lecturer at the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering. He said he wanted the gaming industry to be seen as more "academically respectable" to reflect its growing importance in society and the economy. "If I'd achieved similar things in film directing, I'd be Lord Bartle by now. But games aren't treated with the respect they deserve," he said.

University of East London

John Shaw

The University of East London has appointed John Shaw as pro vice-chancellor, international. Mr Shaw is currently the head of the School of Languages and International Studies at the University of Central Lancashire. He studied for his first degree in French and Spanish at Queen Mary College in East London (now Queen Mary, University of London), after which he completed a PGCE at King's College London. He went into teaching and said he had "fond memories" of his time at Tulse Hill School for Boys in South London, but added that he was "delighted to be returning to East London; I see it, in a way, as coming home." He moved into higher education to work at the Aberdeen College of Commerce before joining Northampton College and then Uclan in 1989 as a lecturer in French and Spanish. During his time there he led the university into a number of international partnerships with Chinese institutions, and helped to establish an Ofqual-accredited examination board: Uclan was the second university in the country to achieve this after the University of Oxford. Mr Shaw said that his experience should prove useful in his new role at UEL. "I want to promote a partnership-based approach to internationalisation, building on its strengths to create a sustainable way for the university to extend its global reach," he said.

Other changes

The University of Central Lancashire has appointed Rod Dubrow-Marshall as pro vice-chancellor. Professor Dubrow-Marshall will focus on student experience in his new role, after spending the past four years as dean of humanities and social sciences at the University of Glamorgan.

Paul Younger is leaving his post as pro vice-chancellor for engagement at Newcastle University to become director of the Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability.

The University of London has appointed Christopher Pressler as its director of research library services. He is currently director of research and learning resources at the University of Nottingham.

Linden Peach has been appointed dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of Wales. Professor Peach joins from Edge Hill University.

The British Institute of International and Comparative Law has appointed Jill Barrett as senior research Fellow in public international law.

Vian Ahmed has been promoted to director of graduate studies at the University of Salford. Professor Ahmed is currently director of postgraduate research studies at Salford's School of the Built Environment.

Jeffrey Giansiracusa is to take up a fellowship in mathematical sciences at the University of Bath, joining from the University of Oxford Mathematical Institute.

Imperial College London has appointed Melanie Peter as senior assistant registrar for admissions.

Mark Osborn joins the department of science at the University of Hull as professor of microbial ecology. He has held faculty positions at the universities of Sheffield and Essex.

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