A historian who stood in anti-apartheid picket lines in London in the 1980s is now researching the movement as part of her new role at the University of Leicester. Helen Yaffe, who has previously specialised in the history of Latin America, has joined the department of geography at Leicester as a research associate on the project Non-stop Against Apartheid: The Spaces of Transnational Solidarity. The project, which marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Nelson Mandela, will research and tell the story of the "non-stop picket", maintained from 1986 to 1990 by the City of London Anti-Apartheid Group outside the South African embassy in Trafalgar Square. Dr Yaffe said she was "totally thrilled" to be part of a "very important, very original project". Dr Yaffe has previously worked as a teaching Fellow of Latin American history at University College London and the London School of Economics, and completed her PhD in the economic history department at the LSE. Her thesis was adapted for publication in 2009 as Che Guevara: The Economics of Revolution. Dr Yaffe said her decision to change her focus to apartheid history was motivated by a mix of professional and personal considerations. As well as her own experiences of the non-stop picket, the project would enable her to use skills in original archive work and interviewing, she said.
An alumnus of the University of East London has become a member of its senior staff. Selena Bolingbroke has been appointed pro vice-chancellor (strategic planning and external development), and will help to plan the university's approach to 2012 recruitment, as well as its employability and enterprise schemes. Ms Bolingbroke said the university's aim was to become "the best in Europe for women's entrepreneurship by the end of the decade". She will also lead UEL's efforts to become the best university in London for sports by 2015, following a huge investment in facilities. Among Ms Bolingbroke's other responsibilities will be overseeing both distance learning and community outreach, something she is already involved with as a governor at Barking & Dagenham College. Her involvement with UEL has been a long-standing one, as a former undergraduate and students' union president at its precursor, the Polytechnic of East London. She said: "It is very special to come back to my home university as a senior staff member. It is a delight to find that, although much has changed, UEL's values remain the same."
An academic who has spent 50 years working in the field of aeroacoustics has been honoured by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Martin Lowson, senior research Fellow in the department of aerospace engineering at the University of Bristol, was presented with the institute's Aeroacoustics Award. The achievements recognised by the award include work in the 1960s that led to the development of quiet blade machinery, and subsequent work that improved understanding of noise generation and reduction in compressors and helicopter rotors. Subsequently, he became chief engineer for Westland's BERP rotor blade, which helped set the world speed record for helicopters in 1986 of 249.1mph - a record that remains in place 25 years later. Professor Lowson has previously won the 2001 Altran Prize for Innovations to Improve Urban Quality of Life; the 1997 British Wind Energy Association's Award for Research; the 1994 Queen's Award for Technology; and the 1992 Royal Aeronautical Society's Busk Prize for the best paper in aerodynamics. He said of his latest prize:"It is very satisfying to have my older achievements recognised. I feel very lucky to have been present at, and part of, the development of new science."
A US Army colonel is to join Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation as a senior researcher. Joseph Felter will help to create a research programme focusing on counter-insurgency and counterterrorism, as part of the Empirical Studies of Conflict Project. The programme will be run by academics from Stanford, Princeton University, Yale University, the London School of Economics and the University of California. Dr Felter, who has a master's degree from Harvard University and a PhD from Stanford, served in the army for 24 years, including on special forces assignments, as a company commander in East and Southeast Asia, as well as in Panama and Iraq. He recently served in Afghanistan as commander of a counter-insurgency advisory and assistance team, advising General Stanley McChrystal and General David Petraeus. He said that throughout his military career he has "been impressed with the value of rigorous and empirically supported efforts to inform policy". He said of his new appointment: "I hope to contribute to efforts to develop more effective policy and more efficacious approaches to the difficult security challenges we face around the world."
Les Ebdon, vice-chancellor of the University of Bedfordshire, has been appointed deputy lieutenant for Bedfordshire.
The Association of University Administrators has made a number of appointments. Matthew Andrews, academic registrar at Oxford Brookes University, is the new chair-elect. Mr Andrews will serve as vice-chair, and will take up his new role on 1 August 2012. Rachel Birds, head of biological services at the University of Sheffield, and Kathryn Fowler, college registrar at the University of Aberdeen, have both been elected AUA trustees for a three-year term starting this month.
Peter Strike has taken up the role of vice-chancellor of the University of Cumbria. Professor Strike was previously deputy vice-chancellor for research, knowledge exchange and business engagement at the University of Sunderland.
Huw Taylor has been appointed professor of microbial ecology by the University of Brighton. He was previously reader in public health microbiology.
Janet Beer, vice-chancellor of Oxford Brookes University, and Chris Brink, vice-chancellor of Newcastle University, have been elected joint chairs of the board of directors of the Equality Challenge Unit. Mark Cleary, vice-chancellor and principal of the University of Bradford, will also join the board.
Munir Morad has joined Anglia Ruskin University as deputy dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology. He was previously head of the department of urban, environment and leisure studies at London South Bank University.