It was the white coats of the pharmacists at his local Boots store in Skegness that inspired Theo Raynor to pursue a degree in the field. Now Professor Raynor, currently professor of pharmacy practice at the University of Leeds and a former hospital pharmacist, has been invited to become a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. Professor Raynor spent 20 years working in hospital pharmacy practices before moving into academia in 1995. He said his experience of working in pharmacy inspired him to take on a research career full-time. "I was already doing research while I was a practitioner but the idea of an 'informed patient' was not being thought about," he said. "I sometimes felt that I was banging my head against a brick wall trying to persuade people that it mattered what went on the label of a bottle." Professor Raynor added that he was delighted to be recognised for his work. "I feel privileged to have spent half of my career at the sharp end with patients and the other half trying to improve the issues that I felt needed doing: how we speak to patients and what we tell them."
A researcher specialising in air traffic management has been recognised with an award for his work in the area. Sameer Alam, senior research associate at the University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy, has received the Australian Capital Territory Young Tall Poppy of the Year Award from the Australian Institute of Policy and Science for 2011. The Young Tall Poppy awards recognise excellence in early career research and a capacity to communicate science to a broader audience. Dr Alam was awarded the prize for his work on the environmental impacts of air traffic, and said that the award would spur him on in the field. "This award motivates me to further my research efforts towards enabling safe, efficient, robust and green air transportation," he said. Dr Alam studied for an undergraduate degree in mathematics at the University of Rajasthan in India and remained at the institution to complete a master's in industrial economics. He studied for a further master's in computer science at the Birla Institute of Technology before moving to New South Wales, where he was awarded his doctorate in 2008. As well as his general research topics, Dr Alam lists his "research fun" topics as general aviation flying and air crash investigation.
Graeme Harper has been appointed director of the Honors College and professor at Oakland University. Professor Harper, who is currently visiting research professor at the University of Texas and director of research for the College of Arts and Humanities at Bangor University in Wales, is an author as well as an academic, and writes his fiction as his "other self" Brooke Biaz. "It was a strange thing; it emerged out of nowhere," he said of Brooke's creation. "I like the 'performativity' of it. It's not separating the academic from the creative practitioner - that's exactly what I'd argue against, and that's not how I'd look at it. It's just a comfortable way to explore voice. Off you go into Brooke world and Brooke world is a different world. It's not my world; that's what's fun about it." Professor Harper completed a doctorate in creative arts at the University of Technology, Sydney and came to the UK to study for a doctorate in creative writing at the University of East Anglia after seeing a brochure featuring Malcolm Bradbury, the course's founder. "I thought it looked interesting, so I went there," he explained. Professor Harper was also the founder of Creative Universities, which he described as "an initiative to show people how creativity is a core for innovation". He added: "Universities should be highlighting what they do as creative environments."
King's College London
Ludmilla Jordanova has been appointed a trustee of the National Museum of Science and Industry. Professor Jordanova, chair in modern history at King's College London, describes the development of her career as "organic". She began her studies as a science student, but that changed when she took a course on the history and philosophy of science in her second undergraduate year at the University of Cambridge. "It was like falling in love," she said. "I just thought: 'wow, this is interesting'." She remained at Cambridge to complete a doctorate on French science of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. She has taught at the universities of Oxford, York, East Anglia, Cambridge and Essex. At UEA, an appointment to the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts took her "rather unexpectedly" into the area of museology; she later followed this with a master's degree in art history at Essex. "I took that degree to try to understand how people in other disciplines use visual material," she said. Professor Jordanova said that the trustee appointment would help her with her academic life. "There are themes that become vivid because you have that experience," she said. She described a previous trusteeship, at the National Portrait Gallery, as the "highlight of my life".
Mark Hector has been appointed dean of dentistry at the University of Dundee. Professor Hector, who will also occupy a chair in oral health of children, was previously at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry.
Philip Gilmartin has joined the University of East Anglia as dean of the Faculty of Science. Professor Gilmartin joins UEA from Durham University, where he was principal of St Mary's College and professor in the School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences.
The Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery at King's College London has appointed two new chairs based within the National Nursing Research Unit. Jill Maben, director of the NNRU, has been appointed chair in nursing research, and Glenn Robert will take on the role of chair of healthcare quality and innovation.
Jon Sibson, a partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, has been appointed dean of the Business School at the University of Greenwich. He is currently leader of the government and public sector practice at PwC, and a member of its global government leadership team.
Leigh Sparks has been named as the first head of the University of Stirling's new Stirling Graduate School. Professor Sparks is currently professor of retail studies at Stirling, where he has been based since 1992.
Linda Burke has been appointed dean of the School of Health and Social Care at the University of Greenwich. Dr Burke joins from the Nursing and Midwifery Council, where she is head of revalidation.