An academic who analyses risk and uncertainty - from the earthquake in Japan to what we eat and drink - has been appointed director of Teesside University's Social Futures Institute (Sofi). Paul Crawshaw said his own research interests focus on the sociology of risk and how we use risk and uncertainty to predict our own futures. "We could be talking about cataclysmic events such as the earthquake in Japan or the hurricane in New Orleans - things beyond our control. But there is another side to the sociology of risk that is concerned with how our diet, lifestyle and exercise regimes are used as a way to try to predict our futures and our future selves." Dr Crawshaw joined Teesside University in 1998 as a research assistant and, as well as being director of Sofi, is assistant dean in the School of Social Sciences & Law. He described his new role as providing a hub for the research activity within social sciences and law at Teesside. "The satisfaction really comes from being part of local, national and international networks that are working towards the same ends," he said.
The University of Leicester has appointed Chris Wallace as professor of economics. Professor Wallace originally studied at the London School of Economics for an economics degree and remained at the institution for a master's in econometrics and mathematical economics. In 1995, he moved to the University of Oxford to study for a doctorate in economics at Nuffield College. While completing his doctorate, he was a stipendiary lecturer in economics at St Catherine's College and New College. Between 1998 and 2000 he was Open Prize research Fellow at Nuffield College. In 2000, he was appointed Fellow and tutor in economics at Trinity College and lecturer in economics at Oxford. In 2010 he was promoted to professor. Despite spending a long time in the Oxford system, Professor Wallace said he was looking forward to the different teaching dynamics of Leicester. "At Oxford the balance is towards teaching very small groups," he said. "At Leicester, I'm looking forward to teaching bigger groups - where I face the intellectual challenge of explaining issues both to students who know a lot about game theory and students who know less about it."
A researcher who discovered the first new chlorophyll in 67 years has been honoured for her work with the Australian Science Minister's Prize for Life Scientist of the Year. Min Chen, associate professor in biological sciences and QEII Fellow at the University of Sydney, said she was "surprised and pleased" to have won the award. However, when first told about it, she was unable to show her delight. "I received a phone call at 5am when I was at a conference in Finland, but I couldn't share my news with others because it was confidential, but it was hard to keep quiet." Professor Chen studied for her undergraduate and master's degrees at the Northeast Normal University in China. She went to Australia after her husband was offered a job there. Professor Chen was taken on as an honorary assistant at Sydney and, after two years, received funding to study for her PhD. Upon completion of her doctorate in 2003, she moved to the Australian National University as a postdoctoral Fellow, before returning to Sydney the next year as Australian Research Council Fellow. She took up her current role in 2008. She described her discovery of a new form of chlorophyll as "one of those serendipitous moments of scientific discovery" and added: "My science career in Australia has been an amazing journey."
Rick Millane, professor and head of the department of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Canterbury, in Christchurch, has been awarded a James Cook research fellowship. The fellowships have been awarded to four New Zealand researchers who have demonstrated that they have achieved national and international recognition in their area of scientific research. Professor Millane said: "The benefit of the fellowship is that it will allow me some uninterrupted time to devote to research that I hope will contribute to New Zealand's skill-base and stature in biomolecular imaging." Professor Millane received his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Canterbury and remained at the institution to complete a PhD in the subject. In 1982, he moved to Purdue University in the US, where he remained for nearly two decades. During his time there, he was postdoctoral associate, assistant professor, associate professor and professor in the engineering department. In 2001 he returned to Canterbury as associate professor and took up his current role in 2003. Professor Millane was awarded his fellowship for research entitled "Imaging biological macromolecules with X-ray free-electron lasers". He said: "This is a new area of research and the success of the technique will depend on solving a number of challenging data-processing problems."
Five members of the Association of University Administrators have been appointed as Fellows in recognition of their contribution to the work of the AUA and management practice within the sector. They are: James Craig, faculty accountant, University of Leeds; Ann Hartley, associate director of human resources, Aston University; Carol Hughes, former associate director of liaison services, Information Services Division, University of Salford; Jayne O'Neill, teaching administrator, Queen's University Belfast; and Helen Uglow, deputy secretary, London Business School.
Bob O'Keefe has been appointed dean of the Faculty of Management and Economics at Royal Holloway, University of London. He joins from the University of Surrey, where he is professor of information management.
Alun Davies, professor of neuroscience at Cardiff University, has been elected a member of Academia Europaea (the Academy of Europe).
Emma Leech, director of communications and marketing at the University of Nottingham, has been appointed to the academic senate of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
Malcolm Higgs, professor of human resources and organisational behaviour, is the new director of the Management School at the University of Southampton. Professor Higgs joined Southampton in 2007 from Henley Management College.
Graham Caie has been elected the vice-president (arts and letters) of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland's National Academy of Science and Letters. He is currently vice-principal and clerk of senate of the University of Glasgow and deputy chair of the board of trustees of the National Library of Scotland. He also holds the chair of English language at Glasgow.