A scientist who enjoys "physics on the edge" has been appointed professor of biomaterials at the University of Huddersfield. Susan Kilcoyne, formerly associate dean for research and professor of materials at the University of Salford, studied for her undergraduate degree in physics at the University of Liverpool. She remained there to complete her doctorate and then became a senior research assistant at the university. Professor Kilcoyne spent time at the University of Southampton as an experimental officer and at the University of Reading as a research assistant. After a spell as a higher scientific officer at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, she spent a five-year stretch at the University of St Andrews as senior research fellow. In 2000, she moved to the University of Leeds as senior lecturer. She was appointed a professor at Salford in 2006 and was made an associate dean in 2009. Professor Kilcoyne said that she enjoyed "the interplay between biology and physics. I have always been interested in science at the interface between disciplines, whether it be geology, biology, chemistry or medicine with physics."
La Trobe University
A family law specialist has taken up the role of vice-chancellor at La Trobe University. John Dewar, who was previously provost of the University of Melbourne, said that he was attracted to the institution because of its outreach work with communities that do not usually participate in higher education. "I am a passionate believer in the transformative power of education and higher education in particular," he said. "Universities enrich their communities by opening doors and encouraging people from different backgrounds on to campus to take up educational, cultural and sporting opportunities. We can integrate our activity into the lives of the broader public and serve our community in more creative ways." Professor Dewar graduated from the University of Oxford and went on to teach at Lancaster University and the University of Warwick before joining the law firm Allen & Overy. He was appointed fellow and tutor in law at Hertford College, Oxford; at the same time, he became a consultant for law firm Farrer & Co. In 1995, he moved to Australia as dean and head of the School of Law at Griffith University. He remained there for 14 years, becoming pro vice-chancellor for business and law and deputy vice-chancellor (academic), before joining Melbourne in April 2009. Professor Dewar is also director of Education Australia Ltd and a member of the Australian Institute of Family Studies Advisory Council and the Learning Networks Standing Committee of the Australian Learning and Teaching Council.
Alan Cook has said that he has ambitious plans for the University of Bedfordshire after being appointed chair of its board of governors. Mr Cook, a former head of the Post Office, said that ensuring a high-quality student experience was high on his agenda. "Something very exciting is happening in higher education. This is one of the most challenging sectors to be working in right now," he said. "There is a new funding system and the private sector is poised to enter in a competitive way. But if we can provide an excellent student experience, we can rise to these challenges." Mr Cook is currently chairman of the Highways Agency in England, chairman of Irish Life and Permanent Group Holdings in Dublin and chairman of the UK charity Action for ME. He is a non-executive director of the Department for Transport and Sainsbury's Bank. Until recently he was also a non-executive director of the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Office of Fair Trading. He was formerly managing director of the Post Office and, prior to that, was chief executive officer of National Savings and Investments and chief operating officer, UK and Europe, of Prudential Assurance. Mr Cook is also no stranger to Bedfordshire, having served as one of its governors for six years from 1999 to 2005.
University of Sydney
Joss Bland-Hawthorn, federation fellow professor in the School of Physics at the University of Sydney, has been awarded the 2012 Jackson-Gwilt Medal by the Royal Astronomical Society, only the third Australian to win the award. Professor Bland-Hawthorn received his doctorate in astrophysics from the Royal Greenwich Observatory and went on to work in Hawaii and Texas. In 1993, he moved to the Anglo-Australian Observatory, where he stayed for four years before taking up his current post in November 2007. His link to the observatory remained intact despite leaving for Sydney, and he was named a distinguished fellow when he left. Professor Bland-Hawthorn is a member of the Sydney Institute for Astronomy and co-founder of the Institute of Photonics and Optical Science. The scientist said that he was honoured to receive the award for his work, adding that the accolade was also "recognition of Australia's long history in innovation in astronomy".
The University of Central Lancashire has appointed Billy Beggs as engineering innovation manager. Mr Beggs joins the university from BAE Systems, where he worked for 38 years on research and development programmes, specialising in future technologies and products.
Teesside University has named Michael Lavery as director of marketing and student recruitment. Mr Lavery joins from Durham University, where he was head of the marketing and communications directorate.
The New College of the Humanities has made two further appointments. Rebecca Goldstein, currently Miller scholar at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico, has been appointed visiting professor in philosophy. Daniel Swift, currently assistant professor in English at Skidmore College in New York, will join as senior lecturer in English.
Aberystwyth University has appointed Liz Flint as director of commercialisation and consultancy services. Ms Flint has worked for Aberystwyth since 2006 and was most recently acting director of the service.
Marek Palasinski has joined the University of Leicester as a research associate. Dr Palasinski was previously at Lancaster University, where he undertook his doctorate in social psychology.
King's College London has appointed Julia Crick professor of palaeography and manuscript studies in the School of Arts and Humanities. Professor Crick joins from the University of Exeter, where she was associate professor in history.
Author and broadcaster Sandi Toksvig has been appointed chancellor of the University of Portsmouth. Ms Toksvig will succeed actor and author Sheila Hancock who will retire as chancellor after a five-year term of office.