An "idealist" who joined the academy to make a difference on global issues has been appointed professor of environmental economics at the University of Bath. Michael Finus, who holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Giessen and a doctorate in economics from the University of Hagen in Germany, arrives at Bath from the University of Exeter, where he was associate professor in the economics of climate change. As lead author of the next report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, he said he was always looking to do his bit to make the world a better place: "I'm an idealist, and I first got involved in this area because I asked myself: 'What could really make a difference?'" Professor Finus began his academic career at the University of Giessen in Germany before moving to Hagen, where he worked for six years. In 2007, he moved to the UK to take up a position at the University of Stirling. On coming to Bath, he said, he found "the perfect fit for my career. Bath has a long tradition in environmental economics and a fantastic reputation. It's very attractive to come to a university that strongly supports research in this area [while] being based in a very strong economics department."
Anna Kyprianou, Middlesex University's pro vice-chancellor and the dean of its business school, has been elected to the board of Europe's largest professional body for human resources and development. Ms Kyprianou is one of four new vice-presidents at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). She said she felt "immensely privileged to be so closely involved in the future development of the CIPD and the HR profession". Ms Kyprianou graduated with a first-class BA in business studies from what was then Middlesex Polytechnic. Although she later took an MSc in industrial relations and personnel management at the London School of Economics, she sees herself as Middlesex through and through. Before becoming dean, Ms Kyprianou was chair of Middlesex University Business School's human resource management group. "I am a home-grown dean," she said. "I hope my appointment will help Middlesex build on our already strong relationship with the CIPD as well as strengthen our provision to current and future leaders in the fields of personnel and development."
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
A neuroscientist has swapped the Swiss Alps for the deserts of Saudi Arabia to lead a science department at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). Pierre Magistretti, previously professor of neuroscience and director of the Brain Mind Institute at the Ecole Polytechique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), has called his position as dean of the Chemical, Life Sciences and Engineering Division a "transformational experience". Professor Magistretti studied medicine at the University of Geneva before completing his PhD at the University of California, San Diego. He previously worked at the University of Lausanne Medical School as professor of physiology and held several posts at the institution before moving to EPFL in 2005. He is secretary general of the International Brain Research Organisation and chairman of the scientific advisory board of the Center for Biomedical Imaging in Lausanne. "I was inspired by King Abdullah's vision for a knowledge-based economy in Saudi Arabia and was fascinated by both the people and the resources that this young institution has," he said.
University of Glamorgan
The newly elected head of the body representing the interests of the performing arts in the sector has insisted that it is important to be "neither defeatist nor defensive" in face of the "considerable challenges" facing the arts and humanities. Stephen Lacey, professor in drama, film and television at the University of Glamorgan's Cardiff School of Creative and Cultural Industries, said it was a "great honour" to be appointed to chair the Standing Conference of University Drama Departments (SCUDD), and he hopes to use his 20-year association with the body to advance its causes. "Arts and humanities are particularly vulnerable in a context where subjects are being asked to justify themselves in often crude economistic terms," he said. "This is a particular issue for practice-based subjects such as drama...However, the discipline is strong, with generally good recruitment and high levels of student satisfaction nationally, with a good record of teaching transferable skills and a vibrant, internationally significant research and practice culture. It is essential that SCUDD continue to lobby on behalf of the sector and promote the good-news stories we all know are out there, as well as share strategies for survival in difficult times." Professor Lacey received his BA in English and drama and MLitt at the University of Birmingham. He has previously held posts at the University of Reading and at Manchester Metropolitan and Queen Margaret universities.
Liverpool Hope University has appointed Dom Henry Wansbrough as Alexander Jones professor of Biblical studies. The scholar, who is a Benedictine monk at the Abbey of Ampleforth, spent 14 years as master of St Benet's Hall at the University of Oxford, where he lectured on the New Testament. He also served as chairman of the university's Theology Faculty.
Lynn Dobbs, dean of the School of Arts and Social Sciences at Northumbria University, has been named deputy vice-chancellor of the University of Roehampton. Professor Dobbs will take up the post in May, succeeding Jane Broadbent, who has been in the role since 2006.
David Cameron has called on Dame Nancy Rothwell, vice-chancellor of the University of Manchester, to advise the government on science. The prime minister has appointed Professor Rothwell to the post of co-chair of the Council for Science and Technology. During the course of her three-year term, she will advise Mr Cameron on strategic science and technology policy issues that cut across the responsibilities of individual government departments.
The University of Glasgow has made two senior science appointments. Andy Harvey has joined the School of Physics and Astronomy as chair in experimental physics, while Paul Younger has been appointed Rankine chair of energy engineering. Professor Harvey joins from Heriot-Watt University and is hoping to establish research collaborations across Glasgow's College of Science and Engineering and within the university's biomedical community. After 30 years at Newcastle University, where he was most recently director of the Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability, Professor Younger will join the institution to lead a new research field in energy engineering.