May 24, 2012

King's College London

Paul Joyce

The newly appointed Samuel Davidson chair of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible studies at King's College London has admitted he is excited to be taking up a position previously held by "distinguished scholars" who informed his own work. Paul Joyce, currently lecturer in Old Testament studies at the University of Oxford, said he was keen to establish King's as an international centre of excellence in his field, building on its strong tradition in the subject while also "diversifying and innovating". "I hope to see a growing body of master's and doctoral students coming to King's...both from the UK and from the wider world," he said. He insisted Old Testament studies was in a "dynamic and vibrant" state, and was fully engaged with the modern world. Dr Joyce took theology at Oxford and stayed on to complete a DPhil. He was a lecturer and subsequently director of studies at Ripon College Cuddesdon, a Church of England theological college. He later worked at the University of Birmingham as a lecturer before returning to Oxford, where he is a fellow of St Peter's College. He will start at King's in September.

Goldsmiths, University of London

Sean Cubitt

Sean Cubitt, who has been appointed professor of film and television studies at Goldsmiths, University of London, joked that he wanted to achieve "world peace" by relocating to southeast London, adding that it was the institution's "incredibly rich mixing of cultures" and the "incredible pace of [the] evolution of ideas" there that attracted him to the role. He said he wanted to "continue [the] fantastic integration between studio practice and lecture-based work" already taking place at Goldsmiths. Professor Cubitt graduated from the University of Cambridge with an English literature degree. After research at McGill University in Canada, he obtained his PhD from Liverpool John Moores University. In a field as rich as his, he said, there is a "quite staggering ignorance" of how theory is put into practice. "Among my peers I still see evidence of an extraordinary lack of understanding of how things work - what happens when you turn on a microphone or how an email gets from your computer to mine," he said. Professor Cubitt joins Goldsmiths from the University of Southampton and has held posts at universities all over the world including McGill, the University of Melbourne and University College London.

University of Glasgow

Deborah Dixon

The University of Glasgow has appointed Deborah Dixon as professor in its School of Geographical and Earth Sciences. Professor Dixon, who is currently based at Aberystwyth University, said there were no "push" factors causing her to leave the "beautiful" Welsh seaside town. But she added: "I come from the Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences at Aberystwyth and I'm going to the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences in Glasgow. But that includes engineers, astronomers and my specialty is arts-sciences collaboration, so there are more immediate faculty I can correspond with." Professor Dixon has been at the forefront of interdisciplinary work on the boundaries of the arts and sciences, including looking at "monstrous" geography and BioArt, where artists take living tissue as their artistic medium. "You can go back to the classical notion of the monster as being this chimerical figure; but so much of the monstrous [covers] recent developments in medical and political science," she said. "It is one of those things which pops up across academia and popular culture. Because it's so's a great thing to teach undergraduates." Professor Dixon was educated at the universities of Cambridge, Wisconsin-Madison and Kentucky, where she completed her undergraduate, master's and doctoral degrees, respectively. Before joining Aberystwyth she was assistant professor at East Carolina University.

University of Manchester

Mukesh Kapila

"People have been urging me to do this for a long time," said Mukesh Kapila about his new position as professor of global health and humanitarian affairs at the University of Manchester. "I've been dabbling in the academic world with talks and lectures, and people have enjoyed that. So when Manchester came along and said: 'How about spending time with us?', I thought: 'You know, why not?'" Professor Kapila has extensive experience in international development, humanitarian affairs, diplomacy (including human rights and disaster and conflict management) and global public health. After graduating from the universities of Oxford and London with a medical degree and an MSc, respectively, Professor Kapila practised clinical medicine and primary healthcare in the NHS. He later joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Overseas Development Administration (now the Department for International Development), and has worked for the United Nations and the World Health Organisation. "I hope that the speeches I've got [lined up] can shed new light on challenging dilemmas for peace and security, global health and humanitarian challenges around the world," Professor Kapila said.


A tissue engineering expert at the University of Bristol has been elected president of the International Cartilage Repair Society. Anthony Hollander, ARC professor of rheumatology and tissue engineering at Bristol, will help shape the society's strategic future.

The UK's most decorated press photographer will teach aspiring snappers at the University of Lincoln after accepting a visiting professorship. Mike Maloney, who has won 107 major photographic honours, will give masterclasses in his art to undergraduates at the university.

The British Library's board has appointed Roly Keating as its chief executive. Mr Keating, currently director of archive contents at the BBC, will take up the position in September. "I am looking forward to working with the library's talented staff and leadership team to take it on the next stage of its journey into the digital age," he said.

Acua, a subsidiary of Coventry University established to deliver higher-level skills development within organisations, has made three appointments. Jeannine Mortlock, a learning and development expert, Iain Nixon, an education specialist, and Alan Frazer, director of Coventry University Enterprises Ltd, have been made managing director, non-executive director and chairman, and chief operating officer, respectively.

Darren Cosker, a research doctor in the department of computer science at the University of Bath, has been awarded a Royal Society fellowship that will allow him to oversee a partnership on cutting-edge facial animation involving the university and prominent special effects company Double Negative. Dr Cosker will spend four years working closely with Double Negative's research and development team to advance the technology used to create facial animation.

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