July 5, 2012

Robert Gordon University

Stephen Vertigans

Robert Gordon University has appointed Stephen Vertigans head of the School of Applied Social Studies. Professor Vertigans took up the role full time last month, having held the position of acting head of school since July 2011. He joined Robert Gordon in 2003 as a lecturer in sociology and was made a reader and professor in 2007 and 2010 respectively. "To become head at a time when society faces tremendous challenges perversely provides opportunities to make major contributions in areas where the school is particularly committed," Professor Vertigans said of his new position. "Against the societal and global downturn our students, graduates and staff are working with the most vulnerable people, seeking to understand the individual and social processes that underpin contemporary problems and to help in the formulation of solutions." Professor Vertigans graduated with a sociology BA from the University of Leeds before completing a PhD there. He held positions at Leeds and The Open University before moving to Scotland. "[I aim] to build upon the school's excellent national reputation for teaching and learning," he added. "In particular there is potential to extend the international profile of the school and to become more renowned for research-focused activities."

Association for University Research and Industry Links

Alasdair Cameron

Alasdair Cameron, director of the West of Scotland Knowledge Transfer Partnerships Centre, has been appointed executive director of the Association for University Research and Industry Links (Auril). Dr Cameron paid tribute to his predecessor, Philip Graham, who held the position for almost 12 years. "Philip is well known and prior to my appointment had represented Auril's members for many years," Dr Cameron said. "He is going to be a hard act to follow. However, it's a fantastic opportunity and through listening to our members' views I hope to vastly broaden my knowledge of the sector and my network of colleagues." In his new position, Dr Cameron will represent Auril's members' views to policymakers and help to encourage members to share best practice. "I want our members to feel part of a supportive community and that together their voice is much stronger through Auril," he added. After studying for a BSc in laser physics and optoelectronics at the University of Strathclyde, he gained a doctorate in semiconductor physics from the University of St Andrews. He has previously worked for Motorola and was senior executive with Scottish Enterprise with a special remit for entrepreneurship and research and development collaboration.

Aberystwyth University

Aled Gruffydd Jones

The new head of the department of Welsh at Aberystwyth University has expressed his pleasure at being appointed "at an exciting time for the development of Welsh language provision in higher education". Aled Gruffydd Jones, who in his current role of senior pro vice-chancellor at Aberystwyth is responsible for overseeing the development of Welsh provision throughout the university, has been strengthening the presence of the language since his appointment in 2005. "I am very pleased to be given this opportunity to lead the department of Welsh," he said. "I have been involved with establishing the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol (the National College for Welsh Medium Learning in Higher Education) and I am particularly keen to see the department play its part in strengthening the language across the university and to building on the academic provision, particularly at postgraduate level." A Welsh history specialist, Professor Jones graduated with a bachelor's degree from the University of York before obtaining a master's and doctorate from the University of Warwick. He has previously worked as head of the department of history and Welsh history and dean of the faculty of arts at Aberystwyth before becoming pro vice-chancellor.

King's College London

Ilina Singh

Ilina Singh, who has been made a reader in bioethics and society in the department of social science, health and medicine at King's College London, said her appointment was "one of those rare opportunities in an academic career: an offer to help create an intellectually and pedagogically groundbreaking department". Dr Singh, who joins King's from the London School of Economics, will be the director of research in the department and the convenor of the MA in bioethics and society. "I'd like to develop a research environment that values the 'three Cs': commitment, complexity and courage," she said. This meant valuing "rigorous, responsible research that contributes to significant social, moral, ethical and policy challenges"; embracing "interdisciplinary perspectives and learning"; and leaving "the comfort of familiar disciplinary cultures" to "step into a research space that is frequently characterised by uncertainty". Dr Singh holds undergraduate and master's degrees in English literature from the University of Pennsylvania and a doctorate in human development and psychology from Harvard University. She was an affiliated scholar in social and political science at the University of Cambridge before joining LSE.


Middlesex University has appointed Joshua Castellino to the post of dean of the newly created School of Law. Professor Castellino previously headed the law department in the university's business school and joined Middlesex in 2007. Prior to joining the institution, he worked at the universities of Ulster and Wolverhampton.

Cardiff Metropolitan University has made three senior appointments in its Cardiff School of Management.

Niall Piercy, Mark Francis and Nick Rich have been made professor of marketing and operations management, professor of management, and associate dean (enterprise) respectively.

John Myers, a Carlisle-born radio executive with 30 years' experience in the media, has been awarded an honorary fellowship and visiting professorship by the University of Cumbria. "To be recognised by my own city and county is very special indeed," he said.

Bath Spa University has named five distinguished figures from the worlds of music, fashion, journalism and cookery as recipients of honorary degrees. Cookery writer and broadcaster Mary Berry, shoe designer Manolo Blahnik, journalist Ian Hargreaves, choir leader Grenville Jones and Miller Puckette, professor of music at the University of California, San Diego will be honoured by vice-chancellor Christina Slade at the university's graduation ceremony.

A professor of pharmaceutics and founding dean of the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Central Lancashire has been made a fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. Tony D'Emanuele has been recognised for his distinction in the profession of pharmacy. "It is a tremendous honour to be recommended by the profession for this fellowship," he said.

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