Experts from different subject fields and universities should work together more closely to secure research grants, believes the new associate dean of research and enterprise at Kingston University's Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing. Barbara Pierscionek, who joined Kingston from the University of Ulster earlier this year, also urged institutions to combine resources to increase research output. "Times are tough and money is tight, so we ought to be putting in grant applications involving larger groups of researchers who have a variety of skills," she said. "Competitiveness is good to a point, but I've...seen how counterproductive it can be if taken to extremes. It's time to foster a true spirit of collegiality across subject areas and universities." Professor Pierscionek studied at the University of Melbourne, where she gained a BSc in optometry and a PhD in biochemistry. She also holds an MBA and a master's in law from the University of Bradford and Leeds Metropolitan University respectively. She said she was attracted to the position at Kingston because the faculty includes disciplines as diverse as engineering, computing and life sciences. "I'm looking forward to setting up projects across all these subject areas to increase research activity even further." Professor Pierscionek held positions at institutions including Melbourne, Bradford, La Trobe and Monash universities before joining Ulster, where she was professor of vision science.
The executive director of university advancement at the University of Salford said he could not wait to get stuck in to his new role. Colin McCallum, who joins from Glasgow Caledonian University, said he was "delighted to be offered an opportunity to build an integrated advancement programme drawing together a range of profile-building and fundraising services". He said: "This is clearly an ambitious university with strong community links, where the potential for the work of my directorate is significant." Mr McCallum holds a BA in English literature and an MSc in business administration, both from the University of Edinburgh. Before joining Glasgow Caledonian, he held various advancement positions - at his alma mater, at the University of Oxford, where he was in charge of fundraising at St Hilda's College, at the University of Strathclyde, where he was director of development, and at the National Museums of Scotland. At Glasgow Caledonian, he was assistant vice-principal as well as director of development.
A Hong Kong academic will divide his time between his native metropolis and a market town in West Yorkshire when he takes up a new post. Andrew Leung, professor of sustainable construction at City University of Hong Kong, has been appointed professor of engineering at the University of Huddersfield. Working across two institutions would not be taxing because the "division of time is quite flexible and is based on need", he said. Professor Leung graduated with a DSc, MSc and PhD from Aston University and was a research fellow in aerospace engineering at the University of Bristol before he returned to Asia as a lecturer, senior lecturer and professor of civil engineering at the University of Hong Kong. He has been at City University of Hong Kong since 1999 and has served as head of building and construction besides his current position. He said he wanted to create links between City and Huddersfield in several areas. "Student and staff exchanges, in particular, for paid short sabbaticals, can be organised quickly. City University of Hong Kong is recruiting English-speaking postgraduate students to spend some time there to upgrade the English-speaking standard of their students," Professor Leung said. He added that Hong Kong had a lot of colleges offering sub-degree diplomas. "Diploma holders are keen to get a top-up degree from a UK university. Quite a number of institutions in Hong Kong are eager to be an overseas campus of Huddersfield."
The University of Surrey has appointed Indira Carr head of its law school. Professor Carr will take up her position while continuing with her current role as the associate dean of research and enterprise for Surrey's Faculty of Business, Economics and Law. "The law school is growing from strength to strength, and I feel privileged to be offered the position," she said. Professor Carr did her first degrees in philosophy at the University of Delhi before completing a PhD at the University of Exeter. Subsequently, she completed a bachelor's and a master's degree in law at Exeter. "My ambition is to build on our existing strengths and develop our research expertise," she said. "I'm committed to supporting and developing a school that offers academic excellence as well as a first-class experience for our students." She intends also to help Surrey bolster its international reputation. Professor Carr has held positions at numerous institutions including a professorship at Middlesex University, and reader, senior lecturer and lecturer roles at the universities of Kent, Exeter, Warwick and Aberystwyth University.
An academic at Queen's University Belfast has won a prestigious fellowship for her work on ionic liquids. Geetha Srinivasan, a research fellow at the Queen's University Ionic Liquid Laboratories (QUILL) Research Centre, is one of four female scientists to be awarded a 2012 L'Oréal-Unesco UK and Ireland Fellowship for Women in Science. The fellows receive £15,000, which they may spend on whatever they need to continue their research, from buying scientific equipment to paying for childcare or travel.
The University of Bath has appointed Helen Cornwell to the post of research officer in the department of mechanical engineering. Dr Cornwell's position is delivered through the Daphne Jackson Fellowship Scheme, which is designed to return scientists, engineers and technologists to their careers after a break. Dr Cornwell completed her PhD research more than 20 years ago and then worked in industry at Exxon Mobil for four years before taking a career break to have children. The fellowship is for a two-year period, on a part-time basis.
Denis Murphy, a professor of biotechnology at the University of Glamorgan, has been made a fellow of the Society of Biology. The fellowship honours senior scientists who have made a prominent contribution to the advancement of the biological sciences. Professor Murphy's research focuses on food security and sustainable agriculture.
A noted documentary film-maker and a senior judge are among those who have been bestowed with honorary degrees by the University of Leicester this year. Rex Bloomstein, whose credits include the prison documentary series Strangeways, and Lord Justice Goldring, Lord Justice of Appeal and senior presiding judge of England and Wales, were awarded the honours during degree ceremonies last week.