October 18, 2012

Leeds Metropolitan University

Michelle Briggs

An academic whose research focuses on pain management and has the overall aim of improving patients' ability to cope with pain has joined Leeds Metropolitan University as professor of nursing in the School of Health and Community Studies. "I hope to contribute to a greater understanding of how nurses can make a difference for people living with persistent pain," Michelle Briggs said. "We often connect pain with physical injury or something like cancer but it is possible to have pain that doesn't go away for which we are unable to clearly identify the cause." Professor Briggs qualified as a nurse in 1990 and worked clinically in orthopaedics and trauma intensive care in Nottingham and London. Her first-hand experience has contributed to her work in the field of pain management and she has been amazed at the ways some sufferers live with "unrelenting pain". "As nurses we need to be prepared to be alongside suffering and know we can do this without being engulfed by it," she said. She holds a BSc in chemistry from the University of Nottingham, an MSc in nursing from Leeds Metropolitan and a PhD from the University of Leeds.

University of Surrey

Vince Emery

The new pro vice-chancellor for international relations at the University of Surrey said he was struck, before he joined, by the great atmosphere at the institution. "Sometimes you meet people and think they're going to be very difficult to work with, but from the vice-chancellor down they were really engaging, focused and pleasant," said Vince Emery, who joined Surrey from University College London, where he was pro-provost for Africa and the Middle East. Professor Emery's position will focus on helping Surrey to realise its "full potential on the international scene", including opportunities in the international teaching and learning space as well as research. "A lot of the (projects) Surrey is involved with are big, cross-cutting initiatives such as satellite technology," he said. "If you are going to address those globally, you need global partnerships." Professor Emery gained his undergraduate and doctoral degrees at the University of Southampton and taught at the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine. At UCL he was vice-head of the graduate school and professor of virology. He has also been made a chair in translational virology at Surrey.

City University London

Andrew Jones

Andrew Jones, who recently joined City University London as dean of the newly merged School of Arts and Social Sciences, said the challenges facing the sector mean his school and the university as a whole will have to be proactive and that "standing still is not an option". Professor Jones, who came to City from Birkbeck, University of London where he was head of the department of geography, environment and development studies, said one of his key challenges was building the school's research intensity, aligned to the strategic plan set out by the vice-chancellor. "There are some very good patches of research in the school, (and) the challenge is raising the game and building up the research base," he said. Making the merger of the arts and social sciences succeed is also a high priority, and he acknowledged that securing funding for these fields is hard in the current climate. "The job here is to tool people up ... to be able to deal with it. Academics spend a lot of time slogging away on a lot of very good funding proposals and never get anywhere - it's soul-destroying," he said. As an "interdisciplinary social scientist", he felt he was suited to the role because his background "overlaps" with other City academics. Professor Jones took his first degree at the University of Cambridge and then an MSc at the University of Bristol before returning to Cambridge for doctoral studies.

Liverpool Hope University

Simeon Hunter

Liverpool Hope University has appointed Simeon Hunter to the post of head of the department of fine art and applied art and professor of art history and visual culture. "Liverpool Hope's ethos is centred on educating the whole person; this seems an ideal place to begin any creative process," he said. Professor Hunter was previously head of visual arts at Loyola University in New Orleans, a city he says has many similarities with Liverpool. "There's a real sensuality about New Orleans; it's about making sure you have some fun before the world ends, and that kind of precariousness is echoed here," he said. "The first evening I was here, walking through Liverpool I realised there was a collective decision to enjoy life." After Hurricane Katrina, a module he taught at Loyola on architecture and society took on greater local significance. "It was an abstract, theoretical course about the impact of architecture and wider urban planning on the communities in a city," he said. "Before Katrina, it had been focused on examples that were not New Orleans. After Katrina, it was just unbearable to teach that class and not engage in community action." Professor Hunter studied French and art history at University College London and took his PhD at the Courtauld Institute of Art. He has held positions at Goldsmiths, University of London, UCL and the Royal College of Music.

Other changes

Dorrik Stow has joined Heriot-Watt University as the new head of its Institute of Petroleum Engineering (IPE). Professor Stow moved from his previous role within the IPE as director of research and chair of ECOSSE, the Edinburgh Collaborative of Subsurface Science and Engineering. Before joining the IPE in 2008, he was professor in the School of Ocean and Earth Science at the University of Southampton.

Peter Fielden has taken up the role of head of the newly opened department of chemistry at Lancaster University. Professor Fielden, formerly professor of analytical science at the University of Manchester, chairs the Royal Society of Chemistry Electroanalytical Sensing Systems Group. He is also a scientific adviser to the UK government.

Bangor University has appointed Robert Rogers professor of cognitive neuroscience at the School of Psychology. Professor Rogers, who is presently reader in cognitive neuroscience at the University of Oxford, will join the faculty in 2013. His research focuses on cognitive control and decision-making, and he will lead the establishment in Bangor of a new laboratory in psychopharmacology.

Robin Wensley, director of the Advanced Institute of Management Research, was honoured with the Richard Whipp Lifetime Achievement Award at the 26th British Academy of Management conference in Cardiff last month. Professor Wensley, who holds a chair in policy and marketing at Warwick Business School, has played a key role in the development of management research in the UK.

John Colley has joined the University of Nottingham's business school as director of executive education and MBA programmes. From his career in business and industry, it is hoped that Dr Colley will encourage direct engagement between the school and international business.

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