November 29, 2012

University of Wollongong

Eeva Leinonen

Eeva Leinonen, who took over as deputy vice-chancellor (education) at the University of Wollongong at the beginning of the month, said the institution's "human approach" was one of the attractions of the position. "I very much like the idea of a university being a 'hub' of a community and that's what Wollongong is," she said. She added that the institution's social inclusion agenda, an idea close to her heart, was another significant motivating factor. Professor Leinonen was previously vice-principal (education) and professor of clinical linguistics at King's College London, where she advanced the student experience, widening participation and technology-enhanced learning agendas. At Wollongong - now led by Paul Wellings, Lancaster University's former vice-chancellor - she will aim to help senior management to achieve its strategic plan, which includes improving the university's standing in global higher education. After graduating with a degree in psychology and linguistics from Aston University, Professor Leinonen completed an MPhil at the University of Exeter and a PhD in clinical phonology from what is now De Montfort University. Before joining King's she spent 19 years at the University of Hertfordshire, including a spell as deputy vice-chancellor.

University of Lincoln

Rajiv Machado

An expert on cardiovascular disease has been appointed senior lecturer at the School of Life Sciences at the University of Lincoln. Rajiv Machado, former British Heart Foundation independent research fellow in the Division of Genetics and Molecular Medicine at King's College London, joins Lincoln to continue his research into pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). During his doctoral research at the University of Leicester, Dr Machado identified the genes that cause PAH, a disease linked to lung and heart failure. "It is fairly uncommon but extremely important in terms of understanding the way the lung works," he said. "Research in this area informs a huge number of more common diseases. In terms of diagnosis and treatment, the research I am doing opens up a number of pathways." Dr Machado's work has featured in many journals, including prestigious titles such as The New England Journal of Medicine. In its pages, he and his colleagues reported the identification of a second gene predisposing people to forms of pulmonary hypertension. Before completing his doctorate, Dr Machado obtained a BSc in genetics from University College London. He said he was attracted to Lincoln because of its "ambition", exemplified by its plans to build a "world-class" research park in the city.

London School of Business and Finance

Maurits Van Rooijen

Maurits Van Rooijen, newly appointed chief executive and rector of the private London School of Business and Finance (LSBF), said he was "excited" by the prospect of being able to implement ideas quicker than in the state-funded sector where he has worked for most of his career. "It's the kind of position that allows you to start working outside the box," he said. "My previous university was a bit like a gentle car, and I now feel like I'm in a Ferrari." The professor, whose career as an international educator has spanned more than 25 years, has joined LSBF to bolster its educational innovation, academic development, global ranking and e-learning provision. "The opportunities e-learning brings to higher education are comparable to the invention of book printing (in the 15th century). I want to look at how young people embrace modern technology, especially when it comes to the acquisition of knowledge." Prior to joining LSBF, Professor Van Rooijen was rector magnificus and chief executive of the Nyenrode Business University in the Netherlands. Before that he was vice-president for international and institutional development at the University of Westminster. An economic historian by education, Professor Van Rooijen completed his undergraduate and doctoral studies at the University of Utrecht, where he later lectured. He has also held positions at the University of Leiden and Victoria University in Melbourne.

Edge Hill University

Derek Heim

"I really like the vibe," said Derek Heim, professor of psychology at Edge Hill University, who joined the institution in September. "It's a very friendly department and it seems the university as a whole is undergoing a massive transition." Professor Heim said that he hoped to play a part in facilitating Edge Hill's shift towards more research-intensive work and to support that transition as best he could. As a social psychologist with an interest in health, his research focuses on social and cultural influences on substance use and well-being. "While pharmacological explanations of addiction and why people take drugs, drink and smoke are important, there's a tendency to underplay the social factors," he said. "We all know that giving up smoking is fairly easy until you go out with your mates." Professor Heim gained a BA in psychology and politics and a PhD in psychology from the University of Strathclyde. He then became a research fellow at his alma mater before taking up a lectureship at the University of Central Lancashire.

Other changes

A professor at Queen's University Belfast has joined a select list of engineers to have been awarded the Mountbatten Medal. Vincent Fusco, director of research at the High Frequency Electronic Circuits Cluster at the university's Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology, was honoured by the Institution of Engineering and Technology for his outstanding contribution to the promotion and application of electronics or information.

The Leadership Foundation for Higher Education has named its first six fellows. The title is awarded to alumni of the foundation's programmes who choose to undertake a fellowship to develop further their leadership knowledge and skills. They are: Julie Sanders, professor and head of the School of English at the University of Nottingham; Meriel Box, head of staff development at Liverpool John Moores University; Noel Purdy, head of education studies at Stranmillis University College; Nicholas Jones, director of estates at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Taraneh Dean, director of research at the University of Portsmouth; and Harri ap Rees, director of strategic planning at the University of Surrey.

The University of Greenwich Business School has made two professorial appointments. Özlem Onaran and David Gray have joined the school as professor of workforce and economic development and chair in leadership and organisational behaviour, respectively. Professor Onaran has previously held positions at Middlesex University and the University of Westminster, while Professor Gray arrives from the University of Surrey, where he published widely on leadership and coaching.

Martin Humphries, professor, vice-president and dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Manchester, has been elected vice-president of the prestigious Academy of Medical Sciences.

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