Inside track...

November 17, 2006

Our occasional column keeps youJabreast of developments in the jobs market, from tip-offs and career pointers to who's on the move in your field.

PRODUCT PLACEMENTS

Warwick University is investing £50 million in a world-class "digital laboratory" that will test product prototypes.

The work will be led by three new professors, and further appointments are expected early next year.

Alan Chalmers, professor of computer graphics at Bristol University, is bringing six PhD students and two research assistants with him when he comes to the lab in March next year.

He will join Dariusz Ceglarek, previously professor of industrial and systems engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Sujit Banerji, practice associate professor of operations management at Singapore Management University, who starts next month.

The multidisciplinary research team hopes to capitalise on emerging 3-D visualisation techniques and interactive computer tools.

David Clarke, principal fellow in the group, said: "We want to be able to help potential customers and investors to visualise products in a very realistic way at the prototype stage."

"We want to be able to help potential customers and investors to visualise products in a realistic way at the prototype stage"

FRONTLINE FORCES EXPAND

War studies is on the march at Birmingham University after the recent appointment of military historian Gary Sheffield.

Professor Sheffield, who won the Templar Prize for Military History in 2003, has left the Staff College at King's College London to take up a chair in war studies at Birmingham.

He said he wanted to be involved in the development of MA and BA programmes at Birmingham's Centre for First World War Studies.

"I felt that it was a good atmosphere at Birmingham and an environment where there was some sympathy for my subject," he said.

Professor Sheffield will be joined by Steffen Prauser, an expert on the German occupation of France and Italy, who has been recruited from Yale University.

"I felt that it was a good atmosphere at Birmingham and an environment where there was some sympathy for my subject"

CHANGES IN CHINA

It's all change in the management team of Nottingham University's Ningbo campus in China.

Ian Gow, the foundation provost who helped establish the Ningbo campus, is leaving China to become pro vice-chancellor and executive dean of business at the University of the West of England.

His move in the new year will coincide with the departure of Gary Rawnsley, the director of Nottingham's Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies. In September, we revealed that Professor Rawnsley had accepted a chair in international communications at Leeds University.

Among those helping to fill the gaps at Ningbo will be Roger Woods, former head of the School of Modern Languages at Nottingham; and Peter Buttery, professor of applied biochemistry and dean of the faculty of science at Nottingham.n

OUTLOOK FINE

The forecast is sunny for Exeter University's climate change team, which has announced plans to create a 30-strong research group.

David Stephenson is moving from Reading University next April to a chair in statistical analysis of weather and climate. A number of his climate analysis group are likely to go with him.

Dr Stephenson's chair is one of three jointly funded by Exeter and the Met Office. He joins John Thuburn, professor of geophysical fluid dynamics, and Peter Cox, professor of climate-system dynamics.

The group intends to expand to 30 members within five years. It will seek mathematicians and researchers with expertise in climate.

LUCKY SEVEN

Here's some ace information for would-be card sharps from former magician Persi Diaconis, who is professor of statistics and mathematics at Glasgow University.

Professor Diaconis, who will deliver the annual Rankin Lecture at the university's faculty of information and mathematical sciences, says that, based on mathematical calculations, a pack of cards should always be shuffled seven times to mix the cards well.

"cards should always be shuffled seven times to make sure that they are thoroughly mixed"

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