Appointments - 14 March 2013

March 14, 2013

Harper Adams University
Leander McLennan

A new lecturer in animal health at Harper Adams University said her transition from commercial clinical work to teaching was a “big change” but a challenge she was keen to take on. “It’s completely different,” said Leander McLennan. “I’ve gone from working in fields and farms to working in an office and lecture theatres - an indoor working environment with regular hours!” The appointment at Harper Adams is Ms McLennan’s first academic job after working in clinical practice since she graduated from Murdoch University as a veterinary surgeon. Born and raised in Western Australia, she credits her parents for stimulating her interest in the field. “My parents bought me a pet deer when I was 16, so that triggered my interest in cattle medicine,” she said. “They were very much into sustainable living, which they passed on to me; that’s why I have a passion for sustainable food production and that’s what trails into agriculture.” She said that her new position was an “enjoyable” one because it will allow her to get back into research as well as keep her practical skills topped up. She added that it is also “quite important” for the department “to have staff who are in touch with the real world”.

Swansea University
Joel Trachtman

American Joel Trachtman, who has been appointed distinguished research professor in law at Swansea University, said he was looking forward to “getting to know South Wales” and that he was “already a Swansea City fan”. “Most Americans don’t have the opportunity to see parts of the UK outside the usual tourist sites,” he added. Professor Trachtman is one of 18 academics honoured with the distinguished research professor title across the university’s six academic colleges. The positions are for three years in the first instance, and will involve building collaborative relationships in Swansea’s academic community. “I hope to collaborate with the scholars and students of Swansea in order to advance understanding of how international law can respond to current and future problems arising from new global challenges, including growing trade, growing migration, expanding cyber-activities, global health challenges, global environmental challenges, and international financial regulatory problems,” Professor Trachtman said. He is currently professor of international law at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He practised law in New York and Hong Kong during the 1980s before taking his present job. He studied at Columbia and Harvard universities and has a general course certificate from the London School of Economics.

Plymouth University
Kim Tieu

Kim Tieu has been named senior researcher at Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry to enhance its growing portfolio of research into Parkinson’s disease and other dementias. He said the appointment was “too good to be true”: a permanent position “to do what I truly love in one of the most beautiful places in England. Besides, this will be such a wonderful environment for my two young boys to grow up in.” Professor Tieu, who joins Plymouth from the University of Rochester, New York, acknowledged that “effective treatments are urgently needed” in his field given the ageing population. Professor Tieu studied at the University of Saskatchewan for his undergraduate and doctoral degrees before moving to Columbia University for postdoctoral training. From there he moved to Rochester to set up his own laboratory predominantly for research into Parkinson’s. He said that, in coming to the UK, he was escaping “knee-deep snow and freezing winters” and welcoming Cornish pasties into his life. However, he said he was concerned with having to “drive on the left, especially through narrow streets”.

Coventry University
Michel Pimbert

Coventry University has appointed Michel Pimbert director of the Centre for Agroecology and Food Security (CAFS). The centre is a joint initiative between Coventry’s research and development institute - the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Applied Research Group - and the charity Garden Organic’s International Development and Commercial Research Programmes. Its principal aim is to address the challenge of creating resilient food systems worldwide. “CAFS is unique in its attempts to build on the combined experience of university-applied research departments and a charity that promotes organic horticulture, farming and food,” Dr Pimbert said. “Each element of research we are undertaking contributes to addressing the issue of creating worldwide resilient food systems.” Dr Pimbert joins Coventry from the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society at the University of Munich, where he was a fellow. His research focuses on food sovereignty and agroecology, the political ecology of natural resource and biodiversity management, as well as citizenship and deliberative democracy. An agroecologist by training, he has previously worked at the UK-based International Institute for Environment and Development and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi- Arid Tropics in India.

Other changes

Durham University Business School has appointed Mahmoud Mohieldin as honorary professor for three years. Dr Mohieldin is currently managing director of the World Bank, and is the bank’s representative at G20 deputies meetings. Before joining the World Bank, he held numerous positions in the Egyptian government and served on several boards of directors in the Central Bank of Egypt and the corporate sector.

Odette Hutchinson, senior lecturer in law at Aston University, has been named Law Teacher of the Year 2013. The national teaching award is sponsored by Oxford University Press and includes £3,000 prize money. “I am overwhelmed. It is such an honour to be named Law Teacher of the Year,” said Ms Hutchinson. “I am delighted to be involved with an award that puts teaching and learning and the student experience at the forefront of its aims. All the finalists for this award are outstanding teachers pushing the boundaries of legal education and [being innovative] in their work.”

Judith Burnett is joining the University of Greenwich as pro vice- chancellor for the Faculty of Architecture, Computing and Humanities. With a research background in sociology, she is a trustee and chair of the British Sociological Association and has held senior positions at the University of Wolverhampton, including acting pro vice-chancellor (academic) and founding dean of the School of Law, Social Sciences and Communications.

Maria Ana Cataluna, leader of the ultrafast photonics group at the University of Dundee, has been appointed to the board of trustees of the Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE), the leading independent advocate for science and engineering in the UK. “As a trustee and director, I will help to shape the strategy of CaSE,” she said.

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