Unidentified fellows

July 30, 1999

Another senior academic has made false claims about prestigious academic qualifications. Kurt Ziebeck, former head of physics at Loughborough University, has been falsely describing himself as a fellow of the Institute of Physics and a chartered physicist since 1988. Director of the IoP John Harwood said this week: "Professor Ziebeck is not even a member of the institute. It is serious when people use qualifications if they are not entitled to them."

The IoP confirmed that Professor Ziebeck was a former member but had never been a fellow. "We pointed out to him he was using the letters erroneously and we asked him to cease doing it. He said he had done it absent-mindedly. As he is no longer a member of the institute, that is it."

Documents show he was using the letters - C.Phys, F.Inst.P - for at least ten years up to 1998. A spokeswoman for Loughborough University said: "It was brought to our attention about two weeks ago that Professor Ziebeck had been making use of an IoP designation to which he was not entitled. We have investigated and we have taken disciplinary action."

The case comes two months after Robert Bradley, a former colleague of Professor Ziebeck at Loughborough University, was suspended as Robert Gordon University's head of applied sciences while under investigation by the Royal Society of Chemistry after it emerged that he had falsely described himself as a fellow and a chartered chemist.

Professor Bradley, whose incorrect claims to a fellowship were uncovered when he was made a fellow earlier this year, claimed that there had been a simple administrative error. He told The THES at the time that when he took up his post as head of the school in 1997, a mistake was made on the department's new stationery, leaving his predecessor's academic credentials next to his name.

But he was using the letters C.Chem, FRSC at least as early as 1996 when he was a senior research fellow at Loughborough.

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