Ivan Popov, 44
Job advertised in The THES , April 4 2003
New Directions Lecturer in Rapid Product Development
Department of Mechanical and Design Engineering
The position advertised by Portsmouth University's Regional Centre for Manufacturing Industry formed part of its bid to strengthen its academic and research team by cutting the time it takes to turn concepts into marketable products.
Nick Bennet, director of the RCMI, says the post is linked to the university's knowledge-transfer strategy. Of the many applicants, he says, Ivan Popov, a Bulgarian, was chosen because "he has a blend of research and commercial experience as well as skills in engineering and new technologies".
Popov came to the UK five years ago to work at Cardiff University as a senior research associate specialising in manufacture, quality management and metrology. Before that, he had lectured at the University of Russe, on the Danube, for 13 years and had done a stint at the National Ching Hua University in China.
Popov says he wanted a change because his workload at Cardiff was too skewed. "I was doing 90 per cent commercial products and did not have enough time for my own research or teaching. I couldn't even improve my lecture notes," he says.
"Cardiff is a bigger, richer university and has different priorities from Portsmouth. At Cardiff, teaching students was (in the) background, here it is the opposite. I like that because I am a university teacher and enjoy students. But I have to keep abreast of research to be up to date."
He has found the first semester hard "because you always have to develop your lecture notes and handouts for the first time.
"But I am teaching what I always taught, only I can deliver it in Bulgarian, Russian and English."