Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE


Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE


Article excerpt

Harper Adams University College

Roger Mercer

A farmer who studied at Harper Adams University College as an undergraduate has been appointed chairman of the institution's board of governors. Roger Mercer, previously vice-chairman of the board, started his career as an arable farmer before moving into dairy and pig production. He now runs Mercer Farming Limited, a 5,500-acre business based primarily in Staffordshire, which focuses on arable and pig production. He also farms in Australia and has agricultural interests in Eastern Europe. Despite his extensive business commitments, Mr Mercer has managed to dip his toe into research, having been a Nuffield scholar studying pig and potato production in North America. His other business interests include property management, farm management consultancy and meat marketing. Mr Mercer said he was honoured to take on the new role. "I am a passionate believer in education, because the rewards are enormous for both the individuals and the businesses in which they are involved. There is no finer investment a person can make in their life," he said. "Agriculture is a great place to be, and a good education will help make the best of the opportunities it has to offer."

University of Glamorgan

Alison McMillan

A newly appointed professor of aeronautical engineering at the University of Glamorgan has swapped a role at Rolls-Royce for the Rhondda Valley in taking up the position. Alison McMillan studied for her undergraduate degree in maths and physics at University College London. She went on to complete a master's in applied mechanics at the Cranfield Institute of Technology (which later became Cranfield University) and a doctorate in physics at Staffordshire University. She held postdoctoral positions at the University of Oxford and Keele University and went on to work for the civil aerospace division of Rolls-Royce, where she spent 14 years. Professor McMillan said that her step back into academia was a natural move to make. "My work at Rolls-Royce also involved running research programmes with universities and other international aerospace companies, and supervising PhD students," she said. She added of her career in general: "As a female in a largely male profession, I have encountered little prejudice from fellow engineers because we are all like-minded people. I hope I can engage with the community to inspire young people, both male and female, to study science, technology, engineering and maths subjects and demonstrate the great variety of careers open to them in these areas."

University of California, Berkeley

Paul Alivisatos

Paul Alivisatos, director of the US Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Larry and Diane Bock professor of nanotechnology at the University of California, Berkeley, has won the Wolf Foundation Prize in Chemistry for 2012. The Wolf Foundation, based in Israel, recognises outstanding scientists and artists. Professor Alivisatos said that he was particularly pleased to be sharing his prize with Harvard University professor Charles Lieber, adding that it was also "thrilling" to be in the same class of Wolf Prize recipients as Placido Domingo, the world-renowned tenor and conductor. Professor Alivisatos was born in the US but moved to Greece at an early age. "When I found something very interesting, it was sometimes a struggle for me to understand it the very best that I could," he said. …

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