Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE


Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE


Article excerpt

University of Huddersfield

John Playle

The new dean of human and health sciences at the University of Huddersfield joked that you can break yourself into the role by playing "the new person for the first few months, which is quite useful". John Playle, who joined in September from the University of Manchester, where he was most recently associate dean for external affairs in the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, added that he was "delighted" to take a post at an institution where he not only completed his undergraduate and postgraduate studies but also had his first academic appointment. "A dean's post was something I was looking to move on to, particularly at a university that has such an excellent record of innovative teaching and learning, but also has an increasing reputation for research and enterprise," he said. "A key focus of my role," he added, "is continuing to build on the progress that's been made in research, in preparation for the (research excellence framework), but also beyond. High-quality research output is the key." A mental health nurse by profession, Professor Playle has worked in a range of clinical settings. "It's crucial to have a collaborative approach to developing education through both practice and research," he said. "What it's about at the end of the day is making a real difference to the experience of people who are using health services."

University of Bristol

Ivana Partridge

A leading researcher in the field of composites has joined the University of Bristol to run the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council's Industrial Doctorate Centre (IDC) in composites manufacture. Ivana Partridge, professor of composites processing and director of the new centre, has joined Bristol after leading research activity in the field at Cranfield University for three decades. "It was a very pleasant surprise because I had been at Cranfield for 33 years and hadn't ever considered leaving," she said. "But it's a very exciting opportunity." In her new role, Professor Partridge will get the IDC "up and running". The centre aims to provide the composite manufacturing industry with engineers equipped with advanced technical and leadership skills. "The target is to produce 30-plus elite research engineers for the composites industry over the next six years," she said. "The scientific challenges are complex and it's only now with the advent of new techniques that it's possible to put academic rigour into (the field)," she said. Professor Partridge studied physics at the University of Cambridge and completed her doctorate at Cranfield.

University of Nottingham

Michael Freeden

A prominent figure in the study of political ideology is joining the University of Nottingham's School of Politics and International Relations. Michael Freeden, emeritus professor of politics at the University of Oxford after a long career at the institution, will take up a three-year part-time chair in political theory at Nottingham in January. "I was looking for a new challenge and was delighted to have been approached by a first-class university such as Nottingham," he said. "I hope to initiate a number of research and learning activities and to organise projects on ideologies, on conceptual history and on the study of actual political thinking." Additionally, he said, he was keen to engage with the students at the school. "There have been countless occasions when I have learned from students' analyses and consequently improved my own understanding," he said. "Academics need that particular kind of freshness and enthusiasm to prevent them from sinking into routine. …

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