Magazine article Times Higher Education


Magazine article Times Higher Education


Article excerpt

Cape Breton University

David Wheeler

The new president of Cape Breton University in Nova Scotia has expressed his "gratitude" to the university for giving him the role, adding that he was also looking forward to the "giant scallops and inexpensive lobster" available to him in the region. It will be the second stint in the Canadian province for David Wheeler, who is currently pro vice-chancellor for sustainability at Plymouth University: he was dean of management at Dalhousie University between 2006 and 2009. At Dalhousie, he established multi-stakeholder consensus on energy efficiency and renewable electricity policy reform for Nova Scotia. Dr Wheeler studied for his undergraduate and doctoral degrees at the University of Surrey and is a former international business executive with experience in public health science, international development, corporate social responsibility, entrepreneurship and sustainable energy policy. He has also held positions at Surrey and Kingston universities, and York University in Ontario. He said he was looking forward to ensuring that Cape Breton expands its regional economic and global research impact. However, the football fan did admit that he would miss the "fighting spirit of Plymouth Argyle's players and supporters".

University of Southampton

Nuria Garcia-Araez

A new lecturer in electrochemistry at the University of Southampton said the transition from her native Spain to the UK had been made easier by the people, who she said had shown "typical English manners". "I love the UK. This is my first time in the country and it's really good, people are really nice and extremely polite," Nuria Garcia-Araez said. She added that, in her opinion, Southampton had "the best electrochemistry group in the world". "They have a lot of strong fundamental knowledge combined with big expertise in techniques," she said. Dr Garcia-Araez joined from the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland and will continue her work on lithium-air batteries, which she hopes will lead to their use commercially. "They (have an) energy density similar to gasoline, so in theory they're extremely good," she said. "There are several fundamental challenges ... (but) if we succeed, it's going to make a huge difference." After obtaining her first-class degree in chemistry from the University of Alicante, Dr Garcia-Araez remained at the institution to complete her PhD. She worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the FOM Institute AMOLF in Amsterdam and at Leiden University before moving to Switzerland.

University of Westminster

Martin Willis

An academic whose prime research interest is the link between Victorian literature and science said that moving to London was an ideal opportunity because of its rich history of connections between the disciplines. "I've never taken a (Jack the) Ripper tour, but I'll certainly take advantage of it," said Martin Willis, who has just joined the University of Westminster as professor of science, literature and communication. He said literature and science were two subject fields that were inextricably linked, but the connection had perhaps been forgotten. "I think we think of certain sciences such as forensics (as being contemporary) because of watching (programmes like) CSI. (But) forensic science is Victorian, and (BBC One's) Ripper Street reminds us that there is this long history ... that takes us back into the 19th century. That's really useful for a general audience to remember - it's not all about the now." Among other projects he has planned, Professor Willis hopes to arrange a show of Charles Dickens' The Haunted Man for Westminster's 175th anniversary. …

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