Celebrate Our Staff – June 2020

Here we celebrate our colleagues’ achievements across the University this past month.

Professor Jaafar Elmirghani has been recognised by the IEEE

Professor Jaafar Elmirghani in the lab. July 2020

International award for energy efficient communications

Pioneering work undertaken by Professor Jaafar Elmirghani (School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering) and his team has been officially recognised with a major award.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has rewarded the achievements of Professor Elmirghani and his colleagues by presenting them with the Outstanding Technical Achievement Award for contributions to the energy efficiency of optical communications.

The coveted accolade recognises distinct contributions the researchers have made to:

  • energy-efficient core optical network design, virtualisation and optimisation
  • energy-efficient optical inter- and intra-data centre networks; and
  • optical wireless systems during the past 20 years, which led to data rates that formed one of the basis of future 6G wireless communication systems.

Professor Elmirghani said: “I am delighted that my work and the work of my group was recognised through this prestigious award, for our distinct contributions to optical communications and energy efficiency.

“It is a tribute to the world-leading work my group has carried out in this area and the immense support we received from our industrial and academic collaborators.”

Professor Elmirghani has also played a key role in promoting the wider energy efficiency agenda in communication systems and ICT in general. He founded and co-chairs the IEEE Sustainable ICT initiative – an IEEE Societies initiative responsible for green technology activities.

Read more about the award and Professor Elmirghani’s work.

Dr Ai Lyn Tan, who has been appointed Ediotr-in-Chief of Rheumatology Advances in Practice. July 2020Rheumatology Advances in Practice has appointed Dr Ai Lyn Tan as Editor-in-Chief

Editor-in-Chief appointment for Associate Professor

Dr Ai Lyn Tan has been appointed the new Editor-in-Chief of Rheumatology Advances in Practice – an official journal of the British Society for Rheumatology.

Dr Tan is an Associate Professor at the Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine (LIRMM) and the NIHR Leeds Biomedical Research Centre.

She is an Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist at Chapel Allerton Hospital and also co-leads the LIRMM’s Postgraduate Research Studies.

Dr Tan said: “I feel very honoured to be appointed the Editor-in-Chief of this fully open access rheumatology journal.

“I am excited about driving the opportunities for all healthcare professionals and scientists to share their high-quality clinical papers – made available online to everyone.

“The journal is only three years old, and therefore is relatively new. I look forward to contributing to shaping its future and to bringing it to the forefront of sharing advances in all areas of rheumatology and musculoskeletal practice.

“The increasing professional use of social media in academia facilitates the dissemination of knowledge. I intend to capitalise on this by using social media to further increase the visibility of the journal, which can enhance the potential to lead to more citations and more impact.”

Find out more about Dr Tan’s appointment on the British Society for Rheumatology website.

You can also follow Dr Tan, and Rheumatology Advances in Practice, on Twitter.

Dr Amy Russell, who has been awarded a Wellcome Trust Fellowship, July 2020The Wellcome Trust has awarded Dr Amy Russell a Fellowship

Wellcome Trust Fellowship honour

Dr Amy Russell (Leeds Institute of Health Sciences) has been awarded a 2020 Wellcome Trust Fellowship in Humanities and Social Sciences.

Her research will explore how ethics committees think and talk about people with a learning disability as participants in research.

People with a learning disability are often excluded from health research, based on assumptions about how well they can understand or take part, yet they can receive care through mainstream services that are guided by that very same research.

Dr Russell aims to find out how those who recruit people into research understand situations where the person has a learning disability. She will also speak to people with a learning disability to get their opinion on taking part in health research and the process of giving consent. 

This research will be used to improve guidance for ethics panels, researchers and information about research for people with a learning disability.

Dr Russell said: “People with a learning disability experience multiple forms of discrimination resulting in health inequalities and reduced life expectancy. I am delighted to be able to conduct this research and create a platform for them to voice their opinions on a previously under-researched area.

“As an experienced health researcher, I’m looking forward to examining the way societal norms inform the process of health research.

“This research will be truly interdisciplinary. It benefits from the fantastic team at Leeds, and beyond, who helped me shape the Fellowship across Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, Healthcare, Sociology, Law, NHS Trusts and the charitable sector.”

Find out more about this research on the Wellcome Trust website.  

Professor Jose Miola, who has joined the School of Law. July 2020.

Professor Jose Miola joins our School of Law from the University of Leicester

New Chair in Law and Social Justice

Professor Jose Miola joined the School of Law as Chair in Law and Social Justice on Monday 1 June.

He joins us from the University of Leicester, where he worked since starting his first academic role in 1998.

Professor Miola said: “My research interests lie in medical law and ethics, and I have written on the relationship between medical law and medical ethics, decision-making, clinical negligence and informed consent.”

In recent years, he was part of the General Medical Council (GMC) Task and Finish Group, which created ethical guidance relating to cosmetic surgery. He was also actively involved in the successful campaign against Lord Saatchi's Medical Innovation Bill. 

Professor Miola added: “I am absolutely delighted to be joining an excellent department in a beautiful city, with welcoming colleagues who are leaders in their fields and, in many cases, have interests that overlap with my own.”

Read the full story.

Professor Paul Emery, who has had his services to Rheumatology recognised. July 2020Professor Paul Emery’s services to Rheumatology have been recognised

Outstanding service to Rheumatology honoured

Professor Paul Emery OBE (School of Medicine) has received a Meritorious Award for Outstanding Service to Rheumatology.

The accolade is the highest award granted by the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR).

The Meritorious Award is given at the opening event of the EULAR Annual Congress, which was held online this year.

Professor Emery is Director of the NIHR Leeds Biomedical Research Centre and a former president of EULAR.

He said: “I am highly honoured to receive the EULAR Meritorious Award for Outstanding Service to Rheumatology.

“During 40 years of rheumatology, I have been fortunate to have seen, and be part of, a revolution in the management of patients with rheumatic diseases. I have also had the privilege of training many talented rheumatologists, who will ensure the revolution continues.

“Whilst president of EULAR, I was able to initiate two movements: FOREUM (the Foundation for Rheumatology Research) and EMEUNET (the network for emerging leaders), both of which flourish and make major contributions to our patients and the organisation.

“It is wonderful that Leeds has been honoured in this way.” 

Professor Ken Carslaw, who has won the 2019 Ardrian Gill Prize. July 2020.Professor Ken Carslaw has won the 2019 Adrian Gill Prize

Atmospheric scientist awarded Royal Meteorological Society prize

Professor Ken Carslaw (School of Earth and Environment) has been awarded the 2019 Adrian Gill Prize by the Royal Meteorological Society.

One of 18 prizes announced to honour those who have made exceptional contributions relating to weather, climate and associated disciplines, the award recognises his work on atmospheric science research and aerosol modelling.

On accepting the award, Professor Carslaw said: “I am honoured to receive the Adrian Gill Prize, and very grateful to the Royal Meteorological Society and my nominators.

“Although it is almost a cliché to say that this award should be shared with all my great collaborators, it is absolutely true. I am never more productive or inspired than when I am working with sharp-minded people who question my ideas.

“I’m also grateful to the University of Leeds and the Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science, which have provided a stimulating environment for collaboration and for pushing new ideas forwards.”

Having made fundamental discoveries in the physical processes of aerosol formation – and applying these discoveries to numerical models used for weather and climate prediction – Professor Carslaw has had an outstanding career in the field.

You can read more about his win on the Priestley International Centre for Climate website.

Kirsty Haunch, who has won an NIHR Career Development Award. July 2020The award will help Kirsty Haunch develop her research

Celebrating NIHR Award

Kirsty Haunch (School of Healthcare) has received a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Career Development Award.

She is a research fellow, working in the school’s People, Systems and Services theme.

This work brings together a multidisciplinary mix of health service researchers and social scientists, such as psychologists, sociologists and implementation scientists.

The award provides an opportunity for Kirsty to develop her career as a health and social care researcher. It will also allow her to take time to conduct the preparatory work needed for an NIHR Advanced Fellowship.

Professor Karen Spilsbury has been providing support.

On the award, Kirsty said: "I am very excited to receive this award as it will give me the time and resources to develop into a future researcher leader.

“I feel very privileged that the NIHR and the University of Leeds have invested in me."

Director of Operations Stewart Ross, who has been appointed Chair of Triathlon Leeds. July 2020New Chair of Triathlon Leeds – Stewart Ross

Director of Operations named new Chair of Triathlon Leeds

Director of Operations Stewart Ross has been appointed as the new Chair of Triathlon Leeds.

He was involved in establishing the Leeds Triathlon Centre in 2018 and brings a wealth of experience in sports administration to the role, having led the Leeds City sports partnership for 10 years.

The Leeds Triathlon Centre is a partnership between ourselves and British Triathlon, Leeds Beckett University and Leeds City Council.

The centre aims to create pathways to participation in the sport at every level, as well as provide coaching and volunteering programmes to support it across the city.

Stewart has plenty of sporting and organisational experience to bring to the role, thanks to his roles as a former chair of national higher education sports bodies, director of sport at three UK universities and as a triathlete himself.

He said: “I am delighted to be joining the Board in moving forward triathlon in Leeds. This is a very exciting opportunity and I hope that we can build on the excellent foundations laid so far.

“I would like to thank Bill James for his leadership of the centre during the past two years and look forward to continuing the very positive work that is taking place within the city and region.”

Find out more about the appointment on the British Triathlon website.

The Universities UK Proud to Help social media tile. July 2020.Universities UK has launched the next phase of its #WeAreTogether campaign

#WeAreTogether – Proud to help

Universities UK (UUK) launched ‘#WeAreTogether: Proud to help’ on Tuesday 30 June.

This is the next phase of the #WeAreTogether campaign, which has been running on social media since April.

The aim of the initiative is to spotlight individual staff and students who have gone the extra mile to help others during these challenging times.

In the run-up to National Graduates Day later this summer, UUK will be sharing inspiring stories of how staff and students have been supporting the national effort, each other and local communities.

To get involved, simply share your story – or thank someone for their support – on social media using the hashtag #WeAreTogether.

You can find out more from the official Universities UK Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook accounts, as well as the campaign Instagram feed.

We know there are great things happening to support the work of the University in these testing times. Please follow the staff Twitter account for examples of this and copy in our @UniLeedsStaff handle when posting success stories, so we can share them with colleagues.

Please contact Internal Communications if you or one of your colleagues would like to appear in this monthly feature. This is open to all staff – professional and academic.

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