Celebrate Our Staff – November 2020

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

Professor Irena Grugulis is “delighted” with the Fellowship

Professor Irena Grugulis, Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. November 2020

Fellowship for Work and Skills Chair

One of the leading figures at Leeds University Business School (LUBS) is celebrating after receiving a prestigious honour.

Professor Irena Grugulis, Chair in Work and Skills, is one of 73 academics newly elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.

As a specialist in qualitative research, Professor Grugulis focuses on learning and skills at work, including the ways that work both supports and limits learning, the challenges raised by soft skills and the links between skills and performance.

She said: “I was delighted and honoured to be elected to such a prestigious Fellowship. I hope it will spur me to continue to research and continue to improve my own practice.”

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk, said: “This is important recognition of Professor Grugulis’ hard work and dedication, which I am sure will be applauded by the whole University community.”

The Academy of Social Sciences also congratulated those joining the Fellowship for applying their knowledge and expertise across diverse areas of public life and working to improve social, political and economic wellbeing – both in the UK and beyond.

Read the full story

Prize for Physics of Life Network

A portrait picture of Professor Stephen Smye. November 2020Professor Stephen Smye is part of the steering group

The 2020 Rosalind Franklin Medal and Prize was awarded to the Physics of Life UK Network (PoLNET) steering group.

The group, which includes Professor Stephen Smye (School of Medicine), was noted by the Institute of Physics for its contributions to the growth of the Physics of Life network through new and adventurous partnerships between researchers in UK biological physics.   

Professor Smye said: “The Physics of Life Network has worked hard to encourage the exchange of ideas at interface between the physical and the life sciences, including medicine. 

“At Leeds, we have an excellent track-record in productive interdisciplinary research and yet I am frequently surprised and excited at the entirely novel collaborations and the radically different ways of thinking about long-standing research questions which have emerged from the Physics of Life network.”

The network aims to drive new, stronger collaborations between clinicians and physical and biological scientists.

As part of its third phase, a new Physics of Medicine arm of the network has been created specifically to encourage engagement from clinical and medical communities.

Physics of Medicine will run from 2020 to 2023, and at its core are six interdisciplinary workshops – led by Professor Smye – that focus on major clinical questions. The first is on the Physics of Brains, with a follow-up session on neurodegenerative disease in February 2021. A workshop on metastasis, which will be held jointly with Cancer Research UK, is planned for later in 2021.

Psychotherapist of the Year accolade

Psychotherapist of the Year James Taylor. November 2020Alumn James Taylor continues to work with students

Leeds and West Yorkshire’s Prestige Awards have named a member of the Student Counselling and Wellbeing Service Psychotherapist of the Year.

James Taylor received the award thanks to the positive feedback from people he has worked with at the University.  

James, a Leeds Alumn, has been with the service for many years, and runs the weekly meditation groups at LUU, currently via Zoom.

He said: “The University service has changed beyond recognition from the one I joined in 1999. Our offer now ranges from counselling and consultation, groups and workshops to a programme enabling people to get more active at The Edge.

“My approach is always to meet each person where they are and to create a package of care that works for them. I have a range of skills and knowledge to call on: in addition to psychotherapy I am qualified to teach Yoga and Meditation and Wing Chun.

“I’m grateful to receive this award. Knowing that mine and my talented and committed colleagues’ work is valued and appreciated feels pretty good.”

His manager, Jane Harris, said: “This award is exceptionally well deserved, and a wonderful chance to celebrate the necessarily discrete, but nonetheless excellent, work of the counselling, wellbeing and mental health teams.

“Thank you to James, colleagues and all the students we welcome to our service each year.”

Find out more about the Prestige Awards

MEETinLEEDS has a Positive Impact

MEETinLEEDSs' Anthony Lowe (right) with Communication Matters representatives. November 2020MEETinLEEDs’ Anthony Lowe (right) with Communication Matters representatives

The MEETinLEEDS team has been using its Aventri event management software to support a UK-wide charity during a difficult year.

Communication Matters supports people of all ages who find it hard to communicate because they have little or no clear speech. 

The charity relies heavily on the income from their events to keep going, but this year each one had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.

As part of Leeds’ Positive Impact Partners programme, managed by colleagues in Sustainability and aimed at helping staff collaborate with local communities, MEETinLEEDS has been able to support Communication Matters as it arranged various virtual events – all helping to raise awareness and vital funds for the charity.

MEETinLEEDS Event Manager, Anthony Lowe, said: “I have loved working with, and getting to know, the Communication Matters team over the years. We are privileged to support the work it does and always look forward to its events.

“Although it’s sad we haven’t been able to welcome delegates to campus this year, we are glad we have been able to support the charity with its virtual sessions.

“As our Positive Impact Partner, we know how important its events are in generating income in order to run the charity and we are delighted that we are able to help in a year that has been so difficult to raise vital funds.”

Read the full story

International collaboration wins 2020 Newton Prize

A profile picture of Dr Gehan Selim. November 2020The multidisciplinary team includes Dr Gehan Selim

Dr Gehan Selim (School of Civil Engineering) is part of an international collaboration between multidisciplinary teams that has just won the 2020 Newton Prize (Jordan category).

The project, titled ‘Our Past, Our Future, All Together in Faynan’, aims to build community engagement with the Faynan Museum in Jordan, as well as facilities for eco-tourism to support social cohesiveness, individual wellbeing and sustainable economic development in the area.

The multidisciplinary team includes a Principle Investigator from the University of Reading, as well as researchers from the Council of British Research in the Levant, The Department of Antiquities of Jordan, Queen Mary College in the UK and the Universities of Jordan and Petra in Jordan.

Dr Selim is a Key Co-Investigator on the project.

She said: “I am delighted that we received the prestigious Newton Prize this year in recognition of the impact our work had made to people’s lives in Faynan, Jordan.

“This project forms a success model on using the rich cultural heritage of the area to support sustainable economic development.” 

The Newton Prize launched in 2016 and celebrates outstanding international research partnerships that play an important role in addressing challenges in developing countries and around the world.

The shortlist for this year's prize featured 27 research and innovation projects between the UK and Egypt, Jordan, Kenya, South Africa and Turkey.

Prestigious journal appointment

A profile image of Professor Elizabeth Rose. November 2020Professor Elizabeth Rose will co-edit a new Academy of Management journal

Chair in International Business, Professor Elizabeth Rose (LUBS), has been appointed Co-editor of a new Academy of Management journal: Academy of Management Collections (AMC).

Professor Rose – who is also Adjunct Professor of Business Policy and Strategy at the Indian Institute of Management Udaipur and a Fellow of the Academy of International Business – said: “I am delighted and honoured to be co-editing AOC with Professor Benjamin Galvin, of Brigham Young University. It is a wonderful opportunity to launch a new journal that builds on the base of excellence represented by the other AOM publications.

“Our goal is for AOC to provide well-considered overviews of key topics, which will be especially valuable for early-career researchers, as well as for experienced researchers seeking to investigate new areas of interest.”

AMC will join the Academy of Management’s stable of journals, which includes the Financial Times 50-listed Academy of Management Journal and Academy of Management Review. 

It will publish carefully-curated collections of articles from the AOM’s archive of journal articles, tied together by an original essay from one or more curators, with the goal of enhancing understanding of key topics in management research and transforming how management knowledge is collected and built.

Read the full story

Praise for Lighthouse Labs scientists

Postgraduate student Suki Lee. November 2020Suki Lee, a postgraduate research student, at the Alderley Lighthouse Lab. Credit: Medicines Discovery Catapult

Staff and students from Leeds have been recognised for their role in helping to establish the Alderley Park Lighthouse Laboratory in Cheshire, a key part of the Government’s COVID-19 testing strategy.

The ‘super-lab’ is part of the Lighthouse Lab network —the largest diagnostics network in UK history.

The network was created from scratch in March to help increase the UK’s covid-19 testing capacity, and required an army of scientifically-trained volunteers.

A total of 26 staff and postgraduate research students, from the Faculties of Biological Science and Medicine and Health, offered to help.

Professor Nicola Stonehouse, from the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology, said: “Staff and students from Leeds played a major part in getting the Lighthouse Labs up and running. They are the unsung heroes of a system that is a vitally important part of the Government’s scientific response to tackling the pandemic.”

In a virtual presentation to staff and students at the University, Dr Mark Wigglesworth, Site Director at the Alderley Park Lighthouse Lab, paid tribute to the scientists who helped make the facility a reality.

Dr Wigglesworth, who studied for his PhD at Leeds in the late 1990s, said: “We were astounded by the sheer number of people who stepped forward at the start of the year to dedicate their time and energy towards a common goal – and how the application of technology and science can contribute towards the eradication of the terrible pandemic we’ve all had to endure this year.

Read the full story

Second honour for scientist

A portrait image of Dr Charalampos (Harry) Tsoumpas. September 2020.2020 is proving to be an eventful year for Dr Charalampos Tsoumpas

Dr Charalampos (Harry) Tsoumpas (Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine) has been honoured a second time this year by becoming an Institute of Physics (IOP) Fellow.

This follows a similar accolade awarded earlier in the summer when he became a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM).

The IOP is the learned society for all physicists in the UK and Ireland, and comprises more than 50,000 members.

It works to promote the teaching of physics at various levels of education, both nationally and internationally. The organisation also provides support and research grants, and enables communities of physicists to come together.

The Fellowship received by Dr Tsoumpas is an award granted by the IOP for physicists who indicate a very high level of achievement in physics and have made an outstanding contribution to the profession.

IOP Fellows are encouraged to support it in promoting the value of physics to society and to inspire others to study, work and excel in the field.

Dr Tsoumpas said: “I’m thrilled about this – especially as it adds a positive note to the difficult period we all live in!

“I am particularly excited about the Fellowship because it is nice to be recognised for your work by the wider scientific community, even if one’s contributions are primarily in the healthcare sector.”

He also hopes that his recently-awarded fellowships will help attract bright physicists to join his team and the effort in developing the field of Molecular Imaging Physics such as Positron Emission Tomography (PET), which is a rapidly evolving interdisciplinary domain.

Apprenticeship success

A profile picture of Mark Smithson. November 2020Mark Smithson completed the programme alongside his full-time job

Mark Smithson – a Project Manager in IT Services – has successfully completed his Associate Project Management apprenticeship programme.

The apprenticeship programme involved 18 months of study covering 15 project management-related learning areas, all following the lifecycle of a typical project.

IT’s HR team developed and promoted the apprenticeship programme to offer career development opportunities to a number of staff within IT Services, and Mark is the first to undertake this path within the IT Programme Office.

Mark joined the IT Service Desk five years ago, before moving to the IT Programme Office as a Portfolio Analyst, subsequently securing a Project Manager role.

He said: “I feel very proud of what I have managed to achieve on my apprenticeship journey; seven training courses, success in my Agile and APM Project Management Qualification exams, completion of my 15 portfolio assignments, a video presentation and a final end-point panel interview.

“The Associate Project Manager apprenticeship programme was a fantastic opportunity and provided me with the knowledge, skills and confidence to pursue a project management role.

“It was definitely a key factor in me successfully securing my project management role, and I’m very grateful to have been given the opportunity and for the support of my manager, Stacey Forman, along my journey.”

Web of Science highlights influential researchers

Leeds Parkinson Skyline August 2018Several academics from Leeds have been noted for their contributions to research

A total of 11 Leeds academics from various schools have been named on the list of Web of Science Highly Cited Researchers for 2020.

The accolade recognises some of the leaders in their respective fields during the past decade.

To make it on to the list, academics must produce multiple highly-cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year in the Web of Science.

The Leeds academics that have made the list are:

Web of Science provides data, analytics and workflow tools to the research community, across higher education, governments and research-intensive corporations around the world.

Those featured in the list ranked in the top 1% by citations in one or more of 21 fields in papers published between 2009 and the end of 2019. Full details of the methodology can be found on Web of Science.  

Get in touch!

Celebrate Our Staff will be taking a break for December, but we know there are lots of great things happening to support the work of the University in these testing times – and we still want to hear about them!

Please follow the staff Twitter account to see the latest updates and copy in our @UniLeedsStaff handle when posting success stories, so we can share them with colleagues.

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

Keep in touch, and we’ll feature as many achievements as we can in January.

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