Celebrate Our Staff - February 2021

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

Professor Paul Taylor, Professor Alice O’Grady and Professor Kenny McDowall

Profile pictures of the three Deans of Student Education. February 2021.

New Deans for Student Education appointed

Three new Deans for Student Education have been appointed to provide increased leadership and focus on critical areas of our forthcoming strategy.

Professor Alice O’Grady has been appointed Dean: Student Education (Quality and Standards), Professor Kenny McDowall has been appointed Dean: Student Education (Portfolio and Curriculum), and Professor Paul Taylor has been appointed Dean: Student Education (Experience).

The three areas of focus cover the full remit of student education, with sufficient overlap to ensure a joined-up approach to the delivery of all aspects of the students experience.

Working with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education and the seven Pro-Deans for Student Education, they will develop and lead the implementation of the student education elements of the new ten-year strategy.

Professor Peter Jimack, Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education, said: “Although the three posts were recruited independently, the outcome is a new team with a great mix of expertise, experience and academic backgrounds.

“The new roles will allow us both to progress with an ambitious and transformative strategy in student education, whilst at the same time responding pro-actively to external challenges – such as those posed by covid-19 now and in the future.

“Alice, Kenny and Paul will help to ensure that, as we adopt and implement fundamental enhancements to our educational provision, we are able to take on board views from all stakeholders and support students, academics and professional staff in the successful delivery of these enhancements.”

Read the full story

New Head of School of Earth and Environment

A profile image of Professor Simon Kelley, new Head of School of Earth and Environment. February 2021Professor Simon Kelley will start the role in April

Professor Simon Kelley has been appointed as the Head of the School of Earth and Environment.

He will start in his role on Thursday 1 April. 

Professor Kelley will join us from the University of Edinburgh, where he is the Head of the School of Geosciences. He was also formerly a Head of Department and Associate Dean at the Open University.

Professor Kelley is a highly regarded Earth Scientist with a specialism in geochronology (measurement of the rates and timescales of geological processes), including the development of innovative laser and mass spectrometer-based techniques for measurement of noble gases. 

More recently, this work has been augmented by an interest in Technology Enhanced Learning, arising from his leadership of the internationally renowned Virtual Microscope for Earth Sciences at the Open University.

Of the appointment, Professor Kelley said: “I am honoured to be selected for this role and am really excited at the prospect of coming to Leeds to be the Head of the School of Earth and Environment. 

“It will be an exciting and challenging role, leading a successful, diverse and interdisciplinary school at the heart of the University response to the climate change crisis.”

Professor Simon Bottrell stepped down from this role at the end of 2020 after six years in post. Dr Bill Murphy will be the Interim Head of School until April.

New Chair of the University Pathway Alliance

A profile image of Ann Lawrence, Chair of the University Pathway Alliance. February 2021.Anne Lawrence, new Chair of the UPA

Anne Lawrence, Director of International Pathway Programmes, has been appointed the Chair of the University Pathway Alliance (UPA).

The UPA is a network of UK universities that have their own international pathway programmes on their campus.

It currently has a membership that includes a range of like-minded institutions, such as King’s College, Bristol, Warwick, Birmingham and St Andrews. 

Anne said: “I am delighted to be supporting the work of the University Pathway Alliance as its new Chair.

“As a university membership, we are able to share best practice and support each other by finding the points of collaboration through which we can support our individual institutional missions.

“This collaboration is even more important during this global pandemic. I hope we can build on this approach as we move into the future.”

One of Anne’s first projects is leading the alliance in a redefining and clarifying of its goals and objectives, with the aim of benefitting both the membership and the wider international pathway practitioner community during the next five-year period.

Leeds online courses are top of the class again

The Class Central 2021 splash logo on a green and blue background. February 2021.Class Central has once again recognised our digital courses

Online courses from Leeds have again dominated Class Central’s rankings.

This, once more, highlights the hard work a number of teams across the University have put in to help make us a world-renowned institution for digital education.

‘Food Science and Nutrition: From the Farm to You’ – a course developed by the Digital Education Service with academics from the School of Food Science and Nutrition – featured in Class Central’s list of Best Online Courses of the Year.

The list, based on reviews from Class Central’s users, highlights 30 high-ranking courses out of the 2,800 launched in 2020. 

Leeds was the only UK university to appear in this particular list, ranking among prestigious global names such as Yale University and The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

We’ve also delivered some of the most popular courses, with three entries in Class Central’s 100 Most Popular Free Online Courses

The featured courses were: 

They form part of a Digital Skills for the Workplace collection – developed in partnership with the Institute of Coding – that saw major success in 2020

As a member of staff at Leeds, you have free upgraded access to all University courses on FutureLearn, as well as a wide range of courses on Coursera.

Find these courses, and many more, on the Digital Practice website.

Read the full story

Award for PhD dissertation

A profile image of Dr Thomas Hancock. February 2021.Travel behaviour modelling was the focus of Dr Thomas Hancock’s work

Dr Thomas Hancock has won the 2019 Eric Pas Award for the best PhD dissertation in travel behaviour research.

Dr Hancock – from the Choice Modelling Centre and the Institute for Transport Studies – won for his thesis entitled ‘Travel behaviour modelling at the interface between econometrics and mathematical psychology’.

This is a highly competitive award presented by the International Association for Travel Behaviour Research (IATBR).

Dr Hancock said: “I feel very honoured to have won the award and would like to thank my PhD supervisors, Professor Stephane Hess and Dr Charisma Choudhury.

“I look forward to continuing my work at Leeds as a Research Fellow on the NEXUS project.”

The jury commended Dr Hancock for the quality of his work, noting that his dissertation can “instigate a paradigm shift in travel behaviour analysis” and that “nobody has been able to operationalise such a distinctive but reasonable method for choice prediction and understanding, including the welfare economics we desire for project and policy evaluations”. 

His PhD thesis used the alternative format, based on a remarkable eight papers – four of which have been published and four of which are currently under re-review.

This is the third award Dr Hancock has received for his work, following on from the best PhD student paper at the 2017 International Choice Modelling Conference and the most innovative application paper at the 2019 International Choice Modelling Conference.

A PDF copy of Dr Hancock’s thesis can be downloaded from White Rose eTheses Online.  

Faculty of Medicine and Health award winners

The Baines Wing at sunset. Winter 2019.The Faculty of Medicine and Health is celebrating multiple awards

Several colleagues across the Faculty of Medicine and Health have received awards as part of the Health Education England and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Integrated Clinical Academic Programme.

The recipients were:

Clinical Doctoral Research Fellows

  • Adam Galloway (physiotherapist, LIRMM, School of Medicine)
  • Nicola Shaw (pharmacist, School of Healthcare)
  • Matthew Beasley (radiographer, LIMR, School of Medicine)

Clinical Lecturers

  • Maria Paton (LICAMM, School of Medicine)
  • Kerrie Davies (LIMR, School of Medicine)

Professor Anne-Maree Keenan, Associate Dean for the NIHR Academy, said: “The success we have had with the NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic Pathway is as a direct result of the community of researchers we have created in the non-medical clinical academic area here at Leeds. 

“We have established a culture of peer support and encouragement, where our researchers devote an enormous amount of time and support in preparing our applicants to be the best prepared they can be, without any direct benefit to themselves. This has been integral to our success.”

The programme provides research training awards for health and social care professionals who wish to develop careers that combine research and research leadership with continued practice and professional development.

Water Woman Awards 2021

The Water Woman Award logo. March 2020The awards were launched in partnership with Athena Swan teams at Leeds

Winners have been announced in the second instalment of an award scheme recognising the achievements of women in research and their power to inspire others.

Launched by water@leeds, recipients of the Water Woman Award 2021 were honoured on International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

Panel Chair, Professor Julia Martin-Ortega, said: “On this second edition of the Water Woman Award, we have once again been overwhelmed by all candidates.

“Particularly interesting this year is how many nominations have been made by male academics in recognition of their female colleagues, as well as the number of applications in the category of research support. I believe these are signs of an increasingly widespread awareness of the value and importance of women’s contribution to science in multiple aspects.

“Like last year, we not only have amazing winners, but also a great pool of inspiring candidates that we hope to engage in empowering and supporting other women.”


Read the full story

United Nations Working Group appointment

A profile image of Professor Peter Whelan, Director of the Centre for Business Law and Practice. February 2021.Professor Peter Whelan, Director of the Centre for Business Law and Practice

Professor Peter Whelan spoke at the first meeting of the United Nations Working Group on cross-border cartels on 4 February.

Operated by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the group comprises antitrust officials from more than 50 UN Member States, as well as a select group of scholars, practitioners and representatives from international organisations, such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Representing the Centre for Business Law and Practice at the Leeds, Professor Whelan is the only UK academic participant on the Working Group.

He said: “The United Nations is a fantastic venue for communicating best practices in competition enforcement to competition authorities from across the globe.

“I'm very honoured to be asked to contribute to this initiative. It is a real privilege for me to be able to input my research into the discussions of the Working Group.”

The group is intended to highlight best practices and facilitate information exchange between members, and aims to complete its report in June 2021.

As a member, Professor Whelan will input his expertise on the enforcement of cartel law, and help to strengthen further existing collaborative links.

The Centre for Business Law and Practice, of which Professor Whelan is the Director, is a member of UNCTAD’s Research Partnership Platform on Competition and Consumer Protection.

In this capacity, the centre aims to provide policy advice on the formulation and enforcement of competition laws and policies, support educational activities on competition, and contribute to training and capacity building in the developing world.

Read the full story

Women of Achievement Awards 2021

The Women of Achievement slogan - "Celebrating Women of Achievement" against a black and yellow background. February 2021The online event will honour those who have made outstanding contributions to the University or wider communities

There will be an online Women of Achievement Awards 2021 ceremony on Thursday 11 March, with a keynote speech from Vice-Chancellor Professor Simone Buitendijk.

The Women of Achievement Awards support the University’s Equality and Inclusion Framework objectives towards the recruitment, retention and advancement of women across the University.

The award ceremony acknowledges and celebrates women who have made an outstanding contribution to the University and local, national or international communities.

This includes helping to achieve the delivery of the University’s research, student education or international strategies, excelling in professional services delivery, or providing leadership and/or team contribution which has enhanced the University’s reputation, culture or capability.

Find out more and sign up to attend.

Get in touch!

We know there are lots of great things happening to support the work of the University – and we 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.

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