New Institute Directors

08 February 2013

Left to Right: Professor Wayne Powell, Professor Andrew Henley, Professor Sarah Prescott, Professor April McMahon, Professor Neil Glasser, Professor Qiang Shen, Professor Kate Bullen and Professor Tim Woods.
Left to Right: Professor Wayne Powell, Professor Andrew Henley, Professor Sarah Prescott, Professor April McMahon, Professor Neil Glasser, Professor Qiang Shen, Professor Kate Bullen and Professor Tim Woods.

Professors Qiang Shen, Neil Glasser, Andrew Henley, Sarah Prescott and Tim Woods will join Professor Wayne Powell of the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences and Professor Kate Bullen of the Institute of Human Sciences as Directors of the University’s seven Institutes.

A major component of the University’s five year strategic plan, the new interdisciplinary Institutes will strengthen the coordination of activities across the University’s departments, centres and research units; develop high-level leadership opportunities; permit the devolution of budgets and decision-making; and allow for a common set of expectations in services and support across the University.

Commenting on the new appointments, Professor April McMahon, Vice-Chancellor said:
“We are delighted to have made such excellent appointments. The Directors bring great qualities to their new roles, and a diverse range of expertise and experience. This process shows the talent we have available within Aberystwyth University. We can trust this new team of leaders to develop their new Institutes as we move into the important implementation phase for our new Strategic Plan.”

Professor Qiang Shen
Professor Qiang Shen will head up the new Institute of Mathematics and Physics and Computer Science Institute. Professor Shen is currently the Head of the Department of Computer Science at Aberystwyth. He gained a PhD in Knowledge-Based Systems from Heriot-Watt University. He came from the University of Edinburgh (where he served as Director of Teaching with the School of Informatics) in 2004 to take up the post of Chair in Computer Science. He is a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales and a Research Exercise Framework (REF) 2014 panel member for Computer Science and Informatics. He is one of the highest-cited authors in computational intelligence and has authored 2 research monographs and over 300 peer-reviewed papers, including one which received an IEEE Outstanding Transactions Paper Award, the most prestigious international publication prize in the field. He has been the first-supervisor of 40 PhDs/PDRAs, including a British Computer Society Distinguished Dissertation Award winner.

Professor Neil Glasser
Professor Neil Glasser will be the Institute Director for the new Institute that contains Geography and Earth Sciences, International Politics and History and Welsh History. Professor Glasser joined Aberystwyth University in 1999 as a Lecturer and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2002, Reader in 2004 and Professor in 2006. In 2006-2007 he was a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado. He has twice been a member of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Peer Review College (2005-2008 and 2012-onwards) and is a member of the Steering Committee for the NERC Cosmogenic Isotope Analysis Facility (2007-2013). He also serves as an editor for two of the top journals in his field; the Journal of Glaciology and Quaternary Science Reviews. He is currently Professor of Physical Geography in the Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences and Dean of the Faculty of Science.

Professor Andrew Henley
Professor Andrew Henley will head up the new Law and Criminology, School of Management and Business, and Department of Information Studies Institute. Professor Henley is Professor of Entrepreneurship and Regional Economic Development and a Research Fellow of the IZA Institute for the study of Labor, Bonn. Previously Professor and Head of the School of Business and Economics at Swansea University, he is a member of the Scientific Advisory Panel of Understanding Society, the UK household longitudinal survey. In 2012 he was appointed to the Methods and Infrastructure Committee of the UK Economic and Social Research Council. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Between 2002 and 2012 he served as an appointed member of the Welsh Government’s Economic Research Advisory Panel, advising the First Minister of Wales on economic research. He is also a member of the Welsh Government’s Youth Entrepreneurship Strategy Action Plan Panel.

Professor Sarah Prescott
Professor Sarah Prescott will head up the new Theatre, Film and Television Studies, English and Creative Writing, the School of Art, Welsh, the Arts Centre, European Languages and the Music Centre Institute. Professor Prescott is Professor of English Literature and Director of the Centre for Women’s Writing and Literary Culture in the Department of English and Creative Writing. A graduate of York and Exeter Universities, she specialises in seventeenth and eighteenth-century literature, women’s writing, and pre-1800 Welsh writing in English. She is currently the Principal Investigator for a three-year collaborative research project funded by the Leverhulme Trust (with the Universities of Edinburgh, Galway, and the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies) on ‘Women’s Poetry 1400-1800 from Ireland, Scotland and Wales in Irish, English, Scots, Scots Gaelic, and Welsh’. She has also been the recipient of external research grants from the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy as well as the Leverhulme Trust. Professor Prescott has worked at Aberystwyth University since 1995 and has been learning Welsh since 1997.

Professor Tim Woods
Professor Tim Woods will head up the new Institute for the School of Education and Lifelong Learning, the Centre for the Development of Staff and Academic Practice, the Graduate Centre, the International English Centre, student learning support and the Careers Service. After completing his BA, MA and PhD degrees in English Literature at the universities of Bristol and Southampton, Professor Woods was appointed Lecturer in English Literature and American Studies at Aberystwyth University in 1990. Since 2007, has been the Dean of the Faculty of Arts. He was appointed as a Panel Member for Area Studies in the 2008 RAE and has undertaken audit work with the Quality Assurance Agency. He has been Mellon Visiting Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin, and a recipient of major research awards from the Leverhulme Foundation, the British Academy, and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. He is also a member of University Council.

The new Institutes will be operational from the 1st of August 2013.

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