Four internal appointments have been made seeing senior academics taking on different roles under the new Rector. The appointments, announced on Tuesday, see the Principal of Natural Sciences, Sir Peter Knight, and the Principal of Engineering, Professor John Wood, take on newly created positions on the Management Board. Professor Maggie Dallman, currently Deputy Principal of Natural Sciences and Professor Stephen Richardson, Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering, step up to the respective Faculty Principal roles.
The first new position that has been created is that of ?Senior Principal? and will be filled by Sir Peter Knight. His new responsibilities will be mostly engaged in research strategy and prioritisation along with ensuring better inter-faculty and inter-disciplinary collaboration. This will help bridge some of the gaps in responsibility that were left after the departure of the Deputy Rector, Leszek Borysiewicz, whose position was not continued. Knight joined the College in 1979 and has been in his current position as Principal of Natural Sciences since it?s resurrection in 2005. Prior to that he was acting Principal of the Faculty of Physical Sciences in 2004 and Head of the Department of Physics from 2001.
Knight will be succeeded as Principal of Natural Sciences by his Deputy, Professor Maggie Dallman. Dallman joined the College in 1994 and became Deputy Principal of Natural Sciences in 2006 after heading the Section for Immunology and Infection. As well as her own research and teaching, Dallman has also been influential in the success of Imperial's new Junior Research Fellowship scheme which she speaks about in a short clip on the Imperial College Website.
The position of Principal of the Faculty of Engineering seems to have a somewhat Defence-against-the-Dark-Arts-esque jinx with Professor Stephen Richardson becoming the fourth Principal of the Engineering Faculty in four years. Professor Julia King was replaced temporarily by Dame Julia Higgins in 2006 before the announcement of the ?permanent? appointment of Professor John Wood in March last year. Hopefully Professor Richardson will manage to retain the position for more than just a year. Currently Head of the Department for Chemical Engineering, Richardson has a reputation as being very student centred and has led initiatives to improve assessment and feedback for undergraduate students across the college. Apart from a couple of years in research at Cambridge University he has been teaching in the Department of Chemical Engineering since he completed his PhD here in 1975.
Professor John Wood takes on the second new position, as International Relations Advisor, working with a team headed by Pro Rector International Affairs, Mary Ritter. Professor Ritter was appointed Pro Rector Postgraduate Affairs in 2004 with the International remit added to her role later. With the international team now strengthened by Professor Wood, and College increasingly publicising Ritter's role as purely Pro Rector International Affairs, Live! wonders who is now looking out for postgraduate students.
Sir Roy Anderson has been settling into his job as Rector for just over a month and this is the first staff restructuring to be announced. With all the appointments going to internal candidates there are no new faces to be seen around the table just yet.