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Prestigious appointments for Cardiff academics

23 November 2010

Professor Gillian DouglasProfessor Gillian Douglas

Two separate sets of high-profile appointments have underlined Cardiff’s position as a centre for highly-regarded academics across a range of disciplines.

Three University Professors have just been appointed as chairs of the subject sub-panels for the nationwide 2014 Research Exercise Framework (REF). Chosen for their high standing in their respective academic communities, each chair will lead a sub-panel of other experts in assessing UK research in their field.

Meanwhile, four University representatives have been appointed to the new Science Advisory Council for Wales. The Council will report and provide advice to the Welsh Assembly Government on a range of scientific issues and also consider how science is used for national development.

Professor Roger Falconer with a model of the Severn EstuaryProfessor Roger Falconer with a model of the Severn Estuary

The three Cardiff academics appointed as REF sub-panel chairs are:

  • Professor Gillian Douglas (School of Law) Law sub-panel
  • Professor Roger Falconer (School of Engineering) Civil and Construction Engineering sub-panel
  • Professor Ole Petersen (Director, School of Biosciences) Biological Sciences sub-panel

Professor Ole PetersenProfessor Ole Petersen

The Research Excellence Framework is an expert review of research in all UK universities, assessing them on the excellence and impact of their output and the vitality of the research environment. Professors Douglas, Falconer and Petersen were appointed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England after a selection process involving endorsement from external bodies about their academic standing. There are 36 sub-panels in all and Cardiff, jointly with Oxford, Cambridge and Manchester, has the highest number of sub-panel chairs.

Professor Petersen is also one of the Cardiff appointees to the Science Advisory Council for Wales. The other three are:

Professor Sir Martin EvansProfessor Sir Martin Evans

  • Professor Sir Martin Evans, President Cardiff University and 2007 Nobel Prize-winner for Medicine
  • Professor Huw Beynon, School of Social Sciences
  • Wendy Sadler, Director of the University science communication spin-out company, Science Made Simple.

The Council will be an independent group, advising the Assembly Government on the full range of science, technology, engineering and mathematics issues. They will also look at how science is used to help Welsh economic and social progress. Again, Cardiff has the most representatives on the Council.

Professor Huw BeynonProfessor Huw Beynon

Lesley Griffiths, Deputy Minister for Science, Innovation and Skills, welcomed the appointments, saying: "Science and technology are key subjects with a vital role to play in developing and building the future economy and prosperity of Wales. This new independent Advisory Council will provide expert guidance and advice to help us achieve our vision. I would like to express my gratitude to the distinguished panel of prominent and acknowledged experts who have agreed to serve on the new Science Advisory Council for Wales."

Wendy SadlerWendy Sadler

The Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University, Dr David Grant, said: "The chairs of the REF sub-panels were selected on basis of outstanding research contribution and commanding the confidence of their academic peers. The three Cardiff colleagues appointed certainly meet those criteria and will provide strong leadership in assessment of the UK’s achievements in their respective fields.

"The Science Advisory Council will advise on all issues where science and technology have an impact on Wales. This includes the economic regeneration of the nation and I am delighted that four distinguished members of the University have been selected to play a part in this vital task."

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