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Staff excellence recognised with National Awards

Recently, University staff’s achievements and abilities have been recognised with a host of national and international awards. Staff in departments ranging from Astrophysics to Nutrition have all been acknowledged for their successes.

Dr Mathew Owens has been awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize for Astronomy and Astrophysics from the Leverhulme Trust, receiving an award of £70,000 to be used for further research. Dr Owens has developed a world leading reputation in solar system physics, notably on the evolution of the heliospheric magnetic field.

Julie Lovegrove, Hugh Sinclair Professor of Human Nutrition, has been awarded a prestigious Fellowship of the Association for Nutrition. Over the past 25 years Professor Lovegrove has made significant contributions to our understanding of the influence of diet on public health, the inter-relationship between genes and nutrition, and mechanisms relating diet to cardiovascular disease risk. The Award recognises significant and sustained contribution to the advancement of nutrition research and education at an international level; A Fellowship of the Association of Nutrition demonstrates the highest standards of professional leadership.

Professor Michael Twyman has been awarded the 2014 Sir Misha Black Medal for his outstanding contribution to design and typography. n 1968 he started a ‘design for reading’ course combining intellectual and practical work, which was the first of its kind at a British university. This lead to the establishment of the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication in 1974. Generations of students have benefited from his approach to education that is inspirational, challenging and inclusive.

In January it was announced that Emeritus Professor Jim Knowlson, the world’s leading expert on the Nobel-prize winning novelist and playwright Samuel Beckett, was awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List. This OBE was l received on Friday 7th of March. You can see our article on this announcement here.

Last week, Professor Matthew Nicholls received the 2014 Guardian Higher Education Award for Teaching Excellence for his Virtual Rome project, this project involved Nicholls having created and developed an ambitious digital model of the entire ancient city of Rome. It contains thousands of buildings, including reconstructions of all the major monuments (such as the Colosseum, bath houses, temple, Palatine hill, Forum, markets, and imperial fora) and the many square miles of ordinary housing, tombs, and commercial buildings. The model aims to give a view of the entire city, with all the buildings in their proper contexts. The Virtual Rome model research potential is huge- it can be used, for example, to investigate questions of sight lines, illumination, and routes through the ancient city. Proving to be an invaluable teaching tool. To find out more details about the Rome Project, check out Spark*’s coverage here.

Professor Kevin Warwick recently received his seventh honorary degree, this time from Kingston University, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the engineering profession. Professor Warwick will be leaving the University of Reading this month to take up a new post at the University of Coventry, but he will become a Visiting Professor at Reading.

A big congratulations goes to all staff who have recently been recognised with an award.

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