Senior Fellow for Partnerships and Business Development
My role was created in 2011 to mark the importance the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering attaches to relationships with business and industry, and intended to create new opportunities for the three academic units in the Faculty as well as to take forward and extend the work on employability and career initiatives that has become a key aspect of the student experience in Electronics and Computer Science (ECS).
ECS has a long history of developing joint research projects with industry and of producing students with a high degree of appllications awareness who now hold key roles in leading technology companies around the world. My work aims to ensure that ECS and the other academic units in the Faculty - Physics and Astronomy and the Optoelectronics Research Centre - can take advantage of good relationships with partner organizations to create new opportunities and new initiatives of strong mutual benefit.
We have already seen great success with our careers initiatives in ECS - our students have the highest employment rates in the UK among the leading universities, and careers and employability activities are an essential aspect of student life in ECS. Our annual Careers Fair has grown from 22 companies in 2008 to 83 companies in 2014 and we continue to interact with many different companies and organizations which are keen to employ our students for graduate roles, as well as summer and 12-month internships. Our Careers Hub website provides an indication of the companies which which we are involved and we are keen to work with any organizations which are keen to recruit high-calibre students with the particular skills gained on our degree programmes. Our alumni are a key part of this activity and my role also includes alumni engagement, particularly to draw on their experience and expertise to help our students. In this regard our alumni are a key point of intersection between our students and the business world.
Our industrial collaborators in research include ARM, BAE Systems, Chemring Technology Solutions, IBM, Imagination Technologies, and J P Morgan, and many more, and we are keen to extend this network in innovative and imaginative directions. I work closely with John Darlington, the Business Development Manager for ECS, and Dr Reuben Wilcock, Principal Enterprise Fellow. Please contact me if you would like to discuss ways of being involved in the Faculty.
Before taking up this new role I was Marketing and Communications Manager for the School of Electronics and Computer Science from 2004-9, with responsibility for all corporate marketing communications, internal and external communications, public relations and media liaison. Working in one of the world's leading computer science research centres provides many opportunities for innovative use of the Web, and I was delighted that we were the first UK academic institution to launch its own video podcasting news service in March 2006. We continue to make videos, available on our ECS Channel on YouTube.
Most of my career has been spent in higher education. I previously worked in Public Relations at the University of St Andrews; Development and Fundraising at the London School of Economics; and I was an Editorial Assistant and the first Marketing Co-ordinator for Polity Press at Blackwell Publishing in Oxford. After freelancing as a copy-editor and indexer for OUP, Blackwells, Macmillan, Longmans and other academic publishers, I joined the University of Southampton in 1990, throughout the 1990s writing, editing, and producing all the University's corporate communications, as well as gaining wide and highly respected media coverage for the University. I was appointed Head of Communications in the University in 2001 and was extremely fortunate to be able to join ECS, one of its largest and most exciting Schools, in 2004.