ECS, Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering
University of Southampton
Southampton, United Kingdom. SO17 1BJ
Position: Academic-related staff in Other (non-ECS but in our database)
Telephone: Work (Voice): +44 (0)23 8059 5453
URI: http://id.ecs.soton.ac.uk/person/6219 [browse]
Senior Fellow for Partnerships and Business Development
My role is a new one, 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 ECS-Electronics and Computer Science.
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 one of the highest employment rates in the UK (the top rate for Electronics), and careers is an essential aspect of student life in ECS. Our annual Careers Fair has grown from 22 companies in 2008 to 65 companies in 2012 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 BAE Systems, Roke Manor Research, Detica, IBM, Xyratex FactSet, 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 with Professor Peter Smith, the Faculty's Associate Dean for Enterprise. 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. Our video podcasts are a regular feature of our communications programme and, along with our student blogs, allow visitors to our site to gain a really useful insight into life at ECS.
I place a high value on high-quality media coverage and on the importance of media training, and I have organized large-scale media training programmes for postgraduate students and researchers at the University. I have supported the organization of all large conferences in ECS. Particularly noteworthy was WWW2006, the annual World Wide Web conference held in the UK for the first time, which attracted around 1300 delegates and was held in Edinburgh. In 2008 the School hosted Open Repositories 2008, and ALIFEXI, the first time this prestigious conference on Artificial Life had been held outside the US. In September 2009 we held the first Industrial Open Day at the Southampton Nanofabrication Centre in the new Mountbatten Building, and this has now become an annual showcase for our nanotechnology research. I have also managed communications for the Web Science Trust, and for a number of other large-scale research projects in the School.
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 Marketing Co-ordinator for Polity Press at Blackwell Publishing in Oxford. After freelancing as a copy-editor and indexer for OUP, Blackwells and other academic publishers, I joined the University of Southampton in 1990, throughout the 1990s writing 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.