The University of Southampton

Faculty staff recognised for outstanding contributions at Dean’s Awards

Published: 25 June 2013

A select number of academic members from the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering (FPSE) at the University of Southampton were recognised at the Faculty’s Dean Awards for Early Career Researchers reception event on 18 June 2013.

The awards recognised an outstanding level of achievement, commitment and dedication within the categories of scientific publication, public engagement, managing staff, teaching, proposal writing and knowledge transfer and commercialisation.

Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) Senior Research Fellow, Talal Rahwan, picked up the award for scientific publication. His PhD earned him the British Computer Society’s Distinguished Dissertation Award, which is annually presented to the best British PhD student in Computer Science. He was also selected by the IEEE Computer Society as one of the top 10 young Artificial Intelligence researchers in the world in 2011.

Talal was nominated by Professor Nick Jennings from ECS, who commented: “Out of the 40 PhD students that I have supervised, Talal is certainly one of the most distinguished”.

Dr Ben Mills from the Optoelectronics Research Centre was recognised in the category of managing staff, for his research output and lab management skills. Ben is the manager of the Femtosecond Applications of Science and Technology (FAST) lab, a multi-user facility where a variety of ultrafast laser experiments are performed.

A further winner from the ORC was Dr Senthil Ganapathy, who received the award for teaching for his major contribution to the new course on Photonic Materials in the new MSc in Photonic Technologies.

Dr Anna Scaife from Physics and Astronomy won the award for proposal writing. Anna recently bid for, and was awarded, a European Research Council starter grant, of total value 2 million Euros. Anna's grant has allowed the Astronomy group to grow considerably and to develop expertise in the area of radio polarimetry, the technique used to measure cosmic magnetism, itself one of the key science topics for the Square Kilometre Array.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Scientific research and publication • Dr Alexander Heidt (ORC) • Dr David Thomson (ORC) • Dr Talal Rahwan (ECS) • Dr Soon-Xin Ng (ECS)

Public engagement • Richard Chippendale (Physics and Astronomy)

Managing staff • Dr Ben Mills (ORC)

Knowledge transfer and commercialisation • Dr Corin Gawith (ORC) • Dr Reuben Wilcock (ECS)

Teaching • Dr Senthil Ganapathy (ORC)

Proposal writing • Dr Anna Scaife (Physics and Astronomy)

This is the first Dean’s Awards to take place in the University and it will now become an annual event. The award categories and the idea for the awards themselves resulted from the University becoming a signatory of the Concordat, which supports the careers of early career researchers.

The awards were presented by the Dean of the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering, Professor Dame Wendy Hall.

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