Our speakers

Our speakers include:

Professor Valerie Gibson

Val Gibson is Head of the High Energy Physics Research Group at Cambridge University's Cavendish Laboratory. She enjoys science communication and is a Patron of the Gravity Fields Festival held in honour of Sir Isaac Newton. She is a champion of Women in Science and spearheaded the Cavendish Laboratory's success at achieving an Athena SWAN Gold award in 2014. Her talk is entitled: "My life at the Collider."

Val says: "Somehow, juggling research at the Large Hadron Collider, teaching duties at the University of Cambridge, as well as bringing up two daughters, I managed to make Professor.  I will reflect on the key moments in my career and personal life that leads to the question 'How did that happen?'."

Professor Tom Welton

Tom Welton is Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences at Imperial College. The title of his talk is 'Floating to Professor on a Magic Carpet of Success.'

Tom says: "The Imposter Syndrome is often discussed as one of the biggest problems that hold people back from achieving their full potential as academics. At the heart of this is the myth that to be a successful academic you need to be almost omnipotent and to have gone from success to success without having ever made a mistake or experienced failure. In this talk I will give a warts-and-all presentation of my career to show you just how wrong this myth is."

Speakers from Lancaster University include

Professor Kate Cain

Kate Cain is a Professor of Language and Literacy in the Department of Psychology at Lancaster University. She completed her DPhil at the University of Sussex in 1995 and held academic appointments at the University of Nottingham and the University of Essex, before joining Lancaster as a senior lecturer in 2005. She was promoted to Reader in 2007 and to Professor in 2013. In 2015 she became the first female head of the department.

Her research on the language bases of reading comprehension has informed national education policy in the UK and professional practice both at home and overseas. Her theoretical and practical contributions to the field were recognised with the Samuel Torrey Orton Award from the International Dyslexia Association in 2014, and she was runner up (with collaborator Jane Oakhill) for the ESRC Outstanding Impact in Society Award in 2016.

Kate says: "I will give a brief and candid overview of my journey to ‘making professor’, sharing both positive and negative experiences. I will also talk about how I think the academic community as a whole, and institutions in particular, can shift their values and culture to better nurture academic staff development and career progression for all, regardless of class, culture, or gender."

Professor Rachel Cooper

Rachel Cooper OBE is Distinguished Professor of Design Management and Policy at Lancaster University. She was founding Director of ImaginationLancaster, an open and exploratory design-led research centre conducting applied and theoretical research into people, products, places and their interactions.

Professor Cooper’s research interests cover: design thinking; design management; design policy; and across all sectors of industry, a specific interest in design for wellbeing and socially responsible design. She has published extensively on these topics, including books 'Designing Sustainable Cities' and 'The Handbook of Wellbeing and the Environment'. She is also series editor of the Ashgate series Design for Social Responsibility covering topics such as designing for sustainability, inclusivity, service design, sport, health, transport and policy.

She is currently working on Liveable Cities, a £5m funded six-year research programme working to identify design and engineering solutions that will lead to low-carbon, resource-secure, future cities in which societal wellbeing is prioritised. Also ‘The Creative Exchange’, a £3m three year programme  looking at the growth of the creative industries through exploring the ‘digital public space' and a new types of PhD’s programme.

She was founding editor of The Design Journal and also founding President of the European Academy of Design. She has also just begun work on the recently announced EPSRC £9.8 million  'Internet of Things' (IoT) Hub, as Lancaster University lead in a UCL led consortium.

She is advisor to a number of government and non government initiatives, she was a Lead Expert for the UK Government Foresight programme on the Future of Cities, and is on the Academy of Medical Sciences Working group addressing ‘the health of the public 2040’ and the Expert Steering Group for the Partnership for Preventative Sciences.

Rachel says: "My approach to becoming a professor has been rather like building a business, based around doing things you love, and linking it into the strategies and plans of the organisations you work with. I will discuss this approach whilst illustrating it with examples of my experience. I will reflect of whether the changing landscape of HE make this approach appropriate or not."

Professor Nick Dunn (pictured)

Participant in the FASS ‘What’s my chair’ programme

Paul Boustead

Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development

To register your interest please email oed@lancaster.ac.uk