Blog posts

Campaign for step-free access at South Kensington tube station

The Exhibition Road Cultural Group (ERCG) is campaigning for step free access at South Kensington underground station.

Exhibition Road and the surrounding area is home to leading arts, science and academic organisations. It is Britain’s most popular tourist destination, but without step free access at South Kensington station, it can be a huge challenge for people to visit if they have limited mobility, use a wheelchair or are accompanying young children in pushchairs.

TfL’s plans for step free access at South Kensington station have been put on hold until 2018. The ERCG is campaigning for the project to start much sooner.

To find out more about how you can support the campaign, visit ERCG’s website

Graduate School

The Graduate School of Life Sciences and Medicine (GSLSM) and the Graduate School of Engineering and Physical Sciences (GSEPS) will merge with effect from 1 October 2011. Professor Richard Kitney, having served his five year term as Director of GSEPS, will relinquish his position from that date. Professor Andrew George, currently Director of GSLSM, will become Director of the single Graduate School and retain his role as Director of the School of Professional Development.

Rodney Eastwood

College Secretary

Pro Rector (International Affairs)

Dr Simon Buckle, Director of Climate Policy in the Grantham Institute for Climate Change, has also accepted appointment as Pro Rector (International Affairs) with effect from 1 October 2011. He will succeed Professor Mary Ritter who retires on 30 September 2011.

Dr Buckle will be responsible for the College’s strategic international interests and will work closely with the Pro Rectors for Education and Academic Affairs, Research and Enterprise to identify and advance new opportunities. He will report to the Rector and be a member of the Management Board. The position is part-time and he will retain his responsibilities within the Grantham Institute.

Dr Buckle joined Imperial in 2007 to support the establishment of the Grantham Institute. Prior to his current role at the College, Dr Buckle held a series of positions in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, also spending time working in the Bank of England and the Ministry of Defence. Most recently, he was Deputy Head of Mission in the British Embassy in Kabul and then Global Issues Counsellor in Paris where, amongst other responsibilities, he was in charge of the UK’s Science and Innovation Network in Europe. He was awarded the CMG in 2007.

Dr Buckle has a DPhil in Theoretical Physics (Sussex), a BSc in Physics and Philosophy (Bristol) and an MSc in Financial Economics (University of London). He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics. From 1985-1986 he was a postgraduate researcher at the College, investigating quantum optics in the Department of Physics.

Rodney Eastwood
College Secretary

Head of Department – National Heart and Lung Institute

Professor Kim Fox, Professor of Clinical Cardiology, has accepted appointment as Head of Department for the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI) in the Faculty of Medicine, from 1 September 2011. He will succeed Professor Michael Schneider who has led NHLI since 1 January 2009. Professor Schneider has relinquished his role as Head of Department to devote his full efforts to developing the College’s basic and translational cardiovascular research, including strategic recruitment and the relocation of activities to the new L Block at the Hammersmith Campus.

Professor Fox was appointed Registrar at Hammersmith Hospital in 1976 where he completed his early clinical and research training as both Research Fellow and Senior Registrar. He was awarded his MD in 1980 and appointed to the staff of the National Heart Hospital in 1982. He has been a Consultant at the Royal Brompton Hospital since 1990 and appointed Professor of Clinical Cardiology at Imperial College in 2002. Previously he was Editor-in-Chief of the European Heart Journal from 1995-2002 and President of the European Society of Cardiology from 2006-2008. His research has focused on the understanding, investigation and treatment of angina and he chaired the European Angina Guidelines Task Force.

Rodney Eastwood

College Secretary

Ethos gym closed from 1 July until early August

The Ethos gym will be closed from 1 July for a full refurbishment, reopening in early August. The refurbishment will provide gym users with new workout zones, incorporating state of the art Matrix equipment and a new layout.

A temporary fitness gym will be available to Ethos members in the Sports Hall from 2 July while the refurbishment work takes place. During this time, the Climbing wall will be closed, however studio classes will go ahead as scheduled, with several additional options on offer, including outdoor running, Viper classes and Kettle Bell sessions.

Further information is available here

USS reform – update on consultation

The national USS Joint Negotiating Committee, which includes the University and College Union (UCU) and employer representatives, confirmed the final changes to the USS pension scheme at its meeting on 10 May 2011, following consultation with USS members at the end of 2010 on the revisions which aim to ensure that USS remains a sustainable and attractive pension scheme.  These changes incorporate the concessions made by employers on the transitional period given to deferred members rejoining the scheme and promotions from support staff schemes.   The draft amending deed executing the final proposal was submitted to the USS Trustee Board on 9 June 2011, and was approved with consequent changes being implemented with effect from 1 October 2011.  Further information on the confirmed amendments can be found here.

UCU continue to be discontent with the amendments to the USS pension scheme and at their recent Congress meeting decided to hold a fresh ballot in Pre-92 Higher Education Institutions for ‘a programme of sustained and disruptive industrial action targeting such areas as admissions, assessments and examinations’ for the next academic year.  It is their intention to ballot members from 20 June to 14 September.

Staff will be kept informed of developments. Questions on the implications of the ballot for industrial action should be sent to Louise Lindsay, Director of HR.

Summer Ball – Saturday 18 June – changes to activities on South Kensington Campus

The Imperial College Union Summer Ball will take place on Saturday 18 June. This year there will be no marquee, but live acts will perform on the ‘Metric Stage’ on the Queen’s Lawn.

Due to preparations for the ball and the event itself, there will be no access for staff parking on the South Kensington Campus from 17.00 Friday 17 June until Monday 20 June.

Tickets are still available for the ball and can be purchased here

Disability Champions

Support for staff with disabilities is available from the College’s newly-appointed Disability Champions.

Staff with disabilities who would welcome advice on how to ensure the College’s working environment provides for their needs are advised to contact the Equalities Unit in the first instance.

The Equalities Unit will organise a confidential referral to one of the Disability Champions. Monitoring interest will allow the Equalities Unit to build on the scheme as required.

Harassment Support Contacts

Confidential support is available for staff affected by bullying or harassment in the workplace from Imperial’s Harassment Support Contact Scheme, which has recently been relaunched. The Scheme, which was first established in 2003, is composed of a network of staff who have volunteered to take on the role of Harassment Support Contact.  The Contacts have undertaken comprehensive training and will work with staff to:

–      Explore the options available to them through formal and informal College procedures, specifically in respect of harassment and bullying;

–      Consider ideas and strategies to effect good working relationships, especially where there is the potential that a relationship will break down;

–      Provide additional support as required, such as mentoring or coaching

Harassment Support Contacts can be approached directly using the details here

Alternatively, staff should contact the Equalities Unit who can organise a confidential referral

Assistant Wardens vacancies – Clayponds Village, Silwood Park and Orient House

The College invites applications to the positions of Assistant Warden of Clayponds Village, Assistant Warden at Silwood Park Campus and Assistant Warden of Orient House, all available from August 2011. These positions are open to all staff and the Silwood Park post is also open to postgraduate research students.

Wardens and Assistant Wardens are responsible for the smooth running of the hall of residence and will receive rent-free accommodation there in return for pastoral and administrative duties. The Assistant Warden should be a good organiser with a desire to help students to have a balanced approach to their studies and to develop broader life skills.

Clayponds Village is a collection of houses and flats which are home to 325 postgraduate students in South Ealing, approximately 10 km from the South Kensington Campus. The closing date for applications to the position of Assistant Warden there is 24 June. For further information, please contact the Warden, Dr Paul Green

Silwood Park is home to 110 postgraduate students living in single and couple accommodation. The closing date for applications to the position of Assistant Warden there is 27 June. For further information please contact the Campus Administrator, Mrs Diana Anderson

Orient House is a purpose built hall of residence which is owned and managed by UNITE. 125 rooms are arranged in cluster flats along with 25 in self contained studio flats – all rooms are ensuite. The hall is located within the Chelsea Harbour development in Fulham, two minutes walk from Imperial Wharf train station. The closing date for applications to the position of Assistant Warden there is 1st July. Please note, this post will only be for one year. For further information, please contact the Warden, Dr Daniel Balint or the Asst Warden, Dr Finn Giuliani

For a copy of the terms of reference and an application form for any of the posts, please e-mail Mrs Mickie Turner-Goble