2020 Chancellor’s winners announced

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The University has honoured five staff members with Chancellor’s Awards for their teaching and research excellence and impact.

Michael Eddleston, Chris Speed, Ewa Luger, Davide Michieletto and Ruth McQuillan are this year’s Chancellor’s Award winners. The pandemic restrictions have prevented the traditional Chancellor’s Dinner from taking place this year, however we hope to present the awards, when possible, in the future.The Old College Quad is empty under a blue sky

Established in 2003, the Chancellor’s Awards now reward staff in four categories for teaching, research, impact and showing great potential in early career research. The Chancellor’s Awards website.


Professor Michael Eddleston is recognised for the impact of his clinical and public health research at the interface of health and agriculture with the aim of drawing attention to, and preventing, suicides in rural Asia – the cause of 14 million deaths over the past 60 years. His advocacy has resulted in the research findings being incorporated into practice across Asia and changing the policies of both the World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Michael has built up a multidisciplinary collaboration of Sri Lankan and international researchers, and as a result tens of thousands of people are alive today who would otherwise have died. Michael holds the Personal Chair in Clinical Toxicology based at the Centre for Cardiovascular Science.

Visit Michael Eddleston’s University profile.

Research excellence

Professor Chris Speed, Chair of Design Informatics in Edinburgh College of Art, is the recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Research in recognition of his outstanding leadership of the Centre for Design Informatics. The tremendous growth and significance of the Centre to the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences led to it being awarded Design Informatics Institute status in 2020, just eight years after the Centre’s inauguration. He has overseen the growth of Design Informatics Masters Programmes and the associated appointments of lecturers and a Reader who all contribute to the research base and to whom Chris is an inspiring mentor. He has also directed the growth of enterprise and consultancy securing a range of significant funding in that area as well as in terms of grants.

Visit Chris Speed’s University profile.

Visit the Design Informatics website.

Rising star

Dr Ewa Luger is a Chancellor’s Fellow in Digital Arts and Humanities based in the School of Design and is recognised as a Rising Star in Research. Ewa is an internationally recognised expert in the field of Artificial Intelligence and data ethics and her work on the moral and social design policies surrounding the development of intelligent systems has had significant impact and influence on both national and international policy, industry and academia. She actively disseminates her world-class research beyond academia which has attracted considerable media attention.

Visit Ewa Luger’s University Profile.

Dr Davide Michieletto is also the recipient of the Rising Star award in recognition of his impact in the research in the field of topological control of soft materials. In his short time as a researcher, he has already built an international reputation in understanding how the topology of biological and synthetic polymers affect the macroscopic properties of complex fluids and soft materials, and has an impressive publication record. This is an area which is seeing a tremendous interest especially from the younger generations of physicists. Davide’s infectious passion for science and his highly interdisciplinary research projects are attracting numerous and strong students (from BSc to PhD) keen to work in this new exhilarating field at the interface of soft matter and molecular biology. Davide is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship, based in the School of Physics and Astronomy and the Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine.

Visit Davide Michieletto’s University Profile.

Innovative teaching

Dr Ruth McQuillan receives the Chancellor’s Award for Teaching in recognition of her development of a well organised and sustainable structure for all aspects of online postgraduate teaching in the Deanery of Molecular, Genetic & Population Health Sciences and for her advice and support more widely. Having set up the online Masters in Public Health from scratch, she then share her experience to help set up a postgraduate teaching hub in the Deanery. She has provided extensive advice to newer programmes in the Deanery and has also recently seized the opportunity offered by the City Deal and the Data Driven Initiative to lead the development of three new postgraduate taught programmes. Ruth also co-led the UNCOVER (Usher Network for COVid-19 Evidence Reviews) initiative – a community of staff, students, alumni and emeriti working together as a team to provide rapid evidence reviews on covid-related topics to policymakers, including SAGE and the Scottish Government. Ruth is a Senior Lecturer and Programme Director of the online Masters in Public Health, and is based in the Usher Institute.

Visit Ruth McQuillan’s University Profile.

Visit the UNCOVER website.