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New Director at the Southampton Oceanography Centre

Published: 1 October 2004

Dr Edward Hill has been named the next Director of the Southampton Oceanography Centre (SOC).

Southampton Oceanography Centre is a world-class centre of excellence devoted to research, teaching and technological developments in ocean and earth science. Its remit is to provide strategic leadership, coordination and support services to bring together the strengths of the vibrant and diverse marine and earth science base in the UK. SOC is jointly owned by the University of Southampton and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

Dr Hill, who is currently Director of NERC's Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory near Liverpool, is an experienced marine scientist. He has considerable seagoing experience, taking part in more than twenty research cruises while at the University of Wales, Bangor. His research work has centred around the dynamics of continental shelf sea circulation in European waters.

He commented, "I am delighted to be joining SOC. It is a great opportunity to lead this outstanding Centre and to develop further the partnership between the University and NERC."

The new Director will be a Professor of the University of Southampton and will be responsible for ensuring that research and education in marine and earth sciences continues at the Centre within the University's Faculty of Engineering, Science and Mathematics. His position will also recognise the Centre's distinctive role in supporting key national services and facilities in oceanography and earth sciences for NERC alongside wider national leadership and co-ordination roles.

Dr Hill will work with the University and NERC to develop a new agreement that will enable the integrated Centre to realise its full potential as the UK's natural focus for teaching, research and support services in oceanography and marine geosciences. This will emphasise the importance of an integrated centre delivering excellent teaching and research as well playing a prominent role in engaging its stakeholders for the benefit of the whole of UK marine and earth sciences.

University of Southampton Vice-Chancellor Professor Bill Wakeham said, "I am delighted to welcome Dr Hill to the leadership of Southampton Oceanography Centre. He has a distinguished record as a scientist and leader. I am sure he will inspire the Centre to even greater success across its spectrum of activities."

Professor John Lawton, Chief Executive of NERC added, "This is a good appointment. Edward has performed an excellent job in his leadership of the Proudman Laboratory. His professionalism and vision give me confidence that he will now lead SOC into an exciting future for marine and geological sciences."

Dr Hill is expected to take over the helm of SOC from Professor Howard Roe in Spring 2005.

Notes for editors

  1. Digital images of Dr Hill are available.
  2. The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship. The University has over 19,200 students and 4,800 staff and plays an important role in the City of Southampton. Its annual turnover is in the region of £250 million.
  3. The Natural Environment Research Council is one of the UK's seven Research Councils. It uses a budget of about £300 million a year to fund and carry out impartial scientific research in the sciences of the environment. It is addressing some of the key questions facing humankind such as global warming, renewable energy and sustainable economic development.

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