University appoints new Head of Public Engagement

Dr Joanna Coleman has started work as the University’s new Head of Public Engagement.

She will be responsible for developing plans to embed public engagement in every stage of the University’s research, including postgraduate research, research centres and institutes, and with external partners.

Joanna’s role has been created following a successful bid by the University for £300,000 from Research Councils UK to launch a new Public Engagement Unit.

Joanna said: “I am delighted to be joining the University of Bath to establish the Public Engagement Unit. I am really looking forward to working across the University to build on the public engagement excellence that already exists and I hope to share my enthusiasm with you all.”

Joanna joins the University from the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council, where she most recently worked in the Engineering Theme. She has over five years’ experience managing a wide variety of public engagement projects and encouraging researchers to engage with the public. Prior to this she worked as a biogeochemistry researcher at the University of Bristol.

Professor Jane Millar, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), said: “We are delighted to welcome Joanna to the University. Public engagement is vitally important to our University, particularly in relation to our research.

"Building a dialogue with different communities can reap significant benefits. Through dialogue with the outside world we can better position ourselves to adapt to change and bring our expertise to bear for the benefit of communities. We can nurture a society which better understands the benefits of our research, learning and teaching and wants to get involved.

“There are already some excellent examples of highly innovative engagement work going on right across the campus, and I’m sure Joanna’s wealth of experience in public engagement and research will help us build on these initiatives.”

Joanna will be joined in the Public Engagement Unit by Ed Stevens, as Public Engagement Officer, in August. He currently works on the National HE STEM project for the SW Region, based on campus.

Joanna added: “We are here to support and advise our researchers and research students, so please do call us, invite us to talk with you or come on over to see us in the East Building. There will always be a warm welcome!”

The Public Engagement Unit will sit as part of the Department of Marketing & Communications, led by Tim Kaner, Director of Marketing & Communications.

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