Professorial Inaugural Lectures

Microphone at a lecturn

Professorial Inaugural Lectures

Our Professorial Inaugural Lecture series celebrates our newest professors and provides an opportunity for them to share their research with a broad audience, including members of the public, in the presence of family, friends and colleagues.

Browse our events listing for upcoming lectures and events

Previous lectures


11 June 2019

Professor Noelle Robertson, Department of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour

‘Snowflakes in June? Reflecting on stress, resilience and public service’

4 June 2019

Professor Andrew Hopper, School of History, Politics and International Relations

'The Human Costs of the British Civil Wars'

28 May 2019

Professor George Lewis, School of History, Politics and International Relations

'Un-Americans: A Historian in Search of an Idea'

21 May 2019

Professor Samantha Johnson, Department of Health Sciences

'From the cradle to the classroom: Supporting the development of babies born preterm'

14 May 2019

Professor Anne-Marie Greene, School of Business

'Don’t Go Breaking My Heart! The Dangers and Delights of Loving Your Work'

Professor Chris Wilkins, School of Education

'Why educational values matter more than value: maintaining moral purpose in an age of accountability'

7 May 2019

Professor Martin Phillips, School of Geography, Geology and the Environment

'Hearths, Hobbits and Hipsters: critical and creative explorations in rural space'

Professor Gavin Brown, School of Geography, Geology and the Environment

'The everyday geopolitics of sexuality, solidarity and protest'

30 April 2019

Professor Andrew Hugill, Department of Informatics

'Transdisciplinarity: navigating the borderlands between Art and Science'

Professor Hongji Yang, Department of Informatics

'Computing for creativity'

8 April 2019

Professor David Clarke, School of Allied Health Professions

'Are you man enough to be a nurse?'

25 March 2019

Professor Jayne Marshall, School of Allied Health Professions

'Call the Midwife: the birth of midwifery education and leadership at the University of Leicester'

19 March 2019

Professor Lisa Smith, Department of Criminology

'CSI: Criminology, Science, and Interdisciplinarity' and Professor Dawn Watkins, School of Law 'Playing the way to legal capability'

12 March 2019

Professor Haito Ye, Department of Engineering

'Diamond Science and Technology'

Professor Ivan Tyukin, Department of Mathematics

'Errors of AIs and mathematics of making AI systems better'

5 March 2019

Professor Ross Parry, School of Museum Studies

'Building digitally confident museums – one by one'

Professor Jocelyn Dodd, School of Museum Studies

'Whose voices do we hear in the museum?'

19 February 2019

Professor Jonathan Chambers, Department of Engineering

'A Guided Tour of Signal Processing and its Applications'

12 February 2019

Professor Laura Gray, Department of Health Sciences

'Hide and seek: Finding those at risk of Type 2 diabetes'

5 February 2019

Professor Eugene Zhang, Department of Informatics

'Providing elder people a happier life by AI'

29 January 2019

Professor Elaine Boyle, Department of Health Sciences

'Not quite ready for the big, wide world: the challenges of moderate-late prematurity'

15 January 2019

Professor Umesh Kadam, Department of Health Sciences

'From a trickle to a gold rush: will the ‘well of data’ save healthcare?'


4 December 2018

Professor Tom Yates, Department of Health Sciences

'Physical activity: nature’s greatest medicine?'

27 November 2018

Professor Roger Dickinson, Department of Media and Communication

'Teaching the Media at Leicester - a Short History of a Long Revolution'

Professor Paul Baines, School of Business

'Hypnotising or off-putting? What role for fear and guilt as persuasive devices in marketing communications?'

22 May 2018

Professor Effie Law, Department of Informatics

'A Voyage from Usability to User Experience (UX), Exploring both Effect and Affect'

8 May 2018

Professor Rose Griffiths, School of Education

'Working with wiggly wool: finding ways of supporting learning for children in public care'

Professor Wasyl Cajkler, School of Education

'A life in teacher education and research, glimpsing the complexity of the classroom'

3 May 2018

Professor Frank Dudbridge, Department of Health Sciences

'Polygenic Epidemiology: the whole genome as a risk factor for disease'

20 March 2018

Professor Hartmut Boesch, Department of Physics and Astronomy

'Watching the Earth Breathe – Measuring the Greenhouse Gas Exchange from Space'

15 March 2018

Professor Bob Norman, Leicester Medical School

'In pursuit of teaching excellence in higher education: what does ‘outstanding’ look like?'

6 March 2018

Professor Suzanne MacLeod, School of Museum Studies

'Design for Creative Lives (or, why the closure of Launchpad matters)'

26 February 2018

Professor John Maltby, Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour

‘The Psychology of Everyday Resilience’

20 February 2018

Professor Gawen Jenkin, Department of Geology

'Green gold? - How to get metals out of the ground in a 'green' and sustainable way'

13 February 2018

Professor Carlo Rivolta, Genetics and Genome Biology

‘Medical genetics in the digital age’

6 February 2018

Professor Clive Marsh, Vaughan Centre for Lifelong Learning

'God and the Modern University: Religion, Radicalisation and the Future of Human Flourishing'

23 January 2018

Professor Neil Christie, School of Archaeology and Ancient History

'Archaeologies of Transformation'

18 January 2018

Professor Richard Holland, Leicester Medical School

‘From Homer to Heroin…a public health journey’


12 December 2017

Professor Sarah Knight, School of English

‘"Be frequent in exercising your stile, and invention": Learning and Performance at the Early Modern Universities'

4 December 2017

Professor Shaun Cowley, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology

'Gene regulation: 25 years spent trying to understand the on/off switch'

28 November 2017

Professor Sarah Gabbott, Department of Geology

'The weird and the wonderful: interpreting the evolution of life through fossils'

21 November 2017

Professor Zoe Radnor, School of Business

'We don’t make cars, do we?: Understanding how manufacturing techniques are (not) relevant to public services'

18 October 2017

Professor Teela Sanders, Department of Criminology

'Social Justice for Sex Workers: Stigma, Violence and Bad Laws'

Professor Neil Chakraborti, Department of Criminology

'Beyond Empty Promises and Flawed Responses? Tackling the Harms of Hate'

22 June 2017

Professor Christine Pullar, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology

'Old dogs for new tricks - The use of salbutamol to regenerate skin, reducing skin wound fibrosis/scars'

20 June 2017

Professor Stephen Garrett, Department of Engineering

'Fluids mechanics: complexity at all scales'

Professor John Bridges, Department of Physics and Astronomy

'Exploring Mars'

13 June 2017

Professor Peter Jaffey, School of Law

'The legal nature of the trust'

Professor Penelope Allison, School of Archaeology and Ancient History

'From Maori ovens to the Roman table'

6 June 2017

Professor Jan Zalasiewicz, Department of Geology

'An Anthropocene pebble: time-capsule for the far future'

30 May 2017

Professor Kevin Tansey, Department of Geography

'Earth’s Big Brother: using satellite data to monitor our planet'

23 May 2017

Professor Emmanuil Georgoulis, Department of Mathematics

'Simulating our world: rigorous mathematics towards smart computational modelling from cell biology to geophysics'

16 May 2017

Professor Alex Clark, Department of Mathematics

'When shape matters: from topology to tilings'

9 May 2017

Professor Pablo Cortes, School of Law

'Civil justice reform and the changing nature of dispute resolution'


9 June 2015

Professor Raymond Dalgleish, Department of Genetics

'Blood, Bones and Bioinformatics'

26 May 2015

Professor Richard Bayliss, Department of Biochemistry

'Molecular Medicine: From genes to structures to drugs'

19 May 2015

Professor Alexander Kurz, Department of Computer Science

'Vicious Circles, Fixpoints and Co-algebra'

31 March 2015

Professor Tony Lawson, School of Education

'Education and Power: Teaching, Empowerment, Subversion and Surveillance'

24 March 2015

Professor John Goodwin, Department of Sociology

'The Sociogenesis of a Sociologist: Intersections of History and Biography' (Postponed)

17 March 2015

Professor Peter Cumper, School of Law

'Human Rights Laws pose a threat to Religious Freedom?'

10 March 2015

Professor Sergey Piletsky, Department of Chemistry

'"Plastic Antibodies" - Can we surpass nature?'

3 March 2015

Professor Martin Jenson, Department of Economics

'Changing Distributions: The Economic Modelling of Inequality and Uncertainty' (Postponed)

24 February 2015

Professor Gowan Dawson, School of English and Victorian Studies

'Show me the Bone; or, How the Victorians Made Their Dinosaurs'

17 February 2015

Professor Laura Morales, Department of Politics and International Relations

'Governmental responsiveness to public demands between elections: A Research Agenda'

10 February 2015

Professor Martin Bushell, Department of Biochemistry

'MicroRNAs: The best things come in small packages'

3 February 2015

Professor Phillip Lindley, Department of the History of Art and Film

'Noble Monuments'

27 January 2015

Professor Russell Wallis, Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation

'Unwrapping the Bouquet: Pattern recognition in the Innate Immune System'


2 December 2014

Professor Alexis Comber, Department of Geography

'My journey through time and space (via habitats, land use, demographics and geo-computation): a Spatial Odyssey'

28 October 2014

Professor Peter Nolan, School of Management

'The 21st-century crisis of labour: prospects for a sustainable work and employment future' (Cancelled)

21 October 2014

Professor Eyal Winter, Department of Economics

'Rational Emotions'

7 October 2014

Professor Jacqui Shaw, Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine

'Hide and Seek: Searching for Cancer in the Blood'

30 September 2014

Professor Loretta Lees, Department of Geography

'Comparative urbanism, urban policy and public engagement'

17 June 2014

Professor Peter Moody, Department of Biochemistry

'Contructive Interference: Reflections from Biological Molecules'

10 June 2014

Professor Emma Bunce, Department of Physics and Astronomy

'Standing on the Shoulders of (Gas) Giants'

20 May 2014

Professor Emma Smith, School of Education

'Education and Social Justice: How do we decide what is fair?'

6 May 2014

Professor Sergio Currarini, Department of Economics

'Homophily and Segregation in Social Networks: An Economics Perspective'

18 March 2014

Professor Dai Davies, Department of Chemistry

'Chemical Reactions Made Easy'

11 March 2014

Professor David Harper, Department of Biology

'A Fascination with Flamingos'

4 March 2014

Professor Paul Lambert, Department of Health Sciences

'Measuring Cancer Patient Survival: Methodology Matters'

25 February 2014

Professor Ruslan Davidchack, Department of Mathematics

'Worlds in a Computer: Models of Reality and Reality of Models'

11 February 2014

Professor Liz Anderson, Department of Medical and Social Care Education

'"Collective Wisdom": Are we making the most of interprofessional education'

4 February 2014

Professor Gavin Murphy, Department of Cardiovascular Sciences

'Paradox as the driver for Translational Research'

28 January 2014

Professor Sarah Davies, Department of Geology

'Shining a light into the dark corners of the sedimentary record'

21 January 2014

Professor Yuval Millo, School of Management

'Why we may need a new financial economic theory'

14 January 2014

Professor Bob Carter, School of Management

'Workplace Relations: Class and Trade Unionism'


26 November 2013

Professor Anne Thomas, Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine

'Cancer: Trials and Tribulations'

19 November 2013

Professor Karl Ryder, Department of Chemistry

'Superior Surfaces and Superlative Solvents'

5 November 2013

Professor Carl Rhodes, School of Management

Business Ethics of the Street: Corporate Sovereignty and The Politics of Disturbance

29 October 2013

Professor Stuart Ball, School of History

'Why was the Conservative Party so successful in Britain between the two World Wars?'

22 October 2013

Professor Rolland Munro, School of Management

'The Disposal of the World: (double)crossing the arts and sciences'

15 October 2013

Professor G Andre Ng, Department of Cardiovascular Sciences

'Heart of the matter - tackling the last two unsolved arrhythmic puzzles of fibrillation'

8 October 2013

Professor Sanjit Dhami, Department of Economics

'Economics, the scientific method, and behavioural economics - Part II'

1 October 2013

Professor Ali al-Nowaihi, Department of Economics

'Economics, the scientific method, and behavioural economics - Part I'

25 June 2013

Professor Karen Brown, Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine

'Drugs, Hamburgers and Wine – Causes and prevention of cancer'

18 June 2013

Professor Chris Wallace, Department of Economics

'Coordination in Games'

21 May 2013

Professor Hongbiao Dong, Department of Engineering

'How Metal Works - Let Me Compute The Ways'

14 May 2013

Professor Susan Page, Department of Geography

'For Peat's Sake: Understanding the vulnerability of the tropical peatland carbon pool'

7 May 2013

Professor Martin Dzelzainis, School of English

'..."A Garden of venimous Plants": Andrew Marvell and Science'

30 April 2013

Professor Simon James, School of Archeaology and Ancient History

'Ancient Rome and the clash of Civilizations: or the curious life of artefact H278'

19 March 2013

Professor James Fitchett, School of Management

'Should we consume less, more or differently? Mixed messages and multiple meanings in modern marketing'

12 March 2013

Professor Graham Martin, Department of Health Sciences

'How do you solve a problem like behaviour?'

26 February 2013

Professor Richard England, Department of Geology

'A view of the Continental Crust: Integrating geology and seismology'

19 February 2013

Professor Sarah Tarlow, School of Archaeology and Ancient History

'Digging up feelings: Can archaeologists excavate emotion?'

22 January 2013

Professor Glenn Fulcher, School of Education

'"When the man was weighed, As in a Balance!" Assessment as Social Science'

15 January 2013

Professor Dean Fennell, Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine

'Finding the keys to Pandora's Box to attack Achilles' Heels'


4 December 2012

Professor Sergei Petrovskiy, Department of Mathematics

‘Understanding ecological complexity through mathematical models’

20 November 2012

Professor Douglas Tincello, Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine

‘To Pee or Not To Pee, that is the question - Continence research with women’

13 November 2012

Professor Jon Scott, School of Biological Sciences

‘Ut Vitam Habeant - Student Retention and Success’

30 October 2012

Professor Vincenzo Denicolo, Department of Economics

‘Do Patents Promote or Impede Innovation?’

16 October 2012

Professor Ruth Luthi-Carter, Department of Cell Physiology and Pharmacology

‘Deciphering molecular clues to better understand human neurodegenerative disease’

26 June 2012

Professor Artur Jaworski, Department of Engineering

‘Thermoacoustic Technologies: from Fundamentals to Applications’

19 June 2012

Professor Tanya Vladimirova, Department of Engineering

‘Microelectronics and Embedded Systems for Space Applications’

12 June 2012

Professor Hilary Burgess, School of Education

‘Border Crossings: Journeys between Work Place and University’

29 May 2012

Professor Joanna Story, School of Historical Studies

‘Bede and the origins of the Archbishopric of York’

8 May 2012

Professor Peter King, School of Historical Studies

‘Homicidal Crime Across Space and Time. Why are some societies so much more murderous than others?’

20 March 2012

Professor Kevin Schurer, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research and Enterprise

‘The Local Historian's Theme: Revisited’

6 March 2012

Professor David Pedder, School of Education

‘The promise and perils of School-University Partnerships’

28 February 2012

Professor Peter Lunt, Department of Media and Communication

‘Reason and emotion in television talk shows: Ethical dilemmas in the public sphere’

21 February 2012

Professor Monica Whitty, Department of Media and Communication

‘The psychology of the dark side of cyberspace’

14 February 2012

Professor Geerten Vuister, Department of Biochemistry

‘The Hierarchical Structure of Biomolecules is Key to Their Functioning. A Journey into the Field of Structural Biology’

7 February 2012

Professor Ellen Allandale, Department of Sociology

‘Who's Worse off? Quandaries in the Study of Gender and Health’

31 January 2012

Professor Paul Symonds, Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine

‘Cancer: Past, Present and Future’

24 January 2012

Professor Andrew Blain, Department of Physics and Astronomy

‘Finding extreme galaxies hiding in the infrared'

17 January 2012

Professor Mark Purnell, Department of Geology

‘Broken teeth, rotten fish, and our earliest vertebrate ancestors: the glamorous world of experimental palaeobiology’


6 December 2011

Professor Gordon Harold, School of Psychology

‘The Nature of Nurture: Utilising Genetically Sensitive Research Designs to Inform Family Focused Policies and Practices’

29 November 2011

Professor Nicola Cooper, Department of Health Sciences

‘The five Ws (and one H) of HTA’

1 November 2011

Professor Nisha Dogra, Department of Psychology

‘Quality clinical education: Why it really matters?’

25 October 2011

Professor Steve Milan, Department of Physics and Astronomy

‘Sun et Lemiere: Solar control of the Northern Lights’

11 October 2011

Professor Robert Fern, Department of Cell Physiology and Pharmacology

‘Your brain is made from cables and glue’

28 June 2011

Professor Robert Sayers

‘Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm – Defusing the time bomb in the abdomen’

7 June 2011

Professor Andrew Ellis

‘The Light Fantastic: Using lasers to explore the molecular world’

24 May 2011

Professor Nick Brindle

‘Cell Signalling from Molecular Mechanisms to Medicines and Beyond’

17 May 2011

Professor Michael Pont

‘The Vegetarian Option’

29 March 2011

Professor Chris Edwards, Department of Engineering

‘Safety, Survivability and Slinding Modes’

22 March 2011

Professor Gail Marshall, School of English

‘1859: Customs and Curating’

15 March 2011

Professor Kirsten Malmkjaer, School of Modern Languages

‘What is it about translation...?’

1 March 2011

Professor John Remedios, Department of Physics and Astronomy

‘Hot houses to cool clouds: Earth's climate from space’

22 February 2011

Professor David Gentilcore, School of Historical Studies

‘Seeds from Eldorado: The impact of new world plants on Italy, 1500-1900’

15 February 2011

Professor Nikolai Brilliantov, Department of Maths and Computer Science

‘Statistical mechanics of granular matter: Simple concepts and complex phenomena’

8 February 2011

Professor Bruno Morgan, Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Sciences

‘Cancer and Death: Are we asking the right questions? ‘

25 January 2011

Professor Alex Sutton, Department of Health Sciences

‘Analysing the data you haven't got: Overcoming publication bias in systematic reviews’

18 January 2011

Professor Martin Tobin, Department of Health Sciences

‘Genetics of common diseases: How much do we know and where are we going?’


14 December 2010

Professor Paul Jarvis, Department of Biology

‘The Importance of Import: How plant chloroplasts get the proteins they need’

7 December 2010

Professor Paul O'Brien, Department of Physics and Astronomy

‘The Universe: How far can we see?’

9 November 2010

Professor Nicole Snashall, Department of Mathematics

‘Patterns and Invariants in Mathematics’

2 November 2010

Professor Richard Sandell, School of Museum Studies

‘Museums, Moralities and Human Rights’

26 October 2010

Professor Richard Willingale, Department of Physics and Astronomy

‘Great Explosions’

19 October 2010

Professor Yvonne Jewkes, Department of Criminology

'”Architecture cures crime”: but can it cure cancer?’

12 October 2010

Professor Emmanuel Haven, School of Management

‘The use of Physics concepts in Psychology and Finance: Where Next?’

5 October 2010

Professor Elizabeth Murphy, College of Social Sciences

‘Quiet Coercions: Medicine, Motherhood and Morality’

29 June 2010

Professor Emmanuel Haven, Professor of Managment

‘The Use of Physics Concepts in Psychology and Finance: Where Next?’

22 June 2010

Professor Iain Squire, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine

‘Healing Broken Hearts: A Midsummer Night’s Tale’

1 June 2010

Professor Catrin Pritchard, Professor of Biochemistry

‘Targeting Cancer - Sending in the RAF’

25 May 2010

Professor Carlo Ruzza, Professor of Political Sociology

‘Politics, Anti-Politics and Civil Society’

18 May 2010

Professor Sarah Hainsworth, Professor of Materials Engineering

‘The Engineer's Toybox’

11 May 2010

Professor Julie Coleman, Professor of English Language

‘Pirates, Prisoners and Pork-Pies: Slang Dictionaries and their Makers’

23 March 2010

Professor Mark Lansdale, School of Psychology

‘The Applied Psychology of Elegance and Disorder’

16 March 2010

Professor Mark Sims, Department of Physics and Astronomy

‘Green, Grey or Little Squidgy Things, Where and What is Alien Life?’

9 March 2010

Professor David Pollock, Department of Economics

‘Nitates, Salt and Water: Maintaining the Fertility of Agriculture’

2 March 2010

Professor Sergey Levendoroskii, Department of Mathematics

‘Financial Engineering: A Short History and Current Challenges’

16 February 2010

Professor Phil Shaw, School of English

‘Suffering and Sentiment in Romantic Military Art’

26 January 2010

Professor Mark Carr, Department of Biochemistry

‘Protein Structure and Function, from Basic Biology to Rational Drug Design’

19 January 2010

Professor Michael Petterson, Department of Geology

‘Making a Difference: Applications of Geoscience Around the World’


17 November 2009

Professor Martyn Mahaut-Smith, Department of Cell Physiology and Pharmacology

‘Channelling the Way to a Greater Understanding of Platelet Activation in Health and Disease’

6 October 2009

Professor Douglas Tallack, College of Arts, Humanities and Law

‘The Line of History: The Iconophiles and New York City, 1894-1939’

23 June 2009

Professor Tim Yeoman, Department of Physics and Astronomy

‘Waves in Planetary Magnetic Fields’

16 June 2009

Professor John Coffey, Department of Historical Studies

‘Let my People Go! Visions of Deliverance from the Puritans to the Abolitionists’

9 June 2009

Professor Nicholas Hartell, Department of Cell Physiology and Pharmacology

‘Watching the Brain Learn with Projectors and Jellyfish’

2 June 2009

Professor Dawei-Gu, Department of Engineering

‘Towards More Reliable and Intelligent Air Vehicles’

26 May 2009

Professor Anthony Gershlick, Department of Cardiovascular Sciences

‘Percutaneous Coronary Intervention - Academic Plumbers Unlimited Est. 1977’

19 May 2009

Professor Michael Warrington, Department of Engineering

‘Radio, the Atmosphere and the Arctic’

12 May 2009

Professor Chris Brightling, Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation

‘It's All in the Name: Unravelling the Complexity of Airways Disease’

5 May 2009

Professor Paul Watson, Department of Health Sciences

‘Reducing the Burden of Chronic Pain’

28 April 2009

Professor Andrew Fry, Department of Biochemistry

‘How Cells Control the Great Divide’

24 March 2009

Professor Derek Raine, Department of Physics and Astronomy

‘About the Universe: The Unintended Consequences of Physics’

17 March 2009

Professor Tina Jarvis, School of Education

‘Changing European Primary Pupils’ and their Teachers’ Attitudes to Science’

10 March 2009

Professor Steven Brown, School of Management

‘The Past Didn’t Go Anywhere: Remembering and Forgetting in Organised Settings’  

24 February 2009

Professor Elizabeth Draper, Department of Health Sciences

‘From Prematurity and Beyond...’

17 February 2009

Professor Ian Hutchby, Department of Sociology

‘The Incitement to Communicate: Professional Vision and Discourse Practice in Child Counselling’

10 February 2009

Professor Tomasz Spyt, Department of Cardiovascular Sciences

‘Interventions for Heart Valve Disease’

3 February 2009

Professor Al Rainnie, Centre for Labour Market Studies

‘Does the East Midlands Exist?’

27 January 2009

Professor John Mayberry, Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine

‘Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Past, Present and Future’

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