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Schools of Informatics and Veterinary Studies appoint new Heads

Two Schools have appointed new Heads for the 2023/24 academic year.

Professor Helen Hastie will take up her new role as the new Head of School of Informatics in August, and Professor Lisa Boden will be Head of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies from September. 

Professor Hastie 

Professor Hastie is currently Professor of Computer Science and Human-Robot Interaction at Heriot-Watt University. She has existing links to Informatics both through her education and recent posts.  

She is the academic co-lead of the National Robotarium, a world-leading centre for the development and testing of robotics and autonomous systems to address industrial and societal challenges. She is also the Director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Robotics and Autonomous Systems (CDT-RAS) at the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics. The National Robotarium, the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics and CDT-RAS are all joint initiatives between Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh.  

She is bringing substantial international industry and academic experience to the table that includes a drive for ‘robotics for all’, as well as a push for more diversity in robotics and AI: The CDT-RAS that Helen currently leads has been recognised with the Minerva Informatics Equality Award for diversity in robotics in 2021.  

Professor Hastie said: “It is an honour to be appointed as Head of School for Informatics. I look forward to leading the School, fostering its world-class research and teaching, and enhancing its global impact. It’s an exciting time to be joining Informatics during this 60th year of Computer Science and AI, and I am very proud to become part of this vibrant academic community.” 

Professor Boden 

Professor Boden is a UK and European Veterinary Specialist in Veterinary Public Health and Population Medicine, with a PhD in Veterinary Epidemiology and a Master of Laws in Medical Law and Ethics.   

She is also Professor of Population Medicine and Veterinary Public Health Policy at the School’s Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Systems; Senior Vice President of the European College of Veterinary Public Health, and Co-Director of EPIC (Scottish Government’s Centre for Expertise in Animal Disease Outbreaks), which provides policymakers with rapid access to emergency scientific advice and analyses - to prepare for and respond to exotic and novel animal disease outbreaks.    

Professor Boden’s career has focused on the interplays between animal, human and environmental health security and sustainability. She is the founder of the One Health FIELD Network, which brokers research, education and training partnerships between academics, decision-makers and practitioners in fragile and conflict affected regions to improve preparedness and timely response to global threats to security and sustainability.   

 Professor Boden said: “I am excited and honoured to take on this role. It is a privilege to be able to lead this school, which has such extensive history and tradition, but remains a beacon of excellence for research-led teaching and innovation in clinical veterinary medicine, agriculture and biomedical research. I look forward to this opportunity to help shape the future of our veterinary profession.”  

Related links

Professor Helen Hastie appointed the new Head of School of Informatics

Professor Lisa Boden appointed new Head of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies