Professor Damien Foster has joined Aston University as Head of the School of Computing and Computational Engineering in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences.
A Briton born in Cape Town, South Africa, Professor Foster has lived abroad for almost half his life, including research positions at CEA (Saclay) in France and the University of Pittsburgh and Associate Professor in physics from the University of Cergy-Pontoise, France. While there, he was actively involved in curriculum development and pedagogy and helped set up several degrees, including France’s first undergraduate degree in computational physics.
His research is in the field of statistical physics applied to phase transitions and criticality in magnetic and polymer systems. It also aims to apply the methods of statistical physics to problems related to static and dynamic biological phenomena.
He first studied mathematics at the University of Edinburgh, but in 1989 obtained an honors degree in mathematical physics, followed by a doctorate (DPhil) in theoretical physics from the University of Oxford.
He joins Aston University from Coventry University where he was Head of the School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics and Director of the Center for Computer Science and Mathematical Modelling.
Research in the School of Computer Science and Digital Engineering focuses on the technologies that enable today’s interdependent and interconnected world. This includes cutting-edge work on smart technologies and environments, optical communications, data, networking, and the Internet of Things (IoT), as well as the social and public health implications of these advances.
The School has also been at the forefront of new ways to teach the skills graduates really need. It produced the first degree apprenticeship graduates in the country in 2017, its BSc Digital & Technology Solutions graduates working in partnership with CapGemini. As a major partner of the government-led Coding Institute, it strives to bring together industry, government, higher education and outreach partners, creating new degrees, developing existing skills and providing support that attracts new talent into digital careers.
Professor Foster said:
“I am delighted to join the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences at Aston University and share my passion for research and teaching.
“I have always been interested in understanding how things work and I am enthusiastic about sharing my knowledge, which led me to teach intensively and also to wonder how to teach and develop new programs. “
The Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Professor Stephen Garrett, said:
“I am delighted that Professor Foster is joining the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences.
“I look forward to working with Damien; his enthusiasm will help the College deliver practical, industry-relevant education, as well as applied research that provides solutions to real-world problems.
Notes to Editors
About Aston University
Founded in 1895 and a university since 1966, Aston is a long-established university led by its three primary beneficiaries – students, business and professionals, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and in the heart of a vibrant city. The campus houses all of the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Saskia Hansen is Vice-Chancellor and Acting CEO.
Aston University has been named University of the Year 2020 by The Guardian and the University’s full-time MBA program has been ranked among the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA Rankings 2021. The Aston MBA has been ranked 12th in the UK and 85th in the world.
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