Rebecca/Richard Harris, Associate Professor
I remember when I was about 10 I discovered there were places called universities and I automatically assumed that was where the ‘clever kids’ went, so that wasn’t an option for me! Having been the first member of my family to get any academic qualifications I am still pleasantly surprised that I now able to work at a university.
I joined the Institute of Education (based on the original and beautiful university campus on London Road) at Reading in 2011, having previously worked at the University of Southampton for 10 years, and prior to that I spent 16 years teaching history in secondary schools.
Calvin Smith, Lecturer
I joined the University in 2008 in a teaching intensive role in mathematics. Since this time I have held a number of roles in teaching and learning including Admissions Tutor, School Senior Tutor, Internal Examiner and Programme Director.These days I am most frequently found sharing my love of mathematics with students in lecture theatres and seminar rooms across the campus.
When not up to my elbows in sums I am involved in various projects to make the experience of studying and working at Reading as inclusive as it can be. As a visible “out” gay man I endeavour to provide an authentic voice for inclusion and diversity for my colleagues and our students.
Christine Williams OBE, Professor of Human Nutrition
I was appointed the first Hugh Sinclair Professor of Nutrition at the University of Reading in 1995, before serving as the Head of the School of Food Biosciences and then the Dean of Life Sciences. I went on to become a Pro-Vice-Chancellor, and in 2013 I was awarded an OBE for contributions to nutritional science and higher education. It was a complete surprise to me and I was really inspired and humbled by it.
In 2014 I stepped down from my role as Pro-Vice-Chancellor and worked part-time. I wanted to help the University become more external-facing and take on some national roles. However my husband was diagnosed with cancer quite suddenly after I'd made these arrangements, and the University was hugely supportive during this time. This flexibility meant that I could take my husband for treatment every day, and I'm glad to say he made a full recovery.
Keshavan Niranjan, Professor of Food Bioprocessing
I joined the University in 1989 as a Lecturer, then became a Senior Lecturer in 1998, until I was accorded a Personal Chair in 2005. I specialise in food engineering, specifically applying my training in chemical engineering to food products and manufacture.
Having been at Reading for 28 years, I've seen a lot of change - but one thing that hasn't altered is the collegiate environment. The University is very supportive, and it's always been very collegiate - particularly in my Department - and I've really enjoyed that.
king wong, it business partner
Whether you’re at home or at work, relationships are undeniably important. As an IT Business Partner, my focus is on business relationship management so I can ensure IT delivers the service that the University’s departments and schools are expecting.
I enjoy my career and my work, but I also have a bigger role – I’m a father to my children and a husband to my wife. That’s why I was grateful for the opportunity to take Shared Parental Leave (SPL) following the birth of my son, Luke.
IOANNIS OIKONOMOU, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
I first came to Reading nine years ago to do my MSc and PhD, and for the past five years I’ve worked at the University as a full time academic with a varied mix of responsibilities.
I always try to contribute where I can: I’m Programme Area Director of Undergraduate Degrees in Finance, I teach undergraduate portfolio management, and I teach postgraduate students as the Director of MSc in Behavioural Finance. I also support executive education, by, for example, using high-frequency trading simulations to create market scenarios where people can trade in a risk-free environment.