Inaugural lecture series

An inaugural lecture is a significant milestone in any academic's career, recognising their promotion to Professor. This series provides an opportunity for our new professorial colleagues to showcase their research with a broad audience, including members of the public, family, friends and colleagues.

All our lectures are free of charge and attendance is open to all. Each lecture will be recorded and a video will be made available to watch after the event.

For our in-person lectures, they are followed by an informal drinks reception

A black background with gold flecks on, and a black title and gold border that reads Inaugural Lectures

View Inaugural Lecture video transcript

Forthcoming lectures

Professor Chris Sansom looking up to a Zero-Carbon process of water
public lecture

Professor Christopher Sansom will explore his career journey in industrial research labs and academia. Find out how his career has involved research on low carbon renewable energy technologies to reduce global warming, developing solar desalination for water-stressed regions of the earth, as well as working on telescopes to search for Earth-like planets around nearby stars.

Previous lectures

Natural Language Processing, a Fulfilled Promise?

Professor Farid Meziane

Developing programmes that can behave and produce results similar to those of human experts was the aspiration of many computer scientists. Natural Language Processing is a field that has seen many developments over the last 80 years. In his lecture, Professor Farid Meziane summarised this journey and the research contributions that he made within this sector.

Guiding the Future: A Professional­isation Project for the Career Development Sector

Professor Siobhan Neary

In her lecture, Professor Siobhan Neary drew on her various roles to examine the challenges that have impacted the careers profession and how her research has helped to develop a greater understanding of the workforce, their motivations and challenges experienced. She explored the interrelationship between practice, research, policy and identity and what needs to be in place to maximise the opportunities for the next professionalisation project.

Find out more about Professor Siobhan Neary's Inaugural Lecture

The Evolution of Learning: Towards a Phylogenetic Epistemology

Professor Jose Prados

Professor Jose Prados' lecture looked at the evolution of cognitive mechanisms. It focused on learning from experience, the essential abilities that allow animals to adapt to the changing conditions of their environments. His research has shown that molluscs and flatworms learn according to the same principles that rule learning invertebrates. In this lecture, Jose expanded the scope and addressed whether these similarities can be extended to other organisms, including plants and unicellular organisms.

Find out more about Professor Jose Prados' Inaugural Lecture

Towards a Crimes Against Humanity Convention: A policy, practical, and personal agenda

Professor Gerhardus Kemp

Professor Gerhard Kemp’s lecture explained the normative and historical roots of the draft Crimes Against Humanity Convention and linked these aspects to the practical and policy benefits of having an international convention on crimes against humanity. Kemp’s role as a legal academic informed part of the analysis; the role of mentors, civil society, students, and affected communities completed the picture and underscored the value of critical, reflective, caring, mentoring, and applied legal academic work. The presentation concluded with some thoughts on the way forward for the draft Crimes Against Humanity Convention.

Find out more about Professor Gerhard Kemp's Inaugural Lecture

Out of control: The evolution and future of motoring and mobility

Professor Warren Manning

Professor Manning's lecture explored the evolution of modern vehicles and how the innovation and research community responded to various imperatives to improve performance. In discussing the future of motoring and how ready the industry is to respond, Professor Manning highlighted key strategic priorities for Derby, particularly in supporting our students through research activity.

Find out more about Professor Warren Manning's Inaugural Lecture

Domestic Abuse and Rough Sleeping: From hidden crime to hidden homelessness

Professor Kate Moss

Having spent over a decade researching the problem of women's homelessness, Professor Moss found that one of the major precipitators for this is the experience of domestic abuse. Both these phenomena are arguably – to some extent – invisible. Against this background, Professor Moss asked two questions in relation to what she perceives as a crisis of hidden female homelessness: why is women’s homelessness hidden and what can be done about it?

Find out more about Professor Kate Moss' Inaugural Lecture

Patients, Protection and Pedagogy

Professor Stephen Wordsworth

Professor Wordsworth's lecture drew on several different but interconnected aspects of his work. Stemming from his experiences working in the operating theatre, to the development of standards of practice, and in his involvement in educational design. The lecture reflected on historical developments; and examined the present in relation to roles and responsibilities in the operating theatre, patient care and a culture of safety.

Find out more about Professor Stephen Wordsworth's Inaugural Lecture

Chinese and Global Financial Integration Through Stock Connect

Professor Flora Huang

This lecture presented the legal issues and impact of a novel form of financial integration, Stock Connect, giving mutual market access to Chinese and international investors. Such a cross-boundary investment channel represents numerous 'firsts' in Chinese financial liberalisation and a potential mechanism to be utilised widely in global financial markets. Professor Huang discussed the profound implications of Stock Connect to local and global financial markets and the legal impediments to its implementation. 

Enabling a Smart World Through Service Computing and Data Processing

Professor Stephan Reiff-Marganiec

In this lecture, Professor Reiff-Marganiec reflected and highlighted opportunities and challenges for truly life-changing smart technologies. He considered the underlying technologies and the importance of data processing as a key enabler, placing these in the context of societal impact and demands. He specifically focused on aspects of software architecture for cloud and service computing paradigms, highlighting key issues of these architectures that emerge when considering the demands from the Internet of Things (IoT): a system of trillions of interconnected sensors producing ‘lots of little data’.

He also considered how data processing can be distributed in various ways, and consequently, allowing the ideas from service and cloud computing to be expanded for IoT, touching on the current hot topics of data analytics and machine learning. 

Retail in the Community: Beyond the Buyer-Seller Transaction

Professor Carley Foster

Professor Foster's lecture explored how retailers can create a retail experience for customers which reflects the community they serve and embed themselves in the local area by working with key stakeholders. By co-creating a community retail experience and moving away from a sole focus on transactional retailing, retailers can position themselves as a key element of the town centre jigsaw, alongside complimentary services and attractions. In doing this, retailers can begin to protect themselves from a turbulent retail environment and instead have an active role in the evolving, reincarnated high street.

Find out more about Professor Carley Foster's Inaugural Lecture

Journalism as Civic Empowerment: The Virtues of Theory and Practice in Journalism Studies Research

Professor John Steel

Professor Steel's lecture explored recent research which has sought to reinvigorate the promise of journalism and address its contemporary crisis of legitimacy. Looking at examples of his published work drawn from the fields of political theory, critical pedagogy, history, sociology, philosophy, and journalism studies, Professor Steel reflected on his own personal academic pathway and how it has led him to seek to focus on both the theory and practice of some of journalism's key civic responsibilities.

Find out more about Professor John Steel's Inaugural Lecture

Nutrition in Metabolic Diseases: Too-much or too-little?

Professor Gyan Tripathi

Professor Tripathi's lecture focused on presenting his own research development, determining how the experience of genetically engineering bacteria to produce biodegradable polymers, has contributed to solving the fundamental mysteries of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. 

Find out more about Professor Gyan Tripathi's Inaugural Lecture

366:366 (Finally): The Long Duration of the Making of an Artwork

Professor Ang Bartram

This inaugural lecture featured a project Professor Bartram worked on throughout the leap year of 2016 and which continued to be a work in process that grew in volume since 2017. The focus of this lecture was on the artist's durational practice, how research underpins decision making and intent, and how failure and mishap are often by-products of the process.

Find out more about Professor Ang Bartram's Inaugural Lecture

The Myths and Truths about Entrepreneurship

Professor Marc Cowling

Professor Marc Cowling's lecture explored the tax treatment of entrepreneurs and government intervention in debt and equity market as well as challenging whether entrepreneurs do, in fact, generate things such as productivity, innovation, and jobs. Professor Cowling also questioned how entrepreneurs have fared during the Covid-19 crises and evaluated whether the government has effectively shielded them. 

Find out more about Professor Marc Cowling's Inaugural Lecture

Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: A journey through wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff

Professor Ian Turner

Professor Ian Turner shared his reflections on the importance of entertainment pedagogy through a series of examples and case studies from his career to date.

Find out more about Professor Ian Turner's Inaugural Lecture

The Journey from Molecular Transformation to the Human Touch

Vice-Chancellor Professor Kathryn Mitchell

Vice-Chancellor Professor Kathryn Mitchell provided an oversight of both the scientific and personal journey in a long career of research, which has worked to address how to improve the lives of patients with ‘degenerative’ or chronic disease. This body of research and foci on people living with a chronic/incurable disease was triggered by a six-month work experience in Karatina, Kenya, when Professor Mitchell observed the impact of unmanaged AIDS.

Find out more about Professor Kath Mitchell's Inaugural Lecture

Nature Connectedness: Improving our failing relationship with nature

Professor Miles Richardson

Professor Miles Richardson discussed the benefits of a closer connection with nature and why this matters at a time of environmental emergency. The inaugural lecture explained how nature connectedness provides a route for people to develop the new relationship with nature required for a sustainable future.

Tales of (in)justice: researching vocational education, changing lives

Professor Liz Atkins

Taking place during November's Social and Education Policy research week, Professor Liz Atkins' inaugural lecture provided insights into issues surrounding the education of low attaining youth, and their implications for social justice.

Find out more about Professor Atkins's Inaugural Lecture