Two Name Changes for University Departments
The Senate at the University made the recommendation for the Faculty of Physical and Applied Sciences to change its name to ‘Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering’ and the school […]
The Senate at the University made the recommendation for the Faculty of Physical and Applied Sciences to change its name to ‘Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering’ and the school of Mathematics to be renamed ‘Mathematical Sciences’, on 27th February. These changes were approved by the University Council last Friday.
The Faculty of Physical and Applied Sciences (FPAS) will be renamed the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering (FPSE). FPSE consists of the academic schools of Physics & Astronomy and Electronics and Computer Science (ECS), as well as the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC). These academic units will not change.
The reasons quoted from the University for the name change included that it:
Will highlight more accurately the nature and balance of the research, education and enterprise that is undertaken within the Faculty.
In changing the name, the faculty feels the achievements of the cross-discipline research between the Physical Sciences and Engineering are better represented through the name change. Its intention is not to change the departmental construction; indeed, another reason is to continue to attract relevant contact with interested parties for this inter-disciplinary research, and also to “improve opportunities for recruitment” for both academic staff and students.
Despite the new name raising awareness of the engineering aspects of FPSE, it does not cover engineering disciplines in the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment; they were, and will continue to remain, different faculties.
The other name change passed by the University Council was the academic school of Mathematics changing to ‘Mathematical Sciences’, the argument being that other Russell Group universities have adopted the name, including the Isaac Newton Institute in Cambridge and the Maxwell Institute in Edinburgh.
This is due to Mathematical Sciences being able to encompass more of the broad base of mathematics, as well as its applications in engineering, the sciences and the applied sciences. This will, again, lead to more recognition of periphery research in the subject and open up new niches for the University to expand into.