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LIDA appoints new Co-Director and Director of Research and Innovation


Leeds Institute for Data Analytics has appointed Professor Susan Grant Muller as Co–Director and Dr Roger Beecham as Director of Research and Innovation.

Susan and Roger will join Professor Chris Gale (Co–Director), Professor Roy Ruddle (Director of Research Technology), Professor Paul Baxter (Director of Education and Training) and Dominic Frankis (Director of Operations) as members of the LIDA Executive leadership team.

Professor Susan-Grant Muller is Chair in Technologies and Informatics at the Institute for Transport Studies and leads the Digital Futures theme, which aims to harness the potential of new forms of digital data to generate policy relevant insights for the transport and related sectors. Susan was a witness to both the House of Lords and House of Commons recent inquiries into the potential for new data forms and enhanced data analytics in the transport sector. She was also a founding leader of the LIDA Societies Community, which aims to shape and progress the way data science is carried out and can benefit future society.

In her new role, Susan will be jointly responsible for the strategic vision and leadership of LIDA, ensuring LIDA continues to work in collaboration with all Faculties and multi-disciplinary academic communities to grow world class data science and AI at Leeds, in alignment with the Universities 10 year strategy.

Susan said: “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to join the LIDA Executive as Co-Director, working alongside Professor Gale and the whole team to further enhance LIDA’s national reputation for data science, AI, and education involving high volume, fine grain and sensitive data. New data is playing an increasingly important role in the development of national policy and building resilience for the future. I’m looking forward to working with colleagues across campus and our external partners in leveraging the considerable strengths that LIDA and the University has in this field to make a difference nationally and internationally.”

Susan will take up her role from 1st February 2024.

Dr Roger Beecham is currently Associate Professor in Visual Data Science in School of Geography. His research and teaching focuses on the use of data visualization in data science -- exploiting new data, new methods and new technologies for conducting data science research. This work is naturally interdisciplinary and Roger has collaborated extensively with external partners in government and industry. He has held leadership roles in Centre for Spatial Analysis and Policy (CSAP), is a member the Alan Turing Institute’s Visualization group and co-leads the recently-formed LIDA Visualization Programme.

As Director of Research and Innovation, Roger will be responsible for leading and developing LIDA’s research and innovation strategy, working in partnership with the pan faculty research Communities, Programmes and Special Interest Groups to grow interdisciplinary data science and AI research that creates a positive research culture and generates social impact.

Roger said: “There’s an incredible portfolio of world-leading, interdisciplinary data science research taking place across the LIDA network.  I’m really excited and energised by the prospect of supporting and contributing to this – thinking creatively about embedding modern data science approaches across faculties and uniting methods- and application- oriented researchers communities through LIDA’s Communities and Programmes.”

Roger will take up his role from 19th February 2024.

Chris Gale, LIDA Co-Director said “I am privileged to be joined by Susan & Roger in their respective roles Co-Director and Director of Research and Innovation. Each have strong track records in their disciplines and these appointments will surely catalyse LIDA into its next strategic phase. Already LIDA has a well-regarded reputation for high quality and high impact data science research that aims to benefit society. We will now build upon this with our state of the art safe and effective data analytics infrastructure (LASER), emerging research & educational capacity, and investment in people and their research at the University of Leeds. I am looking forward to working with Susan & Roger - welcome!”

Meet the new Directors during LIDA's coffee morning on Thursday 15th Feb at 11am in the large kitchen (LIDA office, Level 11, Worsley Building).