The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has conferred 'Emeritus Professor' titles on professors Brian Copeland and John Agard, both of the St Augustine Campus in Trinidad and Tobago. Both conferrals are with immediate effect.
The title of emeritus professor refers to retired professors who are recognised and honoured by their universities for notable contributions to academia. Aside from the special title, an emeritus status gives distinguished professors extra privileges at the university.
Professor Copeland, PhD, served as the pro vice-chancellor and campus principal of St Augustine from 2016-2022, the last two years of which saw him navigating the campus through the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
During his tenure at The UWI, he served as professor in electrical and computer engineering, dean of the Faculty of Engineering, and head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. His focus areas have been in digital electronics and microprocessor systems design and control systems.
As coordinator of the Real Time Systems Group, a UWI unit for developing university/industry liaison through impactful R&D projects, Professor Copeland was the project lead for design and construction of the electronic scoreboard at the Queen's Park Oval. He co-ordinates the Steelpan Initiatives Project which saw the development and patenting of the G-Pan, a re-engineered form of the traditional steelpan, as well as the percussive harmonic instrument, an electronic form of the traditional steelpan. Professor Copeland is convener of the Steelpan Research Centre, UWI and is a former member of the board of directors, The Caribbean Industrial Research Institute.
Professor Copeland is the holder of many prestigious awards. In 2008, he was the first recipient of the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and in 2007 he was joint recipient of the Chaconia Medal Gold as a member of the G-Pan development team. He received the Guardian Life Premium Teaching Award in 2002, the BP/AMOCO Fellowship Award for senior academic staff at The UWI, 2001 and a LASPAU/Fulbright scholarship for his doctoral programme at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1987 among others.
Professor Agard, PhD, is professor of tropical island ecology at the Department of Life Sciences in the Faculty of Science and Technology at the St Augustine Campus. He also serves as the executive director of the university's Global Institute for Climate-Smart and Resilient Development.
His research interest is in the field of sustainability science especially as it relates to mainstreaming environmental considerations such as biodiversity and ecosystem services conservation, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and the development of blue and circular economy into the core of policy and decision making.
Internationally, he has served as an independent advisor on environment and sustainability policy to the board of the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, DC. He has also been on the Scientific Advisory Panel of UNEP for the Global Environmental Outlook (GEO6), and was previously a coordinating lead author for the scenarios chapter in GEO4. He has also been a coordinating lead author of the Intergovernmental (Science-Policy) Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, first global assessment chapter 5, Pathways to a Sustainable Future as well as the review editor for small islands in the current sixth assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Professor Agard has previously served as a lead author in Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change IPCC's previous fourth and fifth assessments.
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