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Professor Alex Poulovassilis

Alex Poulovassilis’ long association with Birkbeck began in the 1980s when she came to do an MSc in Computer Science after several years working in the software industry. She went on to do a PhD at Birkbeck, and this postgraduate experience changed the course of her career as by the end she had decided to continue on into academia rather than return to the software industry.

Alex continued to collaborate with members of Birkbeck’s Computer Science department while she held postdoctoral posts at UCL and King’s College London and returned to Birkbeck as a member of staff in 1999 when she was appointed to one of the College’s 175th Anniversary Readerships. She became Professor of Computer Science in 2001 and in the subsequent twenty years held several senior roles at Birkbeck, including serving as Pro-Vice Master for Research and International Students and Founding Head of the Graduate Research School from 2002 to 2005; Co-Director of the London Knowledge Lab from 2003 to 2015; Head of Department from 2003 to 2006 and 2009 to 2010; Assistant Dean for Research in the School of Business, Economics and Informatics from 2009 to 2015; and Deputy Dean for Research Enhancement in the School of BEI from 2015 to 2021.

In these roles, she has championed interdisciplinary links between the sciences, social sciences and arts by leading cross-disciplinary discourse, establishment of collaborative research centres, projects and training programmes, and engagement with research stakeholders and professionals across disciplines and sectors. Her research in data integration, querying, analysis, visualisation and personalisation has been funded by numerous grants from the UK research councils.