Conversations With… Professor Mervyn Roy

Todays ‘Conversations With…’ article focuses on Professor Mervyn Roy, who has recently taken up the role of Dean of Education for the College of Science and Engineering. Professor Roy was previously Director of Education, Senior Tutor and Career Tutor within the School of Physics and Astronomy for six years.

What is your official job role?
I’ve just been promoted to Prof. and have recently taken up the role of Dean of Education for the College of Science and Engineering. I was the Director of Education (joint with Simon Vaughan from 2016-2021), Senior Tutor and Careers tutor in the School from 2016-2022.

Can you briefly describe what your role was within the School of Physics and Astronomy?
My role in physics was essentially to teach and support students, and to develop and run the teaching programme. You can imagine this covers a multitude of things from programme design, to strategic innovations, staff development, student support – and so on.

What made you want to start on this career path?
Good question. Like a lot of things it was something I grew into organically without any pre-defined plan. I was originally employed as a researcher. Over time I found the interactions with students were the most rewarding part of the job for me, and then the natural progression was into roles where I could help make things better for students not just in my own modules, but throughout the School – and now the wider University.

What made you choose Leicester/what’s your favourite thing about working in Leicester?
I’ve been at Leicester for a long time! I originally came here as a student because I loved the astrophysics research and the friendly atmosphere. My research interests moved into the nano and quantum side of things – but I still think the friendly atmosphere is one of the great things about the School. Fundamentally it’s the people that make a place, and we’ve always had a great set of students and staff to work with.

If you could give your former self one piece of advice what would it be?
Learn to say ‘no’ when I’m asked to do things!

What is your favourite thing to do outside of work?
For many years I was a very keen sportsperson: I played Sunday league football for the best part of 25 years, league cricket for 35+, karate, climbing, etc. But I’m now getting a bit old and my knees are very creaky. So it’s now more playing with my children and a bit of gardening and cooking on the side. I still go bouldering when I get the chance, but it isn’t so often any more.

Do you have any pet colleagues or interesting hobbies/collections?
Work related and sports related things are obvious so, as a more obscure one – I wrote a recipe book collecting up some of my Dad’s family recipes from India – and gave it to him as a Christmas present a couple of years before he passed away. It was a lot of work cooking everything up, taking the pictures, typesetting the book etc. but I’m pretty proud of this, I know my Dad loved it, and I think it will be a really nice thing to pass onto my kids in turn.

If you had to describe yourself in one word what word would you choose?

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