UWTSD appoints new Professors of Practice at Lampeter campus graduation ceremony


Three new Professors of Practice have been appointed by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David during a graduation ceremony at Lampeter today (Friday, July 6). 

Prof Practice lampeter

The title of ‘Professor of Practice’ is bestowed upon an individual to honour and recognise that person for having attained academic and/or professional distinction in those disciplines which are aligned with the strategic intentions of the university.  The three individuals who have been honoured by the University are Dr Abdulrahman A Alzaagy, Professor Mark Horton FSA and Professor Zhen Tao Nie.

“I’m delighted to appoint such eminent individuals as Professors of Practice at the University.” said UWTSD’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Medwin Hughes, DL.

“They join a number of exceptional individuals who are working with the university to bring their unique and professional expertise to benefit our students.  The role of Professors of Practice is relatively new to the University and allows us to work with partners with specific expertise related to our strategic aims who sometimes do not come through the traditional academic route. Through their involvement in our provision we can enhance the access to a range of defined skills to support academic delivery and build upon our rapidly improving reputation for delivering graduate skills in the context of employability, sustainability and work-related education and training.”

Prof practice 1

Dr Abdulrahman A Alzaagy was awarded a PhD degree in Electronic Transactions Law, from the University Of Wales, Aberystwyth in 2009. He also has a Masters in Information Technology and Telecommunications Law from Strathclyde University and a degree in Islamic ‘Shariah’ Law, from Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Most recently, Dr Alzaagy obtained General Management Certificate, from Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.

He is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, where he organised a high profile visit to Lampeter by Prince Turki al Faisal.  He is chairman of the Board of Directors of The King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies and played an integral part in the signing of a MoU between UWTSD and KFCRIS. He organised an international conference on Ethical Approaches to Co-existence in Cardiff, Wales, sponsored by Knowledge Exchange Program (KEP) affiliated to the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance of Saudi Arabia. 

Dr Alzaagy is currently working with BAE System Co. Riyadh, in Saudi Arabia, where he is seconded to the Office of HRH the Minister of Defence, Saudi Arabia, as Senior Legal Adviser and Deputy Head of the Legal Department. His duties include representing the Office of the Minister of Defence in a number of high-profile committees within and outside the Ministry.

Prior to this position, he was employed by Clifford Chance Law Firm, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as a Legal Adviser, where he dealt with various legal matters in relation to Saudi and International Commercial Laws.

From 2009 to 2012, Dr Alzaagy was a lecturer in Islamic Studies and Law at UWTSD’s School of Theology, Religious and Islamic Studies, in Lampeter. Whilst at UWTSD he also delivered the MA in Islamic Studies (Distance Learning Program) as well as helping to organise a series of seminars in Islamic Life and Culture as part of Interfaith Dialogue.  He was also involved in a number of sub-committees related to Quality Assurance; Knowledge Exchange Program, affiliated with the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Saudi Arabia; Muslims in Britain Research Network; and the Muslim Council of Wales.

Mark horton

Professor Mark Horton is a well-known and influential archaeologist with worldwide interests. His research focuses on historical archaeology, historical landscapes, maritime landscapes, long distance trade and social responses, the early spread of Islam and Christianity and the interaction between archaeology and the media.

Professor Horton was educated at Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he graduated and received his doctorate. He has spent much of his career working at the University of Bristol where he is currently Professor of Archaeology. He was made a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London in 1992.

His research interests have taken him to some extraordinary places – undertaking and directing archaeogical excavations in East Africa, Zanzibar, Madagascar, Egypt, the Caribbean, Central America, North America, and France, as well as sites in Britain.

One career long focus has been the archaeology of East Africa: His first major work was on the Swahili site of Shanga, Kenya between 1980 and 1986 as well as several sites on Zanzibar and Pemba (1984, 1988-94). This resulted in two notable publications: The Swahili: the social landscape of a mercantile society (with J. Middleton) (2001) and Shanga: The Archaeology of a Muslim Trading Community on the Coast of East Africa (1996). More recent work has focused on the the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba, notably Tumbatu, Ras Mkumbuu, Mtambwe Mkuu and Chwaka.

Since 2011 he has worked with the Max Planck Institute, Germany, on the Sealinks Project, directing targeted excavations in Pemba, Zanzibar, Mafia, Anjouan, Sri Lanka and Madagascar. The evidence recovered is now re-writing our understanding of the early settlement of the India Ocean and the subsequent development of complex trade routes between Europe, Africa, India, S.E.Asia and China.

Other excavations include the Scottish Darien scheme (1698–1700) in Panama; the Cistercian Abbey of Grosbot (Charente, France); the Bishop's Palace at Wells; a medieval farmstead at Carscliffe, Somerset; Fishmongers Cave, Alveston (South Gloucestershire) and he is currently working at Berkeley Castle (Gloucestershire). In 2008-11 he undertook survey and excavation work in the Kherlen Valley in Mongolia.

Professor Horton's first television appearances sprang from his academic work in East Africa. He contributed to a programme by Time Life Television Lost Civilisations – Africa in 1996 and to a Channel 4 television programme on the Atlantic slave trade in 1998. He was closely involved in the inception of the long-running Channel 4 television series Time Team and the first episode was filmed in his home town of Much Wenlock, Shropshire in 1994. In 2004 he presented BBC Scotland's programme Darien: Disaster in Paradise, which was highly commended in the archaeological film category at that year's British Archaeological Awards. Since 2005 he has been one of the team of presenters on the programme Coast, exploring the coastline of Britain.  He continues to be active in media and is currently working on a series of documentaries based around his research.

Professor Zhen Tao Nie is a world renowned expert on ancient Chinese Language, culture, Chinese calligraphy and ancient Chinese poetry. He was previously employed at the Nanyang Normal University in Nanyang as a Professor of Ancient Chinese literature. He has published widely and delivered numerous high profile keynote talks and speeches. He is a very experienced teacher in the field of Sinology and Ancient Chinese literature and poetry.

Professor Nie has received many national commendations and awards for this work both from scholars in China and from the Government. These include the award of Honoured Henan Excellent Teacher of China, the prize Confucian Education in Central Plain awarded to just ten scholars throughout China, and in 2016 the 2nd National Awards for Scholars.

He remains an ambassador of international academic communications of Seoul National University in Korea, honoured lecturer of Sinology College MAH in Malaysia, a member of the International Confucian Association, an executive council member of Feng Yulan Research Society of China, a member and vice secretary of the Chinese Phonology Research Association, a vice president of Henan Confucian Association, and the head of the Lecturers Group of Henan Confucian Association of China.

Further Information

For more information please contact Arwel Lloyd, Principal PR and Communications Officer, on 01267 676663 / arwel.lloyd@uwtsd.ac.uk