Profesor Micheline Beaulieu

BA (McMaster, Canada), PhD (City), FCLIP, Hon. D.Litt. (Sheffield)

Information School

Emeritus Professor of Information Science

Full contact details

Profesor Micheline Beaulieu
Information School
The Wave
2 Whitham Road
S10 2AH

I started my career as a Librarian in academic libraries and completed a PhD as a mature student in 1989 to become a researcher. Within four years I gained a personal chair and in 1996 was appointed Head of Department at City University.

I came to Sheffield in 1998 to head its world leading Information Department and the Information Retrieval research group.

After serving as Acting Head of the School of Management for three years, in 2005 I became founding Chair of the Interdisciplinary Centre of the Social Sciences (ICOSS), a unique £5.7m research facility.

I was also appointed Pro-Vice Chancellor for Academic Planning, becoming the first female member of the Senior Management Group in the history of the University, a post held until my retirement in 2009.

I was awarded a honorary degree by the University of Sheffield in 2011 and was featured in the 2012 exhibition Portraits of Women, a project celebrating women’s achievements in the University.

I continued as Chair of the Project Executive Group for the Arts Tower refurbishment completed in 2011 and now serve as Chair of the Alumni Foundation Fund as well as a mentor for the Futures Mentoring Programme for senior academic women.

Research interests

Prior to coming to Sheffield, I was joint Director of the Centre for Interactive Systems Research at City University.

The Centre was responsible for the design of the Okapi system, an advanced text retrieval system, precursor to today´s search engines. Okapi was an evaluation facility for information retrieval (IR) and was a leading participant in the international Text Retrieval Conference (TREC) sponsored by NIST.

In leading the IR Group at Sheffield, I focused on the development of evaluation methodologies for highly interactive systems and in particular the design of evaluative experiments from a user perspective. Related work included user interface design and human-computer interaction and in particular assessing the effectiveness of relevance feedback in query formulation and the presentation of query expansion facilities for interactive searching.

I was a founding participant of the TREC interactive track, served on the Programme Committee of the ACM special interest group (SIGIR), was European Scientific Chair in 2001 and also a long standing programme committee member of the European Conference of Information Retrieval (ECIR).

Membership of editorial boards of key information journals included: ARIST, Journal of Documentation and the Information Retrieval Journal.

I am associated with the Information Retrieval Research Group

Professional activities and memberships

Throughout my career I have worked extensively with research funding agencies both at the national and European levels and covering different disciplines. I was a founding member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council chairing its Library and Information Studies Panel.

I also served on the Economic and Social Research Council Research Evaluation Committee and until 2013 was Vice-Chair of the Methods and Infrastructure Committee. The latter involved chairing major commissioning panels for research infrastructure and data resource investments including the: Census Programme, National Centre for Research Methods, UK Data Service, Administrative Data Service, and Cohorts and Longitudinal Studies Enhancement Resource (CLOSER). I am currently Vice-Chair of the Governing Board of CLOSER.

At the European level from 2009-2013 I chaired the Computing and Informatics Panel for the European Research Council Advanced Grants and in 2011-2012 chaired the Social Science panel for strategic infrastructure funding for the French National Research Agency, I have also been an assessor for the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission for Information Science and Information Systems and Technology.