Professor Micheline Beaulieu
Emeritus Professor of Information Science
BA (McMaster, Canada), PhD (City), FCLIP
Professor Beaulieu started her career as a professional Librarian in academic libraries. She completed a doctoral degree as a mature student in 1989 and proceeded on a rapid trajectory as an academic researcher, to be awarded a professorial chair within four years and appointed Head of Department at City University three years later. In 1998 she came to Sheffield to head another top ranking research Department and to lead the world class Information Retrieval research group. She became Acting Head of the School of Management for three years in 2002 and then in 2005 she served as the founding Chair of the Interdisciplinary Centre of the Social Sciences (ICOSS), a unique £5.7m research facility. At the same time she was also appointed Pro-Vice Chancellor for Academic Planning becoming the first female academic member of the Senior Management Group in the history the University of Sheffield, a post she held until her retirement in 2010.
Prior to her arrival in Sheffield, Micheline Beaulieu was joint Director of the Centre for Interactive Systems Research in the Department of Information Science at City University. The Centre was a major contributor to the Department´s 5/5* research rating in the Research Assessment Exercises (RAE) and responsible for the design and development of the Okapi system, an advanced text retrieval system which was a precursor to today´s search engines. Okapi served as an evaluation facility for information retrieval and was a leading participant in the international Text Retrieval Conference (TREC) sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Washington DC.
In leading the Information Retrieval (IR) Group at Sheffield, Professor Beaulieu´s activities were focused on the development of evaluation methodologies for highly interactive IR systems and in particular the design of evaluative experiments from a user perspective. A related area of work has been concerned with 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. She was a founding participant of the TREC interactive track and was very proactive in promoting user centred design and evaluation particularly as a member of the Programme Committee of the ACM Special Interest Group in Information Retrieval Conference on Research and Development in IR (SIGIR) serving as European Scientific Chair in 2001 and was also a long standing programme committee member of the European Conference of Information Retrieval (ECIR). She was invited to serve on the editorial board of key journals in the information field including ARIST, Journal of Documentation and the Information Retrieval Journal.
Research Funding and Infrastructure Development
Throughout her career Professor Beaulieu has worked extensively with research funding agencies both at the national and European levels and covering different disciplines. She was a founding member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council chairing its Library and Information Studies Panel. She also served on the Economic and Social Research Council Research Evaluation Committee and is currently Vice-Chair of the Methods and Infrastructure Committee. At the European level she chairs the Computing and Informatics Panel for Advanced grants for the recently established European Research Council and is currently a member of an international Social Science panel for strategic infrastructure funding for the French National Research Agency. She has also been an assessor for the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission for Information Science and Information Systems and Technology.