As we look forward to the new term, I hope that colleagues have managed to enjoy a break in recent months. The summer period is always a busy one for work on the estate, including at Heaton Mount, at the School of Management where I rent a small flat from the University. Most of the residential rooms there are being renovated and the pace of work has been terrific. The most interesting experience for me has been sharing a communal kitchen with a group of Nigerian MBA students who have introduced me to their Nigerian cuisine.
I’m sorry to report that since my last update we have had the sad news of the death of two of our colleagues. Arthur Kershaw worked in the School of Life Sciences and Jan Porter was a lecturer in the School of Health Studies. Both made fantastic contributions to the University and our thoughts are with their families and friends at this time.
Clearing and admissions – a thank you
This year has been a very hectic period for clearing and I am very grateful to all the staff who worked so hard to help students find the courses they want to take and to ensure strong recruitment here at Bradford. It has gone very well and the two open days were a good opportunity for students and their families to come to the University and learn more about the courses they want to take.
Our numbers and entry levels have been very good and we are confident that we will make the overall numbers we are seeking. The changes to fee levels in 2012 have made this an especially busy period, so thank you to all of those who volunteered to field calls and help applicants through the process.
Welcome to the School of Health Studies
A warm welcome to staff and students from the School of Health Studies who have now completed their move onto City Campus. The move went very smoothly, considering the size of the operation, and the facilities in the building are superb. I’m particularly impressed with the clinical skills spaces which are so important for the training of students. Some of these spaces, such as the new physiotherapy suites will also be welcoming members of the public for treatment.
My thanks to all those involved in designing and building the new space and to the staff of the school who have worked hard to make for a smooth transition. I know you have waited many years for this move (decades some of you might say) but hopefully the wait was worthwhile.
British Science Festival
This Saturday, (10 September) sees the arrival of the British Science Festival here at the University. I do hope as many of you as possible will be able to take advantage of the huge range of events here on our doorstep. The events are wide-ranging, with something in the programme for all ages and for people with a variety of interests. Most of the events are free although you will need to book.
The amount of involvement of our academic staff in events ranging from lectures, to hands-on science, as well as events for young people, has been terrific. The festival will be a fantastic way to celebrate the very best of British science and the best of the University and city. We will also be holding the official opening of our new student accommodation, The Green, during the Festival and I hope as many of you as possible will take the opportunity to see the facilities, which constitute one of the best and most environmentally-sustainable student accommodation complexes in the country.
I’m sure you’ll agree that together our strong recruitment, developments on campus and the British Science Festival mark a fantastic start to the new academic year.
University of Bradford in the news
Dr James Heron of the School of Optometry shared his insights as to how we may perceive time differently with Radio 4 listeners and his research was also featured in the international online publication Wired Magazine
Dr Sarah Dixon, Dean of the School of Management, shared her thoughts in the Yorkshire Post about the implications of Steve Jobs’ resignation as CEO of Apple; and what the departure of a key figurehead can mean for a company’s fortunes.
The School of Management itself featured in The Guardian and many other international news outlets with the announcement that it would be delivering its retail management degree courses in partnership with Morrison’s supermarkets.
The University played host to the regional Calendar News team on A-level results day, as our Pro-Vice-Chancellor Shirley Congdon talked through how we were helping our prospective students. Both Shirley and Rachel Lister, our clearing helpline supervisor, gave several radio interviews, and sharing their top tips about how to get the best out of results and clearing. The story was also featured in the Telegraph and Argus.
And finally, Becka Colley our Dean of Students also gave her share of advice in The Guardian this month, letting students know how to get the best out of Twitter in researching their new courses and universities.
Estates Celebrate success
Congratulations to the estates department who have achieved certification from the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme. The award is a construction industry standard (used by a high proportion of contracting organisations) that shows Health and Safety competence for the activities the University is involved in.
Research centre in focus
The research and knowledge transfer (RKT) Centre for Visual Computing (CVC) is a research centre within the University with a strong interdisciplinary research and knowledge transfer focus. The centre is unique in bringing together computational, physiological, and psychological expertise to undertake research and KT activities in digital imaging, visualisation, human visual perception computer based simulation and machine learning.
As well as world class academic expertise, CVC also has access to facilities such as 3D non-contact scanning, thermal imaging, industry standard motion capture and video eye tracking equipment. CVC currently has several live research and KT projects and has generated income above £400,000 within the first year of operation. This includes an Engineering and Physical Research Council funded project (worth £518,000) working in collaboration between the RKT Centre for Polymer Micro and Nano Technology, a JISC funded project (worth £93,000) with colleagues from School Life Sciences and a TSB funded project with Tangentix Ltd (a University spin-out company which uses CVC’s patented technology for digital data storage and manipulation).
Research and knowledge transfer success
Prashant Pillai and Fun Hu, from the School of Engineering, Design and Technology have been working with IMS Limited on a £22,425 contract for the software development of their IMS mesh block monitor.
Murna Downs and John Chatwin, Dementia Studies, have received a £6,500 research grant from Yorkshire Film Archive for An evaluation of the Yorkshire Film Archive Memory Bank Initiative.
Mutty Dad from the School of Lifelong Education and Development has received £2,500 funding from The National HE STEM Programme for the delivery of an Outreach Project called Engineering Islam.
Stephen Dockrill and Julie Bond, Archaeological, Geographical and Environmental Sciences, have received a £6,100 research grant from Orkney Islands Council to carry out an archaeological project to examine resilience and sustainability from the first farmers to the present day at an Island level. The project is at present examining sites endangered by the sea. This year’s excavation is battling against the sea to record an iron age farm.
Jo Neill, in Pharmacy is working for two European pharmaceutical companies on four contracts valued at £72,500. Jo is testing new compounds to see if they are more effective at reversing the negative symptoms of schizophrenia than current drugs used for this purpose. In the above tests Jo is using the Novel Object Recognition and Social Interaction tasks to see if the new test drugs are effective at correcting loss of visual recognition memory and normal social behaviour which are observed as negative symptoms in people suffering from schizophrenia.
Laurence Patterson, Wendy Hulse, Paul Loadman and Qun Shao, Institute of Cancer Therapeutics have received research funding worth £64,247 from Changzhou Municipal Government for an assessment of the feasibility of developing a suite of platform technologies for masking the undesirable taste of medicines in liquid form.
Congratulations to all.