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LU Text is published by the Press Office on Fridays during term time and aims to keep you regularly informed of the University's news and developments. Editor, Vicky Tyrrell

The University flag is flying at half mast today in memory of Matthew King the undergraduate student whose death on 15th February 2009 was announced last term. Matthew’s friends and colleagues from Lancaster will join members of his family in a commemorative event of words and music in the Jack Hylton Music Room tonight at 7 pm.

Matthew, who was a third-year student studying Music Technology, is sorely missed by his friends in his college and from his department. He was a young man of great potential, whose character embodied creativity, individuality and a zest for the enjoyment of life in the company of his friends at Lancaster. His smile, sense of humour and engaging manner have inspired numerous tributes from those who knew him.

| 24 April 2009 | Issue 430

Contents: news; people; new people; notices; people in the news; what's on; ads


Lancaster University commits to reducing carbon emissions

Lancaster University is set to significantly reduce its carbon footprint following a £5m funding award from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). The University is one of only three out of the 37 applicants to win the funding from HEFCE’s £10m Transformational Fund. The fund has been made available specifically for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) across England to radically transform their approaches to energy consumption and reducing emissions. Lancaster was awarded half the total available. The proposed project is to develop two 2.3MW wind turbines on the University’s Hazelrigg site to the east of the M6 motorway. Lancaster University would be the first in England to install wind turbines which would reduce its electricity consumption by approximately one third, equivalent to the residential requirements of all students who live on campus. To view the full story

UCU to ballot members over pay

The University has received a letter today from the University and College Union (UCU) notifying the Vice Chancellor that it will be balloting its members for industrial action over national pay negotiations on 1st May 2009. UCU press release

Responses to this news have been issued from UCEA and Russell/1994 Group of Universities, see below.

The Universities and Colleges Employers Association UCEA cautions against UCU's misleading attempts to create an unnecessary dispute UCEA press release

Russell Group and 1994 Group universities disappointed as UCU moves towards industrial action in pursuit of an 8% pay rise Russell Group/ 1994 Group statement

Solar silence is no cause for alarm say space scientists

Over a thousand astronomers have been discussing the current lull in solar activity at The Royal Astronomical Society's European Week of Astronomy and Space Science at the University of Hertfordshire. The number of sunspots in recent months has been the lowest since 1913. There has also been a 50-year low in solar wind pressure and a 55-year low in radio emissions, although space scientists say this is nothing to worry about. Dr Jim Wild, Dr Mick Denton and Professor Mike Kosch from the Space Plasma Environment and Radio Science Group – part of the Department of Communication Systems at InfoLab21 - have recently been awarded a total of more than £900k from the Science and Technology Facilities Council to carry out further investigation into the space environment. Dr Jim Wild has been interviewed by national media this week about sunspots (see people in the news) To view the full story

Award for sustainable student accommodation

Lancaster University’s Eco-Residences have been awarded first place in the Environmental Design category at the Chartered Institution of Building Service Engineers (CIBSE) North West Region Annual Awards. The project at County and Grizedale Colleges is also shortlisted for an Environmental Sustainability Award in the Centre for Construction and Innovation’s North West Regional Construction Awards 2009, which will take place at Southport Theatre and Convention Centre on May 21. These are the latest in a series of accolades for the pioneering Eco-Residence, which was designed by Lancaster University and property providers UPP in order to combine environmental sustainability with affordable rents for students. To view the full story

International recognition for Lancaster’s coolest lab

Lancaster University’s leading position in the ultralow temperature field has been recognised with its designation as a European centre for international researchers. With funding from the EU announced this month, the Physics Department’s Ultralow Temperature suite joins similar facilities in Helsinki and Grenoble to create a core of three centres intended to provide scientists from across Europe with access to state-of-the-art facilities beyond the capabilities of single institutions and even nation states. These three laboratories will form the core of a wider network of European laboratories including Heidelberg, Royal Holloway in London, the Italian National Nanoscience Centre, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Basel, Delft, Leiden and Berlin, which will work on common projects. To view the full story

Government praises Lancaster for Chernobyl project

Following the first ever live telecast from the Chernobyl area which marked the culmination of an InfoLab21 project to install wireless broadband in the town of Slavutych in the Ukraine, Trevor Hayward,deputy head of the Global Threat Reduction Programme from the Department of Energy and Climate Change has written to thank those involved. He gave special thanks to Professor Garik Markarian from the Department of Communication Systems who led the wireless broadband project, and his team saying that Lancaster University was the 'UK's Centre of ICT Excellence'. Representatives from the Ukrainian and UK Governments along with schoolchildren from Lancaster all took part in the webcast to mark the official launch of the Slavutych Town Information Network, which will enable the whole town to benefit from wireless broadband, installed as part of a UK Government scheme to regenerate the area. The webcast began with a link up between the UK Government Minister of State at the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) Mike O’Brien in Whitehall and the town square of Slavutych, where Ukrainian government representatives and the Mayor joined local townspeople in welcoming the handover of the network. To view the full story

Making public spaces safer

uTELLus is a new cross-disciplinary research project funded under the EPSRC’s Digital Economy programme (EPSRC contribution: £855,000) and led by Professor Jon Whittle in the Computing Department. The overall aim of the project is to use technology to capture in real-time users’ preferences about the spaces in which they live and use this information to transform public spaces to be safer and more inclusive. The project brings together computer scientists, economists, mechanical engineers and designers across the UK and is a collaboration between Lancaster, Aston, Manchester, Coventry and Brunel Universities.

Campus widening participation visits

The Department of Continuing Education organised visits for 537 pupils from 19 different schools and colleges between 19 March and 1 April as part of its year-round widening participation activities. The pupils were in years 8 - 10, and the visits were funded by Aimhigher Lancashire and Aimhigher Cumbria. The visits were aimed at pupils who would be the first in their family to enter higher education and who may attend a school that has a low level of higher education progression. All the visits aimed to give the pupils an introduction to university life and the range of higher education courses available, plus useful information that will enable them to make informed choices about their future education and career. For details contact Wendy Harris, Widening Participation Programme Manager on extn 92643.In addition 110 level three students on a range of health care and child care courses at four colleges in Sefton and Wirral took part in a two-day residential campus visit from 31st March - 1st April. The students are aged 16 and over and are taking vocational courses at the Hugh Baird, Wirral Metropolitan, King George V and Southport colleges.

Learning in later life

75 delegates from across the UK, Europe and North America attended a successful international conference at Lancaster University from 1st to 3rd April to examine issues concerning Learning in Later Life. The Conference was organised by the Department of Continuing Education (DCE) in co-operation with the Association for Education and Ageing. The Conference was preceded by a University of Later Life event that was attended by over 100 local adults, and a celebration of the 21st anniversary of the founding of the Lancaster and Morecambe University of the Third Age, which now has over 600 members. A video of one of the University of Later Life talks, that features Geraint Johnes, Professor of Economics, speaking about the credit crunch can be viewed online credit crunch

Conference to boost professional development of research staff

Lancaster hosted the first regional conference in the UK last month, to focus on the career and professional development of research staff. Over a 100 postdoctoral researchers from across the North West attended, and visitors commented favourably on the quality and relevance of the presentations and the excellent conference facilities in the Leadership Centre. The conference was opened by Professor Trevor McMillan, Pro Vice Chancellor for Research and 23 invited presenters shared their expertise on topics ranging from commercial opportunities for researchers, networking, learned societies, knowledge exchange, skills and career planning, and funding schemes such as EU Marie Curie and British Academy Fellowships. VOX coaching’s powerful and entertaining “Research Relationships” scenarios provoked some interesting discussions about effective communication between Principal Investigators and PDRAs. The Vitae conference website is under construction and will include film clips of the plenary session and PowerPoint presentations from the plenary session and workshops. Vitae conference website

Quality assurance

Initial feedback from the Quality Assurance Agency following Lancaster's Institutional Audit in March, has been generally positive. The QAA have 'confidence' in all of Lancaster's academic provision and Lancaster received two commendations for good practice which were the teaching prizes and the thematic review process. The QAA also had some recommendations which will be followed up.

The Department of Accounting and Finance has received a report of 'full confidence' for academic standards and for assuring the quality of the educational experience following a Periodic Quality Review.


Professor Paul Farley ( English and Creative Writing) is to receive the E.M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters next month at the Academy’s annual Ceremonial in New York. Foreign Honorary Member E.M. Forster (1879-1970) bequeathed the American publication rights and royalties of his posthumous novel Maurice to Academician Christopher Isherwood (1904-1986), who transferred them to the Academy for the establishment of an award, now worth $20,000, to be given to a young English writer for a stay in the United States. Previous recipients include Seamus Heaney, Nick Hornby, Carol Ann Duffy, Bruce Chatwin, Julian Barnes and Jeanette Winterson. click here For more information.

Dr Katy Mason, Lecturer in Marketing in LUMS has been appointed as a new AIM Fellow by the Advanced Institute for Management Research to work on improving management practice. She is one of seven new fellows who will join the existing cohorts researching productivity, innovation and services. AIM fellows are funded by the Economic and Social Research Council(ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Dr Mason's research interests include market orientation, supply chain, and the processes that cross organisational boundaries as firms attempt to co-ordinate and manage their business networks.

Dr Jim Wild, InfoLab21 is running the London Marathon this coming Sunday (26 April) in aid of Breast Cancer Care. To sponsor Jim please click here

Congratulations to the Estates FM staff who were awarded their level 2 NVQs in cleaning and level 4 NVQ in Management at Lancaster and Morecambe College’s awards celebration evening on Wednesday.

In addition the University won an employer’s award for its partnership with the college and continued support for the various NVQs.

Professor Steven Jones and Dr Fiona Lobban from the Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research are taking part in the British Association of Behavoural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (PBABCP) Conference, held in Exeter 15- 19 July 2009, about bipolar disorder and depression. One of the key themes is prevention and intervention across the spectrum of mood disorders. A range of workshops and symposia related to the area of Bipolar Disorder and Depression are on offer.For more information and online registration click here

Internationally acclaimed organist Dr Tim Rishton(Curriculum Co-ordinator for Music , Department of Continuing Education) gave a solo concert on the historic Silbermann organ at Ponitz in the former East Germany. The organ dates from the time of JS Bach. The concert was reviewed by the East German organ expert Dr Felix Friedrich in the newspaper Ostthüringer Zeitung Dr Rishton will also perform in Germany on 1 August (Michaelskirche Schwäbisch Hall), 9 September (Erlöserkirche Potsdam as part of the Internationaler Orgelsommer & Potsdam Bach Festival) and 8 November (St. Marienkirche in Recklinghausen as part of the Recklinghäuser Orgeltage Festival).

New People

Mark Taylor joins LUSU as their new full time Environmental Coordinator to promote environmental issues amongst students. He takes over from Tom Roberts who has developed the GreenLancaster project over the past four years. Tom returns to his PhD studies.

Kerstin Hammes joins the International Office as International Officer with responsibility for recruitment in EU and Central Asia, and from Foundation Colleges in the UK, and Erasmus. Her previous post was at UCLAN where she was International Marketing Officer for Europe and Central Asia. Kerstin is originally from Germany and has an MA in Translation Studies from University of Manchester, as well as a BA in Modern Languages from UCLAN and an International Diploma in Business Administration from Germany.

Alistair Brock joins Estates as Facilities Co-ordinator. Alistair starts on 27th April and will be attached to the Faculty of Arts and Social Science.


Teaching, researching and supporting mental health at Lancaster University

Mental Health is an issue which affects us all, both staff and students. It is an issue which spans departments and disciplines here at Lancaster – from those with an obvious link to mental health practice (eg social work, clinical psychology, medicine) to those which connect with broader issues of wellbeing and mental capital (performing arts, the chaplaincy, the sports centre). If you are learning, teaching and/or researching about mental well-being and/or ill-health or are concerned about the mental well-being of students, staff and/or service users or are interested to consider how:

  • research informs teaching
  • teaching draws on lived experience
  • lived experience impacts on teaching and tutoring roles
  • practice links to research and teaching

Then come along to an mhhe networking event on Friday 8 May from 11am to 3pm at the Institute for Advanced Studies. Everybody welcome. Contact k.hughes@lancaster.ac.uk for further details.

Mental Health in Higher Education (mhhe)is a collaborative project, hosted by Lancaster University, supported by five of the Higher Education Academy’s Subject Centres and the two national Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning about mental health (at Middlesex and Birmingham Universities).

Cancellation of symposium on Global Change

Unfortunately, the symposium on Global change: science and challenges for the 21st century at Lancaster University on 10 June 2009 is CANCELLED as the Chief Scientific Adviser at Defra is no longer available on that day.

Plant swap

In the Courtyard of the LEC on Thursday 7th May. The idea is that if you've germinated too many of one thing and not enough of something else then you bring your (carefully labelled) plants along and take away something you need.

New edition of Aumni e-newsletter

The next edition of the alumni e-newsletter is now available and has been distributed to 28,300 former students. To view a copy please click here. This is distributed twice a year in addition to the two copies of STEPS, the alumni magazine. If you wish to forward information for inclusion in the next copy, please contact Jane Silvester j.silvester1@lancaster.ac.uk.

Uni-rider bus passes

The Uni-rider bus passes are now on sale and available from the LUSU Information Desk. The cost is £75.00 for travel from the 17th April up to the 26th June. After that date summer vacation passes will be available to purchase. You need a university library card to purchase a bus pass. Payment can be made in cash, by debit or credit card (a charge of 1.5% is added to credit card transactions). If you have any questions about the pass please phone the Information Desk on ext. 93765.

Motorcycle commuters

The University wants to improve communication and parking arrangements for staff that commute by motorcycle or scooter. If you commute to the University on a motorcycle or scooter please contact Philip Longton, Travel & Environment Co-ordinator by email – p.longton@lancaster.ac.uk to let him know where you usually park your motorcycle/scooter on campus and any issues and suggestions you have regarding motorcycle parking on campus. The Travel Co-ordinator would like to establish an email information list for motorcycle commuters to improve communication and to consult with users over future possible improvements.

Free high-visibility vests available for cyclists

Sizes M, XL and XXL. Available from Philip Longton in Estates Facilities office, B Floor, University House after 3pm weekdays.

Pilates class starts Monday 28th April lunchtimes 1.00 - 1.55pm @ the Sports Centre

9 week course, discount for staff and student members. See the website for all our workout, relaxation classes and membership details. Contact reception on 594000 click here for more details


People in the news - Media coverage for Lancaster University.


New gallery exhibition

Click here for details of Designs for Ceramics, the current exhibition at the Peter Scott Gallery.

PSC seminar - 'Embedding Enterprise in the University Curriculum'

Postgraduate Statistics Centre Teaching and Learning Seminar Programme with Professor Sue Smith (Director of the Institute for Enterprise CETL, Leeds Metropolitan University) Tuesday 28th of April 2009, 1.00 to 2.00 pm with lunch starting at 12.30 in the PSC Lecture Theatre (A54) The talk will outline how an enquiry based approach to enterprise can be used to equip graduates for the workplace and their life long learning. The session will explore some of the strategies and actions we have used at The Institute for Enterprise at Leeds Met in the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning to develop enterprise and employability skills and how we have disseminated them within the University and beyond. Web link

Research ethics as practice at global crossroads - three day workshop

June 22nd-24th 2009 (inclusive), Meeting rooms 2 & 3 in the Institute for Advanced Studies building. This event is aimed at those researchers who wish to increase their understanding of what constitutes the practice of research ethics. more information

Lectures & Seminars Conferences & Short Courses

eAssessment/ eFeedback Conference @ Lancaster University 15th May 2009

The Learning Technology Group is organising a conference day around the theme of eAssessment/ eFeedback. This will include demonstrations and good practice guides for how to give Audio Feedback, how to use Personal Response Systems for effective learning, discussion on the best uses of Turnitin software, how to use mobile phone technology for in class interactions/ video recording of group activity for assessment.

There will be an opportunity to network with other teaching professionals as well as listen to Lancaster University’s Head of Undergraduate Studies who will introduce the event with Lancaster’s strategic goals for excellence in assessment practice.

We would be pleased if you would join us; and would particularly welcome a contribution from you about your experiences with eAssessment / feedback. If you have experiences to share, part of the day will be dedicated to mini-presentations of 15 minutes. Please contact Phil Tubman – p.tubman@lancaster.ac.uk – if you are interested in this before 30th April to ensure your place as a speaker. If you would like to attend this free event, or have any questions, please contact Phil to register. The event begins at 9:15am in Meeting Room 2 of the Conference Centre, Lancaster University, and you are welcome to come for the whole day, or just part of the event. Please book your place here


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Contact Victoria Tyrrell on (01524) 594120 with items for LU text, LU News or for external publicity.
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LU text is usually published on Fridays. On occasion it is necessary to delay publication until the following week. ITEMS FOR INCLUSION SHOULD BE EMAILED TO THE EDITOR BY 12PM THURSDAY BEFORE PUBLICATION. Adverts are limited to University members and we are unable to check incorrect contact numbers or email addresses. All attempts will be made to include adverts sent via email, but no guarantee is made. The editor reserves the right to edit copy. The opinions expressed in this bulletin are not necessarily those of the university management.

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