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LU Text

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. To view previous editions see LU Text Archive.

| 12 June 2009 | Issue 437

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


Natural product crop protection technology

Research by scientists in LEC has led to a radical new approach to protecting major food crops from pest attack which could offer farmers around the globe an environmentally sustainable approach to crop protection. The technology, developed by Drs Nigel Paul, Jason Moore, Michael Roberts, and Jane Taylor, uses a natural plant compound jasmonic acid (JA) as a seed treatment, resulting in long-lasting protection against pests following germination. On 8th June Becker Underwood Inc. and PBL (Plant Bioscience Limited) announced the signing of a commercial license agreement granting Becker Underwood a worldwide exclusive license for the use of the new technology. To view the full story

Landscape improvement project

A project to improve the landscape of the University will start next week. The project, part of the Landscape Masterplan,includes the enlargement and dredging of Lake Carter, the addition of dedicated BBQ stations and significant improvements to pedestrian links across the campus. Two covered BBQ stations will be created with electrical units, sinks and lighting. One is to be placed close to the lake, and the other near to Alexandra Park. Work to the lake will help to improve the water quality and wildlife habitat. A new footpath will be built between University Drive and Green Lane to provide a link between the outdoor changing facilities, grass pitches and all-weather courts.A new path will be built between Alexandra Park and the all-weather courts, bypassing Green Lane to provide a more direct route through the recently planted woodland slopes. A new road will be constructed onto Green Lane linking it to the cinder (all-weather pitch at the rear of the tennis courts). This will provide additional overspill car parking on event days and for some contractor use to ease congestion on the main campus. New secure cycle shelters will be installed at the all-weather pitches plus a new footpath to link Bigforth Barn to the University Drive roundabout on the northern side of the road as well as improving general pedestrian safety and linkages. The work is scheduled to be completed by November 2009. It is hoped that the work will have minimal impact on staff and students.
For more information on the Landscape Masterplan click here. Also see Estates web pages

National Prize for Geography Student

An undergraduate at the Lancaster Environment Centre who won a prize for the best undergraduate dissertation in the UK has praised her lecturers. Heather Dinsdale was awarded the Alfred Steer Essay Prize 2008 by the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers). Now working for HSBC Bank plc on its Executive Management Programme, Heather said: “This prestigious award is the icing on the cake following three very enjoyable years of hard work at Lancaster University. This award is also testament to the abilities and enthusiasm of Geography lecturers at Lancaster University, who were a true inspiration to me.” The prize is awarded each year by an independent panel to the undergraduate dissertation judged to be the best in a UK geography department. Heather’s thesis was a study of people’s experiences of growing old in different institutional settings, developed from focus groups and in-depth interviews. To view the full story

Alexandra Square design

The final three architect’s designs for Alexandra Square have been on display in University House reception this week. Staff, students and visitors have been able to vote for their favourite design, with each vote being entered into a prize draw to win an iPod for staff/visitors or a pair of Graduation Ball tickets for students. The public vote will contribute 50% of the awarding score. The other 50% will be decided by a panel of judges next week. The design will be on display until the end of today (Friday 12th June) or you can view them and vote online anytime before Monday 15th June at 12 noon.

County College 40th Anniversary

On Saturday 20th June 2009 County College will be holding an event to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the opening of its most iconic building, County Main. The event will feature food and drink, music, fairground stalls for children of all ages, and a display of County material from the University’s archives. You will also be able to tour County’s new and refurbished buildings. The event will be held in the new ‘piazza’ outside County Main (with alternative arrangements in the unlikely event of really wet weather), and later in the College bar. Proceedings will start at around 4 p.m., and continue until late in the evening. County alumni are cordially invited, along with current County members and friends and colleagues from sister colleges.
If you are coming please email the College Administrator, Bette Nichols Tickets ( £5 each) for the hog roast/vegetarian food also available from Bette.

40th Anniversary celebrations for the Engineering Department

The Engineering Department is celebrating its 40th anniversary from June 15-20th. The Ruby Anniversary celebrations include an activity day for schools on June 15, a themed 1969 day on June 16 and an Engineering Society Day with hog roast and live music on June 17. The 40th anniversary ball will be held on June 18 at the Lancaster House Hotel followed by 10 Years of Formula Student Day on June 19 and a Sugarhouse Reunion Night on June 20. As part of the celebration, Dr. Philippe Lebrun, Head of the Accelerator Technology Department at CERN, will visit Lancaster University to give a talk about the Large Hadron Collider Tuesday 16th June 2009 at 5pm. For tickets for the ball and events or for more information contact Gail Neville, or call 592275.

Swine flu update

The World Health Organization has declared Phase 6 of its pandemic alert system, which means that swine flu is now spreading in communities in several countries. This decision reflects the geographic spread of the virus and not its severity. The move to Phase 6 does not trigger any material change to the response in the UK. The localised cases of swine flu found in the UK have so far experienced mild symptoms and make a rapid and full recovery, and the spread has been limited. However, a small minority have been more severe. The University is monitoring the situation on Swine flu. Information will be updated on the following site.

Higher Education news

The prime minister announced last week plans to scrap DIUS and absorb its responsibilities into a new super-ministry for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), led by Lord Mandelson. Less than two years after it was set up, the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills has been merged with the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform which also brings science and business back into the same department. The post of Universities Secretary, previously held by John Denham, has gone. He has been made Communities Secretary. David Lammy keeps his higher education brief, but ‘student issues’ are now the responsibility of the Minister for Employment Relations and Postal Affairs. The BIS ministerial team has been announced see THE.

Nicola Dandridge has been appointed Chief Executive of Universities UK. She will take up the appointment on Tuesday 1 September, following Diana Warwick’s departure on 31 August 2009. Nicola is currently Chief Executive of the Equality Challenge Unit.


Sam Edwards, a former PhD student in both the History Department and Institute for Cultural Research, and currently a tutor in the latter, has been awarded a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar award for the academic year 2009-10. Sam will take-up the award in January 2010. He will be based at the University of Pittsburgh where he will benefit from working with Professor Kirk Savage, a leading expert in the study of American war memorialisation. During the period of the award Sam will undertake a programme of further research connected to his PhD, which examined the practices of American war commemoration in Europe after World War II, to prepare it for publication. In addition, as part of the 'ambassadorial' role connected to all Fulbright Scholarships, and building on his involvement in Lancaster's 'Widening Participation' framework, Sam will also spend time teaching classes about American war commemoration to students in schools in the Pittsburgh area. Sam was jointly supervised during his PhD by Dr Patrick Hagopian (ICR) and Dr Stephen Constantine (History).

Professor Nigel Davies (Computing) has been appointed by the IEEE Computer Society to be the next editor-in-chief of IEEE Pervasive Computing. IEEE Pervasive is a world-leading publication for research in mobile and ubiquitous computing.

Professor Barbara Maher (LEC) was featured across the BBC national news networks on June 9 in a story about her research into the damaging effects of pollution from cars, which was responded to by the Environment Minister Hilary Benn. The story ran on both the BBC national Six O’Clock and Ten O’Clock News on June 9 as well as on the flagship current affairs PM programme on BBC Radio Four. Watch the interview again on BBC news online alongside filmed advice from Professor Maher on how to reduce exposure to pollution from cars. Go to People in the News.

Professor David Allsop (School of Health & Medicine), was quoted widely in the national and international media this week on a Nature Cell Biology paper on Alzheimer’s. The story appeared on the BBC News website, in The Independent and The Express as well as the Tehran Times. Go to People in the News.

Dr Ian Heywood (LICA) has written an essay for a new book about artist Paula Kane, produced in collaboration with the Visual Intelligences Research Project at LICA and the University of the Arts London (Camberwell, Chelsea, Central, Saint Martin's, Wimbledon). To coincide with the launch of "Paula Kane: Studio Wall", the International Centre for Fine Art Research at UAL is hosting a one-day symposium on Friday June 26 called "Processes of Painting", followed by a book launch at the October Gallery, Bloomsbury. Organised by Rebecca Fortnum, LICA Research Fellow and Reader in Fine Art at UAL, speakers include Paula Kane and other leading contemporary painters.

Dr Jamie O'Brien FRSA, Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Mobilities Studies, (Sociology) is to take up a new post as Manager of the Centre for EngD Virtual Environments, Imaging and Visualisation at University College London. He will keep his post as Visiting Fellow at Lancaster.

On Saturday 6 June Bette Nichols completed the Moon Walk for St John’s Hospice, Lancaster setting off at midnight. Bette would like to say many thanks to all those people who have kindly donated to this cause and also to advise that she has almost raised 50% of her target amount of £1000. If you would like to donate the web page is still open for you to do so. Just go to: Alternatively you can email Bette at for further information.


Fine Art Degree Show 2009

Fine Art undergraduates from the Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA) present their Degree Show at the Peter Scott Gallery from June 17-24. The exhibition, entitled “Draw The Line”, is the culmination of three years work, encompassing drawing, painting, sculpture, digital work and Installation, celebrating the diversity of contemporary art practice. Visitors to the exhibition will also have the opportunity to view further works in the LICA art section studio spaces. Many of the pieces on display in the gallery and studios will be for sale. The Gallery is open from Mon-Sat 11-4pm and Thursday 11am-9pm.

National survey of technical staff in Higher Education

The second national survey of the training and development needs of technical staff in universities has now been launched. The survey has been organised by HEaTED (Higher Education and Technicians Education and Development), the HE branch of the Institute of Science and Technology. The aim is to collect the views and experiences of technicians in order to help plan for their training and development, and to influence national policy relating to this important staff group. The online questionnaire takes about 20 minutes to complete. To take part, click on this link and follow the instructions: The survey is open until 17 July. For further information on the survey and the work of HeATED, contact John Dwyer, Lancaster’s HeATED representative,

Friends programme funding available

Application forms can now be obtained from the Alumni and Development Office for funding available under the Lancaster University Friends Programme. Departments, colleges, and individuals can apply for funding (most grants will be in the £2,000 - £5,000 category). The next round of disbursement of funds will take place in September. Applications for funding will need to tie in with the University strategy and fall under at least one of the following categories: Priority Fund, Student Support Fund, or Research & Academic Excellence Fund. Please note: applications from individuals (academic or student) seeking support for tuition, other course fees or personal maintenance costs do not fall into the criteria for Friends Programme funding. Unfortunately we can only allow one application per college. The Friends Programme is part of the University's fundraising programme and the funds are made possible by donations from Lancaster alumni. Please note: If you are making a LUSU application (e.g. an application from a student sports group, society or JCR) it needs to be submitted via LUSU for authorisation prior to submission to the Friends Programme. For this purpose, applications must be submitted to the LUSU General Manager by Friday 31st July 2009. Please see guidelines for further details. For further information and an application form, please download the details from or call Rachel Newbury in the Alumni & Development Office on ext 92904 / email Deadline for applications: Friday 31st July 2009

Underpass closure

As part of the works to the new Grizedale Bar project with regard to the installation of network cabling it will be necessary to close the Underpass from 7.00am Saturday 13th June till 7.00pm Sunday 14th June. All Stagecoach and other bus services will operate to and from a temporary bus stop outside the eastern side of the Chaplaincy Centre in Bowland Avenue instead of the underpass for the duration of the closure. There will be no access to the underpass and the steps from Alexandra Square will be taped off. We apologise for any inconvenience this might cause.

Disrupted access to Nuffield Theatre

Disruption may be encountered by traffic using the access road to the rear of the Nuffield Theatre while the trench is excavated to provide a new cable feed for the County South refurbishment. Disruption to pedestrians will be limited, work will start on Saturday 13th June and is expected to take about a week to complete. Estate Management would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. Please contact Senior Project Manager, Nigel Beeden 92902 with any queries.

National bike to work day & Lancaster University travel day – Wednesday 17th June 2009

There is a lot taking place on the next University Travel Day. Click here to find out more about the activities taking place throughout the day. A flyer and poster are available for download on the website detailing all the events.

Bus services

Surplus furniture collection – June 09


Lancaster House Conference Centre Offers - During July and August, the Conference Team at Lancaster University have some special offers for new bookings:

If you haven’t yet received a copy of our Spring/Summer 09 newsletter and would like to, or have any conference related enquiries, please contact: The One Stop Shop 92444

Lancaster House Hotel discount card

The "Unite" card is a permanent discount card only available to staff and students at Lancaster University. All year round, guests with a Unite Card, will get a minimum of 10% off food in both the restaurant and bar. Monthly offers (eg 2 for 1 offers) are advertised on the Unite website ( For offers in the month of June follow the link.


People in the news - Media coverage for Lancaster University.


For a full list of all items submitted for What's On, please see the Arts and Seminars & Lectures LU News web pages. For some event highlights see below.

Design PhD Conference 2009

Date: 15-16 June 2009 - Time: 18.00-20.15 (Day 1); 10.00-16.00 (Day 2) Theme: Sustainability, Innovation and Design - Keynote: Alastair Fuad-Luke, author of The Eco-design Handbook - Location: Lancaster University
The Design PhD Conference is a collaborative event between ImaginationLancaster at Lancaster University and the School of Design's Centre for Design Research at Northumbria University. The conference offers an opportunity for PhD students, Masters students, recent graduates and businesses to meet, exchange knowledge and ideas, and learn about the latest developments in design thinking, methods and research projects. Alastair Fuad-Luke will provide the a keynote presentation to launch the conference entitled 'The co-design loop for revitalising social, ecological and financial innovation.' For further details and registration, please visit the conference website. Please note: spaces are limited.

IAS Lecture

The IAS Lecture Series - Crisis? What Crisis? - continues with Andrew Sayer (Lancaster) on 17 June “Crisis of What?: Moral Economy in the 21st Century’, and Stathis Kouvelakis (Kings College, London) on 18 June, “Social Movements and Social Protests in a Period of Crisis”. Both lectures start at 6.30pm in MR2/3 of the IAS Building. See for further details.

Gradbar Real Ale & Cider Festival 2009

Thursday 18th - Sunday 21st June. Featuring a huge selection of fine real ales and ciders from all over the UK plus a special Festival Gradbar Quiz at 4pm on Friday with food outside to make sure you don’t just live on beer and peanuts and live music from Tin Pan Alley (Thurs) and The Convulsions (Fri).
Thurs 6.00pm - midnight
Fri 1.00pm - 11.30pm
Sat 5.00pm - 11.00pm

Christian Aid Week

Tuesday 16th June: Games Day (various stalls and games) Alex Square 11am-3pm Wed 17th June: Clothes Swap with BBQ, Quiet Room (Chaplaincy Centre) 7.30pm £1.50 entry (bring along any clothes you don't wear anymore!) Thurs 18th: Quiz Aid 8pm County Bar Fri 19th: Fancy Dress Bar crawl.

Lectures & Seminars


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Contact Victoria Tyrrell on (01524) 594120 with items for LU text, LU News or for external publicity.
Events information should be sent to Laura Mitchell Press Office Assistant (01524) 592103.

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