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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.

| 16 April 2010 | Issue 474

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


LUSU makes for a greener society

Lancaster University Students' Union has met the gold standard in greening campuses and communities in an initiative run by the NUS. Lancaster was among a select number of UK Universities to be awarded Gold in The Sound Environmental Impact Awards which seek to capture the positive green innovations in students’ unions and promote them to the general public. Auditors specifically commended Lancaster University Students’ Union for their innovative GreenLancaster scheme. GreenLancaster is a partnership between LUSU and University Facilities and set up its hub in 2009 to support students to develop and deliver environmental initiatives. Notable projects so far include a Carbon Competition aimed at reducing student energy consumption in halls of residences, a bike recycling scheme which has seen 63 bikes sold to students and staff, and a college recycling contest which saw one college reduce the amount of waste going to landfill by 40 per cent. To view full story

Lancaster scientists model space storm risk

Scientists at Lancaster University and the British Geological Survey (BGS) in Edinburgh have developed a new model that shows the widespread impact inclement space weather could have on the UK. The aim is to improve an understanding of the risks to technology such as the National Grid and satnavs. The model developed by the British team - the most sophisticated yet developed - takes magnetic field measurements from all over the UK and sees how they affect the National Grid. Dr Alan Thomson has presented the findings at the Royal Astronomical Society’s National Astronomy Meeting at the University of Glasgow. He is the BGS supervisor for Dr Jim Wild’s PhD student Katie Turnbull from the Department of Communication Systems at InfoLab21, who carried out the work. She holds a CASE studentship with the BGS. The story was reported by BBC Scotland, The Herald in Scotland and in the Daily Telegraph. Dr Wild’s poster and the talk by Katie Turnbull - both on the theme of the impact of space weather on electricity grids - won the two "Rishbeth Prizes" awarded by the Magnetosphere Ionosphere and Solar Terrestrial Physics Community.

Fixed term contracts

The judgment of a claim brought by The University and College’s Union (UCU) over collective consultation for fixed term contracts at Lancaster was given this week. The ruling stated that although legal collective consultation requirements were not fully met between 31 March and 30 June last year, substantial mitigating factors were present.
The award made by the Tribunal is significantly lower than the maximum available. Contrary to UCU’s claim for 89 staff, the award was only made in relation to those staff dismissed for redundancy, less than one third of those in respect of whom the claim was brought. The reduction in the award reflects the mitigating circumstances in the case, and the Tribunal expressly notes in its judgment that a “significant mitigating factor” was that UCU had condoned the University’s established practices for 12 years prior to the claim being brought.
Between April –June 2009, Lancaster University was in a period of transition while moving from one system of collective consultation around the ending of fixed term contracts to another. The campus trade unions also changed their requirements for information about fixed term contracts around this time following the appointment of a new UCU Regional Officer a point acknowledged by the Tribunal.
The University meets fully its legal obligations with regard to fixed term contracts and continues to be committed to treating all staff equitably and fairly.

Ideas Festival 2010

Showcasing the latest research from Lancaster University

Thursday 29th April 2010, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Featuring presentations by recently appointed Professors, the Ideas Festival will be a whistle-stop tour of some of the latest ideas and research at Lancaster. It will give an insight into the vision and expertise across the disciplines of arts, the social sciences, science and technology, health, medicine, management and leadership, which has earned Lancaster University an international reputation for research quality. For more details and to view the programme, please visit For more details please contact the Ceremonies and Events Office on 01524 592190.

InfoLab21 research featured in TV documentary

A TV crew from RTE Dublin spent the day in InfoLab21 this week (Monday, April 13) filming research by Professor Awais Rashid and Dr James Walkerdine, Computing, for a TV programme on the misuse of the internet. A research team led by Professor Rashid is working on a software tool which harnesses new developments in language analysis to potentially identify paedophiles posing as children in online chat rooms. The documentary will be broadcast on May 31. The research has previously been featured in media including the Scientific American and the Telegraph.

Global Corporate Challenge 2010

The School of Health and Medicine is co-ordinating entries for staff and students for the Global Corporate Challenge 2010 where each participant aims to walk 10,000 steps a day over 125 days. Swimming and cycling may also be included, while an odometer is used for wheelchair users. This year we are keen to attract more Lancaster University staff teams, and to encourage this, part of the sponsorship money is available to subsidise staff entry fees. We would like to ask for expressions of interest from teams of seven staff, to be returned to Julie Pearcy no later than Wednesday 21st April.

Campus tours

500 prospective students and their parents visited the University on Wednesday for a campus tour incorporating a drop-in to a department of their choice. Many thanks to all staff and students who helped make the day a great success. Nearly all of the students visiting had already received an offer from Lancaster and were taking the opportunity to decide whether to make Lancaster their first choice.

Research shows rural exodus threatens the Amazon

The exodus of rural people from the Amazon’s rivers could have serious consequences for the future of the forest, according to fresh evidence gathered by environmental scientists. Research - published in the March edition of the journal Conservation Letters - shows that as people abandon remote areas in search of education and opportunities in small towns and cities, the forest and rivers are being exposed to new forms of exploitation such as commercial logging, fishing, hunting and even forest clearance. Dr Luke Parry of Lancaster Environment Centre spent nearly a year in Brazil, carrying out field studies and travelling more than 10,000 kilometres by boat along some of the central Amazon’s remotest rivers interviewing largely forgotten river-dwellers. To view full story

Lancaster in the news

Lancaster in the news - The Press Office monitors all media coverage and this is a selection of stories from the past week, including Professor David Denver on BBC North West Tonight discussing the general election campagin and Dr Jennie Gilbert interviewed for the New York Times today and in the Guardian following the volcanic erruption in Iceland.


The Big Ride Home: Lancaster to Birmingham, 2 days, 140 miles

Today a group of University staff are attempting to cycle from Lancaster to Birmingham and raise money for a good cause at the same time. Martin Ennis and Adam Bardsley from LUSU, Ben Matthews and Joe Bourne from LUVU, Adam Bentley from the School of Health and Medicine and their friend Lenny St Jean will set of from Lancaster on the 16th April heading to Martin's family home in Birmingham as part of the '153 Challenge' and raising money for the Merseyside Play Action Council. They're hoping to raise about £3000. You can sponsor them for this mammoth bike ride, at or find out more and check their progress at

The European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology awarded Professor Cary Cooper an honorary Fellowship of the Academy in front of 600 academics from over 30 countries last month. The venue for their annual conference was the Pontifical Urbaniana University in the Vatican. Professor Cooper also gave their Keynote Address on Enhancing Mental Capital and Wellbeing at Work.

Professor Jennie Popay and colleagues in the Division for Health Research and the Universities of Liverpool and Exeter have been awarded a Medical Research Council grant of £663,000 to undertaken methodological research on the impact of patient and public involvement(PPI) in health and social care research. The research aims to produce more robust approaches to the measurement of the impacts of PPI in research and evidence standards against which practice in patient and public involvement in research can be assessed.

Dr Linden Ball (Psychology) has won the Design Studies Award for 2009 for research conducted in collaboration with Bo Christensen at the Copenhagen Business School. The award is made annually by Elsevier Science Ltd and the Design Research Society, for the best paper published in the journal Design Studies. The criteria include contributions to the development of the field of design research and originality of research or scholarship. The award-winning paper by Linden and Bo is entitled 'Analogical reasoning and mental simulation in design: Two strategies linked to uncertainty resolution' ICT Focus’s Cyber Security Tutor Philippe Jan attended a round table discussion about the threats and effects of Cyber Crime. The event, organised by major hosting provider UK Fast, looked at the practical steps organisations and individuals can take to help protect themselves. To view the press releases and video follow the links. ICT Focus will be jointly running an MSc in Cyber Security from September 2010.

ICT Focus’s Cyber Security Tutor Philippe Jan attended a round table discussion about the threats and effects of Cyber Crime. The event, organised by major hosting provider UK Fast, looked at the practical steps organisations and individuals can take to help protect themselves. To view the press releases and video follow the links. ICT Focus will be jointly running an MSc in Cyber Security from September 2010.

Dr Agata Fijalkowski (Law) recently participated in a specialised workshop on American and European Perspectives on capital punishment at Amherst College, with Professors Austin Sarat and Jürgen Martschukat. Papers will be published with Cambridge University Press in 2011.


New Sports Centre – building progress update

To view an update on the new Sports Centre and the planned building activity for the next few weeks visit the Facilities Projects website.

Roses – road closures

The northern perimeter road on campus, between the Chaplaincy Centre and the eastern roundabout, will be closed to all traffic between 10:00 and 12:30 on Sunday 2nd May. This is to provide a safe route for a series of fun runs taking place as part of the Roses Weekend. The main University access road will also be closed to traffic between 06:00 on Saturday 1st May and 19:00 on Sunday 2nd May for Roses. Diversion signs will be in place with the only vehicular access and egress over the weekend being at Alexandra Park from Hazelrigg Lane. For more information about these arrangements please contact Philip Longton, Facilities – Operations, Travel & Environment Co-ordinator 93333.

Rising cost of fuel

Beat the fuel duty increases and sign up (for free) at and click on the University’s logo. To find out more about the benefits of Car Sharing you can view a short video here Information on car sharing and the University’s initiatives to help support car sharing can be found on the Facilities Travel website.

Car Club

Do you need to use a car sometimes but don't want the hassle and cost of owning one? No where to park? Transition City Lancaster is working with others to help create a car club for Lancaster - if you are interested, please complete the quick online survey so they can find out if it will be suitable for our area.

Pothole repairs

On Saturday April 17th road repairs will take place on campus, mostly on the perimeter road. Affected areas include North-West Drive, North Drive and South-East Drive outside the new ISS Building. Traffic management will be in place in the affected areas whilst the repairs are being undertaken. For more information about this work please contact Philip Longton, Facilities – Operations, Travel & Environment Co-ordinator 93333.

ISS Service moves complete

All central ISS Services have been successfully moved on schedule to the new ISS building. This means that there will be no further service outages resulting from the move to the new building. Most services were moved without interruption to service, but, as regular LU Text readers will know, some service moves required some scheduled downtime. ISS would like to thank everyone for their forbearance during these scheduled service breaks. In June/July there will be scheduled service outages for HEC (High End Computing) moves which will NOT affect normal staff operations. If you need to visit staff at the ISS building, please use the telephone in the Building’s lobby and call the member of ISS staff that you are visiting – they will then meet you at the inner door.

Bowland Bar and Cafe

The maintenance work carried out over the Easter holidays is now complete and the bar and cafe will reopen on Monday 19th April.

Opening hours for Bowland Bar:

  • Monday – Friday: 12.00 – 23.00
  • Saturday: 18.00 – 23.00
  • Sunday: 19.00 – 22.30

Opening hours for Bowland Cafe:

  • Monday – Friday: 10.00 – 16.00

Steps Summer 2010 - Articles Required

  • Is your department doing something that you would like to tell our alumni about?
  • Do you have any research/projects/staff or student profiles that you would like to share?
  • If so, the Summer edition of 'Steps' – is now underway! Steps will be sent to 65,000 Lancaster graduates worldwide.

If you would like to submit an article, please contact Sally Nelhams PDF versions of Steps are available here. Steps will be mailed in June, final copy required by early May. Steps provides a good opportunity to showcase what your department is doing for our alumni across the world, so please take this opportunity to promote your work.

Alumni Postgraduate Studentships

The Alumni & Development Office is offering funding for up to five £1000 Alumni Postgraduate Studentships to anyone who completed their first degree at Lancaster and who wishes to go onto Postgraduate Study at Lancaster. The Studentships have been funded by donations made by Lancaster University Alumni. Please could you circulate this as widely as possible to final year students who you think may be interested. Further information including an application form is available on our website.

Charity Fun Run and “It’s a Knock Out Challenge”

LUSU would like to invite members of staff to take part in two charity events on Sunday 2nd May in conjunction with the Roses sporting tournament, which will be hosted by Lancaster this year. The first event is a Charity Fun Run in University grounds over three separate distances 10km, 5km and 1.5km. The tracks have been marked out using GPS to ensure accuracy if you are interested in posting a competitive time. The second event - ‘It’s a knock out challenge’ - is based on the popular television show. Teams of between 6 and 10 people compete in a variety of mental and physical challenges overseen by a highly experienced team of professional entertainers. This would be an event for a department or a group of friends to take part in. For more information or an application form please contact James Perrin or phone (5) 92266, or see the web page.

Sports Centre Childrens coaching classes

  • Climbing
  • Badminton
  • Judo
  • Football
  • Trampolining
  • 8,9 OR 10 Week courses available starting 24th April. Contact reception for more information on 01524 594000 or visit Sports Centre.


    For a full list of all items submitted for What's On, please see Events.

    Centre for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching

    CAP Module 2 - Applications are invited for the Certificate in Academic Practice module 2 course, Curriculum Design and Development, which will be commencing on 11th May 2010. Further details, session dates, and the application form can be found on the CELT website at: This course is designed to address the needs of HE teaching staff with three or more years experience, or those who have completed CAP module 1 (Developing Higher Education Practice). The course carries 30 M level credits and can form 50% of the PG Certificate in Academic Practice. Staff with three years university teaching experience and engagement with professional development can make a case for exemption from module 1, thereby enabling an accelerated route to module 2. Enquiries may be addressed to

    Effective PGR Supervision workshop: Exams and vivas

    Friday 30th April 2010, 10.15-4.15. This workshop for academic staff with responsibility for PGR supervision may be taken on a stand alone basis, or for accreditation as part of a SEDA course or part of the Certificate or Diploma in Academic Practice (CAP or DAP). The session will be led by Moira Peelo whose next book, ‘Understanding Supervision and the PhD’ is due to be published in November 2010. The day includes: Drawing on one’s own experience as staff & students, Using core texts to understand the viva, Reflective exercises on being an examiner, Questioning: own experience, local regulations, wider role in academe as basis for understanding vivas & being an examiner. Bookings are also invited for Effective PGR Supervision workshop 1: Introductory day (Friday 11th June, repeat). To book visit. Enquiries may be addressed to Helen Griffiths in CELT

    Royal Geographical Society and Lancaster Environment Centre Lecture

    Thursday 22nd April at 7.30 pm. Lecture by the Royal Geographical Society NW Region and LEC, Lancaster University
    Speaker: Prof John Underhill (Edinburgh University): Title: The geological quest for Odysseus’ Homeland, Ancient Ithaca Underhill explains the literary, geographic and geological clues he and his team used to locate Homer’s Ithaca in Paliki, a peninsular of Kefalonia.
    Tickets: Free - to reserve a seat please call Bitten Brigham on 01524 510288, or email (Please note university closure over Easter: 1st-7th April). Venue: Biology Lecture Theatre, Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, LA1 4QY.

    European Languages and Cultures lecture

    'The Spanish Civil War and the Catalan Origins of Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-four' by Prof Miquel Berga (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona). 22 April, 7:30 pm, Storey Gallery (Meeting House Lane). Joint event organised by Litfest and 'Peripheral Identities' (DELC): Lecture series 'Reciprocal Gazes on Catalonia'. Free event, all welcome. Berga is author of Orwell and Spain and Langdon-Davies, an Anglo-Catalan Biography.


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