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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. To view previous editions see LU Text Archive.

| 28 May 2010 | Issue 480

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


The Times ranks Lancaster in top ten universities in the UK

Lancaster has broken into the elite group of top ten universities in the UK for the first time in The Times Good University Guide. The University shot up from 23rd place last year to 10th in this year’s Guide, ranking in the same group as Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College and the London School of Economics. The Guide ranks 113 universities in the UK by eight criteria including research quality, degree results, student satisfaction and student/staff ratio. Lancaster improved on seven of the eight benchmarks, enjoying a rise in graduate employment at a time when this has declined for other universities. To view full story

Swapping gas guzzlers for green machines not enough to cut emissions says new report

Two Lancaster academics contributed to a major report published by The Royal Academy of Engineering this week, which says that vehicles are only as ‘green’ as the electricity that charges their batteries. Professor Roger Kemp (Engineering) Chair of the Academy’s Electric Vehicles working group and Professor John Urry Director of Lancaster’s Centre for Mobilities Research and member of the group contributed to ‘Electric Vehicles: charged with potential’ which identifies the serious challenge of ensuring that the electricity supply system could cope with charging tens of millions of vehicles and still reduce carbon emissions from power generation. To view full story

Lecturer recreates hoopla game for trading standards

Dr David Lucy from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics has played a crucial role in an investigation into the operation of a hoopla stall in Blackpool. Trading standards officers were called in after members of the public complained about the stall on the Golden Mile, where customers attempted to land hoops over pegs in order to win a stuffed toy or bottle of champagne. Items from the stall were later seized and passed to Dr Lucy, who often helps evaluate forensic evidence for the police. He recreated the game in laboratory conditions with the help of students and staff from his department and found that more than 2,600 attempts would have to be made before there was a high probability of observing a single successful throw. To view full story

Alexandra Square rejuvenation update

The rejuvenation project for Alexandra Square was approved at Finance Committee on 21st May. An updated programme of works will be released shortly with an expected start date of mid-June 2010. For more information about the rejuvenation and to view the final design for Alexandra Square click here.

Knowledge Exchange Show Case

On Thursday 10th June the Research and Enterprise Services division will host a Knowledge Exchange Show Case. This Poster Day is open to the wider university to gain an insight into the varied activities being delivered by Lancaster’s cross-campus Knowledge Exchange & Technology Transfer teams.
The Show Case will run between 10.00 a.m. and 12.30 p.m. in the Management School Hub and is open to all staff and students.

It is hoped that the day will be a platform for further and new collaborations and cross-departmental activities.
Staff will be on hand from the Research & Enterprise Services Division (including the Project Support Unit, Strategic Relationships team, Student & Graduate Enterprise, Intellectual Property, Knowledge Transfer Partnership and Innovation Voucher administration teams), Lancaster Institute for Contemporary Arts, Institute for Entrepreneurship & Enterprise Development, LEAD, Careers, InfoLab21 (Knowledge Business Centre), Lancaster Environment Centre (Enterprise & Business Partnerships), Lancaster University Volunteering Unit, Applied Social Science (ASSURE), Centre for Performance-led HR, Psychology, Maths & Statistics, Management Learning, Physics, School of Health & Medicine and Engineering (Lancaster Product Development Unit).
For any enquiries please contact Sula Ross, Research & Enterprise Services. E-mail or telephone 01524 594846.

Sir Bobby Charlton lecture

Sir Bobby Charlton visited campus last week on Monday 24th May to give a talk to University staff and students about ambition, inspiration and achievement. Sir Bobby also introduced a charitable initiative he founded: "To Find A Better Way". This initiative comes under his "Laureus Sport for Good Foundation" and involves engineers and scientists from Lancaster University and the University of Manchester. Follow link for photograph of the event.

Student Inventor Goes Global With Volcano Game

A mobile phone game invented by a Lancaster student is being downloaded across the world after he landed a contract with the computer giant Apple. Lucas Gordon thought up the “Volcanic” game after buying an iPhone. The initial trial is free while he updates the game with improvements suggested by users. This experience has fed into his flagship game “Yomp” which is also now on the itunes site, and which has already attracted the attentions of investors. He said he always dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur but it was only through the help of Create, which was set up by Lancaster University Student Union that he had the confidence to go it alone and found his own company called Nightleaf. He won £1,300 after appearing before Create’s own “Dragon’s Den” of businesspeople who had to decide whether his ideas was worth investing in. He learned about software development while doing a BA in Music Technology, while his current Masters in Management at LUMS provided him with business know-how. To view full story

Correction - In Last week’s write up in LU text about the Independent Complete University Guide, French was missed from the top ten subject rankings in the printed newspaper. French is ranked 6th. See the full story here.

Death notice

We regret to report the recent death of Bernard Mercer aged 72. Bernard worked in the Security office from 1991 until his retirement in 2007. His funeral took place on 27th May at St. Bernadette’s R C Church, followed by a burial at Scotforth Cemetery. A former policeman, Bernard was popular and well know across the campus. He leaves his wife Sue and their 3 sons, Peter, John and David.

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 Dr David Lucy ( Mathematics and Statistics) in the Daily Mail and interviewed for BBC's One Show, Professor Roger Kemp ( Engineering) in UK and foreign media and Shelagh Walsh ( Student Services) interviewed live on BBC Radio Lancashire this morning about how to make students welcome when they start university.


Professor Mick Short (Linguistics and English Language) has recently been appointed Visiting Professor of Stylistics at the University of Huddersfield. A National Teaching Fellow, Mick has an international reputation for his work on the linguistic analysis of literature, and on the pedagogy of stylistics, and will be working with colleagues at Huddersfield on a number of projects.

Professor Paul Farley (English & Creative Writing) has published a book of his selected poems in the US. ‘The Atlantic Tunnel: New and Selected Poems’ features work from 1994-2009; the book was launched at 192 Books in Chelsea, New York, last Tuesday, where Paul read with fellow poet Paul Muldoon.

Following the reorganisation within Student Based Services, College & Residences, Student Support, Student Funding Services, The Counselling Service and the Nurse Unit have been brought together under the banner ‘Colleges & Student Life’. Hilary Simmons is the head of department.
Within this are three sections: Accommodation (under Residence Manager Candace Davies); Colleges & Wellbeing Services (under Chris Quinn and incorporating the Counselling Service, the Nurse Unit and welfare aspects of Student Support); and Student Funding (under Funding Manager Craig Lowe). You can find outlook contact details in the global address book under ‘Accommodation Office’, ‘Student Services’ and ‘Student Funding’.

The National Association of Student Employment Services (NASES) and LUSU’s JobShop promote annual awards to recognise the positive impact of students in business. Sam Birkinshaw is the Institutional Winner of the Student Employee of the Year Awards 2010 for his role within the Widening Participation schemes, where he designed and ran activities for young people. Sarah Blair was awarded the On Campus Student Employee of the Year Award 2010 after working for LUSU and Carys Nelkon received a ‘highly commended’ certificate in relation to her work at the Sugarhouse.


Superannuation Scheme

The HR Division has established a new part of the HR website to keep staff up to date with proposed changes to the Universities’ Superannuation Scheme Updates have now been posted for the 20th and 21st May.

Learning Technology Group Annual Conference: "The different contexts for learning"

LTG hosted their annual conference, which was recorded and webcast Live by the Digital Technologies Unit. Guests were invited to tweet comments through, and several tutors spoke about how they have used technology to alter the context of the learning, either towards groupwork, virtual assessment and virtual meeting spaces amongst other things. There were also demonstrations from ISS about the tools they support including the new mobile video conferencing kit soon to be deployed to faculties. The talks will be available on-demand via the 'Teaching Matters' LUVLE Space within the next couple of weeks.

Grizedale College Dean

Grizedale College is seeking to appoint a new Dean . The vacancy provides an opportunity for a senior member to play a key role in the running of the College. The Dean’s role involves the enforcement of College rules and discipline, but the post also provides an opportunity to be part of the Principal’s management group and to lead a team of Assistant Deans. The post involves a responsibility allowance paid at three points in the year. The post does not involve any “buy-out” of time from an existing contract, however. An appropriate training and induction programme for the appointment will be arranged. If you are interested in applying to become Grizedale College Dean, please provide a short CV along with a covering note setting out your motivation and relevant experience and send it to Barbara Glass, the College Administrator (592631) .

Staying Cool

Many campus buildings use ‘natural ventilation’ to provide a comfortable working environment. This has considerable energy saving benefits and also gives users local control of their conditions. For more information to help provide a cooler workplace click here.

Bigforth Drive (University main access road) traffic management

Work starting w/c Tuesday 1st June. In order to lay new services under the road for the new sports centre, there will be temporary traffic lights in operation on Bigforth Drive in the vicinity of Bigforth Barn 24 hours a day starting on Tuesday 1st June. The works should hopefully be completed by Friday 11th June and the lights removed over the weekend of 5/6 June.

Spring Bank Holiday Monday – bus services

Please note that Stagecoach will be operating a normal SUNDAY service on all its routes on bank holiday Monday. However, extra Service 3s will operate along the A6 between the city centre and the underpass throughout the day. Extra 3’s timetable can be viewed here.

Notice for drivers

In June and July young people taking part in DCE Summer Schools will be crossing between Alexandra Park and main campus throughout the day. Please pay extra attention when driving as these young people are not familiar with campus.


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

University Accommodation Presentation and Tour

Over the last few years the University’s accommodation portfolio has changed dramatically, as has the department responsible for its management. On Tuesday 20 July at 14:00 there will be a short 15 minute presentation on the structure of the department, an overview of different accommodation types, average rents, services, the application process, deposits and guarantees. It will be followed by a tour of some new ensuite accommodation and some of the older standard accommodation with shared bathroom facilities, plus the chance to ask questions and talk to our staff. This opportunity is open to any staff members that are interested. In order that we can book an appropriate sized venue, please confirm that you wish to attend by emailing us (we are on the global address list under ‘Accommodation Office’).

Centre for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching events

Please sign up for any or all of these events on the CELT calendar or email

9th June - Using an online tutorial system (MyMaths) to support the development of students’ Maths skills. (in collaboration with the cross-campus Maths Group), Dr. Steve Lane, LEC, 1:00-1:50.

15th June - The Third LUMS Teaching forum: Peer Assessment with undergraduates and postgraduates, a tale of two case studies, James Taylor, Department of History Kiran Trehan, Department of Management, Learning and Leadership, 12:30-1:30.

DCE Widening Participation Summer Schools

In June and July the Department of Continuing Education (DCE) will run ten raising aspirations summer schools for around 630 young people aged 10 – 17 years from a range of disadvantaged backgrounds. For almost all of the young people this will be the first time anyone in their family has experienced HE. The first Summer School takes place from 2 – 4 June and is for a group of Looked After Children from the Oldham area. This is one of the hardest to reach widening participation target groups. Activities include academic taster sessions on Medieval Monsters and Rocket Science, finding out about studying in HE, and a range of social activities. Participants will stay on campus and will hear about student life from role model student ambassadors. This Summer School is funded by the Virtual School - School Improvement Service, Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council. For further details of the final year of DCE Summer Schools see:

Centre for Sport

Monday Lunchtime Pilates 1.00 – 2.00pm Pay on the day

Half Term Sports Camps

Tuesday 1st – Fri 4th June Ages 8 – 14 years Multi Sports Activity Days £10.00 per day

Book early to avoid disappointment Tel Reception 594000


All adverts - posted by staff.

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 (01524) 592103.

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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