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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.

| 29 October 2010 | Issue 498

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

NEWS

Government Minister impressed by Voice Your View technology

The Minister of State for Universities and Science David Willetts MP has praised instant feedback technology demonstrated by Lancaster University as “one of the most innovative projects” he encountered during presentations at the House of Commons. The minister was among an audience of MPs, peers and businesspeople at a “Science in the New Parliament” exhibition hosted by the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology in collaboration with Research Councils UK. Dr Will Simm from the School of Computing and Communications at Lancaster University, which is leading the research, gave a demonstration of Voice Your View technology. Full story

Lancaster report advises Government on nuclear new build

The Government has welcomed a report by Lancaster University which, if adopted, should help ensure the success of future UK nuclear new build programmes. A team from the Engineering Department studied six projects including Sizewell B, Sellafield and Sanmen and Haiyang in China in order to learn lessons which can be applied to future projects. Their report, Nuclear Lessons Learnt, was commissioned by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), on behalf of Engineering the Future, with support from the Office for Nuclear Development (OND). The Government has already confirmed eight potential sites for new nuclear power stations, with the first estimated to be working by 2018. However, with the last nuclear power station in the UK constructed 15 years ago, much of the experience and knowledge no longer exists within the industry today. Full story.

Wellbeing at Work Survey

The Wellbeing at Work Survey closes in just 1 week, on Friday 5 November. Reminder emails will be sent in the next few days to those who have not yet completed on-line. Please do take this opportunity to give your feedback on issues affecting your wellbeing at work.

The Wellbeing at Work Survey, is part of our commitment to sustaining the University as a healthy and safe place to study and work. Wellbeing at work is an important issue, which includes health promotion, encouraging a healthy life-style, work-life balance and how motivated staff feel in their work for the University.

The survey asks you what you think about the pressures you experience at work and how they affect you. Also, you are asked about motivation and sense of purpose in your work. The survey is being conducted by Robertson Cooper, independent specialists in workplace wellbeing, on an entirely anonymous and confidential basis.

The survey is running as follows:

To help encourage the highest possible response, there is an option to enter a Free Prize Draw, with three prizes of a year’s staff premier membership of the Sports Centre to be won. Further details, including Message from the Vice-Chancellor and FAQs.

Wind turbine

Lancaster University has submitted a new planning application to Lancaster City Council for the erection of a single wind turbine on the Hazelrigg site to the east of the M6 Motorway.

The planning application would see one 2.1MW wind turbine constructed in the northern part of the Hazelrigg site. The turbine would produce approximately 20% of the University’s annual electrical power requirements, equivalent to two thirds of the residential requirements of all students who live on campus. The single turbine would be located in exactly the same location as the northern turbine from Lancaster University’s two turbine planning application submitted in January 2010. The wind turbine would make a significant contribution towards Lancaster University cutting its carbon emissions.

As part of the sustainable infrastructure master plan, the University is implementing a number of major projects to reduce its carbon emissions, such as installing high efficiency gas fired boilers and a combined heat and power unit as part of the new energy centre project. Within the project, provision has been made to install a new biomass boiler. The University is also running dozens of small scale energy and water saving projects. www.lancs.ac.uk/windturbines/.

All Staff Meeting - Great Hall, Tuesday 2 November, 12-1pm

The Vice-Chancellor will give a short presentation on the possible financial consequences for Lancaster University following the coalition government's recent announcements on their plans to reduce public expenditure. All current staff are welcome to attend as part of their normal duties.

Bipolar research

A report published by the British Psychological Society gives new hope to people diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Between one and two percent of the population have this diagnosis, which is made when someone experiences periods of extreme mood (highs and lows). The report is the result of an in-depth review of recent research undertaken by a team of leading university academics and clinical psychologists led by Professor Steven Jones in Lancaster’s Spectrum Centre. It suggests that this tendency to extreme moods can have significant benefits as well as sometimes leading to problems. Biases in previous research had led to an exaggerated emphasis on the difficulties at the expense of the potential positive aspects, such as increased creativity. Understanding Bipolar Disorder can be downloaded from the British Psychological Society’s website without charge until 31 October 2010 and after that on www.understandingbipolar.co.uk

The Institute for Entrepreneurship becomes partner in INTERREG project

This week, the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development (IEED) announced that they are a partner in the INTERREG IVC project “Making Knowledge Work”. “Making Knowledge Work” (MKW) is an EU-funded project that aims to exploit ideas and foster smart, sustainable growth by exchanging experience on how regions support the process of commercialisation of ideas and R&D results. The MKW consortium is led by Brainport Eindhoven and is supported by European Regions Research and Innovation Network, ERRIN. Under the slogan “Exploiting ideas. Fostering smart growth”, MKW aims to bridge the gap within the innovation chain through concrete policy actions involving key stakeholders and innovation actors in the 12 partner regions of the project.

A New Generation of Cyber Security Specialists

Lancaster University is training a new generation of Cyber Security specialists. The Government announced that cyber crime is one of the key dangers to UK security and £500m has been allocated from the National Security Strategy to strengthen cyber security, focusing on protecting key infrastructure and defence assets. Lancaster University spotted the skills gap in this area in 2008 and began developing a new Masters Degree in Cyber Security, accredited through the School of Computing and Communications (SCC). Teaching started this month and recruitment has exceeded expectations. Full story

Lancaster in the news

Contributions to the media this week include Lancaster University's acquisition of the Work Foundation, featured in the Guardian, Financial Times and the business press. Also this week Dr Stuart Kirkby (Applied Social Science) was quoted in the Westmorland Gazette about cuts to police budgets and Professor Peter Rowe (Law) was interviewed for the BBC Radio 4 programme, Law in Action. Follow link to see a list of people in the news.

People

Professor Paul Farley (English & Creative Writing) presents the documentary feature ‘The Electric Poly-Olbion’ on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday 31st October. The programme follows Paul as he continues to work on his version of Michael Drayton’s long chorographical poem, first published in 1612, that transforms the whole of England and Wales into verse. On his travels, Paul has spoken to writers, artists, ecologists, folklorists and academics – guests on the programme include Mark Cocker, Lynsey Hanley, John Kerrigan and Rob Jones – as he looks back at Drayton’s epic and also describes the poem he has been writing in Drayton’s footsteps, due to be published in 2012.

The Vice Chancellor and Chair of the 1994 Group Professor Paul Wellings has taken part in a filmed panel discussion for Policy Review in London about the impact of the Browne Report and Comprehensive Spending Review on Higher Education. He was joined by Lynne Sedgmore, Executive Director of the 157 Group, which represents 28 major FE colleges, and Dale Bassett, research director for the think tank Reform and head of Educators for Reform.

Professor Colin Boxall (Lloyd's Register Educational Trust Chair in Nuclear Engineering and Director, Energy Lancaster) gave a presentation at the Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum Keynote Seminar on "Nuclear Energy: Moving Closer to New Build" in London on 27 October. The seminar was co-convened by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Nuclear Energy. His topic was "The Sustainability of Nuclear Power" with an emphasis on the projected lifetime of the uranium supply. Presentations were also given by John Robertson (Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Nuclear Energy), Keith Parker (Chief Executive of the Nuclear Industry Association) and Mark Higson (Chief Executive, Office of Nuclear Development, DECC).

Notices

Performance and Development Review – a reminder

As Lancaster seeks to strengthen its performance culture, we would like to remind everyone that all staff (including staff on Fixed-Term Contracts of 12 months duration or longer) should be clear on the objectives they are working toward. This may be best undertaken through instigation of PDR discussions, or by revisiting objectives previously agreed to confirm relevance.

In September revised PDR forms became available via the HR website to coincide with the PDR cycle (1st August to 31st July). Additionally a team approach to PDR has also been developed for staff at grades 1, 2 or 3 who undertake similar or identical roles – Managers of such areas should discuss the prospect of adopting this route with their HR Partner.

Briefings on the changes to the PDR scheme are available by contacting OED@lancaster.ac.uk.

Feedback on the revisions to the PDR scheme will be invited during the course of this academic year, and data collection on the proportion of staff who have had a PDR discussion will take place at the end of Jan 2011, and again at the end of July 2011.

Equality & Diversity Committee, advertisement for member vacancy

Expressions of interest are invited from members of University staff for a vacant position on the newly formed Equality & Diversity Committee. The purpose of the Committee is to promote all University Equality & Diversity related matters, including policy and strategy, action plans and approaches to achieving aims and objectives. The Committee replaces the former Equal Opportunities Committee.

The Committee is interested to appoint a person who has experience of equality and diversity issues and networks relating to students and/or staff at the University combined with a broad positive interest and enthusiasm in equality & diversity matters.

For further information, including details of how to apply, contact: r.a.kemp@lancaster.ac.uk. The closing date for applications is Monday 8 November 2010.

Car Parking

Notice to cyclists

Please take care when exiting onto Bailrigg Lane at the bottom of the hill by the cattle grid. Cyclists should stop at the give-way markings to look out for vehicles and other road users. Vehicles are often parked on the road at the top of Bailrigg Lane which is causing a hazard to other road users. This problem is still being pursued with Lancashire County Council and Lancashire Constabulary.

Alexandra Square Window Replacement Project - Update

The removal of scaffolding in Alexandra Square will continue over the next few weeks. Work will now start on Bowland Main (Learning Zone) and move onto Bowland East (rear) from Wednesday 27th October and Bowland South from 1st November. Each area could take up to 2 weeks. The compound in the east of the square is required to ensure health and safety on the walkways at all times. Access is available under the canopy. Shops and banks will remain open as usual. Work will continue on the replacement of the Library windows and the Library will remain open throughout the work. If you have any queries please contact the Facilities Helpdesk on 93333.

Alexandra Square Rejuvenation Project - Update

Work to replace the paving in the square will start on Monday 1st November at the East end of the Square. Facilities apologise in advance for this disruption this will cause, please bear with us while we work to improve the square and underpass. We will ensure access through the square is maintained at all times although it will mean diversions are in place. The latest newsletter and more information on the rejuvenation is available on the website.

Refurbishment of old ISS Computer Centre for Human Resources Department

‘The Rok Group’ building contractors will be setting up a site compound on Bowland Avenue for the refurbishment work to the old ISS Computer Centre at the north of the campus (between University House and the Security Lodge) from Wednesday 3rd November. Disabled parking spaces and the motorcycle parking area will be relocated to east of the Chaplaincy Centre. Visitor parking on Bowland Avenue South will be temporarily out of use until the end of the project in March 2011. More information about the project will be available in next week’s LU Text.

Netball and tennis court resurfacing work

Work has started on the resurfacing of the tennis courts at the front of the University and the resurfacing and re-fencing of the netball courts next to the current Centre for Sport. On completion of the work both areas will become MUGA’s (Multi Use Games Areas) accommodating netball, tennis, five-a-side football and basketball. The work will be completed by Christmas. When the new MUGA areas are not being used by the Athletic Union or the Sports Centre they will be available to staff and students to use free of charge.

Trim Trail Update

The new campus Trim Trail will be completed w/c 15th November more information is available on the Facilities Projects website.

Library cards

If you still have an old-style white laminated Library card, or do not yet have a Library card at all, please call in to the Library during the course of the Michaelmas Term to obtain one. The process is very straightforward and takes no more than five minutes.

Cashiers notice

The Cashiers Office will be closed between 11.50 and 13.10 on Tuesday 2 November for the all staff meeting.

WHAT'S ON

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

2010 Mikimoto Memorial Ruskin Lecture

The 2010 Mikimoto Memorial Ruskin Lecture entitled 'No wealth but life': Ruskin and Cultural Value, will be delivered by Professor Robert Hewison (City University, London) and will take place on Thursday 18th November at 6.00 p.m. in the Management School LT1. The lecture will be followed by a wine reception in The Hub area (Management School) at 7.00 p.m. All members of staff, students and members of the public are cordially invited to attend this lecture and reception.

For further details please contact: Lauren Proctor, Ruskin Library and Research Centre, County Main, tel: 510818. Full event details

Introduction to British Sign Language Course

A 5 week course begining on Monday 1st November. Bowland North SR8, 6.30 – 9.30pm. £42.00 Tel: 01524 581269 to enrol. This course would be an asset to anyone's CV. For more information please contact: sue.smith@lancashire.gov.uk

3rd Annual Cider and Perry Festival

Grad Bar, Thursday 4th - Saturday 6th November,20 ciders and perries from around the UK,hot food each night and live music on thursday from Rockitt88.

Curry Night every Friday at Grad Bar 5-8pm.

ADVERTS

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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