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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.

| 18 February 2011 | Issue 512

The next edition of LU Text will be published on Monday 28th February.

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

On Wednesday 23rd February there will be ten departmental open days as well as a campus tour so campus will be busier than usual.


Student Survey rates Lancaster highly

Lancaster University is ranked top in the North West and 15th in the UK in an annual survey looking at how students rate their institution. The Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey asked more than 13,000 undergraduates from over 100 institutions about everything from the quality of teaching to the social life on campus. Lancaster rose from 27th position in 2009 to joint 15th in 2010, ranked jointly with the University of Birmingham and the University of Kent. Lancaster also comes top in the regional ranking where it is now listed as the top institution in the North West. Full story

Watch the night sky for the northern lights

There is good news on the horizon for UK sky watchers hoping to catch a glimpse of the mysterious northern lights. After a long period of inactivity, the Sun is flaring up again – which could make this the best chance to see the northern lights in years.

Solar activity triggering a geomagnetic storm could spark dazzling displays of the aurora borealis much further south than the Arctic circle, meaning people in northern Britain could catch a glimpse of the shimmering lights. Dr Jim Wild from the Department of Physics researches the aurorae and says the next few nights offer the best chance in years to witness the northern lights.

Lancaster University operates “AuroraWatch”, a free service that uses sensitive magnetic field sensors in the UK to detect the geomagnetic disturbance that often accompany the northern lights and sends out email alerts to users.

Aurorawatch was mentioned on BBC Radio 4’s flagship current affairs programme The Today programme, February 18, and Dr Wild is also quoted on Channel 4 news, February 18. He is also being interviewed on February 18 on both BBC Radio Lancashire on 104.5FM at 4.50pm and on BBC Radio Cumbria on 96.1FM at 5.25pm.

Lancaster's Brass Band hopes

The first ever University Brass Band Championship of Great Britain is being held this Saturday, 19th February in the Great Hall. The event is being hosted by the University of Lancaster Music Society (ULMS) in association with the British Federation of Brass Bands and has been awarded almost £8,000 over two years by Arts Council England.

The competition, devised and organised by Lancaster students, will bring together over 300 students from 13 higher education institutions including the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, York, Warwick, Birmingham, Cardiff, Bangor, Southampton, Keele, Huddersfield as well as Leeds College of Music and Brass United (the Royal Northern College of Music and the University of Manchester).

Each band will perform a programme of 25 minutes each in front of two respected brass band judges - composer Alan Fernie and conductor Richard Evans - with winners in several categories including Best March, Best Solo and Most Entertaining Performance. The all day contest will be streamed live on LUTube TV via the competition’s website.

Energy Lancaster

The Rt Hon Charles Hendry MP, Minister of State for Energy & Climate Change, will officially open Lancaster University’s new energy research centre, Energy Lancaster, on Thursday March 10th at 3pm. The launch will involve a presentation outlining Energy Lancaster’s activities by its Director, Professor Colin Boxall, and a presentation by the Minister on the UK’s energy agenda. This will be followed by a Q&A debate with the Minister and key members of Energy Lancaster. There will also be an exhibition showcasing Energy Lancaster’s activities in the following areas (among others):

For a full programme and registration details please vist the website. Registration is required not later than 7th March, 12pm. All LU staff and external organisations are welcome to attend.

Summer Graduation ceremonies

Congregations for the conferment of Bachelor and Honorary Degrees will take place from Tuesday 19 – Friday 22 July 2011. The full timetable is available on the website. A brochure providing detailed information about the ceremonies will be sent to all finalists at their term-time addresses on 2 March.

Developing a culture of sustainability

All staff and students are invited to an IAS half day symposium that will consider how to develop a culture of sustainability, and how the University should respond to the sustainability research agenda. Topics include

Click here for the full details. The event will be held on 14th March 2011, 14.00-17.30, Meeting Room 2, Bailrigg Conference Centre. To reserve a place please contact, Pamela Forster on 01524 592096.

Measuring National Well-Being – What matters to you?

Lancaster University is holding an event on Measuring National Well-Being on 2nd March 2011. This supports the national debate on measuring national well-being that the Office for National Statistics is leading. Media and public interest in the national debate on the measurement of well being has been high since the National Statistician accepted the Prime Minister’s request to lead the debate. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) is looking to develop measures that go beyond economic measures to effectively assess the nation’s well being. This regional event provides the opportunity to debate and discuss what well-being means to individuals living and working in the UK. Opening introductions will be given by Professor Tony Gatrell (Dean of SHM), Paul Allin (ONS) and Professor Susan Cartwright (Director of the Centre for Organizational Health and Well Being). Attendees will then work in small groups to discuss what well-being means to them. You can participate in the debate on Measuring National Well Being here.

Open day

Visitors who pay to park on campus to attend the open day on Wednesday 23 February will be allowed to park in staff areas if pay and display car parks become full. There will be one or two minibuses operating around the campus to transfer prospective students and their parents between car parks and venues. Pickup points will be clearly signed. The day is likely to be very busy and and it would be appreciated if, where possible, staff could help by carsharing or by using other transport.


Professor David Archard (PPR) has been invited to serve on the Advisory group for one of the four AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council) themes that emerged from their recent "Future Directions" consultation: These groups will be responsible for advising the AHRC regarding the further scoping, development and prioritisation of its various themes. Professor Archard will sit on the Advisory Group for the theme of Care for the Future. The central focus of this theme is on debates about alternative future visions and pathways for sustainable communities, processes of change, how we balance current needs with those of future generations and ways to enhance our quality of life. Key issues include understanding changing cultural values, improving the way historical knowledge and experience informs future policy, and enhancing the stewardship of cultural heritage for the benefit of future generations.

Changes in the Human Resources Division:

Lancaster in the news

Contributions to the media this week include Athanasios Katsoyiannis and Professor Kevin Jones (LEC) whose research on ways to monitor drug use in athletes by chemically analyzing wastewater from the Olympic Village in London is featured on the Wired website, also following the announcement that H.M. Prison Lancaster Castle will close in March, BBC Radio 4 is repeating its documentary 'Within These Walls', which is written and presented by Professor Jeffrey Richards (History). Follow link to see a list of people in the news.


Building/Underpass closures

This Saturday 19th February, between 8am and 5pm the installation of the structural steel to the lift pits in Alexandra Square will take place. This will involve closing the underpass road and University House, for the erection of a crane that will tower over University House and manoeuvre the structural steel into place above the lift pit in the underpass and up into Alexandra Square.

The following areas will be temporarily closed and diversions in place: The Post Office (closed all day), the underpass and University House. The Learning Zone will remain open but will only be accessible from the entrance opposite LUSU Involve. There will also be diversions in place for the buses, with the stop in the underpass being diverted to outside the Chaplaincy Centre and the North Drive bus stop (opposite LICA) will also be closed for the day. Extra security and a team of staff will be managing the delivery and subsequent closures during the day. Facilities apologise for any inconvenience caused. For further information please contact the Facilities helpdesk on 93333.

Road Repairs Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th February

Contractors will be carrying out road repairs this weekend from the LICA building to the LEC Remote workshops and from the Muslim prayer room at the south of campus down to Alexandra Park. Facilities apologise for any disruption this causes. Please contact Facilities Senior Project Manager Peter McMullen if you have any questions about the work.

Fire Training Programme

As part of the University’s fire training programme, Lancashire Fire and Rescue will be coming onto campus to help conduct a number of exercises which will involve simulated fire drills in the Bowland Tower area, including providing access to the Tower for training purposes. The drills will not involve any kind of evacuation and any fire alarms that take place during these times will NOT be part of the training and should still be treated as a real fire. The times that the training will occur are as follows:

If you require any more information regarding this training exercise please contact the Facilities helpdesk on 93333.

Advance notice of Bigforth Drive closure

On Saturday 26th February Bigforth Drive (main University access road) will be closed in both directions between 07:30 and 17:00 to lay new HV cables to supply the University campus. Therefore traffic (including buses) will be diverted through the Alexandra Park entrance. Traffic management will be in place on the main road. All bus services will operate via Alexandra Park then onto the Southern Perimeter Road before going to the underpass. For the number 42 service, this will only be operated in the Alexandra Park area. For further information please contact the Facilities helpdesk on 93333.

LICA drainage works

Work has started on a drainage project outside the new LICA building. The bin stores will also be improved as part of the work. Eight parking spaces will be taken out of use to allow for the work and the LICA car park will also remain closed. The project is expected to be completed in May 2011. If you need further information about the work please contact the Facilities helpdesk on 93333.

Staff Development IT Training

Limited places are still available on the following FREE staff development training sessions:

Library courses for university staff

For full information, and how to book, see link. Advance booking is essential for all courses.

Weight Watchers

A new Weight Watchers class will begin on Wednesday 23rd February at 12 noon prompt in the Sports Centre on Campus. The class will be a monthly pass scheme - £12.95 for the first month and £19.99 thereafter taken by direct debit until you cancel. This way is cheaper than pay as you go which is normally £5.95 per week. Classes open to staff and students only at this stage.


For a full list of all events, please see Events.

Live at LICA events

Theatre Thursday, 23 February at 20.00
Drunken Chorus – and hell followed with them
Nuffield Theatre

Concert Thursday, 24 February 2011 at 19:30
Natalie Clein - Cello & Katya Apekisheva - Piano

Lancaster Bazaar

The Lancaster Bazaar is back on Monday with a variety of stalls including the fantastic Bay Books, Humorous Cards, Army Surplus and Lick o’ Wrist Jewellery to name a few. Running from 9 am- 4pm in Edward Roberts Court (outside LUSU) the market contains an eclectic variety of stalls. We are constantly on the look-out for new stall holders so if you are interested in having a stall please contact Louise Mason.


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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