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.
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):
- energy policy
- nuclear energy
- carbon management
- wet renewables
- solar cells & photovoltaics
- demand reduction
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.
- The University will be awarding six Honorary Degrees in July:
- Jimmy Armfield CBE DL – former Blackpool and England footballer
- Professor Dame Sally Davies DBE - Chief Medical Officer (Interim) and Director General of Research and Development and Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department of Health and NHS
- Dame Sue Ion OBE FREng - internationally recognised as an expert in nuclear fuels and a prominent figure in the UK nuclear industry
- Andy Serkis – Lancaster alumnus and acclaimed actor
- Chris Smith, Baron Smith of Finsbury PC – Chairman of the Environment Agency and of The Wordsworth Trust and former Labour Cabinet Minister and MP
- Professor Lonnie Thompson, Distinguished University Professor, Byrd Polar Research Center, The Ohio State University.
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
- Defining and measuring sustainability (Mike Berners-Lee)
- What can be done: Food (Bill Davies)
- What can be done: Transport (John Urry)
- What can be done: Buildings & Urban Environments (Rachel Cooper)
- Leading a sustainability agenda (Judi Marshall)
- Is Lancaster University leading by example? (Mark Swindlehurst)
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.
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:
Jo Willmott has been appointed Head of Organisation and Educational Development (OED). OED is a newly formed team within the HR Division, combining Teaching and Staff Development. The OED team will lead the development of capability, both internally and with international partners in the areas of: Leadership and Management Development, Performance Management, Educational Development, Organisation Design, Career Development, Support for the development of Researchers & Change Management.
Angie Park has been appointed Head of Safety. Angie takes over responsibility for the Safety Office from Tony Madeley, who is retiring from the University at the end of March 2011, after 26 years of service. Angie’s appointment provides an opportunity to appoint a new team within the Safety Office. Adam Bradbury has joined the University as Safety Officer (Radiation). Adam has just completed his PhD at Lancaster and has held appointments with British Nuclear Fuels and as a Decommissioning Health Physicist. A second Safety Officer will be also appointed soon.
On behalf of everyone at the University, HR would like to thank Tony Madeley for the valuable contribution he has made to the establishment and professional operation of the Safety Office throughout his long service.
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.
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:
- Sunday 20th Feb 2011 10.00-12.00
- Saturday 26th Feb 2011 10.00-12.00
- Saturday 5th March 2011 10.00-12.00
- Saturday 19th March 2011 10.00-12.00
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:
- Video Conferencing: Monday 21 February, 2pm - 3pm, Video Conference Suite and Training Suite 2 - Library. Learn how to use video conferencing for conferences, lectures, interviews and meeting, and how to book and use the video conference equipment.
- LUSI Academic Marks: Thursday 3 March, 2pm - 4pm, Training Suite 2, Library. This session is aimed at all staff that will be expected to enter marks and work submission information into LUSI.
- Data Protection and Related Legislation: Monday 7 March, 2pm – 3:30pm, Training Suite 1, Library. This session provides a general understanding of the various laws that can govern or influence the use of personal information in the workplace and looks at practical measures that will ensure staff honour the terms of this legislation when working with personal data.
Library courses for university staff
- Tuesday 22nd February 10 am – Essential library skills
- Friday 25th February 2pm - Introduction to bibliometrics
- Monday 28th February 10 am – Advanced library skills
- Tuesday 1st March 10 am - Doing the literature search for a systematic review
- Friday 4th March 2pm – EndNote for researchers
- Thursday 17th March 10.30 am - Keeping up-to-date with the literature of your subject
- Thursday 24th March 11am - Institutional repositories and open access
For full information, and how to book, see link. Advance booking is essential for all courses.
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
Concert Thursday, 24 February 2011 at 19:30
Natalie Clein - Cello & Katya Apekisheva - Piano
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.