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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.

| 8 April 2011 | Issue 519

There will be no edition of LU Text on Friday 22nd and 29th April.

Contents: news; Lancaster in the news; obituary for Dr Laurie Williams; notices; what's on; ads


Wind turbine gets planning approval

Planning permission for the University’s wind turbine was granted on 4 April 2011. The project has received significant support both locally and throughout Lancaster and it is planned that the turbine will be operational in 2012. The project is backed by a loan from the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s Transformational Fund which was made available specifically for Higher Education Institutions across England to radically transform their approaches to energy consumption and reducing emissions. The University was one of only three out of the 37 applicants to gain such support. The wind turbine is just one project amongst many that the University is implementing or planning to implement to cut carbon emissions. Other projects include replacing the University’s main boilers, installing a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Unit and plans to install a biomass boiler. Full story.

Prime Minister says that University is ‘showing the way’ with its Pakistan partnership

A major foreign policy speech given by Prime Minister David Cameron, during his one-day visit to Islamabad was watched by students and staff at Lancaster University via a live link up from Lancaster’s partner university COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) in Pakistan. Speaking from the Islamabad campus on Tuesday 5 April, in the first speech ever given by a British Prime Minister at a Pakistani University, Mr Cameron used the opportunity to call for the existing bond between the countries to strengthen especially in business, culture, family and education. Mr Cameron said that Lancaster and CIIT were ‘showing the way’ in Higher Education with their partnership. Full story

Lancaster takes key role in €8.5M knowledge transfer network

Lancaster University will play a leading role in a new European knowledge transfer network. Part-funded by the European Union, the €8.5 million project brings together a partnership of universities, innovation support agencies and regional governments to provide innovation and technology support to SMEs across North West Europe, boosting the region’s competitiveness in global markets for low carbon and environmental goods and services.

Lancaster Environment Centre and Lancaster University Management School will lead the work package overseeing the development of 300 transnational collaborative projects between universities, innovation support agencies and SMEs. Over the next three years, the partnership aims to grow membership of the network to over 500 organisations.

Study shows taking drugs still acceptable as we get older

A long-term study of almost 800 young people has found that as we progress into our thirties, illegal drug use is, with some caveats, still acceptable to many. The research, published in a book by criminologists Dr Fiona Measham and her colleague at Manchester University, is a follow up to a study that began in 1991 with a group of 14-year-olds. Full story

Scientists advise on how to protect the UK’s power network

How to deal with a nationwide power cut caused by the sun’s activity was the topic of an international workshop at Lancaster University. Disturbances to the magnetic field surrounding Earth pose a grave risk to the UK’s electricity network, the National Grid. The geomagnetic storms are triggered by the sun’s activity, which is on an 11 year cycle predicted to peak in 2013. The workshop “Geomagnetically Induced Currents in National Power Grids”, organised by Dr Jim Wild from the Department of Physics together with the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) and the British Geological Survey, brought together representatives from Government, industry and academia as the first step in a future collaboration. Full story.

Race for life

Female staff and students are invited to join Tesco and Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life on Sunday July 3 at Lancaster University. They can walk, jog or run the 5 kilometre route on campus as part of the UK’s largest women-only fundraising event. This year, organisers are hoping that 3,000 women in the UK will enter and help to raise a total of £187,000. Enter here

Laurie A J Williams

We regret to report that Dr Laurie A J Williams (Environmental Science 1974 - 1990), died on 4 March 2011.

Dr Laurie A J Williams joined the Department of Environmental Science in 1974 from Nairobi, where he had a post at the University. Laurie brought to the department expertise in the volcanic geology of the Kenya Rift Valley that complemented and expanded existing geophysical and petrological research in the field. His research supported the training of several research students and was fundamental in boosting Lancaster's reputation in volcanic studies. Laurie will be greatly missed for his unrivalled knowledge and understanding of Kenyan geology, for his teaching and administrative responsibilities in the department which he always carried out with an easy professionalism and enthusiasm, and for his wise counsel to colleagues. The funeral will be at the Lancaster and Morecambe Crematorium on Tuesday 12th April 2011 at 2:45pm. (Written by Mr Ken Reid and Professor Ray Macdonald)

Lancaster in the news

Contributions to the media this week include Professor Tony Krier (Physics) in the Engineer and Scientific Computing, about a €500,000 award won by Lancaster to aid new photonics research, and Dr Jonathan Matheny (LUMS) in the Independent’s MBA supplement. Follow link to see a list of people in the news.


Alexandra Square works

From Friday 8th April (today) until 28th April, access from North Spine to South Spine will only be accessible through the Learning Zone or via Bowland North quad. This is due to the contractor removing the existing ramp on the east side of the square. The Newsagents, Gregg’s, Hairdressers, LUVU and other shops will be open for business as usual. Facilities apologise for the inconvenience this may cause.

Planned water maintenance

On Tuesday 19th April there will be an interruption to the water supply affecting the whole of the campus. It is anticipated this interruption will last approximately 8 hours from 1pm. Plans will be put in place to minimise the overall effect of this disruption. Further information will be provided in the coming weeks. Please contact the Facilities helpdesk on ext 93333 if you have any specific concerns.

Changes to the staff email service

Members of staff will shortly be receiving an email outlining details of the changes happening to the staff email service. After the Easter break, as part of these changes, ISS will be moving staff mailboxes to the new service. There should be no noticeable disruption in service, and no emails will be lost during the process. Staff will, however, be emailed a week before their mailbox is going to be moved, to let them know the exact date. Once all moves have been made ISS will be able to increase the standard quota on all mailboxes from 150 Megabytes to 2 Gigabytes.

Recent issues with accessing email from the web or mobile devices appear to have been resolved. Details and updates are available on the ISS News web page. Please contact the ISS Service Desk if you are continuing to experience any problems or have any concerns.

Please note that you will NOT be asked to supply your username and password to allow the upgrade to be done. Any message asking for these details is a “phishing scam” designed to gain access to your account, and you should ignore it.

Development opportunities

Recruiting the best is designed for all staff involved in the recruiting process and should be attended every 2 years to remain in accordance with regulations and legislation. The next session takes place on 3rd & 4th May.

The Development Programme for new and prospective Principal Investigators is happening on 6th May. This session is for new, prospective or existing PIs and offers the opportunity to explore the key responsibilities of the role whilst covering a range of topics which will support you to develop your skills.

New programmes that are presently under development include:

For further information or to book a place on any of these programmes please visit here or email

Online mood and sleep study

Researchers and PhD Students in the Spectrum Centre (SHM) are looking for participants for an online study into relationships between personality style, sleep and activity patterns, and mood. For futher details follow the link

Articles required for Steps

The next edition of Steps (our alumni magazine) will be printed this summer (June/July). Steps is sent to 65,000 Lancaster alumni worldwide. If you have an article that you would like to be considered for inclusion, please email as soon as possible.

Sports centre membership

Student and Staff Standard memberships are now half price at the sports centre.

Also bolt on memberships are half price for swimming, climbing and weights room. (Valid membership and appropriate inductions are required to purchase these.)


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

Dream of Gerontius

On the 16th April the Lancaster and District Choral Society returns to the Great Hall to perform "The Dream of Gerontius", the great choral work by Sir Edward Elgar. The Choral Society has been performing their major concerts at the Great Hall for almost two years and it was deemed appropriate on the eve of their 175th anniversary to produce the outstanding choral work at this their spring concert for 2011. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m and is £12, £13 on the door.

Live at LICA events


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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