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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.

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| 16 September 2011 | Issue 535

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


Universities and Science Minister launches research collaboration

The Minister of State for Universities and Science, David Willetts, has officially launched a new phase in an innovative partnership between the North of England’s eight research intensive universities. The N8 Research Partnership is a collaboration between the Universities of Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York, which focuses on combining the capabilities of these eight research intensive universities. Full story

Aeroflex endows €1m laboratory at Lancaster University

Aeroflex Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Aeroflex Holding Corp, and Lancaster University have announced the inauguration of the Aeroflex Wireless Broadband Laboratory in the School of Computing and Communications at InfoLab21. The new laboratory is equipped with just over €1 million worth of test equipment donated by Aeroflex, a leading US-headquartered technology company with a large R&D and manufacturing facility in Stevenage, UK. The Aeroflex laboratory will enable Lancaster University to play a leading role in the development of the next generation of wireless broadband networks and user equipment, such as smartphones, tablet PCs and future mobile devices. The 4th Generation (4G) cellular networks that are being developed will offer the user dramatically higher download speeds than those currently available from either residential wired or 3G wireless broadband services. Full story

Facial expressions develop before birth

Babies in the womb develop a range of facial movements in such a way that it is possible to identify facial expressions such as laughter and crying. For the first time a group of researchers were able to show that recognisable facial expressions develop before birth and that, as the pregnancy progresses from 24 to 36 weeks gestation, fetal facial movements become more complex. The group of researchers include Dr Nadja Reissland, a psychologist, and Professor James Mason, Director of Research in Medicine and Health of Durham University, Professor Brian Francis, Professor of social statistics at Lancaster University and Dr Karen Lincoln, consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough, where the fetal scans are collected. The group examined video-taped fetal facial movements obtained by 4D ultrasound machines in the later stages of pregnancy. Full story

Car Parking

The Flexible Benefits enrolment period has now closed and the process for collecting your passes is as follows:

Subsidised Unirider Bus Passes – Applications for subsidised staff bus passes have now closed for 2011/12. Eligible staff that have applied for a bus pass through Flexible Benefits should visit the LUSU Information Desk in Slaidburn House from Thursday 22 September to collect their bus pass. From Friday 30 September Staff Uniriders applied for through flexible benefits are to be collected from the LUSU Finance Office. Staff must take a valid Lancaster University library card with them to collect their bus pass. Subsidised route-specific passes have been prepared in advance showing the home location area according to HR records. LUSU will also be selling termly and annual bus passes for the full price as normal to both staff and students with a valid Lancaster University Library card. Note that the passes are not valid until 3 October.

Ahmed Mustafa Mahmoud

It is with great regret that we announce the death of Ahmed Mustafa Mahmoud, a part time Lancaster Ph.D student who worked in Sunway University, Malaysia. Ahmed suffered a heart attack and died last week in Malaysia, at the age of 28. Ahmed worked as a lab administrator in Sunway, supporting many Lancaster staff visiting to teach. He was a well respected researcher in the School of Computing and Communications at Lancaster, working in the field of wireless networking under the guidance of Dr Ben McCarthy and Dr Chris Edwards. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.


Lancaster University Management School professors Cary Cooper and Paul Sparrow have been named among the ‘Top 25 Thinkers’ in the world by Human Resources (HR) magazine. Cary Cooper, Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health and co-founder of the Centre for Performance-Led HR, is ranked at number five, with Paul Sparrow, Professor of International HRM and Director of the Centre for Performance-Led HR, at 12. Stephen Bevan, Director of the Centre for Workplace Effectiveness, The Work Foundation and Honorary Professor, Lancaster University, is ranked at number 17. Full story.

Dr Paul Iganski, Head of Department, Applied Social Science, served as an expert panellist and speaker at an OSCE Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights meeting on ‘Preventing and Responding to Hate Incidents and Crimes against Christians’ in Rome on 12th September, supported by the Vatican and Italian government.

Dr Plamen Angelov (School of Computing and Communications) has been chosen as one of two General Co-Chairs of the International Joint Conference on Neural Networks (IJCNN 2013) in Texas, which is the prime conference on this topic with usually over a thousand participants and rarely has Chairs from outside the US. Dr Angelov, Reader in Computational Intelligence, was chosen following an electronic vote among the members of the co-organisers, the International Neural Network Society (INNS) and the Computational Intelligence Society (IEEE CIS).

Lancaster in the news

Follow link to see a list of people in the news.

Research into how facial expressions develop before birth involving Professor Brian Francis (Mathematics and Statistics) was featured in the Daily Mail online and in several international websites from China to Iran. Meanwhile, Professor Barbara Maher and Dr Duncan Whyatt (LEC) were both on BBC Radio 4, which has over 10m listeners, in the programme Costing the Earth.


Changes to the Staff Email Service

ISS have now moved many staff mailboxes to the new service and will aim to move all remaining staff to Exchange 2010 in the coming weeks. ISS will email staff to let them know the exact date the change will occur. Once all moves have been made ISS will be able to increase the standard quota on all mailboxes from 150 Megabytes to 2 Gigabytes.

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.

Organisation and Educational Development

Places for the Survival skills workshops are filling up fast. This one-day induction course is designed to help postgraduates, researchers and others involved in modest amounts of demonstrating or seminar teaching to address some of the basic skills and understanding they will need for their work. It assumes that participants have little or no previous teaching experience. Workshop bookings are being taken here.

Research Support Office – closure

The RSO will be closed from 12 noon on Tuesday 27 September and all day on Wednesday 28 September due to an office move. Anyone submitting proposals to funders with deadlines on these 2 days should liaise with their RSO contact and arrange to complete their applications and approvals by Monday 26 September. The office will reopen on Thursday 29 September in its new location: B Floor, Bowland Main (access can still be gained through University House).

Campus road refurbishment update

Work to the perimeter road has now started – so far kerbs have been replaced in isolated areas and new drainage gulleys dug in areas that have suffered from ponding due to heavy rainfall. To renew the road and parking bays areas of car parking will be isolated. Please see this parking plan that shows the areas (indicated by colour) and dates for when parking will be unavailable.

Please note that traffic in both directions will be maintained Mon-Fri throughout the duration of the works. Over the weekend however there will be some road closures:

Please note that no work will take place on Saturday 17 September and all car parking bays will be made available for the Visit day. If you have any questions please contact: helpdesk or 01524 5-93333.

New Post Office

The Royal Mail post box at the Old Post Office closed on Monday 12 September. All mail should now be posted at the new Post Office mail box at Edward Roberts Court.


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

World Mental Health Day – Monday 10th October 2011

The counselling service are running events in the Great Hall on 10 October in support of World Mental Health Day. In addition to the free workshops and free taster alternative therapy sessions available, there is also a ‘Treasure Hunt’ event open to students, staff and their families, follow the link for futher information.


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.

Design by Lancaster University's InfoLab21, an ICT Centre of Excellence