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| 14 September 2012 | Issue 579

Contents: news; death notices; people; Lancaster in the news; notices; training and courses; what's on; ads


Are the eyes the key to a new test for Alzheimer's disease?

A simple eye tracking test could hold the key to earlier Alzheimer’s diagnosis, according to new research published in the Journal of the American Aging Association. Work, led by Lancaster University in partnership with Royal Preston Hospital, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has shown that people with Alzheimer’s disease have difficulty with one particular type of eye tracking test. Full Story.

Become a social entrepreneur

Lancaster University has been awarded £25,000 for a social entrepreneurship start-up fund for students, recent graduates and staff. The University has been chosen as a pioneering partner for the UnLtd and HEFCE HE Support Initiative. UnLtd is a business mentoring and volunteering network linking skilled professionals with social enterprises in need of support. Lancaster will work with UnLtd to develop a support structure which places social entrepreneurship at the heart of the institution, as well as giving staff and students the chance to start up a social venture. For more information please contact Enterprise Champion Jon Powell.

Could cybercrime pose a threat to your businesses ?

Cyber security research and expertise were showcased at the Cyber Security Conference 2012, ‘Protecting Your Business in an Insecure World’. Hosted by Security Lancaster, the School of Computing and Communications and ICT Knowledge Transfer Network, the event (September 3) was attended by more than 85 delegates from a range of industries from across the UK. Full story.


Santander will be opening in the corner of Alexandra Square, next to the newsagents at the beginning of term.

Bus improvements for 2012/13

In partnership with Stagecoach, the University is delivering a number of additional improvements to the University bus services for 2012/13. These include brand new buses on the 2, 2A and 42 routes with free on board Wi-Fi. Information on all the bus improvements is available here. The University is continuing to heavily subsidise staff annual Unirider bus passes. These are available through Flexible Benefits, sign up before the end of today.

Undergraduate Visit Day: Saturday 22 September

Thank you to all staff across campus who supported the August Undergraduate Visit Day. This year, for the first time, all students attending completed a registration card and we welcomed approximately 6,630 visitors. Although this was less than the 8,200 bookings received, online feedback has been really positive; 62% of visitors rated their visit as ‘very good’ and 93.9% said they will ‘definitely apply here/probably apply here’. We’ve also received lots of wonderfully positive comments about staff, the campus and our student helpers. The next Visit Day is Saturday 22 September, 10.00am - 4.00pm and we’ve currently received 8,419 bookings. If you required any further information regarding the event please get in touch with Kathryn Lambert in the UK Student Recruitment & Outreach Office x 93724.

Support for students of London Metropolitan University

Staff will have read media reports about international students at London Metropolitan University facing uncertainty because its license to teach international students has been revoked by the UK Border Agency. These students come from all over the world to take advantage of the very high quality education available in the UK often at great cost to themselves and their families. As paying guests in the UK we have a responsibility to look after them. Lancaster University fully supports the work of the HEFCE Task Force that has been established to help London Metropolitan University find suitable, alternative courses for legitimate students so that they can continue their studies in the UK. We also welcome the announcement by the Government of a £2M fund to help cover any additional costs these students incur in having to transfer. Lancaster University is committed to eliminating any abuse of the student visa system and has worked hard to meet the UKBA’s requirements and also to support international students studying at Lancaster who are a very important part of our community. Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mark E. Smith

Death notices

Alun Thomas

The University regrets to announce the death of Alun Thomas on 25 July. Alun was a former manager of the Student Bookshop in Alexandra Square from 1971 until his retirement to Dordogne, France in 1990. He leaves behind his wife Ann and two sons, one of whom, Gareth, works as a chef for the University catering department.

Lord Marshall of Knightsbridge

We regret to report that Lord Marshall of Knightsbridge died on 5 July. He was awarded an honorary degree (LLD) from the University in 2000. A Service of Thanksgiving for the life of The Lord Marshall of Knightsbridge will be held on Thursday 1 November 2012 at 11.30 at St Paul's Knightsbridge, London SW1. Admission will be by ticket only. Anyone wishing to attend should visit here. Obituary published in The Telegraph


Dr Felipe Otondo from LICA has had his composition Irama shortlisted for the UK selection for the 2014 World Music Days in Wroclaw, Poland.

The Spectrum's Centre Professor Steven Jones (FHM) is to take a lead role in re-writing the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance for psychological interventions for people with Bipolar Disorder. NICE is in the early stages of updating its clinical guidelines on Bipolar Disorder. Once complete the document will inform the work of health professionals in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Philip Tubman (ISS) has received the Learning Technologist of the Year Award from the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) at the annual conference in Manchester on September 12. The Award's overall purpose is to celebrate and reward excellent practice and outstanding achievement in the learning technology field.

Graduate student Nick Kay is one of only three finalists in the Physics category for the Science Engineering and Technology Student of the Year (SET) Awards. His MPhys project is on “The behaviour of graphene nano trampolines” and he will be continuing his research at the Manchester-Lancaster NowNANO Doctoral Training Centre. The SET awards ceremony will be in London on September 26.

Professor Colin Ockleford of Lancaster Medical School (FHM) has been elected to the Fellowship of the Anatomical Society.

Two physics students have been invited to give lectures next week in Spain at the Granada Seminar on "Physics, Computation, and the Mind — Advances and Challenges at Interfaces. Final year PhD student, Tom Hansard, (recipient of the 2010 FST Christmas conference award for best PhD student poster and a finalist of SET for Britain award this summer), and third year PhD student, Spase Petkoski, are both working on the “Decoding brain dynamics” project in the Nonlinear Biomedical Physics Group in the Physics Department.

The launch of The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) Education at a Glance 2012 was held at The Work Foundation in London on September 10. Education at a Glance is the leading international compendium of statistics measuring the state of education worldwide. Professor Ian Walker (LUMS) was the expert respondent and Dr Neil Lee (The Work Foundation / Economics) chaired the session.

Dr John Welshman (History) has signed a contract with Bloomsbury for a second edition of his 2006 Underclass book, Troubled Families: A History of the Underclass Since 1880, to be published in 2013.

Dr Ruth Allen from the Faculty of Science and Technology, Graduate School, will be running the Great North Run in Newcastle this Sunday on the 16th September 2012 dressed as a telephone. She is raising money for The Samaritans. All money raised goes to supporting people from all walks of life who need emotional support. If you would like to make a donation then please use the following link.

The Facilities Security team have recruited three new casual members of staff to help with security and portering duties in University House and the Great Hall. Caren Beale, Tim Wardle and Ian Kettlewell joined the team this week.

A West Cumbrian nurse, Linda Hewitt has become one of the few women in the country to become the CEO of a hospice after completing an MA in Hospice Leadership at Lancaster University. Full story.

Lancaster in the news

Dr Maria Piacentini (LUMS) was interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Thinking Allowed programme, 12 September, about research into student drinking culture.

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


Making Professor event

On 25 September the University will be holding a Making Professor event about academic promotion, career development and the benefits of flexible and inclusive working practices. This event, which will be opened by the Vice Chancellor and will include invited internal and external speakers as well as break-out discussion sessions, is part of the University’s Athena SWAN (Charter for women in science, engineering and technology) Action Plan. It is aimed at all academic and research staff on fixed-term or indefinite contracts, Heads of Department and everyone interested in equality and diversity in academic career development. Booking is essential, please apply by email.

Information day – EU Projects

Judith Litjens, of UKRO (the UK Research Council’s jointly funded office in Brussels), will be visiting Lancaster University on Wednesday 26 September. Judith will be giving a presentation to provide detailed information about the European Commission’s final calls under the FP7 research funding programme, including Co-operation, Marie Curie Actions and the European Research Council (ERC), followed by a short presentation on the next framework programme - Horizon 2020. The presentations will be between 9.30 - 11.30 in Conference Centre Meeting Room 2. Judith will also be available for individual/small group surgery sessions between 12.00 - 12.30 and 14.15- 16.15 in B16, University House. These sessions provide an opportunity for individuals or small groups to discuss in more detail any aspects of the Framework Programme.

If you are interested in taking part in this visit, please contact the Research Support Office at by Monday 24 September stating:

Britain’s best known Paralympic athlete is to visit Lancaster University Management School on September 25

Dame Tanni-Grey Thompson DBE is Britain’s best-known Paralympic athlete and in 2010 she was appointed to the House of Lords. Her talk Seize the Day focuses on the level of dedication needed to achieve at the highest level. To attend this event you must be a member of the Lancaster Forum. The forum is open to all graduates of leadership, management and development programmes developed or approved by IEED; for more information about the Lancaster Forum click here. If you are a forum member please register to attend at here, or call 01524 510769.

Main drive road closure and campus road improvements

The main drive will reopen tomorrow, Saturday 15 September (weather permitting) and bus services will return to normal.

Work will continue on the installation of the speed reduction tables. For more information click here. Please note: All campus roads will be fully open for the University Visit Day on Saturday 22 September. If you have any questions please contact the Facilities helpdesk 01524 93333.

Building projects across campus

To view a summary of recently completed projects, and projects currently underway across campus visit the facilities website.

Campus accommodation

Rooms are still available on campus, if you are aware of anyone who is interested in campus accommodation please direct them to their College Residence Officer, or for one bed-roomed self contained flats on campus, please contact the Flats Residence Officer extn 93365. It may be possible to offer shorter or more flexible tenancies.

Sports Centre - Additional Parking Spaces

Work is underway to provide an additional 50 parking spaces behind the Sports Centre, next to the bowling green. New lighting is also being installed and an additional pay and display machine. Parking behind the Sports Centre is currently unavailable. Please use the parking spaces at the front of the centre, behind the barn on Bigforth Drive or on the sports field car park accessible from Green Lane on the A6. Pay and display tickets must be displayed in the areas from 8am – 6pm Monday – Friday. Work will be completed by the end of October. If you have any queries please call the Facilities helpdesk 01524 593333 or email

New arrangement underway for setup of student IT Accounts

Students (UG and PG) who will begin their studies at the start of the 2012/13 academic year are in the process of following a new arrangement in which they set up their IT account before the start of their programme, which will mean for example that they can access their University email account before starting, and will be able to access the IT network and Internet as soon as they arrive on campus.

If you have any questions about this new arrangement (on-going for students starting at other times during the year) or need further information please contact Brian Green, Project Manager in ISS: Email –, Phone – ext. 10090

Moodle - The new teaching VLE

Moodle is replacing LUVLE as the standard VLE supported by ISS from September 2012. Please visit the Moodle Support Website for information about demos, lab sessions and consultation sessions scheduled between now and the start of term or to download user guides. One-to-one support is available for staff who require assistance with their Moodle module spaces which have been migrated from LUVLE. Please contact Ruth Paterson in ISS ( ) to arrange an appointment with an eLearning Assistant.


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

Thinking with Jazz, Friday 21 September, LICA Building, 10am-4.30pm

This is a one-day symposium in which well-known jazz journalists, practitioners, and academics engage with issues of nationalism in jazz, the cultural politics of jazz, and the meaning of improvisation. Thinking with Jazz is a free event, informal and open to the public. For more information contact Nicholas Gebhardt.

LUMS are hosting an Action Learning Conference on September 25th from 9:30am-5pm

The conference is a celebration of action learning and looks at the practical benefits it can bring to businesses. This is a free event open to those with no experience who would like to find out more, or those with experience who would like to interact and network with others involved in action learning. Please register your attendance here. Further details can be found here.


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