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| 7 December 2012 | Issue 591

The last issue of LU Text before the Christmas break will be on 21 December

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


Higher Degree ceremonies – 12 December

Almost 1700 students will graduate with Higher Degrees and Diplomas from Lancaster University next week. 925 of these will be attending a graduation ceremony, accompanied by over 2,000 guests. The degrees will be conferred by the Chancellor, Pro-Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor, in four ceremonies which take place in the Great Hall. The Chancellor will confer Honorary Degrees upon Professor Stewart Myers who is the Robert C. Merton (1970) Professor of Financial Economics at MIT Sloan School of Management, and Professor Sir Brian Follett FRS.

Over 200 colleagues will be participating, either by joining academic platforms, or assisting with the smooth running of the ceremonies. To view the full timetable visit here. All the ceremonies can be viewed live via the web.

Parking arrangements

Up to 900 additional vehicles are expected over the course of the day. A parking management plan is in place with Graduation traffic being directed into any available parking space on campus, including staff parking zones. Staff unable to find a parking space during the day should follow the directions of the parking marshals, in high-visibility vests. Please co-operate with their directions as they are there to help everyone find a place to park. There are no parking charges on Graduation Day. Staff are also welcome to make use of the free minibus service which will operate around campus from 7.30am to 7.30pm with various signed minibus pick-up points around the perimeter road. Staff are kindly asked to travel to work by other modes of transport or make a special effort to car share for the day, if at all possible.

Experts examine the potential for self-driving cars in the UK

Researchers from Lancaster University Management School have explored what it would take for driverless vehicles to become commonplace on UK roads. They highlight the potential benefits of self-driving cars, such as increased road safety and less traffic, but stress that a range of barriers need to be overcome before people buy them en masse. The report Self driving cars: A case study in making new markets is by Professor Luis Araujo, Dr Katy Mason and Dr Martin Spring from Lancaster University Management School. It is part of a series of reports on market making for the Big Innovation Centre, an initiative of The Work Foundation and Lancaster University. Full story.

Nuclear "wonder-fuel" warnings

Professor Colin Boxall (EnergyLancaster and the Engineering Department) is one of five energy experts who have written a comment piece in the new issue of Nature warning about the use of thorium as a nuclear fuel. Thorium has been touted as an ideal fuel for a new generation of nuclear power plants, but the scientists say that it could be a greater proliferation threat than previously thought and small quantities of uranium-233, a material useable in nuclear weapons, could be produced covertly. Full story.

Haymeadows are good for the environment say researchers

Traditional haymeadows are much better at supporting biodiversity and preventing water pollution than intensively farmed fields according to research from Lancaster University. The research was based on an analysis of 22 fields in the Yorkshire Dales and published in PLOS ONE under the title “Extensive management promotes plant and microbial nitrogen retention in temperate grassland” by Franciska de Vries, Helen Quirk, Carly Stevens, and Richard Bardgett from Lancaster Environment Centre, and other international colleagues. Full story.

Top tips for farmers in agricultural calendar

A thousand 2013 calendars are to be distributed to farmers in Cumbria as part of a scheme to reduce agricultural water pollution. The Catchment Change Network (CCN) at the Lancaster Environment Centre has worked in partnership with the farmers and the Eden Rivers Trust to disseminate top tips about how to reduce water pollution from agriculture through the 2013 calendar. Full story.

Hatching order influences birds’ behaviour

The hatching order of birds influences how they behave in adult life according to research from the Lancaster Environment Centre reported in BBC Nature. Dr Ian Hartley and Dr Mark Mainwaring (LEC) are the authors of the study in Animal Behaviour, which looked at how the birds' behaviour was affected by the way their parents cared for them as hatchlings. Full story.

Science and Technology Christmas Conference 2012

Tuesday 18 December

Come to this year’s Science and Technology Christmas Conference to hear Professor Jonathan Butterworth, Head of Physics and Astronomy at University College London and science blogger for The Guardian, talking about the relationship between science, the media and the public in 'Science in public: finding a Higgs boson in the media spotlight'. Professor Peter Fielden, Lancaster University's new Head of Chemistry, will present the strategic vision for the new department, exploring the opportunities to stimulate vibrant interdisciplinary research at Lancaster and beyond. In addition, there will be talks from all departments in the faculty and a Graduate School poster competition. A full list of talks and Conference Programme are available on the website. All are welcome to attend.

Staff Awards 2013 – Celebrating Excellence and Innovation

The 2013 Staff Awards are now open for nominations. The awards help to celebrate and reward the exceptional achievements of our staff. There are two award categories: the Pilkington Teaching Award and the Outstanding Contribution Award. Individuals in all types of job can be nominated. This covers the full range of staff in manual, clerical/administrative, technical, academic, research and teaching roles. Each Staff Award is worth £1,000 net of tax and NIC.

If you know of a member of staff that you would like to nominate for a Staff Award, please visit the HR website for a nomination form and further information. Nominations should be sent to Nick Thoume in Human Resources. The closing date for nominations is 18 January 2013.


A permanent memorial to Anuj Bidve, the Lancaster University postgraduate student who was killed in Salford on Boxing Day 2012, has been placed near to his residence in Graduate College. A bench made from reclaimed teak root and inscribed with a plaque, provides students with a sheltered place to sit and reflect. It was paid for by donations given during the University’s memorial service to Anuj in January.

Welcome to Dr Paul Harness who will take up the post of Director of Information Systems Services (ISS) in early March. Paul has extensive experience of strategy, planning and organisational change in large and complex organisations, including leading the merger of UMIST IT teams with Manchester University, where he is currently Director of IT Services. Prior to this, his background was in research with the University of Glasgow and UMIST.

A pioneer in the field of business sustainability leadership has been named as a ‘game changer’ by Business in the Community (BITC). Judi Marshall, Professor of Management Learning and Leadership at Lancaster University Management School, has been named for her contributions to management education. Judi has supported people to take action for change in relation to environmental sustainability and social justice inside their organisations and beyond. Full story.

Professors Louise Heathwaite and Phil Haygarth (LEC) were invited to talk at the All Parliamentary Group Meeting in the Palace of Westminster on 6 December about the management and use of soils in farming

Dr Matthew Rowe, a Lecturer in Social Computing at the School of Computing and Communications has co-authored a paper that won the best paper prize at the ASE Conference on Social Computing in September. Full story.

Dr Stuart Kirby (Applied Social Science) attended the Palace of Westminster on 6 December, for the National Problem Oriented Partnership Awards. The awards relate to crime and disorder reduction projects and Dr Kirby is part of a six person international judging panel.

PHD student Alan Gregory is fundraising for the twin daughters of Caroline Sutcliffe a departmental secretary in the Department of English and Creative Writing. The twins, who have cerebral palsy, have the opportunity to receive life-changing surgery in America. Alan, who also has cerebral palsy, has entered the annual Lancaster and Morecambe AC 4K Christmas Fun Run on 27 December and has already raised over £700. He has set up a just giving page.

Lancaster in the news

Lancaster colleagues in the news this week have included Dr Simon Mabon was interviewed on BBC TV news about the Northern Ireland conflict and Dr Katy Mason blogged in The New Statesman about self-driving cars. Professor Linda Woodhead wrote an article in The Guardian about religious belief and will also be interviewed on BBC Radios 4’s Sunday Show about religion and the Census. follow the link.


Travel Survey

The travel survey is an opportunity to raise concerns and highlight local issues relating to your journey to and from work. The short survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete and the findings will be used to ensure we continue to provide a range of travel options to support and encourage sustainable travel choices. Anyone who responds to the survey can enter into a prize draw to win up to £150 in high street shopping vouchers of their choice. There are also two sets of £75 high street shopping vouchers of choice to be won. The survey can be found by clicking on the following link or by requesting a paper copy from Philip Longton, the Travel and Environment Coordinator, on 94413. The survey is open until Sunday 9 December and the results will be communicated to staff in the spring next year.

Emergency simulation exercise

The Fire Brigade will be undertaking a routine Emergency Planning exercise in Bowland Tower on 8 December. The Fire Brigade will be in attendance for the exercise.

Christmas posting dates

The last posting dates for University mail are as follows:

The Mail Room will close on Friday, 21 December and re-open on Wednesday, 2 January 2013. Please note, the old style PPI logo envelopes will not be accepted by the mailroom after 21 December 2012.

Bus services over the Christmas and New Year period

From Monday 24 December until Wednesday 2 January Stagecoach will be running a revised timetable on most days. For further details including the revised bus timetables please see the Stagecoach website.

Business Start-up Boot Camp 17 and 18 December

Got a business idea: Could you work for yourself? Want to consider it? It’s easier than you think and there’s plenty of support! The Start-up boot camp is run over two days. There will be interactive workshops, guest speakers sharing their experiences and networking opportunities with other likeminded individuals. Please register here.

Research Professional funding opportunities database

Research Professional is a research funding database and a publisher of news and information for the international research community. It provides comprehensive listings of funding opportunities and sponsors across all disciplines and expertise and in-depth news coverage of research policy and politics.

Follow this link to link to Research Professional. You can download a quick start guide to using Research Professional. There is also a Youtube channel with a series of 2-3 minute videos on all the key features of Research Professional.

Live Training Broadcasts

Once a month Research Professional runs a 60 minute online training broadcast to introduce users to the basics of creating and configuring their personal accounts as well as introducing them to the features of the platform. 11 December 2012

Sports Field Car Park

The Sports Field car park, which is next to the tennis courts, and accessed from Green lane, will be closed on Friday 7th December for resurfacing and will re-open Saturday 8th December NB: This is not the new car parking to the rear of the Sports Centre. For further information, please contact the Sports Centre reception.

Campus Roads

From 17 December, work to the cycle route to Bailrigg Lane will start to repair damaged areas in the road surface. Roads will remain open; however some delay may be experienced in order to create space for passing traffic. This work is weather dependent, should adverse weather conditions prevent completion of the works the contractor will return following the Christmas break. If you have any queries please contact the Facilities helpdesk on 93333

Festive Fitness

This week saw the launch of the Sports Centre’s ‘Festive Fitness’ campaign. Join in with the Christmas tree advent calendar challenge, which releases a new fitness challenge each day. Children can get creative and design a Christmas bauble to decorate the Christmas tree. There are prizes to be won, pick up your template from reception. Plus, the £1 a day membership is back for a very limited time only. For more information on ‘Festive Fitness’ click here, or you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Festive food and drink on campus

Trough of Bowland Pies

The festive fortnight continues into week 10 and the speciality ‘Festive Pie’ menu will still be available Monday-Friday 12.00-2.00pm. Any festive pie, vegetables & gravy with a soft drink, tea or coffee will be just £3.95 to eat in or takeaway. If you collect and fill in one of the business cards available behind the bar, you will also be entered into the festive prize draw, which will be drawn at the end of the week.

The Venue

The Venue's ‘Festive Flavours’ menu is available and full of some sweet treats chosen especially for you. Any festive sweet treat & filter coffee or tea is just £3 for the week. They will also be serving speciality hot and cold fillings for jacket potatoes and paninis to get you into the festive spirit. The full menu can be viewed inside, or here. The Venue is also continuing its ‘Bacon sandwich & a tea/coffee for £1.95’ offer as well as ‘Soup and a roll for £1.95.

Festive Ales on campus

As of Friday 7 December, five of our college bars will be hosting speciality festive ales, such as Rednose Reinbeer, Christmas Fairy, Three Wise Men & Jolly Holly to name but a few. The bars participating will be The Northern Oak at County College, The Trough of Bowland (Bowland College), Trevor at Furness College, The Mill at Fylde College and The Herdwick (Graduate College). Tasting note cards will be available in each of the venues so you can mark your selection & favourite choices.

Grizedale’s festive hot drinks

Grizedale will be offering a selection of indulgent hot drinks including The winter toe warmer (white hot chocolate with almond & cherry) and warmed spiced apple juice from Monday 3 December. The menu has been inspired by Becky Milsted, a member of student staff and the full list of drinks can be viewed here.

Christmas Market

This year the bars and cafes will be supporting the LUSU Christmas market on Friday 7th December. Join us for your fill of confit turkey sandwiches complete with pigs in blankets, mulled cider from The Herdwick and indulgent festive cakes from The Venue. For more information, please see here.

Training and courses

Supporting the mental wellbeing of Chinese Students studying in UK HE – on campus training course

Graduate College and SBS will be hosting the above training on 9 January 2013 here at Lancaster University. The training, run by the Thinking People team considers the cultural and contextual factors that might affect access to our support services and provides colleagues with the opportunity to share experience, reflect on good practice and listen to Chinese perspectives. The cost of the training is £90 per person (including refreshments and lunch). Places are limited and will therefore be allocated on a first come first served basis. You can register your interest through the online store. If demand is high we will look to deliver a further session later on in the term.

Staff Development Courses

The courses listed below would be of interest to anyone holding a student facing welfare related role or for general support interest.

For further information on the above courses and how to book please see here.

Staff IT training

Next week’s free IT training sessions run by ISS, in the Library Training suites are listed here. All training sessions require booking (unless otherwise stated) please book online.

More information is available on the ISS Staff IT Training pages.

Organisation and Educational Development

Please find below a list of upcoming staff development opportunities that may be of interest to you. For more opportunities please visit the OED Website or email us directly on


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

University Carol Service - Monday 10 December 2012 6.15pm

All are welcome to attend a service of nine lessons and carols at the Chaplaincy Centre, as well as the usual nine lessons and traditional carols there will be performances by the ULMS Choir, Pentecostal Gospel Choir and the Gospel Choir. Contact for more details.

The Usuals

Lancaster University staff band “The Usuals,” made up of members of the School of Computing and Communications and the Faculty of Science and Technology’s Business Partnerships and Enterprise team, will be performing a fusion of rock, pop and blues classics at their last gig of the year next Friday 14 December, Graduate bar, 8.30pm. Admission is free.

The Usuals are Professor Geoff Coulson (lead guitar and vocals), Professor Nigel Davies (guitar), Dr Chris Edwards (keyboard), Dr Joe Finney (bass), Dr Bran Knowles (drums) and Amanda Ross (vocals).

Ruskin and the Sacred

The Ruskin Library's exhibition Ruskin and the Sacred explores a variety of ways in which the sacred plays a part in John Ruskin's life and work. The exhibition brings together work by Ruskin, including examples of his drawings and studies, letters and books from his library, alongside the work of friends and family and paintings that he commissioned. It demonstrates Ruskin's approach to both art and nature and looks to his wider social concerns, with his belief that “there is no Wealth but Life”.

Centre for Bioethics and Medical Law Seminar Series

All staff and postgraduate students are welcome to the Centre for Bioethics and Medical Law Seminar Series hosted by the Law School, the Dept of PPR and the Centre for Bioethics and Medical Law in the Lent Term 2012-13. See here for further details.

Forthcoming Live at LICA events

Pinocchio, 8 and 10 December, 10.00am, 2.00pm, and 7.00pm.

Sarah Casey: Drawing the Delicate, 7 - 14 December. Public opening at 6.30pm, 6 December.


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