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| 21 December 2012 | Issue 593

This is the last edition of LU Text before the University Christmas break. The next edition will be published on Friday 11 January 2013.

LU text would like to wish everyone Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Contents: news; Jackie Mitchell; Sir Timothy Kimber; people; Lancaster in the news; notices; food and drink; training and courses; what's on; ads


Synergy Group for graphene

Researchers are aiming to develop a new class of materials with remarkable properties using one atom-thick substances such as graphene in a new collaborative project. The proposal, which will involve researchers from the Universities of Manchester, Cambridge and Lancaster, has been awarded 13.4 million Euros (around £11m) to form a “Synergy Group” by the European Research Council (ERC). It will aim to utilise two-dimensional substances, such as wonder material graphene, to engineer new types of materials which are just a few atoms thick, but nevertheless have the power to revolutionise the future development of devices such as solar cells, and flexible and transparent electronics. Full story.

Spectrum Centre in Government initiative to improve care for people with bipolar disorder

Lancaster University’s Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research has been chosen by the Government to help improve access to psychological therapies for those with severe mental illnesses. The Spectrum Centre is to work in collaboration with Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust (BSMHFT) as the bipolar disorder demonstration site for the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) for Severe Mental Illness (SMI) project. The news was announced by the Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb at the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust. Full story.

Research reveals the serious side of the Christmas panto

“Oh yes it is, oh no it isn’t!” The pantomime is a staple of Christmas, as seasonal as turkey and minced pies. This thigh slapping form of theatre is part of England’s cultural heritage, and in Victorian England it was the most popular show. Yet it has received limited academic study until recently. Far from being a lightweight and frivolous spectacle, joint AHRC research led by the University of Exeter with Lancaster University entitled ‘A Cultural History of English Pantomime, 1837-1901’ reveals its cultural significance. Full story.

Computing and Communications success

The School of Computing and Communications has achieved its highest ever success at ACM SIGCHI, the top international conference on Human Computer Interaction , with nine papers accepted for publication. Two proposals from the School to run interactive workshops at the event were also accepted. Further details.

Shale gas fracking

The Lancaster Environment Centre is hosting a public lecture on shale gas fracking on Monday 14 January at 7.30 pm. The speaker is Dr Mike Stephenson, Head of Science (Energy) at the British Geological Survey who will be speaking on Shale gas: fracking, groundwater and earthquakes. Shale gas is seen by some as a low-carbon bridge to renewables, and by others as a menace. This talk will examine the resource size and impacts of extraction. The lecture will be at the Biology Lecture Theatre and is organised by the Royal Geographical Society North West Region and LEC. Tickets are free but you need to reserve a seat by calling 01524 510082, or email, with “RGS-LEC talk – 14th Jan” in the subject line.

Jackie Mitchell

The University regrets to report the death of Jackie Mitchell, a former member of staff in the Payroll Office in Finance, who died on Tuesday 18 December. Jackie worked for the University from 1983 until 2003. Our condolences go to Jackie’s family and friends.

Sir Timothy Kimber

Sir Timothy Kimber, DL, of Newton Hall, Whittington, died on 4 December 2012, aged 76. His funeral took place at Kirkby Lonsdale on 18 December, and there will be a memorial service at Chelsea Old Church on 29 January 2013.

Tim Kimber (as he had not yet succeeded to the baronetcy that he held at the time of his death) was a member of the Council from 1990 to 1996. He represented the Council on the Finance and General Purposes Committee, for which he was also the Treasurer for a brief period, bringing to bear his experience from Lazards on the university’s developing plans. He and his wife Susan were greatly supportive of the university across the North West, including for the purposes of setting up a university appeal, and their parties - of which the one to mark his shrievalty was especially memorable - comprehended pretty much everyone of consequence in the region. With his ready smile, informal manner, and quick wit, Tim was always a pleasure to do business with.

Marion McClintock


Professor David Sugarman (Law) and Professor Ruth Wodak (Linguistics) initiated a letter appealing to the European Parliament to confront and combat racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in EU countries . The letter is signed by academics in FASS and other universities. As a result of this, Professor Wodak was invited to a panel discussion on Monday 17 December at the ‘European House’, Vienna, to discuss the letter with MEPs and journalists.

Professor Richard Bardgett (LEC) is one of the authors of a paper due to be published in Nature Climate Change on December 23 entitled “Biogeochemical plant–soil microbe feedback in response to climate warming in peatlands”. The research was financially supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Professor Sheila Payne, Dr Nancy Preston and Anthony Greenwood from the International Observatory on End of Life Care, are part of a consortium which has been awarded nearly €3m Euros by the European Commission to investigate the use of integrated care pathways in 6 European countries and make recommendations for their effectiveness to improve palliative care in cancer and chronic disease. The consortium involves 11 partners from 8 European countries and the USA, representing a number of disciplines and professions, and includes the World Health Organisation. InSup-C was launched on 1 November 2012 and will run for four years.

Dr Stephen Eldridge (LUMS) is the co-author of the paper that won the Best Application Award at the 2012 Decision Sciences Institute Annual General Meeting held in San Francisco in November and he is now listed in the DSI’s Hall of Fame.

A piece by Dr John Welshman (History) "Troubled Families" - Parallels with the Past was published on the Poverty and Social Exclusion (PSE) website, a collaboration between the ESRC and several leading universities.

Postgraduate student and singer Graeme Sinclair won first prize in the inaugural LUGrads Got Talent competition. All postgraduate students were invited to take part and there were sixteen acts before an audience of almost two hundred in Grad Bar. The event was organised by the Postgraduate Board, recently set up by LUSU and Graduate College, and an events project group from the College.

Dr James Howard will be joining Lancaster University as Head of Professional Development on 1 February 2013. James is a Lancaster graduate and spent a number of years at the University as a course tutor before furthering his research and lecturing career at the University of Cumbria in several roles, most recently as the Interim Head of the Centre for Development & Enhancement of Professional Practice.

Thank you to all staff that completed the recent Staff Travel Survey and entered the prize draw. Over 40% of you responded and the information you provided is now being analysed. Congratulations to the following members of staff who were selected at random in the prize draw:

Lancaster in the news

Listen out for Professor Linda Woodhead (PPR) on BBC Radio 4 Thought for the Day on Boxing Day, and Professor Jeffrey Richards (History) who will be on air on Christmas Day, on BBC Radio Guernsey in an interview about the cultural significance of pantomime. Professor Richards also wrote an article for the Independent on the subject.

To see other news items featuring colleagues follow the link.


Partial closure of the underpass road

The underpass has been partially closed in one direction to carry out remedial works to high level pipework and will reopen at 5.30pm today (21 December). Further work is planned and the underpass will be closed to traffic from the Western Roundabout at the following times:

All traffic will be diverted around the northern perimeter road to enter the underpass from the east. Bus services will continue as normal.

Bus services over the Christmas and New Year period

From Monday 24 December - 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.

New Bus Timetable for Service 42: Blackpool – Garstang – Lancaster University – Lancaster

Stagecoach will be operating a revised timetable for the 42 service from 31 December. To view the new timetables please see the Stagecoach website.

Sports Centre

Food and Drink on Campus

Vacation Opening Times - Campus Bars and Cafes

Training and courses

Staff IT training

Training sessions will be repeated in the Lent Term. More information is available on the ISS Staff IT Training pages.

Information Security training looks at the kinds of information we hold at the University and why we need to keep that information secure. Focusing on the processes for keeping data safe and what to do if security is contravened. Taught sessions will be available in the Lent term or, alternatively, the training can be taken on-line at Information Security Online Training.

Lent term LUSI Training – available to book now

Lecture Capture Project

During the Michaelmas term, ISS commenced a pilot project to capture lecture content. A total of over 250 lectures across 12 venues and 27 courses was captured. The captured content is, once approved by the lecturer, made available to students via the university VLE. Feedback from participating staff and students has been positive and we would therefore like to extend the trial during the Lent term. If you are interested and require more information, please follow this link.


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

Study Mandarin Chinese with Lancaster University Confucius Institute

Classes start week beginning 14 January. Ten week courses cost £30 for students, £40 for staff and £45 for others. For further information on Beginners’ Levels 1, 2 and 3 please see here. If you are interested in other levels please email Also available are Taichi Classes at the Round House, Lancaster University, on Fridays, 1-2pm £2.00 per session. Beginning Friday 11 January.

Live at LICA

See here for the Spring 2013 Live at LICA programme.


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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.

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