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1 February 2013 | Issue 597

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See the Press Office news and events pages here



Graphene appointed an EU Future Emerging Technology flagship

The European Commission has chosen graphene as one of Europe’s first 10-year, 1,000 million euro Future Emerging Technologies flagships. The mission of this Flagship is to take graphene and related layered materials from academic laboratories to society, revolutionize multiple industries and create economic growth and new jobs in Europe. Lancaster University‘s Physics Department has played an important role in the preparation of this initiative. Professor Vladimir Falko was among the key proposers of the Graphene Flagship idea, helped to develop the Graphene Science and Technology Roadmap and acts as one of two Flagship national contacts in the UK. Full story.

Lancaster partners with QES to engage young people with research

Lancaster University will be working with Queen Elizabeth School in Kirkby Lonsdale to engage young people in research and to raise their aspirations for further study. One of only 12 Universities to be selected, Lancaster has secured £140k from Research Councils UK (RCUK) new national School-University Partnerships Initiative (SUPI) to work with QES and schools within its teaching alliance. Led by Dr Jane Taylor (LEC), the project will also focus on giving academics, who have just embarked on their research careers at Lancaster, skills to develop their ability to engage others with research, and support teachers in their professional development and their use of research findings to enhance their teaching. Full story.

First ever UK based language tool to decode baby talk

A tool which could radically improve the diagnosis of language delays in infants in the UK is being developed by psychologists. A £358,000 grant to develop the first standardised UK speech and language development tool means that for the first time, researchers will be able to establish language development norms for UK children aged eight months to 18 months. Full story.

Treatment to prevent Alzheimer’s disease moves a step closer

A new drug to prevent the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease could enter clinical trials in a few years’ time according to scientists. Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia, which currently affects 820,000 people in the UK, with numbers expected to more than double by 2050. One in three people over 65 will die with dementia. The disease begins when a protein called amyloid beta starts to clump together in senile plaques in the brain, damaging nerve cells and leading to memory loss and confusion.

Professor David Allsop and Dr Mark Taylor from the Faculty of Health and Medicine have successfully created a new drug which can reduce the number of senile plaques by a third, as well as more than doubling the number of new nerve cells in a particular region of the brain associated with memory. It also markedly reduced the amount of brain inflammation and oxidative damage associated with the disease. Full story.

Lessons of the 1953 East Coast flood disaster

Sixty years ago, on 31 January and 1 February 1953, over 300 people died in flooding on the East Coast of England. Recent research has found that the Cabinet partly funded the response to avoid blame and further requests for funding. Today such floods, caused by storm surges, are predicted by a warning system implemented after the 1953 flood. Despite the warning system, coastal flooding remains a key concern both for residents and government. The early history of this warning system and who paid for the research behind it has recently been researched by Dr Anna Carlsson-Hyslop from the Department of Sociology at Lancaster University, funded by the ESRC. Full story.

Call for Proposals for £600,000 Impact Acceleration Account

Applications are now invited to bid into the University's Impact Acceleration Account (IAA). £600,000 has been awarded by the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to support researchers to deliver greater collaboration with industry and bridge the gap between university research and the marketplace. The money will be made available to researchers through a competitive internal process to fund a range of activities designed to promote impact from EPSRC research areas. Any level of researcher can apply for IAA funding (PhD students to EPSRC PIs). For more information see here.


Congratulations to Dr Don Passey (Educational Research) on his award of a Personal Chair.

Linguistics and English Language PhD student Yvonne Prefontaine, in the Thesis and Coursework programme has won the Canadian Modern Language Review Best Graduate Student Paper competition with her paper entitled “Perceptions of French Fluency in Second Language Speech Production”. Yvonne's research is set in the bilingual context of Canada. The panel particularly appreciated the mixed-method design of her study and the originality of her findings.

Professor Cary Cooper, (LUMS), won the Chartered Institute of Management’s ‘Management Article of the Year’ Award. His article on ‘Improving the Quality of Working Life’ was co-writtten with Professor Les Worrall, of Coventry University. Full story.

The Department of English and Creative Writing is delighted to announce the beginning of a link with the Department of English at University of Toronto funded, in part, by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. In the first instance, the link will focus on religion and literature. The first visits to Toronto will be made in March by Dr Arthur Bradley and two research students, Aroosa Kanwal and Rachel Holland. In late May there will be a return visit from Dr Mark Knight and two Toronto research students who will be here for the visit to the Department from Professor Simon Critchley of the New School, New York, when the theme will be religion and tragedy.

Dr Martin Spring (Management Science) gave a presentation on 30 January at the Royal Academy of Engineering, London, to a meeting of the High Level Stakeholder Group of the U.K. Government Office for Science Foresight Study on The Future of Manufacturing. The meeting was chaired by Dr Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, with Sir John Beddington, Chief Scientific Officer to the UK Government. Martin's work is on Emerging Business Models for Manufacturing, and the full report of the Foresight project is due to be published in autumn 2013. Further details on the project are available here.

Dr Paul Iganski, (Applied Social Science), gave a public lecture on Monday this week at Pembroke College, Cambridge. The lecture, titled ‘Understanding hate crime in contemporary society’ was organised in commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day. It was followed by a key note presentation delivered by Paul Iganski in Brussels, titled ‘Against hate crime’ for the ‘When Law and Hate Collide’ symposium.

Jenn Ashworth, a lecturer in the Department of English and Creative Writing, has received widespread coverage in the national media following the publication of her third novel, The Friday Gospels.

Lancaster in the news

Professor Steven Jones and researcher Rita Long were both interviewed on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour while Dr Anna Carlsson Hyslop was interviewed by several BBC local radio stations on the 60th anniversary of the East Coast flooding tragedy.

To see other news items featuring colleagues follow the link


International poster competition

A UK school poster competition in statistics is being coordinated by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics as part of the International Statistics Literacy Project (ISLP). This year's theme is "Agriculture" and the winners in each age category win a £500 prize and will have their posters displayed at the World Statistics Congress in Hong Kong in August 2013. There will also be international prizes, to be announced later. Find out more here.

Bowland Main (East Wing) Window Replacement

On Monday 4 February work will start on replacing the windows on the ground floor of the east wing of Bowland Main (old porter’s lodge). The hoarding will be extended onto the spine but access will be maintained at all times along the spine and into the Quad for Bowland Bar and Lecture Theatre. For part of the work the cut through from the spine by the old porter’s lodge will need closing temporarily but diversion signage will be in place. Work is expected to take 6 weeks. If you have any queries about the work please contact the Project Manager Chris Maughan via the Facilities Helpdesk, 01524 593333.


The University receives a vast number of phishing emails all trying to tempt recipients into disclosing their personal and financial details. Whilst the majority of such emails are removed before they reach the intended inbox, a small number get through. The most recent email of this type purports to be from a family member, friend or work colleague claiming to be stranded in a country they may be visiting. Of course, they have been left without money, documentation and other such necessities and are in need of financial help. Such emails should always be ignored. If you are in any doubt, call the ISS Service Desk on x10987. More information is available here.

Sports news

New sport & wellbeing guide

The Sports Centre and Students’ Union have collaborated to produce a new Sport & Wellbeing Guide. The guide, written with staff and students in mind, showcases all elements of sport at Lancaster University from elite participation to fun activities and health and wellbeing matters. Click here to view the guide. We welcome your input and feedback to ensure this guide remains both relevant and current. Please send us your comments, observations or photographs; we want this to be your forum as well as ours. Email

Climbing social night

Struggling to find a climbing partner? Come down on a Wednesday from 6.30pm-10.00pm to meet other climbers. Grab a wristband from reception which shows your interest, say hello and have a climb. No extra charge applies, usual admission fee only. Visit the website for more information, or call reception.

New Pilates class

Great news for those wanting to start the day with a Pilates class. Starting on Monday 4 February, the Sports Centre has a new Pilates class taking place from 10.00 – 10.55 am with Sports Centre instructor, Julia. The class will take place at the same time every week for the remainder of the term. Classes can be booked 7 days in advance from 7am. To book click here or ring reception.

Food & Drink on Campus

New internal catering menu

From Monday 4 February you’ll be able to pick any meeting or function catering requirements from the new Spring 2013 menu. It features new sandwich selections, deli boards, a variety of salads and an impressive range of hot and cold buffet lunch options. The new menu can be viewed here and bookings can be made at any time by emailing or calling 01524 593260.

RBS 6 Nations LIVE in The Trough of Bowland

Starting Saturday 2 February, The Trough of Bowland (Bowland Bar) will be screening all matches played during the 6 Nations tournament. The first game is Wales v Ireland at 1.30pm. A pie and a pint on match days will be just £4.95. The full schedule can be found here.

SuperBowl XLVII

This year you’ll be able to catch the Super Bowl action live in Lonsdale Bar – open from 9.00pm on Sunday 3rd February. For more information, please see here.

The Highlight in The Mill (Fylde)

The spring edition of The Highlight, is now available in The Mill – find out what football games they’ll be showing live on the big screen by picking up a copy inside or click here to view the website for The Mill. For more information on food and drink on campus visit

Training & Courses

Staff IT training

Upcoming FREE IT training sessions run by ISS. All training sessions take place in the Library Training suites and require booking online, unless otherwise stated.

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

Organisation and Educational Development

Please find below information on a number of Teaching and Learning Forums that will be happening soon that might be of interest. Please click on the links to find out more about the courses.

What's On

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

Automobility in transition? A socio-technical analysis of sustainable transport – CeMoRe Seminar

Frank Geels, Professor of System Innovation and Sustainability, Manchester University Tuesday 5 February 2013, 4.15pm to 6pm, Bowland North SR 22.

Climate change and deep cuts in CO2 emissions require transitions to new kinds of transport systems. To understand the dynamics of these transitions, this paper introduces a socio-technical approach which goes beyond technology fix or behaviour change.

There will be a meal at the Sun Café, if you would like to come along (at own cost) please email Pennie Drinkall.

Ruskin Library and Research Centre

Ruskin and the Daguerreotype - Study Day Lancaster University - Saturday 9 March 2013 10.30am-4pm £20.00 (£10 for students).

This Study Day, to accompany the current exhibition ‘A Noble Invention’: Ruskin’s Daguerreotypes of Venice and Verona’, will place the daguerreotype process in the history of early photography, and reveal the background to Ruskin’s interest in the medium. Curators and experts will also explain the problems of conservation and display, and a contemporary daguerreotype artist will speak about its continuing fascination and challenges. For further details see here.

Forthcoming Live at LICA events


    Two from a Smith, 8pm, Thursday 7 February. Lancaster based theatre-maker Andy Smith (a smith) presents a double-bill of new solo performance. Using his trademark informal and conversational style, the shows have a desire to ask a few questions about what we are up to, contemplate the world we live in, and think about how we might change it.


    Beats and Pieces Big Band, 7.30pm, Thursday 7 February. One of the country’s most talked about jazz groups. Led by composer and conductor, Ben Cottrell, its 14 members are drawn from some of the most exciting and in demand young musicians active in the UK today, all of whom met and began playing together whilst students in Manchester. Call 01524 594151 or book online to receive advance discounts.

Haffner Orchestra

Saturday 9 February. 7.30pm, Great Hall, Lancaster University. Anne Applin and Geoffrey Pratley (piano), Conductor: Justin Doyle.
Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet Suite No.2
Britten: Four Sea Interludes
John Carmichael: double piano concerto ‘Concierto Folklorico’

Tickets and further information available here.


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