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17 May 2013 | Issue 610

To view previous editions see LU Text Archive
See the Press Office news and events pages here

Contents: News| Ryan Rostron| People| Job Opportunities| Lancaster in the news| Notices| Sports news| Food & Drink| Training & Courses| What's On| Adverts|


Vice-Chancellor’s Forum on 11 June 2013

As a reminder, next month sees the launch of the Vice-Chancellor’s Forums, the first of which will be held on Tuesday 11 June 2013 from 3pm-5pm. The VC Forums are workshop-style sessions which offer both staff and students an opportunity to meet with Vice-Chancellor Professor Mark E. Smith to consider and debate topics that are of strategic importance to Lancaster.

This first VC Forum will consider the strategic implications of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) for Lancaster University, and the broader impact on the higher education sector. The recent Town Hall meetings showed that this was clearly a topic which interested colleagues from across the University. The forum will provide an opportunity to explore the issues further and discuss the potential involvement of the University with this emerging technology. Find out more and register your interest here.

Lancaster set to receive funding boost to stimulate UK’s economy

Lancaster is amongst leading universities who are set to benefit from a £50 million investment in cutting-edge research and innovation projects to drive growth. Lancaster’s project will use the strong international reputation and links in China, in particular with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, to address the Government's priorities to focus on high-growth SMEs and to increase exports. Using expertise from across the University, it focuses on improved leadership and new technology development in SMEs in the key sectors of environmental technologies, advanced manufacturing and creative and digital industries to penetrate Chinese markets. It will also help develop a local-global partnership between Lancashire and the Guangdong province of China through the important contributions of local government in both areas. Final funding allocations will be made by HEFCE in July.

Lancaster University makes a double Impact at awards

A project revealing the social and emotional impact of flooding and an entrepreneurship unit providing business development programmes for SMEs earned Lancaster University recognition in a top research council award. The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) has rewarded researchers for their outstanding economic and social impact in the first ‘Celebrating Impact’ prize. The Hull Floods Project Team, led by Dr Will Medd, received an award for Outstanding Impact in Public Policy, which was collected on the night by Dr Rebecca Whittle, Dr Marion Walker, Dr Hugh Deeming and Dr Maggie Mort. Professor Mary Rose, Dr Eleanor Hamilton and their team at Lancaster University Management School received an award for Outstanding Impact on Business. Both teams received £5,000 to invest in impact activities. Full story.

Billion-year-old water could hold clues to life on Earth and Mars

Dr Greg Holland from LEC is part of an international team of scientists from the UK and Canada who have discovered ancient pockets of water, isolated deep underground for billions of years and containing abundant chemicals known to support life. This water could be some of the oldest on the planet and may even contain life. Not just that, but the similarity between the rocks that trapped it and those on Mars raises the hope that comparable life-sustaining water could lie buried beneath the red planet’s surface. The findings, published in Nature, may force us to rethink which parts of our planet are fit for life, and could reveal clues about how microbes evolve in isolation. Full story.

Calculate your ‘nitrogen footprint’

Scientists from Lancaster, Virginia and Oxford universities, have produced a web-based tool that allows anyone living in the UK to see their own ‘nitrogen footprint’. The tool is known as the N-Calculator. Dr Carly Stevens from LEC led the project to convert the N-Calculator for the UK. It asks users to put in information so the tool can calculate the likely effect that the food that they eat or the transport they take has on the environment in terms of nitrogen pollution. It is hoped that the tool will lead to more people choosing sustainable ways of living. Full story.

Staff and students get on the bus

The University’s Travel Plan has been so successful that targets set for 2015 for bus use, car sharing and sole occupancy car use have already been achieved. Both staff and students are using the bus more and the car less when they travel to campus, with just over half of staff and 88 per cent of students using sustainable methods of transport. Full story.

Ryan Rostron

The funeral of student Ryan Rostron, who died on Sunday evening in a traffic collision, will take place at St Stephens on the Cliffs, Blackpool at 1.45pm on Thursday 23 May. Ryan was a third year Media and Cultural Studies student and a member of Furness College. Furness College is organising transport from the University for those students wishing to attend. Contact for more details . Anglican Chaplain Revd Kevin Huggett will co-ordinate and prepare the Eulogy. Please contact him if you would like to take part.


Professor Paul Farley (English and Creative Writing) delivered the 110th Roscoe Lecture in Liverpool this week to a 600-strong audience in the city's St George's Hall. The Roscoe public lectures have invited figures from politics, the arts, religion and sports since 1997 to join the people of Liverpool, under the auspices of Liverpool John Moores University's Roscoe Foundation for Citizenship, and previous speakers have included His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Lord Puttnam, HRH Prince Charles and Claire Tomalin. Paul's talk was on The Mersey Sound, further details and downloads are available here.

Dr Euan Lawson (Lancaster Medical School) has been appointed Deputy Editor at the British Journal of General Practice. The BJGP is an international peer-reviewed journal publishing articles of interest to family practitioners and primary care researchers worldwide. The journal is sent to over 45,000 clinicians and researchers each month, and its 2011 Impact Factor is 1.83, making it one of the world’s most highly cited journals of general practice and primary health care.

Dr John Welshman (History) attended, by invitation, a History & Policy workshop in London on Monday 13 May. Chaired by Lord Butler of Brockwell, the participants discussed how history can help civil servants. Among those attending were Sir Nicholas Macpherson, Permanent Secretary at the Treasury, and Pat Thane, Professor of Contemporary History, King's College London.

Researchers in the School of Computing and Communications are looking for participants to take part in a new pilot study to investigate the use of smartphones to capture and understand daily experiences. They are looking for Lancaster University staff and students who commute to campus by bus daily and ideally own an iPhone. Participants will be entered into a draw with the opportunity to win a £25, £50 or £100 cash prize. If you are interested please email Mike Harding.

Diana Hudspith and Catherine Kitching (LEC) braved the wind, rain and hail on Saturday 11 May to complete the 40 mile Keswick to Barrow Challenge. Catherine was part of the first ladies team home, smashing the record by over an hour. (see link)

Pop-up cafés on campus

Find out about new Catalyst funded research opportunities at these two campus cafes. They take place from 10-11am on 21 May at Café Refuel at County South and on 24 May at InfoLab. Catalyst funded research projects investigate grand societal challenges, involve partnerships between academics and the community, and develop a new digital prototype. Book your place here.

Job Opportunities

Vacancies which have been released this week include:

Lectureships in Sustainability
Undergraduate Programmes Assistant
LUSU Education & Support Manager

Lancaster in the news

Research by an international team of scientists including Dr Greg Holland (LEC) received global coverage including the Los Angeles Times, USA Today and Huffington Post. Professor Sheila Payne (FHM) writes in the New Statesman about palliative care and pain relief globally.

To see other news items featuring colleagues follow the link


Your views on Lancaster University’s conferences and events service

The conferences and events team would appreciate your opinions to help it review its service offered on campus. Please take part in this short, ten minute survey if you organise conferences, events or meetings:

  • With approximately 10 people or more
  • That include attendees external to Lancaster University
  • That would typically require some form of support (e.g. room setup, cleaning, catering, AV support).

Please click here to enter the survey. The deadline to complete this survey is Friday 31 May.

Thinking about starting your own business?

A Business Start-Up Boot Camp, open to all EU students, staff and recent graduates will be running at the end of term. The two day interactive event will feature workshops and guest speakers to help you turn your idea into a business. Register your interest here.

Maintenance work on traffic calming features

From the week begining 20 May there will be maintenance work on the perimeter road of campus. Work will also start at night on the paved areas on Bigforth Drive from 23 June. The work will not be noisy and any traffic that requires access will be allowed through as directed by the contractors. Any queries should be directed to the Facilities Helpdesk on 93333.

Campus heating shutdown

The campus heating systems are scheduled to be switched off from 1 June until September for the summer shutdown. The use of electric convector heaters are not normally allowed and heaters found in offices, seminar spaces, common areas etc. will be removed. If you are experiencing problems with your heating please report it on the Facilities Helpdesk or call 93333 or report it online. For additional information please refer to the heating policy on the Facilities website.

Take part in the Lancashire Cycle Challenge – win a new bike and other great prizes

Running from Monday 17 June to Sunday 7 July, the Lancashire Cycle Challenge is a fun, free competition where Lancaster University will be competing against other organisations to see which workplaces can get the most staff to try cycling. We’d like to invite you all to take part and it takes 2 minutes to register here, and join our team. If you haven’t cycled for years, don’t worry! You only have to ride a bike for just 10 minutes or more for your participation to count towards our team’s score, and you can ride anywhere, anytime in the evening or at the weekend. For more information about the challenges and to see the prizes available visit their website.

Update your Wi-Fi settings now

Everyone needs to update their connection to the eduroam secure wireless network, which is the preferred method of internet access at Lancaster. By reconfiguring your account on all devices (laptops, smartphones, tablets etc) you will automatically be able connect to Wi-Fi at many other UK universities, as well as any eduroam enabled institution around the world. Instructions on how to change your eduroam login to the new format can be found at here.

Sports news

Race for Life

The Sports Centre is hosting Race for Life this year, as part of Cancer Research UK’s largest women-only fundraising events. If you would like to take part, either by walking, running, jogging, or dancing your way around the course, then sign up here. If you can’t take part in the race, you can support Cancer Research UK’s work by volunteering to help with the event. For more information visit the Sports Centre website.

Food & Drink on Campus

Summer events at The Lounge

The Lounge is celebrating summer with a range of evening events for all. It is offering an exclusive opportunity to learn some great culinary skills with a live demonstration from the Executive Chef, Julian Ankers. Enjoy a 3-course dinner with our Preparation to Platter - Demo and Dine evening on Thursday 23 May, enjoy the first Pudding Club evening on Thursday 6 June and take part in the first Lancaster University Food and Drink Quiz night on Thursday 20 Jun. For more information and to book, see here.

For all food & drink updates on campus, visit

Training & Courses

Staff IT training

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

Sharing Practice Day – 2 July

This is an informal event that will allow you to share experiences of and perspectives on the use of technology to support teaching and learning at Lancaster and discuss the role that technology does or could play in our practice.

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

What's On

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

Leadership: navigating growth in a highly complex operating environment

Lancaster University Management School is pleased to announce that Randall Zindler will be presenting a Leadership Lecture on 22 May. Randall is a prominent Lancaster Alumnus having received his MBA from Lancaster University. This event will form part of the EQUIS peer review team visit and is an opportunity to network and look at some of the outstanding work that goes on within the management school.

Further details and to book a place, please visit the Eventbrite booking page.

TEDxLancasterU Tickets

The speakers have been announced for the inaugural Lancaster University TEDx conference on Tuesday 18 June at LICA. The theme for the conference is ‘Discovery: The journey so far’. Tickets for the event will go on sale at 9am on Monday 20 May online costing £5 each. Tickets are open to all, but there are only 100 available.

The Work Foundation 2013 Annual Debate: Will robots and enhanced humans steal our jobs?

All staff are invited to The Work Foundation annual debate on Tuesday 11 June at The Work Foundation.

Panelists will include:

  • Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive, Nesta
  • Professor Kevin Warwick, Professor of Cybernetics, University of Reading
  • Professor Kerstin Dautenhahn (tbc), Coordinator of Adaptive Systems Research Group on Artificial Intelligence, Hertfordshire University
  • Geetu Bharwaney, Founder and MD of EI World
  • Dr Neil Lee, Head of the Socio-economic Centre, The Work Foundation
  • Chair: Siobhan Kennedy (tbc), Business Correspondent, Channel 4 News

Email if you would like to attend. Spaces are limited.


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