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11 October 2013 | Issue 627

To view previous editions see LU Text Archive

Contents: News| People| Lancaster in the news| Campus Investment| Food & Drink| Training & Courses|


Babies learn how to anticipate touch while in the womb, according to new research by Durham and Lancaster

Using 4-d scans psychologists found, for the first time, that fetuses were able to predict, rather than react to, their own hand movements towards their mouths as they entered the later stages of gestation compared to earlier in a pregnancy. The team of researchers from Durham and Lancaster Universities said that the latest findings could improve understanding about babies, especially those born prematurely, their readiness to interact socially and their ability to calm themselves by sucking on their thumb or fingers. Full story.

Lancaster scientists helped Nobel Prize winning discovery

Lancaster University physicists have welcomed the award of the Nobel Prize in Physics to Peter Higgs and Francois Englert. This award follows the discovery of the Higgs Boson in 2012 by researchers from Lancaster University along with their collaborators on the ATLAS experiment, and the CMS experiment, both at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, Geneva. Full story.

Body language of police interviewees may be misleading

Second language speakers interviewed by police risk having their behaviour mistaken for deception according to research. The challenge of speaking in a foreign language is similar to the stress felt by people who are telling a lie. Both groups change their physical behaviour as a result, which may cause a second language speaker to act in a way associated with lying. This was the finding of a recent study by PhD candidate Sophie Van Der Zee and Professor Paul Taylor from Security Lancaster at Lancaster University. The paper “Nonverbal mimicry increases in second language interviews” won best student paper prize at the recent European Association of Psychology and Law conference. Full story.

Professor on BBC TV health programme

Professor Barbara Maher from the Lancaster Environment Centre is to appear on the BBC 2 programme Trust Me I’m A Doctor on 24 October in connection with research into pollution. Full story.

Students celebrate graduation success in Malaysia

A total of 443 students have graduated at a ceremony held in Sunway University, Malaysia on 11 October 2013. Lancaster University validates a range of full degree programmes which are taught at the Sunway University campus in Kuala Lumpur. Full story.

FST Distinguished Visitor Programme in Physical Sciences

The Faculty of Science and Technology is starting a new Distinguished Visitor Programme in Physical Sciences, with the following objectives: to build new international links between Lancaster and leading universities worldwide; to increase Lancaster's ability to deliver outstanding research; to enhance the experience of Lancaster's early-career researchers through collaborations with world-leading overseas academics; and to raise Lancaster's international visibility and appeal among academics in the world's top 100 Universities. It is expected that the nominees will be recognised, active, world leaders in the area of research complementary to that at Lancaster, be based at an internationally leading overseas university, and that the short-term outcome of each visit will include 4*-quality research publications. In the longer term, the visits are expected to lead to new grants and to increase Lancaster's recognition and appeal for academic recruiting at all levels.

For further information and to register expressions of interest please follow this link.

Smoking regulations

The University has a duty under the Smoke-Free (Premises and Enforcement) Regulations 2006 to stop people smoking within areas of the campus which fall under the legal definition of being smoke free. Failure to do this can result in significant fines to the University and to individuals smoking in inappropriate areas.

Where is smoking prohibited? - Smoking is prohibited by law within any building, or under any covered area falling under the definition of a ‘substantially enclosed space’. A substantially enclosed space is any covered area with permanent openings in the walls which are less than half the total area of the walls. Covered quads, the spine, the underpass and covered areas of Alexandra Square (including the area in front of the library) fall within this definition and smoking in these areas is against UK law. No smoking signs are displayed at relevant areas of campus, please comply with them.

What are the consequences of smoking in prohibited areas? - Lancaster City Council is the Enforcement Agency for this set of Regulations and they make frequent visits to campus. If they observe an individual smoking in a prohibited area they can impose a fine of £50 on the individual and £2500 on the University.

What should I do if I see someone smoking in a prohibited area? - Failure to comply with these Regulations can have serious consequences for the individual and the University. Members of staff who observe individuals smoking in prohibited areas are encouraged to point out relevant signage and ask the individual to move to another area where smoking is allowed.


Congratulations to Plamen Angelov (Computing and Communications) who has been awarded a Personal Chair, and also to Bogdan Costea (Organisation, Work and Technology) who has been awarded a Readership.

Undergraduate Tom Randall (PPR) has begun the Lancaster Journal of Philosophy with support from a group of editors and the FASS Enterprise Centre. The first issue is only available in PDF but there are plans to print hard copies and market the publication to other universities.

The University regrets to announce the death of Alf Burns, who died on Saturday 5 October. Alf worked at the University for 27 years, joining in 1969 as a Porter in Lonsdale College and then as a member of the Security team until his retirement in 1996. A keen cyclist, fell walker and PNE football team supporter, Alf was also a University Unison Union representative and believed strongly in social justice. A funeral for Alf will be held on Wednesday 16 October at 3.30pm at the crematorium and afterwards at the Fox and Goose, all are welcome. Alf is survived by his wife Mavis, granddaughter Gemma and great grandson Louis.

Lancaster in the news

Research by Professor Brian Francis (Mathematics and Statistics) and colleagues from Durham into the behaviour of unborn babies is widely reported including in the Daily Mail and Daily Express. Professor David Allsop(FHM) was quoted widely in the media including BBC TV and radio, Sky News, the Guardian and the Washington Star talking about new research into degenerative brain diseases.

To see other news items featuring colleagues follow the link.


Staff ‘Town Hall’ meeting

All staff are invited to discuss next steps around the implementation of the new strategy with the Vice-Chancellor Professor Mark E. Smith and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Atherton. An ‘all staff’ Town Hall meeting will be held on Monday 14 October at 1 – 2pm in the Great Hall. If you would like to attend please email to confirm your attendance.

Vice-Chancellor’s Forum on Student Retention - 13 November 2013

As a reminder, the next VC Forum will be held on Wednesday 13 November 2013 from 2-4pm. The forum will focus on the topic of student retention and will consider the key issues, implications and responses from a Lancaster University perspective in the context of profound change in the higher education sector. Find out more and register your interest here.

Industrial action planned for Cumbria schools

The NUT and NASUWT have announced plans to take strike action on 17 October and this may affect university staff with children in schools controlled by Cumbria County Council. Schools in Lancashire and North Yorkshire are not affected. Guidance for Heads of Department is available here.

Campus Investment

Further information about all the following work and other work on campus is available on the Facilities news webpage, or by contacting the Facilities helpdesk, 01524 593333.

Invite to new staff to view LU Conference facilities at Lancaster House Hotel

Lancaster University’s ‘Lancaster House Hotel’ Conference Centre would like to invite all new staff for tea, coffee and cake and a chance to view the facilities available on Wednesday 16 October between 2pm and 4pm. There is no need to book an appointment, just turn up on the day. For more information about conference facilities at Lancaster University visit

Temporary closure of spine walkway to enable reopening of access ramp

On Saturday 12 October the spine walkway will be closed until 4pm adjacent to the new Engineering building to allow the site fence to be moved back to enable the access ramp to be reopened. During this work the temporary route for all will be through the Engineering building as signed ‘accessible route’, the automated doors have been opened up specially for these times. Once the work is complete, full access to this area will be restored along the spine and the accessible ramp will be reopened.

New Campus Map

A map with the new accessible route from Monday 14 October and other updates on campus is available here.

Lancaster and Morecambe Service Updates - Service changes from Monday 14 October

Stagecoach in Lancaster will make a number of improvements to its network of services as a result of continued passenger feedback relating to previous changes implemented on 29 September.

    Service 12 will resume its original route along Kingsway and Heysham Mossgate Road.
    Service 12 will now operate from Morecambe Battery along Stanley Road before continuing along Balmoral Road, Fairfield Road, Kingway and Mossgate Road. It will not operate via Sugham Lane.
    Service 12 will then continue to Lancaster via Heysham and the Bypass and will now serve Lancaster Railway Station (except the 0745 from Morecambe Battery to the University) prior to arriving at the Bus Station.
    Service 3 will operate the same level of services during University term time as vacation periods on the section of the route between Lancaster Bus Station and the University. There are no further changes to the route.
    Service 2/2A will both operate via Bowerham and Hala in Lancaster, returning service levels to 1 bus every 10 minutes during the day. During University vacations, Service 2 will only operate from Heysham to Lancaster Bus Station. This means Service 2A will operate through Bowerham and Hala up to every 20 minutes during this period.

Printed timetables will be available on buses shortly. Stagecoach would like to thank you for your patience and feedback on the recent Stagecoach bus service changes in Morecambe and Lancaster. Click here to view updated timetable information: Service 2/2A, Service 12.

Download the NEW Bay Network Map
Download Where to Catch Your Bus in Lancaster City Centre
Download Where to Catch Your Bus in Morecambe Town Centre.

Food & Drink on Campus

Meet, Eat and Drink on Campus

For information on university food and drinks outlets on campus including new menus and opening hours visit

Graduate Bar maintains CAMRA status for 12th year

For the 12th consecutive year The Herdwick (Graduate College Bar) has maintained its status in the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) Good Beer Guide 2014. The Herdwick Bar serves the largest range of cask ales, traditional ciders and malt whiskies on campus. For more information click here.

Training & Courses

Library talks

The Library is running a series of talks this term on various aspects of library use and information handling. The first talk is on Monday 21st October, and is on the essentials of Library use. It will benefit staff who are new to Lancaster, and will include information on how the library can support teaching as well as research. Full information and how to book on the Library webpages.

Staff IT Training

The following FREE IT taught training sessions run by ISS are taking place next week. 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.

Interested in gaining Microsoft Office Specialist qualifications? Fees apply. The current discounted fee for staff is £25.00 per module. This includes ebook, access to Gmetrix practice exam software and one attempt at the exam. Please see our MOS webpage for details.

Organisation and Educational Development

Please find below forthcoming staff development opportunities that may be of interest. For further opportunies later in the year please visit the OED website or email directly

What's On

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

Royal Academy of Engineering Distinguished Fellow Lecture Series comes to Lancaster

A chance to come to a lecture by Distinguished Visiting Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Professor Nikola Kasabov. The lecture entitled Evolving Spiking Neural Networks: Methods, Systems and Applications for Spatio- and Spectro-Temporal Pattern Recognition, is about mathematical and computing models that simulate or try to do the same or similar to what the Human Brain does. We 'store' in our brains a huge amount of visual and other information and manipulate it using small amount of energy (30W or so) but computers still struggle to do the same or require much more power. Wednesday 30 October, 2.00-3.00pm, C60 InfoLab21.

Live at LICA

Live at LICA's new season opens with:

2013-2014 Chinese films (Michaelmas Term)

Tuesdays (Week 1-10), 6.00-8:30pm; Frankland Colloquium Room, Faraday Building. Further details here.

Jamming at Furness

Paul Palmer’s quartet returns to Furness College on 18 October for our Jam-in-Furness series. Paul plays regularly at Zefirelli’s in Ambleside, at the Keswick Jazz Festival and has also performed at Lancaster Jazz. If you are interested in joining in with your favourite instrument, please contact Paul well in advance to find out about (and possibly influence) the planned stage set.