Lancaster University

SciTech bulletin

Reminder: First Faculty Lecture for 2007/08

The first lecture of the year - Making Things Tiny - Will Nanotechnology Deliver a Revolutionary Approach to Healthcare? - will be given by Professor Ruth Duncan on Friday 2nd November at 4pm in the Biology Lecture Theatre.

Ruth Duncan is Professor of Cell Biology and Drug Delivery at the Welsh School of Pharmacy, Cardiff University, UK and Director of the Centre for Polymer Therapeutics. She has contributed more than 250 scientific articles and patents, and has been a recipient of many awards including the Pfizer Research Award for Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Other lectures in the series entitled Connections: Science, Futures and Society will include:

All faculty members are welcome to attend these lectures, please put these dates in your diary!

Three-quarters of a Million for New Chair in Engineering

The Engineering Department has won significant funding for a new chair in Nuclear Engineering and Decommissioning.

The new post will be supported by an award of £755,000 over five years from The Lloyd's Register Educational Trust - a charity which supports educational training and research in the fields of science, engineering and technology.

Lloyd's Register's interest in providing funding in this area first became apparent following a talk given by Engineering's Roger Kemp at the Westminster Energy Forum in early 2006 on the subject of safety regulation in the nuclear industry.

During 2006 Lloyd’s Register visited all UK universities with an interest in the nuclear industry, and in July this year they asked Lancaster to submit a formal proposal.

Roger attributes Lancaster's success to its close relationship with industry and the practical nature of courses such as the new MSc in Decommissioning and Environmental Clean-up.

The new funding, coupled with this year's personal chair in Nuclear Engineering for Malcolm Joyce, will enhance the Engineering Department's strength in this key area and complements existing expertise in energy generation, safety and environmental management.

Read more on LU News...

SciTech Graduate School

SciTech Graduate School Forum

Thank you to everyone for the great response we've had so far, however we would still like a few more people to get involved in the SciTech Graduate School Forum. If you are a postgraduate research student you may be interested in becoming a member of this forum. We want to know what you want from the SciTech Graduate School and the type of activities you would like to happen. This is your opportunity to have your say!

If you are interested in this please contact Dr Rebecca Whitehead.

Doctoral Development Programme

Don't forget about the great programme of training that is available this year. Details about training for postgraduate research students are now on the faculty website.

SciTech Vision Project


The review of placement activity, which is one of the tasks identified in the Vision Project, is underway with much of the data required to assess the current 'state of play' having been collected. The next stage is to source the views and opinions of 'stakeholders' i.e. staff, students and employers to identify the perceived benefits, or otherwise, of placements and identify areas where activity can be further developed. It is hoped the first draft of the report will be available by the end of November.

Learning and Teaching Infrastructure

Planning is underway for the introduction of a further task addressing the requirement to develop an infrastructure capable of supporting changes in the way learning and teaching takes place. Social, technological and economic factors are influencing changes in learning and teaching methods. Technology can be utilized to 'connect' with students in a way with which they are familiar and understand and which makes learning and teaching more interesting and productive. Methods of study are becoming more diverse and flexible in response to the needs of students to balance study and paid employment and to accommodate lifelong learning. The project will look at current learning and teaching activities and the supporting infrastructure, both physical and technological and, consider how this might need to look in five years time in order to respond to change. For example laptops and wireless technology may reduce the need for drop–in computer laboratories; e-learning may provide an opportunity to utilise technology in line with traditional learning methods and more use might be made of mobile technology in a ubiquitous learning environment.

The Vision Project aims to develop a superior, purpose designed learning and teaching environment that rates as one of the best, if not the best, in the country. If you are reading this then you are a stakeholder in the project and your views and opinions are very much valued. Please get in touch with Scitech Vision Project Manager Tony Oliver, either by e-mail or telephone (ext. 94150) and let him have your contribution on either or both of the above activities.

ESPRC Funding Calls

EPSRC has recently issued the following calls for proposals:

AHRC-EPSRC Collaborative Research Studentships in Science and Heritage

Awards available to work with non-academic organisations in this area.

Walking and Cycling: For Sustainable and Healthy Communities

This is a call for expressions of interest to attend a three day workshop to develop cross-disciplinary research consortia in the area of walking and cycling.

Environmental Imaging Network Seminar

X-ray tomography: What it can (or can't) do for your research

X-ray tomography (commonly referred to in medicine as CT or CAT scanning) allows the non-invasive imaging of objects in either 2D or 3D. LEC's Environmental Imaging Network will host a talk on Monday 12 November 2007 that will illustrate the use of this technique, using examples taken from the new system in the Department of Environmental Science. The system is capable of 5 micron resolution and can image objects (at a lower resolution) of up to 75x150 mm in size.

Full details of this seminar, with example images, are posted on the EIN website.

Correction: New Academic Staff

Apologies are due to new lecturer in Biological Sciences Dr Andy Wilby, who was mistakenly named as Rob Wilby in the last bulletin.

Andy did his PhD at Imperial College's Silwood Park campus and post-doctoral research at Ben-Gurion University (Israel) and Imperial College. For the past three years he has been a Lecturer in Agriculture and Environment at the University of Reading.

Andy is a community ecologist specialising in the assembly of arthropod communities and the provision of ecosystem services in agricultural systems.