Lancaster University

SciTech bulletin

Third Faculty Lecture for 2007/08

The third lecture of the year - 'Information security-where computer science, economics and psychology meet' will be given by Professor Ross Anderson on Wednesday 12 March at 4pm in the Biology Lecture Theatre.

Ross Anderson is Professor of Security Engineering at the University of Cambridge and has been one of the founders of the study of information security economics.

All faculty members are invited to attend this lecture, please add the date to your diary!

Communication Skills and Media Training

Under the auspices of the Royal Society, the faculty is delighted to offer one-day communication skills and media training courses exclusively for academic staff in Science and Technology. Both sessions will be delivered in April and May 2008 by Judith Hann and John Exelby who have run tailored sessions for PPARC (now STFC), NERC and EPSRC as well as Rutherford Appleton Laboratories and Durham University.

These courses provide training to all scientists to ensure they are equipped with the skills needed to communicate with a variety of audiences, whether it be students and scientists from other disciplines, or the media and public.

Dr Jim Wild (Communication Systems) took part in both of these training courses at the Royal Society's London HQ in 2006. He describes them as "The best training courses I have been on. I've recommended them to everyone I work with".

16 April 2008: Communication Skills Training (12 places)

The Communication skills course equips scientists with the skills to communicate their work on a non-technical level, clearly and confidently to a wide range of audiences. From the course, participants will get:

21 May 2008: Media Training (8 places)

This course focuses specifically on the skills needed when communicating with the media. A hands-on approach, including real film crew, takes scientists with a basic knowledge of the media and increases their skills and confidence in preparing for radio and television interviews and in approaching the print media with news stories and features. From the course, participants will get:

Who Can Apply?

Both sessions are open to all academic staff in the faculty but places are limited because of the personalised nature of the training. To apply for one or both of these sessions, please provide a statement (no longer than one side of A4) outlining why you want to attend, and what benefit you and your department will get from doing so.

Please send this to Lucy Thorne by Friday 14 March 2008. If more applications are received than either session has capacity for, decisions will be taken by the Deans Group.

SciTech Administrative Development Programme

The second session of the SciTech Administrative Development Programme will be held on Tuesday 11 March, from 12.30-2.00pm in the Senior Common Room, Fylde. The session will focus on the topic of 'dealing with difficult situations'.

The session will allow colleagues to share examples of situations they find difficult to handle, and explore why this might be the case. The different problems arising from dealing with people in person, via email and over the phone will be discussed and this workshop style session will offer some tools for improving the way situations are handled.

The session will be informal and held over lunch and will be facilitated by Jean Bennett, Staff Development Centre.

This session is for any administrative member of staff in the faculty.

Please contact Lucy Thorne by Monday 3 March if you wish to attend.

SciTech Image Competition 2007/08

The Faculty of Science and Technology is running a competition for staff and students to gather images and articles to use in publicity material. There will be a first prize of 100 in each of two categories, with up to five additional merit prizes of 50 to be awarded at the discretion of the judges.

The categories are:


This category is open to faculty researchers and postgraduate research students. We're looking for:

University Life

This category is open to all staff and students in the faculty. We're looking for:

For both categories we're looking for high-resolution digital images (at least 800 pixels across). The deadline for entries will be during Summer Term. Guidelines for submitting an entry will be published soon. For details of the competition rules go to

Last Chance to Apply for 2007/08 Research Grants

The deadline for applications for Faculty Research Grants is Friday 14th March.

Awards of up to 1,000 are available to fund proposals which enhance the research reputation, raise the visibility or optimise the esteem indicators of the faculty.

For more information go to

News and Events

Seminar: Physics approaches to the cardiorespiratory system

Friday 22 February 2008, 3.00-4.00pm, C1 Physics Building

All are welcome to attend this talk from Physics' Alireza Bahraminasab.

From LU and Faculty News:

National Postgraduate Statistics Centre opened

Subjects as diverse as criminology and cancer will be studied at Lancaster University's new Postgraduate Statistics Centre

Halting armyworm rampage with biological pesticide

Lancaster University scientists are investigating a naturally occurring virus which could cut down the African Armyworm population, preventing crop damage in the developing world

European research project to shape next generation internet TV

Lancaster University is part of P2P-Next, a pan-European conglomerate that will explore the potential uses of peer-to-peer technology for internet television

Have Humans Brought About a New Geological Epoch?

Recent human activity has altered the geological record so fundamentally that a new name, 'The Anthropocene', should be adopted for the time interval starting about 200 years ago

Researchers develop 'smart tags' for modern workplace

Researchers at Lancaster University are developing a new generation of 'smart tags' to help keep workers safe on construction sites