Lancaster University

SciTech bulletin

LEC Reorganisation

Appointment of new Director of LEC

Graham Harris has been appointed as the new Director of LEC. Graham's current position is Director of ESE Systems Pty Ltd., Tasmania. Before moving to Tasmania Graham was Foundation Chief of Division for CSIRO Land and Water (1997-2001). His research specialisation is complexities of ecosystem analysis and management, with a particular emphasis on water and natural resource management and the link between land use change, ecosystem function, water quality, biogeochemistry and estuarine impacts. He has worked with Bill Davison, Louise Heathwaite and Phil Haygarth in the past and so already has established working links with Lancaster.

Graham is hoping to take up post from June this year.

Appointment of new Associate Directors to LEC management team

The following colleagues have recently been appointed as LEC Associate Directors:

Colin, Kirk and Kevin, along with Mark Bacon as Associate Director for Enterprise and Business Partnerships, will now join the proto-management group, as laid-out in the original Senate document. Clearly, this leaves the position of Associate Director for Resources unfilled for the time being. The responsibilities of that post will continue to be divided between the current HoDs, pending further discussions with the new LEC Director.

New Heads of Department

The Faculty of Science and Technology will have three new heads of department from 1 August 2008, with Nigel Davies, Malcolm Joyce and Garik Markarian, taking over as heads of their respective departments - Computing, Engineering and Communication Systems.

Ideas Festival 2008

The Management School's Leadership Centre will be the venue for the Lancaster Ideas Festival on Friday 18 April. The event showcases the latest ideas and research from Lancaster University, with speakers from across the university.

Talks from Science and Technology staff will include:

Superfluid He-3: A tabletop Universe
Shaun Fisher, Physics (10.40am)
Rethinking Discrimination
Susan Condor, Psychology (11.30am)
Finding Needles in Nuclear Haystacks
Malcolm Joyce, Engineering (1.45pm)
Abstract versus Precision: a clash of the Software Engineering Titans
Jon Whittle, Computing (2.45pm)
Quality of Service and Quality of Life - How Wireless Broadband Can Help
Garik Markarian, Communication Systems (3.15pm)

Everyone is welcome to attend - you are able to dip in and out of lectures as you please.

Equipment Funding Announcement

Out of a total of 1.8m available across the university, the faculty has been successful in securing 1.6m of research equipment funding for a two-year period. Specific allocations to departments will be made shortly.

Faculty Travel Grants

The travel grant funding for 2007/08 is now fully committed so no grants can be awarded for travel up to 31 July 2008.

If you are travelling after 1 August 2008 you can apply for a travel grant but this would count as your 2008/09 grant. Please contact Katherine Gill in the Faculty Office if you have any queries.

Funding Roundup

Some recently awarded grants for Science and Technology research:

Fundamental wave plasma processes

Farideh Honary & Mike Kosch Communication Systems STFC - 591,500

This grant is to investigate the interactions between waves and particles within the solar system. Such phenomena underlie physical processes such as formation of the relativistic radiation belts surrounding the Earth and the acceleration of auroral plasmas in the upper atmosphere. Since this research is directed towards the study of the near-Earth plasma environment, the results will be relevant to the design and operation of Earth-orbiting spacecraft utilised for a variety of applications (e.g. navigation, communication, meteorology, surveillance).

University Small Grant Awards

Faculty researchers have won 7 out of the 16 grants awarded under the University Small Grants Scheme. Total funding awarded to the faculty amount to 44,785 out of a total 77,404.

Congratulations to the following FST staff, whose applications were successful:

Dr Mike James, Alan Blackburn, Claire Deasy, Suzanna Ilic, Ian Marshall, Lyudmila Mihaylova, John Quinton, Stuart Robson, Paul Scholefield - Environmental Science - 6,980
An aerial imaging facility for remote sensing of environmental change
Dr Jos Barlow - Biology - 5,200
Assessing the social and environmental impacts of Amazonian cattle ranching
Dr Melissa Allen & Dr Karen Mattock - Psychology - 5,150
Cognitive differences in bilingual children: is there a symbolic advantage?
Dr Jim Wild - Communication Systems - 6,698
Developing the digital crystal ball
Dr Maria Rosa Menendez Martinez - Biology - 6,957
Understanding the ways in which climate change could threaten northerly disturbed species
Dr Francois Taiani - Computing - 6,800
A Quest for Comprehension: Mining Abnormal Software Behaviours
Dr Manus Hayne - Physics - 7,000
Novel memories based on self-assembled quantum dots

Funding Calls

EPSRC has recently issued the following call for proposals:

Enhancing Damage Tolerance through Materials Science - Call for Outline Applications

Call for outline proposals to study the properties of materials under high rate dynamic loading, with the aim of enhancing their damage tolerance.

News and Events

National Science and Engineering Week 2008

Over 200 pupils from six local schools attended various work shops and activities as part of National Science and Engineering Week in March.

All departments from within the Faculty of Science and Technology offered sessions aimed at enthusing year 10 and 11 students to remain interested in studying Science and Technology subjects at school.

The event was extremely well received and both teachers and pupils enjoyed the diverse sessions offered, whether learning how to take a classmate's blood pressure or why Lara Croft wouldn't exist without Maths!

Feedback from teachers was extremely positive:

"Thank you for a brilliant day the kids really enjoyed it and are now thinking of going into science at Uni which they weren't before"

"The students loved the day and came back buzzing about it. 'the best day ever!'"

Thanks to all departments for their efforts throughout the week.

LU News: Celebrating National Science and Engineering Week
LU News: Children from local schools joined student volunteers in celebrating National Science and Engineering week
Environmental Science Workshops for Local Schools

From LU News:

Research Contradicts Climate Change Sceptics

Scientists from Lancaster and Durham Universities have challenged the controversial idea that global warming is caused by cosmic rays rather than by human activity