Students Staff

19 September 2017

Meet our new head of the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

Filed under: Latest news, People pages — Tags: — Communications Office @ 4:43 pm
Professor Anthony Vickers

Professor Anthony Vickers

Professor Anthony Vickers is our new Head of the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, so we thought we’d catch up with him and ask him about his new role.

How long have you worked at Essex and what roles have you had?
I have worked at the University for 32 years, in the Department of Physics, the Department of Electronic Systems Engineering, and now in the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (CSEE). I have held many academic positions within those departments, including Head of Department (ESE), Director of Education, as well as a University role as Head of Study Abroad.

What is the best thing about working at Essex?
I have always enjoyed working at Essex due to the friendly, cooperative, and professional way of colleagues across all areas.

What are your plans for the School?
The School is currently in a strong financial position with a rich portfolio of courses and research activities. The plans are to further strengthen our education and research excellence. We are currently recruiting new academic and professional service staff. Eleven new academic staff will have joined us during the Autumn term, with more due in spring and Summer. New professional service staff will strengthen our administration of degree apprenticeships and international partnerships. New, internationally competitive research and education laboratories are planned, including visualisation, neuro engineering, embedded systems, and games AI (artificial intelligence) laboratories. The School is introducing a new Week 2 for all first-year students as a transition week, with the emphasis on ‘build something wonderful’. This initiative is part of a larger initiative to encourage our students to focus on creativity and imagination, in the use of the skills they acquire with us.

What is your area of research/expertise?
My research activity is mainly in the physics of optoelectronic materials and devices, focusing on novel materials for photodetectors and Terahertz emitters/detectors. Photodetectors are the receiving element of fibre optic systems. Our research aims to develop new more efficient detectors to reduce costs and increase sustainability. Terahertz emitters and detectors are used in the development of instruments to study proteins for future drugs. The aim is to be able to design drugs, through simulation and experimental studies, to reduce drug costs and make them more widely available. I collaborate on this work with Dr Phil Reeves and Professor Chris Reynolds, from the School of Biological Sciences.

Tell us about any student achievements you are particularly proud of?
The School has an excellent record of providing students to the local, national, and international community, with a graduate destination record which has hovered around 90% for the last three years. The School is also proud its showcase Capstone Project Day at which over 30 company representatives see and discuss our students’ achievements, giving both students and company representatives, an insight into each other’s work. Finally our MSc and PhD students develop into our colleagues, with many of them taking research positions, either with us, or with other universities.

Describe in a sentence what makes CSEE special?
CSEE is a friendly School, with dedicated students and staff, all with a strong emphasis on creativity and imagination.

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12 September 2017

Curtain lifts on autumn season

Filed under: Latest news — Heather Leathley @ 3:36 pm

Clifftown Theatre is starting the autumn season with two thought-provoking productions, including a new play from an East 15 Acting School graduate.

Fringe First award winner at Edinburgh in 2016, Growth, written by Luke Norris, can be seen on Monday 2 October. It is a comic and touching production focussing on the taboo subject of testicular cancer.

Georgie de Suys (pictured below) only graduated from the BA World Performance course this summer, and this talented poet and playwright is back already with her new play To Finally Feel on Saturday 14 October.

The show, inspired by a family friend of Georgie’s, plots the dilemmna of a young male to female trans person trying to come to terms with her gender dysphoria. The cast includes the non binary trans actor Ed Zephyr.

The play has been supported by BBC TV actor Rebecca Root from BBC-2’s Boy Meets Girl and has been produced by trans actress and writer Simona Continente of TransEssex Theatre Project and Theatre Writers Workshop with support from Arts Council England and Southend Borough Council’s 125 Fund.

Tickets for both shows can be ordered on 01702 328335 or through the website

Georgie de Suys Oct 17 EW

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Fun at The Forum

Filed under: Latest news — Heather Leathley @ 10:07 am

Do you have a knack for knitting or a passion for painting, or wish you did? If so Fun Palaces at The Forum is for you.

The public library on the ground and first floor  is joining more than 300 Fun Palaces across the UK set to erupt with free and fun activities on the weekend of Saturday 7 October and Sunday 8 October , celebrating the fantastic culture in our Southend community.

Fun Palaces is a nationwide campaign to bring together the cultural skills of people in  local communities for people of all ages to learn and enjoy, and has previously included artists, scientists, theatre-makers, knitters, astronomers, magicians, gardeners, singers, conservationists, swimmers, dancers, theatre-makers, crafters and more, showcasing and sharing arts, science, technology, history, crafts, digital and sports.

Iona Farrell, senior Library assistant (Southend) at the University will be there all weekend. She said:  “I think it’s a brilliant thing to have in Southend. The University is part of the local community and it’s an opportunity for us all to do something different.”

If you have a skill you would like to share as a maker sign up here or if you have a burning desire to learn something new, enrol here.  If you would like any more information you can chat to Iona, who is based at the Info Point on the second floor of The Forum, or email her.

fun palaces small


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5 September 2017

5 reasons to cycle to work

Filed under: Latest news — ckeitch @ 3:00 pm

I live in Highwoods (four miles from our Colchester Campus) and have been cycling in since I started working at Essex a few years ago. Cycling isn’t an option for everyone of course, but if it’s ever crossed your mind, here are some reasons to consider it again…

5 reasons to cycle to work

  1. Save money– I’ve saved £483 so far in petrol and parking charges that I would have paid on the days I’ve cycled to work.
  2. Eat more biscuits– I burn 250 calories on the round trip. That’s five Maryland cookies, six jaffa cakes or seven rich teas. Or half a pie from the bus.
  3. University facilities– The univeristy is pretty good when it comes to supporting cycling. There’s plenty of cycle parking, plus changing rooms with showers down on Floor 3 under the Extra Store.
  4. It’s safer than you think– Once you start exploring, Colchester has a pretty decent network of cycle paths. I can get all the way from my house to the campus without having to cycle on the road at all.
  5. No more rush hour road rage – You’ll cycle as fast as you can. There’s no-one holding you up and no traffic jams!
An image of Sarah Allen.

Sarah Allen cycling on the beach








And the reasons not to sometimes

I don’t cycle every day. I drive when I’m doing the Tesco shop on the way home. I drive when it’s too cold. Or too wet. Or too windy. Or too hot. You don’t have to cycle every day – you can just do it on the days it works for you. Anything’s better than nothing!

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Here to serve

Filed under: Latest news — Heather Leathley @ 10:30 am

The Interserve team is now in charge of facilities management at the Southend Campus.

Interserve, which provides support services to businesses all over the world, is also working at the Loughton Campus and Knowledge Gateway, the research and technology park at the Colchester Campus.

Nigel Bradbrook, facilities management supervisor, Richard Stephenson, account manager and Agnes Warchol, contract manager, explained how they are here to help.

What parts of the campus are you responsible for?

Nigel: “The Interserve team will be looking after The Gateway Building, Clifftown and University Square, including cleaning, grounds maintenance and security as well as electrical, water and mechanical services. We all work together and muck in when necessary.”

“You will still see the CBRE staff in The Forum, which is covered by a separate partnership contract with Southend Borough Council and South Essex College.

Richard added: ”Interserve has a one team approach focused in making the customer and student experience as positive as possible by taking responsibility  for delivering excellent customer service.

How many employees do you have in Southend?

Nigel: “We have 17 cleaners in The Gateway Building and Clifftown. We also have a Security Manager with eight security officers as well as three on-site engineers. ”

Richard: “Security officers are on duty at University Square 24/7 and others are available at The Gateway Building and Clifftown until late each evening.”

What is your role?

Agnes: “I man the helpdesk and liaise with contractors. There’s something different happening every day here, so I am kept busy.”

Richard: “I manage the contract and  liaise with the University, but day to day we all work together and help each other out.”

Nigel: “I’m involved in all sorts of different tasks each day. I’m an electrician by trade but I have to say that this job is more varied.”

How does the cleaning rota work?

Nigel said: “The cleaning team do most of their work between 6.00 am and 8.30 am. We then have a couple of housekeepers here during the day and then a couple of additional cleaners during the evening.”

Do you have any advice for University of Essex staff?

Agnes: “Yes, the normal room temperature should be 19-21 degrees, if the temperature is higher or lower than please report it via Planet FM.  and please use the recycling bins around the campus and encourage students to do so.”

Interserve Daily

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1 September 2017

Bags of life

Filed under: Latest news — Heather Leathley @ 11:47 am

Cotton tote bags discovered during a summer tidy up on the Southend Campus are getting a new lease of life.

More than 100 bags, promoting previous University of Essex marketing campaigns, are being distributed around the kitchens in University Square by Accommodation Essex as they prepare for the new arrivals.

A suitable Green Impact message attached to each bag encourages students to use them when going shopping, instead of plastic bags, and to look out for other environmentally friendly ideas around the University.

Campus Manager Zoe Manning said: “CER kindly gave approval for the bags to be used as part of this Green impact promotion. We’re looking forward to seeing the bags out and about around the shops of Southend and to seeing a few less plastic shopping bags!”

Bags for life Spirit

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