Students Staff

17 August 2018

STEM Building opens its doors

Filed under: Latest news — Heather Leathley @ 1:00 pm

The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Building is scheduled to start welcoming its new residents on Monday 20 August.

The five-storey building features state of the art facilities including

  • a 200-seat IT exploratory learning space
  • an exhibition space, laboratories
  • a new café, Byte
  • and a 180-seat wet lab for biological sciences students

Project Manager, Chris Woodman said “The new STEM building is a very exciting development for our Colchester Campus and promises to be a fantastic facility that will give our students the very best chance of success.

“It will transform Square 1 into a dedicated Science Square with new collaborative learning spaces and interdisciplinary teaching facilities – as well as social space to continue our outreach work with local schools”.

Paul Cavalier, Partner at Ingleton Wood, the property and consultancy project company which has been working on the project, added: “The building has been designed to meet the university’s environmental targets, helping to reduce the Colchester Campus’s carbon footprint”.

The roof will be fitted with photovoltaic solar panels to generate power for the whole building, while the basement will also house an energy efficient combined heat and power generator.

You can see more images on our flickr pages.


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Workshops to focus on improving the lives of people with dementia

Filed under: Latest news — Heather Leathley @ 10:25 am

Creative Arts Essex, a new interdisciplinary group set up at Essex to explore the connection between creativity, the arts and a healthy mind, has been shortlisted in the first national search for next generation products, technologies and services that could transform the lives of people with dementia.

Led by lecturer Dr Mary Kennedy and Marty Jacobs, Head of Technology Enhanced Learning in Human Resources, their project, Building Creative Communities, was shortlisted for the Essex Challenge Prize, set up by Essex County Council, which this year is focussing on dementia.  Two workshops have been set up  at Colchester and Southend to help take their project further.

Dr Kennedy of the School of Health & Social Care said: “Being creative and socially active has proven benefits for people living with dementia, helping them maintain a stronger sense of identity for longer. This, in turn, leads to better general health and wellbeing.”

Building Creative Communities builds on the work of dementia-friendly communities, bringing together people with dementia, students, academics and artists. This unique fusion of education and the arts aims to lead to a better understanding of dementia.

To further develop the project, the group has organised two interactive workshops to be held in the Essex Business School at the Colchester Campus on Tuesday 21 August and at the Southend Campus on Tuesday 11 September.

These workshops will provide a relaxed space for conversations about creativity, the arts and dementia find out how these things might play a role in improving the lives of people living with dementia in Essex. The feedback shared across both workshops will be used to shape the final business case which, if selected, could receivea further £100K in funding.

The workshops are open to anyone interested in creativity, the arts and/or dementia. The events are particularly targeted at people with dementia, family members and carers. We would encourage students, academic staff, artists and arts organisations to attend. Voluntary agencies, health and social care organisations and anyone working in dementia services are also welcome.

Attendance is free, but must be booked through Eventbrite.

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3 August 2018

The Business Hub puts Green Impact into action

Filed under: Latest news — Heather Leathley @ 11:02 am

Business Hub Administrator Julie Taylor explains how her team has embraced our Green Impact scheme.

Julie Taylor

Why did you want to get involved in the Green Impact scheme?

I joined the Southend Campus Green Impact Team as the representative from the Business Hub to see how we could support the scheme.

What have you achieved so far?

In the Business Hub we’ve been working with the tenants on a number of green initiatives.

  • We have phased out the use of plastic cups for water and we provide coffee mugs to encourage tenants to use the kitchen rather than go to a nearby coffee shop
  • Unwanted furniture is offered to other tenants and there is a recycling area in the post room for smaller unwanted office items such as stationery and electrical cables
  • We are always promoting cycling and using the train when tenants ask or complain about the local parking. Five of our tenants now regularly cycle and two use skateboards!

In the Business Hub office we’ve made a conscious effort to cut down on the amount of printing we do, and we are now archiving electronically. This has freed up space and also made searching for historical information easier.

What would be the next step you would like to take?

In the new academic year we are planning to encourage the tenants to get even more involved with green impact. We have our own thoughts about things they can do, but we want to see what ideas they have. We hold regular tenant networking events so we will use one of these to get the word out.

How do you approach sustainability at home?

I gave up driving about 20 years ago. My husband never learnt to drive so we don’t own a car (just imagine, 20 years of no tax and car insurance, no petrol money, and no car related bills!). I would love to say it’s because we are a super serious eco family, but for us it was purely a practical decision. Southend is so congested already, I wouldn’t even be able to get parked in my road after 8:00pm and its often quicker and less stressful to walk or ride to where we need to go. There is the added bonus that it keeps us fit and active so we save on gym membership too. My two daughters aged 15 and 10 don’t know any different so they embrace cycling and walking as part of their life.

We also get the milk delivered in bottles. It’s because I love the nostalgic sound of the glass bottles chinking in the morning but there is also an eco aspect.

What’s the easiest thing everyone can do to help our environment?

One of the things I think we are all guilty of is being attracted to convenience. Whether it be a takeaway coffee, quick drive to a shop, or food already in weighed out portions. It’s easy to challenge our view of choosing convenience and to make changes.

Has anything you have learnt through the Green Impact process surprised you?

I talk to people about Green Impact and they all think it a great idea. But they lack the confidence to sign up and get involved. They assume it’s all about the big ideas, whereas I share the thought that it’s the little things that make the difference and that people should be proud of what they can do.



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