Students Staff

30 May 2014

Key new role for Graham

Filed under: Latest news, People pages — Tags: , , — Communications Office @ 4:14 pm
Professor Graham Underwood

Professor Graham Underwood

Professor Graham Underwood has taken up a key new role at the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

As part of NERC’s new Strategic Programme Advisory Group, Professor Underwood will be involved in prioritising strategic research opportunities at NERC – the leading funder of independent research, training and innovation in environmental science in the UK.

Like his fellow members on the new advisory group, Professor Underwood was appointed due to his expertise in environmental science and is, therefore, well-placed to recognise emerging ideas and opportunities and make judgements across a range of scientific and policy issues.

Professor Underwood, who will continue as Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Health at Essex, said: “This is an exciting opportunity as it means we will be able to have the flexibility to identify the key strategic research areas, be able to respond to emerging events, and deliver funding more swiftly than ever before.”

NERC is currently funding a number of strategic projects involving scientists at the University’s School of Biological Sciences, including projects relating to biodiversity and ecosystems, rivers, and nutrient cycling in coastal seas

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24 March 2014

Students impress business community at open day

Filed under: Latest news, Student experience — Tags: , , — Communications Office @ 2:30 pm
Stephen Warne,  Managing Director of Karelia Networks Solutions, chatting to student Yana Sukhova.

Stephen Warne, Managing Director of Karelia Networks Solutions, chatting to student Yana Sukhova.

From technology to improve NHS patient care to novel home/office remote security systems, a wide range of ideas were showcased at a special event at the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering.

As part of the School’s Final Year Project Open Day, 116 students showcased their vision of the future with a variety of different projects including various apps for android devices and a 3D cart racing game. The event attracted several local companies as well as staff and students who all got the chance to speak to the students about their projects.

Karen Gooch, Faculty Employability Co-ordinator, said: “Feedback from employers has been incredibly positive, with many saying how impressed they were with the range of projects, and with the students themselves. Businesses really value seeing what our students are capable of. Last year several of our students were offered graduate jobs as a result of the Open Day, and we are hoping this year will also lead to successful careers for our graduates.”

 

 

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20 January 2014

Research round-up

Filed under: Latest news, Research impact — Tags: , , , , — Communications Office @ 3:10 pm
Dr Greg Brooke

Dr Greg Brooke

Research into creating a “designer” protein that could be effective at treating prostate cancer was just one of many top research stories to come out of Essex in the past week.

Working with colleagues at  Imperial College London, Dr Greg Brooke, from the School of Biological Sciences, is hoping to develop the protein into a treatment that could be trialled in patients within five years.

Other studies which received national coverage included research into what influences growth and decline in church attendances by the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER).

Quantitative sociologist Professor David Voas, based at ISER, carried out research into church attendances as part of the Church Growth Research Programme funded by the Church of England and his report was welcomed by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

New research from the Department of Government, shows that the changing fortunes of the British economy are having little impact on the popularity of the Coalition government.

Whereas evidence shows that when Labour was in office, support for the party was strongly influenced by the state of the economy – as was support for the Conservatives – all that has changed, with the current Coalition feeling none of the effects of a fairly rapid growth in economic optimism which has taken place since early 2013.

 

 

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3 January 2014

The Z factor

Filed under: Latest news, Research impact — Tags: , , , — Communications Office @ 3:03 pm
Dr Edd Codling with a zombie at ZombieLab

Dr Edd Codling with a zombie at ZombieLab

A unique experiment by the University involving zombies has been highlighted as one of the best public engagement activities in the UK over the past three years.

The research involved hundreds of people acting like zombies as part of a study into crowd evacuation techniques. Held during the three-day ZombieLab festival at the Science Museum in London, Dr Edd Codling and Dr Nikolai Bode were able to rapidly gather enough data from their ‘Horde’ crowd behaviour experiments to publish a scientific paper in a top journal.

This led to the researchers from the School of Mathematical Sciences being invited by the BBC to run a similar human crowd experiment, which involved students from East 15 Acting School and was featured on BBC Two’s Dara O’Briain’s Science Club.

The research has now been included in a new high-profile publication by Research Councils UK called Inspiration to Engage: Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research, which showcases compelling examples of public engagement practice across the higher education and research sectors. Launched in 2010, the Concordat sets out strategic principles to ensure that public engagement is valued, recognised and supported across the research and higher education sectors as a fundamental tool to increasing the impact research has on society and the economy.

Talking about the study, Dr Bode said: “Having large audiences interested in your work is incredibly motivating. It is very satisfying to feel that we have given something back and engaged people in science. Getting data was a bonus.” 

During the event at ZombieLab the participants were able to clearly see the link between the potential impact of the research by understanding human crowd behaviour and how this could feed into improved evacuation strategies from buildings.

 

 

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10 December 2013

Big Bang Fair comes to Essex

Filed under: Latest news, Research impact, What's on — Tags: , — Communications Office @ 1:39 pm

big_bang_logoOur Colchester Campus is gearing up to welcoming 950 students from Essex, Suffolk and east London next week to attend a special Big Bang Fair.

The all-day event on Monday 16 December will see the University showcasing a range of interesting activities and demonstrations focused on science, maths, engineering and computing.

Businesses have also been invited to showcase their work to the students, who are some of the brightest school science students in the region. The event has been organised by the University’s Outreach team, with support from the Faculty of Science and Health.

The wide range of activities planned for the event will highlight the University’s excellence in science research and will include demonstrations of collective crowd behaviour, as featured on Dara O Briain’s Science Club, coral reef and climate change research and how our brains function.

Due to the number of student visitors that day, staff and students are reminded that car park A on south campus will be closed off for coaches.

 

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25 November 2013

Get to know the Women in Science Network

Filed under: Latest news, What's on — Tags: , , , — Communications Office @ 3:30 pm

The newly-established Women in Science Network at Essex is holding a special event next week for members to meet their colleagues.

The Network was set-up to provide support, informal mentoring and networking opportunities to women of all career levels working in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM).

The session on Tuesday 3 December  from 12 noon to 1pm in the Tony Rich Teaching Centre will follow a “speed-dating” format to enable members to meet their colleagues in the Network, followed by a networking lunch. Those interested will need to book at place at this session.

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12 November 2013

Outstanding students celebrated at Dean’s List reception

Executive Dean Professor Graham Underwood with students

Executive Dean Professor Graham Underwood with students at the Dean’s List reception

Our talented students were invited to the first Dean’s List reception organised by the Faculty of Science and Health this week.

Many were even served drinks by their heads of department at the informal celebration which is part of our strategy to celebrate excellence at the University. Similar events are also being organised by other faculties to highlight the achievement s of their Dean’s List students.

The Dean’s List recognises current students who achieved high marks including Firsts and Distinctions in the previous academic year.

Executive Dean for the Faculty of Science and Health Professor Graham Underwood said: “It is great that we were able to celebrate the hard work and achievements of these excellent students.

“The evening was very enjoyable, with a combination of short talks, conversation and refreshments.  I enjoyed personally speaking to as many students as possible, and hearing their positive views of their courses and University life.”

During the evening staff gave presentations about their research work with Dr Edd Codling talking about the mathematics of cows, Professor Debi Roberson discussing her travels with a lightbox and Dr Matt Jones explaining what causes jetlag.

Staff supporting the event included Professor Christine Raines, Professor Maria Fasli, Professor Jo Jackson, Professor Sheina Orbell and Deputy Dean (Education) Dr David Penman.

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4 October 2013

Celebrating women in science

Filed under: Latest news — Tags: , , , — Communications Office @ 9:20 am

Following the University winning a Bronze award in the Athena SWAN Charter awards last month, we are establishing a Women in Science Network to provide support, informal mentoring and networking opportunities to women of all career

The University has won a Bronze award in the Athena SWAN Charter awards,

The University has won a Bronze award in the Athena SWAN Charter awards,

levels working in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM).

The Athena SWAN Charter recognises good employment practice for women working in STEMM in higher education and research http://www.athenaswan.org.uk/.

One of the actions from this award is to establish a Women in Science Network at the University to provide support, informal mentoring and networking opportunities to women of all career levels working in STEMM.

A special session has been organised on 22 October, from 12 noon to 1pm at the Tony Rich Teaching Centre to give an overview of the Athena SWAN Charter, introduce the Women in Science Network and provide an opportunity to give feedback and ideas. A light sandwich lunch will be provided.

To book at place at this session please visit: https://www2.essex.ac.uk/ldev/booking_public/615.asp

 

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27 September 2013

University honoured for promoting gender equality

Filed under: Latest news — Tags: , , , , — Communications Office @ 3:35 pm

The University of Essex has been honoured for its commitment to help advance women’s careers in STEMM subjects (science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine).

The University has won a Bronze award in the Athena SWAN Charter awards,

The University has won a Bronze award in the Athena SWAN Charter awards,

Essex has been successful in gaining a Bronze university award in the Athena SWAN Charter awards, which recognises commitment to advancing women’s careers in STEMM academia. The honour is in recognition that Essex, across the whole institution, has a solid foundation for eliminating gender bias and developing an inclusive culture that values all staff.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Anthony Forster, said: “We are delighted that our commitment to achieving a significant improvement in women’s representation and career progression in STEMM subjects has been recognised. This is an important step for the University and we are keen to build on the momentum gained by achieving this award. We will be working to identify and address challenges faced by particular disciplines within STEMM subjects and we are also participating in the Equality Challenge Unit’s Gender Charter Mark trial which extends the principles of Athena SWAN to the arts, humanities and social sciences.

“I am personally committed to improving the gender balance across the University and see equality and diversity as a mainstream, essential activity of this University. It is what the University stands for in providing a fair and open environment for staff and students.”

Having achieved this award, the next step is for individual departments/schools within the Faculty of Science and Health to apply for their own awards in recognition of the specific work they are doing to promote gender equality and address challenges particular to their discipline.

To qualify for the award, the University had to demonstrate that it had a solid foundation for eliminating gender bias and developing an inclusive culture that values all staff. The University then had to develop an action plan to promote gender equality.

 

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16 September 2013

New books by Essex academics

Filed under: Latest news — Tags: , , , , , , — Communications Office @ 4:03 pm
Front cover of The Blunders of our Governments

Front cover of The Blunders of our Governments

Leading politicians have heaped praise on The Blunders of Our Governments by Professor Anthony King from the Department of Government and former Vice-Chancellor at Essex and now Master of University College, Oxford, Professor Sir Ivor Crewe.

Human Rights and Democracy: The Precarious Triumph of Ideals by Executive Dean for the Faculty of Social Sciences Professor Todd Landman, published by Bloomsbury, examines how democracy and human rights were embraced by people across the world during the 20th century − described by some as the bloodiest century in the history of humankind.

Adorno’s Practical Philosophy, Living Less Wrongly Dr Fabian Freyenhagen from the School of Philosophy and Art History, published by Cambridge University Press, seeks to defend Adorno from the common assumption that his philosophy has no practical import or coherent ethics, and that he is too negative, by reconstructing and defending Adorno’s practical philosophy.

Surveying the American Tropics, A Literary Geography from New York to Rio, published by Liverpool University Press, is edited by Professor Peter Hulme, Professor Maria Cristina Fumagalli and Dr Owen Robinson from the the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, along with Dr Leslie Wylie from the University of Leicester, and brings together essays by distinguished scholars, including the late Neil Whitehead, Richard Price, Sally Price, and Susan Gillman

The contributions engage with the idea of a literary geography of the “American Tropics”, a kind of extended Caribbean that includes the southern USA, the Atlantic littoral of Central America, the Caribbean islands, and northern South America.

Palgrave Macmillan has published Expatriates in China: Experiences, Opportunities and Challenges by Dr Ilaria Boncori from the International Academy. Her book explores the world of Western expatriates in the Chinese business context through the author’s first-hand experience as an expatriate in conjunction with testimonials from interviewees. The study looks at all the factors which can affect Western expatriates and their performance including recruitment, culture shock, work practices, and repatriation.

Alfred Russel Wallace: Explorer, Evolutionist, Public Intellectual by Professor Ted Benton has been published by Siri Scientific Press. The book explains how Russell was a fearlessly critical public intellectual who campaigned for land nationalisation, environmental conservation, the rights of colonised peoples and the emancipation of women. He independently developed the theory of evolution by natural selection, but his work has been overshadowed by Darwin.

If you would like to highlight a recently published book in Essex Daily please e-mail: comms@essex.ac.uk.

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