News in brief
New look for an old favourite
If you think your copy of the Reporter looks different this month, you’re right. Over the past six months, work has been going on to develop a consistent design to be applied across the University’s communications. Staff, students and external companies were consulted and following approval by Senate, Council and the Vice-Chancellor’s Executive Group the design system is now University policy. This issue of the Reporter is the first to be produced in the new style.
At the same time, we have incorporated the staff newsletter (previously sent separately) within the body of the main publication and although the look of the Reporter may have changed, it will still cover the excellence of our research, high profile activities and issues affecting both staff and student communities.
For further information, see the identity management website
Inside the student mind
Book your place for the student support network conference on July 7. This year’s keynote speaker is director of marketing and development at Australia’s Edith Cowan University, Dr Lianne Cretney-Barnes.
The conference agenda includes student expectations under the new fees structure and how the focus of student support could change. Interactive workshops will offer an opportunity to share good practice and methods which can help Leeds offer an exceptional student experience.
For the full programme and an application form email Pam Clayton, email@example.com
Answers from space
One of the mysteries of the Murchison meteorite may have been solved by chemistry lecturer Dr Terence Kee. The meteorite which fell near the town of Murchison, Australia, in 1969 brought the first proof that extraterrestrial phosphorus may have played a key role in the origins of life.
However, researchers remained unsure of how these organic molecules had formed in space. Dr Kee thinks he has found an answer by creating the type of phosphorus found in the Murchison meteorite in simulated extraterrestrial conditions (see also Reporter 504 and 513). Dr Kee appears in the March issue of Chemical Science.
Knowledge transfer without widgets: the challenges of the creative economy will be the subject of this year’s Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce lecture by the Warden of Goldsmiths, University of London, Professor Geoffrey Crossick. Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Arthur will chair the event at 6pm on May 31 in Leeds University Business School’s lecture theatre. Free tickets are available from www.thersa.org/events or call 020 7451 6868
Boost for Innovation
The Higher Education Innovation Fund has recognised the importance of knowledge transfer (KT) at Leeds by awarding the University the maximum possible grant of £3m.
The money will be used to support activities which build on Leeds’ successful work with large companies and boost knowledge transfer with smaller companies and new sectors, such as creative arts and health. It’s hoped the funding will help the University make a bigger impact on the city and the region.
All nine faculties are drawing up their own plans for when the money arrives in August. The funding can be used to ‘buy out’ staff time for work on KT projects; ‘buy in’ extra staff and expertise; provide incentives for more staff to get involved; and will fund other resources and equipment needed. Cash will also help the start-up programme which helps graduates become self-employed and potentially create wealth for the city. Money will also go towards marketing the University’s potential, co-ordinating KT activities – and measuring their impact.
Back to the future
Leeds is to join the University of Iowa in a $2.5m research project funded by the US National Institute of Health to look at wear on replacement spinal discs. The project will involve a six-month secondment to Leeds from Iowa for Professor Tom Brown, whose background is in computational biomechanics. Professor Brown will work with Dr Richard Hall and Professors John Fisher and Eileen Ingham of the Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering. The Leeds team will carry out wear tests of replacement discs and analyse the biological impact of the debris created as the disc is worn down.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Arthur received the ‘gold award’ from Amity University in Delhi for his contribution to liver cell biology. He shared a platform with Nobel laureate Professor Sir Harry Kroto who also received an award from the University.
Colour chemistry lecturers Dr Mark Heron and Dr Christopher Gabbutt were specially commended for this year’s Royal Society of Chemistry teamwork and innovations award for their work on photochromics.
Law researcher Stefan Fafinski has been invited to give the Joseph Lister Award Lecture at the BA Festival of Science this September. His lecture, Computer says ‘no’: the social aspects of computer misuse, will look at what motivates people to hack, phish and spam other users and how these problems can be tackled.
Professor Vassili Toropov took up a chair in aerospace and structural engineering last month, a joint appointment in the schools of civil and mechanical engineering. He joins Leeds from Altair Engineering, one of the leading CAE software development and consulting companies. Professor Toropov’s research interests are multidisciplinary optimization, metamodelling, evolutionary optimization, computational mechanics and reliability analysis leading to a variety of aerospace, automotive, offshore and structural engineering applications.
Council and Court - vacancies
The University expects to make a small number of lay appointments to the Council and the Court - lay members are individuals who are neither employees nor students of the University. If you are interested in putting forward a nomination for these vacancies, please contact Helen Pickersgill in the Secretariat (0113 343 4036, H.J.Pickersgill@adm.leeds.ac.uk) so further details of the procedure may be sent to you in due course.
WUN way forward
Professor Sir Gareth Roberts has called on government to endorse and support the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) as a ‘successful academic network’ which can strengthen international collaboration in a new report on UK and US academic collaboration. The report is online at www.wolfson.ox.ac.uk/UK-US-Academic-Collaboration/
World Cup fever
With big screens, surround sound and great drinks promotions, the students’ union is the ideal place to watch this summer’s world cup.
The tournament kicks off on Friday June 9 - and you’ll be able to follow all the games on screens in the Old Bar. And when England are in action, starting with the Paraguay fixture on June 10, the games will be shown on the 12-foot giant screen in the union’s Stylus nightclub and two further big screens in the Old Bar.
World Cup drinks offers include four pints of Carling for a fiver and you can pre-order your half time food too.
Question time on campus
Leeds Social Sciences Institute will be launched on 21 June. In a ‘Question Time’ style event a panel including broadcasters Frank Gardner and Anne Atkins, Professor Bea Campbell, Labour MP Anne Cryer, Migration Watch UK’s Hazir Teimourian, the Guardian’s Martin Wainwright and Mohammed Aziz from Faithwise will debate themes of equality, diversity and security. Contact Alison Suckall, firstname.lastname@example.org for further information and details of how to book a place. A meeting with leading international academics to discuss these issues further follows on 22 June.