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02-2006 Press Releases

28/02/2006: Queen's ceremony rewards international work experience
27/02/2006: Queen's honours eminent Malaysian graduate
27/02/2006: Rare glimpse of life on the Shankill and Falls in 1911 now available online
24/02/2006: Queen's University School of Nursing and Midwifery runs new immediate life support course
22/02/2006: "The women of Riddel Hall" celebrated at book launch
21/02/2006: Public Enquiries lecture to be given at Queen's by the Honourable Peter Cory
21/02/2006: Universities Announce Saint Patrick's Day Festival
21/02/2006: Bob Sloan - 'Early Drawings: Recent Sculptures'
21/02/2006: Queen's honours eminent graduate during high-profile visit to Malaysia
15/02/2006: Royal reward for Queen's world-leading pollution solution
14/02/2006: Queen's research partnership with local company develops novel pharmaceutical product
13/02/2006: Law, crime and punishment in Bloomsday Dublin explored at Queen's University by Irish Supreme Court Judge
13/02/2006: Sir Allen McClay CBE, to open new £1.25million Laboratory of Biological Chemistry at Queen's
10/02/2006: Equality and Social Inclusion in the 21st century explored at international conference in Belfast
08/02/2006: Queen's University awarded Fairtrade status
07/02/2006: How can schools promote equality?
07/02/2006: Professor's role in major study of risk capital investment in Scotland
06/02/2006: How to disappear - student performance in Queen's Drama and Film Centre
06/02/2006: Queen's University and the Cormac Trust supply primary schools with life saving training materials
03/02/2006: Belfast Telegraph Lectures at Queen's look towards 'tomorrow's world'
02/02/2006: Queen's Professor elected Fellow of the Irish Academy of Engineering
02/02/2006: Manufacturing guru Lord Bhattacharyya to lecture at Queen's



01/02/2006: Hundreds of school children to benefit from 2006 Medics in Primary School scheme

Queen's ceremony rewards international work experience

Nearly 190 Queen’s University students who gained workplace experience in companies around the world will take part in a special ceremony on Wednesday 01 March.

 

The event is the 11th City & Guilds presentation ceremony at Queen’s, bringing the total number of candidates who have received Senior Awards to 1,300.

 

This year’s students will receive their City & Guilds Senior Awards at Licentiateship level for skills and competencies gained during work placements in Northern Ireland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Luxembourg, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland and the United States.

 

The awards are administered by the University’s Senior Awards Office at the School of Education, whose Head, Professor Tony Gallagher, said: “This year sees a record number of certificates presented since we started delivering these awards.”

 

“It is a point of pride for us that we were one of the first universities in the UK to become involved in the scheme, and we feel it is an investment that has yielded rich returns. Those who gain the award today follow in an honourable tradition but, more importantly, they are taking a step towards a brighter future for themselves.”

 

The scheme is based on the recognition of competence and achievement through a combination of education, training and work-based experience, and it provides a progressive vocational route to higher level qualifications.

 

The undergraduates will receive their Licentiateship (LCGI) Awards in Aeronautical Engineering, Agricultural Technology, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Finance and Accounting, Food Science and Technology, Information Technology, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, and Structural Engineering with Architecture.

 

"Lecturers into Industry" programme

 

Seven Senior Awards at the highest level will be presented to lecturers in further and higher education who took part in the ‘Lecturers into Industry’ programme. This scheme offers lecturers the opportunity to review current workplace practices and to embed new ideas and integrate business skills into the higher education curriculum.

 

Among those receiving this award will be Dr Joe Allen, the first member of Queen’s staff to receive this qualification.

 

A Teaching Fellow in the School of Education, Dr Allen, whose placement was with Belfast e-Learning company Synergy Learning, is involved in the delivery of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the area of Work-Based Learning.

 

He said: “I found my participation in the ‘Lecturers into Industry’ scheme to be particularly valuable in terms of the benefits which I can pass on to my students. These students are in full-time employment and as part of their assessment are involved in work-based project and portfolio development.

 

“I came to academia from the world of business and am well aware of the need for employees in both the private and public sectors to acquire a range of work-based skills. The experience which I gained from my placement, with its emphasis on innovation in course delivery and content, will significantly enhance the quality and relevance of the overall learning experience for my students.”

 

A further 20 academics at Queen’s are due to complete their placements. The ‘Lecturers into Industry’ scheme is funded by the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) and is co-ordinated by the Learning and Skills Development Agency (LSDA) for lecturers within further and higher education colleges, and by the Queen’s University’s Regional Office.

 

For further information please contact:

 

Marc Forte: 028 9097 5260

Anne Langford: 028 9097 5310

 

Notes for Editors:

 

The ceremony will take place in the Sir William Whitla Hall on Wednesday 01 March 2006, starting at 2.00pm and ending at 4.30pm. Senior Pro-Chancellor Brenda McLaughlin will preside at the event and the guest speaker will be Dr Philip Riseborough, Head of Higher Qualifications and Awards at the City & Guilds of London Institute. Media facilities will be available.

 

The lecturers who took part in the ‘Lecturers into Industry’ initiative came from Queen’s University Belfast (School of Education), Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education, Fermanagh College, North East Institute of Further amd Higher Education, Omagh College and Upper Bann Institute of Further and Higher Education. They will receive Membership Awards in e-Learning, Engineering, Health and Social Care, Hospitality and Tourism and Software Engineering.

 

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Queen's honours eminent Malaysian graduate
The Vice-Chancellor and honorary graduate Dr Rafiah Salim
The Vice-Chancellor and honorary graduate Dr Rafiah Salim

Queen's University Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson with graduate Datuk Rafiah Salim, former Assistant Secretary General for Human Resources Management at the United Nations, on whom the University conferred an honorary degree at a special graduation ceremony in Malaysia on Saturday.

Rafiah Salim was conferred with an honorary doctorate of the University for services to alumni relations. A Queen's law graduate, she is currently Executive Director and CEO with the International Centre for Leadership in Finance in Kuala Lumpur. Currently Vice-President of the Queen's University Association of Malaysia, she has played a key role in the restructuring and expansion of the University's global graduate network.

The conferment of the honorary degree was the highlight of the Vice-Chancellor's visit to Malaysia. The trip, organised in conjunction with the Queen's University Association in Malaysia (QUAM), aimed to forge closer links between the University and Malaysia, which is home to the largest number of Queen's graduates outside the United Kingdom and Ireland.

For further information, please contact: Anne Langford, Corporate Affairs Officer, Queen's University Belfast, 028 9097 5310

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Rare glimpse of life on the Shankill and Falls in 1911 now available online
The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Wallace Browne and Professor Liam Kennedy of the School of History of Queen's, pictured in the Linen Hall Library at the launch of the www.belfastfamilyhistory.com website.
The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Wallace Browne and Professor Liam Kennedy of the School of History of Queen's, pictured in the Linen Hall Library at the launch of the www.belfastfamilyhistory.com website.

Leading Queen's University historian, Professor Liam Kennedy, is behind a new website which offers a unique glimpse of life in Belfast before the Great War and Partition. The website, launched today by the Lord Mayor of Belfast, offers a fascinating insight into the life of residents living in the Shankill and Falls wards of West Belfast in 1911.

Created by BelFam, (The Belfast Family and Community History group), under the direction of Professor Kennedy, of the School of History at Queen’s University, www.belfastfamilyhistory.com contains the names, addresses, occupations, religion, marital status, number of children, place of birth and housing conditions of more than 30,000 people, who were living in the Falls and the Shankill wards of West Belfast in 1911.

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund NI, the core of the website is provided by the original forms from Census Night, Sunday 02 April, 1911. The handwritten records are amongst the richest sources available to local historians.

Users of the new website can choose to search for a particular person, individual addresses or use the advanced search facility to select attributes and view them for each person in a street. The site also provides the facility to compare information on one household from that time, with those in other streets. House size, type of house, number of rooms, literacy levels, the number of sick, languages spoken and religious denomination are just some of the statistics available.

Speaking about the project, Professor Kennedy said: "The cultural heritage of Belfast is more complex than many of us imagine and now, via our new website, it is possible to see the great similarities between Protestant and Catholic working class families and indeed the extent to which their residence patterns intermingled.

It is fascinating to discover how, in a way barely imaginable nowadays, some streets in West Belfast, particularly in the Grosvenor Road area, were shared by both Protestants and Catholics. Protestants lived on and off the Falls areas and likewise Catholics lived on and off the Shankill area. Some households in the areas also contained both Protestants and Catholics.

The project itself involved Queen's working closely with community groups and we would encourage a wide variety of people and groups to use this resource, which is free, in order to discover many more absorbing facts about their ancestors and their area".

Congratulating BelFam on the website project, Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Wallace Browne, added: "We must be grateful to Queen's University for working in partnership with voluntary organisations in order to help deepen our appreciation of the past and our shared cultural heritage. Belfast Family and Community History are to be congratulated on this initiative as is the Heritage Lottery Fund for supporting it.

As well as a means of helping people in Belfast explore their family history, this website is a means of linking into the wider diaspora. People can now explore their family history from the comfort of their homes and offices from anywhere in the world, be it Cairo or Carryduff, Tandragee or Toronto. By stimulating interest in their hometown, I feel this website will prompt many people to visit Belfast".

Explaining the importance of the website, Primrose Wilson, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund said, "This is a unique and innovative project that offers people a rare insight into life in 1911. It's fascinating to see how much has changed in the last 100 years not just in housing conditions and the size of our families, but to understand that many communities share a common history perhaps more than we would initially think. I would urge everybody to make the most of this wonderful resource."

For those wishing to explore the social past in greater depth, information on areas such as marriage patterns, family size, migration, housing conditions, religious denominations and occupational structure, is also available to community groups, educational institutions and local history from BelFam. Those wishing to avail of the service should contact Eddine at n.khaoury@qub.ac.uk

For further information, please contact: Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office, 028 9097 5384

Media Opportunites will be available in the Linen Hall Library (Governor's Room) at 11.30am on Monday 27 February.

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Queen's University School of Nursing and Midwifery runs new immediate life support course
Students from the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Queen's participating on the newly introduced Immediate Life Support Course(ILS). The Queen's School is one of only three within a UK university to be recognised by the United Kingdom Resuscitation Council as an ILS course centre.
Students from the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Queen's participating on the newly introduced Immediate Life Support Course(ILS). The Queen's School is one of only three within a UK university to be recognised by the United Kingdom Resuscitation Council as an ILS course centre.
Students from the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Queen's participating on the newly introduced Immediate Life Support Course(ILS). The Queen's School is one of only three within a UK university to be recognised by the United Kingdom Resuscitation Council as an ILS course centre.
Students from the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Queen's participating on the newly introduced Immediate Life Support Course(ILS). The Queen's School is one of only three within a UK university to be recognised by the United Kingdom Resuscitation Council as an ILS course centre.

The School of Nursing and Midwifery at Queen's University Belfast has become one of only three schools within a UK university to be recognised by the United Kingdom Resuscitation Council as a course centre for the Immediate Life support Course (ILS).

The ILS course aims to provide candidates with the knowledge and skills to recognise and treat the acutely ill patient before cardiac arrest. It also provides the essential knowledge and skills to manage a patient in cardiac arrest for the short time before the arrival of the team.

A team of teaching fellows and lecturers within the School agreed to pilot the introduction of the ILS course in the undergraduate nursing programme.

"The pilot study was organised in conjunction with the Resuscitation Department at The Royal Hospital Trust, Belfast, as this Trust is a current registered Course Centre with the UK Resuscitation Council," explains Professor Jean Orr, Head of the Queen's School of Nursing and Midwifery.

"Third year nursing students, who had completed a range of placements and were embarking on further hospital based placements as senior students, were included in the study. The aim was to introduce these nursing students to the concepts of life support by ensuring that they undertake the UK Resuscitation Council Immediate Life Support Course.

"The evaluations from the students acknowledged the need for the course in the undergraduate nursing curriculum citing it as extremely beneficial in helping them to recognise the signs and symptoms leading to a cardiac arrest," Professor Orr added.

The School of Nursing and Midwifery at Queen's now has three ILS instructors and, from now on, all undergraduate nursing students (adult branch) will undertake the ILS course. This will bring future benefits not only to health service employers but to the population at large.

For further information, please contact: Dr Marian Traynor, School of Nursing and Midwifery, 028 9097 5819; or, Marketing, Recruitment and Communications, 028 9097 3087

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"The women of Riddel Hall" celebrated at book launch

A new book celebrating a unique hall of residence for female students in Belfast and the more than 1,000 women who lived there will be launched this evening (Wednesday).

"Pioneering Women: Riddel Hall and Queen's University Belfast" by Dr Gillian McClelland with Dr Diana Hadden, published by the Ulster Historical Foundation, provides a fascinating glimpse of life in this imposing red-brick building from its opening in 1915 until its closure in 1975.

Queen's Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor John Mann, who will be speaking at the launch, said: "This book tells the story of a building which holds a special place in the history of Queen's.

"Riddel Hall opened at a time when higher education for women was in its infancy. Queen's University was one of the first universities to accept women and the Hall was founded and endowed in 1915 by the Misses Eliza and Isabella Riddel, youngest daughters of hardware merchant John Riddel, for female students.

"During its 60 years as a student dwelling, the Hall's residents lived through times of major upheaval, including the Second World War and far-reaching changes in women's social and professional lives.

"This book is more than a history, a mere reciting of dates and facts. It is not only a well-written narrative or a thoroughly researched factual publication, although it is both of these things. It is an intriguing social history covering two-thirds of the 20th century which offers an absorbing insight into the world of the pioneering Riddel girls. It is a fitting tribute to them."

For further information, please contact: Anne Langford, 028 9097 5310

Note:
"Pioneering Women: Riddel Hall and Queen's University Belfast" will be launched in Riddel Hall, Stranmillis Road at 6.30pm on Wednesday 22 February. Media facilities will be available.

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Public Enquiries lecture to be given at Queen's by the Honourable Peter Cory

'Public Enquiries: the good, the bad and the ugly' is the title of what promises to be a stimulating public lecture to be given at Queen's University Belfast on Wednesday 22 February by the Honourable Peter Cory.

The lecture will be given as part of the prestigious annual MacDermott lecture series arranged by the School of Law at Queen's.

Canadian Justice Cory, who was born in Windsor Ontario, retired in 1999 from the Supreme Court of Canada after a very distinguished career. He was involved in a series of landmark cases on interpretation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which encompassed criminal, family, constitutional, commercial, labour, administrative and common law. Peter Cory was made Companion of the Order of Canada in 2002 and is currently the 11th Chancellor of York University.

In 2002, Justice Cory was appointed commissioner, by the governments of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, to investigate six controversial murder cases. His report to the Irish and United Kingdom governments, urged judicial inquiries into several of the cases.

Commenting on the visit to Queen's University by the Honourable Peter Cory, Professor John Morison, Head of the School of Law said: "We are very pleased and honoured to have such an eminent jurist give this important lecture. The MacDermott Lecture is given annually by an invited speaker and hosted by the School of Law at Queen's University Belfast in honour of Lord MacDermott. Lord MacDermott was appointed directly from the High Court in Northern Ireland to the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords, before returning to Northern Ireland to be a very distinguished Lord Chief Justice."

Lord MacDermott defined the scope of the lecture series in the following terms:

"… I feel that these lectures should deal, not so much with the law in its technical or academic aspect, as with its impact on the prosperity and influence of our nation as a community, and on the progress and happiness of its citizens. We know from the history of law and its institutions that the vitality and fortunes of a people are closely linked with the quality of their laws and can ebb and fail if these cease to be effectual or to serve the requirements of the society they purport to rule. And knowing that, it is only prudent that we should from time to time scrutinize the health and condition of our principal legal concepts and mark any trend or sign which might injure or imperil the common weal."

The public lecture will begin at 5.30pm on Wednesday 22 February in the Larmor Lecture Theatre, new Physics building, at Queen's University Belfast. All are welcome and admission is free.

For further information, please contact: Professor John Morison, School of Law, 028 9097 3452; or Communications Office, 028 9097 3087

NOTE:
Media opportunities will be available with Professor John Morison and Justice Cory at 4.00pm in Room 101, Lanyon North (up the stairs by Communications signed area)

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Universities Announce Saint Patrick's Day Festival
Pro-Vice-Chancellor Gerry McCormac and Lucy Kerr, a 1st year Music student at Queen's, help announce the launch of the first ever St Patrick's Day Festival from Queen's University and University of Ulster.
Pro-Vice-Chancellor Gerry McCormac and Lucy Kerr, a 1st year Music student at Queen's, help announce the launch of the first ever St Patrick's Day Festival from Queen's University and University of Ulster.
Paddy Wallace, a member of Queen's Soccer Club and Joanne Grant, a 1st year Music student at Queen's, help announce the launch of the first ever St Patrick's Day Festival from Queen's University and University of Ulster.
Paddy Wallace, a member of Queen's Soccer Club and Joanne Grant, a 1st year Music student at Queen's, help announce the launch of the first ever St Patrick's Day Festival from Queen’s University and University of Ulster.

Queen's University and the University of Ulster today announced details of a Saint Patrick's Day Festival aimed at providing students and residents with a range of events to celebrate the holiday. The Festival, which will run from Wednesday 15 - Friday 17 March, will offer a programme of social, cultural, sporting, entertainment and spiritual events, for students and residents of South Belfast.

The first event of its kind in Northern Ireland, the Festival stems from a commitment by both universities that the St Patrick's Day holiday should be marked by a series of positive, inclusive activities to help enhance community relations.

Among the headline acts performing at the Festival will be Celebrity Big Brother favourite Preston and the rest of his Ordinary Boys. Recorded by BBC Radio Ulster for subsequent broadcast on Across The Line, the Brighton band's gig will top the bill on St Patrick's night in the Mandela Hall, while the evening before top comedians Ed Byrne and Jason Byrne will raise the roof in the Whitla Hall.

The Festival will also be providing a new addition to the traditional Saint Patrick's Day sporting calendar on the Thursday and Friday. Both individuals and teams are being invited to renew rivalries and participate in a variety of events such as Shamrock Superstars, Dodgeball, Trampolining and Watersports, as well as 5-A-Side Soccer and Gaelic Football 7's. Enrolment forms and information for all the sporting activities, which will take place at UUJ and Queen's, are available at www.qub.ac.uk/pec/stpatricksfestival.

Speaking about the Festival, Professor Gerry McCormac, Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Queen's University and Chair of the St Patrick's Festival Steering Group said: "This Festival is a tangible example of our determination that St Patrick's Day be celebrated as it should be, a Holy Day and a holiday. Both Universities are committed to tackling student anti-social behaviour and this is demonstrated in a range of programmes that have been introduced over the last 12 months. This Festival is providing students with an opportunity to celebrate the day in a sensible and fun manner. We would appeal to all students to enjoy themselves but in a way that respects their neighbours".

Professor Bill Clarke, University of Ulster Provost (Belfast and Jordanstown) added: "The festival is a tangible demonstration of the co-operative and pro-active approach adopted by the two Universities to help promote good community relations in south Belfast. It offers an exciting and wide-ranging programme of events and I am confident that both students and long term residents will find something to enjoy".

Endorsing the Festival on behalf of students, Colleen Dowdall, overall UUSU President said: "I hope all University of Ulster students will support this first St Patrick's Day Festival designed for students and residents of South Belfast. I am confident that there is something for all students to enjoy whether it is a social, cultural, sporting, entertainment or spiritual event within the programme. With the students support we can make this first festival such a success that it will become an annual event."

Ben Preston, President of Queen's Students' Union added: "This Festival is the first of its kind for students and was arranged in full partnership with student representatives. We are asking for the support of all students at Queen’s and University of Ulster, to make the Festival an annual and successful occasion. With such a top class programme, I hope the only problem students will have this Saint Patrick’s Day will be deciding on what sports event to participate in and which gig to attend".

Other activities on offer to both students and residents during the Festival include two days of free art workshops in the Black and White Hall and Classic Irish Films at the QFT for only £1. A range of spiritual services will also run throughout the Festival, beginning with multi-denominational discussion events in Clonard Monastery and City Church on the Wednesday evening. An estimated 200 international students will enjoy a St Patrick's Supper and Ceilidh organised by Fisherwick Presbyterian Church on Saint Patrick's night.

A free late night minibus service from outside Queen's Students' Union has been organised by the Festival Committee in order to help students get home quickly and safely. It will run on both the Thursday and Friday night of the Festival. Tickets and details of the various events are available from Queen's University Students' Union or online from www.qubsu-ents.com. Full Festival details are available at www.qub.ac.uk/StPatricksFestival or in the Festival brochure, kindly sponsored by W&G Baird Ltd, printers of the programme.

Notes:
Media opportunities are available from 10.00am, with the official launch beginning at 10.30am, at the QFT, 20 University Square, Belfast. Those available for interview will include representatives from Queen's University, University of Ulster, both Students' Unions, Residents of the Holyland area and the PSNI.

For further information please contact: Lisa Mitchell, Queen's Communications Office, 28 9097 5384 or David Young, University of Ulster Press Office, 028 9036 6074.

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Bob Sloan - 'Early Drawings: Recent Sculptures'

Previously unseen drawings from Bob Sloan, one of Ireland's most interesting and imaginative artists, will be amongst the exhibits in "Early Drawings: Recent Sculptures", which will run at the Naughton Gallery at Queen's University, Belfast, from Tuesday 22 February to Saturday 01 April.

As well as the drawings, which date from the 1960s, the artist's first solo exhibition since 2000 will include sculptures created between 1999 and 2006. The event provides a fascinating insight into Sloan's intriguing approach to the creation of his playful and inventive work and with many of the pieces for sale, gives visitors the opportunity to acquire a work for their own collection.

Bob Sloan was born in Belfast and studied at the Art College, Belfast and Central Schools of Arts and Crafts, London. Academician and twice gold medallist of the Royal Ulster Academy, in 2003 Sloan was the only sculptor in the whole of Ireland to be elected to the Royal Society of British Sculptors. For many years he taught at the Art College in Belfast, now part of the University of Ulster.

Much of his work is autobiographical and this exhibition includes drawings of views of Belfast landmarks such as the City Hall and Shaw's Bridge as well as of his wife Veronica. The new sculptures are largely based on the female form and include bronzes and stainless steel pieces. The early studies began as demonstrations of modelling techniques for his students.

Bob Sloan will be giving a Gallery Talk on his work at the Naughton Gallery at Queen's on Saturday 4 March 2006 at 12 noon. Admission is free.

For further information on "Early Drawings : Recent Sculptures", please visit www.naughtongallery.org, contact the Naughton Gallery at Queen's, Lanyon Building, 028 9097 3580, art@qub.ac.uk or drop in between 11.00am-4.00pm, Monday to Saturday.

For further information, please contact: Sarah Hughes, Communications Officer, Culture and Arts Division, 028 9097 1398, s.hughes@qub.ac.uk

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Queen's honours eminent graduate during high-profile visit to Malaysia

Queen's University will this week honour one of its most distinguished graduates at a special graduation ceremony in Malaysia.

The conferment of an honorary degree on Datuk Rafiah Salim, former Assistant Secretary General for Human Resources Management at the United Nations, will be the highlight of a four-day visit to Malaysia by Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson. The trip, organised in conjunction with the Queen's University Association in Malaysia (QUAM), aims to forge closer links between the University and Malaysia, which is home to the largest number of Queen's graduates outside the United Kingdom and Ireland.

On Saturday Rafiah Salim will be conferred with an honorary doctorate of the University for services to alumni relations. A Queen's law graduate, she is currently Executive Director and CEO with the International Centre for Leadership in Finance in Kuala Lumpur. Currently Vice-President of the Queen's University Association of Malaysia, she has played a key role in the restructuring and expansion of the University's global graduate network.

The graduation ceremony will be followed by a gala University dinner in The Shangri - La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur at which the guest of honour will be Queen's graduate and Northern Ireland's former First minister, Nobel Laureate David Trimble.

Speaking before his departure, Professor Gregson said: "This will be the University's third graduation ceremony in Malaysia. It is a very special occasion at which we look forward to strengthening old friendships and forging valuable new connections.

"Queen's close relationship with Malaysia stretches back for more than 40 years. There are currently more than 120 full-time Malaysian students enrolled at the University and Malaysia is home to the largest number of Queen's graduates outside the United Kingdom and Ireland. Some 2,000 graduates have made, and continue to make, a major contribution to Malaysian society, in areas ranging from the professions and education to the country's political and business life.

"Knowledge knows no boundaries, and the forging of international links is crucial in today's global higher education marketplace. Our close ties with Malaysia offer an excellent opportunity on which to build.

QUAM President Professor Tan Sri Datuk Dr Anuwar Ali said: "We are delighted to welcome the Vice-Chancellor and his colleagues from Queen's University Belfast to this most important occasion. I would particularly like to add my own congratulations to Datuk Rafiah Salim on receipt of her honorary doctorate from Queen's.

"Malaysian students have enjoyed a long history with Queen's and it is a great honour that another Malaysian graduate of the University - and someone with such a distinguished international reputation - is being recognised in this way. The presentation has given us a wonderful opportunity to celebrate this achievement, to show our gratitude to Queen's and to give something back to the University that has given so many Malaysians a fine education."

During his visit, Professor Gregson and colleagues from the University's Development and International Offices will meet Queen's representatives in Malaysia and senior staff from a number of key educational institutions to discuss future academic collaboration.

Earlier on Saturday he will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Terrenganu Advanced Technological Institute, which will allow well-qualified students from TATI to enter Level 2 of Queen's BEng Chemical Engineering programme. The first cohort of these students at TATI will start this programme in September.

Among Queen's eminent honorary graduates in Malaysia are Energy Minister Dato Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik, former Finance Minister the Honourable Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, the late Professor Chin Fung Kee, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Malaya; Tan Ming Swee, former Director of Metropolitan College in Kuala Lumpur, and Mrs Indrani Manuel, who co-ordinated the Queen's recruitment programme at Metropolitan College.

For further information, please contact: Anne Langford,  028 9097 5310

Editor:
Rafiah Salim, a lawyer by qualification, has held senior positions in the fields of academia, banking and human resources.

She graduated from Queen's in 1971 with a Bachelor of Laws and three years later with a Masters of Laws before joining the staff of the University of Malaysia's Faculty of Law as a lecturer, rising to position of Dean in 1987, the first woman in the country to head a law school. She obtained her Certificate in Legal Practice in 1980 and was an advocate and solicitor of the High Court of Malaysia. In 1989 she moved to Malayan Banking Berhad, Malaysia's largest commercial bank, as Head of Legal Affairs, a position she occupied for over a year. By 1995 she had risen to become Assistant Governor for both HR Management and Legal Affairs.

In 1996 Kofi Annan had embarked on a wholesale reform of the management culture and structures of the United Nations. As a result, Rafiah Salim was appointed to the post of Assistant Secretary General for Human Resource Management, the highest post held by a Malaysian with this international body. During her five years in this role she was responsible for changing the management culture of the UN to one of empowerment.

Having completed her mission in 2002 she moved back to Kuala Lumpur to take up her current role as Executive Director with the International Centre for Leadership in Finance and is currently Vice Chairman of the Malaysian Employees Federation and a lecturer at the National Institute of Public Administration.

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'Mechanical Doodles' art project launched by Naughton Gallery at Queen's

Cogs were whirring, wheels were spinning and engines were running at the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queen's University today, with the launch of  "Mechanical Doodles - art and technology in motion", an innovative new outreach art project from the Naughton Gallery at Queen's.

The gallery is calling upon Art and Design and Design and Technology students (Key Stages 4 & 5) from a number of local schools to take part in "Mechanical Doodles", which will commence in autumn 2006.

 The project is inspired by the work and legacy of the late Barry Orr, whose own kinetic sculpture (or "mechanical doodle") Industry was built by Queen's Mechanical Engineering technical staff with his supervision and situated outside the David Bates Building at Queen's for nearly 30 years.

Orr's work combined the vision of an artist and the skill of an inventor with materials including wire coat-hangers, tin plates, wheels, old pie tins, old umbrellas, wooden beads and plumbing piping to create a series of enchanting and ingenious kinetic sculptures. His works are amongst various collections in Northern Ireland and as far afield as Paris, New York and Greece.

Speaking at the launch of the project, Clare Leeman, Outreach Officer for the Naughton Gallery at Queen's said: "'Mechanical Doodles' aims to recapture and build upon Barry Orr's spirit of creative design and fun and to celebrate the long-held tradition of industry at Queen’s University."

Students participating in "Mechanical Doodles" will be given a talk on kinetic sculptures at the Mechanical Engineering department of Queen's and will then receive a kit containing the necessary components and equipment required to make their own work.

A practising sculptor and former mechanical engineer will then visit the schools for workshops and on completion of their sculptures, the students will be invited back to Queen's for a presentation in the Great Hall.

Product Design and Development students at the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering will also be working on a parallel project as part of "Mechanical Doodles".

To encourage development of their technical, creative and aesthetic skills, the Product Design students will be given a kit to create a more advanced kinetic sculpture of their own design. It is hoped that one of their ideas could ultimately be worked up into a bigger sculpture which would be made by the students and positioned within the University.

If you or your school would like to find out more about the "Mechanical Doodles - art and technology in motion", contact Clare Leeman, Outreach Officer, Naughton Gallery, 028 9097 3758, c.leeman@qub.ac.uk  or visit www.naughtongallery.org 

For further information, please contact: Sarah Hughes, Communications Officer, Culture and Arts Division, 028 9097 1398, s.hughes@qub.ac.uk

Notes:
Barry Orr 1930-2000

Born in Eglantine Avenue in Belfast, Barry Orr was the second son of a senior civil servant.

He attended Methody College and worked in the linen business and for a company of cotton wool dyers. He also worked in London as an entertainment booker for a Piccadilly nightclub, then moved back to Belfast to work as a Press Officer for UTV. His final job was working as a Press Officer for Enterprise Ulster.

He was inspired to make his first "mechanical doodle" when he discovered that his teething child was soothed by the sound of dried peas in a tin. Rather than shaking the tin manually, he built a motor to do it for him, and his ideas developed from there.

Heath Robinson -whose name is used as shorthand for an improbable, rickety machine barely kept going by incessant tinkering - was a good friend of Orr's father and a great influence on Orr's work.

Another important influence was Frederick Roland Emett, an English cartoonist and constructor of whimsical kinetic sculpture, amongst whose works is the breakfast machine in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Although he didn't consider himself to be an artist, Orr was an honorary associate member of the Royal Ulster Academy and counted artists Raymond Piper, Rowell Friers, Bob Sloan and Basil Blackshaw amongst his friends and peers.

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Royal reward for Queen's world-leading pollution solution
Professor Ken Seddon (left) and Professor Jim Swindall of QUILL demonstrate some of the ionic liquids developed in the world-leading centre.
Professor Ken Seddon (left) and Professor Jim Swindall of QUILL demonstrate some of the ionic liquids developed in the world-leading centre.

Queen's University Chancellor Senator George Mitchell will lead a team from one of the University's world-leading research centres to receive a prestigious national award from the Queen in Buckingham Palace on Thursday 16 February.

The Chancellor will be part of the delegation formally receiving one of the Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education on behalf of the University. The awards - part of the national honours system - recognise and honour outstanding achievement by universities and colleges in the United Kingdom.

The prize was awarded to the Queen's University Ionic Liquids Laboratories (QUILL) Research Centre which is pioneering the design of an exciting new 'green' technology which has the potential to impact on the daily lives of everyone around the world.

Described in the award citation as a "significant UK-led achievement providing solutions for one of the primary sources of pollution", QUILL creates designer solvents which will also improve working conditions for thousands of people and significantly enhance job and wealth creation.

Senator Mitchell said: "I am delighted and honoured to be part of the Queen's delegation to be presented with this award. This is well-deserved recognition of the University's role as a world leader in a key area of research which will benefit society worldwide. The work of centres such as QUILL is one of the reasons why Queen's enjoys an international academic reputation and I congratulate all those involved in this major achievement."

Among those accompanying Senator Mitchell to Buckingham Palace will be the University's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Peter Gregson; QUILL's Directors Professor Ken Seddon and Professor Jim Swindall; and Professor Martin Atkins of BP, a Visiting Professor at Queen's and Chair of QUILL's industry-advisory board.

The Queen's delegation will also include five QUILL postgraduate students - Éva Boros from Hungary, Andrew Brennan from the Republic of Ireland, Sarah Campbell from Northern Ireland, Isaac Nyambiya from Zimbabwe and Natalia Plechkova from Russia.

Working with a range of industrial partners, including BP, ICI, and Shell, QUILL is acknowledged as the world leader in its field. It is the UK representative on the newly formed International Green Network, an international scientific consortium focused on developing green chemistry. The Network, which is dedicated to tackling environmental concerns, consists of eight research centres, one based in each of the G8 countries.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson described QUILL as exemplifying Queen's Vision for the Future. He said: "The Vision is summed up in the phrase 'leading, inspiring, delivering' QUILL is demonstrably leading the world in the development of an exciting new scientific process, inspiring a whole new generation of international researchers and delivering solutions to a problem of global proportions."

Professor Martin Atkins said: "It is a great pleasure to serve as Chairman of the Industrial Advisory Board for QUILL and we heartily congratulate Professor Ken Seddon and all the team on this wonderful achievement.

"The role of the Advisory Board is to provide strategic direction and commercial awareness for the research and training programmes within QUILL. The powerful mix of industry representatives from sectors as diverse as healthcare products to energy companies has provided a unique forum for discovery and exploitation of the many new innovations in the rapidly moving field of ionic liquids. I am unaware of any such industrial research cooperative of this diversity operating in Europe at present. QUILL' success stems from its ability to attract top international talent and to achieve critical mass for each step of the research process, from concept to exploitation."

The Centre's Director, Professor Ken Seddon, said: "It is absolutely vital for the future of mankind that we develop ways of tackling pollution. The potential of ionic liquids is immense. For example, one of the companies we have worked with, the German chemical giant BASF, reported an 80,000 times increase in productivity after introducing ionic liquids to one of their processes.

"Ionic liquids act as solvents for a broad spectrum of chemical processes and can dissolve a wide range of materials - even rocks, coal and almost anything organic, amazingly well. However, unlike conventional solvents, they do not emit vapours. Put quite simply, they have remarkable properties which have tremendous applications in the development of clean technology for manufacturing processes. They are the basis of a whole new industrial technology."

His co-director, Professor Jim Swindall, former Director of the University's environmental research initiative, QUESTOR, which won a Queen's Anniversary Prize in 1996, said: "I am delighted and honoured to be part of another Queen's Anniversary Prize winning initiative which underlines the excellence of the University’s work in the field of green chemistry. The work of QUILL represents the most exciting area of chemistry in which I have been involved during my 44-year career. New findings are coming up nearly every day."

Queen's has won a Queen's Anniversary Award four times since the scheme was founded in 1993. The first Queen's Anniversary Prize to Queen's was awarded for its Servicing the Legal System programme in 1994. Queen's environmental research initiative, the QUESTOR Centre, was awarded an Anniversary Prize in 1996, followed by Queen’s Palaeoecology Centre in 2000.

For further information, please contact:
Professor Ken Seddon, 028 9097 5420
Professor Jim Swindall, 07879 666520
Anne Langford, 028 9097 5310

Notes:
Photographs/television coverage Stills pictures of the presentation party receiving their award at Buckingham Palace will be forwarded to the local media by BCA Films which is recording the event. Live television footage will be available to main news networks from Millbank Studios in Westminster from 11.00am on Thursday 16 February. Local news stations should contact their national planning offices to make arrangements.

QUILL

QUILL was founded in April 1999 as an industrial consortium, with members from all sectors of the chemical industry.

QUILL was the first research centre in the world to focus on the development of ionic liquids. Its structure is based on the successful QUESTOR (Queen's University Environmental Science and Technology Research) Centre which was founded and set up by Professor Jim Swindall in 1989, and won the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 1996. Professor Swindall was awarded the OBE for services to analytical science and the environment in 1997.

Research carried out between Queen's and individual companies, or by QUILL itself, has generated more than 20 patent applications. Its 16 members are drawn from all sectors of the chemical industry and are located in eight countries and on four continents.

The Queen's Anniversary Prizes

The Prizes scheme was set up in 1993 by The Royal Anniversary Trust with the consent of the Queen and the approval of the Prime Minister and all political parties, and of the Charity Commission. Prizes are awarded every two years. Uniquely in the field of education, these Prizes sit within the national honours system. They recognise and honour outstanding achievement and excellence in UK universities and colleges.

The Queen's Prizes scheme highlights high-quality work taking place in the vital sectors of higher and further education. It promotes excellence in UK universities and colleges through its awards.

A Prizewinner must be able to demonstrate outstanding work at world-class level.

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Queen's research partnership with local company develops novel pharmaceutical product
A Knowledge Transfer Partnership between TG Eakin Ltd and the Queen's University School of Pharmacy has produced a novel wound treatment product now in clinical trials. (l-r): KTP project Associate, Alison Wilson and Dr Paul Eakin of TG Eakin Ltd.
A Knowledge Transfer Partnership between TG Eakin Ltd and the Queen's University School of Pharmacy has produced a novel wound treatment product now in clinical trials. (l-r): KTP project Associate, Alison Wilson and Dr Paul Eakin of TG Eakin Ltd.

A partnership between researchers in the Queen's School of Pharmacy and a local pharmaceutical company has resulted in the development of a novel wound treatment product that is now undergoing clinical trials.

The partnership has also served to enhance wound dressing research within the School of Pharmacy that in turn has been incorporated into student course modules.

Comber-based T G Eakin Ltd entered into a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Professors David Jones and Sean Gorman in the Queen's School of Pharmacy in December 2001. The company supplies specialist wound drainage products around the world. It has been recognised as the UK Small Business Exporter of the Year for and was also the Northern Ireland winner of the Small Business of the Year for 1999.

The partnership succeeded in developing a novel adhesive paste that may better manage abdominal wounds. The research team developed protocols for the use of the new product. These were submitted for evaluation by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, the Ethics Committee of Northern Ireland and the Clinical Investigation Site Research Centre. Approval was granted and clinical trials began.

This month, the high quality work of this KTP project has been acknowledged by independent assessors acting on behalf of the KTP scheme government sponsors. The project was awarded the highest grading possible, Grade 1, a grade achieved by only 4% of completed UK KTP projects.

Queen's University Belfast has an outstanding track record for the delivery of KTP. It has won four national awards for KTP projects and currently has the largest number of KTP projects of any university in the UK- 45.

Head of the Knowledge Transfer Centre at Queen's, Dr Mary Flynn, welcomed the grading announcement: "I am delighted with the results of this Partnership for the company and for the University. It is another excellent example of KTP at its best - forging lasting partnerships between academia and business," she said. "It has facilitated the transfer of technology and encouraged industrial investment in research and development and training: as well as enhancing the levels of academic research by stimulating collaborative research and development projects.

"In fact," Dr Flynn added," a new follow-on Knowledge Transfer Partnership has been agreed between T G Eakin Ltd and the School of Pharmacy at Queen's, representing an investment of almost £500,000 in research and development, plant and machinery and the employment of a project Associate."

Commenting on the valuable insights that the University pharmacists have gained through the Partnership on the formulation and manufacture of products for wound care, Professor Sean Gorman, Head of the School of Pharmacy said: "The project has enabled international-quality research on the design of wound healing products at Queen's to expand to encompass new technologies. Furthermore, wound dressing research in the School has been greatly enhanced and as a direct result we were awarded a grant worth £25,000 from local governmental sources for the development of a novel wound healing hydrogel system."

Dr Paul Eakin, Managing Director of TG Eakin said: "We consider this Partnership with Queen's University to have been an enormous success in developing an entirely new product and taking it to clinical trial stage. We have embedded a new capability in the chemistry of biopolymers and been able to blend this with our own knowledge of adhesives to unlock a combination material which has huge potential in the medical adhesive field."

For further information, please contact: Dr Mary Flynn, Knowledge Transfer Centre, 028 9097 5444; or Dolores Vischer, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320/ 07980 013362

Notes:
The Knowledge Transfer Centre (formerly the TCS Centre) was established in Queen's University in 1993 to provide a focal point and support for the promotion of technology transfer activities, in particular to increase the involvement of small and medium sized enterprises in innovative collaborative projects through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships. The four Queen's KTP projects that won national awards were: Wilsanco Plastics Ltd, Jordan Plastics Ltd, Consarc Conservation, and Steve Orr Ltd.

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Law, crime and punishment in Bloomsday Dublin explored at Queen's University by Irish Supreme Court Judge

At Queen's University Belfast on Wednesday 15 February, Judge Adrian Hardiman of the Irish Supreme Court will give an intriguing public talk on law, crime and punishment in the Bloomsday Dublin of James Joyce.

Regarded as one of the most outstanding advocates of his generation, Adrian Hardiman was appointed to the Supreme Council of Ireland from the Bar four years ago.

Judge Hardiman's talk focuses on the trial of Samuel Childs that James Joyce attended as a student. In his lecture Judge Hardiman draws on the varied and typically oblique references to this "gruesome case", "that case of fratricide" that appear throughout James Joyce's Ulysses.

"The School of Law at Queen's is delighted to host this important annual spring lecture of the Irish Legal History Society given by Judge Hardiman," said Jack Anderson of the Queen's School of Law who arranged the lecture.

Explaining the facts of the murder case, Mr Anderson said: "From a respectable family, long established in the leafy suburbs of South County Dublin, Childs was accused of murdering his brother, Thomas, near Prospect cemetery in Glasnevin. The setting, the scandal and the sensation of the case, which eventually resulted in Childs' acquittal in October 1899, held a fascination for the young Joyce. Joyce, who had attended the trial, refused to give credit to Tim Healy, one of Childs's defence team. The bitterness of the Parnellite split, in which Healy played an integral part, and which so demoralised the youthful Joyce, are yet another facet of this fascinating lecture."

Established in 1988, the Irish Legal History Society is supported throughout Ireland by members of the judiciary, practising lawyers, academic lawyers and historians. Its objective is to encourage and advance the study and knowledge of the history of Irish law. The lecture at Queen's University will be attended by both of the Society's patrons - The Honourable Mr Justice John Murray, Chief Justice of Ireland and the Right Honourable Sir Brian Kerr, Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland - and by the President of the Society, His Honour, Judge John Martin QC.

'Law, Crime and Punishment in Bloomsday Dublin' will be delivered at 6.00pm on Wednesday 15 February in the Canada Room at Queen's University. Admission is free and all are welcome.

For further information, please contact Jack Anderson, 028 9097 3470; or Dolores Vischer, 028 9097 5320

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Sir Allen McClay CBE, to open new £1.25million Laboratory of Biological Chemistry at Queen's
Pictured at the opening of the new £1.25million Laboratory of Biological Chemistry in the David Keir Building, Queen's University Belfast, on Monday 13 January, are from L to R: Professor Steven Ley FRS, Chair of Organic Chemistry at the University of Cambridge; Sir Allen McClay CBE, Chairman and founder of Almac Sciences; Professor John Mann, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at Queen's University and Professor Kevin Booker-Milburn, Professor of Organic Chemistry at Bristol University.
Pictured at the opening of the new £1.25million Laboratory of Biological Chemistry in the David Keir Building, Queen's University Belfast, on Monday 13 January, are from L to R: Professor Steven Ley FRS, Chair of Organic Chemistry at the University of Cambridge; Sir Allen McClay CBE, Chairman and founder of Almac Sciences; Professor John Mann, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at Queen's University and Professor Kevin Booker-Milburn, Professor of Organic Chemistry at Bristol University.

Sir Allen McClay CBE, Chairman and founder of Almac Sciences, will today (Monday), officially open a new £1.25 million Laboratory of Biological Chemistry at Queen's.

The opening of the new laboratory, which has been specifically designed to cater for the rapidly developing research activities at the interface between Chemistry and Biology, will mark the end of a major building programme within the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, which began in 1999.

Originating from a report commissioned by Queen's on the future development of its School of Chemistry in 1997, the programme of building work was carried out in parallel with the appointment of 11 new academic posts within the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Six of those posts were funded by the McClay Trust, with the Trust also providing funding for equipment and postgraduate studentships.

Speaking about the completion of the building plan and the appointment of the new academic posts, Professor John Mann, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at Queen's said: "Today provides us with a suitable opportunity to publicly thank Sir Allen for his past generosity, from which the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Queen’s has benefited enormously.

"The University developed a vision for the School of Chemistry, in which it was imperative to not only have on board a full team of leading academic staff, but also, perhaps crucially, to create an environment in which its students would be able to undertake their studies and perform their valuable research within some of the best facilities within the UK.

"Work carried out within the lab we are opening today may, in the future, contribute to the development of new treatments. The work carried out by The Synthesis and Biological Chemistry Group (Syn BioC) is one such example. Its overall aim is to understand the mechanisms by which cells communicate both internally and between one another. This should lead to a greater understanding of what is known as cell signalling and so allow for the design and synthesis of novel molecules which can moderate these signalling activities."

We look forward to seeing the efforts of our students in their new laboratory, making a positive and very real difference to how we will all live our lives in the future".

 The opening of the new laboratory will cap a morning of lectures sponsored by the Royal Society of Chemistry, at which Professor Mann will deliver the Flintoff medal lecture. The lecture is a prestigious honour given for meritorious contributions to the knowledge of the relationship between chemistry and plant science. Previous recipients have included Sir Robert Robertson and Melvin Calvin, the scientist who worked out the chemistry of photosynthesis in 1954.

Also speaking at the RSC event will be Professor Kevin Booker-Milburn, Professor of Organic Chemistry at Bristol and Professor Steven Ley FRS, Chair of Organic Chemistry at the University of Cambridge. Steven Ley, FRS, who will be delivering the prestigious Robert Robinson Lecture was one of the original team who delivered the 1997 report on the School of Chemistry at Queen's.

Notes:

  1. Media opportunities are available from 12.15pm to 12.35pm on Monday 13 February at the Biological Chemistry laboratory, Rm 1102, First floor, David Keir Building, Malone Road. 
  2. The £1.25million new laboratory was funded by the Science Research Infrastructure Fund - a joint initiative by the Office of Science and Technology (OST) and the Department for Education and Skills (DfES).
  3. A friend and major benefactor of Queen's for many years, Sir Allen McClay is Chairman of Almac Sciences Ltd and former Chairman of Galen Holdings plc. He graduated as a qualified pharmacist from the Belfast College of Technology in 1953 and subsequently worked as a salesman for Glaxo. In 1968 he founded his own company, Galen Holdings Ltd., which was Northern Ireland's first pharmaceutical company. In 1995 he received an Honorary DSc from Queen's.

    Galen was successfully floated on the stock exchange in 1997; they acquired the US company Warner Chilcott in 2001 as a stepping stone into the North American market. Sir Allen established QuChem in partnership with Queen's and donated shares to establish The McClay Trust. The Trust facilitated research and funded two chairs in the Schools of Chemistry and Pharmacy at Queen's. It also funded the construction of a pharmaceutical research centre.

    He retired as Chairman of Galen Holdings in 2002 and bought Chemical Synthesis Services (CSS), the research and services subsidiary of the company.

    Sir Allen also chaired the Queen's Foundation Board from its inception until 2004 and has been a generous donor to the Great Hall Fund, the Alumni Fund and the New Library. Sir Allen was awarded a CBE for his services to industry in Northern Ireland. He was subsequently knighted in the 2006 New Year Honours for his services to business and to charity in Northern Ireland.

For further information, please contact: Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office, 028 9097 5384

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Equality and Social Inclusion in the 21st century explored at international conference in Belfast

200 delegates from around the world have attended a conference in Belfast to debate and develop goals and strategies for achieving greater equality and social inclusion in the 21st century.

The conference was hosted jointly by Queen's University, Belfast and University College Dublin.

The two universities have been working in partnership on a two-year 'Equality and Social Inclusion Inclusion' research project, towards a framework for peace and stability in Ireland co-funded under the EU's Programme for Peace and Reconciliation and by the Irish and British Government departments responsible for higher education. The conference was the last in a series of 20 public events organised and held in Dublin and Belfast over the past 18 months.

The aim of the conference was to promote and disseminate the research on equality, peace and justice in Ireland to other countries and to identify and learn from the equality research of scholars from other countries.

Research that has been carried out for the 'Equality and Social Inclusion' project on the theory, practice and politics of equality and social justice will be used to develop a charter of actions for the advancement of equality, peace, social justice and stability in Ireland.

Eithne McLaughlin, Professor of Social Policy at The School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Queen's University organised the conference with Professor Kathleen Lynch of The Equality Studies Centre, School of Social Justice at University College Dublin.

"The conference marks the significance of the island of Ireland as a location of intellectual, political and policy innovation and learning in the fields of equality, social justice and democracy. The delegates at the conference were all enthused by the event and in particular by the unique way it brought together representatives from the academic, civil society, political and public sectors. The diversity of participation created a particularly high level of debate, discussion and reflection,"

Professor McLaughlin commented. Professor Lynch added that the conference marks just under two years of research collaboration between the university teams. She said: "The positive contribution equality and social justice make to democracy, peaceful and good relations between groups in society has not received the press it should have. The costs to society of the rampant growth in inequality which marked the 1980s and 1990s should concern us all.

"Far from political correctness having taken over, inequality continues. It imposes avoidable costs and harms which are a problem for everyone. They indirectly reduce the quality of life of the well off and affluent, increase public expenditure inequalities, and directly harm the disadvantaged and discriminated against - the people who had carried an unfair burden of the costs of the greedy 80s and 90s in Ireland North and South, as in so much of the rest of the world."

Scholars of international renown in the field who contributed to the conference included: visiting Professors Mike Apple of the United States and Marilyn Waring of New Zealand. Professors Harvey, Hillyard and McLaughlin of Queen's University, Belfast, Kathleen Lynch and John Baker of University College Dublin. Social justice activists, politicians, policymakers, researchers from India, Africa, Europe and Canada.

For further information, please contact: Gillian Purdy, 028 90971243, g.purdy@qub.ac.uk or Eithne McLaughlin, 028 90975102, e.mclaughlin@qub.ac.uk

Note
The Equality and Social Inclusion in Ireland Project (www.qub.ac.uk/heae) is a two-year research and dissemination project (2004-2006) co-funded under the EU’s Programme for Peace and Reconciliation in Ireland and the border counties, with the Irish and British government departments responsible for higher education.

It is led by Queen's Professor of Social Policy Eithne McLaughlin. It involves two other Universities (Ulster and UCD); around 20 scholars, six staff and four research students in a multidisciplinary team working on the theory, practice and politics of equality, peace and social justice. The 'Equality and Social Inclusion in the 21st Century: Developing Alternatives' conference took place Wednesday 01-Friday 03 February at the Wellington Park Hotel, Belfast.

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Queen's University awarded Fairtrade status
Pictured (From L to R) at the declaration of Queen's as a Fairtrade University, are Queen's students and Fairtrade fashion models Dawn Faulkner and Lisa Mackle; The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Wallace Browne; Professor Gerry McCormac, Pro Vice Chancellor for Outreach and Economic Development at Queen's and President and Vice Chancellor of Queen's, Professor Peter Gregson and SDLP South Belfast Assembly Member, Carmel Hanna.
Pictured (From L to R) at the declaration of Queen's as a Fairtrade University, are Queen's students and Fairtrade fashion models Dawn Faulkner and Lisa Mackle; The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Wallace Browne; Professor Gerry McCormac, Pro Vice Chancellor for Outreach and Economic Development at Queen's and President and Vice Chancellor of Queen's, Professor Peter Gregson and SDLP South Belfast Assembly Member, Carmel Hanna.
Students' Union President, Ben Preston celebrates the declaration of Queen's as a Fairtrade University along with Fairtrade Fashion models Dawn Faulkner (L), a third year student of Drama and English and (R) Emma Whittaker, a third year student of Anthropology.
Students' Union President, Ben Preston celebrates the declaration of Queen's as a Fairtrade University along with Fairtrade Fashion models Dawn Faulkner (L), a third year student of Drama and English and (R) Emma Whittaker, a third year student of Anthropology.

Queen's University has been awarded Fairtrade status, becoming one of only 10% of universities to achieve this recognition in the United Kingdom.

Mr Tony McMullan, Chairman of Oxfam Ireland, will present the Fairtrade Status Certificate to Queen's Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson, and Students' Union President Ben Preston at a ceremony in the Great Hall in Queen's today (Wednesday).

The declaration of Queen's as a Fairtrade University by the Fairtrade Foundation followed a two-year drive which began with a student-initiated campaign in 2004. Almost 2,000 staff and students expressed support for the move towards Fairtrade status via a petition, which was in turn backed by the University's authorities.

In order to achieve Fairtrade status, Queen's had to meet a series of five stringent goals. These were: the creation of a Fairtrade Policy, the formation and continued direction of a Steering Group, the commitment to ensuring the availability of all Fairtrade goods in all of the University’s food/beverage outlets, the provision of Fairtrade tea and coffee at all management meetings and the availability and use of Fairtrade promotional items throughout the campus.

Welcoming today's declaration by the Fairtrade Foundation, the Vice-Chancellor said: "This recognition is particularly meaningful because of the strong partnership between Queen's staff and students and the wider community. Queen’s is honoured to have been designated as Belfast City Council's Flagship Employer and to have played a role in the Council's successful bid for Belfast to be declared a UK Fairtrade City.

"The award of Fairtrade status is a tangible example of Queen's dedication to meeting the corporate social responsibility which stems from our leading role in the community. We are delighted to be part of an international effort that is helping thousands of people invest in a better future."

Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Wallace Browne said: "Belfast City Council adopted a Fairtrade policy back in 2000, and we re-affirmed this commitment last year, when we threw our weight wholeheartedly behind the Fairtrade Belfast campaign.

"In the 18th century, Belfast was the first city in these islands to ban ships involved in the slave trade from its harbour. To the outside world, Belfast often is viewed as a divided people and culture, but as is clear from this marvellous achievement for Queen's, when it comes to the issues associated with trade and injustice which affect the livelihoods and future of so many in the developing worlds, we can work together."

Commending Queen's on leading the way in Northern Ireland, Barbara Crowther, Head of Communications at the Fairtrade Foundation, said: "Congratulations to Queen's University Belfast on achieving Fairtrade University status, joining 21 other universities in gaining recognition for work to promote the Fairtrade Mark.

"As well as being places of education, universities wield immense purchasing power. By choosing Fairtrade products and encouraging others to do the same, universities can help change thousands of lives in the developing world. Congratulations to Queen's for leading the way in Northern Ireland. We hope its campaign goes from strength to strength."

Highlighting the importance of a collaborative effort in the University's bid to achieve Fairtrade status, Ben Preston, Students' Union President, said: "Although this was an initiative first proposed by students, it would not have reached fruition without the full support of the university authorities. Quite simply, by making Fairtrade produce available in the retail and refreshments outlets on campus and by ensuring Fairtrade tea and coffee are served at all official functions within the University, thousands of people in the developing world will be ensured a better and fairer future. In this case actions speak louder than words."

Outlining the significance of the announcement, Dr Brian Scott, Director of Oxfam Ireland, said: "We would like to congratulate Queen's University on becoming a Fairtrade University. Fairtrade ensures producers in poor countries around the world actually get a fair deal. This means a fair price for their produce and their goods, which will cover the cost of production and guarantee a sustainable living. Fairtrade is also about building awareness of the rules and practices of international trade which are biased in favour of rich countries and big companies at the cost of producers in poor countries".

Today's event will feature a festival of Fairtrade fashion, food and photographs. It will include a fashion show by students modelling clothes by Belfast Fairtrade retail outlets Pueblos and Fairtrade Inspires, and a photographic exhibition by Gordon Ashbridge, which illustrates the visit by Queen's Presbyterian Chaplaincy (in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity) to Capetown, South Africa, in July 2005. In addition, free Bewleys and Matthew Algie Fairtrade coffee and tea will be available in the Students' Union's main catering outlets for the day.

For further information, please contact: Communications Office, 028 9097 5384

Notes:
The Declaration of Queen's as a Fairtrade University will take place at 12noon on Wednesday 08 February in the Great Hall. Media facilities will be available.

The Fairtrade Foundation was established in 1992 by CAFOD, Christian Aid, New Consumer, Oxfam, Traidcraft and the World Development Movement.

The first Fairtrade certified product was Green & Black’s Fairtrade Mayo Gold chocolate in 1994 -now one of the best selling brands of chocolate.

By participating in Fairtrade, producers are able to use the additional income to strengthen their organisations and invest in social, environmental and business improvements. Just as importantly, they are able to learn more about markets and marketing and take more control of their lives.

In addition to the event organised today in Queen's, the University and Queen’s Students' Union will be organising a series of events for Fairtrade Fortnight which runs from Monday 06 - Sunday 19 March.

Currently more than 900 retail and catering products, from coffee to wine, carry the Fairtrade Mark in the UK. Fifty per cent of the adult population can now identify the certification mark, up from 25% in 2003 and 39% in 2004. (MORI, May 2005).

Worldwide, Fairtrade is working with 422 producer organisations in 49 countries, with benefits reaching around five million people - farmers, workers and their families.

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How can schools promote equality?

A major research project at Queen's University Belfast, commissioned by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, is investigating how schools can best promote equality of opportunity and good relations.

Views from parents and education professionals are now being sought on a wide range of issues from anti-bullying policies and meeting the needs of minority ethnic pupils and pupils with special needs through to school discipline policies and the employment of teachers. Project team member, Professor Paul Connolly, of the NFER at Queen's Centre for Educational Research, explains: "We would be delighted to hear the views of anyone interested in the issue of promoting equality and particularly any suggestions they may have for how schools can deal with equality issues in a practical and achievable manner.

"We are, of course, conscious that schools are already under immense pressure and over-burdened with paperwork. While it is important that schools play their role in promoting equality of opportunity we need to look at how this can be done in a manner that complements what they are already doing rather than adding to these burdens."

Antoinette McKeown, Head of Policy and Development at the Equality Commission, said the research team had been asked to consider how equality provisions might best be extended to schools in a workable and realisable way. "This is an opportunity for people to help us consider how schools can help in developing a society which welcomes diversity and actively promotes equality of opportunity and good relations for all" she said.

The public consultation runs until Friday 17 February and full details of how to contribute, including a copy of the consultation document to download, can be found at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/nfer/consultation  

As well as this public consultation, the research includes a series of seminars with key representatives and bodies from education as well as with parents and children. The team will also be reviewing the existing research evidence both nationally and internationally to see if they can learn from what schools are doing elsewhere.

Under Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 it is now a legal requirement for public authorities to have due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity. While this does not presently apply directly to schools, it does apply to bodies such as the Department of Education, the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools, the Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment, and all the Education and Library Boards.

Professor Connolly added: "Section 75 has played a major role in helping to make public authorities in Northern Ireland accountable and to ensure that they consider equality issues in all that they do. What we are looking at is how these measures can best be applied to schools."

For further details or interviews please contact: Professor Connolly, 028 9097 5952 (office) or 07815 185204 (mobile) or email paul.connolly@qub.ac.uk; or Dolores Vischer, Communications Office, on 028 9097 5320 (office)

For information from the Equality Commission please contact: Tony O' Reilly, Policy Officer on: 028 7137 3039 or email toreilly@equalityni.org

NOTE:
The NFER at Queen’s Centre for Educational Research is the result of a partnership between the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) and the School of Education at Queen's University Belfast and brings together unrivalled expertise in research, evaluation, teacher education and curriculum development. More details can be found at: www.qub.ac.uk/nfer  

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Professor's role in major study of risk capital investment in Scotland

A Queen's University academic has co-produced a report based on a unique five-year analysis of risk capital investments in young companies in Scotland.

The "Equity Risk Capital Market For Young Companies in Scotland" report, published by investment analyst Gavin Don and Professor Richard Harrison of Queen’s, showed that public sector investment in the equity risk market leveraged more than £50m from private investors.

The study revealed that the £18.3m raised by the public sector was matched by £53.7m of new risk capital from private sector investment.

Professor Harrison said: "A vibrant risk capital market is essential for the development of an entrepreneurial economy. This report demonstrates that there is more risk capital being invested in Scotland - by venture capitalists, business angels and by investors from outside Scotland - than has previously been estimated.

"However, if we are to increase the number of new businesses which start-up and grow to national and international significance, there will need to be an increase in the amount of risk capital available from all sources if Scotland plc is to reach its full potential."

Professor Harrison took up his appointment to a Chair in Management at Queen's last month. Previously he was Dixons Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Edinburgh and also a Queen's Visiting Professor. He was Professor of Management and Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Aberdeen from 1998 to 2002 and Professor of Strategy and Organisation Development at the University of Ulster from 1997 to 1999.

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How to disappear - student performance in Queen's Drama and Film Centre

Curtains will rise on Tuesday evening for the first performance of an exciting new work developed by Queen's University students from a range of subject courses. Performances of How to Disappear will be staged in the Queen's Drama and Film Centre, Tuesday 07 - Thursday 09 February at 7.30pm.

The group of 24 students from drama, music technology, film, English and creative writing courses worked together over the last three weeks to create the dynamic new work.

As part of the interdisciplinary project, students enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate for the first time to write, script, act and produce musical scores for the end public performances. They also made a photographic and video record of the development of How to Disappear.

Anna Newell, Artistic Director of the new Queen's Centre for Excellence in Creative and Performing Arts led the project. She explained that the Centre for Excellence in the Creative and Performing Arts (NI) is one of three areas at Queen's announced in October 2005 as Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning under a Department for Employment and Learning initiative. "The Centre is developing practical and interdisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning and this exciting project is one of its most ambitious to date," she commented.

"The students have been working extremely intensively over the two weeks of rehearsal," Anna said. "Each morning they participated in intensive classes in harmony singing, percussion/rhythm, dance and movement and drama games, while in the afternoons the students worked creatively to develop their own production, scripting and rehearsing How to Disappear. The students took their inspiration for the project from the poem of the same title by contemporary poet, Amanda Dalton. They are a very talented and committed group of young people and I'm sure that our audiences will not be disappointed!"

Working alongside the students on the project were Stevie Prickett, a dancer and choreographer; David Goodall, who has composed music for stage and screen for 20 years, as well as working as a session musician and music tutor; Niall Rea who designed the current Lyric Show,1974, and Hanna Slattne, dramaturg and literary manager with the Tinderbox Theatre Company, who has extensive experience of script development.

Presented by The Centre for Excellence in Creative and Performing Arts and the Tyrone Guthrie Society, performances are open to the public and take place at 7.30pm, Tuesday to Thursday with an additional matinee on Wednesday at 1.30pm.

For further information, or to arrange interviews with students or Anna Newell, please contact: Anna Newell, 07949 287 405; or Dolores Vischer, 028 9097 5320

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Queen's University and the Cormac Trust supply primary schools with life saving training materials

On Friday 03 February in Omagh, 76 primary schools in the Western Education and Library Board area were issued with training material which will allow them to teach basic life support skills to their primary 7 pupils as part of the ABC for Life programme.

The ABC scheme - the first of its type in the United Kingdom - was launched last February at Queen's University Belfast. Developed by a group of Queen's medical students, it aims to teach up to 25,000 children each year how to use the life saving techniques of mouth to mouth resuscitation and cardiac massage, in a bid to save lives.

Northern Ireland has the highest incidence of heart disease in the world, with around 8,000 people suffering a heart attack each year resulting in 3,000 deaths. Many of these attacks happen suddenly and without warning and in many cases the individual dies before medical help arrives. If immediate basic life support were given to all of these victims, it is estimated that up to 1,800 lives could be saved each year.

Dr David McCluskey, Head of the Division of Medicine and Therapeutics at Queen's, explains how the initiative works: "A group of 60 medical students have trained teachers from all of the schools at today’s presentation. These teachers will now pass on this knowledge to the pupils in their schools.

"This is a unique scheme because it will educate an entire generation of young people in Northern Ireland and will undoubtedly save lives, particularly in the more remote regions of Northern Ireland," Dr McCluskey added.

The event was also attended by representatives of the Cormac Trust which was formed following the death of Cormac McAnallen, the Captain of the Tyrone County Gaelic Football Team, who died suddenly as a result of heart disease.

The Cormac Trust has kindly agreed to fund the provision of training material to all of the primary schools in Co Tyrone. At today's ceremony, representatives of the Cormac Trust handed over training manikins to some of the Tyrone primary schools.

Mr Mervyn Hill, representing the Western Education and Library Board, stated: "The statistics for heart disease in Northern Ireland are alarming and it is hard to believe that only one per cent of the population know how to give basic life support at present. If all primary schools in Northern Ireland follow the example of those in the Western Board area and enrol in the ABC for Life programme, within 10 years up to 15% of the population could be capable of these life saving skills."

The campaign has received the backing of the Red Cross; Northern Ireland Chest, Heart and Stroke Association; Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety and the Department of Education.

Dr McCluskey said that other schools who would like to enrol in this scheme should contact him at the Institute of Clinical Science, Royal Victoria Hospital, Grosvenor Road, Belfast BT12 6BJ, d.mccluskey@qub.ac.uk

For further information, please contact: Dr David McCluskey, Queen's University, 028 9032 9899; or Communications Office, 028 9097 3087

NOTE:
48 Primary schools in the Belfast area were presented with ABC for Life training materials on 18 January

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Belfast Telegraph Lectures at Queen's look towards 'tomorrow's world'

Around 700 sixth-formers from schools throughout Northern Ireland will get a glimpse of tomorrow's world when they attend a major lecture series at Queen's University on Tuesday 07 February.

Communications technologies is the theme of the 2006 Belfast Telegraph Lectures at Queen's which will be delivered by staff from the University's School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

The series starts with a talk by Professor Ron Perrott. Entitled "Next Generation Internet", his lecture will discuss the extension of the World Wide Web to include a vast array of computational resources on a computational grid, and will highlight international developments in grid computing.

He will be followed by Dr Máire McLoone whose lecture, "Cyber Security - Data Encryption Technology" will focus on the importance of providing data security. Dr McLoone will also outline some of the techniques that can be used to break codes, the basics of quantum cryptography and the reasons why scientists believe this may be the solution to all our privacy needs.

In "'I See What You're Saying' - Computers, Speech, Vision and More!", Dr Ian O'Neill will investigate advances in speech and vision technologies which will enable computers to detect and display emotion. Professor Roger Woods will then talk on "Technology Challenges for Next Generation Communications", when he will cover future evolutions of communications hardware and the demands they are placing on next generation silicon technology.

Dr Pat Corr, Director of Education in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, said: "Communications technology is now so integrated into our daily lives that it's practically impossible to live in the modern world without making use of it. It's changing and developing at a furious pace. Research such as that carried out at Queen's drives the innovations we see all around us.

"The Belfast Telegraph Lectures will explore a number of issues at the cutting edge of this exciting technology, providing the chance for young people to hear from some of our leading researchers about significant changes and future possibilities in this rapidly evolving area over the next five to 10 years."

The Belfast Telegraph Lectures are held annually at Queen's in memory of the late John E Sayers, the newspaper's editor-in-chief from 1961 to 1969.

For further information, please contact: Anne Langford, 028 9097 5310

Note:
The Belfast Telegraph Lectures will take place in the Whitla Hall at Queen's on Tuesday 07 February, from 10.45am to 1.00pm. Media facilities will be available.

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Queen's Professor elected Fellow of the Irish Academy of Engineering

Professor John McCanny, Director of the Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) and Head of the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen's University, has been elected a Fellow of the Irish Academy of Engineering. He will be inaugurated into the Academy at a dinner held by the Association of Consulting Engineers of Ireland (ACEI), at the St Stephen’s Green Club, Dublin, tomorrow night (Friday 03 February).

The Academy was founded in 1997 by The Institution of Engineers of Ireland (IEI). Membership is limited to 125 and nominees for membership must be shown to possess demonstrable achievement and eminence in their careers.

An international authority on the design of silicon integrated circuits for Digital Signal Processing, Professor McCanny, has published over 300 major journal and conference papers and holds over 25 patents.

Currently Director of the acclaimed £40M Institute for Electronics Communications and Information Technology (ECIT), at the Northern Ireland Science Park, Professor McCanny, helped form the vision that led to ECIT's creation. He now leads its mission to combine world-leading research and innovation with the development of new companies and strong links with industry.

Speaking about his election to the Academy, Professor McCanny said: "I am delighted and honoured to be elected to the Academy whose Fellows include many of the most eminent engineers in Ireland. Engineering by its nature is very much a team effort and I therefore trust that this will also reflect on the many colleagues I have had the pleasure of working with."

Awarded a CBE in 2002, Professor McCanny has also received the 2003 Royal Dublin Society/Irish Times Boyle Medal, which recognises scientific excellence in Ireland, a Royal Academy of Engineering Silver Medal and a Millennium Medal from the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) based in the United Sates.

Professor McCanny is the co-founder of two successful high technology companies. Audio Processing Technology Ltd (www.aptx.com), markets audio compression products to the broadcast industry worldwide and Amphion Semiconductor Ltd. (www.amphion.com), is a leading supplier of semiconductor "intellectual property" (complex chip designs), for applications such as digital TV, mobile multi-media devices, 3G cell phones and digital video recorders (acquired by Conexant Systems Inc in June 2004).

A Fellow of the Royal Society, he is also a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (based in the US). He is also a Member of the Royal Irish Academy and the European Academy of Science.

For further information, please contact: Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office, 028 9097 5384.

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Manufacturing guru Lord Bhattacharyya to lecture at Queen's

International manufacturing guru Professor Lord Bhattacharyya is to deliver a prestigious public lecture on "Universities, Globalisation and the New Manufacturing Agenda" at Queen's University next Tuesday 07 February.

In his presentation - the fifth Sir Bernard Crossland Lecture - Lord Bhattacharyya will address the need for small and medium-sized nations to invest in science and technology if they are to compete in today's global environment. He will argue that a dynamic science base, backed up with agile, flexible businesses which are quick to exploit technological opportunities, is the only way to stay ahead.

He will also urge governments to create the maximum degree of collaboration, both national and international, between public institutions and private sector bodies, and between universities and industry, and will stress the need for universities to demonstrate tangible outputs.

Queen's Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson said: "Northern Ireland has a long tradition in manufacturing and engineering.

"Through our graduation of a stream of well-qualified engineers, through a strong research base and through the creation of spin-out companies, Queen's plays a leading role in underpinning economic growth in Northern Ireland. We are therefore delighted to welcome Lord Bhattacharyya and I am sure his lecture will stimulate valuable discussion and debate."

Professor of Manufacturing and Director of Warwick Manufacturing Group at the University of Warwick, Lord Bhattacharyya has published extensively in the field of manufacturing and is advisor to many companies and organisations around the world. He is a past member of the UK Council for Science and Technology, the Government's premier advisory body on major science and technology issues of strategic importance to the United Kingdom, and has served on numerous Government committees.

He has received several international awards and honours, including the Mensforth International Gold Medal from the Institution of Electrical Engineers and the Padma Bhusan by the President of India for services to science, technology and industry. He was awarded a knighthood for services to higher education and industry in 2003, and in 2004 he was elevated to the House of Lords.

The Sir Bernard Crossland Lecture was established by Engineers Ireland as an annual lecture to stimulate debate in the regeneration of engineering manufacturing in Northern Ireland. Sir Bernard is a former Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Queen's where he was Head of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering from 1959 to 1982. An honorary Fellow of Engineers Ireland, he was national President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1986-87and is a Founder Fellow of the Irish Academy of Engineering.

Lord Bhattacharyya's lecture will take place in Lecture Theatre G9, Lanyon North, Queen's University on Tuesday 07 February, starting at 6.00pm.

For further information contact: Claire McGivern,  028 9097 1145

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Hundreds of school children to benefit from 2006 Medics in Primary School scheme

Thirty-five Primary Schools in the greater Belfast area are set to benefit from a host of dietary, nutritional and overall health advice, as a result of a scheme launched today at Queen's University in association with First Trust Bank.

Entitled 'Medics in Primary School, 2006', the scheme will see 37 medical students at Queen's guide hundreds of P7 pupils through a wide-ranging health education programme across the next 12 weeks. It is hoped the scheme will also encourage primary pupils to consider a medical career through having access to positive role models.

Speaking about the scheme, Professor Rod Hay, Head of the School of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen's said: "This programme is an invaluable stepping stone in helping hundreds of children understand they have a major responsibility to take care of their bodies and that many health problems can be avoided by keeping healthy and fit. The earlier we can let them know of the importance of diet and nutrition in a stimulating manner the better.

"It is also one of the most popular electives amongst our medical students, as it not only encourages an interest in human biology and health matters among P7 pupils, but gives future doctors the chance to relate to and interact with young people, teachers and parents from many walks of life."

Mr Vincent Malone, Senior Manager at First Trust Bank, University Road, added: "First Trust Bank is delighted to be supporting this initiative to help promote a healthy lifestyle for children. With 57 branches throughout Northern Ireland, we believe we play an integral role in local life and are happy to support positive initiatives within those communities. I am sure the Medics in Primary School scheme will also serve as an inspiration to the young students involved and encourage them to work hard to achieve the top grades necessary to follow in their role models’ footsteps and become the medics of tomorrow".

Michael Arkinson, a third year medical student at Queen's who previously participated in the scheme said: "This scheme helps Queen's students be a part of the community in which they live and study. Not only do we support the children in taking the steps to lead a healthy lifestyle, we also hope to encourage many of them to aspire to a first class education at Queen's and a fulfilling and valued career in medicine. It really does help show children how living a healthy lifestyle can be fun".

Notes
When the original pilot scheme was launched by Queen's in 2000, 10 schools were involved. As a result of the increase in places to study Medicine at Queen's, over 40 schools will benefit in 2007.

Further information and photographs please contact: Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office, 028 9097 5384

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