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08 -2007 Press Releases

Life and Legacy of French author and statesman André Malraux explored at Queen's

An international conference on one of France’s most important writers and politicians André Malraux, and the spiritual values of the 21st century, is being organised by French Studies at Queen’s from 30 August until the 1 September 2007.

Supported by Queen’s, l’Ambassade de France au Royaume-Uni, the Society for French Studies, and the Amitiés Internationales d’André Malraux, the conference aims to re-examine and re-assess André Malraux’s work in the light of the renascence of spirituality and new perspectives on religion in the 21st century.

Before being appointed Minister of Culture in de Gaulle's post-war government, Malraux was active in promoting Communism during the inter-war years of the 20th century when political ideologies tended to replace religious commitments.

The conference aims to offer a forum that will establish new directions for Malraux studies as well as productive collaboration between world-class scholars and researchers from a diversity of academic disciplines, including literature, history, philosophy, media, communication and politics.

Guest speakers will include Claude Tannery, Professeur titulaire de l’Université Fernando Pessoa de Porto, and Jean-Claude Larrat, from the Université de Caen. A publication of an edited volume based on the papers given at this conference is planned.

Commenting on the conference, Dr. Peter Tame, from French Studies at Queen’s said, “We are delighted to host this conference at Queen’s. It will bring together a variety of specialists in, and enthusiasts of, Malraux’s work and help to highlight the synergies and controversies generated in recent work on Malraux by researchers, particularly in France and America.”

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Notes to Editors:
The conference programme may be found at the following link and also for more information about research and teaching in French at Queen’s, please visit:
http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofLanguagesLiteraturesandPerformingArts/SubjectAreas/FrenchStudies/
For media enquiries please contact: Roisin Duffy, Press & PR Unit, on +44 (0) 28 9097 5391, roisin.duffy@qub.ac.uk .
Out of hours pager: 07699 785 209.

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'Touching' research at Queen's
Professor Alan Marshall
Professor Alan Marshall

A future where online shoppers can feel the products they want to buy and where people playing interactive games can immediately feel the force of an impact is getting closer, thanks to research being carried out at Queen’s University Belfast. Researchers at the University are currently undertaking a new technology study which has the potential to add the sense of touch to virtual worlds.

In addition to opening up a whole array of new opportunities for industries such as electronic gaming, the new technology also promises to permit blind and visually impaired people to access the internet in a way they cannot currently.

At present, major online networks can only carry information relating to two senses, aural and visual. Now, Professor Alan Marshall and his colleagues in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen’s are to spend the next three years working on new network architectures to support the addition of other senses, particularly that of touch.

Known as haptic technology, such systems interface the user via the sense of touch by applying forces, vibrations and/or motions to the user. This mechanical stimulation is used to create haptic virtual objects in a haptic virtual environment.

Almost all haptic devices currently available are only capable of being connected to a single stand-alone system. Professor Marshall and his partners, including BT (UK), Immersion (USA) and HandshakeVR (Canada), hope to develop networks to increase the user’s immersion in a virtual environment by allowing them not only to see, but also to touch the environment around them. It is hoped users will also be able to share these sensations with fellow users in numerous locations.

The study will also aim to overcome the challenge of maintaining a consistent view of the shared information in the face of inevitable network delays and variable bandwidth.

Queen’s University already has a world first in the area of haptic technology, having performed the first long distance tele-haptic coloration over the internet in conjunction with British Telecom’s research lab in Ipswich in 2003.

Speaking about his hopes for the new study, Professor Marshall, who is principal investigator of the project, said: “If we are to enter the ‘second age’ of the internet, then it must be able to support multimodal communication, including additional senses. Queen’s University is a forerunner in the global race to introduce the necessary new architectures and networks capable of carrying such information.

“We are already leading a new project entitled ENABLED concerning the delivery of web content to blind and visually impaired and the potential applications made possible by the architectures coming out of this new study will be huge.

“Take the Nintendo Wii as an example. It has already revolutionised gaming without players having the ability to receive any touch-related feedback. Imagine what it would be like if we could select to play a virtual character based on Roger Federer and feel every impact of his serve, in real time.”

Notes to Editors:

The new study is formally known as Network Architectures for Distributed Haptic Virtual Environments (HAPNet) and is a combination of work from two centres within Queen’s University, The Virtual Engineering Centre (VEC) and The Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT).

The VEC at Queen’s is a £4.5million initiative by the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences which brings together all the Schools in the Faculty. This includes expertise in Virtual Reality, Engineering Computation, Communications Networks, Physical Modelling and CAD technologies.

ECIT is a £40 million research centre established by Queen’s in the Northern Ireland Science Park. The world-class centre has a unique focus on blue skies, strategic and industrial research projects. ECIT brings together, in one building, internationally renowned research groups from Queen’s specialising in areas of advanced digital and communications technology.

Media enquiries to Lisa Mitchell, Press and PR Unit, +44 (0) 28 9097 5384 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk .

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Autumn learning with a difference

After our summer horribilis, one way to avoid a terrible autumn - and a winter of discontent - is to sign up for one of the many inviting new courses offered by Queen’s University’s Open Learning Programme.

The programme now covers both autumn and winter, and for the first time you can enrol online at www.qub.ac.uk/edu Concession rates are available for most courses and anybody can join. Most courses start on Monday 24 September and you can enrol right up to the first week, though some classes fill up very quickly, so it’s best to enrol early.

The Flight of the Earls is recalled by Cathal McManus in his autumn course on the Nine Years War. To coincide with the 400th anniversary of the Flight of the Earls, this course will seek to explore the events leading up to this momentous occasion in Irish history and to assess its consequences, both short term and long term.

If the tide of human history washes over you, animal lovers are likely to be intrigued by a new course which asks ‘What is my Pet Thinking?’ So, if you think Fifi and Bonzo are smart enough to read your thoughts, now’s your chance to find out.

But if you prefer to keep your head in the stars, Colin Johnston’s Night Sky will be a wonderful source of illumination.

And talking of stars, John Bradbury’s Defining Moments in the History of Rock will offer a fond memory for many, recalling the dazzling musical constellations of the 1960s and 1970s. The course, which starts in January, will track some of the most important astra on Planet Rock, from Bill Haley to Elvis, Tamla Motown, Bob Dylan and the Beatles through to Van Morrison, Bob Marley, Joe Strummer and Pink Floyd.

Popular culture features in a number of courses, including Marcus Smith’s examination of Aliens in American Science Fiction Cinema, Robert Simpson’s dark journey into Hammer horror films, Eadaoin Agnew’s course on detective fiction and Contemporary Literature and Popular Culture, offered by Caroline Magennis.

Open Learning Programme Co-ordinator, Tess Maginess said; “We would be delighted to welcome people from all over Belfast and beyond. We have Queen’s University lecture groups in a number of other centres throughout Northern Ireland. The programmes are very relaxed, but you do have the chance to access a great deal of expertise across a wide range of programmes and to gain credits, if you wish.

“Building on work we have been doing over the past two years, we can also work in partnership with groups all over Northern Ireland to develop tailored courses to suit their own needs”, she said.

Queen’s University Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson outlined how important the courses were to the University saying: “Queen’s has a long history of innovation in education. In the 1850s it offered lectures for the citizens of Belfast at 7am, the start of a tradition of extra mural provision that has secured the University’s position as a leader in lifelong learning.”

He continued; “This range of diverse academic and other learning opportunities includes dozens of courses which have proved their popularity over the years, and introduces new choices reflecting the demands of 21st century life and work.”

For further details and a free brochure, containing full information about all the courses, or to enrol, please contact the Open Learning Programme, by telephone: 028 9097 3323/3539, online at www.qub.ac.uk/edu or by writing or calling in to us:
Open Learning Programme,
School of Education,
Queen’s University,
20 College Green,
Belfast,
BT7 1LN.

For media enquiries please contact: Judith Rance, Press & PR Unit, +44 (0)28 9097 5292, Mob: 07866 106 887, j.rance@qub.ac.uk
Out of hours pager: 07699 785 209.

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Sound Live at Queen's perfect end to a musical week in Belfast
Making music together at the launch of Sound Live are Stephen McDermot, one of the young participants, Richard Walker Queen's co-ordinator and local radio and television celebrity Ralph McLean.
Making music together at the launch of Sound Live are Stephen McDermot, one of the young participants, Richard Walker Queen's co-ordinator and local radio and television celebrity Ralph McLean.

Queen's is offering the perfect end to a week of great music in Belfast with free tickets available to a live music event in the University's Whitla Hall on Friday night.

While a host of professionals took to the stage in Ormeau Park this week, 30 unemployed young people from around Northern Ireland took their first steps towards a musical career, with help from Queen's University, South Eastern Regional College and the Sound Live programme at The Prince's Trust.

Now, the results of all their hard work on the programme will be on show in the Whitla Hall at Queen's on Friday night as they perform live complete with a full sound and lighting system. Tickets are free and are available from Jim Rutherford, Prince's Trust on 028 9075 8117.

Designed for 18-25 year olds, the 2007 Sound Live Programme provides disadvantaged young people, who demonstrate a solid degree of musical competence, an opportunity to gain the experience and skills they need to enter a career in Music.

The intensive week-long course, which began on Monday 20 August, involved specialist instrumental tuition; workshops dealing with major aspects of the music business and personal/career planning and individual performances. The residential, at Queen's University, will be followed by six months of individual support which aims to develop the participants' personal skills along with their musical ability.

According to the Prince's Trust, 19 per cent of last year's participants on Sound Live have gained employment, 20 per cent obtained full time self employment within the music industry, while a further 30% are now studying music at colleges and universities across the UK.

Jim Rutherford, Development Officer with the Prince's Trust, who co-ordinates the course, said: "There is much more to Sound Live than making music. The course uses music as the vehicle to look at other areas. Communication, conflict resolution, trust, tolerance, teamwork, problem solving, personal identity, self esteem and motivation are developed alongside creative skills. By the end of the six months, we hope the participants will have a 'sound' basis for a successful career in music but more importantly, confidence for the future."

Richard Walker, Special Projects Officer at Queen's University added: "Queen's has partnered the Prince's Trust on Sound Live since 1999. The University views the event as an exciting way for disadvantaged young people to gain experience in team work, to improve their employability skills, and to highlight the opportunities available to them in full-time education."

Speaking at the launch TV and radio Presenter Ralph McLean said he was happy to fully endorse the programme: "It's great to see that young people are having the chance to write and perform their own music as well as find out what life in the music industry really entails. As with all Prince's Trust programmes, it gives young people the chance to change their lives for the better."

To book tickets to the Sound Live Concert, please contact Jim Rutherford, Prince's Trust on 028 9075 8117.

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Notes to editors

There will be an opportunity for photographs at the live event and during Friday's rehearsal.

For media enquiries please contact: Judith Rance, Press & PR Unit, +44 (0)28 9097 5292, Mob: 07866 106 887, j.rance@qub.ac.uk Out of hours pager: 07699 785 209

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Queen's engineers help cut global fuel emissions
Polymer Processing Research Centre (PPRC) Moulding Research Manager, Mark Kearns from Banbridge, and Process Engineer Paul Hanna and Mark McCourt, both from Newry, drive the green transformation in the global motorcycle industry.
Polymer Processing Research Centre (PPRC) Moulding Research Manager, Mark Kearns from Banbridge, and Process Engineer Paul Hanna and Mark McCourt, both from Newry, drive the green transformation in the global motorcycle industry.

Greener motorcycle fuel tanks which can meet stringent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) targets for emissions are on the way as a result of work being carried out at the Polymer Processing Research Centre (PPRC) at Queen's University. The work is in conjunction with leading American, European and Japanese motorcycle companies.

Motorcycle manufacturers must now comply with legislation from the EPA which has been phasing in a reduction of fuel permeation under the Clean Air Act since 2002, and also from the Californian Air Resources Board (CARB). These global fuel emission regulations have forced motorcycle manufacturers to adapt and convert their fuel tanks to new 'high fuel barrier' materials.

In partnership with global polymer suppliers, Total Petrochemicals and Arkema Inc., novel polymer tank constructions are being perfected in the Rotational moulding laboratory of the PPRC at Queen's. A week of industrial trials is scheduled for Japan in August and the team has recently completed trials in Italy and the USA.

Speaking about the ongoing work at the PPRC, Mark Kearns, Moulding Research Manager said "What the PPRC is doing is unique and very specialised and we manage to help support an international polymer industry.

"Most people are familiar with the green oil tank in their gardens. The majority of these tanks are made by rotational moulding. Variations of the materials used for those tanks are the same for the new fuel emission compliant tanks that the motorcycle industry is moving towards.

"At Queen's, we are proud to be part of a transformation in the global motorcycle industry that is helping the environment and enables us to continue to research and develop in order to support these changes".

Further information on the work of the PPRC at Queen's can be found at http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/PolymerProcessingResearchCentre/

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Notes to editors

The multi-disciplinary PPRC at Queen's was established with assistance from the Industrial Research and Technology Unit (IRTU) in Northern Ireland over ten years ago. PPRC is regarded as the world's leading research facility in this subject area and provides the necessary technological infrastructure to support the activities of the plastics industry both locally and internationally.

Rotational moulding is a manufacturing process used to produce hollow plastic parts. Typical rotomoulded parts include oil tanks, canoes, kayaks and large toys.

Within the motorcycle and recreational vehicles industry, all terrain vehicles have fuel tanks that have permeation rates greater than 8.0g/m/day. New regulations restrict permeation rates to less than 1.5g/m/day. These regulations were enacted in 2002 and will take effect in 2008.

For media enquiries please contact: Judith Rance, Press & PR Unit, +44 (0)28 9097 5292, j.rance@qub.ac.uk Out of hours pager: 07699 785 209

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Queen's advises A-level students

The Admissions Office at Queen's University has issued advice to students who will receive their A-level results this week. The University receives A-level, AS-level and Key Skills results directly from UCAS and candidates do not need to communicate their results to the University.

Decisions made by Queen's, the University of Ulster, and Stranmillis University College are posted on a website hosted by Queen's on the morning of Thursday 16 August and updated twice each day. The website address is www.qub.ac.uk/ucas-decisions.

Information is also published on the UCAS website www.ucas.ac.uk although the decisions from the local institutions will appear more quickly on the Queen's website. The quickest and simplest way to find out about the status of an application and clearing vacancies is to consult the website.

You will be asked for your UCAS application number and, in the case of the UCAS website, your username and password, so you should make sure you have these to hand.

Applicants who have met the exact grades or points of their offer for admission should have their place confirmed by UCAS following the publication of results. These applicants do not need to telephone the University or College. The only official notification is sent by UCAS and, if accepted, you should respond to the appropriate university as soon as possible using the AS12 reply slip.

If you have narrowly missed the grades, you may still be accepted although you may have to be patient for a few days. It will depend on the availability of places after the university concerned has accepted all candidates who precisely meet or better the conditions of their offer.

Queen's has provided all students holding offers with a Change of Course enquiry slip which should be returned to the University as soon as possible if you want to be considered for an alternative course.

If you are unable to gain admission to either of your choices and are not offered an acceptable alternative course, you will be eligible to participate in the Clearing process.

Details of Clearing vacancies appear in the national press, on www.ucas.com and on university websites. Make contact with the universities which declare vacancies as soon as possible since Clearing vacancies can disappear fast. Remember that as well as Degree courses, HNDs and Foundation Degrees are also available. Some of you who are still keen to pursue your original course may decide to repeat and reapply for 2008 entry. It is worth checking with the institutions concerned about receiving an offer as a repeat candidate, especially as the requirements may be different.

It is important to make decisions sensibly at this time of year and not to accept alternative courses or Clearing places without careful consideration. Do think seriously about any such courses before accepting them. Discuss your situation carefully with your parents, your school/college or the Careers Service of the Department for Education and Learning.

The quickest and simplest way to find out about the status of your application and clearing vacancies at Queen's is to consult the website www.qub.ac.uk/ucas-decisions. For those who need to contact the Admissions Office telephone 028 9097 5081. Lines are open on Thursday 16 August between 10.00am - 1.00pm and 2.00pm - 5.00pm, and on Friday 17 August between 9.30am - 1.00pm and 2.00pm - 5.00pm.

A personal advice session will be held on Monday 20 August in the Whitla Hall , 2.00pm-5.00pm. A separate session for Medical/Dental applicants will take place in the Larmour Lecture Theatre (Physics Building) at 2.30pm on the same day.

Telephone calls on Tuesday 21, Thursday and Friday 23/24 August will be answered between 2.00pm and 5.00pm on 028 9097 5081.

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Media enquiries to Lisa Mitchell, Press and PR Unit on 028 90 97 5384 or email lisa.mitchell@qub.ac.uk
 

Notes to Editors:
Any enquiries on the progress of dealing with applications and the clearing process between 16 August and 24 August should be directed initially to the Press and PR Unit on 028 90 97 3091.

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Queen's trio to uncover Spain's ancient past

Three Archaeology students at Queen's University are taking part this month in the dig of a 5th Century BC settlement of Pintia in Valladolid in central Spain to unearth a Celtic-Iron Age necropolis/burial ground. The trip has been organised by ArchaeoSpain an educational archaeological organisation.

Rachel Moffitt from Omagh, Mark McCorry from Dromara and Garth Stewart from Belfast will join a team of Spanish archaeologists and international archaeology students for one month. Their tasks will include the excavation and mapping of the site, extracting and cataloguing artefacts, photography and preparation for an exhibition.  In addition to the excavation and lab work, there will be a number of seminars and workshops related to the fieldwork.

ArchaeoSpain teams consist of between six and 10 participants from around the world who join local crews of ten to 20 or more people. Over the past few years, previous teams have uncovered around 100 burials most of them belonging to warriors and featuring a bounty of war-related artefacts. Research in this area of the site is helping investigators understand better the social organization of these pre-Roman peoples.

The Vaccean culture was an Iron Age people with Celtic links that settled in north-central Spain around the 5th century BC. The cemetery is located about 300 metres from the main settlement and was used between the 4th century BC and the 1st century. 

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Notes to Editor

Archaeology and Palaeoecology, within the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology at Queen’s University conducts research of international importance and provides the basis for most of the cultural heritage and palaeoenvironmental research undertaken in Northern Ireland, as well as further afield. The published results of the School’s research has gained the discipline and its staff, an international reputation for high quality work. In November 2000, the Palaeocology Centre was awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize.

ArchaeoSpain was founded in 2000 and is a non-profit organization created by a group of cultural resource specialists. ArchaeoSpain provides an opportunity for people from all over the world to engage in important archaeological projects in Spain, and offers a chance to learn and do archaeology with trained investigators. Since ArchaeoSpain’s creation, students from 11 countries and over 100 universities have participated. For further information visit www.archaeospain.com.

Media enquiries to Roisin Duffy, Press and PR Unit on 028 90 97 5391 or email roisin.duffy@qub.ac.uk .

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Gold at World Games still a possibility for Queen's student
Queen's 'WUGS': Dr Barbara Fair, Cathy Gallagher, Joe McAlister, Caroline Woods and Victoria Mallett.
Queen's 'WUGS': Dr Barbara Fair, Cathy Gallagher, Joe McAlister, Caroline Woods and Victoria Mallett.

Queen's University student Victoria Mallett from Derry is starring on the world stage this week, as she lines out for Irish Women's Soccer Squad in the World University Games in Bangkok.

Second only to the Olympic Games in terms of size and participation levels, the event represents the pinnacle of representative sport at university level. Athletes from over 200 countries will participate in 15 different sports.

Victoria and her team mates defeated France 1-0 in the quarter finals on Monday and the win has propelled the Irish ladies team into the semi-finals against Russia tomorrow. The winners of that match will go on to contest gold against either the People’s Republic of Korea or Brazil, while the losing team will play for the bronze medal.

A recipient of a Queen’s sporting bursary award and captain of Derry Ladies Gaelic Football team, Victoria is also joined in Bangkok by fellow bursary recipient and Queen’s student, Joe McAlister. The 2006 Irish half-marathon champion had high hopes of a top ten finish in the half-marathon event but tough monsoon conditions in the Thai capital saw the North Belfast athlete eventually claim 14th place.

Queen’s is also well represented on the Irish team with regards to administrative and medical support provision. Donaghmore’s Cathy Gallagher, Student Sport Development Manager at Queen’s has been chosen as Assistant Head of the Irish Delegation, having previously held the role in 2005, while Dr. Barbara Fair from Comber, Co. Down is Chief Medical Officer. Queen’s-based physiotherapist, Caroline Woods from Strabane, Co. Tyrone, is making her debut at the multi-sport international event.

The World University Games are running from the 8 to 18 of August. The Irish team consists of 68 athletes, a 20 strong men’s and women’s football team, three female golfers, one taekwondo representative, two fencers, eight swimmers, four tennis players and ten track and field athletes.  

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Notes to Editors

An image of the Queen’s ‘WUG’ team can be downloaded from the link sent in the original email containing this news release.

Media enquiries to Lisa Mitchell, Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 5384 or email lisa.mitchell@qub.ac.uk .

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New Cross Border Bone Graft Research at Queen's

A novel bone graft substitute which will aim to help repair bone is being developed as part of a new cross border biomedical research project involving Queen's University students.

Bone grafts are second only to blood tranfusions on the list of transplanted materials worldwide. Postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers will be working on this project in Belfast and Dublin. The funders Science Foundation Ireland are an agency run by a board appointed by the Irish Minister For Trade and Employment.

Science Foundation Ireland have awarded funding for the research to Dr Glenn Dickson, Head of the Tissue Engineering Research Team, Orthopaedic Surgery, Queen’s University and Dr Fergal O Brien, Head of Tissue Engineering Research Group, Royal College of Surgeon’s in Ireland to help develop the graft.

Speaking about the new research project Doctor Dickson said: “Every year up to four million bone replacement procedures are performed worldwide which require the use of a bone graft or bone graft substitute.

“Our objective is that ideally the product would be one of the first fully functional, biocompatible, mechanically competent, bone promoting graft substitutes.”

The joint project will aim to help repair damaged or diseased bone, by evaluating the physical characteristics and the ability of the implant graft to facilitate actual bone growth.  Such bone scaffolds should be compatible with the patient, be mechanically sound and promote new bone formation while preventing infection or rejection.

At present there are two forms of treatment namely an ‘autograft’ where the bone is taken from the patient’s own body and replanted and an ‘allograft’ where the option is to use bone from a donor.  An ideal tissue engineered bone graft substitute would reduce the need for allografts or autografts.

Doctor Dickson continued: “It is exciting that Science Foundation Ireland are actively supporting North South scientific collaboration in this area.

“There is a global interest in regenerative medicine for the production of diverse replacement tissues and organs. An entire industry is being developed in this area with spin out company formation promoting economic and employment opportunities. Bone substitute materials are a major aspect of this.

“It is important that Ireland North and South pool research resources ultimately for patient benefit and to support economic competitiveness in the global arena of regenerative medicine.”

The new project is the latest stage in a continuing North South partnership. Both Dr Dickson and Dr O’ Brien have participated in the delivery of an All Ireland Masters Degree in Biomedical Engineering which has been running for a decade.

North South collaborations in the area have been built up over a number of years and promoted through organisations such as The Northern Ireland BioMedical Engineering Society (Dr Dickson is a Past President) and the BioEngineering Section of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland. A number of joint cross border scientific meetings have been organised by these organisations over many years.

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Media Enquiries to: Eugene McCusker, Press and PR Unit, +44 (0) 2890 975320, mobile number: 07817 434 252.

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Queen's 'Dragon's Den' Teaching Fellow recognised
David Gibson, Senior Teaching Fellow in Entrepreneurship in the School of Management and Economics at Queen's.
David Gibson, Senior Teaching Fellow in Entrepreneurship in the School of Management and Economics at Queen's.

Queen's University lecturer David Gibson has become the first recipient of a National Teaching Fellowship for Enterprise in Education in the UK. From Broughshane, Co. Antrim, the Senior Teaching Fellow in Entrepreneurship in the School of Management and Economics at Queen's was recognised for his evolving teaching practices, including inspiring business simulation projects similar to the BBC programme, 'Dragon's Den'.

David was chosen from 223 nominations and is one of 50 individual award winners for 2007. He will receive £10,000 to support his learning and teaching activities at an awards ceremony in London on 19 September.

Speaking about his teaching methods, David said: "The focus of my teaching is not to show students how to become the next Richard Branson but to be more enterprising and innovative in whichever career they choose."

"It is very rewarding to see the students develop and succeed. In lectures, they are initially out of their comfort zone, but the creation of a fun learning environment encourages them to respond. This award recognising my work is, in itself, also very rewarding."

Business and Management Studies (including accounting and finance), all of which are based within the School of Management and Economics at Queen's, was recently ranked in the top ten in the UK Guardian University Guide 2008. Since joining the School in 2002, David has also embedded enterprise into the curriculum within 24 disciplines across the University. He has also been recognised for his business simulation assessment project where students are assessed on their performance at 'live' networking events and on their negotiating skills.

Since being published in 2006, David's book 'Efactor' has been adopted as a core text by over 30 Universities in the UK. Another of David's publications 'Student Enterprise - The Streetwise Guide' is due for publication in September 2007.

The Academy's National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS), recognises and rewards teachers and learning support staff in higher education in England and Northern Ireland for their excellence in teaching. 

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Media enquiries to Roisin Duffy, Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 5391 or email comms.office@qub.ac.uk.

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Sporting students offered bursary opportunity at Queen's

New students wishing to participate at a high level in a chosen sport during their time at university are being offered the opportunity by Queen's to apply for a coveted Sports Bursary Award. David Humphreys, Diarmuid Marsden, Lisa Bradley and Madeline Perry, are just some of the accomplished sportsmen and women who benefited from the scheme during their time at Queen's.

Also open to existing students, the awards, which are sponsored by Ulster Bank, give all-inclusive access to an unprecedented range of services and facilities within the University sector. Access to top of the range fitness, strength and conditioning facilities, sports science expertise and sports medicine input through Queen's Sport’s physiotherapy, podiatry and medical staff, all form part of the bursary award scheme.

During the 14 years the awards have been in existence, over 225 players and athletes from 28 different sports, as diverse as Lifesaving and Triathlon, have been able to use the scheme to help them develop fully as players.

Speaking about the benefits of the bursary scheme for students, Dr Robert Gamble of Queen’s Sport said: “It is widely recognised that athletes are not made overnight. An athlete with talent and the correct gene pool will train for ten years to be the best and meet the 1,000-hour rule. That translates to three hours of practice daily for ten years.

“This amount of dedication requires the supportive infrastructure of a technical coach, and both sports science and sports medicine back-up. This is something to which Queen’s Sports Bursary Awards significantly contribute. In particular the combination of the two disciplines will generate smarter training programmes that will minimise burnout and injury in the pursuit of peak performance.”

Application forms for the bursary awards, sponsored by Ulster Bank, are now available from Queen’s Sport reception in the PEC, Botanic Park, Belfast, and www.qub.ac.uk/sport. Completed forms must be returned no later than Friday 19 October 2007.

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Media enquiries to Lisa Mitchell, Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 5384 or email lisa.mitchell@qub.ac.uk

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Sound Live at Queen's hits all the right notes

Up to thirty unemployed young people from all round Northern Ireland are being given the opportunity for a successful music career – thanks to Queen's University, the Prince's Trust, and South Eastern Regional College.

They are taking part in the 2007 Sound Live Programme, which aims to give young people an opportunity to gain the experience and skills they need to enter a career in Music. It is designed for 18-25 year olds who are unemployed and have experienced disadvantage but who demonstrate a solid degree of musical competence.

This year’s programme was launched today (8 August) at Queen’s University and was attended by local BBC music presenters Stewart Bailie and Ralph McLean, as well as representatives of the course providers.

The programme will begin on Monday 20 August and will culminate with a live performance by the participants in the Whitla Hall at Queen’s on the evening of Friday 24 August.

Siobhan Craig, Director of the Prince’s Trust Northern Ireland is extremely proud of the success of Sound Live. “This is scheme has exceeded all expectations,” she says. “It is a success because of the strong relationships we have with our partners and because it really does appeal to the young people of Northern Ireland.”

“More than 40 young people applied for the places on this year’s scheme because it really does offer them a life-changing opportunity.”

The intensive week-long course involves specialist instrumental tuition; workshops dealing with major aspects of the music business and personal/career planning and individual performances. The residential, at Queen’s University, is followed by six months of individual support which aims to develop the participants’ personal skills along with their musical ability.

According to the Prince’s Trust, 19% of last year’s participants on Sound Live have gained employment, 20% obtained full time self employment within the music industry, while a further 30% are now studying music at colleges and universities across the UK.

Jim Rutherford, Development Officer with the Prince’s Trust, who co-ordinates the course, said: “There is much more to Sound Live than making music. The course uses music as the vehicle to look at other areas. Communication, conflict resolution, trust, tolerance, teamwork, problem solving, personal identity, self esteem and motivation are developed alongside creative skills. By the end of the six months, we hope the participants will have a ‘sound’ basis for a successful career in music but more importantly, confidence for the future.”

Richard Walker, Special Projects Officer at Queen’s University added: “Queen’s has partnered the Prince’s Trust on Sound Live since 1999. The University views the event as an exciting way for disadvantaged young people to gain experience in team work, to improve their employability skills, and to highlight the opportunities available to them in full-time education.”

Speaking at the launch TV and radio Presenter Ralph McLean said he was happy to fully endorse the programme: “It’s great to see that young people are having the chance to write and perform their own music as well as find out what life in the music industry really entails. As with all Prince’s Trust programmes, it gives young people the chance to change their lives for the better.”

If you would be interested in attending the final night concert or the course, places can be booked from Jim Rutherford on 028 9075 8117.

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Media enquiries to Lisa Mitchell, Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 5384 or Jim Rutherford, Princes Trust regional office, 028 9075 8109 or email james.rutherford@princes-trust.org.uk .

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Global aviation industry Belfast-bound

The future of the global aviation industry, which contributes over a trillion dollars to the worldwide economy every year, is to be discussed in Belfast in September at an event hosted by Queen's University Belfast, Invest Northern Ireland and Bombardier, in conjunction with the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

The world's leading aviation researchers, designers, analysts, manufacturers, integrators and operators will be attending a series of key events under the banner ‘Aviation: Industry without Borders’. The events will take place at the Europa Hotel, Belfast, from 18 to 20 September.

Identifying potential ways to address today’s challenges in economics, the environment, new aircraft designs and the exploration of new systems analysis methodologies will be just some of the issues being discussed.

Speaking about the uniqueness of Aviation: Industry without Borders, Dr. Wilson Felder of America’s Federal Aviation Association said: “This event will definitely be an exciting exchange of aviation and aviation system ideas in a unique international forum. This is certainly one of the very few times that such senior engineers from the United States, Europe and Asia will present their views on the future of aviation.”

Professor Raghu Raghunathan from the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Queen’s University added: “For Belfast and Northern Ireland this is an exceptional recognition of our strong aviation heritage and will inspire both young and professional engineers alike.”

Almost 200 such prospective young engineers have already signed up to take part in ‘Flight Vehicles for the Future’, a special session designed for 16-19 year olds in collaboration with W5, Northern Ireland’s interactive discovery centre. Mathematics and physics will be related to their practical applications in the area of aviation and the session will also include talks and interactive workshops focusing on innovations in the design and operation of futuristic vehicle concepts.

Other events taking place include an Invest NI sponsored opening reception at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum on 18 September and the Bombardier sponsored AIAA evening awards banquet at the Europa Hotel on 19 September.

The main conference events will include the seventh Aviation Technology, Integration, and Operations Conference (ATIO), the second Centre of Excellence for Integrated Aircraft Technology (CEIAT) International Conference on Innovation and Integration in Aerospace Sciences and the 17th Lighter-Than-Air Systems Technology Conference.

The conference general co-chairs are Dr. Wilson Felder, FAA, and Professor Raghu Raghunathan, CEIAT. Technical program co-chairs are Dr. Danielle Soban, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Dr. Mark Price, Queen’s University Belfast. Conference plenary speakers include Charles Leader, Next Generation Air Traffic System, FAA; Luc Tytgat, EUROCONTROL; Michael Friend, The Boeing Company; David Coughtrie, BAE Systems; Andrew Daw, BAE Systems; and John Green, Aircraft Research Association.

Further information on the event can be found by visiting www.aiaa.org/events/atio.

Ends.

Notes to Editors

In addition to the three main conferences, a series of special events have also been organised as outlined below: 

  • Tuesday, September 18 – Opening Reception at Ulster Folk and Transport Museum Invest NI is sponsoring an opening reception at the Irish Railway Collection Gallery at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. Invest NI is part of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment and provides strong government support for business by effectively delivering the government’s economic development strategies, making the most efficient use of available resources. Invest NI offers the Northern Ireland business community a single organisation providing high-quality services, programs, support and expert advice.
  • Wednesday, September 19 – Special Session: ‘Flight Vehicles for the Future’ This unique extended session organized in collaboration with W5, Northern Ireland’s fantastic Interactive Discovery Centre, will include talks and interactive workshops, led by conference participants, focusing on innovations in the design and operation of futuristic vehicle concepts. Aimed at 16-19 year olds, the session will relate mathematics and physics to their practical applications in this exciting area before demonstrating how to stretch these novel designs – inspiring tomorrow’s aviators today! Schools have flocked to take part and the event is fully booked with a big waiting list. This event is part of W5’s Skills and Science programme.
  • Wednesday, September 19 – Awards Banquet Bombardier is sponsoring the AIAA evening awards banquet at the Hastings Europa Hotel.
  • Friday, September 21 – TEOS Forum The current environmental challenges facing the aviation industry are addressed in this topical workshop following the conference. Industrial and academic participants from the United States and Europe will discuss ways in which we can improve aircraft design to reduce energy consumption and consequently benefit our environment. The TEOS Forum will highlight past and future research efforts in the integration of more electric systems.
  • The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) advances the state of aerospace science, engineering, and technological leadership. Headquartered in suburban Washington, DC, the Institute serves over 35,000 members in 65 regional sections and 79 countries. AIAA membership is drawn from all levels of industry, academia, private research organizations, and government. For more information, visit www.aiaa.org.
  • Funded under the PEACE II initiative, CEIAT represents a strategic partnership between the RAE 5* rated School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering within Queen's University Belfast, and Bombardier Aerospace, the Northern Ireland Aerospace Consortium, and the Queen's University Virtual Engineering Centre.

Media enquiries to Lisa Mitchell, Press and PR Unit on + 44 (0)28 9097 5384, + 44 (0)781 44 22 572 or email lisa.mitchell@qub.ac.uk

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Human rights expert to lead Queen's Law School

Human rights expert Professor Colin Harvey has been appointed as the new Head of the Law School at Queen’s University.

Director of the University’s Human Rights Centre since 2005, Professor Harvey said that his mission is to lead a world-class law school which will play a pivotal role in Northern Ireland’s new legal and political climate.

He said: "I very much look forward to the challenge of leading the Law School at Queen's in the context of a changing Northern Ireland. The Law School at Queen's has established itself as one of the major centres for legal research and education in these islands and internationally. My aim is to build on this reputation to establish a world-class Law School which is rooted at the heart of the community.

"Our legal research agenda continues to shape debates locally and globally in areas such as constitutional law, human rights, criminal justice, environmental law, property law and corporate governance. We attract scholars from all over the world, many of whom have international reputations in their fields and all are committed teachers and researchers. In the new legal and political dispensation we will give Northern Ireland access to world-leading legal research, and we will equip the lawyers of tomorrow with the skills necessary to make a substantial contribution to society here and further afield."

Colin Harvey was Professor of Constitutional and Human Rights Law and Co-Convenor of the Human Rights Research Unit at the University of Leeds from 2000 to 2004. In 1999 he was a Visiting Professor at the Refugee and Asylum Law Program, Faculty of Law, University of Michigan. A member of the Advisory Board of the British Institute of Human Rights, he has been a part-time Commissioner on the Northern Ireland Ireland Human Rights Commission since September 2005. 

Professor Harvey was a member of the Northern Ireland Higher Education Council from 2002 to 2006 and a member of the Steering Committee of the UK section of the International Association of Constitutional Law from 2003 to 2006.

The author of numerous publications, Professor Harvey has published extensively in academic, and more popular formats, on issues of human rights law and politics. He is the General Editor of the Series "Human Rights Law in Perspective" and  on the editorial board of Human Rights Law Review and is the Case Editor for the International Journal of Refugee Law.

The Law School at Queen's is ranked as one of the top Schools in the UK and Ireland for research and teaching.  There are over 1,000 undergraduate students enrolled in the School, 120 postgraduates, 30 PhD students and almost 50 members of academic staff.  The School has active relationships with universities in Ireland, France, Spain, the USA, Canada, South Africa, India, Latin America and Australia through which opportunities for study abroad and staff exchanges are fostered.

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Media enquiries to Anne Langford, Press and PR Unit on + 44 (0) 28 9097 5310 or email a.langford@qub.ac.uk

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Minimizing side effects: Queen's scientists report new drug delivery system
Dr Colin McCoy, School of Pharmacy at Queen's
Dr Colin McCoy, School of Pharmacy at Queen's

A new drug dosing system controlled by light has been developed by scientists at Queen’s University Belfast. The system could allow the long-sought ability to deliver drugs where, when, and in the exact doses, required.  This would maximize their effect and reduce side effects and damage to healthy parts of the body.

Dr Colin P. McCoy and colleagues from the School of Pharmacy at Queen’s describe their new molecular-scale dosing devices as “a new paradigm for precise control of drug dosing using light.”

The devices consist of medications combined with certain chemical compounds that respond to light in ways that release precisely controlled amounts of the drug.  Drug release begins when light falls on the compounds, and lasts only as long as the light continues to shine.

Their study, which is reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, showed successful laboratory tests of the system in the controlled release of three common medications used to treat pain and inflammation — aspirin, ibuprofen and ketoprofen.

Explaining some of the potential uses for the new method, Dr McCoy said: “One potential use we cited in the study would be in the treatment of urinary catheter infections, where the drug is held latently in the catheter, and is released when needed using light from a fibre optic. The system could likewise be used for other conditions using an implant under the skin for precisely controlled drug dosing.”

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Media enquiries to Lisa Mitchell, Press and PR Unit on 028 9097 5384 or email lisa.mitchell@qub.ac.uk.

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Queen's astronomer searches for new planets in '100 nights' study

The discovery of new SuperWASP planets will be one of the aims of Queen’s University astronomer Dr Don Pollacco, following the announcement that he has been awarded 100 nights study at the Northern Hemisphere Observatory in the Canary Islands.

This unprecedented award for a Northern Ireland astronomer is built on the success of the Queen’s SuperWASP experiment designed to detect extra solar planets which had its first successes in 2006.

From the School of Physics at Queen’s, Dr Pollacco began his 100 nights study on Wednesday, 1 August. The study will run across the next year.

Twenty planets have been discovered by the SuperWASP experiment so far, which is a Queen’s University led project aimed at detecting extra-solar planets. The technique used involves taking images of large parts of the sky with a purpose built, robotic, ultra-wide field camera. Sophisticated software is then used to detect the weak signal of a transiting extra-solar planet. This occurs whenever a planet moves across the face of its host star.

Commenting on the project work, Dr Pollacco said: “The award will enable us to use the telescopes within an integrated programme allowing even the smallest telescopes to make important and valuable contributions.

“While the study of exoplanets is still in its infancy, the UK has generally been seen to be lagging behind other countries. This award however firmly places the Queen’s Exoplanet group towards the forefront of this exciting area.” 

Among the all night telescopes that will be used on Tenerife and La Palma are the 4.2m William Herschel and the 0.8 m IAC telescope.

In addition to the work on SuperWASP, the ‘100 nights’ award will also allow Dr Pollacco to examine a further four interconnected projects:

• The detection of massed exoplanets. These systems are, in nearly every case, composed of a large Jupiter sized planet.
• Searching for moons and rings around exoplanets. This uses new equipment to look for distortions in the light curve caused by these bodies.
• Searching for exoplanets around small stars.
• Detection of brown dwarfs, objects that don’t get quite hot enough to initiate nuclear reactions.

End

Notes to editors:
Dr Pollaco was awarded the study thanks to his entry to the Canary Islands Observatory Board competition. Dr Pollacco’s entry was entitled, ‘The Discovery and Characterisation of new SuperWASP Planets and the Search for Low Mass Planets’.

For media enquiries please contact: Eugene McCusker, Press & PR Unit, on +44 (0)28 9097 5320, e.mccusker@qub.ac.uk.

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