12-2003 Press Releases

December 2003

22/12/03: Jolly Good Fellows at Queen’s
19/12/03: Honorary graduate inspects ancestors’ masonry at Queen’s
17/12/03: Archive - a billboard installation
15/12/03: Queen’s flagship audio research centre links up with California
15/12/03: Excellence award for Dromore firm
15/12/03: Simulating rainfall – in Northern Ireland?
12/12/03: Pro-Vice-Chancellor calls for respect for diversity
12/12/03: Local man comes home for University honour
12/12/03: University award for top UK scientist and stonemason’s descendant
12/12/03: Queen’s in dramatic link-up with Monaghan
11/12/03: University’s contribution to dairy industry on show
11/12/03: Queen’s outperforms on access!
11/12/03: Chinese graduate ‘top of the class’
11/12/03: Identical twins collect PhD degrees
11/12/03: Global humanitarian work of Queen’s graduate
11/12/03: Adult literacy tutors gain new qualification at Queen’s
11/12/03: Children’s watchdog sets out his stall
11/12/03: Mastermind of Belfast’s Golden Mile takes honour
11/12/03: New Queen’s nurses boost health service
11/12/03: University awards Festival impresario
11/12/03: Celebrating creativity key to a better Northern Ireland - Bain
11/12/03: Weight lifting champion lifts heavyweight degree
11/12/03: Winter graduation ceremonies 2003
11/12/03: Education is a lifelong engagement, graduates are told
11/12/03: The third degree for Doctor Cubed!
11/12/03: Part-time students rewarded at Queen’s
11/12/03: Queen’s commitment to students with disabilities highlighted
09/12/03: Knowledge Transfer Partnership Awards

08/12/03: Queen’s public lectures to discuss Darwinism and religion
05/12/03: Great fun planned for Inter Sports Night!
02/12/03: ‘Northern Ireland: What’s Going Wrong?’
01/12/03: Popular culture expert to lecture at Queen’s
01/12/03: Winter graduation ceremonies 2003

Jolly Good Fellows at Queen’s

Three of Queen’s top flight academics have been elected to the prestigious US based Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE)

The trio who received the accolade, which is effective from 1 January 2004, are Professor Vincent Fusco, and Professor George Irwin, both from the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Professor Ron Perrott, from the School of Computer Science.

Every year following a rigorous evaluation process the IEEE elects no more than 0.1 per cent of its membership to one of its more prestigious honours, the IEEE Fellow. Typically the United Kingdom would have four new Fellows elected from academia each year and for Queen’s to have three members elected simultaneously is a remarkable achievement.

Queen’s now has five IEEE Fellows after Professor John McCanny was elected in 1999, followed by Professor Carson Stewart in 2001.

Professor Fusco, who currently heads Queen’s High Frequency Research Group, is also Director of the £5.4million SPUR2 International Centre for Advanced MicroWireless SoCaM. He was elected for his contribution to the design of active and self-tracking antenna technology.

Commenting on his election Professor Fusco said: “Personally I am delighted that my efforts have been recognised at an international level, professionally it doesn’t get any better than this.”

Professor Irwin, who was elected for his contribution to the application of modern control design methods, is Professor of Control Engineering and Director of the £5 million Virtual Engineering Centre. Professor Irwin and his group are currently working closely with a number of Northern Ireland companies, including Randox, Invista and Seagate, on topics including the detection of heart disease from biochemicals in blood samples, improved grinding control in the manufacture of computer disks and computer based monitoring of chemical processes.

Professor Irwin said: “I would like to thank my PhD students, research assistants and colleagues for their support. This Fellowship from the IEEE is very much the result a team effort over many years. We are all greatly encouraged by this international recognition of the excellence of our research here at Queen's.”

Professor Perrott is Professor of Software Engineering and Director of the Regional e-Science Centre. He was elected for his contribution to the design and implementation of programming languages of parallel and distributed computers.

Five years ago Professor Perrott was elected Fellow of the US Association of Computing Machinery which is the oldest and most prestigious computer society in the United States.

The IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional society with more than 380,000 members in 150 countries. Through its members, it is a leading authority on areas ranging from aerospace, computers and telecommunications to biomedicine, electric power and consumer electronics.

For further information, contact: Dolores Vischer, Telephone (028) 9097 5320

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Honorary graduate inspects ancestors’ masonry at Queen’s

One of the UK’s top scientists and President of the United Kingdom’s most prestigious academic body, the Royal Society recently received an honorary degree at Queen’s University Belfast.

‘Alas poor Yorick!’ Lord May of Oxford, who was awarded an honorary doctorate at Queen’s University on Friday 12 December for his distinction as a scientist, inspects one of the original gargoyle heads that were carved by his great-grandfather and his three brothers.
‘Alas poor Yorick!’ Lord May of Oxford, who was awarded an honorary doctorate at Queen’s University on Friday 12 December for his distinction as a scientist, inspects one of the original gargoyle heads that were carved by his great-grandfather and his three brothers.

Lord May of Oxford has longstanding connections with Northern Ireland and Queen’s University. Not only was his paternal grandfather a pharmacist from Carrickfergus, but his maternal great-grandfather was one of four brothers who worked as stonemasons and quarry masters in the construction of the University’s main Lanyon building.

During the Victorian era there had been a resurgence of interest in gargoyles and architect Charles Lanyon included them in his design for the new Queen’s College in the 1840s. Lord May’s ancestors carried out much of the detailed stonework that today forms part of Belfast’s prestigious built heritage. Later, the stonemason brothers moved to Sydney where they played a part in the construction of a number of public buildings, including the city’s customs house and main post office.

During his visit to Queen’s, Lord May, who was born in Australia as Robert McCredie May, was interested to view the gargoyles and other masonry that his forebears were responsible for. He was able to inspect some of the original carved gargoyle heads at closer quarters than he might have anticipated – due to the fact that they are now housed in a display case following a recent replacement programme!

In 1996, a survey of the Lanyon building revealed significant defects in the original stonework, caused by the heavy toll of Belfast’s geography and heavy industry, particularly on the soft sandstone from which the intricate gargoyles and turrets on the building had been carved. As part of its conservation strategy, the University’s Estates Department planned a carefully phased maintenance programme with architects Consarc.

In one corner pinnacle of the main tower it was discovered that the damage was particularly severe and replacement was the only option. New gargoyles were commissioned from local Northern Irish stonemasons, Cunningham Stone of Kilkeel. These are now proudly in place at the top of the building, while the originals have been kept for display.

Holding one of the gargoyle heads from the display case, Lord May said, “It’s fascinating to see these old carvings and to think that my ancestors played a part in this. There are evident similarities between the gargoyles at Sydney University and those of the Lanyon building. Although there are no definite records of the Sydney University craftsmen, I feel it is likely that a connection must be made with the move to Australia of my great-grandfather and his brothers and their subsequent work there.”

Presenting Lord May for the honorary degree of Doctor of Sciences for his distinction as a scientist, and for public services, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research & Development Professor Roy Crawford described him as “one of the most distinguished scientists and original thinkers of our time”.

Amongst the eminent positions Lord May has occupied are Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK government and personal adviser to the Prime Minister. As Head of the Office of Science and Technology he played an influential role in national and international scientific matters. Since 1988 he has been at Oxford University, concurrently holding a Professorship at Imperial College London. During this time he has consolidated his reputation as a world leader in the science of Mathematical Biology. In 2000 he became President of the Royal Society and was made a life peer in 2001.

For further information, contact: Dolores Vischer, Communications Office, 028 9033 5320

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Archive - a billboard installation

An exciting contemporary artwork installation has been given a platform by the hoarding put up at 53-67 University Road during major construction work on behalf of Queen’s University. The work, entitled ‘Archive’ by Doireann Ni Ghrioghair, will be unveiled on Friday 19 December at 12.30pm.

A recent work by Doireann Ni Ghrionghair, the artist commissioned by Queen’s University to decorate the hoarding on University Road. The new billboard installation will be unveiled on Friday 19 December at 12.30pm.
A recent work by Doireann Ni Ghrionghair, the artist commissioned by
Queen’s University to decorate the hoarding on University Road. The new billboard installation
will be unveiled on Friday 19 December at 12.30pm.

Doireann Ni Ghrioghair, from Dundalk, is a second year Art and Design student. Her work is concerned with ideas of the ephemeral in relation to the urban environment. In this piece she is working with the layers of posters that have already accumulated on the hoarding. Doireann said of her work, “In ‘Archive’, I am using the posters on the streets of the city because I see them as ready-made collages. I think the way they are always being added to and altered reflects the constant activity and pulse of the urban environment. The title ‘ Archive’ refers to this unusual collection of events and documents.” She added, “It has also been interesting working on site and experiencing public interventions and responses as I make the work, which makes me consider the performative nature of this activity.”

As part of the major construction project, the façade of the buildings at 53-67 University Road is being carefully preserved in recognition of the contribution it makes to the streetscape. Meanwhile, completely new structures are being erected behind the façade to house the Queen’s University Institute of Governance, Public Policy & Social Research, the Institute of Irish Studies and a research and reference facility for the European Resource Centre.

Commenting on the ‘Archive’ commission, Gary Jebb Director of Estates at Queen’s said,” While Queen’s is committed to its architectural heritage it is also eager to contribute to contemporary art in the city. With this innovative project, the University has the opportunity to use the protective hoarding around one of its projects as a platform for a young local artist and we are delighted with the result.”

The ‘Archive’ billboard installation project will run from 19 December until 14 February 2004. “I will return frequently to the space during this time to work on the painting and collage, with these continuing alterations echoing the brash temporality of the city,” added Doireann Ni Ghrioghair.

The development project is expected to be ready for occupation next summer. Splendid new facilities will be provided for the Institute of Governance, Public Policy and Social Research that brings together practitioners and researchers in the field of public policy and governance from universities throughout the world and the wider policy community. It also houses the Northern Ireland Social and Political Archive (ARK), a web resource which aims to make social and political material on Northern Ireland available to the widest possible audience.

The Institute of Irish Studies, also to be housed in the new accommodation, is an interdisciplinary centre for research and teaching that aims to explore the social, political, cultural and geographical factors that have influenced the people of this island and its diasporas.

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Notes: There will be media opportunities at the launch of the ‘Archive’ installation at 12.30pm on Friday 19 December at 53-67 University Road, and afterwards in the Naughton Gallery at Queen’s.

For further information contact: Shan McAnena, Curator of Art 028 9033 5383, or Dolores Vischer 028 9033 5320 or 07815 133 415

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Queen’s flagship audio research centre links up with California

A new partnership announced today (Monday) between Queen’s University’s Sonic Arts Research Centre and world-leading Californian digital technology company DTS (Digital Theater Systems, Inc.) will help Northern Ireland lead the world in the development of music technology.

Tracy Meharg, Invest Northern Ireland’s Managing Director of Innovation and Capability Development, studies software for editing and manipulating sound in the Sonic Arts Research Centre at Queen’s following the announcement of a partnership between the Centre and leading Californian digital technology company DTS.
Tracy Meharg, Invest Northern Ireland’s Managing Director of Innovation and Capability Development, studies software for editing and manipulating sound in the Sonic Arts Research Centre at Queen’s following the announcement of a partnership between the Centre and leading Californian digital technology company DTS. Looking on are (from left) Centre Director Professor Michael Alcorn; Professor Roger Woods, Sonic Arts Research Centre; and DTS President and CEO Jon Kirchner.

Jointly funded by development agency Invest Northern Ireland, the £1 million project will focus on the development of new multi-channel audio technologies. SARC will conduct joint research and experimentation with DTS’ Research and Development facility in Bangor, Co.Down.

Paul Smith, Vice President, Research and Development for DTS, said: “The Sonic Arts Research Centre at Queen’s is quickly becoming one of the world’s leading research institutes in the area of multi-channel audio systems, and DTS has always been a company dedicated to developing new audio technologies.

“Working together is a natural fit, and we look forward to integrating our resources for this project.”

SARC Director Professor Michael Alcorn said: “DTS is a renowned innovator in digital surround sound across many industries – including cinema, consumer electronics and professional audio. Collaborating with DTS to discover new applications and create new audio technologies represents an exciting challenge for all of us in the Centre.”

The collaboration was also welcomed by Invest NI. The agency’s Managing Director of Innovation and Capability Development , Tracy Meharg, said: “Northern Ireland’s developing creative industries sector will benefit immensely from this venture between DTS, a world leader in the latest digital audio technology, and the University which has been at the forefront of sound compression technology for more than a decade.

“The project helps to ensure that Northern Ireland continues to be the global industry leader in a digital technology that is transforming many business sectors from music and live entertainment to television and the movies.”

Dedicated to the research of music technology, the £4.5 million Sonic Arts Research Centre is a newly-established facility within Queen’s. The only centre of its type in the United Kingdom or Ireland, it was one of four projects at the University to receive funding under the first phase of Northern Ireland’s Support Programme for University Research (SPUR) initiative.

Uniting internationally recognised experts in the fields of music, electronic engineering and computer science, the unique interdisciplinary centre houses a 50-person research team and a state-of-the-art sonic laboratory. The auditorium is the only fully 3D studio of its kind for sonic art performance and experimentation.

DTS (Digital Theater Systems, Inc.) (Nasdaq: DTSI) is a digital technology company dedicated to delivering the ultimate entertainment experience. DTS decoders are in virtually every major brand of 5.1-channel surround processors, and there are more than 200 million DTS-licensed consumer electronics products available worldwide.

A pioneer in multi-channel audio, DTS technology is in home theatre, car audio, PC and game console products, as well as 5.1 Music Discs, DVD-Video, DVD-Audio and DVD-ROM software. Additionally, DTS is featured on more than 20,000 motion picture screens worldwide.

Founded in 1993, the company is headquartered in Agoura Hills, California and has offices in the United Kingdom, Japan and China.

For further information contact:

Professor Michael Alcorn, Tel 028 9027 4829
Dr Roger Woods, Tel 028 9027 4081
Anne Langford, Tel 028 9033 5310

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Excellence award for Dromore firm

A Co Down company which linked up with Queen’s University to forge a highly successful partnership has scooped an award in engineering excellence.

Jacqui Smith, Minister of State for Industry and the Regions presents representatives from Queen’s University and Steve Orr Ltd in Dromore with the Royal Academy of Engineering award in excellence. From left: Professor Raymond Murphy and Mr Gerry McNally, of Queen’s, Graham Milligan, Associate graduate, Mark Leatham and Philip Orr, of Steve Orr Ltd and Adrian Marks, Associate graduate.
Jacqui Smith, Minister of State for Industry and the Regions presents representatives from Queen’s University and Steve Orr Ltd in Dromore with the Royal Academy of Engineering award in excellence. From left: Professor Raymond Murphy and Mr Gerry McNally, of Queen’s, Graham Milligan, Associate graduate, Mark Leatham and Philip Orr, of Steve Orr Ltd and Adrian Marks, Associate graduate.

Dromore based Steve Orr Ltd manufactures and supplies netwrap and baler twine to the global agricultural industry. The company joined forces with the University’s School of Chemical Engineering as part of the Knowledge Transfer Partnership scheme which enables businesses to benefit from the input of expertise from university academics.

Regarded as a world leader in the industry, Steve Orr Ltd was among seven award winning partnerships to be honoured at a special Knowledge Transfer Partnership Awards event in London and it was during this event that the partners also won the Royal Society of Engineering award for excellence.

The scheme, formerly known as TCS, has enabled the company not only to reap substantial financial benefits but also to double in size over the last three years. In business since 1977, Steve Orr Ltd now has a workforce of 55 and exports to 24 countries, including most of Central Europe, Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand and, most recently, Japan, Uruguay and Argentina.

The engineering excellence award is the latest to be given to the company, which also won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation in 2001.

The University also benefited from the initiative, not only in staff development, but also with regard to research output, university income and recognition of its activities in Europe and North America.
Both Associate graduates on the project, Graham Milligan and Adrian Marks, used their unique training opportunity to develop their skills, knowledge and abilities. Their jobs within the company helped develop its culture of innovation which has led to significant commercial success.

Congratulating Steve Orr Ltd and the Queen’s academics on their combined success, Dr Mary Flynn, Knowledge Transfer Centre Manager, said:

“I am delighted that the achievements of the partnership between Queen’s University and Steve Orr Ltd have been recognised by the prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering at national level. Queen's has always been a great supporter of technology transfer through this type of partnership with local companies. This award recognises our efforts in improving the competitiveness of companies, enhancing the careers of graduates and in increasing the business relevance of the University’s research and teaching. The University’s dedication and commitment to expanding partnerships with Northern Ireland companies, particularly SMEs, has resulted in Queen's becoming the number one knowledge base for technology transfer partnerships in Northern Ireland.”

Note to Editors:
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships is the United Kingdom’s leading mechanism for transferring science, technology, innovation, knowledge and skills from universities and colleges to business. At any one time, over 900 partnerships are in progress.

For further information contact:

Dr Mary Flynn, Knowledge Transfer Centre, Telephone: (028) 9033 5444

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Simulating rainfall – in Northern Ireland?

Provoking analogies of ‘bringing coals to Newcastle’, an environmental scientist recently came all the way from New Zealand to visit researchers in the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Science at Queen’s University – bringing with him a special machine to simulate rainfall!

Dr Jamie Blennerhassett of New Zealand with the innovative rainfall simulator he brought to the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Science at Queen’s University to measure phosphorus soil losses with different fertilisers.
Dr Jamie Blennerhassett of New Zealand with the innovative rainfall simulator he brought to the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Science at Queen’s University to measure phosphorus soil losses with different fertilisers.

But Dr Catherine Watson of Queen’s who worked with the visiting New Zealander, Dr Jamie Blennerhassett, was quick to point out that the rain simulator played a key part in some important scientific research.

“A team has been carrying out research on nutrient losses from the soil to air and water, and there is growing evidence that losses of phosphorus from agricultural land to surface waters have been increasing in recent years. Some of the effects of these soil losses can be seen for example contributing to the nutrient enrichment of surface waters in Northern Ireland such as Lough Neagh and Lough Erne, where it causes algal blooms. The new type of rain simulator that accompanied Dr Blennerhassett from New Zealand allows us to generate surface run-off and evaluate its use under Northern Ireland conditions – when we need to, without having to wait for nature’s cooperation!”

Dr Blennerhassett works for a large fertiliser company in New Zealand. The purpose of his Belfast visit to the School of Agriculture and Food Science was to work with Dr Watson’s team to test out new fertiliser products. The rainfall simulator helped them to gauge the levels of phosphorus losses to water with the different products.

Dr Watson explained, “We wanted to assess the effectiveness of several new phosphorus fertilisers in lowering phosphorus losses to water. Our preliminary results from the tests using the rainfall simulator are encouraging. They show that certain new fertiliser products do offer potential environmental benefit in lowering phosphorus concentrations in surface-runoff.”

Even the strangest of inventions have their part to play!

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For further information, contact: Dr Catherine Watson, 028 90255395; or Dolores Vischer, Communications Office, 028 9033 5320

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Pro-Vice-Chancellor calls for respect for diversity

For today’s young people, the empty space where the twin towers once stood in New York will have an enduring significance like that of the Hiroshima Peace Park for an earlier generation, a graduation ceremony at Queen’s has heard.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Academic Planning and Resources Professor Ken Brown told graduates of the Faculty of Legal, Social & Educational Sciences that the site of the World Trade Centre, destroyed on 11 September 2001, and the memorial in Japan where the nuclear bomb exploded in August 1945, were manifestations both of man’s inventive genius, and his inability to understand the diversity of the world’s people and nations.

“Preconceived notions and upbringing often blind us to the fact that while others have different views and values, they are no less valid than our own just because they are different,” Professor Brown said.

“As those about to make your entrance upon the stage of professional and working life, it behoves you as the beneficiaries of higher education to make sure that no more such symbols are ever created. This you will do by appreciating that those who are different from you – whether by class, race, gender, religion, ability or anything else – are no less worthy as human beings. As educated individuals you have been trained to think, to assess, to lay aside personal prejudice and subjectivity in the search for truth. You have a responsibility to ensure that you apply those values in whatever sphere of life you settle in. If you do not, then we will all be destined to repeat the errors of the past.”

Professor Brown reflected on the changes that had taken place in the world in recent times.

“In the last 20 years or so we have seen amazing transformations in the world in which we live. International travel is now commonplace. Unrest in many parts of the world - Asia, Africa, Europe - has prompted migration on a large scale. Old political blocks, especially in Eastern Europe, have been sundered in such a way that names such as Serbia, Georgia, and Uzbekistan, absent from the history books for decades, have re-emerged as entities in their own right.

“Above all, ideas and information move around the world freely and in fractions of seconds, thanks to the internet. We hear much of globalisation whether in the economic, cultural or scientific sphere.

“It used to be said that travel, by bringing exposure to foreign ideas and societies, broadens the mind. Globalisation, on the other hand, seems to have been accompanied by an upsurge of nationalism, xenophobia, extremism, and violence.”

Professor Brown recalled the words of former US President Bill Clinton who, when visiting Queen’s in May 2001 to accept an honorary degree, had remarked that there is much more to unite as human beings than to divide them. “That is a message which is appropriate not only for Northern Ireland, but also for the shrinking world in which we now live,” he said.

Queen’s University brings together people from all over the world, with almost 900 international students from over 66 countries enrolled on its courses. “Queen’s enjoys a very high reputation for the quality of its teaching, being the most highly rated of the 15 institutions most popular with students from Northern Ireland. In the national league table for teaching quality, based on external assessments, Queen’s is ranked 15th out of some 120 university institutions in the United Kingdom,” Professor Brown said.

For further information, contact: Robert Baxter, Communications Office, Tel (028) 9033 5323

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Local man comes home for University honour

University of Limerick President Professor Roger Downer has been awarded an honorary degree by Queen’s University for his services to higher education.

Professor Roger Downer, who has been awarded an honorary doctorate by Queen’s University for services to higher education.
Professor Roger Downer, who has been awarded an honorary doctorate by Queen’s University for services to higher education.

A native of Belfast who attended Methodist College and Queen’s University, and taught at Regent House school near Newtownards, Roger Downer spent most of his academic career in Canada. In his adopted homeland he gained national and international recognition as a zoologist and biologist. He held a string of eminent positions, notably President of the Canadian Society of Zoologists, and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Roger Downer moved from Belfast to Canada in the late 1960s with a Masters degree from Queen’s. In Canada, he gained a doctorate and took up a post as Assistant Professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario.

In addition to his achievements as a researcher and teacher, Professor Downer broke new ground as a university administrator. In the post of Vice-President for University Relations, he helped develop strong links between the university, the private sector and the local community. He also became keenly interested in the role of universities in economic development, including technology transfer. On top of that, he led the largest fund-raising campaign in the University’s history.

In 1996 he moved to the Far East where he became President of the Asian Institute of Technology, based in Thailand. This role brought him into contact with senior political and corporate leaders throughout Asia.

He returned to Ireland in 1998 as President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Limerick, in which post he quickly became active in contributing to the formulation of higher education policy in Ireland.

Presenting Professor Downer for the award of honorary Doctor of Laws, Dr Yvonne Galligan of the School of Politics and International Studies at Queen’s described him as “a scholar of international renown who wears his achievements modestly, a leader who encourages others to seek and discover new knowledge, a person who values the healthy balance of mind and body”.

“Professor Downer returned to this island after three decades to take up the challenge of leading the University of Limerick at a time of major change in that institution,” Dr Galligan said. “In his inauguration speech, Roger Downer expressed his view of a university as `the intellectual equivalent of a village pub, where people gather to express and explore ideas, discover new truths and insights, from which new and creative ideas flow out into the community to enrich and enhance the world we live in’.”

Attending the ceremony was the Chancellor of the University of Limerick, Sean Donlon, who has held numerous influential public service posts, including that of Irish Ambassador to the United States and Special Adviser to former Taoiseach John Bruton.

For further information, contact: Robert Baxter, Communications Office, Tel (028) 9033 5323

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University award for top UK scientist and stonemason’s descendant

The President of the United Kingdom’s most prestigious academic body has received an honorary degree at Queen’s University.

Lord May of Oxford, who has been awarded an honorary doctorate at Queen’s University for his distinction as a scientist, and for public services
Lord May of Oxford, who has been awarded an honorary doctorate at Queen’s University for his distinction as a scientist, and for public services

Lord May of Oxford is currently President of Royal Society, a post previously held by some of the greatest scientists of all time, including Sir Isaac Newton, Sir Christopher Wren and Lord Kelvin. He has also advised the British government on such critical issues of recent years as HIV and AIDS, BSE, and Foot & Mouth Disease.

Born in Australia as Robert McCredie May, he became a researcher in Physics at the University of Sydney, and experts say his early theoretical work on superconductors has been of relevance to recent discoveries in high-temperature superconductors.

In 1973 he switched disciplines to become Professor of Biology at Princeton University in the United States. Since 1988 he has been at Oxford University, concurrently holding a Professorship at Imperial College London. During this time he has consolidated his reputation as a world leader in the science of Mathematical Biology.

Amongst the eminent positions Lord May has occupied are Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK government and personal adviser to the Prime Minister. As Head of the Office of Science and Technology he played an influential role in national and international scientific matters.

In 2000 he became President of the Royal Society and was made a life peer in 2001.

Lord May has longstanding connections with Northern Ireland and Queen’s University. His maternal great-grandfather was one of four brothers who worked as stonemasons and quarry masters in the construction of the University’s main Lanyon building. They then moved to Sydney where they played a part in the construction of a number of public buildings, including the city’s customs house and main post office. There are evident similarities between the gargoyles at Sydney University and those of the Lanyon building. Lord May’s paternal grandfather was a pharmacist from Carrickfergus.

Presenting Lord May for the honorary degree of Doctor of Sciences for his distinction as a scientist, and for public services, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research & Development Professor Roy Crawford described him as “one of the most distinguished scientists and original thinkers of our time”.

“Lord May’s research on the factors influencing the diversity and abundance of plant and animal species, and with the rates, causes and consequences of extinction, has enabled him to provide warnings that the risk of species extinction is currently at an historical high. He continues to advocate strongly the necessity of responding urgently to this crisis. In this regard he is making an important contribution towards the formulation of environmental conservation policies,” Professor Crawford said.

“He is a strong advocate of openness and transparency in regard to the difficult scientific and social issues that face the modern world. He has never been afraid to state his views, and these views are listened to and respected by both his scientific peers and the government.”

In 1993, Professor May gave the annual Larmor Lecture in the School of Mathematics and Physics at Queen’s.

For further information, contact: Robert Baxter, Communications Office, Tel (028) 9033 5323

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Queen’s in dramatic link-up with Monaghan

The first output of graduates from a unique cross-border course in drama took to the stage at Queen’s University this morning.

The 24 graduates, mainly teachers from Monaghan, Cavan, Louth, Donegal and Armagh, are the first to complete the new Master’s course in drama which Queen’s runs in association with Monaghan Education Centre.

The course, which is taught in the Monaghan centre, was developed in response to a request from local teachers who expressed an interest in studying drama in light of its imminent introduction to the national primary curriculum in the Republic.

Seamus McDermott, Director of Monaghan Education Centre, who made the approach to the University on behalf of the management committee of Monaghan Education Centre, said he was very proud to be involved in the innovative programme.

He said: “It was a true partnership of ideas. Queen’s was very co-operative and worked with local playwright John McArdle, an expert in educational drama, to create and deliver a course which not only included dramatic theory and drama workshops but also centred on classroom teaching.

“It would be impossible for us to measure its spin-off value in terms of the time and money the teachers saved by being able to study the course on a part-time basis in Monaghan and in the benefits that will be passed on in the classroom.”

Head of drama at Queen’s David Grant said: “This imaginative outreach project has been an absolute joy to teach on. It has given rise to an impressive array of dissertations on themes as diverse as the use of drama as a means of enhancing the teaching of languages to a detailed study of physical theatre in Ireland.”

A new cycle of the course has already begin, with 16 students due to graduate in 2005.

For further information contact: David Grant, Tel 028 9027 3329

Note for editors: The students will be among those graduating from Queen’s on Friday 12 December. Media facilities will be available following the graduation ceremony at approximately 11.45am.

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University’s contribution to dairy industry on show

Queen’s plays a pivotal role in agriculture, Northern Ireland’s main industry, the University’s chief researcher said today.

Speaking at the University’s stand at the annual Royal Ulster Winter Fair in Belfast’s King’s Hall, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research & Development Professor Roy Crawford said Queen’s researchers, across a wide range of disciplines, provide vital support to the region’s agriculture and food industries, often in partnership with other organisations.

“The School of Biology & Biochemistry investigates the region’s rich natural heritage and provides expert advice to government on the flora and fauna that affect our food chain. The Schools of Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering devise and trial new methods of processing and packaging foodstuffs, while the Schools of Sociology & Social Policy, Geography and Psychology all make valuable contributions to understanding the evolution of agriculture and the lives of people working in the industry,” Professor Crawford said.

On show at the University’s stand were a milk tank cleaning device developed by the Northern Ireland Technology Centre, based at Queen’s, and equipment which can detect foreign particles in foodstuffs, developed and marketed by Xenosense, a spin-out company from the School of Agriculture & Food Science, in a joint venture with an internationally quoted Swedish biotechnology company.

For further information, contact: Robert Baxter, Communications Office, Tel (028) 9033 5323

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Queen’s outperforms on access!

Queen’s University is top of the class for its performance in meeting official targets for enrolment of students from working-class backgrounds.

At a time when other leading research-led universities are being criticised for failing to broaden the social base of their intake, Queen’s has come out as one of the most socially inclusive universities in the UK, with almost one-third of its students coming from this background.

Official figures released today show that 31 per cent of its students are from the lowest socio-economic groups, where parents work in skilled manual, semi-skilled and unskilled jobs. It significantly outperformed the benchmark of 22 per cent set by the government funding body for higher education.

Nationally, just over a quarter of students meet these criteria. At the other end of the table, some of the country’s most famous universities attract fewer than 10 per cent of working-class students.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Students and Learning Professor Ken Bell said: “Queen’s is delighted to be recognised as the university which has taken the greatest steps towards inclusiveness, as well as being firmly in the first division for the quality of its teaching and research.”

For further information, contact: Robert Baxter, Communications Office, Tel (028) 9033 5323

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Chinese graduate ‘top of the class’

Lei Feng, a student in the Queen’s University School of Mathematics & Physics, is the winner of the 2003 Andor Technology opto-electronics prize.
Lei Feng, a student in the Queen’s University School of Mathematics & Physics, is the winner of the 2003 Andor Technology opto-electronics prize.

A Queen’s University student will receive two awards when he graduates with a Master of Science degree on Friday morning.

Lei Feng was attracted to studying in Belfast from his hometown of Hangzhou in China by the international reputation of the Queen’s University School of Mathematics and Physics. He will graduate with a Masters of Science degree in Opto-electronics, and on top of that, he will also collect the Andor Technology Prize for excellence in his MSc studies.

Twenty-five year-old Lei said of his one-year course; “I heard about Physics at Queen’s even as far away as China and have greatly enjoyed my time here. The course combined lectures and lab work and I have gained a solid introduction to the theory of optical physics. The teaching support that I received was excellent.”

Andor Technology, which is a Queen’s spin-out company, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of scientific-grade digital cameras. The company’s annual opto-electronics prize will be presented to Lei at a reception for new graduates and their families, following the graduation ceremony, in the Department of Pure and Applied Physics, at 12.00pm.

MSc Course Director Tom Morrow, delighted with Lei’s success said, “Lei was a hard-working student all year and deserved to win the Andor Technology Award.”

Lei has decided to stay on at Queen’s for the time being and is already at work on his PhD programme in the same Department. “My project is related to my MSc studies and I hope to complete my studies under course director Dr Paul Dawson within three years.” Lei added, “I am delighted to be here in Belfast and would like to thank the Physics department and Andor Technology for the wonderful opportunities offered by the course I have studied.”

Ends
Caption: Lei Feng, a student in the Queen’s University School of Mathematics & Physics, is the winner of the 2003 Andor Technology opto-electronics prize.

Notes: Media opportunities will be available when the Andor Prize will be awarded to Lei Feng on Friday 12 December, following the morning graduation ceremony, at 12.00pm in the Physics Dept (enter Physics Dept at Larmour Lecture Theatre to the left of the Whitla Hall and contact ground floor Physics General Office).

For further information, contact: Dr Tom Morrow, 028 9027 3575, or Dolores Vischer, Communications Office, 028 9033 5320 or 07815 133 415

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Identical twins collect PhD degrees

Twenty-five year-old identical twin brothers from Newcastle, County Down, caused a few double takes at the Friday morning graduation ceremony at Queen’s University when they crossed the platform to collect their PhD science degrees.

Identical twin brothers, Martin and John (right) Ludlow, are congratulated on their respective PhD degree awards from the Queen’s University Schools of Biology and Biochemistry, and Mathematics and Physics by Professor James McElnay, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Agriculture.
Identical twin brothers, Martin and John (right) Ludlow, are congratulated on their
respective PhD degree awards from the Queen’s University Schools of Biology and Biochemistry, and Mathematics and Physics by Professor James McElnay, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Agriculture.

Martin Ludlow has just completed his doctoral degree with the School of Biology and Biochemistry, while his brother John has gained his PhD with the School of Mathematics and Physics. The brothers’ proud parents Rosemary and Gerard Ludlow and one set of grandparents attended the degree ceremony.

“We both also studied for first degrees at Queen’s,” said Martin. “I did a three year BSc in Microbiology, while John worked for a four-year undergraduate MSci in Theoretical Physics. It’s serendipity that we have both completed our PhD studies at the same time!”

Martin admitted that there have been numerous instances of mistaken identity over the years – and many that he could have had some fun with: “Strange people have frequently come up to me and launched into full conversation, before I realise that they think I’m John. I’ve never, though, misled them, despite some tempting circumstances, and always point out their mistake as soon as I realise!”

The two brothers have to date not been separated. They lived at home in Newcastle as undergraduates, and for the last three years have shared rented houses together in Belfast. But a change is in the air. Martin explained: “I’ve been lucky enough to secure a postdoctoral position within the School of Biology and Biochemistry at Queen’s, where I plan to continue my PhD virus study work by working initially on canine distemper virus in the molecular virology laboratories. John, however, is to take up a postdoctoral research position in the American Auburn University in Alabama.”

Professor James McElnay Dean of the Faculty of Science and Agriculture at Queen’s who conferred the degrees upon Martin and John congratulated them afterwards outside the Whitla Hall. He said, “I am delighted that your hard work within my Faculty has resulted in you attaining your well deserved degrees today. John, the skills and abilities that you have acquired as a physicist, studying what happens when anti-matter interacts with matter, will I am sure be much appreciated by your future colleagues in the United States. Martin, I am delighted to welcome you back into the Faculty in your new capacity as a research scientist.”

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For further information, contact: Dolores Vischer, 028 9033 5320

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Global humanitarian work of Queen’s graduate

The commitment of one Queen’s University graduate to human rights work has not only earned him a Master’s degree in Human Rights Law, but has also taken him to the four corners of the world on a range of fascinating humanitarian projects.

Conn O’Neill, twenty-three years of age and from Belfast, achieved his Bachelor of Law degree from Queen’s in July 2002. Following this he has recently completed a one-year Masters LLM course with the Centre for Human Rights within the School of Law, and it is this second degree that he will collect on Friday afternoon.

Alongside his studies, Conn has learnt a great deal about different approaches to human rights in different countries around the world from the many travels he has undertaken. He has visited far-off lands in true cross community and multi-denominational fashion! He has travelled on humanitarian projects with the Queen’s University Methodist and Roman Catholic chaplaincies, as part of inter-chaplaincy Queen’s teams, and has also volunteered for several trips with the cross community charity, Habitat for Humanity. On campus, Conn also managed to keep a foot firmly in ‘both camps’. He was treasurer of the Church of Ireland chaplaincy committee and also President of the Catholic chaplaincy committee!

“I have spent the last two summers working on Habitat for Humanity projects in Ghana and then Nicaragua. Alongside that I have been to Rome, Malta and points closer to home as part of Queen’s cross community teams,” explained Conn. “I find that seeing how human rights are respected, or otherwise, is a good way to open your mind and become aware of how different cultures operate.”

Starting to take on a more active human rights campaigning role, Conn had the opportunity earlier this year to speak at the first annual Irish University Human Rights conference that took place in May in Galway. He also travelled to The Hague as part of his studies to attend the international criminal tribunal of Yugoslavia where he observed the war crime trials of Milosevic.

“I was fascinated by my experiences. The trips fuelled my interest in seeing how the judiciary protects human rights, both locally and internationally, and also in studying the role of the state in running the legislative structure in different countries. That’s why I enrolled this year on the Diploma course in Criminal Justice at Queens”, Conn said.

Currently Conn is continuing his studies taking a full-time Diploma course in Criminal Justice at the University. For next summer Conn already has plans in place to lead a Queen’s team out to Bolivia, to build homes for local people on behalf of Habitat for Humanity.

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For further information, contact: Dolores Vischer, Communications Office, 028 9033 5320 / 07815 133 415

Notes: Conn O'Neill will graduate at the 2.30pm ceremony in the Whitla Hall on Friday 12 December. He will be available outside afterwards for photographs.

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Adult literacy tutors gain new qualification at Queen’s

Among those who received awards at last night’s presentation ceremony to students from Queen’s University’s Institute of Lifelong Learning were 67 adult literacy tutors who were awarded a new qualification.

The qualification in the Teaching and Management of Literacy and Essential Skills is one of a number of new qualifications for literacy and numeracy tutors offered by the Institute.

The Certificate is funded by the Department for Employment and Learning and is part of the ‘Essential Skills for Living’ strategy for Northern Ireland launched in 2002. The strategy seeks to improve the literacy and numeracy skills of adults throughout Northern Ireland.

The development workers and course tutors, Maire McAnespie and Shelley Tracey, said they are delighted with the commitment and success of the students.

“The new qualifications have broadened and deepened the knowledge and skills for essential skills training and will provide employers with tutors who are competent and who can make a real change in the lives of learners.

“Many tutors have also chosen to continue learning by progressing on to new and more specialised qualifications.”

The courses provide nationally recognised qualifications for tutors working at all levels. The training will significantly increase the qualification status of tutors in Northern Ireland and help raise the standard of teaching of Essential Skills for adults.

For further information contact:Anne Langford, Tel 028 9033 5310

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Children’s watchdog sets out his stall

The Northern Ireland children’s watchdog has described how he intends to carry out his role of protecting young people.

Appointed two months ago as Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, Nigel Williams told a graduation ceremony of the School of Nursing & Midwifery at Queen’s University he would be making sure government departments and public bodies take account of children’s rights and needs.

He outlined three main areas of work: responding to individual complaints; researching general issues and recommending changes; and encouraging the participation of children and young people in decisions that affect them.

He said he would be appointing a research team to study in what areas children’s rights and services are weak, compared with the international standard of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Nigel Williams said there was a particularly marked gap in provision of health services for adolescents:

“Teenagers with eating disorders or with serious psychiatric problems have very few dedicated facilities in Northern Ireland. As a result, if they need to be admitted to hospital they will end up on general wards, with adults - some quite elderly and with a range of problems. Is this the best way to help set such young people on the path to recovery? Are we not risking them being further damaged by exposure to this environment?”

Similar issues arise in community health provision, the Children’s Commissioner said: “Adolescents are often the forgotten group - even though so many of the important patterns of healthy living are established during this time of our lives: our diet, exercise or lack of it, issues of sexual health and risk-taking behaviour like smoking, alcohol and drugs.”

Praising the work of certain specialist adolescent units in the healthcare sector, he stressed: “The situation is patchy, there are real gaps, and our teenagers are suffering as a result.”

Nigel Williams said the School of Nursing could play an important role in helping prepare nurses for the challenge of treating teenagers. “All of you graduates have a real opportunity to reach out to this age group,” he said. “Can I urge you to look out for them, whatever your specialty, and get alongside them, listen to their views and support them, whatever health issues they are facing. Don’t underestimate the value of a smile, a conversation, or a question about problems they may be facing. You could be a crucial link in helping them to recovery, especially in the vital area of their own self-esteem.”

Turning to his own role as Commissioner for Children and Young People, Nigel Williams said he needed to learn more about the particular issues that teenagers are facing in the area of health care. “Most importantly, I want to hear from young people themselves, from their families and from professionals within the different parts of the health service. I want to hear about what is good, what is bad, and what is ugly about current provision.”

“I hope that with the combined efforts of us all we can improve health care provision for adolescents. That may mean adjusting some of our existing facilities or building new ones. It may mean better training and more targeted programmes.”

“My mind is open on these issues – however, my mind is certainly made up that we need to do better for young people with health care problems, and I want to play a part in that,” Nigel Williams said. “Our teenagers deserve better of us, and we need to listen more to them, even when they are struggling to communicate with us.”

For further information, contact: Robert Baxter, Communications Office, Tel (028) 9033 5323

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Mastermind of Belfast’s Golden Mile takes honour

Queen’s University has conferred an honorary degree upon one of Northern Ireland’s most successful businessmen.

Dr Diljit Rana, MBE, who has been awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Science by Queen’s University Belfast.
Dr Diljit Rana, MBE, who has been awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Science by Queen’s University Belfast.

Dr Diljit Rana currently owns a number of hotels in Belfast, including the Ramada and the Holiday Inn Express. He is a Council member of the CBI and has been President of the Belfast Chamber of Trade.

Born in what is now Pakistan, Diljit Rana was forced by the partition of India in 1948 to move to East Punjab. In 1963 he emigrated to the United Kingdom and, three years later, was persuaded by friends to move once again - to Northern Ireland.

He opened a number of cafés in Belfast, but in scenes reminiscent of the violence he had witnessed in the Sub-Continent in early childhood, he lost his entire business to the bombing and city centre desolation of the 1970s. Drawing upon all his remaining resources he relaunched and diversified his businesses, and by 1982 had opened the Mogul Restaurant on Great Victoria Street.

Investing in further properties, he was at the forefront of the redevelopment and regeneration of Belfast’s main entertainment area, stretching from the city centre to Queen’s University, which was soon popularly dubbed the “Golden Mile”.

Dr Rana is a founder member of the Indian Community Centre and the Indian Business Forum, an organisation dedicated to promoting Northern Ireland and, in particular, inward investment. In 1996 he was awarded an MBE for services to industry and the community in Belfast.

Dr Rana is also helping improve the quality of life for people in his native Punjab. Four years ago, he built a secondary school in a rural area and is currently behind the construction of a university college in the same region.

Presenting Diljit Rana for the honorary degree of Doctor of Science (Economics) for his services to business and commerce, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Community and Communications Professor Gerry McCormac quoted Dr Rana as saying “all my businesses are about caring for people – about creating places of employment and places for enjoyment”.

“Diljit Rana is an inspiration to all of us,” Professor McCormac said. “He has come from humble beginnings and succeeded against the odds, and is now using his wealth to benefit those less fortunate than himself.”

For further information, contact: Robert Baxter, Communications Office, Tel (028) 9033 5323

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New Queen’s nurses boost health service

Northern Ireland’s health service got a boost this week when almost 400 new nurses received their diplomas during a graduation ceremony at Queen’s University on Thursday afternoon.

And already more then 140 of them have secured full time posts across the Province.

During the event in the Sir William Whitla Hall the new recruits affirmed their Queen’s nursing pledge and receive their Queen’s badges.

The speaker at the ceremony, which begins at 2.30pm, was Mr Nigel Williams, who was recently appointed the commissioner for children and young people in Northern Ireland.

During the ceremony, in which local businessman Dr Diljit Rana received a honorary degree, a total of 10 graduation prizes were awarded in four nurse specialties – mental health, child health, learning disability nursing and adult nursing.

This year sees an additional prize by the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children in memory of children’s nurse Joyce Gardiner, who died earlier this year.

The prizewinners are listed as follows:

The Florence Elliott Prize – Esther Christina Gunnarsson

The Lawrence and Nora McAuliff Curtin Medal for Academic Excellence in Mental Health Nursing – Bronagh Mullan

The Cleland Ormond Rogers Medal for Academic Excellence in Children’s Nursing – Judith Vennard

The Edward and Ann Smyth Medal for Academic Excellence in Learning Disability Nursing – Trudie Foster

The Professor Sheila Harrisson Medal for Academic Excellence in Adult Nursing – Sharon Mary O’Neill

The Mary Waddell Medal for Clinical Excellence in Adult Nursing – Karen Margaret Kenny, Elizabeth Kathleen Hamilton and Patricia McGuigan

The Hill-Rom Medal in Clinical Excellence in Learning Disability Nursing – Susan Elizabeth Quinn

The Joyce Gardiner Medal for Clinical Excellence in Children’s Nursing – Lorna McNeice

The Moutray/McAuley Medal in Clinical Excellence in Mental Health Nursing – Gwendoline Margaret Wilson

The School of Nursing and Midwifery Medal for Community Outreach – Elizabeth Maud Johnston.

For further information, contact:Mrs Marianne Moutray, School of Nursing and Midwifery, (028) 9033 5703

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University awards Festival impresario

The man who laid the foundations upon which Belfast has in recent years relaunched itself as a city of culture has been granted an honorary degree by Queen’s University.

Michael Emmerson, first Director of the Belfast Festival at Queen’s, who has received an honorary Doctorate of the University for his services to the performing arts.
Michael Emmerson, first Director of the Belfast Festival at Queen’s, who has received an honorary Doctorate of the University for his services to the performing arts.

In the 1960s Michael Emmerson was the first Director of the Belfast Festival at Queen’s and co-founder of the Queen’s Film Theatre – two institutions that kept the light of the arts burning through the long, dark years of `The Troubles’.

Born in Warwickshire, Emmerson was an undergraduate at Queen’s and also found time to direct operas and plays, and to lead a number of University societies. It was during his student years that he founded the Belfast Festival and, upon his graduation, the University gave him a job to continue his work.

Now in its 42nd year, the Festival quickly grew to become one of the largest and most adventurous arts events of the British Isles, rivalling Edinburgh in terms of its scope. Its hallmark has always been to showcase both locally-grown and international talent. Among the many big names to have graced its programmes over the years are the Royal Shakespeare Company, Jimi Hendrix and Cleo Laine.

The Queen’s Film Theatre, known as the QFT, remains one of the very few full-time university-based cinemas. Throughout the years when Belfast cinemas were struggling to fill seats, the QFT gained a strongly loyal clientele by bringing the best of world cinema to Northern Ireland.

In 1972 Michael Emmerson moved back to England where he managed other arts festivals, formed a concert management agency and became President of the classical music division of RCA Records. In these roles he was responsible for launching a number of artistic careers, including that of world-famous Irish flautist James Galway. He has been involved as a consultant in the arts in Mexico, where he launched an acclaimed festival.

He is currently managing director of his own agency, London Artists, and manages a small number of exceptional musicians.

One of Michael Emmerson’s successors presented him for the honorary degree of Doctor of the University in recognition of his services to the performing arts.

“As the current Director of the Belfast Festival at Queen’s - which he founded 41 years ago - I, and we, owe Michael Emmerson a huge debt of gratitude,” said Stella Hall. “His vision, his energy, his outstanding knowledge and enthusiasm, set the stage for an extraordinary institution which was to grow and change, but always stay true to his original vision.

“If it were not for Michael Emmerson I would not be standing here today,” Stella Hall said.

For further information, contact: Robert Baxter, Communications Office, Tel (028) 9033 5323

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Celebrating creativity key to a better Northern Ireland – Bain

Nurturing the arts is vital for the creation of a brighter and better Northern Ireland, Queen’s University Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir George Bain said today.

In his address at the graduation ceremony for students from the University’s Faculties of Medicine and Health Sciences and Engineering this morning, the Vice-Chancellor spoke of the value of arts and culture to society.

Taking his theme from the award of an honorary doctorate to the first director of Belfast Festival at Queen’s, Michael Emmerson, the Vice-Chancellor told the audience of new doctors and engineers that appreciation of, and involvement in, the arts can help them to become better professionals and more rounded human beings.

He said: “Northern Ireland is internationally famous for the vibrancy of its artistic life and its contribution to culture.

“The creative and cultural process is an intrinsic part of Northern Ireland’s life, and the seam of talent which this part of the world has produced is remarkably deep.

“From artists like Paul Henry and Frank McKelvey to actors Kenneth Branagh, Stephen Rea and Adrian Dunbar; from writers such as Brian Moore, Jennifer Johnston and Bernard McLaverty to musicians Barry Douglas, James Galway and Van Morrison, the scale of Northern Ireland’s contribution to the arts is breath-taking.”

Professor Bain went on to highlight Queen’s “hugely important role in stirring this cauldron of creativity”.

“The most obvious example – and one of the jewels in our crown – is, of course, Festival which attracts over 50,000 visitors to a feast of theatre, dance, classical music, literature, jazz, comedy, visual arts, folk music and popular music.

“But the University’s contribution to the arts does not stop there.

“It flows through its academic provision in courses such as drama, music, creative writing, film studies and art history; is seen through the work of its award-winning Queen’s Film Theatre; and takes form in the activities of Northern Ireland’s newest museum – the Naughton Art Gallery.

“And it is further enhanced by one of our newest facilities – the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, named after the Nobel Prize-winning graduate who is one of our most distinguished alumni.

“In October, another award-winning poet and Queen’s graduate, Ciaran Carson, took up post as the Centre’s first Director.

“It is little wonder that the Times Literary Supplement has said that poetry is now the activity for which the University is best known throughout the English-speaking world.”

The Vice-Chancellor added that it is in their role among the bedrocks of the University’s contribution to the community that the arts at Queen’s make their greatest impact.

He said: “The community benefits of arts and culture are clear. Involvement in these activities brings not only economic benefits and job creation – although these can be considerable – but also impacts positively on health, education and social inclusion.

“That is why contribution to the arts is enshrined in Queen’s mission. Harnessing, realising and celebrating our creative potential is not only fundamental to Queen’s ethos but the key to the creation of a brighter and better Northern Ireland.”


For further information contact:Anne Langford, Tel 028 9033 5310

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Weight lifting champion lifts heavyweight degree

Peter Stewart, Northern Ireland’s weight lifting champion in the 77kg class for the last three years, will graduate on Thursday morning with a PhD degree from the Haematology Department in the Queen’s University Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Peter Stewart, Northern Ireland and Irish 77kg class weight lifting champion, who will graduate with a PhD degree from the Queen’s University Department of Haematology on Thursday 11 December
Peter Stewart, Northern Ireland and Irish 77kg class weight lifting champion, who will graduate with a PhD degree from the Queen’s University Department of Haematology on Thursday 11 December
Peter, aged twenty-five and from Ballyrobert near Ballyclare, has excelled in the sport of weight lifting since taking it up only five years ago. He has achieved first place in the 77kg class at the last three Northern Ireland Championships, has taken the All Ireland and Scottish Open titles two years in a row and in several of these competitions has received the ‘Best Lifter Award’. On the international front, Peter was the only lifter from Northern Ireland selected for the 2002 Commonwealth Games where he achieved a respectable eighth position.

“I was lucky to have been the recipient of a Queen’s Sports Bursary for the last two years, which has helped in meeting the costs of my sporting competitions,” Peter said.

In terms of his plans for the future, Peter outlined what is on the horizon for him on both the sporting and professional fronts. “The weight lifting British Championships are to take place next year and hopefully I’ll qualify for that. Professionally, having just graduated, I am in the lucky position of having two exciting job offers to consider at the moment – one in the United States and one down South. I’ll just have to make a decision soon!”

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Notes:
Peter Stewart will graduate from the morning ceremony in the Whitla Hall and will be available afterwards (11.30am) for photographs.

For further information, contact: Dolores Vischer, Communications Office, 028 9033 5320 / 07815 133 415

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Winter graduation ceremonies 2003

This year's winter graduation ceremonies at Queen's will take place from Wednesday 10 to Friday 12 December in the Sir William Whitla Hall.

More than 1,600 students will graduate at the five ceremonies, beginning on Wednesday evening.

The University will be awarding honorary degrees to notable figures from the worlds of culture, business, and academia.These include Michael Emmerson, the first Director of the Belfast Festival at Queen’s and co-founder of the Queen’s Film Theatre; businessman Dr Diljit Rana MBE; eminent scientist and President of the Royal Society Lord May of Oxford; and President of Limerick University Professor Roger Downer.

Details of the ceremonies are as follows:

Wednesday 10 December

7.30pm Institute of Lifelong Learning
Address by: Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Students and Learning Professor Ken Bell

Thursday 11 December

10.30am Faculty of Engineering; Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences
Honorary graduand: Michael Emmerson
Address by Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir George Bain
2.30pm School of Nursing & Midwifery
Honorary graduand: Dr Diljit Rana MBE
Address by: Nigel Williams, the Children’s Commissioner for Northern Ireland

Friday 12 December

10.30am Faculty of Humanities; Faculty of Science & Agriculture
Honorary graduand: Professor Lord May of Oxford
Address by: Professor Lord May of Oxford
2.30pm Faculty of Legal, Social & Educational Sciences
Honorary graduand: Professor Roger Downer
Address by: Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Academic Planning & Resources Professor Ken Brown

Notes for editors: Press officers will be on duty at the Sir William Whitla Hall for each of the ceremonies. Media packs will be available containing, where possible, copies of addresses and citations.

Requests for interviews with the honorary graduands should be made to the Communications Office.

For further information contact:
Robert Baxter, Communications Office, Tel (028) 9033 5323

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Education is a lifelong engagement, graduates are told

A “job for life” is a thing of the past and people must be prepared to regularly update their knowledge and skills during their career, a graduation ceremony at Queen’s has been told.

Addressing a ceremony for graduates of the Institute of Lifelong Learning, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Students and Learning Professor Ken Bell said re-education was essential to preserve graduates’ employability, and to secure promotion or career change.

Universities, he said, must provide educational opportunities and ensure that they are taken up by those best able to use them.

“You will be mistaken if you regard this graduation as marking the end of your association with education,” he said.

“That is what Lifelong Learning is all about,” Professor Bell said. “Changing demographic patterns and the ever-accelerating pace of technological change will constantly require you to update your skills, to remain far more adaptable in the labour market and to be much more flexible in your career options than your parents ever had to be.

“Today inventions, ideas and research findings born thousands of miles away can be on your own computer screen quite literally within seconds. This rapid diffusion of knowledge is likely to increase in speed, and it inevitably means that you will constantly need to update and refine your technical and professional skills, no matter what the particular discipline of your degree. You may even need to acquire new ones.”

However, it is not enough to absorb information, Professor Bell said. Being able to use knowledge and find new applications for it is even more important.

“May I urge you not to be simply a sponge acquiring knowledge, but to think and to think innovatively. Education is not about training and skills, although these aspects of it are important. More fundamentally, education in the proper sense of that word is about understanding,” Professor Bell said.

For further information, contact: Robert Baxter, Communications Office, Tel (028) 9033 5323

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The third degree for Doctor Cubed!

Probably the most ‘mature’ graduate to emerge from the Whitla Hall at Queen’s University on Thursday 11 December will be Dr Robin Harland – newly dubbed Doctor Cubed - who will officially collect his third degree, at the age of 78.

Dr Harland taking part in the academic procession in 2002 when he was awarded an Honorary doctorate from Queen’s University. (Behind him is Pro-Chancellor, Brenda McLaughlin)
Dr Harland taking part in the academic procession in 2002 when
he was awarded an Honorary doctorate from Queen’s University.
(Behind him is Pro-Chancellor, Brenda McLaughlin)

A quintessential Queen’s man, Dr Harland has had a life-long association with the University. Back in 1948, he graduated with a medical degree before embarking on a long career as a General Practitioner. For 21 years, between 1970 and 1991, Dr Harland served as Senior Medical Officer in the University Health Centre and is a familiar face to the tens of thousands of Queen’s students who passed through his surgery.

During this period, Robin Harland played an active role in other areas of University life, in particular in the field of sports. He was assistant manager of the Queen’s Rugby team and later its Club President and also served as a rugby referee for almost 40 years. Known in some quarters as the local grandfather of sports medicine, one of his many achievements was to start up sports injury clinics at Queen’s, when they were virtually unheard of elsewhere in Ireland. This pioneering work culminated in the creation of a Sports Injury Clinic at Queen’s. He introduced sports medicine to the undergraduate curriculum at Queen’s and today there is an annual Robin Harland prize open to third year medical students for the best joint project in Sport and Exercise Medicine.

After retiring from the position of University General Practitioner Dr Harland retained his close links with Queen’s when he was elected onto the Senate body, where he served from 1992 until 2001. Many current staff at the University may recall his face from the more than 200 academic staff selection boards he sat on.

In 2002 his unstinting contribution to Queen’s was recognised with the award of an honorary doctorate.

Not content to rest on his laurels, Dr Harland started working towards a PhD with the Queen’s Department of General Practice, which he has recently successfully completed. It is this third doctorate that he will be awarded on the morning of Thursday 11 December.

Dr Harland who thinks he is the year’s eldest graduate refers to his latest achievement saying modestly that now he will be a “proper doctor”. He is proud of the fact that his is the very first PhD to be awarded from the Department of General Practice within the Queen’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. For his PhD Dr Harland has followed his life-long interest area, researching and writing up a ‘history of the teaching of general practice in Northern Ireland from 1920 up to 1990’. “I’m very pleased with it,” he says. “This study investigates the power struggles that there were with Government, the pharmaceutical industry, and other medical corporations as GPs sought a better education for their specialty at undergraduate and postgraduate levels”.

Still pursuing many a project daily on his personal computer, Robin Harland has celebrated the achievement of his third degree by creating a new email address for himself – Doctor Cubed!

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For further information contact: Dolores Vischer: 028 9033 5320 or 07815 133 415

Notes: Dr Robin Harland will attend the 10.30am graduation ceremony on Thursday 11 December and will be available afterwards for media interviews or photographs.

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Part-time students rewarded at Queen’s

Around 430 part-time students at Queen’s University were rewarded for their achievements at a special presentation ceremony last night.

The Institute of Lifelong Learning students were presented with diplomas and certificates in a wide range of subjects in the humanities, social sciences, management, science and computing.

The Institute’s Director, Paul Nolan, said that each of these qualifications marked a step forward not only in the personal development of the student, but also in the increasing professionalism of the Northern Ireland workforce.

He added: “New skills do not just arrive with recent recruits, they are developed by existing staff and Queen's is here to help them develop those skills. That's what lifelong learning is all about."

A number of prizes were also presented to top students, as follows:

Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations certificate and part-time degree module: Belfast Telegraph Award for the top degree student - Sarah Calvert; British Telecom Award for the best degree written paper - Stephen Nugent; News Letter Award for the top certificate student - Lynn Dunlop; Ulster Television Award for the best certificate written paper - Lynn Dunlop; Anderson Spratt Group Award for the best essay degree student - Jonathan Greenlees; Anderson Spratt Group Award for the best essay certificate student - Ursula Dempster

Friends of the Ulster Museum Award for the highest overall mark in Level One Humanities, part-time degree course - Anne Denise Bodel

Friends of the Ulster Museum Award for the highest overall mark in Level One Environmental Sciences, part-time degree course - Jennifer Esther Lyttle.

For further information contact:

Anne Langford, Tel 028 9033 5310

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Adult literacy tutors gain new qualification at Queen’s

Among those who received awards at last night’s presentation ceremony to students from Queen’s University’s Institute of Lifelong Learning were 67 adult literacy tutors who were awarded a new qualification.

The qualification in the Teaching and Management of Literacy and Essential Skills is one of a number of new qualifications for literacy and numeracy tutors offered by the Institute.

The Certificate is funded by the Department for Employment and Learning and is part of the ‘Essential Skills for Living’ strategy for Northern Ireland launched in 2002. The strategy seeks to improve the literacy and numeracy skills of adults throughout Northern Ireland.

The development workers and course tutors, Maire McAnespie and Shelley Tracey, said they are delighted with the commitment and success of the students.

“The new qualifications have broadened and deepened the knowledge and skills for essential skills training and will provide employers with tutors who are competent and who can make a real change in the lives of learners.

“Many tutors have also chosen to continue learning by progressing on to new and more specialised qualifications.”

The courses provide nationally recognised qualifications for tutors working at all levels. The training will significantly increase the qualification status of tutors in Northern Ireland and help raise the standard of teaching of Essential Skills for adults.

For further information contact:

Anne Langford, Tel 028 9033 5310

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Queen’s commitment to students with disabilities highlighted

Queen’s University’s ongoing commitment to supporting students with disabilities was highlighted by Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir George Bain at a special ceremony on the campus last night.

The Vice-Chancellor was speaking at the Cedar Foundation’s Celebration of Achievement award ceremony in the University’s Great Hall.

He presented exceptional achievement awards at the event which the Foundation – a voluntary organisation that promotes choice, opportunity, independence and equality for people with physical disabilities throughout Northern Ireland – held as part of its contribution to the European Year of People with Disabilities.

The ceremony acknowledged and applauded the achievements of those who were involved in the training programmes across the Foundation’s Training Services based in Belfast, Ballymena, North Down & Ards and Lisburn.

Professor Bain said: “The Cedar Foundation trainees deserve our warmest congratulations and I am delighted to be taking part in this celebration of their achievements.

“The Cedar Foundation and Queen’s, which has more than 600 students with disabilities, have much in common, in particular a commitment to the principles of inclusion and equality.

“We view disability provision as a University-wide responsibility to ensure that students with disabilities
have the same experience of Queen’s as other students.

“Around 400 students have taken up the offer of support from our Disability Services Unit which is made to all students declaring a disability at registration.

“We have a wide portfolio of support mechanisms which are tailored to the needs of each individual student with a disability, such as the provision of course materials and lecture notes in alternative formats, the improvement of physical access to buildings and flexible scheduling.”

The Vice-Chancellor added that Queen’s is also collaborating with the University of Ulster and Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education on a register of support providers which is accessed by more than 70 students.

For further information contact:

Anne Langford, Tel: 028 9033 5310

Note for editors:

The Cedar Foundation’s Celebration of Achievement ceremony will be held at the Great Hall, Queen’s University on Wednesday 10 December at 5.45pm. Media facilities will be available.

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Knowledge Transfer Partnership Awards

A Co Down company which forged a successful partnership with Queen’s University will be honoured at a special Knowledge Transfer Partnership Awards event in London tonight. (Tuesday)

Steve Orr Ltd, a small but highly successful manufacturer and supplier of netwrap and baler twine to the global agricultural industry linked up with the University’s School of Chemical Engineering as part of the Knowledge Transfer Partnership scheme enabling businesses to benefit from the input of expertise from university academics.

The scheme, formerly known as TCS, has enabled the company not only to reap substantial financial benefits but also to expand, doubling in size over the last three years. Queen’s has also benefited from the partnership, not only in staff development, but also with regard to research output, university income and recognition of its activities in Europe and North America.

Both associate graduates on the project, Adrian Marks and Graham Milligan, have substantially improved their engineering skills and gained awareness of the needs of a rapidly growing business during the programme.

Steve Orr Ltd is among seven award winning partnerships which will vie for four special awards – best TCS programme, best application of social or management Science, best application of knowledge and for Engineering Excellence.

Jacqui Smith, Minister of State for Industry and the Regions, and Deputy Minister for Women and Equality, will present the awards.

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Queen’s public lectures to discuss Darwinism and religion

Two leading American scholars will discuss the controversial relationship between evolutionism and religion during major public lectures at Queen’s University later this week.

Professor Michael Ruse from Florida State University and Professor Ronald L Numbers from the University of Wisconsin will debate the issues involved in their talks on Thursday and Friday, 11 and 12 December.

Professor Ruse will examine the reasons for the opposition between Darwinism and Christianity in his talk on “Darwinism and Atheism: A Marriage Made in Heaven?” while Professor Numbers will give a lecture entitled “Anti-Darwinism: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design”.

An expert on Darwinism and its implications, Professor Ruse has written extensively on the religious implications of evolutionism. His books include “Can a Darwinian be a Christian? The Relationship between Science and Religion”, and “Darwin and Design: Does Evolution have a Purpose?”, which was published this year.

Ronald L Numbers has written extensively on the topic of Creationism in America and is currently working on the Creationist movement in other parts of the world. He is the author of “The Creationists”, “Darwinism Comes to America”, and co-editor of “Disseminating Darwinism”.

The lectures, hosted by the School of Anthropological Studies, are sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation/American Scientific Affiliation lecture programme for the encouragement of constructive dialogue between science and religion.

Organiser Professor Peter Bowler said: “We are delighted to welcome to Queen's two of the leading North American commentators on the debates surrounding the religious implications of evolutionism. Michael Ruse is a prominent authority on Darwinism and its wider implications, while Ronald Numbers is an internationally respected analyst of the anti-evolution movement.”

Professor Ruse’s lecture will take place on Thursday 11 December in G07, Peter Froggatt Centre, at 4.15pm. Professor Numbers’ talk will be held at 4.15pm the following day, in GO6, Peter Froggatt Centre. Admission to both lectures is free.

For further information contact:

Anne Langford, Tel 028 9033 5310

Notes for editors:

The lectures are open to the press. Arrangements to interview the speakers can be made by calling the above number.

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Great fun planned for Inter Sports Night!

Around 200 students representing 12 different sports are to come together on Monday evening for a night of fun-filled, recreational sport organised by students for students.

This is the fourth time the University has hosted an Inter Sports Night, in which participants have an opportunity to play new sports and interact with people from other sporting backgrounds.

Gaelic footballers will be playing rugby for the first time and vice versa. Other activities include netball, soccer and hockey – all for both men and women – as well as swimming, waterpolo, canoeing, hurling and camogie.

Queen’s Student Sport Development Manager, Bill Gardner said: “This is a great event that gives our students the opportunity to participate in a range of diverse sports, not only developing their playing skills but also their understanding of other sporting cultures. It is a unique opportunity which fosters intercommunity development amongst the various club members.”

The event will be held at the Physical Education Centre in Botanic Park and at the Malone Playing Fields. The night will culminate in a quiz and social gathering at Malone Playing Fields pavilion.

Notes for editors: The fourth Queen’s Inter Sports Night will be held on Monday 8 December at the Physical Education Centre (Botanic Park) 5.30-8.30pm, and at Malone Playing Fields (beside the House of Sport) 6.30- 8.30pm. Media facilities will be available.

For further information contact: Debbie McLorinan, Development Manager - Marketing & Customer Services, Sport & Recreation Services, Tel (028) 9068 1126; email: d.mclorinan@qub.ac.uk

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‘Northern Ireland: What’s Going Wrong?’

With no early prospect of a return to power-sharing devolution expected in the wake of the Northern Ireland Assembly election, a timely paper by a Belfast policy analyst has called for a rethink in the context of the forthcoming review of the Good Friday Agreement.

The paper, `Northern Ireland: What’s Going Wrong?’, argues that, paradoxically, the 1998 agreement may have entrenched the divisions which are at the basis of the region’s conflict, thereby discouraging genuine reconciliation.

Published by the Institute of Governance, Public Policy and Social Research – an interdisciplinary centre of Queen’s University Belfast which brings together practitioners and researchers – the paper says that, while Northern Ireland has enjoyed a degree of peace since the paramilitary ceasefires of 1994, it is still a far from normal society.

The “parity of esteem” for nationalism and unionism which is central to the agreement has in effect conferred recognition and respectability upon sectarian political ideologies, the author, Robin Wilson, argues. In so doing, it may have inadvertently perpetuated mistrust and social tensions, and discouraged an atmosphere of compromise and political risk-taking.

Robin Wilson is a member of the board of the Institute of Governance and director of the think tank Democratic Dialogue. Along with Professor Rick Wilford of the School of Politics and International Studies at Queen’s, he leads a team of researchers who have been monitoring the implementation of devolution in the region since 1999.

The agreement is due to be reviewed later this month, four years after coming into effect, and the paper outlines four modernising reforms which could be enacted to engender a more conciliatory atmosphere, to place power-sharing devolution on a stable footing, and to hold out the prospect of a normal society.

“Whatever other advantages devolution brought to Northern Ireland under the terms of the Belfast Agreement of 1998, assuaging intercommunal tensions was not one of them. Indeed the continued sectarian polarisation of recent years has further corroded intercommunal trust, leading to repeated suspension of the institutions established in the wake of the Agreement,” Robin Wilson said.

“The paper argues that, far from offering a model to other ethnically divided societies as to how they might solve their problems, the Belfast Agreement looks backwards rather than forwards. An alternative, integrationist, approach is identified, based on a more contemporary understanding of identity as multiple, plastic and relational.”

Notes for editors:

`Northern Ireland: What’s Going Wrong?’ will be launched at 5.30pm on Wednesday 3 December in the Queen’s University Visitors’ Centre. To attend, please contact Catherine Madden: Tel (028) 9027 3449, c.madden@qub.ac.uk

The devolution monitoring research has been supported by the Leverhulme Trust and the Economic and Social Research Council.

Democratic Dialogue is a think tank based in Belfast with links across Ireland, Britain and beyond. Its twin focus is the continuing challenge of political accommodation in Northern Ireland and the social and economic issues that have been neglected during the region’s ‘troubles’.

For further information, contact: Catherine Madden, Institute of Governance, Public Policy and Social Research, Tel (028) 9027 3449, c.madden@qub.ac.uk
Or
Robert Baxter, Communications Office, Tel (028) 9033 5323
Or
Robin Wilson, Democratic Dialogue, Tel (028) 9022 0052 or 07771 607707.

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Popular culture expert to lecture at Queen’s

One of the United Kingdom’s best-known broadcasters, the critic and historian of popular culture, Professor Sir Christopher Frayling, will be in Belfast later this week to deliver the public Visual Arts Lectures at Queen’s University.

Professor Sir Christopher Frayling, The Rector of the Royal College of Art
Professor Sir Christopher Frayling, The Rector of the Royal College of Art
The Rector of the Royal College of Art, Sir Christopher will be speaking on the theme, “Grand Illusions; Images in the Popular Domain”. His first lecture, ‘Tutmania’, will examine the impact of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb on popular culture in the 1920’s, while the second lecture, ‘The Scarecrow’s Brain’, will consider the image of the scientist in 20th century film.

The talks will take place in the University’s Larmour Lecture Theatre on Thursday and Friday, 4 and 5 December, starting at 6pm.

Sir Christopher’s many television series have included Nightmare - The Birth of Horror, Design Classics and a fly-on-the wall documentary recording a year in the life of the Royal College. His Face of Tutankhamun was described by the Sunday Times as "an adventure worthy of Spielberg" and the six-part Channel 4 series on advertising, The Art of Persuasion, won the prestigious Gold Medal of the New York International Film and Television Festival. He also presented the first BBC Design Awards.

He has published more than a dozen books, including biographies of Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood which celebrate his passion for the ‘spaghetti western’. His other books include Vampyres: Lord Byron to Count Dracula and his latest, Mad, Bad and Dangerous, which looks at the widespread portrayal of scientists in the cinema as ‘baddies’ responsible for the fears of the age. He has written numerous articles for national newspapers and publications ranging from Design Week, Campaign and Blueprint to The Times Higher Education Supplement, Sight and Sound, Creative Review and Design magazine. His interactive book, The Art Pack, was an international best-seller.

Sir Christopher, who became Rector of the Royal College of Art in 1996, was appointed the College’s first Professor of Cultural History in 1979. He has been Chairman of the Design Council since April 2000, and is the longest serving trustee of the Victoria and Albert Museum. A former member of the Arts Council of England, he was also the member of the 'Litmus Group', overseeing the contents of the Faith Zone at the Millennium Dome.

In January 2001 he was knighted in the Queen's New Years Honours List for his 'services to art and design education'. In March this year he received with the Sir Misha Black Medal for Distinguished Services to Design Education, in recognition of his work and influence as a teacher, as a cultural historian and as Rector of the RCA.

Admission to his lectures is free by ticket, available from the Visitors’ Centre at Queen’s (reservation line: 028 9033 5252).

The Visual Arts Lectures are organised in association with the David Lean Foundation.

For further information contact:

Anne Langford, Tel 028 9033 5310

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Winter graduation ceremonies 2003

This year's winter graduation ceremonies at Queen's will take place from Wednesday 10 to Friday 12 December in the Sir William Whitla Hall.
More than 1,600 students will graduate at the five ceremonies, beginning on Wednesday evening.

The University will be awarding honorary degrees to notable figures from the worlds of culture, business, and academia. These include Michael Emmerson, the first Director of the Belfast Festival at Queen’s and co-founder of the Queen’s Film Theatre; businessman Dr Diljit Rana MBE; eminent scientist and President of the Royal Society Lord May of Oxford; and President of Limerick University Professor Roger Downer.

Details of the ceremonies are as follows:

Wednesday 10 December
7.30pm Institute of Lifelong Learning
Address by: Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Students and Learning Professor Ken Bell

Thursday 11 December
10.30am Faculty of Engineering; Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences
Honorary graduand: Michael Emmerson
Address by Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir George Bain

2.30pm School of Nursing & Midwifery
Honorary graduand: Dr Diljit Rana MBE
Address by: Nigel Williams, the Children’s Commissioner for Northern Ireland

Friday 12 December
10.30am Faculty of Humanities; Faculty of Science & Agriculture
Honorary graduand: Professor Lord May of Oxford
Address by: Professor Lord May of Oxford

2.30pm Faculty of Legal, Social & Educational Sciences
Honorary graduand: Professor Roger Downer
Address by: Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Academic Planning & Resources Professor Ken Brown

Notes for editors: Press officers will be on duty at the Sir William Whitla Hall for each of the ceremonies. Media packs will be available containing, where possible, copies of addresses and citations.

Requests for interviews with the honorary graduands should be made to the Communications Office.

For further information contact:
Robert Baxter, Communications Office, Tel (028) 9033 5323

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