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Ziggurat - The e-Newsletter of the UEA Alumni Association April 2018 View in browser
Featured Stories
The Rhum Hound

UEA gig history

The UEA gig history project has emerged from its winter hibernation with a few rather exciting new shoots.

If you have ever wondered what The Kinks, Alice Cooper, a stolen fuzzbox and some very tight trousers had in common, you will find the answer in a brand new Extracted Memory post sent in by alumnus Mel Bray (EUR 65-69) for the website. Mel makes the claim to have been in UEA’s very first student rock band: The Rhum Hound Complex (what else?) and has sent through some wonderful photos to prove it. A new adjustable seat has been found in the Photo Booth to showcase Mel’s shots, which also include Alex Harvey and Ravi Shankar performing their #UEAgigs.

Exciting moments often seem to come in groups of three; a YouTube link was recently shared with @UEAgighistory of some rare, rare, early UEA gig film footage of an Otway and Barrett gig in 1978, which was nice. And for event number three, Public Image Limited are re-visiting the campus on Wednesday 6 June.

UEA gig history project marked the 40th anniversary of the cancellation of The Sex Pistols so the project team decided to reach out with an emissary...more of which will follow next month! Meanwhile, please continue to raid your lofts and dust down the VCR if you’re having a spring clean - will always welcome your post.

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UEA stories blog

UEA Stories

The new UEA Stories blog, celebrating the success and diversity of the alumni community, is proving very popular.

One of the featured stories is from Sam, a Master of Pharmacy graduate who runs his own pharmaceutical company in Nigeria that also develops online web apps. In his blog he shares some of the struggles he’s had to overcome, as well as the skills and the confidence he gained at UEA that have helped in his success: “Even though I’ve failed at some of the things I’ve tried, I’ve learned so much, and always pick myself up and keep going.”

Other new blog posts this month include making a difference with community charities in Edinburgh, following the dream to become a midwife, and the journey from the John Innes Centre to Singapore.

If you’ve been inspired and want to share your own UEA story, you can get involved by emailing

Read Sam’s blog  
London Lecture April 2018

London Lecture series continues

What can be done to save the bees? This is the question that Dr Lynn Dicks from UEA’s School of Biological Sciences will discuss later this month, in the third of this year's London Lectures.

Everyone knows that bees are in trouble, and with governments all over the world signing up to protect pollinators, there couldn’t be a better time to define strategic actions. In her talk, Dr Dicks will examine the scientific understanding of pollinator decline and set out a plan for supporting pollinators globally.

UEA’s London Lectures are an annual series of talks highlighting the impactful research taking place at the University, presented in London. They are free and open to all, but booking is essential.

Read More and book  
News in Brief
UEA partner with The Norfolk Festival of Nature in series of events

The University has partnered with The Norfolk Festival of Nature to host a series of events later this month aimed at celebrating the relationship that exists between people and the natural world.

Care home admissions risk breaching human rights of older people

Thousands of older people in low and middle-income countries are at risk of abuse and human rights violations when being admitted to care homes, according to new research led by UEA.

Norfolk’s iconic Swallowtail Butterfly at risk from climate change

Norfolk’s butterflies, bees, bugs, birds, trees and mammals are at major risk from climate change as temperatures rise, according to new research from the University.

More Stories

Alumnus hopes to ‘crack’ food waste

UEA graduate Matt Havers has developed a novel use for the humble egg by incorporating it into high protein drinks, which could reduce food waste.

Matt founded PECK drinks after recognising that hundreds of eggs produced by the 16,000 chickens on his family’s north Suffolk farm were being disposed of after being deemed unsuitable for sale.

“Cutting down on food waste is one of the biggest challenges we face as a farming industry - anything we can do to make our processes more effective and sustainable is really important.”

In the future, Matt hopes to approach retailers directly to source the healthy eggs which are wasted by supermarkets when only one or two eggs in a box are cracked. The UK wastes 4% of its eggs before they even leave the shops, which equates to 1.4 million eggs daily.

PECK has received two grants from Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative, run by Greater Cambridge, and Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership. There are plans for PECK drinks to be launched in the East of England Co-op and Musclefoods in the next few months, and they are currently available on the PECK website and Amazon.

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Alumna brings theatre production to London

Alumna Gemma Aked-Priestley is a freelance theatre director, and her latest production is the European premiere of Gracie.

Written by multi-award winning Canadian playwright Joan MacLeod, Gracie is story about growing up in a religious cult. The play is being staged in support of Refuge Charity, at the Finborough Theatre, London and will run from Sunday 29 April until Tuesday 15 May.

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EAFA competition 2018

Aspiring filmmakers invited to ‘mash-up’ film archives for competition

Entries are now open for the UEA East Anglian Film Archive’s (EAFA) annual mashup filmmaking competition. Now in its fourth year, the competition is one-of-a-kind in the UK, offering entrants the opportunity to repurpose unique EAFA archive material to make a short film.

This year’s theme is transformation and the competition brief is to make a short film between one and five minutes duration, which uses at least 50% EAFA archive material. Entrants can combine the archive films with material they have shot themselves, or use audio-visual material sourced from elsewhere.

Anyone inspired by archive film can enter, whether they’re a complete novice or an accomplished professional. There are two categories, one for under 18s and one for over 18s. The lucky winner in each category will receive a £250 cash prize and a year’s subscription to Little White Lies film magazine. The winning films will also be screened at the Norwich Film Festival.

Filmmakers have until midday on Monday 3 September to submit their entries.

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Sainsbury Centre anniversary

Sainsbury Centre celebrates 40th anniversary

The Sainsbury Centre has launched SUPERSTRUCTURES: The New Architecture 1960-90, a new exhibition to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

Superstructures tells the story of architecture's fascination with new technology, lightweight structures, pioneering building techniques and innovative engineering solutions.

Rarely seen together, a selection of iconic models will also be on display, including the Pompidou Centre by Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano; International Terminal Waterloo by Nicholas Grimshaw and the Hopkins House by Michael and Patty Hopkins; and a brand new three-metre-long model of the Sainsbury Centre.

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'Detect, Cure, Avoid?' event at the Science Museum

Explore UEA's world-leading research at the upcoming Science Museum Lates event, taking place Wednesday 25 April, at the Science Museum, London.

This evening event is aligned with the UEA sponsored Superbugs: The fight for our lives exhibition currently on at the Science Museum. The exhibition explores how society is responding to the enormous challenge of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), featuring scientific research from across the globe, and the personal stories of those waging war on the superbugs.

As part of the event, you can meet the UEA experts making ground-breaking discoveries to tackle the AMR crisis, discover what can be done to help, and consider how to collectively combat the global challenge of AMR with the interactive activity 'Detect, Cure, Avoid?'.

Find Out More  
Inaugural lecture series

How languages shape our thinking, memory and judgment: a linguistic journey into the mind

Can language differences cause different judgments of innocence or guilt in a legal context? Can speakers of a certain language have better memory for some events than speakers of another language? And what about bilinguals: do they always think and remember in both languages?

In this lecture, which has been rescheduled for Tuesday 22 May, Prof Luna Filipovic from the School of Politics, Philosophy and Language and Communication Studies will shed light on the intricate links between language and cognition that are crucial to our understanding of how the mind works, and which have some surprising real-world consequences.

Inaugural lectures recognise and celebrate the promotion of UEA academics to the position of professor, whilst giving audiences the chance to hear about their research and its impact on society. These lectures are free and there's no need to book; simply turn up on the night, or watch live on our website.

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Prof Laura Bowater

Academic Director of Innovation appointed

Prof Laura Bowater has been appointed Academic Director of Innovation from May, a new three-year role to support and enhance research and innovation across all four Faculties.

“I am delighted to be appointed to this new role,” she said. “We are incredibly fortunate that, as a University, we have a wealth of expertise and entrepreneurial thinking that is generating regional, national and international impact.”

Laura is Professor of Microbiology in the School of Medicine and is currently the Associate Dean for Innovation for the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, a role in which she has supported UEA’s involvement in the Norwich Science Festival. Watch Laura introduce last year’s Festival in this video.

RMetociety Awards

UEA academics recognised in RMetociety Awards

Two academics from the School of Environmental Sciences have been recognised for their excellence in meteorology in the 2017 Royal Meteorological Society (RMetS) Awards.

Prof Phil Jones has been appointed an Honorary Fellow, the highest level of membership, in recognition of his distinguished career and long-standing contribution to meteorology, and Prof Ian Renfrew has been awarded the prestigious Adrian Gill Prize for multi-disciplinary meteorological research. The awards will be presented on Wednesday 6 May at a ceremony in London.

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UEA CHamber Choir

Rossini: Petite Messe Solennelle

UEA Choir warmly invites you to join them for a large-scale performance of Rossini’s magnificent Petite Messe Solennelle, on Saturday 28 April at 7.30pm at St Andrew’s Hall, Norwich.

One of his final completed works, Rossini wrote the Petite Messe Solennelle more than thirty years after his last opera. The music is deeply personal and wonderfully intimate, a composer drawing on all the compositional faculties that made him so popular decades before. His unequalled skill for melody writing can be seen in its exquisite arias, duets and trios, and his keen sense of dramatic pace is exhibited to the full in the riveting large-scale choruses.

UEA Choir will be joined in their performance by award-winning soloists Jenny Stafford (soprano), Clare Presland (mezzo-soprano), Adam Temple-Smith (tenor) and Dan D’Souza (bass), pianists Peter Foggitt and George Inscoe, and harmoniumist William Falconer.

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Frozen Road

Banff Film Festival comes back to campus

The world’s most prestigious mountain film festival is returning to Norwich this month with a selection of extraordinary short films from the world’s leading adventure film makers.

Follow the expeditions of some incredible adventurers, see amazing footage of adrenaline-packed action sports and be inspired by thought-provoking pieces shot from the far flung corners of the globe.

Ignite your passion for adventure, action and travel through an exhilarating collection of the latest films from the most talented adventure film makers of today.

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Become a teacher and inspire the next generation

Due to last month’s severe weather conditions, the Primary PGCE Teacher Training information session was rescheduled and will now take place on Saturday 28 April.

The event will start with a general information talk, then there will be the opportunity for you to speak directly to tutors, current students, newly qualified teachers, and members of the admissions team.

Read More and register your interest  
Green Film Festival

Green Film Festival @UEA

Now in its third year, the Green Film Festival @UEA presents its biggest programme to date.

The Festival will open on Thursday 3 May with a screening of the film Thank You For The Rain, which documents the efforts of Kenyan farmer, Kisilu. This is followed on Friday 4 May by a screening of Dusk Chorus, a fascinating documentary film that follows the eco-acoustic composer David Monacchi in his quest to record 24-hour continuous 3D soundscapes the forests of the Amazon in Ecuador.

The Festival finale on Saturday 5 May will include activities, exhibitions, workshops and tours taking place throughout the day, as well as screenings of three very different but equally compelling films, including Okja, a captivating action-adventure film with a hard-hitting message directed by Bong Joon-ho, and featuring a cast that includes Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano and Jake Gyllenhaal.

For more information follow the UEA Green Film Festival on Twitter.

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What's On

Fast radio bursts: Extragalactic radio emission of unknown origin

Wednesday 18 April, 6pm
Julian Study Centre lecture theatre
Prof Ben Stappers (University of Manchester)

In 2007, astronomers discovered a very bright burst of radio emission, which lasted just a few milliseconds, that originated far outside of our own galaxy. The extreme brightness and the very short duration indicate that the source must be highly energetic and mostly likely associated with a black hole or neutron star. Another possibility is that they are caused by some cataclysmic event, like the collapse of a neutron star to form a black hole or the merger of two neutron stars. As these bursts travel great distances through space they are potentially great probes of the material and space between us and their origin helping us to understand more about the missing mass and energy in the Universe. There are now more than 50 of these bursts known and the race is on to find many more with new and existing telescopes around the world.

At this lecture, Prof Ben Stappers will discuss some of the history of FRBs, our current understanding, and look forward to the future including possibilities for the Square Kilometre Array.

Global Britain series: Britain on film

Thursday 19 April, 6.30 - 7.45pm
Thomas Paine Study Centre
Adrian Wooton (UEA alumni and Chief Executive of Film London)

Part of the Global Britain: Beyond Brexit series.

Adrian Wootton will be leading a discussion on the UK as a location for producing feature films and high-end television, and the issues facing the film industry in the current political climate.

The panel will also consider how Britain has been represented on film, and will review footage provided by the East Anglian Film Archive.

Spring Literary Festival - Christie Watson

Wednesday 9 May, 7pm
Lecture Theatre 1, UEA

Christie Watson, a graduate of the Creative Writing MA at UEA, was a registered nurse for twenty years before writing full time. Her first novel, Tiny Sunbirds Far Away, won the Costa First Novel Award and her second novel, Where Women Are Kings, was published to international critical acclaim. Her latest, The Language of Kindness, about her life as a nurse, is one of the most anticipated books of 2018.

The talk will be followed by a book signing in Waterstones.


In the past month the University has sadly been informed of the death of the following alumni and former staff:

Prof Roy Davies, former Dean of Biology
An obituary for Roy was published in The EDP and can be found here online.

Dudley Freeman (CHE67)

Paul Hadfield (EAS71)

Margaret Simpson (CHE66)

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