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  May 2016 eZiggurat - the enewsletter for UEA alumni         View in browser  


There is a lot to shout about this month, from climbing the university league tables and Royal Society Fellowships, to life-changing apps and award-winning students and staff. 

Across a wide range of disciplines the University continues to strive for excellence; to do different and do better and to continue to be a university that the students, alumni, staff and supporters can be proud of.


UEA ranks 14th in the Complete University Guide

The University has climbed to the 14th spot in the Complete University Guide – its highest position ever in the prestigious league table and third year in the Top 20.

Two places higher than 2015, this matches UEA’s best ever position across the major league tables, previously reaching 14th in both the Guardian and the Times and Sunday Times rankings.


Read more _

Prof David Richardson

No time to stand still – UEA2030 Vision

At the beginning of 2015, the University held a consultation, seeking the views of students, alumni and staff. The conversations that came out of the process have helped shape the University’s plan for 2016-20 as well as a wider vision to 2030, which is discussed by Vice-Chancellor Professor David Richardson in his blog this month.

“In order to meet all the challenges ahead we’ll need to work together to achieve success. We’ve got ourselves into a strong position. But our future success will depend on us growing with our partners in the city, across the region and globally. We’ll only deliver our growth in student numbers, staff and reputation if we work with others to do that in a sustainable way.

“Again, many thanks to everyone who took part in the consultation and please take some time to have a look at our objectives.”


Read more about the UEA vision _


Read the full blog _


Snoo Wilson Prize for Playwriting announced at archive launch event

On Thursday 21 April, the Snoo Wilson Archive was officially launched with an event celebrating his body of work and his contribution to British theatre. The evening included speeches, readings and performances of his work, as well as the announcement of the new Snoo Wilson Prize for Playwriting.

Based within the British Archive for Contemporary Writing, the archive includes the unperformed and unpublished play Revelations, which Wilson was working on before his death in 2013.


Read more about the event _


School of Social Work celebrates 40th anniversary

Last month, a day of activities was held as part of celebrations to mark the School of Social Work’s 40th anniversary, and the 20th anniversary of the Centre for Research on Children and Families.

In the morning, alumni spoke to current students about their careers. The CRCF conference in the afternoon was attended by around 300 alumni, students and practitioners. The presentations included talks by Professors David Howe and June Thoburn, shown in the photographs above. In the evening there were inaugural lectures by Prof Jonathan Dickens and Prof Beth Neil.


Read more about the day _


From the archives

In May 1993, Concrete asks students if their first year at university had lived up to their expectations in ‘UEA: The expected and the experienced’.


Read more _


New technology spells out what’s said when audio fails
New lip-reading technology developed at the University could help in solving crimes and provide communication assistance for people with hearing and speech impairments.

UEA drug research could prevent secondary cataract
Scientists at the University may have found a way to prevent complications from surgery to treat cataract - the world’s leading cause of blindness.

NBS professor wins inaugural Occupational Health Psychology award
Norwich Business School’s Prof Karina Nielsen has received the first ‘Eusebio Rial-González Innovation & Practice Award in Occupational Health Psychology’ from the European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology and European Agency for Safety and Health at Work.


UEA alumnus is new President Elect of the American Physiological Society

Professor of medicine at Harvard, alumnus Dennis Brown (front row, second from left) was elected by a poll of its members as the new President Elect of the American Physiological Society (APS).

Dennis Brown, PhD, is a professor of medicine at Harvard/Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and director of its program in membrane biology. He is director of the MGH Career Development Office and the current journal editor of Physiological Reviews. Brown recently served as chair of the National Institute of Health’s Molecular Biology of the Kidney and Development (MBKD) study section. As well as his degree and PhD from UEA, the University awarded him an honorary degree in 2013 for his contributions to science.

He took up the position last month, and will become the President during the annual Experimental Biology meeting in Chicago in 2017. Established in 1887, the American Physiological Society (APS) was the first US society in the biomedical sciences field. The Society represents more than 11,000 members and publishes 14 peer-reviewed journals with a worldwide readership.


Read more _

Keys to the Castle

UEA conservation hero rewarded for lifetime’s work

He came too late to save the dodo, but a UEA biologist has been announced as the winner of the Indianapolis Prize for animal conservation, the conservation world's equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

Prof Carl Jones MBE from UEA’s School of Biological Sciences is thought to have saved more species than anyone else. To date, he has driven recoveries in seven bird, seven reptile and two mammal species, all of which are or were globally threatened. He has also been credited with bringing back dozens of species of plants - some of which would also have been completely lost.

The award recognises individuals who have achieved major victories in advancing the sustainability of an animal species or group of species. Prof Jones has worked tirelessly to conserve dwindling bird and animal species on the island of Mauritius for nearly 40 years, with support from colleagues, including Dr Diana Bell and many UEA students.


Read more _

Ian Rankin to be visiting professor

Next year marks the 30th anniversary of one of crime fiction’s greatest characters, John Rebus, created by one of the world’s leading crime writers, Ian Rankin.

As part of a year of events to mark the anniversary, Ian Rankin will join UEA in September as a UNESCO City of Literature Visiting Professor.

The visiting UNESCO professorships invites leading authors of international reputation to the University, to engage with the creative writing programmes. Rankin will be on campus during the autumn semester, and contribute to seminars, lectures, and tutorials. In September, he will also feature in the third annual ‘Noirwich’ Crime Writing Festival, a collaboration between UEA, Writers’ Centre Norwich and Dead Good Books.


Read more _

Keys to the Castle

Court 2016

As a University formed by Royal Charter, UEA has a formal body known as Court which meets each year and welcomes friends, partners and UEA supporters. This year’s event will take place on Friday 10 June at 6pm, in Lecture Theatre 1.

At Court this year, we will be exploring the impact of UEA’s activity on the wider world, particularly in terms of innovation and enterprise. The Vice-Chancellor will present a new report which outlines UEA’s contribution to the region’s economy, as well as the UEA 2030 Vision. We will also hear from Prof Gregory Wildgoose about how his research is contributing to the discovery of clean, renewable energy.

Court will be followed by a reception in the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. The event is free to attend and open to all, but booking is essential.


Read more and book _


Pirates ‘old boys’ celebrate 20th reunion with victory

On Saturday 30 April, the UEA American football team held their 20th annual Old Boys vs UEA Pirates game, where alumni come back to campus to play the current team.

Once again the Old Boys won, with the final score Old Boys 41- 6 UEA Pirates - their 20th win in a row! The event was followed by a party in the evening attended by the alumni team members and friends.


See more photos on the Alumni Association Facebook page _

London Lecture May 2016

Join us online

Can’t make the UEA London Lecture this Thursday, 12 May? The discussion will be livestreamed online, so you can tune in wherever you are around the globe.

Organisations and governments are increasingly interested in using ‘big data’, whether for marketing purposes or to enable them to offer a better service. But should this, often personal, information be made accessible?

Dr Rob Davey, from The Genome Analysis Centre, will argue that data can drive new understanding and facilitate scientific discussions. On the other hand, Dr Paul Bernal from UEA Law School, will examine potential problems with data regulation, which have led to public suspicion.

A recording of the discussion will also be available online after the event.


Read more and watch the lecture online _


Award success for student

MTH student Fraser Holmes-Mackay has won the Mathematics, Economics and Finance Undergraduate of the Year Award at a ceremony in London.

The TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year is an annual awards competition which aims to find the best undergraduates in the UK. Fraser won a summer internship at Gazprom Marketing & Trading's global HQ in London and a week in Gazprom's Singapore offices. He was one of 120 undergraduates who were invited to the final in Canary Wharf where the winner was announced.

Fraser has been involved in a number of projects while at UEA, including leading a team of peer mentors and organising fundraising events for an India expedition. Whilst working as a language buddy and attending Mandarin Chinese evening classes, he has developed an interest in exploring new cultures and is set to spend his year abroad at the University of California, Berkeley. Fraser’s achievements have been recognised by UEA and he received the Alan Buch Scholarship from the Vice-Chancellor for his successful application to Berkeley.

UEA helps Deutsche Telekom launch dementia data-sourcing app

A UEA researcher has worked with leading telecommunication company Deutsche Telekom to launch an innovative new mobile game, Sea Hero Quest, which will help in understanding dementia.

Sea Hero Quest is a multi-platform mobile game specifically designed to help advance understanding of spatial navigation as part of a coordinated effort to manage the growing threat of dementia. As players make their way through mazes of islands and icebergs, experts can translate every second of gameplay into scientific data. Every two minutes spent playing Sea Hero Quest is equal to five hours of lab based research. If 100,000 people play for just two minutes, this will equate to 57 years’ worth of lab based research.

Prof Michael Hornberger, a professor of applied dementia research at UEA, helped in the development of the game, which was created in partnership with Deutsche Telekom, Alzheimer’s Research, University College London (UCL), and game developers Glitchers.


Read more _


Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre

Henri Cartier-Bresson: PARIS features 83 magnificent images captured between 1929 and 1985 by world renowned photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, and provides an extraordinary insight into the streets of the city and the lives of its people.

Open until 29 August, the exhibition includes many of Cartier-Bresson’s best known photographs as well as other works being shown in the UK for the first time.


Find out more and book _


UEA's Prof Corinne Le Quéré elected as Royal Society Fellow

The world leading climate change scientist has been recognised for her outstanding contribution with her election as a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Corinne Le Quéré, Professor of Climate Change Science and Policy at the University and Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, researches the interactions between climate change and the carbon cycle.

The prestigious and respected title is given to scientists from the UK and the Commonwealth who have made "a substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science and medical science".


Read more _


International Development short courses announced

International Development UEA has pioneered research, training and consultancy in international development for nearly 50 years. It works with a range of clients including national and international development agencies, governments and NGOs. 

Throughout June and July they will be running one and two week short courses on campus on topics such as climate change, water security, gender and impact. A discount of 10% is available to alumni quoting “ALUM2016”.


Read more _


FLY Festival of Literature for Young people

The fourth FLY Festival is coming to UEA next month, from 20-24 June.

Highlights include Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell, David Almond, Carnegie 2015 winner Tanya Landman, and this year’s Waterstones Children’s Book Prize winner, Lisa Williamson.

Teachers and librarians are also invited to FLY’s Inspiring Reading Conference and the new Creative Writing Day, both held on Monday 20 June. The conference includes talks from Celia Rees and Catherine Johnson, and some fantastic break-out sessions with a cross-curricular exploration of how history can inspire and improve writing and reading skills. The creative writing workshop will be led by UEA alumna, novelist and short story writer Lynne Bryan.


Read more and book _


Making the Difference: one year in

The Difference Undergraduate Scholarship recipients have now almost completed their first year at UEA, something that may not have been possible without the support of the 1,142 donors who have given to the fund. And The Difference postgraduate scholars are currently beginning their dissertations, undertaking specialised study, supported by over 450 donors.

As well as offering its thanks to all donors to The Difference Scholarships, the University would like to share a video outlining just what this support means to the scholars. 


Watch the video _

Teacher's conference

UEA Teachers and Advisers Conference – Helping to maximise your students’ potential at university

Led by internationally renowned researchers and academics, this conference will provide you with unparalleled advice and guidance to support your sixth-form students. 

Held on Thursday 9 and Friday 10 June, the conference will cover topics ranging from advice for students applying for subjects like medicine, law and literature, to the latest updates on UCAS and the admissions process.


Read more and book _


UEA Vice-Chancellor appointed Chair of Norwich Research Park

Professor David Richardson has been announced as chair of Norwich Research Partners LLP.   

Having joined the board at its inception in 2012, he is taking over the role from Anthony Habgood, who recently concluded his three-year tenure as chair of the Park. 

Professor Richardson said: “Norwich Research Park is a community of research organisations with world leading science credentials and I am delighted and honoured to have been appointed chair of Norwich Research Partners LLP.” 


UEA sponsoring Venturefest East

Venturefest East is the region’s flagship innovation exhibition, bringing together innovators, successful entrepreneurs and investors to make things happen.

On Tuesday 24 May the event will address issues specifically related to building a business in today’s fast-moving market while also highlighting the type of support and funding currently available.

Also partnering with Innovate UK and the Knowledge Transfer Network, Venturefest East aims to create new business opportunities and help innovative businesses to grow. Alongside leading keynote speakers, including Vice-Chancellor Prof David Richardson, a range of exhibitors will be demonstrating the latest technology hitting in the market.

There will also be a pitching competition to unearth the very best start-ups in the region, in which The Pension Counter, the brainwave of UEA economic graduates based at the Enterprise Centre, is a finalist.


Read more _

PG open day

Postgraduate opportunities

Designed for students with a background in accounting, finance, business, economics, or in a quantitative subject such as science or engineering, Norwich Business School has launched two new MSc degrees.

The MSc Banking and Finance will provide you with the in-depth knowledge of cutting-edge techniques you need to succeed in the global financial and banking sector.


Read more _

The MSc Accounting and Finance provides a sound understanding of the most important theories and practices in international and management accounting, in investments and in corporate finance and governance.


Read more _


Dear Headteacher

UniBox's 'Dear Headteacher' series brings together a complete set of guidance articles created by the Director of Higher Education and Careers at Sherborne School, Philip Rogerson, based on his 20 years' experience of helping pupils get the university places they deserve.


Read more _


Careers help for new graduates

Are you an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)-funded doctoral student who completed their studies 5-7 years ago?

If so, the AHRC invites you to take part in a short survey. In order to improve its support for postgraduate student, the AHRC wishes to understand the career progression and employment patterns of the doctoral graduates it has funded. They have commissioned BritainThinks, an independent research company, to conduct a major survey and would very much like to hear about your career and your experiences since you completed your doctoral study.


Take the survey _

If you have any questions about this study then please contact AHRC at, or Lucy Morrell at BritainThinks at


What can we learn from the development of Community based Rehabilitation (CBR) Programmes in China?

Wednesday 11 May, 1 -3pm
Queens Building 01.09, UEA
Professor Sally Hartley, Emeritus Professor, School of Health Sciences.

For further information contact:


The Eye’s Mind: Visual Imagination, Neuroscience and the Humanities

Sunday 21 – Monday 22 May
Thomas Paine Study Centre & Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
Visual Imagination is one of the most powerful human capacities. It plays a vital role in art and literature, religion and sciences and has been studied and celebrated by artists, writers, philosophers, psychologists and now, neuroscientists. The Eye’s Mind is the culmination of the AHRC-funded research project and will bring together leaders in all these fields to shape a new and more integrated understanding of this mysterious mental resource. Keynote speakers include Paul Broks (Psychology), John Onians (Art History), Joel Pearson (Neuroscience), Michaelf Tye (Philosophy) and Adam Zeman (Neurology). 

Read more information on the Eye’s Mind project or book your place here.

Alberto Giacometti: A Line Through Time

23 April - 29 August
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
This landmark exhibition is dedicated to the work of Alberto Giacometti, one of the giants of twentieth century art, celebrated as a sculptor, painter and draughtsman. The exhibition will commemorate 50th anniversary of the artist’s death and is an exciting opportunity to examine the artist’s influence amongst his contemporaries in Paris and his impact on British art in the post-war period.

Check out the What's On guide by visiting for full details.


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

Desmond Eason (EAS89)

Michael George (BIO69)

Professor Roy West 

An obituary written by Prof West's friend and former colleague, Hugh Young, with contributions from his family, can be found here.

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