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Ziggurat - The e-Newsletter of the UEA Alumni Association September 2017 View in browser
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The alumni community is a very important part of the University, and the annual Global Gathering reunions are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate that.

Each year the events become more popular as alumni get together to catch up, share memories of their time here at UEA, and even make new friends. If you can’t make it to one of the organised reunions, we’d still like to see where you are on the University’s anniversary, Friday 29 September, especially if you have your graduation mug handy! Just post your photos on social media using #UEAGG2017 and show us.

This month’s Ziggurat also brings you plenty of news and events from the University, including the Noirwich crime writing festival, autumn Literary Festival, and UEA’s continued success in the National Student Satisfaction survey.

Featured Stories
UEA Global Gathering

Global celebrations

The Global Gatherings are alumni-hosted reunions, held each September to mark the University’s anniversary. The events come in all shapes and sizes, from drinks or dinner, to a theme park - no two events are the same!

So far more than 20 events are planned in San Francisco, Ghana, Kyoto, Tokyo, Mumbai, Manila, Nepal, Lagos and Berlin and Frankfurt, to name a few. The full list of events and locations can be found on our website, and you can view photos from last year’s events for inspiration. If there isn’t a reunion near you and you are interested in hosting one, email Claire Eden in the alumni team at

There is no such thing as too small for a reunion. Even if it’s just two of you, if you’re with another UEA graduate on Friday 29 September we’d love to hear from you. Post your photos using #UEAGG2017 and let us know what you’re doing on UEA’s birthday!

Read More  
Gig History

UEA Gig History

The festival season is over for UEA Gig History; back-to-school mists have settled over the broad and the campus prepares for the return of students for another year.

Meanwhile, the UEA gig history site has been restored to normal, in a manner similar to Mr Benn stepping out of his changing room after another adventure. The site has switched on its central heating and plugged in for September with a focus on bands renowned for their reliance on electricity. Catch the likes of Human League and OMD in the UEA Memorabilia poster box and re-read the Gig List with its extensive overview of bands hosted by UEA from across the decades. 

A dual-fuel supply of both editors from Electronic Sound magazine provides a warm autumnal glow. Push, AKA alumnus Christopher Dawes, talks about the difficulties of being the only punk in Swaffham in his Memory Box while the aptly named Mark Roland gives a breath taking account of seeing Kraftwerk play the LCR in 1992: “Norwich didn’t realise how lucky it was.”

Recent chat on the @UEAgighistory Twitter feed led to fond memories of REM’s visit to UEA in 1984. Someone remembered that Michael Stipe had written “DOG” on his forehead while someone else recalled that they owned “a dodgy cassette recording of the gig somewhere in the loft, bought at Camden market the following year”. Bootlegs may be a thing of the past but September sees the Psychedelic Furs and Jesus and Mary Chain back on stage at the LCR. Perhaps UEA’s returning students don’t realise quite how lucky they are either.

Read More  
NSS survey

UEA ranked fourth for Overall Satisfaction in NSS

A 90% Overall Satisfaction rate places the University in fourth position among English mainstream universities in this year’s National Student Survey (NSS).

“We’re delighted with this year’s scores, which mean UEA remains the only English mainstream university to achieve a top-five ranking for student satisfaction every year since the survey began in 2005,” said Vice-Chancellor Prof David Richardson.

News in Brief
Revolutionary VR game to aid in dementia research

UEA scientists have helped Deutsche Telekom unveil the world’s first virtual reality (VR) game with which players can help scientists fight dementia.

UEA awarded gold following TEF appeal

UEA has been awarded a gold ranking in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) following a successful appeal to the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

Dreading that team-building exercise?

A new study led by the University for the What Works Centre for Wellbeing reveals that shared activities in our workplaces can improve wellbeing and performance by improving the ‘social atmosphere’.

More Stories
James Voules

Career driven

Alumnus James Vowles is at the forefront of one of the most exhilarating and high profile sports in the world.

As chief strategist for the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team, he is ultimately responsible for the planning and calculations needed to get the most technologically-advanced race cars in the world safely round high-speed tracks, week after week. 

James is approaching the pinnacle of his profession, and his career began with an ambition nurtured while studying Computing Sciences at UEA. He returned to the University in July to receive an honorary doctorate, and found time to share his experience and advice on reaching for that dream career.

Read More  
Alumni Awards

Education UK Alumni Awards 2018

Are you, or do you know a UEA graduate who has gone on to great international success?

The British Council Alumni Awards honour the outstanding achievements made by professionals, entrepreneurs and community leaders who can demonstrate how their UK education has had an impact on their subsequent success. So if this sounds like you, or someone you know, why not submit an application?

The awards are open to alumni living outside the UK and who studied to degree level at an institution in the UK within the last 15 years. Nominations close on Monday 2 October.

Read more about eligibility and enter  
Alumni survey

Share your opinion – take the alumni survey

All graduates are invited to take part in our alumni survey and tell us about themselves, their university experience, and their perception of UEA today.

We only do this survey once every five years. Your responses will help to shape what we do over the coming years, so please help us by taking the survey.

Your UEA experience is important to us. Understanding your attitudes and preferences will help the University support current students and plan for the future. Your responses will help us communicate with you more effectively and offer services and events that our alumni really want.

All answers will be anonymous and kept in the strictest confidence. The survey should take approximately 20 minutes to complete.

Read More  
2017 autumn Lit Fest

Line up for Autumn Literary Festival announced

Journalist Jon Snow and politician Kenneth Clarke are among the people taking part in the 2017 UEA Autumn Literary Festival, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

The festival kicks off on Wednesday 11 October with alumnus and Booker Prize-winning writer Kazuo Ishiguro, whose works include An Artist of the Floating World, The Remains of the Day, Never Let Me Go and The Buried Giant.

Jon Snow will be taking part in the festival on Friday 10 November, and MP and former chancellor of the exchequer Kenneth Clarke will close the festival on Wednesday 24 November. Other speakers include world-famous heart surgeon Stephen Westaby and Rebecca Stott, professor of creative writing at UEA.

Read more and book tickets  
Teaching fellowships

UEA academics recognised for outstanding teaching

Two UEA academics, Dr Gill Seyfang and Dr Fabio Aricò, have been named National Teaching Fellows by the Higher Education Academy (HEA), the highest individual recognition for excellence in teaching in higher education.

UEA alumna Dr Gill Seyfang is a Reader in Sustainable Consumption in the School of Environmental Sciences. She heads a programme of world-leading research on 'grassroots innovations' for sustainability and draws on this to shape her transformative teaching on sustainable development.

Dr Aricò is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Learning and Teaching for the School of Economics. He is an award-winning teacher, popular amongst students and colleagues for his passion, energy, and enthusiasm. He makes intense use of learning technologies to communicate with students

Alumni fund project

Alumni Fund making an impact

In 2017 nine projects are being supported through The Alumni Fund, made up of donations from UEA alumni. The Alumni Fund awards support projects that aim to expand student experience and opportunities, while enhancing learning and teaching.

One of of the successful projects hopes to further develop our understanding of the importance of global gender equality. Led by Dr Leticia Yulita, Lecturer in Intercultural Communication and Spanish, the project aims to promote awareness of a more inclusive culture through student-led workshops in local secondary schools and public lectures delivered by UEA students on campus.

Read about the 2017 Alumni Fund awards  

Scholars celebrate success

Each year, donor funded scholarships have an enormous impact on the lives of their recipients. This summer Joseph Pease, Kate Feenstra and Liam Bird were among the graduates celebrating their achievements, thanks to the support they received.

Joe Pease received the Medical Aspirations Scholarship and graduated with distinction from the Norwich Medical School. He is now looking forward to starting an academic training programme in Norwich as he prepares to specialise in anaesthesia.

Liam Bird (pictured above) received the Panasonic Scholarship in Engineering when he arrived at UEA in 2013 and graduated with a starred first class honours degree in Energy Engineering with Environmental Management. This is one of two scholarships funded by Panasonic and Snellings Business Systems that support students undertaking a degree in the Faculty of Science.

Kate Feenstra graduated with a First in American Literature with Creative Writing, and was a recipient of the Colonel Charles L Walker Scholarship. Her scholarship supported her on her year abroad at the University of California, Berkeley in 2015.

Sainsbury Centre

The Russia season at the Sainsbury Centre

In October the Sainsbury Centre will mark the anniversary of the Russian Revolution with the Russia Season, which will contrast Russian art and life before and after the Revolution.

Royal Fabergé explores the extraordinary production and glittering saga of Fabergé, the leading artist-jewellers during the decades preceding the First World War. 

Radical Russia will show how in a few short years a new approach to art emerged. The exhibition includes pre-revolution works, showing the way in which Russian abstraction included specific Russian themes, especially relating to the Russian peasantry.

Inaugural lectures

Bird migration, superbugs, Native Americans and Google Translate

Find out about the range of cutting-edge research being undertaken by UEA’s newest professors at the upcoming autumn season of inaugural lectures.

You don’t have to be an expert to enjoy these free public lectures, which are a great chance to broaden your horizons and learn more about topics including the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance, the historical context of contemporary Native nations, and the future of our food supply.

The first lecture, by Prof Mich Tvede from the School of Economics on Tuesday 3 October, will examine our society’s reliance on networks and will explore the potential benefits and pitfalls of centrally controlled networks and their decentralised counterparts.

Each lecture in the series will be followed by a free drinks reception, with the chance for guests to meet the speaker and discuss their research.

Noirwich festival

Killer line-up of authors at Noirwich crime writing festival

The Noirwich crime writing festival is an annual celebration bringing together superstar crime authors, exciting new talent and fans of all things crime fiction.

Bestselling authors Val McDermid, Anthony Horowitz and Martina Cole lead the line-up of crime thriller authors at the festival later this month. 

If you’re feeling hardy, I Was Dora Suarez is the uncompromisingly dark and eerie aural evocation of Derek Raymond’s most talked about novel. Introduced by one of Britain’s foremost crime writers, Cathi Unsworth, the work will be performed live, with narration by Richard Strange and backing from musicians including alumnus Terry Edwards, who recently performed with PJ Harvey. This unique audio-visual performance thrusts the audience into the centre of a savage double murder committed by the hand of one of literature’s most deranged serial killers. 

Festival-goers can experience the breadth of crime fiction available, from exciting debuts to new author collaborations, with events taking place across the city at venues from 14 - 17 September.


Interview with new Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Arts and Humanities

UEA’s excellent reputation for both research and student experience, and its track record of “doing different” were among the things that attracted Prof Sarah Barrow to her new role as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Arts and Humanities, which she took up at the end of July.

Prof Barrow comes to UEA from the University of Lincoln, where she was Deputy Head of the College of Arts, staff member of the Board of Governors and, prior to that, Head of School for Film and Media. 

Before Lincoln, she led the English, Film, Communications and Media Studies department at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge and, for a period, was Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching there. She was on the Board of the Media Archives for Central England and remains a Trustee for the English and Media Centre, a national body for literacy.

Read the interview in full  
What's On

The new issue of What’s On is now online

Look through the new edition of What’s On online or visit the UEA events diary to find out more about upcoming events. Make sure to follow @UEAEvents on Twitter for news about the latest additions to the calendar.

UEA Orchestra

Opportunities to join UEA Choir, Chamber Choir and Symphony Orchestra

Now is your chance to join one of UEA Music Centre’s symphonic ensembles for their 2017/18 concert season. If you, or someone you know, are looking for an opportunity to develop orchestral playing or vocal skills, why not audition?

All three ensembles are open, by audition, to all. UEA Choir welcomes singers of all abilities and levels of experience. UEA Chamber Choir welcomes singers with some vocal training and/or choral experience, and UEA Symphony Orchestra welcomes players of Grade 7 standard or above (however, there is no need to have passed any exams). 

Auditions for all three ensembles will take place on Friday 29 September and Monday 2 October in the UEA Music Centre. Please email or phone 01603 593948, to arrange an audition


Friend Finder

If anyone is in touch with the following people, please ask them to contact the alumni office at, as one of their University friends would like to get in touch.

Rachel Bailey (BIO85)                   Ann O'Regan (SOC76)
Charisse Brown (LAW85)              Carole Painter (EAS66)
James Cartwright (SOC67)           Anastasia Papadopoulou (EAS97)
 Alan Culligan (SYS91)                  Balkirhsna Rajcoomar (SOC70)
Samantha Cutter (ART97)             Pedro Rosas-Bravo (SOC77)
Karen Davis (EAS84)                    Elaine Simpson (ENV98)
Eleana Dimitrioud (SOC97)          Sara Smith (CHE88)
John Evans (ENV96)                    Christos Sofroniou (SYS82)
Anne Hansen (EAS98)                 Gary Speller (BIO00)
Huw Johnson (CHE88)                 Veronica Stokes (ENV96)
Malcolm Mansfield (SOC72)         Chee Yeoh (LAW85)

What's On

ENV50 panel discussion: The road from Paris to Norwich - linking circular economy and climate action

Friday 15 September, 6.30pm
The Enterprise Centre, UEA

Panelists: Sir Bob Watson (Tyndall Centre, UEA), Prof Corinne Le Quéré (Tyndall Centre, UEA), Laura McGillivray (CEO, Norwich City Council), Andy Brown (Head of Sustainability, Anglian Water), Rt Hon Lord Deben (John Gummer)

The School of Environmental Sciences has a long and distinguished history of providing evidence to support national and international environmental policies, and to engage with their implementation at the local level. The panel for this open discussion will be composed of renowned practitioners operating from international to local level, who will outline their views on the opportunities and risks that arise from the implementation of the Paris Agreement on global climate change. The discussion will be framed within the rapidly changing political landscape of the UK, Europe and North America.

The panel will also reflect on how future policy and actions could make use of the concept of the ‘circular economy’ that resonates with local enterprises.

The discussion will be followed by a celebratory drinks reception and a chance to network with other guests.

The event is free to attend and open to all, but booking is essential..

Sustainability: can society save itself?

Thursday 21 September, 7 - 8.30pm
The Enterprise Centre lecture theatre, UEA

It’s the question of our generation: is society on the verge of collapse, or might it still save itself from the twin ecological and economic crises of our era? Join us for a lively panel debate where renowned thinkers and practitioners in sustainability, innovation, and public engagement from across different sectors will outline their views on the opportunities, risks and challenges of delivering sustainability as a panacea to a failing society.

The panellists will address a timely question on the role society can or should play in making more sustainable ways of living – responding to audience questions.

This event is free to attend, and open to all, but advance booking is strongly recommended. 

Dragon Hall Debates at The Forum: Digital democracy or fake news?

Monday 25 September, 7.30 - 9.30pm
Millennium Library, The Forum, Norwich

Digital media have transformed how information is disseminated to the public and how politicians target potential voters, leading to fears of ‘fake news’ manipulating public opinion. Are these fears warranted? John Rust, director of the Cambridge Psychometrics Centre, will talk about their controversial work in predicting how voters think and choose, and UEA political theorist Alan Finlayson will respond.

These free events, held in partnership with Writers’ Centre Norwich, are open to everyone, and no prior knowledge is needed. The speakers will talk briefly and then the audience are invited to ask questions and offer opinions as the discussion opens up.

This year's series will be relocating temporarily to the Millennium Library at The Forum, while Dragon Hall undergoes renovation to open as the National Centre for Writing in summer 2018.

All events start at 7pm and should last until 9pm, or when the energy dries up!

Free, booking essential.


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

David Bland (EAS93)

Michael Drake (SOC88)

Trevor Fawcet (AHM67)

Gregory Franks (SOC72)

John Heeley (ENV75)

Maria Lazarus (EUR73)

Derek Pardey (DEV76)

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