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Ziggurat - The e-Newsletter of the UEA Alumni Association June 2018 View in browser
Mingming Zheng
Featured Stories
Queen's Birthday Honours

Birthday Honours for University alumni

Eight UEA alumni and two honorary graduates have been recognised in this year's Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Kazuo Ishiguro OBE (above left, EAS79) has been recognised with a knighthood for his services to literature. Two honorary graduates have also been awarded knighthoods: Prof David Haslam CBE, Chair of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, has received one for services to NHS leadership; and Dr Charles Smith CBE, Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Arts, has been recognised for his services to art, architecture and culture in the UK.

Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan (US), Jo Coles (pictured above, second from left, EAS81), receives a CBE for her services to journalism and the media industry, and Prof Louise Heathwaite (pictured above, right, ENV79), Professor of Land and Water Science at Lancaster Environment Centre, also receives a CBE for services to scientific research and scientific advice to government.

Chief Executive Officer of Richmond Housing Partnership, David Done (ENV80), receives an OBE for his services to housing provision. Patrick Helme (AHM75), co-founder and director of Fermoie, also receives an OBE for his services to interior design and manufacturing.

Actor Tim Bentinck (pictured above, second from right, AHHM75) receives an MBE for his services to drama. Lecturer at Heidelberg University and President of the German-British Society Heidelberg, Nichola Hayton (EUR81), receives an MBE for her services to UK/Germany relations, and Sally Mills (NAM96, NAM99), who is matron and manager of the Halsey House Royal British Legion Care Home, receives an MBE for her services to ex-service personnel.

2018 honorary graduates

UEA’s 2018 honorary graduates announced

A host of notable names from the worlds of politics, business, literature, media and technology will be awarded honorary degrees by the University this summer.

Seven of the recipients are alumni: Naomi Alderman, novelist, broadcaster, video-game designer and winner of the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction; Stuart Ramsay, Sky News’ Chief Correspondent; Penny Johnson CBE, Director of the Government Art Collection; Hilary Weaver, Chief Risk Officer for Lloyd’s of London; Lord Thomas Strathclyde, former Leader of the House of Lords; writer Christie Watson; and Maxine Saunders, Head of UK Transaction Services, Partner in Financial Advisory at Deloitte and a Board member of Deloitte LLP.

Other inspirational figures from the worlds of politics, sciences, medicine and education, including Labour politician Charles Clarke, and presenter for the BBC science show Stargazing Live, Mark Thompson, will also receive honorary degrees during UEA's week of graduation ceremonies, and will speak about their own lives and careers, and offer words of advice to the graduating students.

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Library 19702

UEA Library turns 50

If there is one building that is hard to miss on campus (though some give it a jolly good try) it’s the six floors of concrete breeze block looming up near the central Square - the Library.

2016-17 saw over 1.42 million visits to the Library. Visitors were coming to use 1,572 study spaces, access over 800,000 books and borrow 187,000 of them, access online journals 2.32 million times and eBooks 2.66 million times - and ask the Library 162,000 questions!

But what was the Library like when you were here? We’re interested because the Library building will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in October.

The Library was officially opened by Chancellor Lord Franks on 25 October 1968. Originally there were about 676 study spaces, but Denys Lasdun and Partners’ original vision was that the Library would develop in phases. It was extended in 1974 by the architects Feilden & Mawson, and after achieving listed status in 2003, a further extension was added in 2006.

We’re marking this latest milestone by focussing on how the Library has evolved to support and shape the learning experience of students and academics through these years of change. If you have an outstanding memory of the Library or feel that it played a significant role in your learning, creative or even social life at UEA, we’d like to hear from you. Has the Library influenced your career, your love of reading or did it deliver something unexpected?

In the autumn we’ll be commemorating the 50 years with a display in the Library and we’d like to include your comments or stories here, and on social media. Please send contributions to or post using #UEALibrary50.

Golden Age rankings

UEA league table success continues

UEA is in the top 20 UK universities according to the Guardian University Guide 2019 and has been named the number one UK university for 'adding value' to its students.

The University is also 23rd in the world in the Times Higher Education (THE) Golden Age University Rankings 2018. The rankings cover 200 universities from 44 countries that were established between 1945-67 – which is described by THE as a 'Golden Age' in global higher education, which was characterised by rapid university expansion and increasing investment in research.

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News in Brief
Study explores how emotions in facial expressions are understood

New research by UEA academics reveals how well fearful facial expressions are perceived in peripheral vision.

Transforming everyday activities could limit warming to 1.5°C

Global warming could be limited to 1.5°C by unprecedented improvements in the energy efficiency of everyday activities, according to new research involving scientists at UEA.

Deadly weapon identified in insect-world arms race

Scientists probing one of the mysteries of the insect world have identified a powerful chemical weapon used in the arms race between fungus-farming leafcutter ants and the parasites that plague them.

More Stories
Global Gathering

2018 Global Gathering

Planning is already underway for this autumn’s Global Gathering reunions, and this year we hope to have alumni celebrating from Australia to Zimbabwe!

Each September, alumni across the world get together to mark the University’s anniversary by holding Global Gatherings. The events can be as formal or informal as you like, and come in all shapes and sizes, from drinks or dinner, to a theme park, or even a day of charity or voluntary work in your community. The beauty of these reunions is that no two events are the same! Why not take a look at some of the photos from last year’s reunions for some inspiration?

If you are interested in hosting your own event, please email Global Alumni Officer, Rose Kemmy, on

1988 UEA Cricket Club

1988: a fine year for UEA cricket

This summer marks the 30th anniversary of the unexpected appearance of the UEA Cricket team in the semi-finals of the Universities Athletic Union (UAU) national cricket tournament.

Alumnus Steve Leven has written an account of the year's cricketing adventures, and what he describes as “what remains the finest achievement of the boys from Colney Lane.”

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Code Burt Award winners

Alumna short-listed for Caribbean Young Adult literature award

Alumna Liz Jones (pictured, above right) was a finalist for the Code Burt Award, a Caribbean competition for young adult literature, for her novel A Dark Iris.

The book was one of three finalists chosen from 37 entries in the Code Burt Award. Imam Baksh of Guyana was ultimately named the competition winner at Bocas Literary Festival in Trinidad, at which Liz was presented with CAD$2,000 and a plaque. Her novel will be published in the coming months. “This is just so wonderful,” she said. “I’ve wanted to publish a novel since I was seven years old.”

Pirates v Old Boys

Pirates ‘Old Boys’ celebrate reunion with victory

On Saturday 5 May, the UEA Pirates American football team held their 22nd annual Old Boys vs UEA Pirates game, when alumni come back to campus to play the current team.

Once again the Old Boys won, with the final score standing at Old Boys 10 - 0 UEA Pirates, maintaining their undefeated streak! The event was followed by a party in the evening attended by the alumni, team members and friends.

Chris Bigsby and Salman Rushdie

Prof Christopher Bigsby retires

This summer Prof Christopher Bigsby, professor of American Studies and curator of UEA’s Autumn Literary Festival, will be retiring.

Pictured above with author Salman Rushdie, Prof Bigsby has written about some of his weirdest and most wonderful memories, taking a look back at almost 40 years at UEA. He shares some of his highlights from his time at the University, remembering the students and colleagues he worked with along the way.

Prof Bigsby is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Society of Arts, an award-winning academic, novelist and biographer. His biography of Arthur Miller was shortlisted for the James Taite Black Memorial Prize, the Sheridan Morley Prize and the George Freedley Memorial Award. It was a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title for 2009, and was joint winner of the American Studies Network Award. He is also winner of the Betty Jean Jones Award for Outstanding Teacher of American Theatre and Drama.

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Transforming Education Awards

UEA staff who go the extra-mile recognised at awards

Staff from the University who go above and beyond to make UEA a fantastic place to study were recognised at an awards ceremony last month, organised by UEA Students’ Union.

The Transforming Education Awards, now in their third year, consist of 13 categories including Advisor of the Year, Advocate for Students, and Support Staff Member of the Year, as well as two teaching awards that recognise innovative and inspiring teaching.

All the winners were decided by a student panel who sifted through around 450 nominations from a range of schools, which recognised individuals and teams who go out of their way to make a positive impact.

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NBS annual report


Norwich Business School has published its first ever annual review, Shine&Rise, which can be viewed here online.

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Professor Frances Bowen

UEA appoints new Pro-Vice Chancellor

The University has appointed Prof Frances Bowen as the new Pro-Vice Chancellor for Social Sciences.

Prof Bowen will join UEA in September and will head up the Faculty of Social Sciences, leading on a number of cross-institutional initiatives.

Prof Bowen, who is currently the Dean of the School of Business and Management and Professor of Innovation at Queen Mary University of London, said: “I have been aware of the great research and teaching at UEA since I applied to study the MA in Development Studies more than 20 years ago. I’m looking forward to supporting staff and students across the social sciences to make a difference, both on and off campus.”

Noirwich 2018

Noirwich line-up announced

Val McDermid, Nicci French and Paula Hawkins are topping the bill at the 2018 Noirwich Crime Writing Festival, which returns this September with a line-up of incredible authors and events.

Taking place over an extended weekend in September, the fifth annual Noirwich festival is the region’s largest celebration of crime writing and one of the fastest growing literary festivals in the UK.

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Master’s level CPD for teachers and educationalists

The MA Educational Practice and Research aims to build on participants' existing interests and expertise, and is specially designed for school teachers, further and higher education lecturers and other practitioners working in the UK who wish to extend their continuing professional development activities through Master’s level study.

The course starts in January each year and is offered on a part-time basis. Participants can study for up to three years to complete the full MA. There is also opportunity to apply for Accreditation for Prior Learning that could significantly reduce study time.

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Movement survey

Research participants needed

Volunteers are being sought to help collect movement data for everyday activities. The data will be used to help UEA researchers understand the effect of medical conditions on these activities.

The testing involves a visit to the Human Movement Lab at the University, and should take around 90 minutes.

If you would like to participate, or want more information, please email

Change Lives

Thinking about becoming a nurse?

If you’re thinking of a career change, the two-year MSc Adult Nursing programme could be a fast track route into nursing.

With the NHS constitution at its core, the programme provides rigorous training, fantastic placement opportunities and is fully approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Interested? Come along to the open evening on Wednesday 20 June.

Discover more  
What's On

The inaugural annual Lorna Sage Lecture: Prof Maud Ellmann

Thursday 14 June, 5.30pm
The Curve Auditorium, in The Forum, Norwich

The inaugural Lorna Sage Lecture at UEA will be delivered by Prof Maud Ellmann, and entitled ‘The Salesman Only Rings Once: Julian Maclaren-Ross and the Vacuum Cleaner in the 1930s’.

Prof Ellmann will be introduced by Prof Vic Sage. The lecture is free to attend but booking is recommended.


Saturday 16 June, 4.30pm
The Garage, Norwich

This performance of Borderline, supported by UEA Refugee History, is one of the Refugee Week events taking place in Norwich this June.

Borderline is a satire of the Calais Jungle devised by an ensemble of refugee and European performers, and directed by Sophie NL Besse. This brave and original take on a controversial topic boasts a cast of thirteen. It features performers from Afghanistan, Sudan and Syria, who experienced Calais first-hand, and six British, French and Chilean experts in physical comedy.

Borderline highlights the absurd aspects of European border control and of the asylum regime. It also reveals a side of the ‘Jungle’ camp that is rarely seen: the camaraderie, resilience and ingenuity of its inhabitants. After performances sold out repeatedly in London, the cast have toured in the UK, Europe and India.

The performance will be followed by a Q&A with the cast.

UEA at the Royal Norfolk Show

Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 June
Norfolk Showground

Look out for UEA at this year's Royal Norfolk Show for your chance to meet with our academic experts and learn more about their world-leading research. The University's marquee on President's Avenue will host a range of fun, interactive activities and short accessible talks showcasing pioneering research from across UEA's four Faculties.

Topics will include: agriculture and the environment, wellbeing in the workplace, local heritage, antimicrobial resistance, and concussion in sport.

Angela Carter and Japan

Saturday 30 June
Julian Study Centre, UEA

A day-long conference exploring the influence of Japan on the life and work of Angela Carter.

£15 (£10 for PGRs)


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

Louis Ashdown-Hill (EUR68)

Eileen Bumphrey, honorary graduate

Hannah Parkianathan (MED03)

William Reekie (EAS87)

Michael Stocking, Emeritus Professor of Natural Resource Development
An obituary has been written for Prof Stocking which can be found here online

An obituary has been provided for Dr Alistair Gordon (CHE64) by Dr Charles S.P. Jenkins (CHE66) which can be read here online.

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