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Nottingham Trent University news

The latest study and research news from Nottingham Trent University

June 2012

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Students’ bags packed for Beijing summer study

Ten Nottingham Trent University students will be jetting off to Beijing this summer to learn Mandarin Chinese and experience the local culture after being awarded this year’s Vice-Chancellor’s Mandarin Scholarships.

The students will attend the prestigious Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU) and study the Chinese language for four weeks. The scholarship pays for return flights, tuition and accommodation.

While in Beijing, the students will live on campus at BLCU and study Mandarin speaking, writing, listening and reading for four hours per day, Monday to Friday. They will also have the opportunity to go on sight-seeing trips at the weekend.

The final group chosen to go to Beijing this August come from a range of years and courses, covering subjects such as Chemistry, International Business, Mathematics, International Fashion Business, Mandarin and International Relations and Management Studies.

Jasmin O’Hara, International Fashion Business student, said: ‘The rapid expansion and development of China’s economy, as well as its status as the home of the largest apparel industry in the world and its increasing presence within the fashion industry, motivates me to grasp every opportunity available to expand my knowledge and understanding of this fascinating country and its language.’

Ben Thornhill, studying English and Linguistics, added: ‘I wish to build proficiency in Mandarin because I believe that Chinese literature will become important and widely read internationally. In the future I would like to work with editing or translating Chinese classics for English readers. I am also enthusiastic to learn more about Chinese culture from an everyday perspective of the life of a citizen and I hope to gain academic and social experience to form a more rounded understanding of such a diverse and artistically rich culture.’

Nottingham Trent University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Neil Gorman, said: ‘I am delighted that we can offer these scholarships to provide a unique experience of Chinese culture and language.’

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New China link for Nottingham Trent University

Nottingham Trent University and Chongqing University in China have agreed a new partnership for collaborative research and staff and student visits.

The agreement has been arranged through the University’s School of Education and three professors from Chongqing University recently visited Nottingham to finalise the partnership.

Rob Dransfield, senior lecturer at the School of Education, has delivered guest lectures to Masters students at Chongqing University. He said: ‘This partnership has huge potential, involving not only on-going collaboration in research projects but also visits by staff and students from Chongqing University to identify approaches to carrying out this research. There is also scope for reciprocal visits from Nottingham Trent University academics to advise on research projects.’

Chongqing University is a key national university in China with 48,000 students across 28 colleges. During their visit Professor Hong Hu, Professor Pu Zhong and Professor Leichu Liu met staff from Nottingham Trent University and spoke to students from China currently studying at the University. They also signed the memorandum of understanding alongside Dr Gill Scott, dean of the School of Education.

Dr Gill Scott said: ‘This agreement will further develop an already successful relationship with Chongqing University, an important Chinese university with a growing reputation for first-class research. It will offer an additional international dimension to the experiences of staff and students at both universities.’

Professor Hong Hu said: ‘Chongqing University is an international university which is looking outwards to develop research collaborations. We’re looking forward to working closely with academics at Nottingham Trent University and we’re particularly interested in the research currently being carried out in the fields of sports education and sports science, which fits closely with some of the issues we are currently exploring in relation to nutrition, exercise and intellectual development in children and young people.’

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Students shortlisted in international fashion competition

Two students studying at Nottingham Trent University have been shortlisted in the BILBAO International Art & Fashion competition.

The competition received over 800 submissions from all over the world, and Shin-ichi Murata and Yuichi Ozaki were the only applicants selected from the UK to go through to the final.

Shin-ichi Murata and Yuichi Ozaki both had to send in one completed outfit and a number of garment sketches that had some relationship to the world of art from the historic or creative perspective to be selected as part of the 30 finalists. The next stage of the competition involves sending another two outfits for use in a fashion show in Bilbao in June 2012.

Judged by leading professionals from the fashion and culture sector, the international competition aims to achieve an intercultural enrichment based on the different types of relationships between fashion and art. The winner will receive €10,000.

Shin-ichi and Yuichi – both from Japan– are currently on a year’s scholarship at the University.

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Students design boat for the Queen

A team of eight students from Nottingham Trent University has been chosen to design the decoration for a boat that will be taking part in one of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee flagship events.

A mock-up of the boat designThe Thames Trent Team’s design was chosen by a prestigious group of county representatives – including Sir Andrew Buchanan, Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire – to represent Nottinghamshire during the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on 3 June.

The design – by postgraduate students studying at the University’s School of Art & Design – incorporates major Nottinghamshire themes and landmarks, such as Robin Hood, Lace and Nottingham Castle, as well as including the Queen. Garlands and bunting, made by school pupils and members of the public, will also be flown to give a celebratory flavour to the boat.

Commander Peter Moore, who was one of the judges, commented: ‘The students had put considerable research into the project to produce a design that was colourful and imaginative whilst being representative of the City and County.’

Over 1,000 boats will gather as part of one of the largest flotillas ever assembled on the River Thames. Injured soldiers, members of the public and county representatives will be on board the Nottinghamshire vessel, which has a total capacity of 40.

Juliet Goodden, a member of the Thames Trent Team, commented: ‘The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee is a great celebration for the whole country, and we feel extremely privileged and excited to have been chosen to design the decoration for the boat that will represent all the people of Nottinghamshire in the Diamond Jubilee Pageant. We hope the Queen will like it.’

For a chance to win a place on the Nottinghamshire boat as it sails down the River Thames, all you have to do is make a donation of £2 via a special website. Winners will be chosen at random after 30 March, and money raised will be donated to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Foundation. Enter at mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/Nottinghamshire. 

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Giant head showcased at The Gadget Show Live 2012

A one metre high interactive skull produced by Nottingham Trent University students will be showcased at the UK’s leading consumer technology event – The Gadget Show Live – in April.

Interactive skullAttendees will be able to interact with the giant head, making muscles move by pushing buttons, while an EEG headset will mimic the wearer’s facial movements, by smiling, winking and blinking.

Built as part of a group design project by students on the University’s smart design postgraduate courses, the head – as well as being fun and engaging for visitors to the show – is underpinned by research into rehabilitation for stroke sufferers.

The University has been working closely with a paediatric neurosurgeon to research implanting and attaching smart materials to the facial muscles and how this could potentially benefit a patient who has suffered from a stroke, who has facial paralysis and has no chance of rehabilitation.

Visitors to The Gadget Show Live 2012, taking place 11–15 April at the NEC in Birmingham, will be able to see and interact with the giant head at Nottingham Trent University’s stand – D280.

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Bursary awarded to educate children about knitting

A third year student at Nottingham Trent University has been awarded a bursary following a proposal to help educate primary school children about knitting.

Lucy McloughlinThe Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters granted Lucy Mcloughlin, currently studying fashion knitwear at the University, the £2,500 bursary after she submitted a proposal to explore the idea of putting on workshops for primary school children to help them understand knitting. The idea could then be expanded to create sessions for colleges and secondary schools to make students aware of the possibilities of career opportunities around the subject area.

Lucy, who completed a three month placement at Ruddington Framework Knitters Museum last year, commented: ‘During my placement I helped demonstrate the Griswold circular knitting machines to young pupils who would work together to make scarves. It was great to see their enthusiasm and that they enjoyed knitting. This was the inspiration for my proposal.’

Between eight and ten bursaries are awarded each academic year to students who submit a project or a research topic which, if successfully carried out, could benefit the British knitting/knitwear industries.

George Turner, chair of the awards committee at the Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters, commented: ‘Nottinghamshire is the cradle of the knitting industry so we are always pleased to see students from Nottingham Trent University adding to the rich textile and fashion heritage of the county.

‘This year the applicants for awards from the Framework Knitters’ Company from Nottingham Trent University were of the high calibre we have come to expect from them. In these difficult times it is very encouraging to meet enthusiastic and capable students like Lucy. On behalf of the Framework Knitters’ congratulations to Lucy on winning one of our bursaries and we wish her well in her chosen career.’

Students from Nottingham Trent University’s fashion knitwear design course have been awarded bursaries from The Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters every year for the past four years.

Graduate Leona Gardner-Chan – who was awarded the bursary in 2008 for research into whether spider silk could be a potentially viable ‘super-fibre’ for use in textiles – is currently working for Hugo Boss in knitwear collection development for the Boss Black Woman line in Switzerland. In April she will be moving to China to train a Chinese team about technical issues such as sizing, shaping and quality control, for the designer brand.

George added: ‘Turning out good students like Lucy does not happen by chance. We recognise the depth of expertise and knowledge of the dedicated academics and technicians at Nottingham Trent University who create the right environment for students to flourish.’

Lucy is now concentrating on her studies and completing her final project, but hopes to continue in the knitwear field after she graduates.

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University art club delivers creative master-class for young people

Young people in Nottingham will be given a master-class in designing computer game logos as part of a National Art & Design Saturday Club hosted by Nottingham Trent University.

The 14–16 year olds – from All Saints’ Catholic School, Djanogly City Academy, Rushcliffe School, Bluecoat Academy, and The Nottingham Emmanuel School – will be visited by Sony Entertainment UK’s graphic design manager Oliver Wright on 31 March, who will deliver a workshop-based session on logo design for computer games. Oliver is a graphic design graduate from Nottingham Trent University.

The students from the Nottingham Trent University Saturday Art Club will also be joined by the Coventry University Saturday Art Club for this session, which will give the students the opportunity to design their own logos alongside other students from the midlands.

Gavin Rogers commented: ‘The art club nurtures young people’s talents, improves their skills, increases their confidence and raises their aspirations. Freeing them from the formalities of school lessons, it allows them to experience a range of creative activities that would not otherwise be available to them.

‘We’ve seen a huge change in the confidence of the students attending our club since it started in October, and have explored a number or themes including drawing, painting, ceramics and photography. We are delighted that Oliver – who has a keen interest in design education – has agreed to come and speak to the students and deliver the workshop.’

The Art & Design Saturday Club – part of a national initiative in association with the Sorrell Foundation – brings together more than 20 students from local schools to attend the workshops on Saturday mornings, giving them the opportunity to study art and design using the University’s expertise and facilities for free.

The students benefit from 30 weeks of high-quality classes that cover a huge breadth of art and design media and methods, and have visited some of London’s best museums and galleries. They are then given the chance to exhibit their work in their own summer show at Somerset House in London.

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Guest academics welcomed for International Professors’ Week

Nottingham Business School is to hold its first International Professors’ Week with visiting academics from its partner institutions across Europe.

During the week commencing 27 February, professors from nine universities will give presentations to students and staff on topics relating to the week’s theme of sustainability, ethics, corporate social responsibility and responsible leadership and management. They will also be available to deliver guest lectures for individual modules.

Alex Hiller, head of MSc Programmes at Nottingham Business School, part of Nottingham Trent University, has organised the event. He said: ‘The International Professors’ Week is an important event in the context of our wider internationalisation strategy. It will contribute to enhancing the student experience by exposing our students to our international partners and internationally-focused research, and will also provide a foundation for research collaboration between our partners and Nottingham Business School staff.’

Nottingham Business School has links with 50 academic institutions in 40 different countries and works with them in a number of ways, including the development of joint or dual degrees, such as the MSc in European Business and Finance delivered with three partner institutions; student and staff exchanges; study tours; and research collaborations.

Academics taking part in International Professors’ Week are visiting from the University of Economics in Bratislava, the University of Zagreb, Fundesem Business School, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Corvinus University of Budapest, Rouen Business School, the University of Economics in Katowice, IESEG School of Management and the University of Brescia.

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Diversity recognised as key issue for fashion students

Fashion commentator and body image activist – Caryn Franklin – has visited Nottingham Trent University to discuss the importance of using a diverse range of models in fashion communication.

Left to right: Debra Bourne, Erin O’Connor and Caryn FranklinStaff and students from the University’s School of Art & Design were invited to the ‘All Walks Campaign Project’ seminar that asked them to think about mirroring a more realistic range of women, in age, size and race, than standards currently on offer, in their own projects and future careers in the fashion industry.

‘All Walks Beyond the Catwalk’ is an initiative founded by Caryn Franklin, Debra Bourne and Erin O’Connor which is working with influential Catwalk designers and top industry creatives to celebrate more diversity within the fashion industry. It recognises the power the fashion industry has to communicate positive messages to women and men about their bodies, and is working within education to help students understand the need for emotionally considerate design and practice.

The All Walks website shows a deluge of student comments from all over the country in support of the initiative and many colleges are changing their curriculum to include a diversity module. All Walks recently launched their Centre of Diversity in Edinburgh and are supported by Government Minister Lynne Featherstone.

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American scholars to experience Nottingham’s cultural highlights

Nottingham Trent University is to show off the city’s culture, heritage and creative industries to a group of American scholars this summer after being chosen to host a prestigious Fulbright summer school.

The Fulbright Commission Nottingham Trent Summer Institute is a four-week cultural and academic programme, which will see eight US students visit Nottingham to take part in a variety of activities on the theme of Creativity, Culture, History and Heritage.

As part of the programme, hosted by the University’s School of Art & Design and the School of Arts and Humanities, the students will choose a creative short course from the University’s existing Summer School on topics such as photography, fine art, graphic design, interior design and architecture; culminating in a final exhibition at the end of their stay.

The Fulbright students will also learn about different aspects of Nottingham’s culture and heritage, including its medieval past, its position on the global stage and its literary history. As well as visits to local museums and galleries, they will also explore the architectural developments that have changed the city skyline.

The programme also includes social events, such as theatre and boat trips, and a volunteer challenge to give students the chance to interact with the local community.

Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, Professor Murray Pratt, said: ‘It’s a real honour to be chosen to host a Fulbright summer school. Our city has an extremely rich history and culture for the students to enjoy and the programme will focus on all things Nottingham and British. We’ll be sending them back to the US as advocates for both the city and Nottingham Trent University.’

Judith Mottram, dean of the School of Art & Design, added: ‘Nottingham Trent University is known worldwide for creativity, innovation and design excellence, in addition to its strengths in cultural studies, media and journalism, business, law, sports and social sciences. We’ll be bringing together our specialists in all of these areas to give the students an exceptional learning experience.’

The US-UK Fulbright Commission offers the only bi-national transatlantic academic awards programme between the US and the UK. It aims to promote leadership, learning and empathy between nations through educational exchange. Within the global Fulbright programme 28 alumni have served as head of state or government, 11 have been elected to US Congress, 43 alumni from 11 countries have received the Nobel Prize and 78 have received Pulitzer Prizes.

Michael Scott-Kline, director of the Fulbright programme, said: ‘We’re delighted that more American students will have the opportunity to experience life at one of the top, new UK universities. The Nottingham Trent University Summer Institute will offer everything that we would hope for in a Fulbright exchange: a challenging academic component, a rich and multifaceted cultural experience and an enthusiastic host. The Institute will play a key role in deepening the relationship between our two countries and add something new and exciting to our 63-year old institution.’

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NTU takes to the lean construction world stage

Nottingham Trent University will be taking to the world stage when it co-hosts a conference in lean construction later this year.

Professor Christine PasquireIn collaboration with San Diego State University and the University of California, Berkeley, Nottingham Trent University will be co-chairing the 20th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction taking place in San Diego, USA from 17 to 22 July.

Researchers, students and practitioners in lean construction from across the globe will be coming together to discuss themes such as production planning and control, enabling lean and IT, contract and cost management, and supply chain management.

Professor Christine Pasquire, technical co-chair of the conference and professor of lean project management at Nottingham Trent University, commented: ‘Lean thinking has become a hot topic over the past few years, with many organisations looking for ways that they can change the way they work to maximise value and minimise waste, and this is no different in the construction industry.

‘Over the past 20 years, researchers and practitioners have researched, developed, and tested lean principles and practices. The goal is to better meet customer demands and dramatically improve the architecture, engineering and construction process as well as the product.

‘It’s exciting for the University to be involved in a conference that is developing new principles and methods for product development and production management specifically tailored to the industry.’

The International Group for Lean Construction, founded in 1993, makes up a network of professionals and researchers in Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) who feel that the practice, education, and research of AEC have to be radically renewed in order to respond to the challenges ahead.

Professor Christine Pasquire will also be speaking at the Spanish Group for Lean Construction in Madrid on 14 February 2012 and regularly addresses audiences in the UK on lean project management.

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Barclays to triple sponsored student numbers

Barclays is set to triple the number of sponsored students it takes from Nottingham Business School over the next two years, giving more students the chance to gain both a degree and work-experience, earn a salary and pay less tuition fees.

Students on the BA (Hons) Business Management (In-company) (BABM) degree spend the first year at Nottingham Trent University and the final two years working full time for a company, which pays them a salary and also covers the cost of their tuition fees during the placement.

Barclays has been involved with the programme since 2006 and currently employs approximately ten Nottingham Business School students each year. The success of the course has led to the company increasing recruitment to 20 students for the 2012 intake, and more than 30 in 2013.

While at Barclays students undertake a number of different roles, including personal banker in the first year and branch manager in the second. Retention is exceptionally high, with 92% of the students staying with Barclays after graduation.

BABM programme director at Nottingham Business School, Barbara Sargent, said: ‘Courses which lower the cost of a university education are in huge demand at the moment. BABM students have the best of all worlds – a university degree, only one year’s tuition fees to pay, two years’ work experience, and a high chance of employment after graduating.’

Frankie Woodhead graduated from BABM in 2010 and is now commercial channel planning manager, UK Retail and Business Banking, at Barclays. He said: ‘BABM and Barclays have given me a head start in front of most graduates in the UK. Two years’ experience in financial services at the age of 20 is priceless.’

Johannah Lynch, leadership development specialist, UK Retail and Business Banking HR – entry level talent, Barclays, said: ‘We’re increasing our recruitment because the course has been very successful in helping us to find high-calibre employees to fill various roles within the organisation. We’re looking for customer-centric people who are focused on a retail career and will get stuck in from the beginning.’

BABM was the first course of its kind when it was launched by Nottingham Business School in 1998. Students work for a range of global companies such as Rolls-Royce, Toyota and Boots. Applications for BABM are made through UCAS. Further information on the programme and other Nottingham Business School sponsored degrees can be found on the University’s website.

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University develops smart technology watches

A range of wearable smart technology watches is being developed by Nottingham Trent University as part of a project for media company i2i Media Ltd.

The wrist-worn devices – watches and bracelets – incorporate leading edge display technologies to enable consumers to stay up-to-date while on the go. Using technologies such as Organic LEDs (OLEDS) and flexible thin film displays, the devices are currently being developed collaboratively within the University’s School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, and the College of Science and the Arts.

Paul Johnson, head of product design, has designed the range. He commented: ‘The recent introduction of exciting new display technologies has led to a huge demand for smart devices and telecoms products.

‘These display technologies will enable designers and consumers to create new markets and trends in wearables, and respond to increasing consumer thirst for personal mobile information on the go.’

Philip Radley-Smith, managing director of i2i Media, commented: ‘It is a real pleasure working with the University, I really appreciate their energy and vision and as a result I can hardly wait for the launch of products which are truly going to change the way people use watches and bracelets to display information, be it text or images.’

This collaborative, multi-disciplinary design project is expected to culminate in a range of innovative new products, and launched in 2012.

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Nottingham Trent University to launch creative short course programme

Dozens of creative short courses aimed at both beginners and professionals are being launched at Nottingham Trent University from October 2011.

Delivered by university experts, they will span a wide range of art and design disciplines and will include intensive week-long courses and ten week evening classes.

The programme includes decorative arts, fashion, fine art, graphic design, interiors and architecture, business and creativity and performance and design. Photography and the moving image, portfolio building, product and 3D design, architectural model-making, textiles and writing are also being offered.

Courses are ideal for those exploring their creative skills in a favourite discipline, reviewing their career, or building a portfolio for education or work. Others may be in need of a refresher, wishing to hone a specialist skill to support other studies, or searching for expertise to help develop their business.

The short course programme will also be offered for businesses and groups which might be looking to develop skills in a particular area. These bespoke classes can be delivered as one-day workshops, regular evening courses or even events at the organisation’s own venue.

Students will benefit from the teaching experience of the University’s expert tutors. Some teach on undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses, while others are specialists involved in technical resources or professionals and practitioners working in the art and design community.

Classes will be delivered on the city site in the University’s Bonington building – a purpose-built centre for creativity – and Waverley, a restored, listed building with true design heritage, and home to the very first Nottingham School of Art and Design in 1843. The gothic-style Arkwright building, which links the University’s creative past to the needs of contemporary design, and Maudslay, a design-focused centre for industry and technology, will also be used.

The Commercial Project Leader for Nottingham Trent University’s College of Art, Design and Built Environment, Stephen Whalley, said: ‘This is an exciting way to become part of the Nottingham Trent University and wider creative community. People can experience our excellent resources, impressive studios and work with real experts in their fields.

‘A short course can be part of a bigger learning journey or simply taken on its own – an enjoyable way to try something new, maybe make a few mistakes on the way but to come out at the end with real work and real skills. If people have aspirations and are keen to push themselves into new creative disciplines then these courses will be the perfect place to start.’

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Design talent shines through at national awards

Four students from Nottingham Trent University’s School of Art & Design have scooped awards at two national exhibitions of graduate design talent. The students in textile design, graphic design and multimedia have been recognised with prizes at the New Designers, and D&AD New Blood exhibitions in London.

At New Designers, graphic design student Lucinda Ireland won the New Designers Hallmark Award. Her portfolio of typography and hand lettering impressed judges enough to secure her the £1000 cash prize, along with a month long placement at Hallmark’s Bradford based studios.

Lucinda said: ‘It’s a really nice surprise to have the judges recognise my work like this. I’ve put a lot of time and effort into my portfolio and projects, and it was great to even been chosen to exhibit at New Designers. To have picked up an award as well is really special.’

Textile design student Toni Lake won the Clothworkers Company Associate Prize and the Christy Carpets Associate Prize, also at New Designers. Her design work and portfolio of printed textiles were commended for demonstrating innovation and creativity that lent itself well to the possibility of being developed into a commercial carpet design.

At the D&AD New Blood exhibition, Graphic design student Ian Upcott won a Best New Blood award. His portfolio included work that he’d created for a pet shop, using items such as pet food, to create images of the animals that they relate to.

Alex Card, a multimedia student, came second in the Walt Disney Company sponsored animation category of the D&AD awards. Working to a brief set by the Walt Disney Company, Alex created and animated a character that could be used for a narrative-driven comedy cartoon. Having won second prize, Alex has also been commissioned by the Walt Disney Company EMEA to work on the character design for an animation series currently in development.

Alex said: ‘It’s been hard work, but a lot of fun. Getting the chance to work on a project like this has really tested my skills and creativity, but coming second is a great result and I’m very proud to have my work recognised like this.’

Judith Mottram, dean of the School of Art & Design at Nottingham Trent University said: ‘I was really pleased to hear about our students’ success at these exhibitions and awards. We’re always proud to see our graduates displaying the skills that they have developed during their time with us, and I wish them all the best of luck with what I’m sure will be very successful careers.’

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Founding member of University Taekwondo club selected for World University Games

The founding member and coach of Nottingham Trent University’s Taekwondo club has been selected to represent Great Britain at the World University Games later this year.

21-year-old Nicola Ferguson will travel to Shenzen, China on 12 August to compete in the non-contact ‘Poomsae’ class of the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) discipline.

Having graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a BA (Hons) in History with Philosophy in 2010, Nicola now coaches the University club and is eligible as a recent graduate to compete in the games. Nicola has trained and competed in WTF Taekwondo since the age of ten and is a long standing member of the Hucknall based Kanghan Taekwondo club.

She said: ‘I feel really proud to have been selected to represent Great Britain at the World University Games, and I can’t wait to get out to China. This is a huge milestone for me in my competitive career, but I’m going to go out there to do the best that I can and enjoy the experience.’

Nicola is currently looking for sponsors who would be willing to support her in raising the £2,000 she needs to fund her trip to the competition. Businesses that would be interested to speak with Nicola about sponsorship opportunities should email stuart.smith@ntu.ac.uk.

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Fully sponsored degree launched by Nottingham Business School and Experian

Nottingham Business School and Experian, the global information services company, have launched a fully sponsored degree programme which offers students the chance to study for a degree and work full-time, while receiving a salary and having the cost of their tuition fees paid. 

Dr Dawn Albery & Simon O’Halloran at Nottingham Business SchoolThe new BA (Hons) in Management and Leadership will begin in autumn 2011 with the first intake of 15 undergraduate students working at Experian throughout their three year degree.

Experian will also be involved in selecting curriculum modules to support students in their career. In addition to work based learning, tuition will be delivered by Nottingham Business School, part of Nottingham Trent University, through a number of intensive study weeks, along with tutor visits and online support.

Simon O’Halloran, Global Leadership Development director, Experian, said: ‘This is an innovative way to attract talent to our organisation and at the same time being able to offer exceptional career opportunities to students embarking on the next stage of their education. The combination of vocational and theory-based learning will give students a significant head start in their careers and we are delighted to be launching this in partnership with Nottingham Business School.’

Dean of Nottingham Business School, Professor Baback Yazdani, said: ‘This new degree is not only great for students who will be in a good financial position and will hit the ground running when they graduate, but also for businesses, like Experian, who are interested in talent attraction and developing their graduate level workforce.

‘Nottingham Business School is the Business School for business, and once again we lead the way in collaboration with one of the world’s leading companies, developing and delivering programmes that integrate applied learning with academic excellence and produce world-class professionals who have an immediate impact on industry across Europe and beyond. This is a great ticket for global success.’

Dr Dawn Albery, head of Commercial Activities and Executive Education at Nottingham Business School, said: ‘As this sponsored degree with Experian demonstrates, working and studying simultaneously allows the students to maximise their learning and develop their employability skills.

‘Graduates will be able to use this degree in all walks of life because it’s of interest to any employer who wants work-ready graduates to join their business.’

As with traditional degrees, entrance to this programme requires suitable A-level results. Applications will be made directly to Experian who will work with Nottingham Business School to ensure that applicants meet the usual entry criteria for its degrees, rather than through UCAS.

Employees of Experian will also be eligible to apply. Experian will be holding an open day at Nottingham Business School on 30 June to outline the available opportunities and how to apply.

To book onto the event please email nbs.business@ntu.ac.uk.

Further information on other sponsored degree options can be found online.

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Discovery paves the way for reducing meningitis in babies

Scientists from Nottingham Trent University have identified the precise but previously unknown genetic characteristics of a strain of bacteria that can cause meningitis in babies. The discovery is expected to pave the way for future work to help eliminate possibilities of babies developing the deadly disease.

The bacterium Cronobacter can be found in the environment, water and food, making it very difficult to control a baby’s contact with it. If infected, it often leads to severe gastroenteritis but in some cases it can lead to a severe form of brain damaging meningitis. Until now though, scientists have been unable to determine why some babies have gone on to develop meningitis and others don’t.

The discovery at Nottingham Trent University has solved that mystery, pinpointing the precise characteristics of a strain of the bacteria that has the ability to migrate from a baby’s gut, through the blood/brain barrier and lead to meningitis.

The findings follow years of work for a research team at the University, led by Professor Steve Forsythe. Using samples collected from six countries over the past 30 years, Professor Forsythe and his colleagues have used a DNA profiling method known as Multilocus Sequence Typing (MLST) to understand the genetic characteristics of the bacteria and trace its lineage and evolution.

In 2009 they discovered a particular bacterial variety that was only found in clinical cases. It was whilst carrying out further work that Professor Forsythe noticed the unique DNA fingerprint for strains which were being detected in the majority of meningitis cases.

Professor Steve Forsythe said: ‘These findings are of international significance. By identifying the particular genetic signature of the most dangerous strain of this bacteria, we will be able to trace it back to its source and hopefully reduce or eradicate it so that babies should be less likely to develop severe meningitis and suffer brain damage as a result.’

Work in understanding Cronobacter will continue at Nottingham Trent University, with Professor Forsythe’s research team turning their attention to developing methods with which to track and identify the bacterium.

These latest findings are due to be published in the American scientific journal Emerging Infectious Disease, whilst Professor Forsythe and his colleague Susan Joseph will also present their discovery at the international American Society for Microbiology Conference from Saturday 21 May to Tuesday 24 May.

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Global links grown at Nottingham Business School

Nottingham Business School, part of Nottingham Trent University, has signed new partnership agreements with three international leading management schools.

A student and staff exchange agreement with the Graduate School of Business at Koç University, Istanbul, will provide Nottingham Business School’s first ties to Turkish higher education, through the country’s only EQUIS accredited business school. It is hoped that student exchanges will begin in the 2011/12 academic year. Academic visits are already underway with Nottingham Business School’s Professor Ken Kamoche having recently led a research seminar at Koç.

Exchange opportunities with the Faculty of Business & Law at Victoria University, Melbourne, will also be developed after an agreement was signed to link Nottingham Business School with the university, which is situated in one of Australia’s most dynamic cities. The potential for transnational education projects will also be discussed between the two institutions.

Nottingham Business School’s ongoing links in China have also led to a new partnership with the prestigious Beijing-based Management School of the Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Science. The agreement is on a national level as the academy has over 100 centres across China. Possible link-ups include Professional Doctorate programmes and related research collaborations.

Other related developments for Nottingham Business School in China include the delivery of short courses to Chinese state-owned companies and enterprises and the active exploration of corporate-focused courses for the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security to address the needs of their professional managers.

Head of International Affairs at Nottingham Business School, Dr Simon Mercado, said: ‘We are delighted to be forging links with some of the world’s strongest business schools, internationally recognised for their work and excellence. We share the same vision as many of these institutions, such as quality enhancement and the undertaking of applied research.

‘These links will not only provide fantastic opportunities for our staff to enrich their academic experience and teaching skills, but will also benefit our students and give many of them the chance to experience business schools in other countries.’

Elsewhere, Nottingham Business School has entered into agreements with a number of European schools and is working on potential dual degree projects with the Universities of Economics in Valencia (Spain) and Poznan (Poland).

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University estates team earns nomination for national award

The successful regeneration and development of Nottingham Trent University’s building estate has earned it a nomination in the category of ‘Outstanding Estates Team’ in the prestigious Times Higher Leadership & Management Awards 2011.

Over recent years, Nottingham Trent University has delivered a bold £200m strategy to transform its estate, including the stunning and visionary development of its Newton and Arkwright buildings – two iconic Grade II listed city centre landmarks.

In addition to the Newton and Arkwright project, the University’s estates team simultaneously managed the creation of a multi-million pound, purpose-built cancer research laboratory to house its world class research, along with a tissue storage and research facility, produced in collaboration with the Anthony Nolan Trust – the only facility of its kind outside of London. They have also delivered a hi-tech centre for Broadcasting and Journalism, now boasting one of the UK’s largest dedicated student news rooms; developed the Lee Westwood Sports Centre, providing world class sport and fitness facilities; and work will soon be completed on a new 727 bedroom student village at the Clifton campus.

In delivering each of these complex projects the estates team have honoured the University’s commitment to combating climate change, with the Carbon Trust calculating a reduction in its carbon footprint of an incredible 6.9% in just three years. The aim is for a 48% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020/21. Their work has also helped to consistently secure a top five ranking in the People and Planet Green League along with an EcoCampus Gold Award for environmental management.

Ged O’Donnoghue, Director of Estates at Nottingham Trent University, said: ‘Looking back over the past few years I feel incredibly proud of all of the hard work and commitment that the estates team have put into producing a world class university. Our vision has always been to produce buildings and facilities that the students and staff of the University can be proud of, and being nominated for this award recognises our determination and success in doing that.’

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University shines in British Council’s International Student Awards 2011

Two students from Nottingham Trent University have picked up top accolades in a prestigious competition organised by the British Council.

Mauritian student Sabrina Bhundoo has been named the East Midlands Shine International Student of the Year 2011 and Nigerian student Betty Alali Odema was a regional runner up in the competition.

As part of the competition, international students across the country were required to share stories about their extra-curricular achievements, which illustrate how they are making the most of their time in the UK . Each student was asked to write a personal ‘letter home’ in English, detailing the out-of-class achievements that help make their time in the UK so rewarding.

Regional winner, Sabrina – who is now preparing to challenge for the title of overall International Student of the Year 2011 – included information about her voluntary experience within health and social care. As one of 12 regional winners she will travel to London on April 13 to meet a final judging panel and have her extraordinary achievements honoured in a national awards ceremony.

Sabrina, a health and social care student in Nottingham Trent University’s School of Social Sciences, and international relations undergraduate Betty, were two of more than 1,200 individuals, from 118 countries to enter the ninth annual International Student Awards. The awards are a major initiative from the British Council that shines the spotlight on international students and their contributions to life in the UK.

Sabrina receives a £1,000 prize for winning the regional award, while Betty receives £100. The overall winner of the International Student of the Year 2011 title will receive £2,000.

‘I am delighted to have won this competition, I was really not expecting to do this well but thought I would give it a go,’ said Sabrina.

Martin Davidson Chief Executive of the British Council, said the letters home written by the entrants were both poignant and inspiring.

He said: ‘The students have immersed themselves in life in the UK and are making a huge contribution not just to their campuses but to the wider community. The British Council is delighted to recognise their considerable achievements.’

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Milly’s ‘Life of Pi’ dresses win prestigious 2011 FAD fashion design competition

Nottingham Trent University student Milly Jackson has walked away with the top prize at the prestigious 2011 FAD fashion design competition, for her collection inspired by Yann Martel’s best selling novel Life of Pi.

2011 FAD competition winner Milly JacksonPlayful dresses in brushed silk, velvet and wool, featured reworked animal prints and illusionary details, drawing inspiration from the book’s menagerie of wild characters.

Fashion design student Milly’s imaginative take on the brief ‘Escape’ received a unanimous vote from the jury panel, winning her £2,000 and a design placement with Whistles.

Annie Vallis, another Nottingham Trent University student, was second runner-up in the national competition, capping an excellent night for the University’s School of Art and Design. Her ‘Stranger than Fiction’ menswear entry was inspired by the magical realism of Jean Painleve’s surreal nature documentaries, and involved pairing ‘otherworldly’ nature prints with modern-day explorer silhouettes.

Annie received £1,000 and a work placement with Jaeger Menswear.

Milly and Annie were selected from hundreds of entries as just 15 finalists from leading universities took part in the catwalk final, presenting two garments each at Vauxhall Fashion Scout, during London Fashion Week.

As Jane Shepardson, CEO of Whistles presented Milly’s award she described the show as ‘the most exciting she had seen this week.’

Gilly Staples, fashion design course leader at Nottingham Trent University, said: ‘This is a really excellent achievement for both Milly and Annie, as well as the University. Our congratulations go to Milly for taking first prize, despite the extremely stiff competition. She had worked so tirelessly to produce a stunning selection of work. We are all really excited about her and Annie’s future, they are both definitely “ones to watch”.’

Now in its tenth year, FAD (Fashion Awareness Direct) is heavily supported by the fashion industry and this year’s jury comprised a panel with a reputation for spotting new talent. These included Anne Tyrrell MBE (Anne Tyrrell Design Consultancy and Chair of BFC Colleges Council), Martyn Roberts (Director of Vauxhall Fashion Scout), and Kate Carter (Web Life and Style Editor at the Guardian).

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Scientists work to reveal hidden secrets at the Tower of London

A medieval wall painting at the Tower of London has received some special attention from scientists at Nottingham Trent University.

Dr Haida Liang and her team of researchers were invited by Historic Royal Palaces to use hi-tech equipment developed at the University to examine the 14th century Byward Tower wall painting – without the need to touch or damage it in any way.

For the past six years, Dr Liang and her team have been refining the development and use of non-invasive techniques for examining paintings and archaeological artefacts.

One tool at their disposal is a portable Optical Coherence Tomographer (OCT), which allows them to scan the surface and the layers below the surface of an object with infrared light.

OCT was originally developed as a medical imaging tool, but by using it to examine paintings, Dr Liang’s team realised that they could reveal details not visible to the naked eye.

The depth and distribution of paint and varnish layers, and even an artist’s preparatory drawings can all become clear. These details might often only be discovered through the removal of tiny samples from the painting, something that art curators and conservators would prefer to not have to do.

At the Tower of London, the team also made use of a portable remote multispectral imaging system developed in their laboratories at the University. The system known as PRISMS – Portable Remote Imaging System for Multispectral Scanning – allows them to view areas of the painting using different wavelengths of light. In doing so, they can reveal the composition and make-up of the paints that were used, as well as hidden details that might not be immediately visible on the surface.

Jane Spooner, building curator at the Tower of London, has been carrying out detailed research into the Byward Tower wall painting, and invited Dr Liang and her team to help carry out the examinations earlier this year. She said: ‘Non-invasive examination techniques such as these are invaluable resources in helping us to better understand an artefact like this. We’re able to learn a great deal about what was involved in creating it, and how we can better take care of it for the future.’

Dr Liang said: ‘This is the first wall painting that we’ve ever examined using these techniques and it’s a real privilege to be asked to work here with such a beautiful and historically significant artefact.’

For a video of Dr Liang and the work she’s been carrying out at the Tower of London, visit the University’s website

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Snow sculptors brave freezing temperatures to take top prize in international competition

A team of students from Nottingham Trent University have just returned home from Northeast China after securing an incredible victory in an international university snow sculpture competition.

Jennifer Greenwood, Bobby Sayers, Rose Walsh and Oliver Tirre braved sub-zero temperatures to claim a first prize in the International University Snow Sculpture Competition in Harbin. 

The quartet, which competed against more than 40 teams from countries across the globe, used chisels, shovels and grindstone to transform a 3 x 3 x 3.5m block of snow into their finished design, entitled Value. The piece features an intricately-designed crushed drinks can, partially surrounded by scaffolding, and aims to illustrate the value of waste in order to protect our environment and to build a better future.

Temperatures in Harbin – known as Ice City because of its long, cold winters – touched -30°C as product design student Jennifer, and fine art students Bobby, Rose and Oliver, worked into the night during the four-day event.

The second year students, based within the University’s School of Art and Design and School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, had arrived a week before the competition began in order to train and prepare. And the hard work paid off, with the University claiming a top prize for the first time since putting forward a snow sculpting team five years ago – the first UK team ever invited to take part.

The University’s involvement in the competition stems from the research partnership and relationship it shares with the Harbin Engineering University, and representatives from HEU host the Nottingham team and support their preparations for the event.

The students, who received a gold medal each and a team trophy to keep, were judged on theme, artistic expression, creativity and technical skill.

After the university competition the Nottingham team went on to receive a commemorative prize for a second sculpture in the more advanced International Snow Sculpture Competition, which is open to everyone.

The students were accompanied and supervised by Daizhong Su, Professor of Design Engineering at Nottingham Trent University.

Professor Su said: ‘Participating in the snow sculpture competition is a valuable experience for our students and the enhancement of our collaboration with international partners. Although our university has been involved in the competition for five years, the team is different every year and does not have experience of snow sculpture before their departure from the UK.

‘I am so proud of their achievement, which, in addition to their hard work, is due to the valuable support received from the University’s College of Art, Design and Built Environment. The team is also grateful for the training and help received from Harbin Engineering University.’

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Scientists discover honey bee message that could save the species

Scientists have discovered and decoded communications between honey bees that could be used to fight the worrying recent decline in their numbers.

A paper published in the journal Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, explains how a research team at Nottingham Trent University has developed a hi-tech method of using accelerometers to detect and translate the vibrations caused by bees as they communicate with one another in a hive.

Over recent years the world’s populations of honey bees have been in decline for reasons that are yet to be fully understood. Disease, bad weather and poor nutrition are all suspected causes, whilst in the USA a phenomenon now known as colony collapse disorder (CCD) has led to the loss of billions of bees. One major factor known to make the situation worse is a hive’s decision to swarm. It’s thought that up to 90% of a modern day hive colony will die after abandoning a hive in search of a new nest location.

Swarming occurs when the queen bee leaves a hive, taking a significant proportion of the colony with her. Beekeepers are able to prevent swarming by removing parts of the hive in which the queen has laid the eggs of successive queen bees. However, this method is by no means fool-proof, and requires painstaking monitoring of the hive in order to prevent a swarm occurring and often causing substantial unnecessary disturbance in the colony.

At Nottingham Trent University’s School of Science and Technology, physicists have detected a message used by bees when planning a swarm, up to two weeks before it’s due to occur. By attaching accelerometers – devices that are sensitive to minute vibrations – to a hive, they were able to identify a specific range and amplitude of vibrations that corresponded with swarming. These signals were found to be occurring well in advance of a swarm happening, and their discovery has the potential to dramatically improve beekeeper’s abilities to prevent a swarm taking place, and consequently the significant loss of the bee colony.

Dr Martin Bencsik from Nottingham Trent University’s School of Science and Technology, said: ‘The data we have gathered from our investigations is absolutely fascinating. The application of these devices, and the method we have developed for deciphering the information that they gather could provide a key to slowing the dramatic rate of decline in honeybee populations across the world.’

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