Archive for March 14, 2017

Salford Military Historians Deliver Papers at Practitioner Conference at Pembroke College, Oxford

On Monday, 6 March 2017, three Salford academics delivered papers at a one-day conference held at Pembroke College, Oxford. The conference on ‘Military Doctrine: Past, Present and Future’ saw historians and armed forces practitioners meet to discuss the way in which military doctrine has been formulated and disseminated in the past, with a discussion on how past and current experience can inform future practice. The conference was hosted by the Oxford Changing Character of War (CCW) Programme. Three Salford military historians – Dr Brian Hall, Professor Alaric Searle and Dr James Corum – delivered papers, together with other academics and several practitioners.

Dr Brian Hall, Prof Alaric Searle and Dr James Corum at Pembroke College

Dr Brian Hall, Prof Alaric Searle and Dr James Corum at Pembroke College

 

‘The idea for the conference emerged after a discussion I had with Dr Robert Johnson, Director of the CCW Programme, while I was a Visiting Fellow at Pembroke last semester’, explained Alaric Searle, Professor of Modern European History in the School of Arts and Media. ‘The basic idea was that if we considered how military organisations had developed their doctrines from a historical perspective there might be lessons which contemporary military organisations could draw to inform future practice. If we invited those who had written recent doctrine, then that would create a discussion between practitioners and historians.’

 

Military doctrine is, in essence, what armies put in their manuals; the process itself can be very contentious, often leading to major internal controversies inside armed forces. The aim of the conference was to provide an international, historical perspective, and combine these papers with presentations by those who had been involved in the process in the past. Professor Searle began the conference with an overview of historical experience and the lessons which suggested themselves. Dr Brian Hall, Lecturer in Contemporary Military History, offered a case study of British communications doctrine in the First World War. Dr James Corum, Lecturer in Terrorism and Security Studies, one of the co-authors of the US Army FM 3-24: Counterinsurgency manual of 2006, written under the direction of General David Petraeus, reported on the experience of doctrine-writing for what has turned out to be the most down-loaded field manual in history.

 

The conference provided an opportunity for Salford to showcase its expertise in both military history and high-level practitioner experience. Professor Searle noted: ‘It is always very pleasurable as a historian to be able to engage in debate with military professionals and test one’s ideas and interpretations with those who have been involved in real-world policy making, even if it is at times slightly intimidating to be debating with high-ranking officers. However, my experience has been that quality research can very often throw interesting new perspectives on practical problems.’ He added: ‘While the general public often regard history as something which is not particularly practical, it often is extremely useful for policy-makers. Events such these demonstrate the relevance and importance of historians and political scientists for the University of Salford’s ICZ agenda.’


Salford Professor’s Book Launch at Pembroke College, Oxford

Armoured Warfare Book CoverAlaric Searle, Professor of Modern European History in the School of Arts and Media, was able to launch his new book, entitled Armoured Warfare: A Military, Political and Global History, at a conference at Pembroke College, Oxford, last week. Following a one-day conference on ‘Military Doctrine: Past, Present and Future’, he was interviewed by the Director of the Oxford Changing Character of War Programme Director and Senior Fellow at Pembroke College, Dr Robert Johnson, on his motivation for writing the book and which trends he anticipated in armoured warfare over the next two decades.

‘Holding the book launch at the end of the one-day conference on military doctrine seemed to be a particularly good way of publicising it’, said Alaric. ‘For one, the role of military doctrine has been absolutely central to the development of armoured warfare since the first appearance of the tank in the First World War. Moreover, what better way to showcase the book than in front of an audience of military historians and professional soldiers.’ He added: ‘It might seem a little intimidating to be answering questions about a military subject as technical as armoured warfare when several retired generals are sitting in the audience. However, the book has been the product of many years of research, so I feel fairly confident about the views I have expressed in the book.’

 

Book Launch TableThe book, which was published by Bloomsbury Academic last month, was conceived as a textbook for university undergraduate and postgraduate students. What is unusual about it is that it is the first work to consider both the global aspects of the subject, but also include the history of the politics of armoured vehicles and the political symbolism with which they have been invested. As Alaric noted: ‘There have been many, many books written on specific armoured vehicles, but there has been until now no one single volume which provides a reliable guide to the subject suitable for students. I was also able to persuade the publisher to include an extensive bibliography, so that students can follow up individual subjects which interest them.’

 

The presentation of the book was followed by a wine reception at which conference participants could purchase a copy of the book and network.

 


Publishing in Scholarly Journals

Peer review of scholarly writingAs a researcher, sharing your work is essential to furthering the discussion, development and potentially even funding of your findings. The sheer quantity of guides available on “how to write” and “how to target X journal” perhaps signifying the impact of targeting the right place and the best audience for your research.

Before reaching the stage of submitting in the hope of publication, many publishers expect researchers to have already made some key considerations:

  1. Is your research original, engaging, innovative?
  2. Who do you expect to be the audience for your research?
  3. Which journal(s) do you think might be interested in accepting your article for publication and does your article fit with their aims, scope and style?
  4. What are your open access needs?
  5. Is your manuscript suitably and well written (free from grammatical error, solid narrative, clear abstract and conclusions) in accordance with the journal’s style guide?

Your researching peers and foremost, your supervisor, are the best place to start for advice on where to publish and whether your manuscript is ready. Then, once you think you have found the right journal for your article, you should read their Author’s Guide and make sure you can freely submit to them as some journals are invitation-only.

Read more…..


Salford ICZs at Work in a Research Partnership with NEC, BT & EE

ICZs in Action BT, EE, NEC

Photograph – Nick Harrison

Telecommunications student Odum Rowani is conducting a leading-edge study of how weather affects mobile networks in partnership with top engineers from NEC, BT and EE.

Odum, who graduated in MSc Data Telecommunications Networks, is researching for his PhD on the effects of variations in global weather conditions on the quality of data transmission for mobile networks.

And he has the perfect test-bed for his work at the University of Salford after telecom giants NEC, BT and EE chose Salford as a research partner to test new 4G evolution and 5G related network technology.

Odum, who is from Nigeria, said: “A challenge for engineers is how to connect the evolved 4G and 5G cell sites back to the operators core network, and one solution is the use of V-band point to point radio systems.”

Much testing is still needed on the optimum deployment and robustness of ‘point-to-point’  transmissions which use radio millimetre wave frequencies in the 60GHz band; particular how they may stand up to the rigours of the British weather.

Using the University of Salford as a base, the NEC, BT and EE have created a research site to measure the performance of the V-band radio system over a 12-month period when exposed to rain, wind, fog and ice.

“This will be one of the most detailed tests of this type done anywhere in the world to date, so we are delighted it will be hosted in Salford with our partners NEC, EE and British Telecom,” explained Professor Nigel Linge, one of Odum’s professors.

“Millimetre wave point-to-point links operate at very high frequencies to transmit high volumes of data over relatively short distances.  However, the high frequency does mean that it is possibly affected by climatic conditions – the question being by how much.”

The University has installed a radio system complete with transceivers and antennas on the Newton Science and Engineering building and the Maxwell Building at its Peel Park Campus and will monitor transmissions until early 2018.

Stephen Walthew, Manager – Transport Networks at NEC Europe, said Salford was a perfect choice for the testing:  “We were looking for an urban area, somewhere the weather is very variable and where there is expertise in network engineering. Given our long-standing relationship with Professor Linge and his colleagues, we are delighted the University of Salford can host the tests.”

“The 60GHz connection has the opportunity to become the solution of choice for high capacity backhauling, so the more scientific evidence we can collect about its performance, the better we can make decisions about design and deployment.”