Archive for December 23, 2015

Distinguished physicist takes national role

Allan Boardman is the latest academic to take on an influential national role after being courted by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).  allanboardman

Professor Boardman is Chair of Applied Physics in the School of Computing, Science and Engineering has an international reputation for his work on surface plasmons and guided wave optics, especially nonlinear waves and solitons.

He is the leading theorist looking at nonlinear guided magneto-optic waves in metamaterials and Co-Chair of the SPIE Photonics Europe conference, which is held biannually.

His latest honour is to be invited to sit on the ESPRC Physical Sciences Materials Prioritisation Panel, which steers the peer review process and ensures that research funding is allocated according to quality.

CHIME at the EFG London Jazz Festival

Jazz-and-heritage-panelOn Friday 20 November 2015 the SURF Centre attended the inception event of the Cultural Heritage and Improvised Music in Europe (CHIME) project at the EFG London Jazz Festival. The event, held at the Southbank Centre in London, provided partners with an opportunity to come together to talk about their work, to share ideas, and to discuss ways in which CHIME research could impact on different festivals and heritage organisations. The event was supported by Associated Partner MISTRA and brought together representatives from case study festivals, such as the GMLSTN Festival in Gothenburg to explore audience development initiatives and plans for creating digital tools to support their programming, audience participation and partnerships with heritage sites.

Realising the city: drawing out the potential of urban ethnography

Dr Jessica Symons (University of Salford and a member of UPRISE) and Dr Camilla Lewis (University of Manchester) are collaborating on the development of a new edited collection Realising the city, scheduled for publication in March 2016 by Manchester University Press.


(Photo credit: Mark Treacher)

Manchester Science Festival

untitledThe SURF Centre was represented at this year’s Manchester Science Festival at the University of Salford Mediacity campus. The aim was to demonstrate the value of social science. The message was that social science helps make the connections between different disciplines and develops replicable methods in the process. Like physicists or engineers, we work with hypotheses and we seek insight by working with the natural world. Our subject matter focuses on humans and their interaction with each other and non-human entities and our processes of data collection, analysis and insight are similar.

Santander Travel Award granted for innovative foot research

A Santander Travel Award has been granted to Dr Kris Hollands and Prof Chris Nester to collaborate with Dr. Leah Bent: (University of Guelph, Canada: on a project investigating the role of sensation from the soles of the feet, and the effects of sensory stimulating insoles, on controlling balance and walking.

Walking safely requires the ability to adjust foot placements on uneven and/or cluttered ground.  Sensation from the skin on our feet, telling the brain how the foot is positioned on the ground and how our body is leaning over our feet, could be crucial in controlling balance in these situations.

Prof.Ghasem Nasr to deliver presentation at Aerosol & Dispensing Forum

Prof Ghasem Nasr will be attending the Aerosol & Dispensing Forum conference in Paris on 3rd and 4th February 2016 where he will deliver a presentation focused on: Innovation Ecosystem “The Evolution of Salvalco Eco-Vale”. The talk will cover innovation and definition, innovation ecosystem and framework within the aerosol industry, developing innovation strategy and process and the innovative eco-valve.parisconf

Over 5,800 brand packaging experts from about 70 countries, and more than 300 manufacturers and service providers from the Aerosol Technologies, Dispensing and Beauty Packaging, convene during these two days!

Leaders and influencers engage in informative programs with speakers, developed in collaboration with major brands packaging experts and scientists.

New Home insulation technology wins national competition

The University has won a national award of £50,000 for a project which will help save energy and insulate homes.

Working with Arcada University, Finland, academics from the School of the Built Environment (SoBE) scooped the winning concept in a competition run by BRE, the world-leading building science centre.


The challenge was to develop a tool for rapid and accurate measurement of the thermal performance of walls in homes.

The competition was held as part of a major project funded by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) – and the concept will now go forward to develop a next stage product.

The Rapid U-Value Meter reduces the time taken measure the thermal performance of an element, such as a solid wall, from a number of days to under two hours.

Salford Scientists prove they can create largest saturated hydrocarbon molecule

Scientific tests at the University have proven that graphene can be converted into a massive insultating hydrocarbon molecule by reaction with hydrogen at elevated temperatures and pressures.

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The research was led by Dr John Proctor from the Materials and Physics Research Group at Salford and published in ACS Nano in collaboration with the Graphene Research Group at Manchester University and the Centre for Science at Extreme Conditions at the University of Edinburgh.

Dr Proctor said: “The findings are an important step in understanding the ability to use graphene in integrated circuits, for example as a gate in Field Effect Transistors (FETs). It is an encouraging advance for research aiming to synthesize fully hydrogenated graphene – also known as graphane – which would be the largest saturated hydrocarbon molecule ever made.”

New research project on restorative justice being developed at Salford

Professor  Chris Birkbeck, Sociology, University of Salford, explains: “I was recently interviewed by the Restorative Forum about a new research project on restorative justice that we are developing at Salford. In the interview, we discuss the challenges to achieving reconciliation between victims and offenders. Most research on restorative justice looks at its philosophy, method or outcomes but not at the central point in the whole process – the restorative justice conference. One branch of our research will use conversational analysis to look for turning points in the RJ conference; the other will look at the RJ conference as a drama that unfolds through the moral positions taken by victims and offenders” read more

A message from the Pro Vice-Chancellor Research & Enterprise: New Research Centres are up and running

nigelI am very pleased to advise colleagues that the University’s nine re-launched Research Centres are now fully up and running. Based within Schools, Research Centres are built around the University’s areas of research strength, capacity and excellence, and are the driving force for supporting academics and research colleagues to undertake high-quality research and generate income.

With 440 research-active academics and over 900 PhD students, we have a lively and creative research and learning environment. Our world-class research spans areas as diverse as computer security, disaster management and homelessness. The revised network of Research Centres is part of the University’s 2014-2020 Research Strategy, which has already led to investment in 14 new research posts, around 70 PhD studentships and research infrastructure.

The nine new Research Centres are: the Arts, Media and Communications Research Centre, Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre (EERC), Centre for Built Environment Sustainability and Transformation (BEST), Centre for Urban Processes, Resilient Infrastructures & Sustainable Environments (UPRISE) Centre for Health Sciences Research, Centre for Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work & Social Sciences Research, Salford Business School Research and Salford Innovation Research Centre (SIRC).