Posts by research

UPRISE, ELS and SHUSU Exploring Local & Regional Approaches to Ecology & Flooding

Irwell Flooding

Photo of a flooded Irwell by Dr Luke Blazejewski

Researchers from UPRISE are collaborating with colleagues from the School of Environment and Life Sciences, Research and Innovation and SHUSU (Sustainable Housing & Urban Studies Unit) on a HEIF-funded project to explore local and regional approaches to ecology and flooding.  This project will involve engaging with organisations, agencies and communities in the Salford and wider Manchester region to understand how ecological principles can be applied to the issues surrounding floods, and the wider functioning of a city.  This diverse partnership draws from a pool of expertise, and demonstrates precisely the interdisciplinary approach required to look at 21st century urban issues – keeping in spirit with the ICZ strategy of the University of Salford.

Led by the Dean of School, Prof. Hisham Elkadi, the project will run until the end of July.  By strengthening partnerships with UPRISE across the university and beyond, this important area of study will provide a basis for a larger and longer term body of work which will evolve our thinking on cities and how they function, Dean of School, Prof. Hisham Elkadi says “Climate change results in more severe and more frequent adversial weather conditions.  Flood-control infrastructures in our contemporary cities are not reliable mitigation defenses in the face of climate change uncertainties. The aim of the project is to build-in ecological resilience measures to mitigate against flooding”

A series of workshops and interviews are being organised by UPRISE as part of the project.  UPRISE Research Fellow, Dr. Nick Davies, described the co-creation approach of the project: ‘The workshops will provide a platform for organisations involved in various sectors concerned with flood resilience to interact, and be involved in designing and sharpening the key research focus of this project.’


Psychology lecturer awarded EPS grant

 

Dr Catherine Thompson has been awarded a Small Research GranExperimental Psychology Society grantt from the Experimental Psychology Society to investigate “The effects of emotion and demand on the Attentional Blink”.

Effective allocation of attentional resources is vital to the successful completion of any task and the research will explore how visual attention may be limited under demanding and emotional situations (conditions common to a range of tasks). The study is part of a larger body of work that aims to demonstrate how cognitive performance can be influenced by factors such as work related stress and anxiety. Catherine will be working on the project with her Research Assistant, Danila Ranieri, who previously studied Psychology to post-graduate level at La Sapienza University in Rome.


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Professor Jason Underwood People Count – the culture of digital construction

The School of Built Environment’s Professor Jason Underwood wasJason Underwoods an invited keynote alongside Chris Boardman, MBE and former British and Olympic cyclist, at an event organised by the global technology organisation Trimble Solutions/Tekla on 1st December.

The event was focused  on the people aspect of collaboration and digital construction entitled “People Count – the culture of digital construction“. Jason gave a keynote on the psychology of collaboration in the construction industry in relation to changing the perceived norms, which followed on from Chris’ presentation that considered the psychology of winning. Further information on the event can be found  at www.tekla.com/uk/about/events/people-count-culture-digital-construction.

 


International Research event held at MediaCityUK

LaBritish Academy logost week, the University Alliance joined up with the British Academy and Salford University to host an event exploring international research.

Professor Gerry Kelleher Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise and Alun Evans Chief Executive of the British Academy launched proceedings at the University of Salford’s Media City campus. Over 100 researchers and senior academics from the across the region where invited to attend the day-long event which included presentations from Salford academics Professor Ralph Darlington and Dr Samantha Newbery.

The event highlighted British Academy funding opportunities, explored policy and structural issues around international research and shared best practice and was accompanied by a supporting exhibition of delegate research.

Matt Robinson, Policy and Programmes Manager at the University Alliance said: “We found it incredibly useful to hear first-hand about the barriers and solutions encountered while undertaking international projects. This is a really interesting time for international research. The formation of the Global Challenge Research fund and UK Research and Innovation means that the way these international projects are funded and run will change over the coming year so having heard experiences of researchers presenting today greatly enhances our understanding and helps to inform discussions we will be having.”

The British Academy is the UK’s national body for the humanities and social sciences – the study of peoples, cultures and societies, past, present and future.


Could factory-built homes solve UK’s housing crisis?

Factory-built homes could help solve the UK’s housing crisis, construction expert Professor Mohammed Arif has told the BBC.Professor Mohammed Arif

Factory-built homes, also known as modular houses, have the capability to deliver homes fast, cheaper and have a final product which is more energy efficient, Arif, Professor of Sustainability and Process Management, said.

The Professor in the School of the Built Environment told the BBC’s North West Tonight programme as part of a feature on a Liverpool housing association’s move into flat-pack construction. Flat-pack houses can be built in half the time of a conventional house.

He said: “Given what we are facing in terms of the rising costs of housing which has kicked an entire segment of the population out of the domain of home ownership, modular houses have the capability to deliver homes fast, cheaper and have a final product which is more energy efficient.”

Factory-built homes currently make up 1% of the supply, with the Government’s stated aim to build 100,000 by 2020.

See the BBC North West Tonight video here:


Dean of NMSWSS Margaret Rowe joins Health Secretary on China trade mission

The University of Salford’s Dean of the School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work and Social Sciences, met with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt as part of trade visit to China to boost collaboration with the country’s health sector.Jeremy Hunt and Margaret Rowe

The visit is part of the week -long Department for International Trade (DIT) visit to Hangzhou, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Guangzhou.

Margaret is part of a large delegation of British health and social care providers and professionals who have travelled to China to explore opportunities for stronger collaboration between the two countries.

The DIT mission comes on the back of a recent report, Deepening Health Reform in China, jointly published by the World Bank, the Chinese Government and the World Health Organisation, which recommends that China moves away from its current hospital-centric model to one focussed on primary care and offering better value for money.

There is a strong willingness from the public and private sectors in China to work with UK companies, including training, education and research providers, to help develop, implement and manage services across the spectrum of care.

Delegates are meeting senior Chinese ministers and will be visiting new integrated care facilities and Shenzhen People’s Hospital, as well as taking part in a packed programme of seminars and workshops.

Margaret said: “The University of Salford is one of the largest trainers of nurses, midwives and allied health professionals in the North West, and this delegation was a wonderful opportunity to tell key figures in both the Chinese and British governments about the innovative work we are currently doing.

“I told the Secretary of State about how we collaborate with a wide range of industry partners across health and social care to produce highly skilled graduates, as well as how we work with stakeholders across the northern powerhouse to address the health outcomes arising from Devo Manc.

“I also outlined our strong partnership work with other North West universities and our plans for a private medical school to train the next generation of doctors and health professionals.”

In addition to the trade mission, Margaret is also visiting the Guangdong Food and Drug Vocational College on Friday to meet with their senior leadership team.

At a special graduation ceremony, she will present degree certificates to the first cohort of Chinese students who completed our Masters in Nursing programme.

Margaret added: “I am thrilled to be able to present graduation certificates to our new nurses in Guangdong.  We already have an excellent reputation with the Chinese health and social care sector and this visit will prove very useful in exploring how we can take this to the next level.”


Student named rising star in Cyber Security

A Computer Science student at the University of Salford has been named a rising star in Milda Petraityteher profession by Cyber World magazine.

Milda Petraityte juggles studying part time for an MSc in Information Security management, with working at global professional services firm KPMG as a cyber security consultant.

She said: “I’m flattered and slightly shocked to have been named as Cyber World’s Rising Star. I have been working with my lecturer Dr Ali for the past year and he has been very supportive of me. Studying in the university I enjoyed his module of Cyber Security in Practice where we focused on IT systems pen testing and forensic investigations”.

Milda has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience working at KPMG, for example advising clients on various cyber security aspects and helping to deal with general company issues on a daily basis.

She added: “My job allows we  to understand the world of cyber from a business perspective. It is an exciting time to be working in the Cyber Security field. It is a booming industry, and in my job I am lucky in that I learn something new every day”.

Dr Ali Dehghantanha, Lecturer in Cyber Security and Forensics, within the School of Computer Science and Engineering said: “Milda is one of the most talented and hardworking students that I have ever had in my academic career. She volunteers for completing the most difficult tasks and has managed to meet deadlines in spite of her heavy workloads. It is a great pleasure to work with such a talented candidate”.


Research Project of the Year Award at THE Awards 2016

THE Awards TeamLast night, the University of Salford’s Dr Mike Wood collected the Research Project of the Year award at the esteemed Times Higher Education Awards in London. The awards, now in their twelfth year shine a spotlight on the outstanding achievements of those working in UK higher education.

Dr Mike Wood from the School of Environment and Life Sciences collected the Research Project of the Year award for his work around the Chernobyl disaster. His research hugely increased understanding of how nuclear radiation affects animal life and used a ground-breaking technique to provide new evidence about what happens to the diversity and abundance of large and medium-sized mammals after radiation exposure.

He worked alongside academics from the Univeristy, the UK’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and Ukraine’s Chornobyl Center on the international collaboration project. Together they used the area around the Chernobyl accident site as a laboratory to study the continuing effect of the disaster on wildlife.

Mike set up more than 250 motion-activated camera positions and bioacoustic recorders to track animals over a year. The cameras provided more than 45,000 images that allowed the researchers to answer fundamental questions about the relationship between radiation exposure and biodiversity. Dr Paul Kendrick from our Acoustics Research Centre also collaborated on the project by placing special bio-acoustic recording devices across the area, providing more detailed information about the zone’s animal life.

The team found a thriving community of large and medium-sized species. This challenges existing academic work, which had suggested that mammals have declined in the area. Their findings have also contributed to high-level debate about the potential creation of a Chernobyl nature reserve and garnered a huge amount of press coverage. The judges said that the research project was impressive in the way that it used “ground-breaking radiological methods to explore the impact of nuclear radiation on wildlife in the Chernobyl area”.

On collecting the award, Mike said: “The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ), which reached its 30th anniversary this year, represents a unique natural laboratory to study the impact of radiation levels on wildlife.

“This project has not only enabled myself and my colleagues to challenge some of the claims about declining animal populations in the CEZ, it has also allowed us to work closely with international organisations and to contribute to important global debates about nuclear power, about conservation and particularly about the rewilding of our planet’s wilderness areas.

“It’s a huge honour for the project to have been shortlisted for this award, and it’s a testament to the many talented people who have worked with me to make it such a success.”

Huge congratulations to Mike and the whole team!

 


Story originally posted on the Internal Comms News page


Training method for caring with bereaved parents shortlisted

Mary Seacole BuildingAnne Leyland a Lecturer in Midwifery at the University of Salford, has been shortlisted for the Sands Award for Bereavement Care at the Royal College of Midwives’ Annual Midwifery Awards.

Anne devised the new method using the University’s extensive nursing and midwifery simulation suite because she said traditional teaching methods may not prepare students effectively to communicate sensitively and empathetically with parents who have experienced perinatal loss – the death of a baby in the womb or immediately after birth.

In the simulation scenario the midwifery students are assigned to support and care for the bereaved parents and respond to the concerns and anxieties they may have.

The parents’ parts are sometimes played by students from the Theatre and Performance Practice programme at the University’s School of Arts and Media.

The simulated scenario takes place in an area designed to look like a home birthing room and is streamed live and recorded so larger groups of students can watch. A debrief is then carried out by lecturers to help the students learn from and reflect on the experience.

The technique has received such positive feedback from students and health service colleagues that some NHS hospital trusts have discussed using it to provide additional training for their own staff.

Anne said: “Simulation offers us the ability to immerse students in a very realistic setting, so they’re able to play this out and think very deeply about the right things to say and do in that situation.

“This is absolutely devastating news for a pregnant woman and her partner, and the quality of the care they receive afterwards is crucial to their psychological recovery. The way the bereaved parents are treated by the health service can have a huge impact on them and on their future pregnancies.”

Anne will find out if she has won the award, sponsored by the Sands Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity, at the award ceremony held on 7 March 2017.

The birthing room is one of a number of simulated environments in the University’s Mary Seacole Building, including maternity units containing furniture from NHS suppliers along with electronic manikins representing birthing women which are able to move, speak and even blink and which can be controlled by skilled technicians.


Salford Business School to launch Insights & Networking Series

Ambition Sculpture, University of SalfordSalford Business School is set to launch an Insights & Networking Series later this month. The programme of events aims to connect colleagues, alumni, students, employers and industry partners.

The first event will be a Salford Law Alumni Mixer, to be held on Wednesday 30 November in the Lady Hale building. The Law Mixer has been designed and organised by Lizzy Przychodzki and Lucy Fish, who together have created a unique event open to all colleagues, current students and alumni. The event will welcome recent Salford law graduates who will talk about their time at Salford and their route to employment. This will be followed by networking sessions and notable industry guest speakers who will highlight their own route into the profession, as well as key tips on applications and interview techniques.

Undergraduate Programme Director Lizzy Przychodzki says: “For me, the purpose of the event is to really celebrate Salford and our students. By bringing in some of our recent alumni to pass on their insights, anecdotes and Salford pride, we can really inspire students to use all the great support on offer here so that they too can reach their career goals.”

The schedule for the day runs as follows:

13.00 – 13.30:        Registration

13.30 – 15.00:        Welcome, Alumni speakers & Q&A (G14, Lady Hale)

15.00 – 15.30:        Mixer and networking (G06/07, Lady Hale)

15.30 – 16.30:        Industry speakers, Q&A & closing (G14, Lady Hale)

 

Confirmed industry speakers are Tom Smith, a Partner at Forbes Solicitors, and the Manchester Trainees Solicitors Group. Further solicitor and barrister guests are soon to be announced.

Lucy Fish, Alumni Engagement Officer, says: “We’re really excited to launch the Insights and Networking Series at the Business School. Our Law Mixer on the 30 November promises to be a great networking event with some top industry speakers. We’re hoping the events will develop into something innovative and exciting for the school.”

Places can be booked through Advantage here.

If you have any questions please contact Lizzy Przychodzki on 52124.