News in brief

25 February 2015

University study now possible for asylum seekers in Sheffield

Asylum seekers in the city of Sheffield will now be given the life changing opportunity to study at a world-leading institution thanks to a campaign lead by the University of Sheffield Students' Union.

The Equal Access campaign will see two asylum seekers each year provided with full fee waivers for any undergraduate course and a £10,000 bursary.

Until now asylum seekers who apply to study at any UK university are treated as international students and therefore must pay international level fees which can reach up to £18,750 a year. This is unthinkable for most asylum seekers who are denied the right to work and live on £36 a week.

Jack Wyse, University of Sheffield Students' Union Development Officer, said: "Education is a fantastic gift and I've taken so much from being part of the University of Sheffield. It's amazing to think that asylum seekers in the city will be able to benefit as well."

The Equal Access work was part of the Sheffield Students' Union 'No Borders' campaign, which seeks to break down the barriers which prevent international students from playing a full and varied part in the university community and UK as a whole.

For more information please visit:

24 February 2015

University’s Energy 2050 team and partners represent UK in International Carbon Capture and Storage Test Centre Network

Carbon Capture and StorageThe University of Sheffield’s Energy 2050 team is part of a consortium of six UK universities which have taken the UK into the International Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Test Centre Network.

The consortium of the universities of Sheffield, Edinburgh, Cranfield, Nottingham, Leeds and Imperial College manage and operate the Pilot-scale Advanced Capture Technology Facilities, part of the UK CCS Research Centre.

The PACT national facilities are funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

They support and catalyse industrial and academic research and development, by providing open-access testing facilities.

These bridge the gap between bench-scale research and development and large-scale industrial pilot trials, enabling users to develop their technologies and provide the necessary commercial confidence before committing to the significant costs of large-scale trails. This helps accelerate the commercialisation of technologies for carbon capture and clean power generation.

The PACT Core facilities – which include a 1 tonne a day carbon capture plant – are located in Beighton, on the edge of Sheffield. Other satellite facilities are located in Edinburgh, Nottingham and Cranfield.

Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, PACT Director, a Member of the UKCCSRC Coordination Group, and Professor of Energy Engineering at the University of Sheffield, said: “PACT enables industry and academia to develop and demonstrate their technologies, and gain the necessary commercial confidence before committing to large scale trials. This lowers the overall technology risk and enhances chances of commercial success for leading technologies.

“Joining the Test Centre Network means our expertise can be shared on an international scale and is a real landmark for PACT and the UK CCS Research Centre.”

The International Test Centre Network was initiated by Norway in 2012 to enable carbon capture test facilities around the world to progress the technologies that will be a key component of a global clean energy future. The network aims to share knowledge that can accelerate technology commercialisation, including, for example, next-generation technologies that can sharply reduce the costs of electricity generation (and industrial products) using CO2 capture.

Since its launch, some of the world’s leading CCS test centres have been sharing knowledge of construction and operation of large test facilities in order to establish a level playing field for technology vendors to reduce costs, as well as the technical, environmental and financial risks currently associated with CCS.

The University of Sheffield’s activities at the PACT national facilities are part of the University’s wider Energy 2050 initiative – investing in energy research and innovation, in partnership with industry and government, to help the UK meet its 2050 targets tackling climate change in the most affordable way.

17 January 2015

The first 3D printed wedding bouquet

A 3D printed bridal bouquet has been produced by University of Sheffield expert on 3D printing, Dr Candice Majewski, for her wedding to manufacturing supervisor, Bret Hughes, in Indianapolis.

3D bouquetThe distinctive white roses are believed to be the first 3D printed flowers to be used as a wedding bouquet.

The flowers were designed by senior lecturer in product and industrial design, Dr Guy Bingham, from the University of Loughborough and printed by Wendy Birtwistle, part of the team at the University of Sheffield’s Centre for Advanced Additive Manufacturing (additive manufacturing being another term for 3D printing).

The intricate design took 18 hours to print and was carefully packaged to travel with Candice to the USA for her wedding ceremony with Bret in the Butterfly House of Indianapolis Zoo, where the couple spent their first date. They’d met online two years earlier while playing the popular online game, Evony.

"I carry out research into 3D printing and I love what I do, so I thought it would be really cool to make it part of our wedding,” explained Candice. "However, having such a special bouquet meant I certainly wasn’t going to throw it to my wedding guests! The great thing about having a 3D printed wedding bouquet is that it won’t decay like natural flowers, so we’ll now be able to keep it as a permanent reminder of our special day."

To find out more about the University's Faculty of Engineering, visit: Engineering in Sheffield.

16 February 2015

Medics highlight underrepresentation of women in the field

ThumbnailWomen hoping to overcome personal and workplace barriers to lead successful careers in medicine are being invited to meet a group of inspirational speakers at the University of Sheffield’s Medical School next month (Tuesday 3 March 2015).

The event hosted by the Sheffield Women in Medicine Network (SWiM) will be a unique opportunity for women to hear personal stories from a diverse group of successful entrepreneurs and share experiences.

More than half of all new medical students are female and 40 per cent of all doctors are women, yet fewer than 28 per cent of consultants are women. In 2007 only 12 per cent of all clinical professors on university contracts were women and in 2006, six medical schools in the country had no female professors and just two out of 34 medical schools had female Deans.

The Sheffield Women in Medicine is a professional forum launched by a group of junior and senior doctors at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and academics from the University of Sheffield in February 2014.

Dr Alenka Brooks, a specialist registrar in gastroenterology at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Women in medicine face many challenges in reaching their full career potential, which are often compounded by complexities of care-giving roles whilst trying to pursue demanding, high-powered jobs.

“This free, informal event will give junior and senior doctors the chance to hear from women and men who have successfully reached the top of their careers so they can share experiences on how to get started, what skills they need and what pitfalls they need to avoid.”

The event will take place at the Medical School’s Lecture Theatre 1 from 5.30pm onwards and will be hosted by Professor Wendy Tindale OBE, Scientific Director of Medical Imaging and Medical Physics at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Other speakers include Adrian Allen Commercial Director of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing; Pam Garside, who has created her own management consultancy, Newhealth and teaches at Cambridge in the Judge Business School; Lucy Rocca; founder of Soberistas an online network supporting women with drinking issues and Professor Dame Pamela Shaw Professor of Neurology and Director of the Sheffield Institute of Translational Neuroscience (SITraN).

To register for the free ‘Building Your Future - SWiM dives in with the Entrepreneurs’ event visit SWiM or email

6 February2015

Rising sport stars honoured with University scholarships

ThumbnailOutstanding athletes and rising sport stars of the future have been honoured with special University scholarships to help them achieve their academic and sporting ambitions.

Elite Sports Performance Scheme (ESPS) scholarships were awarded to 78 talented students from the University of Sheffield to support them throughout their studies as well as national and international sporting competitions.

BBC Sport journalist and University of Sheffield graduate, Dan Walker, is patron of the scheme which has been running since 2010.

The scholarships are divided into two levels and provide support services such as physiotherapy, free access to the S10 Health and Fitness Centre, plus a scholarship of between £250 and £1,000.

Aerospace Engineering student and climber, Connor Byrne, was also awarded the Catalyst Higher Education Award for his outstanding performance and was presented with a year’s free University accommodation.

For more information about the ESPS scholarships visit

5 February 2015

New motivational treatments for cystic fibrosis treatments

CFPioneering research from the University of Sheffield which could dramatically improve the life of patients living with the debilitating disease cystic fibrosis has been given a massive boost thanks to a £2 million grant from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited, life-limiting disease affecting 10,000 people in the UK. Patients have to adhere to a strict regime of medication and physiotherapy several times a day to prevent lung infections.

A team of researchers, led by Professor Alicia O’Cathain and Dr Martin Wildman from the University’s School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, will research new interventions which will help patients to understand and measure how much medication they are taking, new motivational methods and also an innovative website which will enable them to interact with physiotherapists and doctors to see at a glance what percentage of medications they have successfully taken.

Dr Martin Wildman from ScHARR and Consultant in Respiratory Medicine and Adult Cystic Fibrosis, said: “Not long ago people with the disease were unlikely to make it into adulthood, but breakthroughs in treatments mean that life expectancy is increasing.

“While advances in therapy have given people with cystic fibrosis hope, keeping up with time-consuming treatment can be a major burden.

“Through this grant we aim to develop behaviour change interventions that can support habit formation which will enable people with cystic fibrosis to stay fit and healthy. By providing patients with an ability to get frequent feedback on how successful they have been in taking their treatment we will empower people with cystic fibrosis to take control of their illness.“

29 January 2015

World-class medical research at the University of Sheffield praised in national report

Allan PaceyWorld-class medical research from the University of Sheffield in the field of reproduction has been highlighted in a key report announced today (Thursday 29 January 2015).

The Health of the Nation: The impact of UK medical schools’ research report, published by the Medical Schools Council highlights pioneering projects from the universities of Sheffield, Leeds and Hull York Medical School, based at the University of York, as examples of research which have had a significant impact on societal health.

Professor Allan Pacey, from the Department of Human Metabolism at the University of Sheffield, has been recognised for his work examining the basic biological processes of human sperm transport through the male and female reproductive tracts.

The research from Professor Pacey and his team was developed into a film The Great Sperm Race, which was shown on television in 22 countries and was nominated for a Royal Television Society award and won a Canadian Society of Cinematographers award for best Docudrama amongst other accolades. It has now been watched more than 10.5 million times across the world.

Professor Pacey said: “Not only was it really rewarding to do this research, it was doubly rewarding to be able to help filmmakers turn our results into an epic and compelling television programme and game which continue to have global reach.

“Six years on from the The Great Sperm Race being first broadcast I still receive emails from people around the world who tell me that it increased their understanding of human fertility and sometimes how to deal with infertility.”

13 January 2015

Former Obama advisor to offer expert opinion on Sheffield’s economic growth

A former advisor to President Obama will be presenting a public lecture in Sheffield this month as part of a visit to boost the city’s economic growth.

The University of Sheffield has worked with Sheffield City Council and Creative Sheffield to organise the visit of Bruce Katz – an expert on the role of cities in growing the economy.

His visit is part of the new International Economic Commission designed to engage with leading policymakers from around the world in driving the city forward.

Mr Katz – who will also tour the University’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre – regularly advises public, private and civic leaders on policy reforms and strategic investments that advance the competitiveness of cities and metropolitan areas.

He co-led the housing and urban transition team for the Obama Administration and previously served as Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Clinton.

Mr Katz, will be holding the talk ‘The Rise of Innovation Districts’ on Thursday, 15 January 2015 between 7.30pm and 8.30pm at Sheffield Cathedral on Church Street, Sheffield. Tickets are free, to book visit

9 January 2015

Nordic theme for University's spring concert series

Concerts at The University of Sheffield has today unveiled its new spring season – a series of 30 performances organised by the University's Department of Music.

The spring season is to explore a Nordic theme with a number of concerts celebrating some of the continent’s biggest artists.

Continuing Concerts’ tradition of dynamic programming and collaborations within the city, it reunites with Sheffield’s Showroom Cinema, screening a film by acclaimed artist Björk on Sunday 8 February 2015.

Biophilla Live was filmed on her last tour in 2013 and the screening will feature a talk from University of Sheffield academic Professor Nicola Dibben, who was personally contacted by the star to work as musicologist to help compose her critically acclaimed and international smash hit album Biophilla.

One of the world’s top harmonica players Will Pound, who was twice nominated for the BBC Radio 2 Folk Musician of the Year Award, will make his debut at Concerts on Tuesday 24 February 2015, performing varying styles with his band from folk, jazz and rock, pop and funk.

Trevor Pinnock OBE is known the world over as an outstanding harpsichordist, conductor, recording artist and pioneer of the early music revival. With performances famed for their passion, energy and flare, Trevor returns to Sheffield on Sunday 1 March 2015 and to the city where he recorded his Gramophone Classical awarded rendition of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos. He also makes a welcomed return to the University of Sheffield where he received his honorary doctorate in 2005.

The Sacconi Quartet will also showcase the works of two giants of Nordic music born 150 years ago: Carl Nielsen (Denmark) and Jean Sibelius (Finland) on Tuesday 14 April 2015.

Concerts’ Producer Stewart Campbell said: “Inspired by images of breath-taking natural beauty, and the anniversaries of two outstanding composers, the Nordic theme that permeates the season allows us to explore a number of diverse musically rich cultures.

“With internationally acclaimed performers, inspirational University of Sheffield research, collaborations with city partners, and education initiatives with schools in the region; this season is set to be an exciting and fascinating chapter in our offering as a Sheffield home for musical discovery and understanding.”

For tickets, or more information, visit

8 January 2015

University’s journalism department joins silent tribute to Charlie Hebdo attack victims

A minute's silence was held.Staff from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Journalism Studies have today (8 January 2015) joined a minute's silence to honour the victims of the Charlie Hebdo outrage in Paris.

The silence was called by the National Union of Journalists at 11am in response to yesterday’s apparent terror attack on the offices of the satirical magazine, in which 12 people died.

Members of the Department gathered on the steps of 9 Mappin Street to observe the silence, holding placards expressing solidarity with the Charlie Hebdo staff.

Joint Head of the Department of Journalism Studies, Professor Jackie Harrison, said: “The ability of journalists to undertake their work free of reprisal is central to a free press and attempts to stifle freedom of expression are a direct attack on the public's right to know.

"The murder of journalists in Paris isn’t an isolated incident and it is vital that work to protect journalists and to bring justice to those who threaten and attack them continues."

Professor Harrison is chairman of the Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFoM), a research centre based in the Department of Journalism Studies, which works to support journalists' safety and liberty.