News in brief

8 December

Royal Academy Fellowship for ‘outstanding’ energy researcher

An academic from the University of Sheffield has been awarded five years’ funding to advance their work in functional materials for energy applications by the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Dr Rebecca Boston, from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, was awarded the prestigious fellowship for her work, funded by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation.

Her research, in the area of nanostructured oxides for sustainable energy storage and recovery, is focused on creating functional ceramics for capacitors, thermoelectric generators, and fuel cell materials.

The Royal Academy of Engineering research fellowships are designed to advance excellence by encouraging the outstanding early career researchers to continue their work at the cutting edge of engineering developments and become future leaders in their field.

Dr Boston said: “I was extremely pleased to hear that I had been awarded a fellowship by the Royal Academy of Engineering. This distinguished award will allow me to focus on my research and will be a huge boost for my career.”

The University of Sheffield’s Energy 2050 institute is one of the UK’s largest energy research centres with world-class expertise in the area of energy storage – from materials and battery chemistry to testing facilities.

11 November 2016

Sheffield student’s Parkinson’s snap wins national award

A PhD student from the University of Sheffield has scooped a national award after capturing a striking image of pioneering Parkinson’s research.

The winning image

Scientist Karla Robles Lopez, from the University’s Department of Neuroscience, won the Picturing Parkinson’s annual research image competition which celebrates the beauty and art of research into the degenerative disease. It is thought Parkinson's affects 127,000 people in the UK.

The winning photograph depicts the trial of TIGAR which researchers believe may be involved in some genetic forms of the condition – however its role remains unknown.

All scientific research comes with no promises of success and Karla’s image - which shows a section of brain tissue where the TIGAR protein has been stained - represents years of painstaking work.

Picturing Parkinson’s is held in memory of scientist Dr Jonathan Stevens, a research supporter who was passionate about making research accessible and easy to understand. He communicated progress to inspire other people with Parkinson’s.

For more information about the Department of Neuroscience please visit Neuroscience

View the top 10 images from the 2016 Picturing Parkinson’s image competition

For more information about Parkinson’s please visit Parkinson’s UK

19 October 2016

Sheffield residents can take a tour of the globe during international language festival

Students at the University of Sheffield are giving members of the public a chance to try out a selection of 17 languages from across the globe in a single afternoon.

Spanish, Tamil, Luxembourgish, Cantonese and Urdu are among the diverse languages on offer during 50-minute taster sessions at the International Languages Festival – part of Sheffield Students’ Union’s World Week.

The event on Sunday 23 October 2016, from 1pm-6pm, will see students from different cultural backgrounds teaching a selection of languages including Russian, Farsi, Mandarin and Esperanto.

Ana Popa, International Officer at Sheffield Students’ Union, said: “The International Languages Festival is more than an opportunity to learn the basics of many languages in a day - it is a cultural journey from one country to another, from one continent to another.

“It is also a showcase of our diverse community and it sends across the message that, despite our language barriers and differences, we can find similarities in our communications. This ability to communicate in more than one language, even just a phrase - to understand and to learn – is the main trait that makes us all global citizens. We are international.”

The International Languages Festival is in its seventh year and is part of World Week – an annual celebration of the cultural diversity at the University of Sheffield. The Students’ Union’s official partner and sponsor is the British Esperanto Association, which founded the festival in France in 1995.

Tickets for the festival cost £2 and are available at the Students’ Union Box Office or online at

23 September 2016

From Sheffield to Broadway: researcher advises on 60th anniversary production of My Fair Lady

A researcher from the University of Sheffield has been recruited as an advisor in a landmark production of the Broadway musical My Fair Lady.

Dr Dominic McHugh from the University’s Department of Music has been advising the production team during their preparations for the 60th anniversary performance of the musical, directed by Dame Julie Andrews, which is a reconstruction of the original 1956 Broadway staging.

Dr McHugh was asked to work as an advisor after discovering lost songs from musical, which were then performed in public for the first time in 59 years during a production at the University of Sheffield last year.

The special 60th anniversary production is now being staged in Australia at the Sydney Opera House until November.

Understudies in the Opera House production sang seven of the lost songs and Dr McHugh appeared on a panel to discuss the musical alongside Tony Award winner Christopher Gattelli, who is the choreographer for the production. The panel was chaired by Emily Altman, President of the Frederick Loewe Foundation.

Dr McHugh said: "It was a dream come true to go and meet Julie Andrews and see the energetic work of the team at the Sydney Opera House behind this unique production. The Australian audience loved the opportunity to hear the 'lost songs' too, and it was an honour to be able to share a project that was such a special event in the life of the University in 2015."

5 September 2016

Olympic silver medallist returns to University

Olympic silver medalist Bryony PageOlympic silver medalist Bryony Page returned to the University of Sheffield last week (2 September 2016) to thank staff who supported her during her studies.

Trampolinist Bryony graduated in 2015 with a first in Biology from the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences.

She returned to Sport Sheffield at the University to thank those staff that supported her throughout her studies and training.

Bryony was a recipient of a scholarship from the University’s Elite Sports Performance Scheme which gave her financial support towards training and travel to competitions as well as mentoring and access to facilities.

Andy Cox, Director of Sport Sheffield said: “We are so proud of Bryony’s achievements at Rio. She is a fantastic role model for our students involved in sports at all levels, whether that’s our elite athletes or sports club members.”

More info on the Elite Performance Scheme:

21 July 2016

Pioneering university lab opens its doors for charity

Researchers funded by the Bone Cancer Research Trust will be offering a behind the scenes lab tour at the University of Sheffield on Saturday 23 July 2016.

The Bone Cancer Research Trust, which is the leading charity dedicated to fighting primary bone cancer, is working with the Sheffield Sarcoma Research Group (SSRG)at the University of Sheffield to open up a research laboratory for the morning, with talks from oncologists and researchers also on offer.

The SSRG is made up of clinicians and non-clinical researchers working together to better understand the causes of soft-tissue and bone sarcomas, to identify new prognostic markers and to develop new therapeutic approaches.

Dr Alison Gartland, Reader in Bone and Cancer Biology from the SSRG, said: “We are passionate about finding ways to cure and treat patients with this devastating disease, and funding from the Bone Cancer Research Trust is vital for that.

"It is also important to us at SSRG that we engage with both patients and fundraisers to let them know what we are doing and how their money is being spent! Opening the doors to our labs so that they can see exactly what we do is just one fun way to do that!”

Hannah Birkett, Research and Information Officer at the Bone Cancer Research Trust, said: “Primary bone cancer is a rare and brutal disease, and it can be very difficult for people to access the information they need as they navigate diagnosis and treatment.

It’s really important that the patients and families we support have the opportunity to find out more about the pioneering research being carried out to improve treatment options and quality of life and care.”

To book a press place for the morning, which runs from 10.30am until 1pm at the University of Sheffield, please email

21 July 2016

Superstar soprano’s three degree delight

Lesley GarrettSuperstar soprano Lesley Garrett CBE had double the reason to celebrate this week (18 July-22 July 2016) as both of her children graduated from the University of Sheffield.

The talented opera singer, recording artist and broadcaster was awarded an honorary degree for music from the University in 1997 and is now delighted to see her children, Chloe and Jeremy Christian, follow in her footsteps.

Jeremy graduated on Tuesday (19 July 2016) with a 2:1 degree in Computer Science and Chloe will be awarded her degree in Psychology on Thursday (21 July 2016) after also achieving a 2:1.

Proud mum Lesley was the former principal soprano with the English National Opera and has performed across the world in a number of operas and many major sporting events.

“I am so incredibly proud of both Jeremy and Chloe and all they have achieved. This is a wonderful week of celebration for them and their friends,” said Dr Garrett.

“Sheffield holds a special place in my heart as my grandfather lived and worked in Sheffield and used to play the piano with a small orchestra at cinemas around the region.

“My father, who started his working life as a railway worker, finally became a headmaster in a Sheffield school – it was his determination to better himself that inspired me to become an opera singer.

“I am also delighted to have my own honorary degree and it is wonderful that the University and the city now hold very special memories for all three of us.”

20 June 2016

University honoured by Sheffield Young Carers

​The University of Sheffield was one of five organisations honoured by Sheffield Young Carers with a 'Caring for Carers' Award during Carers Week 2016.

The award was given to acknowledge and thank the University for its commitment to helping young carers in the city.

Carers Week is an annual awareness campaign which takes place to celebrate and recognise the vital contribution made by the UK’s 6.5 million carers.

The award winners were invited to a ceremony organised by the Carers Centre in the Lord Mayor's Parlour on Thursday 9 June 2016, where they were presented with their awards.

The event was also attended by a number of adult carers from across the city who had nominated professionals who had made a special difference to their lives.

Emily Ansell and Kate Smith from the University of Sheffield’s Student Services were nominated on behalf of the University. The award ceremony was the climax of a week of awareness raising events at the University, with staff and student Carer Champions encouraging everyone to ‘take a break with cake’.

An information-giving morning was held and the University’s Champions ran a cake stall in the Students' Union.

“It's a huge honour for us to accept this award”, said Kate Smith, Outreach Officer at the University of Sheffield.

“Emily and I represent a fantastic team of individuals here at Sheffield from the Outreach team, Student Transitions and Support and the Finance Team. Together we enable young carers to access higher education and support student carers to manage and succeed in their studies once they get to university. For example, our 2016 bursary of £4,500 for each year of undergraduate study can be used to reduce tuition fee costs or help with respite care.

“We also work very closely with our partners at Sheffield Hallam University and wonderful charities like Sheffield Young Carers and the Carers Centre to show that together, we care for carers.”

To find out more about the support offered at the University of Sheffield email: