News in brief

29 April 2016

Bus tour of schools to highlight higher education options to students begins

BusA three-month tour of more than 40 schools, colleges and community centres across the region has kicked off this week involving the University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University and Further Education Colleges.

The HEPP&CO Outreach Bus will be on the road travelling to schools throughout the Sheffield city region delivering inspirational and engaging activities to highlight the vast array of opportunities available in higher education to young people.

HEPP&CO is collaboration between universities and colleges funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, and is part of the Higher Education Progression Partnership, which has been working with schools in the region since 2012.

The tour is supported by the University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam and six local colleges: Doncaster, University Campus Barnsley, Dearne Valley, Chesterfield, Rotherham and Sheffield. The tour, which started at Barnsley College, is running until mid-July, and will provide impartial and independent advice and information to students in years 9-12 about higher education.

James Busson, Head of Outreach and Widening Participation at the University of Sheffield, said: “The HEPP&CO bus allows us to spread the message about the benefits of Higher Education, and the wide range of options available across the region, directly to prospective students in their school or college. By providing access to impartial information and advice, prospective students can start to make an informed decision about their future and their journey to Higher Education.”

Alex Bairstow, HEPP&CO programme co-ordinator based at Sheffield Hallam University, added: "Our custom bus allows us to invite students to participate in different activities themed around helping them to understand their options after school or college, raising their horizons and ensuring they know what they can do now to prepare for their future.

"We want to show young people the vast range of opportunities they have, locally and nationally, and ensure that they are considering their futures now."

For more information, including a list of schools being visited, please visit www.heppco.org.

21 April 2016

Queen awards South Yorkshire companies with University links

Five South Yorkshire companies linked with the University of Sheffield have received a Queen's Award for Enterprise - the UK's highest accolade for business success.

The Floow, co-founded by Professor Fabio Ciravegna from the Department of Computer Science, has brought telematics into the mainstream and work with leading insurance companies such as Direct Line Group.

Aldo Monteforte, co-founder and CEO of The Floow, said: “The Queen’s Award for Enterprise provides invaluable recognition and an opportunity to highlight the benefits of telematics to our growing client base.”

The other award-winners 3Squared, AESSEAL, Polypipe and Gripple are all members of the Sheffield Universities' Managing Directors' Club. The club provides a forum for regional business leaders and key academics to exchange knowledge and ideas for future partnerships, supporting innovation & growth in the Sheffield City Region.

21 April 2016

Honour for promoting Catalan language and culture

LouiseA society led by an academic at the University of Sheffield has been honoured for its exceptional work promoting Catalan language and culture.

Dr Louise Johnson, Reader in Catalan and Spanish at the University’s School of Languages and Culture, accepted a Pompeu Fabra prize on behalf of the Anglo-Catalan Society at an award ceremony in Barcelona.

The Pompeu Fabra prizes are awarded every two years to entities, companies and individuals for their work in projecting and disseminating Catalan.

The Anglo-Catalan Society was the recipient of one of six awards for its work promoting Catalan language and culture in Great Britain and Ireland.

The Society was founded in Oxford in 1954 by Catalans resident in the UK – some of whom were exiles from Franco's repressive dictatorship in Spain – as well as academics and Catalanophiles.

Dr Johnson accepted the award on behalf of the Society from the Catalan Minister for Culture, Mr Santi Vila.

She said: “This is a tremendous honour for the Society, for members and friends, who each do their bit in organizing conferences and events, translating lectures, editing articles for our journal and website, and keeping our social media feeds up to date.

"It was a special pleasure for me to accept the award because Sheffield itself has a long and important tradition of supporting the study of Catalan, and former students have themselves become academics working in the field. I’d like to extend my thanks to all of them too, and of course to the Catalan government, for recognizing our contribution. It means a lot. ”

The awards remember Pompeu Fabra, Catalan philologist, engineer, and modernizer of the Catalan language, which at the beginning of the twentieth century was benefiting from the rise of political Catalanism following centuries of repression and censorship. Fabra founded the renowned Philological Section of the Institute for Catalan Studies.

For more information about the Anglo-Catalan Society, visit: http://www.anglo-catalan.org/

14 March 2016

The UK banking sector and the corporation tax surcharge

The latest British Political Economy Brief by the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI) considers the impact of the changes to taxes on banks made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Budget in July 2015.

It specifically focuses on the introduction of an 8 per cent corporation tax surcharge on bank profits and a reduction in the Bank Levy.

The new research brief, by SPERI Doctoral Researcher Adam Barber and Policy Research Officer Tom Hunt, presents analysis of the impact of the new surcharge on three categories of banking institutions: the big global banks headquartered in the UK; building societies; and new 'challenger' banks. It looks at the rationale used to make the bank tax changes and in doing so raises questions about the purpose and proportionality of taxes levied upon banks in the UK.

SPERI’s research, based on analysis of 2014 bank results, estimates that challenger banks and building societies will pay a higher surcharge rate as a proportion of their overall balance sheet than the biggest global banks based in the UK. The biggest banks will make the biggest surcharge contributions but the new findings suggest that small and new challenger banks are right to be concerned about the fairness and proportionality of the surcharge, and whether it will undermine diversification and greater competition in the UK banking sector. The Brief contributes to ongoing debates about whether, over eight years on from the global financial crisis, the restructured UK bank tax regime has become more favourable to the interests of the biggest banks.

The Brief can be downloaded here.

4 March 2016

Discover the secrets of science at Discovery Night

Back by popular demand for a fourth year, Friday 11 March 2016 sees Discovery Night return to the University. The event will include science demonstrations, hands-on activities, and talks based on research in science, engineering and medicine.

Budding young scientists will be able to pull on a lab coat and try their hand at a number of exciting experiments and there will also be an opportunity to tour the labs, see research robots in action, walk on custard, and try some liquid nitrogen ice-cream.

Everyone is welcome to the free event which is on from 4pm-8pm in Firth Court and in the Alfred Denny Building. No booking is required.

Last year’s Discovery Night attracted 2,000 people and this year’s event is expected to be just as successful.

Discovery Night is part of British Science Week 2016 - a fortnight-long series of events bringing science to life and inspiring the next generation of scientists. The national event kicks off on Friday 11 March and includes 155 events in schools and colleges across the region, along with 37 free public events in the city’s universities and museums.

23 February 2016

MP praises University’s pioneering health research

MP Paul BlomfieldPioneering health research at the University of Sheffield which is helping to shape government policy and create life-changing assistive technology has been recognised by MP Paul Blomfield.

The Sheffield MP was given a unique insight into the ground breaking work being conducted at the University’s School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) and Centre for Assistive Technology and Connected Healthcare (CATCH) during a visit to campus last week.

Established in 1992, ScHARR is one of the largest and most dynamic schools of health research in the UK tackling some of the world’s biggest health challenges to improve the health and care.

Research areas which have positioned ScHARR as a leader in its field include; the Sheffield Alcohol Policy Model, urgent and emergency care reviews, health economics and informing decision making.

After his visit Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield, said: “I was impressed by the breadth and depth of the research at ScHARR and will be working with the team there to help ensure that their work informs policy making.”

Mr Blomfield also visited CATCH which is researching, developing and implementing new technologies to enable people to live well and age well.

CATCH is helping to empower people to have choice and be able to self-manage their conditions through the use of technology.

To find out more about ScHARR please visit https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/scharr

For more information about CATCH please visit http://www.catch.org.uk/

18 February 2016

New funding to improve crop protection

P3Scientists from the Plant Production and Protection (P3) Centre at the University of Sheffield have been awarded £1 million from the Wolfson Foundation.

The funding will be used to establish a state-of-the-art facility for selecting crop varieties that express durable resistance to pests and diseases.

The P3 Centre aims to stimulate development of sustainable agriculture by taking world-class fundamental research to the farm field and solving many of the challenges currently faced in the agri-food sector, for example the necessity to increase agricultural output while simultaneously increasing its sustainability and resilience of crops against climate change.

The new Wolfson Foundation funding will allow the P3 Centre to further invest in its disease phenotyping facilities, including new microscopy equipment, state-of-the art DNA sequencing equipment and mass spectrometers for high-throughput analysis of plant metabolites.

Professor Jurriaan Ton, co-director of the P3 Centre, said of the Wolfson Foundation funding, “The P3 Centre is at the forefront of the advancement and application of phenotyping (characterization) of disease-resistant crops. With this phenotyping platform, we aim to accelerate genetic selection schemes for disease-resistant crop varieties and develop new treatments that can prime the immune system in existing crop varieties."

“This new equipment funded by the Wolfson Foundation provides us with the technological capacity to identify specific biochemical, physical and genetic markers of disease susceptibility and/or resistance in crops. We will work in close partnership with crop breeding enterprises to select more resistant crop varieties that require fewer pesticides for the control of pests and diseases."

15 February 2016

Cutting edge medical research ideas at the University of Sheffield receive massive boost

The Medical Research Council (MRC) is accelerating innovative research at the University of Sheffield with new funding which will take ground breaking ideas into industry and out to patients.

The funding, announced today (15 February 2016) by Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson, will see the University of Sheffield receive more than £600,000 in total.

The award is part of three different funding initiatives, set up by the MRC to specifically target different innovation needs including helping universities to seize interdisciplinary ideas at the earliest stage by supporting their investment in concepts that can be high-risk as well as high-potential.

Professor Chris Newman, Faculty Director of Research and Innovation at the University of Sheffield, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded £510,000 in partnership with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and Sheffield Hallam University.

“This new award will allow us to build upon our success in previous rounds of CIC funding, which since 2012 has supported more than 30 projects, leading to two new spinout companies and leveraged £4 million of new research funding.

“A further award of £125,000 in the second round of the Proximity to Discovery Scheme gives our researchers a unique opportunity to develop their ideas in partnership with industry at the earliest stage, which will further accelerate the testing and implementation of new treatments and other healthcare innovations.”

The MRC is awarding £23 million in total to UK universities which will encourage exciting science and help to form collaborations.

Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson said: “This £23m fund provides invaluable support to help develop new ideas into the drugs and methods that will help save and improve lives.”

14 January 2016

AMRC Training Centre opens its doors to help potential apprenticeship recruits

More opportunities are opening up for young people interested in a career in engineering to earn while they learn at the award-winning AMRC Training Centre.

The Training Centre, which is part of the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing, is starting to recruit apprentices for the March 2016 intake.

Apprenticeships are available in a range of engineering skills and business administration, which could lead on to University studies, combined with Higher Apprenticeships in a range of subjects.

As part of the recruitment drive, the Catcliffe-based Training Centre is staging an apprenticeship open event from 4:30pm to 6:30pm on Tuesday 19 January, which will offer young people who are considering an apprenticeship an ideal opportunity to find out more.

To book a place at the AMRC Training Centre open event, email info@amrctraining.co.uk or call Vicky Cardwell on 0114 2224445.

For more information, visit: http://www.amrctraining.co.uk/event-details/apprentice-open-event-10.

11 January 2016

National Park leader and renowned family lawyer honoured by University

The leader of England’s largest National Park, a lawyer who revolutionised family and child law, and one of the UK’s most distinguished architects, are some of the outstanding individuals to be honoured by the University of Sheffield this week (from Wednesday 13 January to Friday 15 January 2016).

Richard Leafe, Chief Executive of the Lake District National Park Authority, is being awarded an honorary degree by the University in recognition of his exceptional leadership, which has seen him balance the interests of the Park’s 41,000 residents with 16 million annual visitors within a landscape of immense national and international significance.

Mary Hayes, Emeritus Professor and leading family lawyer, is being honoured for her high academic standing and contribution to family law. Mary authored the standard text on family and child law covering some of the most profound and difficult issues facing the legal profession.

Also being awarded an honorary degree is Bob Adams, a distinguished architect planner and senior partner of the UK’s longest-established architectural practice, Hadfield Cawkwell Davidson. He also undertook major roles in architectural and planning education in the UK and was instrumental in the establishment of the University’s Faculty of Architectural Studies – which is now the Faculty of Social Sciences - and in particular the setting up of its Department of Urban Studies and Planning.

Richard, Mary and Bob are among six esteemed recipients to be awarded honorary degrees this week. They will be honoured alongside thousands of students who will be celebrating their graduation and joining a community of University of Sheffield alumni which reaches more than 180 countries across the world.

The University is also awarding honorary degrees to the following recipients:

• Aileen Adams
• Tilli Tansey
• Chas Sims

For more information on graduation at the University or to watch a live stream of the ceremonies please visit: http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/graduation/watch

17 November 2015

New plaque marks 150 years of Jessop Hospital

A new plaque has been installed at the former Jessop Hospital for Women on Leavygreave Road to mark the 150th anniversary of the founding of the original Sheffield Hospital for Women on Figtree Lane in 1864.

Jacqueline Labbe and Edward FlemingThe University-funded plaque was revealed by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Arts and Humanities, Professor Jacqueline Labbe, and Edward Fleming, President of the Sheffield Rotary Club, in a special ceremony this week.

“The University is delighted to support this important recognition of the building’s heritage,” said Professor Labbe. “A full refurbishment of the building was completed in 2008 and it now provides a fantastic home to our Music students and staff.”

Plans for the new plaque began to develop after John Parsons, a former Senior Lecturer in Medical Physics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, wrote to the University suggesting a new plaque to permanently mark the 150th anniversary, which took place in 2014.

“There had previously been a plaque on the building but this was no longer in place,” said Dr Parsons. “Having worked in the building for many years myself, I felt it was such an important part of the city’s heritage that it was vital that this was permanently recognised and I was delighted when the University agreed to help.”

The University worked alongside Sheffield Rotary Club, who are responsible for organising the Heritage Plaque scheme in the city, to make the plaque a reality.

Edward Fleming, President of the Sheffield Rotary Club, said: “The Heritage Plaque scheme is nationally recognised and provides a real opportunity for us to mark some of our most important heritage buildings – but we do depend on sponsorship to pay for the plaques themselves, so it’s been great to have the support of the University in helping us to make this happen.”

The plaque has been installed to the right of the main door on Leavygreave Road – in the same place as the original plaque.

Guests attending the ceremony – many of whom had worked in the Jessop when it was still a hospital - were also invited to tour the building.