Page 1

The Magazine for Alumni and Friends June 2012

manchester Sophie Raworth î‚ťe headline act Archaeologists dig deep Alan Turing master code breaker Party pieces


University News


Continued success for graphene 8 Manchester wins University Challenge


Free legal advice


Meet Sophie Raworth


Graduation ceremonies – your memories


Manchester’s archaeological finds


8 Continued success for graphene More exciting breakthroughs

The Northern Way – leading the nuclear renaissance 22 Rising tuition fees – softening the blow


The best student parties


New treatment for strokes


Alan Turing remembered


Student television


Alumni in the spotlight


An interview with Sir Terry Leahy


Outstanding Alumni Awards


Alumni news


Development news


Your Manchester extras



10 Manchester wins University Challenge The University has become the champion for the third time in seven years

30 Alan Turing remembered Meet Sophie Raworth Follow Sophie’s journey

Your Manchester is published by the Communications and Marketing Division in conjunction with the Division of Development and Alumni Relations, The University of Manchester.

Celebrating his birth centenary


For further information concerning any of the articles in this issue please telephone +44 (0) 161 306 3066 or email The articles printed here, to the best of our knowledge, were correct at the time of going to press. We cannot guarantee that all articles submitted will be printed and we reserve the right to edit material where necessary. Furthermore, the views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of The University of Manchester, The University of Manchester Alumni Association, or the Editor. Front cover image courtesy of BBC©


youR mancheSteR magazine

16 Graduation ceremonies Alumni from different generations share memories of this once-in-a lifetime experience

Student television Read about The Magic Roundabout and other cult classics

Welcome to your manchester W

elcome to the latest edition of Your Manchester, which offers us another opportunity to share with you the latest news about the University and we hope prompt some happy memories of your own time here in Manchester. The University has had a very eventful year. As many of you will know, we won University Challenge earlier this year – the 50th anniversary year of the programme. We also won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for our achievement in more than doubling annual overseas income over the last six years and the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for our applied research and skills training for the nuclear industry. These public accolades provide a good illustration of the University’s growing reputation and global significance. That point is emphasised by our improving performance in the “Academic Ranking of World Universities” carried out every year by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, where we rose six places to 38th position – a rise of some 40 places since the merger in 2004. A key component of the University’s success is the quality of education and wider experience that we offer to all who study here. The results of the National Student Survey (NSS) across the University are very variable, but we acknowledge that with an overall satisfaction score of 79 per cent, there is more that we need to do to improve our performance at an institutional level. To this end, we have established a new Directorate of Student Experience to bring together all of the professional and support services for students, we are redesigning the way some courses are delivered and we are appointing new staff to increase the numbers available to teach on some courses. We are also directing significant further investment into new lecture theatres, laboratories and student study facilities. In September, we will launch our University College, which aims to improve the educational experience of our students by enabling them to

study a range of interesting courses from across the University alongside their main degree subject. Our new Manchester Doctoral College (MDC) aims to optimise the research experience for postgraduate research students and supports the University’s research strategy by helping to develop the careers of excellent researchers. As well as nurturing our own young talent, we are in the process of recruiting around 100 new lecturers and professors – and are attracting interest from some of the brightest minds and most distinguished scholars from across the world.

determine our ambitions and future plans provides a very clear signal to the wider world that we intend to continue to be an ambitious university that will invest in its future success. We want our 250,000 graduates around the globe to play a key role in shaping and delivering that ambitious future success and this magazine and the associated websites provide many examples of how you can contribute to our work and get involved. Thank you for your continuing support for the University.

Over the past year, we have been busy identifying our priorities for the next decade. These now form our Manchester 2020 strategic vision, which has been enthusiastically endorsed by the Board of Governors. Our challenge now is to put in place the operational plans to ensure that this vision becomes a reality. The fact that we have found time during a very uncertain and fast-changing higher education environment to recruit new staff and discuss and

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell President and Vice-Chancellor youR mancheSteR magazine


University news

Queen rewards Manchester twice It has been a winning year for the University. Manchester received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in April 2011 and it was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education for its work in the nuclear industry (carried out by the Dalton Nuclear Institute) in November 2011. The Queen’s Award for Enterprise is the most prestigious corporate award for British business. This Award, in the International Trade category, was secured for the University’s outstanding achievement in more than doubling annual overseas income between 2004 and 2010 to £93 million. The Queen’s Anniversary Prize recognises and celebrates the outstanding work the UK higher and further education sector does and the impact it has on society. The Dalton Nuclear Institute is made up of 100 academic staff and more than 300 research staff and students. It provides world-leading applied research to support government, regulators and industry in the delivery of safe and secure nuclear energy, both in the UK and globally.

Remains of Manchester tube system unearthed


mysterious space underneath Manchester’s Arndale shopping centre has been identified as the initial stages of a long forgotten underground railway through the city centre. According to Dr Martin Dodge, Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at the University and Richard Brook from the Manchester School of Architecture, the ‘void’ was the beginnings of a station intended to be part of a 2.3 mile-long route. The space – forgotten for decades and closed off to the public but rediscovered by the two lecturers – is under Topshop about 30 feet below the surface and was built to link the Arndale to the new station. A new book containing architects’ drawings and previously unseen maps of the ‘Picc-Vic’ tunnel formed part of a recent special exhibition that was curated by the two academics in Manchester. The exhibition showed how Manchester was a stone’s throw away from a brave new world of helipads, multiple urban motorways, tunnels and moving pavements.


youR mancheSteR magazine

The proposals for Manchester’s tube railway advanced over 20 years and culminated in the receipt of Parliamentary powers in 1972 and formal plans to commence construction works in September 1973, with a target completion date of 1978. Three underground stations were planned: below the Central Library, Whitworth Street and a brand new station under the junction of Market Street and Cross Street to serve the Arndale Centre and the surrounding commercial area. The mainline train stations of Piccadilly and Victoria would have been connected for the first time, whilst moving walkways, also in subways, would have joined Piccadilly Gardens, St Peter’s Square and Oxford Road station. Richard Brook said: “The infrastructure grant application was eventually turned down in August 1973 by John Peyton, Minister for Transport Industries,” who said, “there is no room for a project as costly as Picc-Vic before 1975 at the earliest.” As we know, the scheme was never completed.

Image courtesy of Getty ©

Olympic round-up Mike Rock


anchester graduate Mike Rock (LLB Law 2010) has booked his place at London 2012. At the Olympic swimming trials in London, the British record holder made it through in the 100 metres in a time of 52.02 seconds. Mike was British Champion from 2008-2011 in both the 100m and 200m Butterfly. In the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, he won a Bronze in the 200m Butterfly event. He famously beat Michael Phelps at the ‘Dual in the Pool’ event in Manchester in 2010. First-year Speech and Language student, Blaire Hannan, has been nominated as a Torch Bearer by Bristol City Council for achievements in competitive sailing after suffering from a rare neurological and muscular condition called Dystonia, which has left her wheelchair bound. It is also in recognition of her work with Bristol Sailability, a voluntary organisation which

enables young disabled people to participate in the challenging sport of sailing. Blaire is set to be the last person to carry the Olympic Flame, for the one-mile journey from Benjamin Perry’s pontoon at Redcliffe to the Millennium Square in Bristol. Meanwhile, the Manchester Aquatics Centre has been chosen as the official training camp for the Australian Olympic Swimming team, in the run up to the London 2012 Olympic Games. Swimming Australia, one of the world's biggest and most high profile swimming teams, has signed a longterm deal with Manchester City Council, which will see them train at the Manchester Aquatics Centre, in preparation for at least three major competitions until 2014. The Brazilian Paralympic squad have confirmed that they will use the Sugden Sports Centre as their preOlympic training camp. The

Blaire Hannan squad will use The University of Manchester sports facility for eleven days in August to prepare for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The centre will be used for wheelchair fencing, sitting volleyball and boccia. Other Olympic events across the campus have included Sport and Culture United

which took place in March at the Armitage Centre in Fallowfield. Over 360 school children from 12 local schools took part and more than 100 student volunteers delivered the event. The project has been awarded the Inspire Mark by the London 2012 Inspire programme which recognises

innovative and exceptional projects that are directly inspired by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Also, Jodrell Bank took part in the London 2012 Torch Relay as a host location for people to welcome the Olympic flame.

youR mancheSteR magazine


University news

University climbs further in global ranking The University has improved its world ranking in 2011 by climbing to 38th place in a globally respected league table. Manchester is now ranked sixth in Europe, and fifth in the UK. Since 2004, continued improvement in the Shanghai Jiao Tong Academic Ranking of World Universities has been one of the University’s main benchmarks for success, central to the pursuit of the Manchester 2015 Agenda. The University has made steady progress in the rankings, from 78th in 2004 to this latest high of 38th. The President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, said: “Manchester is now tantalisingly close to realising the vision mapped out by my predecessor, Professor Alan Gilbert. Although we are already planning well beyond 2015, this is an important milestone in our continuing journey towards becoming one of the top 25 universities in the world, and it is a tribute to the outstanding staff here at Manchester.” The University of Shanghai Jiao Tong compiles its annual list by ranking the 500 leading universities in the world, using criteria such as the number of Nobel Prize winners, the number of research papers published in leading journals and various other academic achievements relative to a university's size. Harvard University in the USA is at the top of the rankings.

Body clocks may hold key for treatment of bipolar disorder Manchester scientists have gained insight into why lithium salts are effective at treating bipolar disorder in what could lead to more targeted therapies with fewer side-effects. Bipolar disorder is characterised by alternating states of elevated mood, or mania, and depression. It affects between 1 per cent and 3 per cent of the general population. These ‘mood swings’ have been strongly associated with disruptions in circadian rhythms – the 24-hourly rhythms controlled by our body clocks that govern our day and night activity. For the last 60 years, lithium salt (lithium chloride) has been the mainstay treatment for bipolar disorder. Lead researcher Dr Qing-Jun Meng, from the Faculty of Life Sciences, said: “Our study has shown a new and potent effect of lithium in increasing the amplitude, or strength, of the clock rhythms, revealing a novel link between the classic mood-stabiliser, bipolar disorder and body clocks.”


youR mancheSteR magazine

First Alan Gilbert Memorial Scholar arrives


he first Alan Gilbert Memorial Scholar, Joseph Murenzi (pictured), has arrived at Manchester for a masters degree in Engineering Project Management.

The Alan Gilbert Memorial Scholarship was established to honour the memory of the University’s former President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alan Gilbert, who personally led the development of the Equity and Merit Scholarship programme. This programme offers talented students from developing countries the chance to study for lifechanging Masters training programmes that are not available in their home nations. The Alan Gilbert Memorial Scholarship is awarded to the most outstanding student from Africa in each academic year.

“Being the very first scholarship holder is a great honour. alan gilbert was a great man who believed in the important role that education can play in transforming lives.”

Prior to coming to Manchester, Joseph worked as a Civil Engineer in charge of Public Investment (infrastructure) in a new unit in the Rwandan Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. Upon completing his studies and returning to Rwanda, he will rejoin the team and will be working on a substantial project to build a new international airport.

On receiving the scholarship Joseph commented; “Being the very first scholarship holder is a great honour. Alan Gilbert was a great man who believed in the important role that education can play in transforming lives. This scholarship will develop my skills significantly and hopefully thereby help to fulfill Alan’s dream.”

The University continues to welcome gifts large and small from those who wish to mark the life and achievements of Alan Gilbert towards the Alan Gilbert Memorial Fund, a permanent endowment which will see the continuation of an annual award to at least one African student per year.

New centre for inflammation research In May last year, the University, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and AstraZeneca announced the creation of the Manchester Collaborative Centre for Inflammation Research (MCCIR), a unique collaboration to establish a world-leading translational centre for inflammatory diseases. The project starts out with an initial investment of £5 million from each partner over a three year period. The collaboration of the University with two UK-based leading pharmaceutical companies brings together scientists from both the pharmaceutical industry and academia to work together on inflammation research and translational medicine. The ultimate goal of all three partners is the translation of research findings into new and improved treatments, which could potentially benefit the millions of people worldwide affected by diseases associated with chronic inflammation, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.

Smart way of saving lives in natural disasters


martphones could help save hundreds of thousands of lives in the aftermath of a disaster or humanitarian crisis.

Software developed by computer scientists could help to quickly and accurately locate missing people, rapidly identify those suffering from malnutrition and effectively point people towards safe zones simply by checking their phones.

Photo by: Keystone USA-ZUMA / Rex Features ©

It is hoped the smartphone technology, the REUNITE mobile and platform, developed by Dr Gavin Brown and his team members Peter Sutton and Lloyd Henning, from the School of Computer Science, could not only save lives but could also ease the financial and emotional burden on aid organisations. Dr Brown said: “Our results have demonstrated that mobile intelligent systems can be deployed in low-power, high-risk environments, to the benefit of all involved. “We believe the refugee aid community will be a strong beneficiary of such technology over the next few years.”

Firefighters take part in the rescue work in landslide- hit Zhouqu County, China

Implant jab could solve back pain

Health boost for Manchester

University scientists have developed a biomaterial implant that could finally bring treatment, in the form of a jab, for chronic back pain.

Researchers are celebrating after securing £12.5 million of Government funding for clinical research in the city.

Chronic lower back pain is a major problem for society – behind only headaches as the most common neurological ailment. It is estimated that back pain affects 80 per cent of people at some point in their lives.

Three leading hospital trusts, working closely with the University, have been awarded the money to carry out research into many of the major diseases and illnesses that affect the population of Greater Manchester and the wider North West.

A cross-faculty team working with microgel particles have developed a fluid which can be injected into a damaged invertebral disc. The fluid is then capable of transforming into a durable, elastic gel that should be able to restore the mechanical properties of the disc permanently. This is a significant improvement on a previous version that did not have the necessary long-term durability required for an implanted device. Dr Brian Saunders, lead researcher, said: “Our team has made a breakthrough through innovative materials design that brings the prospect of an injectable gel for treating degeneration of the intervertebral disc a step closer.” This work has been funded by the EPSRC and was recently awarded Proof-of-Principle (PoP) funding by The University of Manchester Intellectual Property Limited (UMIP).

Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trusts will use £5.5 million funding to support studies on arthritis, psoriasis, depression, addiction and diabetes. The Christie NHS Foundation Trust will use £4.5 million funding for early-stage trials of cancer treatments. And University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust will use £2.5 million funding for early-stage trials of treatments for lung diseases such as asthma and also food allergies. Professor Ian Jacobs, Dean and Vice-President of the University’s Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences and Director of Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC), believes the success of the bids reflected the scale of expertise in conducting clinical trials in Manchester’s NHS organisations and the University at MAHSC.

youR mancheSteR magazine


Graphene update

Last year, your manchester proudly reported the success of our two physicists, Professor Andre Geim and Professor Konstantin Novoselov, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics for their pioneering work on graphene. There has been huge interest and excitement since then – so what exactly has happened over the last year?

graphene – the rapidly rising star T

he pioneering pair were knighted in the 2012 New Year Honours for services to science – a reflection of their stature in the scientific world. And they have been very busy continuing to uncover new properties of graphene that could revolutionise the computer industry.

Ground-breaking research in the past years has shown how graphene has taken the next step to becoming a replacement for silicon, how it can be ‘sandwiched’ together to make computer chips and even how it can be used to distil vodka.


youR mancheSteR magazine

In October 2011, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne visited the University and announced a £50 million investment for research into graphene. The announcement was part of a £200 million investment into UK science. Now, the University has been invited to submit proposals for £38 million, which will form a large part of the world-class National Graphene Institute. The investment will help establish the UK as a graphene research and technology hub, funded through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), that will lead to the rapid

commercialisation of graphene technologies in the UK.

The National Graphene Institute will offer access to specialist facilities and equipment which will simulate manufacturing processes.

Great progress is being made on unlocking graphene’s secrets too. Researchers have now found that graphene is superpermeable with respect to water and could even be used for distilling alcohol. Our scientists studied membranes from a chemical derivative of graphene called graphene oxide.

News Photo by: Alex Macnaughton / Rex Features ©

Graphene oxide is the same graphene sheet but it is randomly covered with other molecules such as hydroxyl groups OH-. Graphene oxide sheets stack on top of each other and form a laminate. The researchers prepared such laminates that were hundreds times thinner than a human hair but remained strong, flexible and were easy to handle. When a metal container was sealed with such a film, even the most sensitive equipment was unable to detect air or any other gas, including helium, leaking through. It came as a complete surprise that, when the researchers tried the same with ordinary water, they found that it evaporates despite the graphene seal. Water molecules diffused through the graphene-oxide membranes with such a great speed that the evaporation rate was the same whether the container was sealed or completely open. “Helium gas is hard to stop. It slowly leaks even through a millimetre-thick window glass but our ultra-thin films completely block it. At the same time, water evaporates through unimpeded. Materials cannot behave any stranger,” comments Professor Geim. “You cannot help wondering what else graphene has in store for us.”

Professor Konstantin Novoselov

Professor Andre Geim

Dr Rahul Nair, who was leading the experimental work, added: “Just for a laugh, we sealed a bottle of vodka with our membranes and found that the distilled solution became stronger and stronger with time. Neither of us drinks vodka but it was great fun to do the experiment.” Graphene’s bid to become a replacement for silicon has also taken a huge step forward. Graphene was thought too conductive to be used with computer chips but using graphene vertically and combining it with other chemical compounds reduces its conductivity. Graphene got the Royal seal of approval, too, when in February 2012 His Royal Highness The Duke of York visited the University. Prince Andrew was given a tour of the graphene laboratories by Professor Andre Geim, and had the chance to make graphene himself under the microscope. The graphene research community constantly engages the public and alumni in the exciting world of graphene research, through various events and activities. In May 2011, alumni had the chance to come and listen to Professor Geim speaking at the Annual 2011 Cockcroft Rutherford lecture. There have been exhibitions at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition and at the Manchester Science Festival and the ‘Graphene Roadshow’ titled, Graphene: Unexpected Science in a Pencil Line, is available to be presented by our experts at science festivals across the UK and overseas. If you would like to find out more about Graphene research at Manchester, please send an email to or visit

Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, pictured at the graphene lab

What is graphene? Graphene is a two-dimensional atomic crystal – think about it as chicken wire, just one atom thick. When you stack layers of it on top of each other millions of times it creates the three-dimensional substance graphite, like you would find in pencil ‘leads’. The problem until now has been how to isolate single layers of graphene – many had believed that a substance as thin as that would be too unstable to exist. Professors Geim and Novoselov solved the problem using regular adhesive tape. Graphene is the strongest known material (even stronger than diamond!) and has a range of special properties. As a conductor of electricity it performs as well as copper, and as a conductor of heat it outperforms all other materials. It is almost completely transparent yet it is so dense that even the smallest gas atom, helium, cannot pass through it. The researchers went even further by isolating monolayers of many other substances, thus introducing a conceptually new class of materials: two-dimensional atomic crystals.

youR mancheSteR magazine


University challenge

Rising to the challenge

University Challenge winners; Paul Joyce, Luke Kelly, Michael McKenna and Tristan Burke, with Stephen Pearson from the Library


youR mancheSteR magazine

Manchester wins the final of University Challenge again!


he University has won this year’s University Challenge TV quiz, having beaten Pembroke College, Cambridge in a close-fought final.

The four-man Manchester team had previously seen off Worcester College, Oxford in the semi final to set up the dramatic showdown. More than 120 teams entered this year's televised contest, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2012.

University Challenge winners, 2012

The Manchester team is made up of Luke Kelly, studying History, Michael McKenna, second year Biochemistry, Paul Joyce, doing a masters degree in Social Research Methods and Statistics, and their 22-year-old captain Tristan Burke, studying English Literature. The team is coached every year by Stephen Pearson, a University librarian, who has enjoyed considerable success with University Challenge, having captained the team himself in 1996. Manchester has dominated the competition in recent years, under Stephen’s tutelage, lifting the trophy in 2006 and 2009, and finishing runnersup in 2007. Each year Stephen selects the best candidates to put together a new team. He said: “There is always a lot of enthusiasm every year; we have at least 50 people each year who compete to join the team.”

University Challenge celebration event, 23 April 2012

The team’s remarkable achievement was recognised with a celebration event at the University on 23 April, hosted by the President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell. During the evening, they took on a team made up of current University representatives including the Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Rod Coombs, UMSU General Secretary Letty Newton, Registrar, Secretary and Chief Operating Officer Will Spinks, and Janine Watson, Chair of the Alumni Association. The four contestants were invited to a special presentation to receive the trophy from the Duchess of Cornwall at Clarence House, a special event to mark the contest’s 50th anniversary. The team enjoyed a private tour of the building, along with St James’s Palace and the Royal Chapel. The University has actually had two teams in the competition recently after a team of four Manchester graduates took part in a special Christmas edition of University Challenge on BBC2. Hosted by Jeremy Paxman, the usual teams of students were replaced by teams of graduates from some of the country’s top

University Challenge champions special with Manchester graduates

universities. The University of Manchester team was made up of our Chancellor Tom Bloxham, TV presenter and poker player Liv Boeree, art critic Waldemar Januszczak and writer and broadcaster Steve Hewlett.

Despite winning its first round match against the University of York, the intrepid team did not progress any further in the competition, as it notched up the lowest winning score.

youR mancheSteR magazine


Social responsibility

e University’s Legal Advice Centre supports people with problems who have nowhere else to go

making a difference he Legal Advice Centre (LAC) is a pro bono clinic run by the School of Law offering students a chance to give people free, reliable, confidential advice – supervised by experienced legal practitioners. It is one of the University’s six social responsibility flagships which highlight the difference staff and students are making in local communities.


from law companies across the region. “It satisfies lawyers’ pro bono ethic, helps them get back to basics and breeds a strong relationship with our students,” she says. Now in its twelfth year the Centre is run by dedicated coordinator Anne Greenhough, and sees two to three clients every week day, referred by other law centres, Citizens Advice Bureaux, community websites or the Centre’s promotional activities.

The Centre was established in 2000 in the University’s Shopping Precinct by the School’s Director of Clinical Legal Education, Dinah Crystal. Having experienced many sobering cases as a practising solicitor, Dinah wanted to establish a free high street service which would help people with problems while also providing in-the-field law training for future lawyers. She worked with the College of Law and national pro bono charity Law Works to get the Centre started.

Dinah monitors all case requests and students receive full training before being placed on a rota to see clients, alongside a supervising lawyer with prior notice of the case. Second-year, third-year and postgraduate students interview each client in pairs and, following a de-brief with their supervisor, research the case using the Centre’s facilities. Upon approval by Dinah, they then advise each client on their legal position, and the next steps they might take.

Together with Deputy Director Neil Allen, Dinah attracted London lawyers Clifford Chance and (more recently) local firm, Hill Dickinson, as sponsors, and around 40 volunteer supervisors

The Legal Advice Centre engages with a diverse range of communities to provide reliable legal advice and its reach is growing all the time. In October 2009 a second branch, with its own


youR mancheSteR magazine

dedicated administrator, opened in The Settlement Community Centre in East Manchester, a regeneration area where significant numbers of residents require affordable legal advice. LAC students have established a law society to try and reach other communities which are underrepresented on their client list, such as Manchester’s Afro-Caribbean groups, and discussions are underway for a satellite centre at the city’s Wai Yin Chinese Women’s Society. Students from the Centre have pledged to provide one day each month at Manchester’s Civil Justice Centre - one of the largest and busiest in the country - helping to deal with specific client groups and manning a drop-in centre, while firstyears on the ‘Street Law’ programme regularly visit local schools, colleges and institutions to give presentations on legal rights. The Legal Advice Centre has even established international links, with 16 students now visiting the Singapore Law Society each year to work in its pro bono departments. “This kind of work helps diverse communities and people enjoy doing it, it

e Legal Advice Centre is one of the University’s six social responsibility flagships which highlight the difference staff and students are making in local communities. Here is an outline of the other projects:

Volunteering Students and staff from across the University carry out a huge amount of volunteer work, ranging from the Sports Volunteer scheme, which works with communities to support engagement with sporting activities, through to acting as School Governors and raising funds for many charities.

Equity and Merit Scholarships

gives them the feeling they’re done something worthwhile,” says Dinah, who was awarded the OBE in 2008 for her drive to establish pro bono work in the School of Law.

These assist talented, but economically disadvantaged international students. The scheme was launched in Uganda in 2007 and has been extended to Rwanda and Bangladesh. So far 311 students have benefited from the scheme.

The Manchester Museum and Whitworth Art Gallery run a programme called ‘Valuing Older People’ which aims to encourage older people to take part in cultural and learning activities. A great example is the ‘Reminiscence Programme’ which takes Museum objects into residential homes, day units and community centres across the region.

The Centre also has an important role helping vulnerable clients with issues they might find hard to discuss, as they develop relationships of trust with the advisors. In its first year, the Centre was awarded the Quality Mark for General Help from the Legal Services Commission, and its work has been endorsed by Baroness Scotland, Cherie Blair, Lord Goldsmith and Michael Mansfield, one of the country’s best known lawyers. “The Centre helps our students put something back into the community and put the law into practice, and it gives them new ways of looking at problems which helps them academically,” Dinah says. “Our drive to retain clients, build our reputation and function financially builds their sense of commercial awareness, and they learn teamwork and respect for clients and colleagues. And with many law firms now undertaking compulsory pro bono work, the experience is invaluable on their CVs.” Professor Aneez Esmail, Associate Vice-President for Social Responsibility, Equality and Diversity comments: “Social responsibility is a key goal for the University, equal in emphasis to research and learning. What we do through our social responsibility agenda makes a huge difference to the lives of thousands of people.”

Valuing older people

Manchester Access Programme (MAP) MAP targets local sixth formers from less privileged backgrounds and supports them to progress into higher education, whether here at Manchester or elsewhere within the UK. Since it began in 2005, 380 MAP students have been successful in gaining a place at Manchester with others going to universities including Cambridge, Imperial and UCL in London.

Jodrell Bank outreach A wide range of activity takes place at Jodrell Bank to bring science to life for everyone from our students to local schoolchildren. Examples include the new Discovery Centre, regular ‘Meeting the Scientists’ events and the Jodrell Bank Live music festivals.

youR mancheSteR magazine


Sophie Raworth

The headline act BBC news presenter Sophie Raworth (BA Hons French and German 1991) took time out – while in make up ahead of the one o’clock news – to reminisce about her days as a language student in the 1980s madchester era

rowing up in and around London, Sophie said she decided to study in the North of England to broaden her horizons: “I wanted to experience a different part of the country and as it turned out Manchester was a fantastic city to live and be a student in. So much was going on, it was fun, full of life and I really loved it,” she says. “And everything was so much more accessible than in London.“


Memories of peeling lino, dodgy gas fires and damp mildew-ridden terraced houses notwithstanding, Sophie has nothing but fond memories of her time at the University and the Madchester scene of the late 1980s - she was a regular at the Hacienda and at Rusholme’s famous curry houses. Beginning her student life living at Whitworth Park, she moved out and enjoyed living with friends during her second year, particularly returning home after lectures to cosy up watching Neighbours on TV with a packet of Hobnobs. She worked for the student newspaper and, in the holidays, topped up her going out funds by working as an office temp and in bars. As part of her French and German course Sophie spent a year teaching English to teenagers in Toulouse: “I went to Toulouse in France and spent the year teaching English in a secondary school on the outskirts of the city. I loved it. The job was hard work but it was the best way to master the language. Then I spent a couple of months in Berlin trying to improve my German. That was a lot harder.” After graduating, Sophie joined the BBC’s regional training course before taking a job at Greater Manchester Radio. Shortly afterwards she moved to Brussels and used her language skills to become Europe reporter for the regions, before returning to Leeds a year later


youR mancheSteR magazine

Photo courtesy of Sophie Raworth ©

to work on BBC Look North. It was here that Sophie first presented the news, as well as continuing to report and produce it. She was to prove immensely popular with the viewers. Next was a job on BBC Breakfast news in 1997, co-presenting the show four days a week. She also anchored the programme from Los Angeles on Oscars night, from Israel, and from Washington during President Clinton’s impeachment trial. Sophie also presented a number of BBC specials, including playing a major role in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations presenting alongside David Dimbleby and getting a makeover from Trinny and Susannah ahead of a BAFTA appearance.

Pictured with Susannah Constantine (r) and Trinny Woodall (l), 13 April 2003

Photo courtesy of Sophie Raworth ©

Photo by: Julian Makey / Rex Features ©

With Dermot Murnaghan, 2002

Photo by: Rex Features ©

Photo by: Jonathan Hordle / Rex Features ©

Running the marathon, 20 April 2012

Sophie’s graduation, July 1991

Sophie presented Crimewatch Roadshow on BBC1 on weekday mornings and in May 2009 she presented The Trouble with Working Women with reporter and father-of-three Justin Rowlatt. The series must have been close to her heart as a mother of three, daughters Ella Rose and Georgia Grace, and son Oliver. Sophie married estate agent Richard Winter in 2003 and has managed to balance her career with family life, which she intends to continue to do. But she also finds time to take on important charity work. She won much support for completing the 2011 London Marathon – despite collapsing through dehydration two miles from the finish. This year she ran the marathon on behalf of St John Ambulance, which she thankfully

completed without incident! She also took to the dance floor with dance partner Ian Waite and other BBC presenters for the special Children In Need version of Strictly Come Dancing. So had she always dreamed of a career in television? “I never for a moment thought I would be on screen,” she says modestly. “I was quite happy working as a producer and by some fluke of being in the right place at the right time I was asked to try out for the camera and ended up presenting Look North.” So what next? “I’m just going to keep at it because I’m having such a lovely time,” she says. “I really wouldn’t change a thing.”

youR mancheSteR magazine


Photo courtesy of MEN Š


Graduation, 1950s


youR mancheSteR magazine

Graduation, 2011

A degree of ceremony Most graduations go like clockwork, but not all go quite to plan......


t is the culmination of all those years spent toiling in the library and sitting through seminars and lectures. It is a grand and final farewell to education by many students... It is of course, the graduation ceremony.

And what an occasion it can be. The basic protocol of the ceremony has changed little over the decades, although each is unique in its own way. The procedure is as follows: a brief speech from the presiding officer, usually the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor or Dean, is followed by the presentation of degree certificates that are given in alphabetical order in a cascading order of seniority, so PhD students graduate first, followed by Masters students and so on, and although no hats are worn during the event they will be donned during the procession out of Whitworth Hall. Last year, 8,300 students graduated during the mammoth two week, four ceremonies a day bonanza in July with a further twenty ceremonies at Christmas.

So what could possibly go wrong? Well thankfully according to Mike Mercer who has been organising graduation since 1999, most run smoothly. And he confirms that while the protocol for all is the same, there are some ceremonies that turn out to be more memorable than others. “A few years ago the then Home Secretary Jack Straw’s daughter graduated and we had armed police everywhere because intelligence had been received that there might be a disturbance,” he reveals. “And there was a huge media presence for the graduation of Sammy Gitau, an overseas student who had found a Manchester University prospectus in a litter bin and had vowed he would come to study here. Then there was the law student last year who had been in a car accident and had been determined to come back in spite of severe injuries and walk across the stage to collect her degree. There was rapturous applause for her as well.”

The prevailing view of the graduation ceremony is a stiff and formal affair but students such as Norman Thomas (BSc Mathematics 1950) recall a much rowdier occasion. “If someone had an unusual name for example the students in the gallery would shout out and stamp their feet on the wooden floors. “I actually went to a graduation ceremony to see a member of my family graduate even before I attended Manchester. It was in 1947 just after the war and there was so much austerity that an event like a graduate ceremony was quite something.” James Haworth (LLB Hons Law 1949) recalls plenty of high jinx at his graduation, especially at the expense of a fellow student Eric Todd. “When his name was read out as ECE Todd the students on the balcony roared SWEENY Todd and accompanied it with festoons of toilet paper,” he recollects.

youR mancheSteR magazine


Graduation Extract from The Guardian, Saturday July 4 1931

Graduation, 1950s

More fun with names was experienced by Brenda Owen (BSc Hons General Sciences 1946) who recalls her brother’s graduation in 1943. “My brother, Roger Everatt was graduating BSc Engineering and the graduands were all seated but the rest of the Academic Procession was running late and the students were getting restless,’ she remembers. “Suddenly they burst into song; "Why are we waiting, O why are we waiting etc." to the tune of O come all ye faithful. This was quite amusing for the rest of us and when they had finished, the rest of the ceremony went according to protocol until the last of the graduands was called to the platform. “This unfortunate man was named W K Waiting and before he got to his feet the graduates erupted


youR mancheSteR magazine

into a repeat performance of their song! It was some time before the Dismissal could be called.” For some like David Hogg (BSc Hons Engineering 1952), the ceremony was really a bit of a bore. “Actually, the graduation ceremony in 1952 was a rather staid affair - in fact so staid I remember very little,”he says. “I suppose I got dressed up. My parents came, I was one of very few in the extended family who graduated, we went to lunch and that, really, was it.”

“A year later, going up to Manchester, undergraduates seemed rather silly people – but I could play hockey three times a week (never terribly well). Come graduation, the cap and gown ceremony appeared daft, and I refused to have my picture taken. A few months later, that seemed desperately ungrateful to my parents, so I hired a cap and gown and went to have my graduate portrait taken. Nicely posed, there was a great smell of burning – the gown was ablaze, sitting on a hot light bulb in the photographer's studio.”

And for Michael Walters (BA Hons Modern History with Economics and Politics 1962) it was a potentially dangerous experience.

For Adrian Williams (BA Hons Theology 1979, MA Economics 1984), the graduation ceremony of 1979 was a source of embarrassment that resonates still today, as he turned up to collect his degree in cowboy boots (well it was the 70s).

He takes up the story: “After three days working for a City insurance broker, the idea of going to university suddenly became a life-saver.

“Come graduation day my mother and father arrived and took me to get robed (ermine, no less!),”he recalls.

Graduation, 1991

Sammy Gitau with Dr Pete Mann, 2007

Graduation, 2004

Umer Butt with Vice-President and Dean, 2008

“Trouble was, no-one had told me it was a formal affair. Looking back, I can't believe how naive we all were, but I was wearing my usual casual cords, open necked collar-less shirt and cowboy boots.

But as a once-in-a-lifetime experience, most students feel they should do their bit, even if like Peter Cooper (PhD Chemistry 1969) they had to do it on crutches.

Ultimately though, the graduation ceremony for most students is a bittersweet occasion that they will remember for the times they had and the friends they made.

“My parents had no experience of anything like this, so although they were more formally dressed (as parents often were in those days) they didn't question my choice of clothes. It was only when I got into the robing room (and they, separately, sat in the hall) that I, and they, realised that everyone else was wearing suits or, at least, smart jackets and ties.

“I completed my PhD in October 1969, submitted my thesis on the required date and decided to play a final soccer game for chemistry research in the normal Wednesday afternoon faculty league,” he says.

Recent graduate Umer I Butt (BSc Computer Engineering 2006, MSc Communications Engineering 2008) says: “I was going to leave all my friends that day as I had to return back to my home after completion of my studies. I was happy as well as sad.”

“I suspect that most people in the hall thought I was carrying out some minor act of rebellion by being so obviously under-dressed. Truth was I was incredibly embarrassed. My parents, too. Over 30 years on, I still shudder.”

“Bad mistake, as I broke my leg quite badly and was in Withington Hospital for two weeks and left with a plate in my leg, in a full leg plaster and on crutches (the old wooden type) so I attended the degree ceremony still in plaster and on crutches and might be able to claim that I am one of a select bunch of graduates who had the pleasure of the Vice-Chancellor coming down the stairs to me (from the stage to the floor) to present the certificate.”

Thank you to all alumni who contributed to this article. Those not published here can be found on Your Manchester Online

youR mancheSteR magazine



It’s been a fantastic year for the University’s archaeologists, who have made a series of amazing finds at home and abroad

Buried deep in the soil... A

rchaeology Teaching Fellow Dr Hannah Cobb has been taking students to Ardnamurchan in the Scottish Highlands for six years. Though the site revealed a rich treasure of artefacts covering six thousand years of history, last year Hannah and her students found something incredible buried deep in the soil. The Viking sword was exciting, but when a beautifully decorated hilt, a spear, shield boss and ring pin were lifted, they started to suspect that this could be something special.

Dr Cobb added: “Over the years, Ardnamurchan has been an amazing opportunity for our undergraduate students to learn about archaeology at such an internationally important site. The Viking grave was just the icing on the cake.” Another discovery by a team from the universities of Manchester and York, which sent shockwaves through the archaeology world, was recognised by the Government in 2012. On the advice of English Heritage, Heritage Minister John Penrose announced that the early Mesolithic site of Star Carr, North Yorkshire, was to be made a scheduled monument.

It was. Further finds confirmed this was the very first, fully intact, Viking boat burial site to be discovered on the British mainland. The five metre-long grave contained the thousand-year-old remains of two hundred or so boat rivets; a high status Viking and his possessions which also included a knife, what could be the tip of a bronze drinking horn, a whetstone from Norway, a ring pin from Ireland and Viking pottery.

The team of Dr Chantal Conneller and Barry Taylor from The University of Manchester and Dr Nicky Milner from the University of York had discovered Britain's earliest surviving house. The 3.5 metres circular structure, they found, dates to at least 8,500 BC: so long ago that Britain was part of continental Europe.

When the news broke, Hannah and her colleagues at Leicester University, CFA Archaeology Ltd and Archaeology Scotland found themselves the centre of the world’s press – conducting interviews with major broadcasters and newspapers all over the world.

Dr Conneller said: “The welcome news that Star Carr is to be scheduled confirms its position as Britain's most important Mesolithic site and we are delighted that the finds from our excavations have increased our understanding of such an iconic site.

Dr Cobb, a Co-Director of the project, said: “Though we have excavated many important artefacts over the years, I think it’s fair to say that this year the archaeology has really exceeded our expectations.

“The discovery was so exciting as it changed our understanding of the first settlers to move back into Britain after the end of the last Ice Age.”

“A Viking boat burial is in itself an incredible discovery, but the artefacts and preservation make this one of the most important Norse graves ever excavated in Britain.” The site has yielded other riches over the years, including an Iron Age fort from between 2500 to 1500 years ago and a Neolithic chambered cairn.


youR mancheSteR magazine

Professor Colin Richards is one of the few archaeologists to excavate in the remote Pacific Island of Rapa Nui. The territory, known in English as Easter Island, has been the subject of intense debate by archaeologists ever since Westerners came across the strange red hat statues – or Moai. Professor Richards and his UCL colleague, Professor Sue Hamilton, have made huge strides in our understanding of these fascinating monuments - though much more is still to be

learned. “Some things,” says Dr Richards, “may never be known. A recent trip has disproved the fifty-year-old theory of Norwegian adventurer Thor Heyerdahl underpinning our understanding of how the famous statues were moved around the Island.” Heyerdahl believed that statues he found lying on their backs and faces near the roads were abandoned during transportation by the ancient Polynesians. But the team’s discovery of stone platforms associated with each fallen moai, using specialist ‘geophysical survey’ equipment, confirmed a little known 1914 theory of British archaeologist Katherine Routledge that the routes were primarily ceremonial avenues. The statues, say the

Dr Hannah Cobb, co-director of the Ardnamurchan Transitions Project, with a thousand-year-old Viking sword

Manchester and UCL team merely toppled from the platforms with the passage of time. In Syria, Dr Emma Loosley – an archaeologist based in the School of Arts, Histories and Cultures – helped solved the mystery of why one of Islam’s earliest fortresses dropped out of the historical record around 1,100 years ago. Dr Loosley was one of an international team of experts invited into the world-renowned Khanuqa Gap by the Syrian Department of Antiquities before its secrets – and 11,000 years of human history – are lost to a controversial dam project. Dr Loosley, who has been unable to return to Syria because of the current conflict, found that 1,100 years ago a fire raged through what was then

regarded as an impregnable fortress. Her work has also helped show that, contrary to popular understanding, the earliest Muslim expansion across the Middle East was largely peaceful and typified by coexistence with Christians. Much closer to home, Professor Siân Jones, Dr Melanie Giles and Dr Hannah Cobb, lead a yearly excavation shedding light on the rich Victorian and Edwardian heritage of the much loved Whitworth Park. Working closely with the Friends of Whitworth Park, Manchester Museum and other University partners, the project brings together University staff and students, local community volunteers and schoolchildren to investigate the old lake, pavilion and bandstand.

Professor Jones said: “Parks are an important part of the urban social environment informing people’s sense of identity, belonging and place. “By investigating the history of Whitworth Park, we aim to increase everyone’s awareness of the value of these wonderful green spaces in the heart of the city, and encourage people to become more involved in their future.” Dr Melanie Giles recently delivered a lecture to alumni talking about the Whitworth Park dig as part of the Your Manchester Insights lectures, see page 43. Find out more about archaeology at the University: archaeology

youR mancheSteR magazine


Nuclear energy

The Northern Way – leading the nuclear renaissance Ten years ago the British nuclear industry was in a state of seemingly terminal decline. Today, however, the North of England is poised to lead a global nuclear renaissance, which will see thousands of highly skilled jobs created in the region with new plants built in an industrial resurgence that could even help re-balance the UK economy


he Dalton Nuclear Institute, which in November was awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education, acts as the crucial link between business and education in the region. One of its subsidiaries, the Centre of Nuclear Energy Technology (C-Net) exists to support the nuclear energy industry in up-skilling the existing workforce, whilst ventures such as the Dalton Cumbrian Facility provide a focus for worldleading applied research. Through these organisations The University of Manchester is supporting growth and attracting business to the North. Yet in the middle of the last decade, no one would have predicted the turn of fortunes that the industry has seen over the last six years.


youR mancheSteR magazine

The catalyst for change began with a Government energy review in 2006 that highlighted the need to transform a sector dependant on everdepleting, imported fossil fuels and another review in 2008 which made a convincing case for increased use of nuclear power. Professor Tim Abram, Director of C-Net, said: “The latest economic survey that was done by the Royal Academy of Engineering had shown that far from being a very expensive way of generating energy, nuclear was now competitive and in fact a good deal cheaper than everything else available. “It was far more reliable and more predictable in the long term.” However it is manufacturing that has been key to the industry’s success. Professor Michael Burke, Director of Nuclear Manufacturing Technology Research Laboratory,

Students undertaking nuclear research

was lured away from his role at Westinghouse Materials Centre for Excellence in the USA by the potential in the North of England. “A significant conglomeration of industries that supports nuclear are in the North,” he said. “If you draw a map around the Peak District there is a big swathe of them and you can see where most of the industry is based. “Following the recently-announced partnership with France, I think you’re going to see some big contracts being let. You’re going to see jobs coming out.” Professor Abram is also enthusiastic about regional manufacturing, believing that it has the potential to sell internationally. “In China at the moment the reactor coolant pump casings for several units have on the side of them ‘Made in Sheffield’,” he said. “They are being supplied by Sheffield forge masters. It’s definitely the case that UK industry can even supply into China if the product is right and the price is right.” He also emphasises the ongoing production potential arising from new nuclear plants being built in the region. “Providing the fuel for those units is not just a one-off endeavour,” he added. ”It will go on

throughout the sixty year lifetime of those plants and all of that could be supplied from the UK.” He is also confident that growth in nuclear energy could play a crucial role in re-balancing the economy. Kevin Warren, Commercial Director of the Dalton Cumbrian Facility, described how this growth translates into employment. “The north-west of England is home to the UK's full nuclear fuel cycle and over half of the UK's nuclear workers,” he said. “The largest site in the UK is Sellafield in West Cumbria –it’s the base for around 15,000 workers. “Over the last ten years the outlook and opportunities for thousands of new highly-skilled jobs has improved dramatically.” However, the nuclear renaissance has not all been plain sailing. All three are in agreement that the disaster in March 2011 at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan has slowed down progress while the industry reflects. “We've been looking at the two designs proposed for new build plants to see if there are any changes we could make that would cause those plants to be substantially safer to any major seismic or flood event,” says Professor Abram.

“There was a very natural and necessary delay while we took on board lessons from Fukushima. But, having done that, I think we are back where we need to be in order to build new plants.” Looking to the future, the Government has listed eight sites which are suitable for plants to be built by 2025. By that point Mr Warren hopes to see more investment in nuclear fission research. He said: “Current investment stands at a small fraction of the peak levels seen during the 1970s and 1980s. In the next ten years I would also like to see the first new nuclear power stations on line supported by clear, well implemented policies. “Overall my wish would be to see the UK reestablish its position as a major international source of nuclear expertise and innovation, with a vibrant and sustained industry which supports long-term, well paid jobs.” Professor Abram added: “We are really poised for great things in the UK nuclear sector.” To find out more about the Dalton Nuclear Institute here at the University go to:

youR mancheSteR magazine


Student fees

Times have always been hard for university students. But the next generation of undergraduates will make an even greater financial investment than ever before

Rising tuition fees – softening the blow ast year, the Government's controversial decision to raise the cap on tuition fees three-fold to a maximum of £9,000 a year led to thousands of students taking to the streets in protest.


Some student leaders, top academics and politicians opposed to the changes argued that many students would simply opt out of studying because of rising fees. From September 2012, the new structure will be in place and the prospect sounds daunting. The average student debt on graduation is already around £23,000 and with fee loan repayments on top the burden may worsen considerably. The University of Manchester, however, is taking steps to soften the blow for those hardest hit by the changes. One of its flagship initiatives, the Manchester Access Programme (MAP), already offers support to talented students from disadvantaged backgrounds. It gives help to sixth formers meeting specific academic and background criteria and allows them to demonstrate their potential through workshops, a three-day residential conference on campus, online mentoring from current undergraduates and application guidance from university staff. All students who successfully complete the MAP programme benefit from individual support through the UCAS application process, and are given an annual bursary and an additional £1,000 scholarship per annum which is generously supported by our alumni community. Laura Stafford is currently studying nursing: “My scholarship meant I didn't have to take out a


youR mancheSteR magazine

loan and worry about being in debt at the end of my course. Also, having had no previous experience of university I was talked through the application process.” Another beneficiary is mathematics student Luke Monaghan: “The MAP scholarship has given me confidence at university and saves me from going into an overdraft so there's a lot less stress. “It helps me to make the most of being a university student, to be confident with my studies and encourages me to push myself to do really well!” The other good news is that Manchester is one of the highest-ranking universities for admitting students from the poorest backgrounds thanks to the number of scholarships and bursaries on offer. The current figures show that more than a third of students now receive financial help of up to £3,000 per year and many will be offered even more generous support, depending on their financial circumstances. Of course, life has never been exactly easy for those taking up a university place. Back in the 1950s, Peter Smith (BA Hons Economics 1955) was eking out his modest grant with trips to the pawnbroker. “I had a small grant each term from the Kent Education Committee. It never lasted. Invariably I had to rely on a prized possession, a magnificent Zeiss Ikon camera which I had bought at a bargain price during National Service in Singapore. Without fail, the camera went to the pawnbroker around the end of each term, to be retrieved at the start of the next.” These days, 75 per cent of students rely on parttime and temporary jobs to boost their income, with around a third working during term-time and

half during the holidays according to the National Union of Students. Past generations also took on vacation work to bridge the gap. In the early 1960s, Robin Marshall (BSc Hons Physics 1962, PhD 1965) stretched his maintenance grant of £260 a year with holiday jobs. “It was the equivalent of around £4,800 today. That paid for rent, books, food, and two pints of beer a week. But it did not see me through vacations. “I came from a very poor background and there was absolutely no possibility that my widowed mother could contribute even a penny to my University education. Even staying at home during vacations was a strain on resources. “I managed income during all three vacations by essentially pestering and being prepared to work in muck. Over Christmas, I became a relief postie. In the longer vacations, I was a tallyman at the local woollen mills, weighing yarn spun by the Italian girls. They all looked like 19 year old Sophia Lorens

otherwise were pretty skimpy. Our lifestyles were adjusted accordingly, with most students only going out for a pint or two one evening a week and perhaps to a university dance on a Saturday. We were still suffering from wartime shortages, too, and it was quite difficult to get hold of cigarettes and even the books we needed for the course." Most of today's students will have to rely on their families for support. Around 59 per cent get help from their parents and 29 per cent say that without it they would not be able to afford to go to university. With the new fees in place, The University of Manchester is keen to get the message across that there is still help out there for those who need it and is to invest another £16 million a year to ensure talented students don't lose out. Jayne Charnock (BSc Hons Anatomical Science 2006, PhD Bio-Medicine 2010) received an alumni-funded scholarship to study for her PhD research into stem cells placenta therapy to help babies born with growth restriction problems. She now works in the School of Bio-Medicine and also sits on The University of Manchester Alumni Association Advisory Board

Photo by: John Powell / Rex Features ©

“I really could not have done the PhD without the scholarship. It put me in a position where I was earning the equivalent of a wage which meant I could continue the research and not worry about getting into any more debt. As it was, I still had an undergraduate loan to pay back of £12,000 and I know that for today's students it is likely to be a lot more. “But there is money there and the University wants to give it to those who need it most. It's all about asking for advice and getting the support which is out there." Julian Skyrme is Head of Undergraduate Recruitment and Widening Participation, charged with keeping the University accessible and affordable for undergraduate students.

and an itinerant nun followed them everywhere. I never got to even speak to one of them!

books were picked up second hand and passed from one year to the next.

He remains optimistic about the future for all students, whatever their background:

“In other vacations, I worked in the village tannery, pushing trollies of finest thin leather, bound for Milan fashion houses but still soaking in noxious fluids."

“I frequently walked in to the University – we tended to live a frugal life, which was part of being a student.”

“Many people like me benefited from a system of grants and no tuition fee costs. Despite the changes, the long term trends in applications show more young people than ever are choosing to progress into university because they perceive the benefits to outweigh any costs.

Carolyn Jones (BSc Hons Zoology 1970, MSc 1971, PhD 1976) recalls her Spartan diet and frugal lifestyle on a £360 a year grant. “My parents used to send me the odd pound, and I had some savings from my six years working as a lab technician. We wore duffle coats, jeans and scarves and I lived on sausage and beans and such like in the Refectory. “My first flat cost £4.50 a week which was considered dear, but sharing a house was cheaper and in my final year I lived in a shared attic flat in Clyde Road, Didsbury, for £1.30 a week each! “I bought a bed, chairs, table, chest of drawers and desk for £10 from Johnny Roadhouse. Text

In fact, there have only been two decades in the history of UK higher education where going to university was free for most students – the early 1960s to the early 1980s. Before then, scholarships were means-tested and grants often tiny by the standards of the day. Families who could chipped in to help. Sybil Hodgson (BA Hons French Studies 1949) won a State Scholarship to study here in 1946. “My elderly grandmother, who really only had her meagre state pension to live on, used to send me 10 old shillings (50 pence) every two weeks and an uncle sent me £2 a month. I was comfortably off by comparison with many friends who were on local education grants. Our fees were paid but the grants

“They will certainly pay back more and be paying back for longer, but during their time here there is a lot of support from both the Government and universities themselves for students entering higher education from 2012. There are no upfront costs and graduates only repay once they earn more than £21,000 per annum.”

Thank you to all alumni who contributed to this article. Those not published here can be found on Your Manchester Online youR mancheSteR magazine


Student parties

Work hard, play hard Parties are what happen when some of the finest brains in the land decide to have a night off...


y day, your time in Manchester will undoubtedly have centred around academic endeavours. But when the sun goes down, university life is all about the friends you meet… and the parties where you meet them. For the majority of students, university digs will form their first home after flying the family nest, and that can bring an incredible sense of excitement and freedom – no parents thumping on the ceiling with a broom, no call for lights out.


youR mancheSteR magazine

John Moore (BSc Hons Chemistry 1942) recalls being “bombed whilst drinking in the Student Union” – an experience familiar to many contemporary students, only these bombs were courtesy of the Luftwaffe rather than WKD, sending John and his friends “dashing to air-raid shelters.” Post-War, Patti Neale (BSc Hons General Science 1949, TD Education 1950) mentions the foxtrots and waltzes of the university’s single sex halls, dressed in borrowed furs and an evening dress worked from “an old yellow net bridesmaid's dress.” The staging of Strictly Come Dancing against a backdrop of austerity may be more familiar to current students and, of course, the overarching subplot to student parties has also remained throughout – in the platform they provide for friendships and relationships to blossom.

Sheila Griffiths (BSc Hons History 1957, MA 1985) remembers the Guy Fawkes parties at Ashburne Hall, “waiting for the first signs of flaming torches and songs, as Hulme and Dalton men came down the drive” while Christine Kypriotis (BA Arts 1954) recalls a party in a parents’ home, where “the boys put on a silent mime show on the garden lawn (no disturbing of neighbours), while the girls hung out of the bedroom window to watch.” As the sixties swung into view, society’s cravat loosened a little. According to Hans Hefti (MSc Textiles 1963) there were three standard questions: “Where is the booze, where is the bathroom and where is the bedroom?” The answer may well be with Leonard A Ellis (BSc Hons Physics 1966, PhD 1970) who recollects legendary parties in two adjacent houses on Wilmslow Road. At one they provided “72 gallons of beer,” which “lasted from Friday till Sunday” and perhaps, not surprisingly, resulted in some

Photo by: Image Source / Rex Features ©

house, lovingly named Howard the House” – where one water fight transmogrified into “liquid Armageddon.” As the landlord was due to visit, the soaking carpet was hastily pulled up and left to dry on the garden shed – the perfect plan – until they tried to fix it back down: “Something to do with physics or chemistry,” Stephen ponders, “but the carpet was significantly smaller than the room. Either the room had expanded or the carpet had shrunk.” Obviously Howard the House hadn’t been fitted with magical Inspiral Carpets.

Young Ones-style antics: “The sight of the sofa going through the front window of 571 Wilmslow Road is one I'll never forget.” The psychedelia of the late 60s begat, perhaps, the apparent surrealism of 70s parties. Helen George (BSc Hons Pharmacology 1976), sustained on a telly diet of “Magic Roundabout, Wacky Races and Rhubarb and Custard,” still remembers a wake for a dearly departed goldfish: “The bowl bearers had the goldfish in its bowl, balanced on a wardrobe door. There was a slow procession across to Ashburne Hall pond, where a selection of readings was taken from someone's engineering manual, before slithering the fish into its final resting place.” A party needs a theme and the student party staple would seem to be fancy dress – either pyjamas, or the togas so beloved of the American frat house. An alarming number of themes also seem to involve water fights or, more worryingly, makeshift explosives (Helen, again: “extremely good silly fun… but probably rather dangerous”). On matters aquatic, Stephen Brightman (BDS Dentistry 1981) fondly remembers their house in Moss Side – “a typical shabby but functional

Through the unfolding generations we never conceive our parents could have had as much fun as us. We continue to be wrong. As Helen George remarks, “my son is now 18, and I just hope he has as much fun at uni as I did.” Helen, he’ll have quite a job… By Simon A Morrison (MA Novel Writing 1997)

As well as a theme, a party needs a soundtrack. Helen (who is starting to sound more fun by the second) recalls the nightly “corridor parties” fuelled on “cheap Château Dubious,” and her roommates at either end of the corridor with identical Dansette record players: “Emerson Lake and Palmer’s Tarkus was the most popular,” she says. “They used to cue up the album, shout ‘one, two, three… Go’ and drop the needle on the record at the same time. Et voilà… stereo!” This story’s most recent alumnus - Matthew Valentine (LLB Hons Law 2008) - demonstrates the elastic potential of the humble “house” party. It helps, of course, that Matthew’s was a ninebedroomed pile in Moss Side, christened Parkfield Manor, which allowed for the formation of a pubcrawl entirely within the confines of the house. “Each room had 30 minutes to provide drink and entertainment,” he details, with a beverage to be consumed in each bedroom. “We played croquet in one room and hockey in another; we had Mastermind, and I did my own version of the Weakest Link. In a wig.” From the weird to the wonderful, the sober to the surreal, these fabulous eulogies to the student party illustrate how Manchester is not merely home to some of the finest brains in the land, but the most spirited of hearts, and resilient of livers.

Thank you to all alumni who contributed to this article. Those not published here can be found on Your Manchester Online

youR mancheSteR magazine


Medical breakthrough Despite recent developments in stroke treatment, nearly a fih of people still die within 30 days of diagnosis. But new research has uncovered a medical paradox which may hold the key to better treatment and even prevention of stroke in the future

New treatments for

stroke S

troke is the third commonest cause of death and the leading cause of adult disability in the western world. In the UK, more than 100,000 people will have a stroke this year, and a third of them will be under the age of 55, with 1,000 under the age of 30. The incidence is as bad, or worse, in the rest of the developed world. Despite recent developments in stroke treatment that have greatly improved outcome, nearly a fifth of people still die within 30 days of diagnosis. The commonest cause of stroke is ischaemia (blood clot causing damage). Fifteen per cent of strokes are due to primary haemorrhage (direct bleeding into the brain), often due to raised blood pressure. Those who do survive a stroke are often seriously disabled and require long-term care. University of Manchester alumnus Derek Whitehead (BSc Hons Electrical Engineering 1952, MSc Science 1954), whose wife Barbara suffered her first stroke in 1999, has campaigned for improvements in the way stroke is initially treated. “Having lived in America in the 1980s, I had heard about the use of rapid brain scans and thrombolysis as a treatment for stroke and started campaigning for its introduction in the UK in 2003,” said Derek. “For two years I was a voice in the wilderness, until I joined forces with the National Audit Office, which was complaining about the amount of money being spent on stroke with no significant benefit.” Derek, who was awarded the MBE in 2009 for his efforts, says the National Audit Office’s intervention led to the Department of Health establishing a team, of which Derek was a member, to write a National Stroke Strategy.


youR mancheSteR magazine

Working with Dr Pippa Tyrrell, a stroke specialist and senior lecturer at the University, they worked out a plan for the management procedures for stroke treatment in conurbations – a plan which has now been introduced nationally and is known as the ‘hub and spoke’ system. Derek added: “From my personal point of view, I have tried to change the tragedy of Barbara’s illness into a triumph for the many and, to date, some 10,000 stroke patients in the UK have benefited from the new treatment.” Barbara’s story is one that is all too common but there has been some progress in our understanding of stroke and how damage to the brain might be reduced, improving a patient’s chances of recovery. Researchers at the University, led by Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell and Dr Tyrrell have found a potential treatment for brain injury after stroke. Dr Tyrrell said: “We need to understand more about what happens in the brain after a stroke, as well as in the blood vessels supplying the brain, and how these changes contribute to tissue injury. If we could limit the devastating changes that result from stroke, we would reduce damage, disability and death. “Inflammation – a vital response of our body to injury – may paradoxically worsen the response to stroke in the brain. Over the last decade, our research has identified some of the key molecules that cause inflammation in the brains of stroke patients and we have begun testing new treatments to block these molecules in patients.” Within the injured brain, cells called microglia, along with white blood cells that enter the brain from the blood, are the initial conductors of the inflammatory response. Following injury, microglia

cells become activated and release a series of molecules called cytokines and other molecules that promote white cell recruitment. The cytokine interleukin-1 (IL-1) seems to be a key player in brain injury in response to a stroke or haemorrhage. The effects of IL-1 can be prevented by a naturally occurring blocker, IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra). This blocker is used clinically in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and is safe and available for use in clinical trials.

The research team has been developing better experimental models of stroke that more closely mimic what happens in people. The scientists have shown that there is more brain inflammation and damage after stroke in patients who are obese, have diabetes or a high fat diet. These inflammatory changes in the blood vessels and in the brain are caused by IL-1 and prevented by IL-1 blockers. The studies used advanced brain imaging scans called positron emission tomography (PET) to allow the team to examine animals and people at risk of a stroke. Both showed the same changes in inflammation in the brain, suggesting that reducing inflammation, especially the effects of IL-1, might prevent a stroke as well as reducing its damaging effects. “Our parallel laboratory and clinical studies have also shown that blocking IL-1 with IL-1Ra reduces the levels of inflammation in the blood and in the fluid bathing the brain,” said Dr Tyrrell. “Parallel clinical and experimental studies are continuing in stroke, subarachnoid haemorrhage and intracerebral haemorrhage, developing better preclinical models in which to test our hypotheses. “We are about to start a MRC funded study of IL-1Ra in subarachnoid haemorrhage and hope to obtain funding for further definitive studies in stroke. In Manchester we have a unique collaboration between biologists and doctors which allows us to take findings from the lab in to patients. We have the opportunity to develop a treatment that would save lives and reduce disability in people with acute stroke and subarachnoid haemorrhage as well as a better understanding of what predisposes some people to stroke, with the potential for preventative treatment.“

Image by: Zephyr/Science Photo Library ©

Dr Tyrrell continued: “We have shown in the laboratory that the volume of damaged tissue is reduced when IL-1Ra is administered, either at the time of the stroke or up to three hours afterwards. This protection is present when the drug is given directly into the cerebral ventricles, into the blood or into the tissue under the skin. By contrast, when IL-1 is administered directly in an experimental model, or the body’s own IL-1 is

Derek’s story Derek, who is featured in this article, first met Barbara at a dance in 1949. He was in his first year at The University of Manchester studying Electrical Engineering. Barbara joined Derek at the University the following year to study Physics and their relationship developed. In 1952, during Barbara’s final year and Derek’s postgraduate studies, the couple got engaged on the top floor of the University’s Christie building in what was the science reference library at the time.

increased after infection, the size of the stroke is greater and the outcome much worse.

The couple married in 1955 and during the course of a “wonderful marriage” had three children (all of whom became graduates).

“The effects of IL-1 are mainly due to white blood cells migrating through the lining, or endothelium, of blood vessels in the brain. IL-1 drives migration of a particularly harmful subset of white blood cells into the brain and these migrated cells are toxic to the brain’s nerve cells or neurons.”

In 1999, after a long flight at the end of a round-the-world tour, Barbara had a stroke that led to her losing her memory. In the period to 2003, she had four more strokes, resulting in total paralysis and the complete loss of speech. Barbara passed away in 2008.

youR mancheSteR magazine


Alan Turing

Alan Turing with two colleagues and the Ferranti Mark I computer in January 1951

Cracking the code Alan Turing, the brilliant computing theorist and code-breaker, worked at e University of Manchester from 1948 to his tragic death in 1954. e centenary of his birth on 23 June 1912 invites us to revisit his Manchester years


t Cambridge in 1937, the young Turing made his name by introducing the idea of a universal machine which could imitate all possible calculating devices, so defining ‘computability’. During the second world war, he was recruited to Bletchley Park, joining the astonishing collection of people who cracked the German wartime codes. But what of Manchester, where Turing worked for more than five years? His suicide properly attracts attention. Turing had lived in rather isolated institutions where homosexual relationships were sheltered, though illegal. In Manchester, where the University was part of the city, he found partners in town. When a friendship led to a burglary at his Wilmslow home, he told the police, and was charged with gross indecency. To avoid


youR mancheSteR magazine

imprisonment, he undertook a year-long treatment with female sex hormones. Another year later, he was found dead, poisoned by cyanide, apparently taken on an apple. The suicide tragedy should not overshadow Turing’s achievements in Manchester. Current historical work at the University aims to recapture the vigorous, multi-disciplinary intellectual environment in which Turing found himself. Some of the results will be on show during the summer; all will contribute to a long-term University Heritage Programme now underway. The post-war period in Manchester was an age of shortages but also of hope. Many of the plans that had sustained war-time morale were now being realised; the National Health Service is the bestremembered example, but higher education was also promoted. The University benefitted notably

from the skills, and sometimes the equipment, which staff brought from their war work. Max Newman, the new Professor of Pure Mathematics, had taught Turing at Cambridge and worked with him at Bletchley Park. Patrick Blackett, the head of Physics, had pioneered military ‘Operations Research’, the science of decision-making. Among the lecturers in physics was Bernard Lovell, who had worked on the secret radar project at Malvern; Lovell went on to develop radio-astronomy at Jodrell Bank, using war-surplus radar equipment. Also back from Malvern were the designers of the first Manchester computer: Frederic Williams, who headed the Department of Electrical Engineering, and his assistant Tom Kilburn, who directed the University’s subsequent computer projects. After Bletchley, Turing had been central to a computer design project near London, but it stalled. By the time he arrived in Manchester, the world’s first electronic stored-program computer was already operating here, created by Williams and Kilburn. Turing helped with programming, and from 1951 he worked in the annexe housing a new machine, developed with Ferranti, the local

Alan Turing

engineering firm. But he was not much needed as a computer developer. Instead, he became a remarkable computer user, exploring a range of original problems, many of which he shared with Manchester colleagues. Turing discussed growth and form with the botanist Claude Wardlaw, a specialist in plant development, and he ran computer programs to show how regular biological structures might be produced in simple systems. He talked thermodynamics with the physical chemists, who invited Ilya Prigogine, later a Nobel laureate, to debate the emergence of order in biological systems. When Turing claimed that machines could think, his local opponents in a national debate included the famous Manchester neurosurgeon, Geoffrey Jefferson, and Michael Polanyi, the physical chemist turned philosopher of science. The tragedy of Turing’s death is underlined by the originality of his contributions and the vitality of his context. Repressive attitudes which now seem so distant coincided with insights of astonishing prescience and continuing relevance. The techniques and debates of post-war Manchester helped shape our world. By Professor John Pickstone, Emeritus Professor, Advisor on University Heritage

Radiolaria: single celled animals whose striking symmetries were predicted by Turing’s theory of morphogenesis

e University of Manchester Heritage Programme The University of Manchester Heritage Programme has been created to raise the profile of the University’s remarkable histories and collections. It will help promote exhibitions and publications, lectures, guided walks and web resources. Follow its development on the University web site. The Alan Turing Centenary Conference, 22-25 June 2012 Alan Turing and Life’s Enigma, until 18 November at Manchester Museum. Combining Alan Turing’s notes with museum objects, this exhibition documents Turing’s investigation into how complex shapes and patterns arise in developing animals and plants. Tel 0161 275 2634; For all Turing events in Manchester see

youR mancheSteR magazine


Student television

Photo by: Sipa Press / Rex Features ©

Students and television In the age before satellite and digital television, when TV shows had wobbly sets and cult cartoons were classics in the making, students jostled for seats in the common room to watch favourites including crossroads and e magic Roundabout


ow that 24 hour access to hundreds of satellite channels is taken for granted, not to mention the internet, iPlayer and YouTube, it is almost impossible to imagine university life without the distraction of television. Today’s generation of students has unlimited opportunities to watch their favourite programmes, but the early days of TV were very much the preserve of the privileged few. Early BBC broadcasts of only four hours a day came to a halt in 1939 with the advent of the Second World War. When transmissions resumed in 1946, only 15,000 UK homes had a TV set. But all that changed in 1953.


youR mancheSteR magazine

Suddenly, millions of people wanted to see their young Queen crowned in what was to be the first-ever televised Coronation. The excitement was no less at The University of Manchester where space was at a premium around the impromptu screens on campus. Peter Barnes (BSc Hons Mathematics 1953) recalls: “Our graduation exams in 1953 overlapped with the Queen's coronation and a large TV screen was put up in the Union. It was a typical wet Manchester day and we cycled in to watch before returning back to digs to revise for our next exam.” The Coronation marked the real beginning of Britain’s love affair with ‘the telly’ and by the time commercial TV arrived in 1955 the nation was hooked.

Photo by: Everett Collection / Rex Features ©

Photo by: ITV / Rex Features ©

Double your money with Hughie Green Photo by: Daily Mail / Rex Features ©

Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, 2 June 1953

yogi Bear Show, 1960

– a long lasting affair However, small screen expectations of previous generations were rather lower than today’s. In 1957, the new Students Union had its first TV room installed. Bizarrely, it was cartoon characters like Huckleberry Hound and other Hanna-Barbera creations who enthralled the undergraduates.

The rather brasher delights of ITV and its American-style quiz shows gave some undergraduates the chance to be TV stars. Ergun Korkut (BSc Hons Textile Technology 1961, PhD 1964) hit the small screen in 1961 as a contestant in the immensely popular Double Your Money, with the legendary presenter Hughie Green.

Trail to go up to £1,000. I won £64, doubled and doubled again to £250. “Sadly, when I could not answer four questions in two minutes, I lost at the £500 stage. I gave the original £32 pounds I had won to Rag Week” Shows like Double Your Money were derided by sniffier critics who blamed ITV for lowering the intellectual tone of the nation.

James Lethbridge (PhD 1962), Tutor in Needham Hall from 1959 to 1962, recalls that the antics of Yogi Bear were a particular favourite.

“I was living in digs with an elderly couple and we could watch TV when they allowed us to join them in their sitting room.

“Students either rushed out from dinner in order not to miss an episode or hung back until the last minute before going in. Maybe it was because he was “smarter than the average bear!”

“I was thrilled to be accepted as a competitor.

Until 1964 there were only two channels, BBC and ITV, and however highbrow the programme, they were broadcast in black and white.

“You started with a pound and ‘doubled the money’ after getting a question right. You could win up to £32 and go home or enter the Treasure

By 1967 the University’s first colour TV had been installed in the Women’s Common Room. Cult favourites included the Magic Roundabout,

youR mancheSteR magazine


Student television Photo by: Chris Capstick / Rex Features © Daily Mail / Rex Features ©

Photos by: Everett Collection / Rex Features ©

Dr Who – Tom Baker and Lalla Ward

e avengers – Patrick Macnee and Diana Rigg, 1960s

European Cup Final, 29 May 1968

broadcast just before the BBC’s six o’clock news. Big occasions like the first moon landings and the European Cup Final in 1968 – when Manchester United beat Benfica – also brought in the crowds. John Hopwood (BSc Chemical Engineering 1971) remembers “I got to the Union over an hour before kick-off and just about managed to find somewhere on the floor to sit.” In other respects, the viewing habits of 1960s students were a little more predictable. David Fuller (BSc Hons Chemistry 1969) recalls “From 1966-69 I was in Needham Hall. The highlight of the week for this all-male residence was the appearance of Pan’s People on Thursday's Top of the Pops.


youR mancheSteR magazine

Star trek

“Much sought after were the chairs immediately in front of the TV in the Junior Common Room. Needham operated two evening meal sittings, so pressure and/or bribery were regularly employed to ensure access to the best seats!” By 1968, 15 million UK households had a TV. But very few undergraduates were able to afford one and communal TV watching was a way of eking out student grants. Roger Knights (BSc Hons Metallurgy 1968, MSc 1969, PhD 1972) recalls: “I remember that when BBC2, and with it colour TV, started, the TV room in the Union became very popular. This was also the case when I moved into Moberly Tower in my third year.”

Soaps like Coronation Street and big-budget serials attracted the crowds to University common rooms. Karen Goodyear (BSc Hons Pharmacy 1978) remembers being particularly addicted to the American series Rich Man Poor Man in the mid-1970s “One of us would have to stake out the only television on Sunday evening and I seem to remember sitting through Songs of Praise to be sure to be first in there and secure the right channel.” Other cult favourites in the 1970s and 1980s included Dr Who, Star Trek, Neighbours, The Young Ones, The Avengers, Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy and The Simpsons.

And soaps could always be relied on to entertain. Allison Bucknell (BSc Hons Mathematics and Management Sciences 1980) says: “In our day it was Crossroads with its fragile scenery and doddery actors and actresses, and of course Coronation Street. We would all gather in the Telly Room for the latest episode, and I am still watching it today.” Not every student was a TV addict. Michael Taylor (BSc Hons Sociology 1988) “gave TV a complete miss” when in residence at Grosvenor House but all that changed when he moved into digs in Upper Brook Street. “We’d all come back on a Friday night and watch this absolutely fantastic chat show called The

Tony Wilson Photo by: ITV / Rex Features ©

Photo by: Harry Goodwin / Rex Features ©

Jimmy Saville

Photo by: Ged Murray / Rex Features ©

Photo by ITV / Rex Features ©

coronation Street

e Jeremy Kyle Show

Other Side Of Midnight presented by Tony Wilson. It was really anarchic and had people like Keith Allen and Oliver Reed going mental. Years later, when I got to know Tony, I was able to tell him how much I had enjoyed it.” With the advent of video players in the 1980s, then more sophisticated innovations like DVDs and Blu-Ray, the days of students crowding around a TV set were more or less consigned to history – though big-screen sport on satellite still attracts the crowds. Today’s generation may have far more TV technology at their disposal. But favoured programmes still evoke past preferences for a bit of escape from the rigours of academic life.

Current economics and finance student Giorgia Porelli can’t afford her own TV so tunes in on her laptop. “When I do watch a programme, it’s a prime time television show, usually Desperate Housewives or Take Me Out. And recently I went to see the wonder that is The Jeremy Kyle Show at the ITV studios in Manchester with a couple of friends which was very sad, but entertaining.’’

Thank you to all alumni who contributed to this article. Those not published here can be found on Your Manchester Online youR mancheSteR magazine


Alumni in the spotlight

Success for Jess Jessica Knappett, (BA Hons English and Drama 2007) has recently appeared as the lead role of Lisa in the successful comedy ‘The Inbetweeners Movie’, which was released in August 2011. Jessica is a comedy writer and actress. As a writer, she is currently developing her first sitcom pilot, DRIFTERS, with Inbetweeners writers Iain Morris and Damon Beesley at Bwark Productions. She recently filmed Channel 4's comedy showcase The Function Room alongside Kevin Eldon and Reece Shearsmith. Jessica comments; "I wanted to get in to Manchester because it had a great reputation for producing comedy writers and I'm always proud to say I studied there. It used to be called messing around and now it's called my job, it's wonderful and I'm very grateful."

Halting the ageing process Alumnus Dr James Kirkland (MSc 1983) has co-led a promising study which may hold the key to delaying the aging process. The findings were recently published in the medical periodical, Nature. The study, conducted at Mayo Clinic USA, has shown that eliminating cells that accumulate with age (called senescent cells) could prevent or delay the onset of agerelated disorders and disabilities. Dr Kirkland and his team collaborated with Dr Jan van Deursen and others to devise a way to kill all senescent cells in genetically engineered mice. The animals would age far more quickly than normal, and when they were given a drug, the senescent cells would die. The researchers looked at three symptoms of old age: the formation of cataracts in the eye; the wasting away of muscle tissue; and the loss of fat deposits under the skin, which keep it smooth. Researchers say the onset of these symptoms was “dramatically delayed” when the animals were treated with the drug. And when it was given after the mice had aged substantially, there was an improvement in muscle function. Dr Kirkland said: “By attacking these cells and what they produce, one day we may be able to break the link between aging mechanisms and predisposition to diseases like heart disease, stroke, cancers and dementia… There is potential for a fundamental change in the way we provide treatment for chronic diseases in older people.”


youR mancheSteR magazine

Race Engineer Leena makes history


eena Gade, who graduated from Manchester in Aerospace Engineering in 1998, has become the first female race engineer to win the world famous Le Mans 24-Hours, when Audi triumphed in the French endurance classic in June 2011.

Leena joined Audi's team in 2007, working under technical director Howden Haynes before being promoted to race engineer. As number one race engineer she masterminded the Audi R18 TDI's win, monitoring every aspect of the race including car set up, tyre pressure, fuel level, temperature, driver time in the car and the weather. She is also the main contact to the driver. Leena had wanted to be a motorsport engineer since she saw Formula One on television aged 13. “I've always been interested in engineering. As a kid I would take things apart and put them back together from a mechanical point of view.”

When she was 17 and trying to get work with a Formula Three team, she was told that ‘mechanics 'isn't for girls' and pledged to prove them wrong. Since then, she tells us that working in a maledominated world has not caused her any difficulties and that she would never trade her job. “It’s been 14 years since I graduated from Manchester but the basic engineering skills I learned on the four year MEng course helped me every step of the way through my career from NVH at Jaguar and MIRA to Race Engineering with Audi Sport. Engineering is an ever changing field with new challenges every day and I had the opportunity at Manchester to explore many different fields that have since overlapped into my working life. Since leaving University, I have learnt so much and had it not been for my choice of degree, I don’t think I could have achieved as much as this. There’s still a lot more Le Mans races and World Championships to win!”

‘Best new comedy’ award


Fresh Meat follows the lives of six student freshers at the fictional Manchester Medlock University and was broadcast in September 2011. The programme was filmed at The Sharp Project in Manchester, a recently built £16.5 million studio facility designed to fill the void when Granada Studios closes in 2013. The writing partners are best known for the Channel 4 British sitcom Peep Show (broadcast from 2003-2010). They met at University, Sam studied English and Philosophy and Jesse American Studies. On why they chose Manchester for the setting of their new sitcom Sam said: “Manchester was a great place for us to set it because you find an interesting mix of people; a great clash of backgrounds. For instance I went to public school in London and Jesse went to a comprehensive in Shropshire so we had our own stories to tell.” When reminiscing about Manchester student experiences Sam said: "I remember getting the Fresher's Pack including Toast Toppers that was a highlight. Also being press ganged into joining Nat West." Sam also had some fond memories of life in student digs. He said: “We put rubbish in the backyard rather than the bins for a whole term – you can only imagine the smell when we came back.” The second series of Fresh Meat is set to be broadcast in September 2012.

Zamzam receives award from Michelle Obama


Zamzam received his master's degree in Visual Anthropology from Manchester in 2006. A few months later, he founded Kampung Halaman (‘Home Town’ in English) to promote the use of audio-visual media through community based programmes, particularly targeting marginalised youth in rural and urban areas

TV Starring role for Rob James-Collier It was recently back to Manchester for actor Rob JamesCollier who appeared in more than 300 episodes of Coronation Street and won the Sexiest Male Award at the 2007 and 2008 British Soap Awards . Since leaving Coronation Street in 2008 former UMIST marketing student Rob James-Collier has played Thomas in ITV’s blockbuster Downton Abbey and then starred earlier this year in Love Life, a romantic comedy set and filmed in Manchester. His character Joe is quite different from Downton’s greedy butler: “There’s no malice to Joe, he’s just a nice guy,” says Rob. Rob began acting in 2005 with little training after finding an acting coach in the yellow pages and going to classes one night a week – making his debut in the BBC1 drama Down to Earth. He subsequently landed roles in Shameless, Perfect Day, Casualty and Dalziel and Pascoe before taking the role of Liam Connor in ITV’s longstanding soap Coronation Street.

Congratulations Dame Judith!

n November 2011, Manchester graduate Muhammad Zamzam Fauzanafi received the President's Committee 2011 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from US First Lady, Michelle Obama. This prestigious award is given to organisations with creative after-school programmes for teenagers. The award was in recognition of Kampung Halaman, a non-profit youth media organisation cofounded by Zamzam.

Photo by ITV ©

Photo by: Rex Features ©

riters Sam Bain (BA Hons 1993) and Jesse Armstrong (BA Hons 1994) who shared a house while studying here at Manchester won the ‘Best New Comedy' award at the Channel 4 British Comedy Awards 2011 for their comedy drama series, Fresh Meat.

Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Hospice, Judith Hill, who graduated from Manchester in 1977 with an MSc in medicine, has been awarded the honour of a Dame for her services to people receiving palliative care in Northern Ireland. in order to further their goal of a better society. “We help young people make their own media so they can learn how it affects them. Their voice is rarely heard by mainstream media, so they need to make their own,” says Zamzam. “My training in Visual Anthropology at The University of Manchester gave me an excellent grounding in this field and has been really helpful in my developing the ‘video community’ programme with Kampung Halaman.”

Dame Judith joined the Hospice as Chief Executive in March 2005. Prior to that, she held the role of Chief Nursing Officer at the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (1995 – February 2005). During this time, she was responsible for leading nurse developments across Northern Ireland, which included the move of nurse and midwifery education into local universities in 1997 and the roll-out of nurse prescribing.

youR mancheSteR magazine


Sir Terry Leahy

Photo by: Rex Features ©

Sir Terry Leahy

A changing climate Former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy is committed to turning the green movement into a mass movement for change


t is 38 years since Sir Terry Leahy arrived at the then UMIST to study Management Sciences and despite a subsequent retailconquering career as Chief Executive of Tesco – not to mention the knighthood – his links with The University of Manchester are stronger than ever. It would have been difficult during his years on campus for the young Terry to foresee the future that awaited him as boss of the grocery giant. “Manchester really made me a businessperson,” says Liverpool-born Sir Terry. “I had no business background in my family and no idea what I was going to do. I came to Manchester to study a degree in management and that taught me everything about business and helped me to become successful. “But it was more than that – it was coming to a city with its tradition of business and its great


youR mancheSteR magazine

record of people who’ve left and gone on to do well in business. It gave me the confidence to come here and do well too.” And ‘do well’ he did, graduating with a BSc (Hons) in 1977 and joining Tesco two years later as a marketing executive. Throughout the 1980s, he charted a steady rise through the supermarket’s ranks, from marketing manager to commercial director, before joining the Tesco board in 1992 and becoming Chief Executive in 1997. As an indication of how pivotal his input was to the company, more than $750 million was wiped off Tesco’s market value when, in March 2011, his retirement was announced. Any extra time Sir Terry now has is wisely invested. He is a former co-chancellor of the University and gives regular talks to students at Manchester Business School (MBS).

Photo by: NASA / Rex Features ©

Last October, he delivered the prestigious Foundation Day Lecture commemorating the Queen’s inauguration of the University, in the process becoming the first non-academic to give the address. For his theme, he chose a subject increasingly close to his heart: the role of consumers in the ‘green consumption’ revolution. Describing climate change as “perhaps the greatest challenge facing our world,” Sir Terry believes that mobilising the power of consumers can be a powerful force for environmental good. “In the end, it is these billions of individual small everyday decisions which will add up to the big changes required,” he explains. “And they are also key to driving the government and business action we need.” During his address, he warned that if global temperatures rise just 2 degrees celsius above preindustrial levels – and we are already halfway towards that scenario – the climate could be altered permanently and uncontrollably. Only one measure potentially safeguards against this, and that is ensuring greenhouse gas emissions peak no later than 2020 and are halved within the subsequent 30 years.

Unfortunately, two factors continue to drive up global gas emissions year after year – an increase in population and a tandem rise in consumption. Sir Terry’s vision is to turn this concept on its head and use consumer purchasing power to drive a more sustainable world. “If, for example, everyone switched to using concentrated or compacted laundry products, that alone would save almost 4.5 million tonnes of CO2,” he says. “That’s the same as taking one million cars off the road – from just one product out of thousands.” It is little wonder, given his personal interest in the subject, that Sir Terry is chairman of the University’s Sustainable Consumption Institute (SCI). It was Tesco which, five years ago, funded the foundation of the Institute to the tune of £25 million, after a hard-fought competitive bid process. Since then, the SCI has explored ways of helping households, businesses and governments slash their carbon footprint. Drawing from a range of disciplines, the SCI unites the foremost scientists, academics and researchers to analyse customer data and exploit industry links, in the process devising strategies for

combating climate change right across the supply chain, from growers to shoppers. “There is plenty of evidence that in environmental terms consumer understanding is running ahead of government understanding,” says Sir Terry. “Consumers see climate change not just in terms of a threat to our planet and way of life, but directly related to their children and grandchildren. They want to do something to stop it.” His ongoing support for MBS was honoured in January with the unveiling on-site of a portrait painted by renowned north-west artist Stephen Ashurst. The gesture recognises the fact that Sir Terry’s passion for the University – and for the environment – is unwavering. Because despite the doom and gloom we often read in the media, he believes there is some justification for green optimism. “Change, if it goes with the grain of what people want, can come amazingly quickly,” he says. “I am confident that if we work together we will turn the green movement into a mass movement. And I am absolutely sure that this great seat of learning and innovation will remain at the heart of this vital work.” youR mancheSteR magazine


Outstanding Alumni Awards

Dr Linda Norgrove

Linda’s parents Lorna and John

Standing out from the crowd Special alumni receive awards from the University Outstanding Alumni Awards are presented to people who have achieved distinction within their profession. They may have provided exemplary service to the University, or made an outstanding contribution of a personal humanitarian nature.


Every year, the University recognises the achievements of its former students with outstanding alumni awards and in 2011 five awards were presented to distinguished alumni. Linda Norgrove PhD Development Administration and Management 2003 For the first time, the University made an outstanding alumni award posthumously, to Scottish development worker Linda Norgrove who was kidnapped and killed in Afghanistan on 8 October 2010, aged 36. Linda had completed a PhD at the University’s Institute for Development Policy and Management between 1999 and


youR mancheSteR magazine

2003 under the supervision of Professor David Hulme. She was well known for her academic work, her support for friends and colleagues and her love and commitment to Afghanistan and its people. Linda worked in various countries including Mexico, Uganda (where she researched how national park management affected the indigenous population around Mount Elgon National Park), Peru where she worked for the World Wildlife Fund, then for the UN in Afghanistan and for UNEP in Laos. While working in Laos, she spent three weeks of her annual leave trekking with friends to the Wakhan Corridor, in the extreme north-east of Afghanistan, and then through the Pamir mountains showing her love of Afghanistan and its people. She returned to Afghanistan to work in February 2010 and became regional director of the Americanbased Development Alternatives Inc (DAI). Based in Jalalabad, she was in charge of a five-year,

$94 million, aid project in unstable areas of eastern Afghanistan. She worked with more than 200 Afghan professionals building roads, bridges and markets, installing small-scale hydroelectric systems, improving agriculture and encouraging local businesses to produce textiles, honey, talc and marble. She taught herself to speak Dari (an Afghan version of Persian), to help her to talk to the locals. Her posthumous Outstanding Alumni Award was collected at the University by her parents, John and Lorna, at a private ceremony, which took place on 20 October 2011. It was attended by some of her former classmates and lecturers and representatives of the Alumni Association including the Chair, Janine Watson. Linda’s parents have set up the Linda Norgrove Foundation (www.lindanorgrove in her memory with the aim of carrying on her work in the country she was passionate about. So far, they have raised more than £300,000, funding a multitude of small projects with guidance and support from DAI. John Norgrove said: “Linda's kidnapping and subsequent death have been extremely difficult to come to terms with. From the outset, we were determined to avoid the road of blame culture

and compensation, and to try to ensure that something positive might come out of the tragedy. “The charity that we set up in Linda's name to help women and children affected by the war in Afghanistan has gone from strength to strength. It has kept us busy in a positive way and it has been great to see good work being achieved on the ground in Afghanistan. We have been keen to support small projects which we can easily monitor and of a scale that donors can identify with.” Her former PhD supervisor, Professor Hulme said: “Linda was highly regarded by her Afghani and expatriate colleagues – she had the analytical and practical skills to get things done in the most difficult of environments. “She was one of the few people in the world to have the values and skills to help improve living standards in such difficult contexts and fully understood how dangerous this work was.” At the time of going to press, nominations for 2012 Outstanding Alumni Awards have been received and are under consideration. If you have any suggestions for future recipients please submit these by email to or by telephone on +44 (0)161 306 3066.

Dr Keith Ridge PhD Pharmacy 1998 Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, Department of Health Keith helped to establish the respected National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence as well as serving as Chief Pharmacist for NHS hospital services in Dr Keith Ridge North Glasgow. He led the development of both a landmark White Paper for pharmacy across England, and the establishment of a new professional regulator for pharmacy, the General Pharmaceutical Council. He is currently leading a programme to reform pharmacy education and careers. He has been the driving force behind the ‘healthy living’ pharmacy and public health concept now being piloted across England, and has contributed at a senior level to UK planning processes for pandemic and seasonal influenza.

Vice-President and Dean Professor Colin Bailey with Professor Anthony Jones

Professor Anthony C Jones PhD 1979, BSc Hons Chemistry 1976 Professor, Department of Chemistry and Surface Science Research Centre, University of Liverpool Tony is an expert in the chemical technologies which lie behind the electronics and visual displays of many modern devices – from traffic lights to computers, and LEDs to back-lit televisions. Now a research professor with the University of Liverpool, where he has helped to develop chemicals used worldwide in the microelectronics industry, he is intent on inspiring the scientists of tomorrow with his passion and commitment to science.

Vice Chancellor Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell with Timothy Sear and Professor Fiona Devine

Mr Timothy Sear BA Commerce 1960 Former President and Chief Executive Officer, Alcon Laboratories Inc Tim has pursued a highly successful career in the pharmaceutical industry for more than 50 years. This culminated in his appointment as President and CEO of Alcon Inc, a leading ophthalmic company. He joined Alcon International in 1971, as area VP for Australasia and the Far East. His success in helping Alcon penetrate the Japanese market saw him relocate to Texas, going on to become Alcon’s President and CEO. He retired from Alcon in 2004, but still fondly remembers ringing the bell at the New York Stock Exchange on the day of Alcon’s successful IPO in 2002. A vocal advocate of education for all, Tim and wife Judith support the University from their Texan home. They are active members and major contributors to NAFUM, the North American Foundation for The University of Manchester. Their financial backing has helped several students from the developing world study in Manchester via Equity and Merit scholarships.

Director of Development, Chris Cox and Director of Manchester Business School, Professor Michael Luger with Vincent Chan Mr Vincent Chan MBA 1988 CEO and Co-Founder, Spring Capital Asia Ltd Vincent has 19 years of experience in private equity, and has made over 40 investments in growth companies in China since he began investing there 17 years ago. Vincent was previously a Managing Director and an Investment Committee Member of JAFCO Asia, serving as the co-head of the Asian private equity funds. Prior to JAFCO Asia, he was a private equity investor with Suez Asia and HSBC Private Equity (Asia) based in Hong Kong. Vincent was named a Top 10 Venture Capitalist in China by Zero2IPO in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006. He was also selected as one of the tenth “Most Influential Venture Capitalists in China” by Top Capital in 2005 and one of the “China Best Venture Capitalists: Midas List” by Forbes Magazine in for four years running from 2006 to 2009. youR mancheSteR magazine


Alumni news

Events update Join our many former students who attend an alumni event in the UK or overseas each year. To keep yourself informed about the latest events, register for the exclusive alumni community website and make sure that your details are updated regularly. Here we highlight just some of the many events which have recently taken place.

Your Manchester Insights London The October 2011 annual London Lecture entitled ‘The Global Energy Crisis: Addressing the Major Energy Challenges of the 21st Century’ took place at the Royal Overseas League. The event took the form of a panel discussion with four of the most informed experts on energy including Professor Colin Bailey, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences; Professor Andrew Sherry, Director of the Dalton Nuclear Institute; Professor Ian Cotton, Academic Coordinator for Manchester Energy; and John MacArthur, VP of CO2 Policy at Shell.

London dinner hosted by our Chancellor The 2011 London Alumni Dinner was held at the prestigious Inner Temple. Hosted by Chancellor Dr Tom Bloxham (BA Hons Politics and Modern History 1986).

Equity and Merit scholar, Toufiq Hasan with Dr Tom Bloxham

Alumni Association (Hong Kong) In October 2011, the UMAA(HK) officially registered and they held their first meeting on 14 October to elect their members. They enjoyed their first event at the Royal Yacht Club on 18 November. They celebrated the end of 2011 with a party on 30 December in the Penthouse Sky Lounge in Causeway Bay. In February 2012, they hiked to the Tin Hau Temple in Joss House Bay for lunch, sightseeing and afternoon tea. Visit their website for more details or to become a member umaahongkong/home.

Online Australia reunion On 25 November 2011 over 60 Australian alumni overcame vast geographical distances by joining in a Skype chat.

Alumni reception in Toronto In November 2011, over 50 alumni and guests gathered in a suite on the 46th Floor of Toronto’s newest skyscraper, the Bay Adelaide Centre, to reminisce about their time at Manchester and meet fellow alumni.


youR mancheSteR magazine

Follow us on Twitter @alumniuom Summer picnic at Jodrell Bank In September 2011, an end of Summer picnic took place at Jodrell Bank to highlight the new Discovery Centre.

Since June last year we have been tweeting about the University and our alumni. We’ve been having really good conversations with alumni and other Twitter users and so far, 550 of you have become followers. It is the quickest way to get up-to the minute news about what is going on in the University and our alumni events programme. It’s also an easy way for you to reach your alumni community. If you have questions to put to our followers, just get in touch and we’ll tweet it. If you already use Twitter, tweet at us and we’ll retweet for you. But what is Twitter and why should you use it? Twitter is a social networking and short message service which communicates through the internet – it allows users to send and read short text messages of up to 140 characters long called ‘tweets’. The format is similar to a text message on a mobile phone but what you tweet is visible to anyone who ‘follows’ your Twitter feed. You can direct messages directly to other Twitter users, or just broadcast your thoughts to the ‘twittersphere’. Why use it? Dip your toe into social media Twitter is one of the first social media platforms we have adopted – why? It is low maintenance, your twitter following grows organically and by word of mouth and it gives you an uncomplicated, short but sweet introduction to how to use social media. It will also show you what people are talking about.

Your Manchester Insights on campus In March 2012 alumni heard from Dr Melanie Giles and her team of archaeologists about an ambitious dig in Whitworth Park and how it worked to bring the University closer to the local community.

LA reception with Dame Barbara Hay In Los Angeles in August 2011, Her Majesty’s Consul-General, Dame Barbara Hay, hosted a reception in the breathtaking grounds of the ConsulGeneral's residence in Hancock Park. Dame Nancy highlighted many of the University’s accomplishments and Tony Thornley, President of the North American Foundation for The University of Manchester, also spoke on the importance of alumni staying involved and supporting the University.

Quick, human interaction with our alumni You can ask fellow alumni questions and get a load of instant responses. You can post a photograph of your Hall’s football team and ask if anyone remembers the name of the man second from the right; you can ask the people who graduated in your subject if they know of opportunities in your sector or ask postgraduate alumni about a course you are interested in. Find out news first Twitter doesn’t wait for the 6pm news or for going to press – news carries through Twitter across the world instantly and generates conversation about events as they happen. You won’t have to wait for your eNewsletter to find out what we are doing, we will tweet about new events registrations and opportunities as soon as they are ready. More and more news stories are breaking through Twitter now too, like the discovery of ice on Mars or the aeroplane which crashed into the Hudson River. Share what you care about It’s an instant way to share links to websites or photos you’ve taken on the hoof with hundreds of fellow Twitter users. The web addresses you share are automatically shortened to help keep you under the character limit. If you want to promote your favourite charity, Twitter helps you direct people to the good causes you care most about. Keep in touch Other people’s Twitter feeds tell you what they are doing as they are doing it – you can keep up with your friend’s activity without being intrusive; you just have to follow their Twitter feeds. If you want to vet your followers, you can choose to approve every follower request which comes through before they see what you are tweeting about.

youR mancheSteR magazine


Alumni news

Outstanding award for alumna Ann Johnson Ann Johnson (BA Nursing 1991) has won the University’s 2011 Volunteer of the Year Award in the alumni category.


nn worked as a lecturer until 2006 when she retired on ill health grounds at the age of 53 with early onset Alzheimer’s. She works as a patient educator to raise the understanding of how to best support sufferers of Alzheimer’s and aims to influence government policy. In March 2010, she was invited to the House of Commons to represent sufferers at the launch of the National Dementia Campaign. Nominator and fellow alumna Dame Betty Kershaw (Diploma Nursing 1975) says: “Ann uses her teaching skills to talk about her experience, to think positively and to share what she can still enjoy with others. She is a role model; perhaps even a beacon of hope.”

In second place in the alumni category was Amy Lythgoe, (BArch Architecture), founder of the charity Refugee Welcome Trust which provides grants to bring to the UK the dependants of refugees who have been granted permanent residence. In third place was Keith Mills (MEd Special Education), founder and president of a charity which works with disadvantaged children in Uganda and has overseen the sponsorship programme of 75 primary school children. The University aims to encourage greater social responsibility and one way it recognises and celebrates the community activity of its members is through the Social Responsibility and Volunteer of the Year Awards. Awards are given in three categories; Alumni Volunteers of the Year, Staff Volunteer of the Year and Student Volunteer of the Year. The overall winner in each category receives a cheque, made out to the organisation that they support: £300 for the overall winner, and £200 and £100 for the 2nd and 3rd place runners up. In addition the overall winner in each category is put forward for the University Social Responsibility Award. Ann Johnson with Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell

University welcomes Claire The University welcomes Claire Kilner as the new Head of Alumni and Donor Communications and Engagement, as she took up her position at the beginning of March 2012. Claire is a graduate of the University of Sheffield (BSc Hons Anatomy and Cell Biology 1995, MA Journalism Studies 1997). She joined us from the University of Nottingham where she was in post as Head of Alumni Relations for just over two years. On her new role Claire comments, “I am thrilled to be joining The University of Manchester and look forward to meeting and working with many alumni over the coming months and years.”


youR mancheSteR magazine

Exceptional award for former Chair of the Alumni Association Former chair of the Alumni Association Andrew Spinoza has been awarded î ˘e University of Manchester Medal of Honour for his exceptional contribution to the work of the University. ndrew was Chairman of the newly constituted University of Manchester Alumni Association from 2005 until 2011. Janine Watson is now current Chair of the Alumni Association.


In his role Andrew was a strong, highly visible and active networker for the University and its alumni. He has had a variety of constitutional responsibilities including chairing the Alumni Association Advisory Board. He also chaired each of the Association’s Annual General Meetings where all alumni are given the opportunity to raise business with the University. In addition, he chaired the Your

Manchester Fund steering group, overseeing many grants to projects which benefit students on campus. He has also been involved in the Opportunity Manchester fund which supports students from areas of Manchester where there is traditionally a low participation rate in Higher Education. Andrew was one of two people to receive the 2011 award, with the other award going to Kay Hinckley, a philanthropist whose role as the first patron of scientific Egyptology enabled the University to establish the KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology, which opened in 2003 in the Faculty of Life Sciences.

Our expanding DDAR team The Division of Development and Alumni Relations (DDAR) at the University is expanding to reflect the growing importance that the University attaches to its connections with alumni and donors. There have been a number of key appointments over the past few months and there have also been a number of changes to roles amongst the longer serving members of the team. For more information visit youR mancheSteR magazine


Your Manchester Fund

e University’s alumni and friends make a tremendous difference to the lives of thousands of current Manchester students throughout the year. rough generous gis to Your Manchester Fund, our alumni and friends provide significant support for talent based scholarships and world class research programmes which create invaluable opportunities for outstanding Manchester students

Dreams that come true Opportunity Manchester

Bridging Hardship

2012 sees the biggest change to higher education funding in a generation. Increases in undergraduate tuition fees could mean that many of the most gifted students feel they cannot afford a world class Manchester education. The University is delighted that so many alumni share the view that lack of finance should not affect decisions about whether to continue with higher education. Without the support of an alumni-funded scholarship, many students have said they would be unlikely to continue on to higher education, despite their keen academic aspirations.

Bridging Hardship awards are made to students who hit unforeseen financial difficulties, either through loss of personal income, that of a sponsor, or other genuinely unpredictable causes, which threaten to end their academic career prematurely.

The Opportunity Manchester Scholarship was established in 2007, and awards are made to students from the Greater Manchester area who have proved their academic talent through exceptional A-level results, and outstanding performance at pre-University summer schools, workshops and academic assignments. There are currently 361 students benefitting from an Opportunity Manchester Scholarship. Luke Monaghan (pictured above), who is studying for a degree in Mathematics, is really grateful to receive the alumni-funded Scholarship. Luke said: “You have given me the confidence to go for it in life and made it so much easier for me to believe I can get into a superb career that I could only have dreamed of as a child. I am from a family of 17 and I am definitely the luckiest to be awarded this support in the form of a scholarship. Thank you ever so much.”


youR mancheSteR magazine

Donations towards Bridging Hardship awards have a direct, positive impact on these students and put them back on track to academic success as this student explained after a series of personal problems threatened to overwhelm him: “I felt absolutely helpless as I was in the middle of a very challenging degree and my visa would only allow me to work part-time in the UK. My student loan from my home country was only enough to cover the first instalment of my annual tuition fee. I was left with no choice but to either leave university, or to start looking for organisations that would assist financially. I applied to countless organisations but most of them turned me down because I was a foreign student. I was certain that after completing 2.5 years of my 3 year degree I would have to drop out. “When I got news from the Bridging Hardship Fund that my application was successful I was completely shocked. I could not believe people were willing to financially assist students they didn't even know. Thanks to your kind donations, my life is back on track. I managed to achieve a 2:1 on my degree and I'm on my way to becoming a lawyer.”

Fund Together we’re shaping the world of tomorrow

Your Manchester Fund Your Manchester Fund also provides much needed funding for three further vital studentfocused areas: Global Outreach provides Equity and Merit Scholarships for students from developing countries such as Uganda, Rwanda and Bangladesh; Learning Enrichment Awards, providing funding for projects across campus which enrich the academic experience for the whole student body; Research Impact Scholarships support promising research students as they embark on PhD programmes aiming to tackle some of the most pressing global issues we face today – from cancer studies to reducing our carbon footprint. For more information on the areas supported by Your Manchester Fund visit: How can you help? Right now, alumni support for The University of Manchester is absolutely critical. Cuts to higher education funding have resulted in new challenges for the University – you can help us meet these challenges and ensure Manchester continues to be accessible for the most talented students. If 14 alumni give £5 per month, topped up by 25% extra funding from the government in Gift Aid*, we can provide an additional Opportunity Manchester Scholarship, worth £1,000 to a talented undergraduate student from Greater Manchester. OR If 11 alumni give £11 per month, topped up by 25% extra funding from the government in Gift Aid*, we can cover the costs of an average Bridging Hardship Award, worth £1,717 to a student in unforeseen financial need. Please show your support for Manchester students today – complete and return the donation form enclosed now! Alternatively, you can make a gift online at *If you are a UK tax payer, we can claim back 25% in tax relief on the value of your gift at no cost to you. For more information about Gift Aid, go to All recipients of Opportunity Manchester Scholarships are grateful for alumni support youR mancheSteR magazine


Student callers

Chairman of e University of Manchester Alumni Association Janine Watson (r) and Advisory Board Member Jayne Charnock (l) speaking to student caller Catherine Havers, following a telephone call to one of our alumni

Calling all alumni! Each year, a team of around 35 enthusiastic Manchester students makes thousands of telephone calls to engage with members of the alumni community. e telephone campaign is an eagerly anticipated open dialogue between alumni and the University


s proud representatives of the University our student callers relish the opportunity to speak with alumni and enjoy sharing the news on campus developments, groundbreaking research and the University’s recent successes. Alumni are given the chance to share their personal experiences of being a student at Manchester and talk about how their degrees have shaped their lives. It is also a perfect opportunity for us to hear feedback on the alumni service we provide. Student calling is a rich and worthwhile experience – finding out about how the University has changed and learning from alumni who generously impart some of their knowledge.

During the telephone campaign over a thousand alumni and friends supported the University through donations, helping us to provide the very best facilities and support for our students and researchers.

Conor Rose


youR mancheSteR magazine

Thanks to the money generated through the telephone campaign alumna Jayne Charnock (PhD Medicine

2010, BSc Hons Anatomical Science with Industrial Experience 2006) is a former recipient of the Research Impact Scholarship. Now she is a member of the University’s Alumni Association Advisory Board and in her new official capacity she and other members of the Advisory Board recently visited the students during their telephone campaign. Jayne comments “What a fantastic and impressive experience it was to visit the Your Manchester Fund centre! Even as a former recipient I wasn’t fully aware of how the process happened and it was so exciting to experience the buzz of the campaign! I particularly thought that the personalised postcards, written by the students for the donors, is excellent and I’m now fearful that when I finally receive a call myself I’ll end up handing over my life-savings – they were that good!” Your Manchester catches up with some of our student callers finding out why they are so passionate about the telephone campaign.

Georgia Vesma, BA History of Art said she had learned a lot from speaking to alumni: “I learned that the University helped evacuate children to Canada during WWII, that Psychology used to be an arts degree not a science, that technological advancements have enabled our alumni to survive brain aneurysms, and that you can always rely on a vicar.

Lisa Mukubvu, BA Politics, Philosophy and Economics (pictured above) explained why she applied to be a student caller: “I am currently in my final year and I wanted the opportunity to speak to graduates and find out about their careers.

“Your Manchester Fund does incredible work in making the University more accessible, more successful and more democratic. If you get a call, give the student caller a chance – if nothing else, you’ll be guaranteed an interesting conversation and you might just discover a reason to give!”

“I have been humbled by the overwhelming support alumni are willing to provide for current students, both financially and in terms of mentoring and career development.”

Francesca Rooney, MSc Operations, Project and Supply Chain Management has really enjoyed her chats with alumni “Conversations have ranged from being invited round for a cup of tea, being convinced to move to California (on the basis of the weather and a date with a single attractive son) and hearing tales of how people met their future husband or wife at MBS. The conversation that stood out for me, was talking to a gentleman who was trained by my grandfather to fly in the Royal Air Force!”

Andy Partington, MSc Organisational Psychology, said there had always been a tradition of alumni giving, but now it was more important than ever: ‘All donations have and will continue to have a massive impact on the lives of our current and future students.” Wuraola Ladejobi, MBus Global Business Analysis pointed to the future of higher education: “Not only are you helping students to experience a life changing Manchester education, you are helping future doctors, engineers, entrepreneurs and politicians, to name a few. If you give you will help a student achieve their dream and give back to society. “You can donate for less than a price of a cup of coffee per month and it will make a massive difference. We are changing lives together and educating future leaders.”

Mo Yin Kwok youR mancheSteR magazine



Image courtesy of CERN ©

George’s gift Following a successful career in engineering George Rigg wanted to give something back to Manchester

George Rigg


ublic interest in physics in general, and at Manchester in particular, has increased significantly in recent years thanks to the success of the primetime BBC astronomy show Stargazing Live – broadcast from our very own Jodrell Bank Observatory – and to the high profile discovery of the wonder material graphene which earned two of our physicists a Nobel Prize in 2010 (see page 8). Alumni support for students and researchers allows us to continue pushing scientific boundaries in the pursuit of knowledge and discovery. George Rigg is an active member of the University’s North American Foundation who began his professional career designing missile guidance systems and later was part of the US space programme developing process control and ground equipment computers. George, a BSc Science graduate, is funding a postdoctoral research fellowship in particle physics. He recalls his time studying in Manchester fondly, apart from the weather: “My memories are of grey clouds, cold rain, more rain and warm people, teamed with a strong


youR mancheSteR magazine

sense of being part of an historic, exciting and great university.” George adds: “I remember a lecturer in a physics class who brought in a tape recorder, asked for silence while demonstrating two ‘pings’ eight minutes apart, and said: “That was the first radar echo from Venus.” It inspired me, and gave me a lifelong interest in, and occasional contribution to, various space exploration programmes.” The current recipient of George’s generous support is postdoctoral researcher Terrance Figy, whose research focuses on creating programmes investigating the elusive Higgs boson particle at the internationally renowned Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, Geneva. The Higgs boson is important in the scientific world as many scientists believe that it is responsible for giving mass to all known particles, but it is elusive because it requires a considerable amount of energy to be created and therefore is believed only to be able to exist for a fraction of a second. Terrance said: “This year could be very exciting, if the existence of the Higgs boson is established by

experimentalists at CERN. This Fellowship has an enormous impact. It provides the necessary support for me to connect with high energy physics groups from around the world. Hopefully in the future, science will have the support of more people like George Rigg.” George’s main motivation to support postgraduate research comes from his strong pride in, and warm affection for, the University. He said: “With retirement has come an active involvement in NAFUM and renewed contact with the University. This in turn has reinforced my wish to ‘give back’ in a structured and productive way.” Alumni giving is more important than ever in the current climate he adds. “It seems that human progress is heading into an era of ever faster change, far higher complexity, explosively growing communication and greater danger. In straightened financial times across all sectors there is inevitably pressure on funding for breakthrough research, and for student access to universities, so there is a growing need for increased alumni support of the universities that launched, or accelerated, their careers.”


your manchester, your Legacy ey might be dramatists or dentists but whatever their interests, the University is greatly helped by the generosity of alumni who have supported Manchester through a bequest or gi in their will


ledging a will gift to the University of Manchester is a spectacular statement which allows you to support an aspect of the University which is important to you, perhaps as part of your longer term philanthropic plans. Alumni often consider this if they are unable to support the University now but would like to know that, in time, their gift will have a huge impact on the University, its students, researchers and activities. By including The University of Manchester among other commitments in your will you can make a difference in ways that you probably never imagined – assisting students, supporting cuttingedge research into cancer or dementia, helping to advance new discoveries in science and engineering, helping to solve some of the major social, economic or environmental problems to the benefit of our global society. Mr Francis Henstock (LLB Hons 1954) provided a gift to in his will to further the University’s work in connection with Parkinson’s disease and

related disorders. The gift has contributed to two innovative research projects which aim to improve our understanding of two different aspects of the condition: the underlying neurophysiological processes of swallowing disorders, which are extremely common in people with Parkinson’s disease, and investigating certain cognitive processes in the brains of Parkinson’s sufferers. You may have been inspired by the University’s teaching or research, or you may want to celebrate how the University has influenced your life or career, or that of someone close to you. You may have received a Scholarship or perhaps you didn’t have to pay tuition fees yourself and would like to ensure a current student has the same opportunities that you had. Miss Jean Blackwood (BA Hons French Studies 1953) made a gift to the School of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures to further its links with Europe. Thanks to this gift, ten awards are now available to undergraduate students who are

spending an extended period abroad in Europe to undertake a project that will enhance their employment prospects. Miss Blackwood’s gift has also enabled the School to invite visitors from European countries to interact with undergraduate language students. This has greatly enhanced their ability to communicate in their chosen language. Whatever your reason, a gift in your will, no matter how small or large, can help the University maintain and enhance high standards in teaching, research, and scholarly enquiry, for future generations. If you are considering – or have decided to remember the University among your other commitments in your will – we thank you most sincerely and are keen to acknowledge your generosity. We would encourage you to share your plans with us if you feel able to do so to ensure that the University can meet your wishes in full for the long-term future. For further information please contact: Louise Wardle, Legacies Manager, tel: 0161 275 7230, email: youR mancheSteR magazine


Your Manchester Extras

Free alumni access to online journals All Manchester alumni are now entitled to free remote access to many academic eJournals via JSTOR JSTOR has more than a thousand academic journals and over a million images, letters, and other primary sources and is used by millions for research, teaching and learning. We are currently running a pilot for alumni access to this resource until the end of July 2013 and it is available to use now. Alumni can access the service through Your Manchester Online (you will need to be a registered YMO user and log in first). Go to:

Photo of Joule Library, Sackville Street Building by: Louis Sinclair Š

There are lots of other ways to enjoy Your Manchester Extras – a package of over 40 special discounts and offers for Manchester alumni. Don't miss out! Sign up now at

M002 05.12 The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL Royal Charter Number RC000797

Your Manchester 2012  

The magazine for Alumni and Friends of The University of Manchester. Published in June 2012.