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City News Issue 16

In the heart of the City Professor Roger Crouch headlines our enterprise special


Hello Welcome once again to City News. Befitting City’s reputation for strong ties with business and industry, a culture of collaborative entrepreneurship is very much alive in 2013. But this is not necessarily the case across the sector. A recent study from the Centre for Business Research and the UK-Innovation Research Centre showed that more than half of UK academics are either unaware of or do not use their institution’s enterprise services. A huge untapped resource remains housed in university laboratories and offices which could be transformed into products and services to benefit society or have substantial economic impact. Much of City’s work in this area is co-ordinated by the Enterprise Office (profiled on pages 16-17). It offers academics expertise and support in areas such as Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and in protecting, managing and commercialising City’s intellectual property. The team has just completed its second successful year of sponsoring the highprofile Digital Shoreditch festival, Europe’s largest digital community event, on which some of our Journalism students reported (see page 18). And it is rightly celebrating our outperforming of rival institutions by winning two (out of five) PraxisUnico Impact Awards, which recognise teams and individuals who ‘produce outstanding impact through successful knowledge transfer’. Even in the 1950s, City was a pioneering institution for technology education. From the Archive (page 19) looks back to the arrival of a Ferranti Pegasus 1 computer which brought great excitement when it was installed in 1957. Showing considerable entrepreneurial spirit, staff sold ‘time’ on the Ferranti to external researchers and industrial bodies, generating valuable commercial links and considerable income. I am sure those early pioneers would be proud to see us continue in their footsteps. Last but by no means least in this month’s cover feature we meet Professor Roger Crouch, the new Conjoint Dean of the Schools of Engineering & Mathematical Sciences and Informatics. He talks about his background as a Civil Engineer, which included designing bridges in Saudi Arabia and carrying out earthquake analysis on Swiss dams. He tells John Stevenson about his plans to bring engineering, mathematics and computing closer together and how he plans to build on the Schools’ prior success in commercialising research.

Simon Watts Head of Communications


University news Staff news Media highlights Governance and ExCo Feature article: Professor Roger Crouch Research at City Meet the team: Enterprise Office Student journalist: Reporting on Digital Shoreditch Staff benefits From the archive Dates for your diary Staff training and development

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City News is published six times a year by Marketing & Communications for all staff. Back issues: Editor: Chris Leonard Tel: 020 7040 3234 Email:

Thank you... all of this issue’s contributors: Catalina Albeanu, Evan Bates, Megan Clement, Professor Roger Crouch, Sophie Cubbin, Dr Graham Daborn, Sabrina Francis, Sophie Gost, Kayley Goff, Dean Horton, Christian Jensen, Chris Johnson, Jeff Jones, Tom McElhinney, Graham Miller, Alan Parish, Ben Sawtell, Aurelia Seidlhofer, Professor Andre Spicer, Marius Stancu, John Stevenson, Charlie Tang, Nadia Zernina-Forde

Next edition Our next edition will be published in September 2013.

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News ‘Health’s Got Talent’

(l-r) Kevin McHugh, Debbie Poynter and Jayne Morgan receive a certificate for their winning presentation from Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Curran

The School of Health Sciences held its inaugural ‘Health’s Got Talent’ event last month to showcase excellence in education within the School. For the competition staff were asked to submit a project or innovation that they thought was worthy of recognition. They then had to present their idea to an audience of their peers from across the School at an event in Centenary Building. The audience used electronic keypads to vote for the most innovative project which would receive funding to further support its development. In an extremely high-quality field the winning innovation came from the School’s Diagnostic Radiography team which has integrated iPads within its learning strategy for first year Diagnostic Radiography students. Lecturer Sophie Willis was a member of the winning team. She said: “The use of tablet technology such as iPads to support learning is topical, with some research suggesting it to be superior to e-learning because it focuses on what students learn rather than the technology used.

“Opportunities for students to experience such technologies prior to clinical placements can enhance their learning experience, improve clinical skills education and better equip students for their future roles and the practice environment.”

more generally to improve their phonetic listening skills and help them master the International Phonetic Alphabet. The programme was conceived and developed by Dr Verhoeven and programmed by Division Technician Dr Robert Davey.

The second placed initiative was Lorna Saunder and Valance Hughes’s ‘Shareville in the City’ project. Shareville is a simulated reality platform which facilitates the development of practical and interpersonal skills.

All of the projects presented at the Health’s Got Talent event were awarded a prize, which was presented to them by the Vice-Chancellor at the Learning Development Centre’s Annual Conference.

Addressing a gap in the curriculum around the teaching of learning disability Shareville was identified as a unique delivery method of both practical and theoretical components. The programme provides a unique immersive learning opportunity and a realistic simulation of working with people who have learning disabilities. Third place went to Dr Jo Verhoeven from Language & Communication Science, for his EarTrainer project. EarTrainer is an interactive multimedia program intended for students in Speech & Language Therapy and linguistics


News in brief First Class green rating

City has received a First Class ‘degree’ from the People & Planet Green League, the UK’s only independent green ranking of universities, published by The Guardian. City was placed 23rd overall and third in London. This is an improvement from City’s Upper Second Class rating last year and is ahead of our Strategic Plan milestones.

Dubai graduations

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline Group, has received an honorary degree from City. It was awarded during the graduation ceremony for the latest cohort of Cass Dubai EMBA students.

ADR handbook

City Law School academics have co-written a handbook on Alternative Dispute Resolution for the Jackson Reforms, the most significant changes to civil justice for more than a decade and intended to control civil case costs. The co-authors were Professor Stuart Sime, Director of the Bar Professional Training Course; Julie Browne, Deputy Course Director; and Susan Blake, Associate Dean.

Join The Conversation UK

Masters in Electronic Publishing students and Senior Lecturer Dr Neil Thurman worked in secret for eight months before the public unveiling of, dubbed ‘the world’s first global opinion network’, which has Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide web, among others on its advisory board.

City academics have a new opportunity to promote widely their research and expertise through The Conversation UK – the UK arm of Australia’s largest independent news website. Melbourne-based The Conversation operates like a newspaper, with professional editors commissioning commentary and analysis on world events from university and research experts who collaborate on the editing of the articles. In just two years, the website has 5,000 academic contributors publishing 200 articles a week and is attracting 850,000 unique visits per month. The Conversation UK launched in May to help academics to promote their research to the media, public and fellow academics in response to world events. Editors collaborate with the academics to write, edit and sign-off articles. City is a Founding Partner and one of 13 UK universities involved in The Conversation UK, which is accommodated at Northampton Square. Several City academics have already contributed including Rosemary Hollis, Professor of Middle East Policy Studies and Dr Dan Wilsher, Senior Lecturer in Law. Another early contributor, Professor Andre Spicer of Cass Business School said: “The Conversation is a wonderful opportunity for academics to connect their research with topics of public debate, providing a route to a wider audience for our work and informing the public agenda around pressing issues.”

Find out more, visit

Pensions auto enrolment

Professor Andre Spicer

How The Conversation UK works • The Conversation UK’s editors commission articles related to the news agenda, from expert academics in the relevant field. • Academics submit articles and collaborate on them with an editor online, using custombuilt software. • The edited article is signed off by both the editor and academic. • The article is then published online and promoted by The Conversation UK through Twitter, Facebook and a newsletter. • Authors can track how many people read and comment on the article, what they say about it on social media and where the readers are located. “Journal articles can take years to come to light and are often hidden behind a paywall only to be read within the research community,” said Megan Clement, Deputy Editor of The Conversation UK. “The Conversation allows academics to publish timely, engaging and relevant content for a global audience, enabling academic expertise to inform the public debate as it develops.”

City has already begun informing staff about its automatic enrolment into pension schemes and will be writing to all employees individually in the coming weeks. The communications will explain how each person is affected by automatic enrolment. You can find out more and read a series of questions and answers, on our intranet:

Hansard diploma validation

The first students have received their PG Diplomas in Parliamentary Reporting under City’s validation relationship with Hansard, which transcribes Parliamentary debates. The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP praised the work of City’s validation team led by Professor Steve Stanton, Dean of Validation and Alison Edridge of Academic Services.


News Academic excellence for business and the professions


City gets Digital in Shoreditch


The recent Digital Shoreditch festival once again enabled the Enterprise Office and academic colleagues to demonstrate their expertise in applied research and enterprise to London’s Tech City. The festival is one of the largest digital community events in Europe with almost 500 speakers and City, a lead festival sponsor for the second year, was ‘one of the most visible sponsors’ according to Andrew Huddart, Strategic Partnerships Manager.

Online store on course for £1M target The new City University London Online Store has garnered over £800,000 in revenue in just six months of operation and is on course to achieve £1M by the end of the financial year. The store ( provides online payment facilities for short courses, University and Students’ Union merchandise, society memberships and more. University staff and students as well as external users are able to buy items from the store. A significant factor behind the store’s success has been the revenue from bookings for the 120 part-time evening and weekend short

courses (including business, computing, creative industries and foreign languages). The programme had a very successful 2012/13 academic year with attendances up 35% to almost 4,000 students. City employees receive a 50% discount on short course fees and with the new 2013/14 courses starting in September, there is still time for you to take advantage of this benefit. For more information about the Store and how to sell through it, contact Charlie Tang in the Digital Team:

City’s involvement included its featuring prominently in the Tech Futures Report from Tech City Insider (TCi) and thus in widespread discussions on Tech City’s challenges; and Journalism student Aurelia Seidlhofer and Visiting Lecturer Paul Majendie leading a reporting team for TCi (see page 18). Our Unrulyversity partnership (City News Issue 15) saw full houses at its sessions and other highlights included concerts from the Music Department, a digital installation by Professor Jo Wood and open days at City’s Interaction Lab. Andrew said: “We shared several of the major successes of Digital Shoreditch 2013.” The Enterprise Office is now developing Tech City initiatives and partnerships resulting from the festival. Read more about the Enterprise Office in Meet the team on pages 16-17.


facilities on Sebastian Street; relocating the Students’ Union away from nearby residential areas; improved public access to Northampton Square from Spencer Street; and new clinic facilities for the School of Health Sciences.

Dr Zofia Kaminska The University recently learnt of the death of Dr Zofia Kaminska (above left), who taught in the Psychology Department from the 1970s until she retired in 2009. Professor James Hampton remembers a much loved colleague.

Professor Richard Verrall, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Strategy & Planning) said: “The University is committing significant investment to build new facilities to meet the changing nature of education and research, creating high-quality academic and social spaces. It will result in an environment of which staff, students and the local community can be justifiably proud.” Read more about our Estates Plan:

“Zofia was born in Tehran and grew up in what is now Zambia. She arrived in England as a Polish refugee aged eight, speaking no English. After school, she took her BSc and read for her PhD in Psychology at UCL and was one of the first Psychology lecturers in City’s new Department of Social Science and Humanities. “Zofia had a successful career developing City’s BSc in Psychology. She was known for her research on reading and the psychology of music, collaborating with colleagues in the Department and training PhD students who have gone on to successful academic careers. She will be remembered by her students for her fascinating lectures and her warmth and kindness as a tutor. “A private individual, Zofia kept in close touch with the Polish community and was a dedicated gardener and animal lover. She is greatly missed by all who knew her and is survived by her son Lech Robins.”

s a tutor. “A private individual, Zofia kept in close touch with the Polish community and was a dedicated gardener and animal lover. She is greatly missed by all who knew her and is survived by her son Lech Robins.”

City unveils Estates Plan to local residents City has shared with the local community its plans for a £130M redevelopment under the Estates Plan. In a public exhibition at Finsbury Library, City outlined how it will transform University buildings in Northampton Square and the surrounding area. Local residents were asked for their feedback as part of the pre-planning consultation on several projects including: new postgraduate

Two Impact Awards for City City won two out of five awards at this year’s prestigious PraxisUnico Impact Awards. The Awards recognise those who have produced outstanding impact through successful research and enterprise, ‘beyond its creation in higher education, charities and the public sector’.

First Made@City a success The first Made@City end-of-year celebration jointly organised by the Enterprise Office and the Professional Liaison Unit has showcased and rewarded the best student project work involving creativity, technology and design. The event brought together students, staff and alumni as well as the local Tech City community, to learn more about innovative new products and technologies that our students have worked on over the past academic year. Projects included a real-time modelling tool for banking trades, a new analytics device and website for cyclists, a Food Genie app for getting recipe ideas on the move and more. The winner, as voted for by attendees, was Faisal Valli (pictured, left) for his Rubik’s Cube Solver, a computer program that reads the colours of a Rubik’s cube puzzle and solves it. Faisal was presented with his Made@City Cup (printed live with the University’s 3D printer), by Professor Roger Crouch, Conjoint Dean of the Schools of Engineering & Mathematical Sciences and Informatics (right).

School Screener™ from Thomson Screening Solutions and City won the Business Impact Aspiring Award. This automated computer software can test children’s vision, hearing and body mass index, potentially saving the NHS £25M a year. City Enterprise Services, a legal clinic staffed by law students (under the supervision of law firms), won a Special Award, in recognition of its application of knowledge transfer in a wider context. The judging panel described City Enterprise Services as a ‘unique law incubator for technology start ups’. Eric Klotz of City Enterprise Services (above right) said: “The receipt of prestigious awards such as this provides us with a great impetus to expand and develop our project. We look forward to other universities developing similar legal clinics which can benefit both the start up community and the wider economy.”

City Summer Sounds 2013 Pictured is the City University London Big Band, who kicked off June’s City Summer Sounds music festival. The three-week festival was a big success and featured City’s talented performers and composers, alongside guest artists and friends of the Centre for Music Studies. The festival closed with Visiting Lecturer Laurie Blundell performing a concert of piano works, including Mozart’s Sonata in C Major K.330 and Brahms’ Drei Intermezzi.


Staff news If you want to celebrate the achievements of your colleagues or perhaps your charity fundraising, email the Editor.

Energy industry award Professor Martin Fry, Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor and course leader for the Energy and Environmental Technology and Economics MSc, has won a prestigious Outstanding Contribution to the Energy Industry award. He was recognised for his contribution to the development of energy management standards and energy efficiency over the past 30 years.

REF assessor invitation Professor David Bawden of the Centre for Information Science, has been invited to act as output assessor on the Communication, Cultural and Media Studies sub-panel of the Research Excellence Framework. Professor Bawden’s nomination from the British Association for Information and Library Education and Research (BAILER) was formally approved by the Chief Executives of the four UK funding bodies.

Queen’s birthday honours A law professor and three alumni have been recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Professor Sir Alan Dashwood of The City Law School, has been appointed Knight Commander of the Order St Michael and St George, in recognition of his services to the development of European Union (EU) law. Sir Alan’s forty-year career in EU law spans most forms of legal practice as an advocate, scholar, teacher, author, editor and senior EU civil servant. Formerly Director in the Legal Service of the Council of the EU, he advised on aspects of the negotiations leading to the EU Constitutional Treaty and the Treaty of Lisbon. He also led the Foreign & Commonwealth Office team preparing a model Constitutional

ESRC prize for Cass Professor Professor Paula Jarzabkowski of Cass Business School has received a Celebrating Impact Prize by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), in recognition of the ‘Outstanding Impact on Business’ of her research. Professor Jarzabkowski received a trophy and £10,000 to promote the economic and social impacts of her research from BBC broadcaster Evan Davis.

Sir Brendan Barber Treaty, which was presented to the Convention on the Future of Europe. As well as his position at the City Law School, Sir Alan is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Cambridge and practices as a Barrister at Henderson Chambers in London. Professor Carl Stychin, Dean of the City Law School commented: “I am certain that I speak for all colleagues in congratulating Sir Alan on this outstanding and richly deserved recognition of his enormous contribution to his field. I felt very proud to read the list and to see our Law School associated with such a distinguished scholar.” Three City alumni were also honoured. Sir Brendan Barber, formerly General Secretary of

the Trades Union Congress was appointed Knights Bachelor for services to employment relations. A former President of the Students’ Union, he graduated with a BSc in Social Sciences in 1974 and received an Honorary Degree from City in 2007. He was appointed to the University Council earlier this year. Alumnus Sir Dick Olver, Chairman of BAE Systems (Civil Engineering, 1970) was appointed Knights Bachelor for services to business and alumna Jeanette Siddall was appointed Commander of the British Empire for services to dance. Siddle, former Director of Dance for Arts Council England, graduated in 1989 with an MA in Arts Administration and a Diploma in Dance.


Media highlights Recent highlights of press releases and notable media coverage. City Perspectives City Perspectives is a series of topical videos and essays of City academics commenting on a big issue in the media and published by the Press Office on City’s website. In February, academics from the School of Arts & Social Sciences and City Law School examined the Government decision on an EU referendum from sociological, political, legal and cultural perspectives. The first City Perspectives last November examined the US elections, including a contribution from Professor Suzanne Franks from the Department of Journalism (right). Professor Franks said: “City Perspectives is a great way for academics to provide unmediated commentary on current affairs. It is a useful vehicle for promoting the expertise within City to our staff, students and the general public.” If you are interested in contributing to a future City Perspectives, contact your School’s Senior Communications Officer. City University London Islington Tribune covered the unveiling of City’s estates plans (see page 7), noting: “The University was trying to bring to life the area around Northampton Square.” Cass Business School Dr Amanda Goodall co-authored a Times Higher Education article on the Research

Excellence Framework. thericherpoorer School of Arts & Social Sciences Professor Rosemary Hollis was quoted in a liveblog by The Guardian, warning of the dangers of lifting an arms embargo for rebel forces in Syria. School of Engineering & Mathematical Sciences City mathematicians were involved in research on body shape in relation to life expectancy, covered by the Daily Mail. School of Health Sciences A paper co-authored by City academics was among the top 10 abstracts submitted to the prestigious European Renal Association and European Dialysis and Transplant Association’s (ERA-EDTA) annual congress. School of Informatics Professor Kevin Jones was interviewed by Channel 4 News for an online report on the US Government PRISM spying programme. The City Law School In Lawyer2B, students Matthew Sellwood and Daniele Selmi discussed their becoming Commonwealth Mooting Champions (and Daniele winning Best Advocate).

Professor Suzanne Franks

Governance and ExCo

Each edition of City News features brief reports on recent meetings of Council, Senate and the University Executive Committee (ExCo). More information on our Governance structure can be found on our website:

April and May ExCo meetings again focused on the ‘Big Six’ important strategic items:  Academic recruitment  Undergraduate recruitment  Student satisfaction  Academic performance management  Professional Services Review  REF preparation and Research & Enterprise income. Items discussed and, where relevant, approved include:  Confirmed appointments of around 145 research-excellent staff by the REF census date (31st October).  ‘Postgraduate recruitment’ has replaced ‘Academic staff recruitment’ in the ‘Big Six’ items.

 Planning is in hand to fill around 700 undergraduate places in Clearing.  Future student numbers are broadly in line with the Strategic Plan but the balance of home/ EU/ international students is changing (to a greater proportion of international).  Updates from the PSR Steering Group.  Progress on bids for providing doctoral training: A bid was submitted for an EPSRC Doctoral Training Centre and the School of Arts & Social Sciences is exploring joint applications to the ESRC (with the Bloomsbury Group).  UKBA Steering Group activity including a planned internal audit to ensure that students’ records comply with UKBA requirements. ExCo acknowledged the considerable work on this by colleagues across the University.

 Pensions automatic enrolment.  Fees for placement, sandwich and year-abroad students and the proposed Access Agreement Retention Spend for 2012/13: Academic Services will bring forward proposals for retention activity.  Proposals will be considered from a Beginning of Year Activities working group, including for an airport ‘meet and greet’ service and a welcome event for international students.  Schools were reminded to use “City University London” on all research papers. Any variation, even “City University, London”, could result in City failing to be accredited in citations.

Building bridges between disciplines Our new Conjoint Dean of Engineering & Mathematical Sciences and Informatics outlines his intentions to bring the two schools closer together.


hat first attracted you to join City?

Article by John Stevenson

City is well known to me. Aside from the University’s enviable reputation, Northampton Square is a fabulous location. This part of London is undergoing dramatic development. It is so close to the financial centre. With the new high-rise structures, many design companies nearby and the Crossrail project on our doorstep, this is an exciting place to be for a structural engineer like myself. I was also aware of a change of leadership here at City and I was conscious of the investment programme underway when I applied for the role. I was excited by the ambition of the team and convinced about the future of the University. These are the reasons why City feels absolutely right. What is your vision for the two Schools? I would like to see them combined into a single School. It makes sense to me that engineering, mathematics and computer science collaborate as one. The kind of engineering I do depends on both computational science and applied mathematics, so the prospect of working alongside mathematicians greatly interests me. I also believe that all engineers benefit enormously from developing their computer

programming skills and I suggest that everyone should be encouraged to learn to code. The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) skills gap continues to be a worrying issue for the UK economy. How do you envisage City being a champion for STEM education? One area where I want to see City excel is in attracting more women to study engineering and computer science. Over the last decade we have seen increasing numbers of young women performing very well in mathematics and science at school. Yet few are opting for engineering or computer science when choosing their degree course. Somehow we are not explaining the kind of careers that are possible in these empowering professions. There is a huge opportunity here. I think that we need to spend more time in schools and get that message across. Tell us about your research interests and how your career has progressed? I started out as a civil engineer, working for a major UK contractor and my ambitions were to be a bridge designer. The opportunity to get some real design experience came to me quite early when I took my first overseas post in


Saudi Arabia. I was given more responsibility than a UK-based junior engineer would have been offered, working with a very capable team designing highway bridges in Jubail City. While I was working there, I met a young engineer responsible for the computer that stored all the engineering data and produced the engineering drawings. He had just completed a Masters degree at Imperial College London. It made me think about returning to study in an area of engineering which would inform my interests within structural engineering. So I went back to university and became interested in analysing complex structures using high-end computational techniques (the Finite Element Method, FEM). I undertook my PhD research at Manchester University using these analytical tools. There followed a period of working with the American architectural practice Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, in London. At that time an opportunity arose for me to take on a scientific role in Ecole Polytechnique in Lausanne, Switzerland. I was part of a team responsible for the earthquake analysis of the largest dams in Switzerland. While there, it became clear to me that my future would lie in an academic career and I was approached to join the Civil and Structural Engineering department at

Sheffield University. I moved back to the UK and set up a computational mechanics group. In 2005 I was invited to take the chair in Computational Mechanics at Durham University. Within two years I was Research Director and within a further three years I became Head of the School. So my trajectory has been that of a structural engineer who progressively became more and more interested in simulating and designing geometrically complex structures using high-performance computers. Would your experience have predated the advent of CAD-CAM [Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Manufacturing]? The connection between CAD-CAM was not so strong when I graduated in 1980. Initially, the FEM was a research tool. But since the 1990s it has indeed become part of mainstream CAD-CAM. Designers can now sketch out components and there is a direct link to an analysis program that can predict the way that a structure deforms under load. But the FEM is not just able to undertake stress analysis. It is used to capture many areas of multiphysics. For example, we might be simulating coupled electromechanical

phenomena and combining fluid flow simulations to predict the behavior of the human heart. The computational technique has had a remarkable growth and a tremendous impact on the way that engineering design is carried out. To use this tool effectively, it requires an understanding of computer science and an appreciation of the mathematics that underpins the algorithms. As Dean, will your research still be important to you? Absolutely – it is fundamental to my taking on this role. I am every bit as excited by research as I was when I started and my hunger for satisfying curiosity has not diminished in the least. The Schools have successfully commercialised research (one of the most successful spin-outs is Heliex Power). What are your thoughts on how we can accelerate research commercialisation? Heliex Power is a most exciting story and I am hearing more and more about that success. Such work builds on having a really good research base.


The academics who started out in that area were not thinking of commercial products, rather they wanted to understand the dynamics of the system; as ever, engineers trying to make systems more efficient. If one undertakes world-class research then two things can happen: firstly industry leaders want to come to you for your knowledge; and secondly it can spark off innovations that could lead to spin-out companies like Heliex Power. A research-active university is an extraordinarily creative environment for someone full of curiosity and ambition and providing an environment that encourages entrepreneurial spirit can lead to many new business opportunities. Regarding the Research Excellence Framework (REF), how do you see the Schools improving their research profiles? I think we are in a good position with many able academics at City and we have recently recruited several new [research-excellent academic] staff. I have seen much of the research output that will be returned for the next REF and I am impressed. Every UK university is trying to improve its performance and we are aware of this. However it is clear to me that City will make strong submissions in all three areas of General Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science. Over the last five years, Informatics has deepened its involvement with Tech City. What are your thoughts on City’s involvement in this sector? Tech City is our neighbour and we have made strong connections there. The partnership presents tremendous internship and placement opportunities for our undergraduates. I am keen to see City expand the collaboration. I have also become aware of the City Unrulyversity ‘pop-up university’. This is a great mechanism for Tech City and the University to understand each other’s skills and I am delighted this is happening on our doorstep. What are your interests outside of academia? I have a family, a daughter and a granddaughter. It is delightful that I now live closer to them. Since I was a young boy I have followed the Tour de France and for some nine years I have taken my family to France to watch the Tour. I also ride with friends in the mountains, not just in France but during equivalent tours in Italy and Spain. My other interests include contemporary art and the theatre.

Professor Crouch: His career to date  Educated at Belfairs High and Westcliff High Grammar School.  Trained with engineering contractors Wimpey International (1976-81), working in their structural design department (London) prior to joining engineering consultants Vallentine, Laurie & Davies in Riyadh (1982-83).  Awarded Scholarship to study MSc Engineering Rock Mechanics at Imperial College (1983-84), then ESRC Research Associate at Manchester University (1984-86), studying for a PhD in computational structural engineering.  Joined UK consultants Mott, Hay & Anderson as a structural engineer working on the design of the Channel Tunnel (1986-88) then US architectural practice Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (1988-90).  Moved to Switzerland to take up a Research Scientist post at École Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne (1990-94) predicting the seismic response of large dams.  Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer in Department of Civil and Structural Engineering at Sheffield University (1994-05).  Professor of Computational Mechanics at Durham University (2005), Research Director (2007-10), then Head of School of Engineering & Computing Sciences (2010-13). Roger’s research has focused on nonlinear finite element code development for analysing complex engineering structures. He has attracted £6.6M in research funds, published over 90 research papers and supervised 20 PhD students. For more than 15 years Roger carried out research for British Energy on the structural integrity of Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor (AGR) nuclear pressure vessels. He led two EU projects on dynamic fluid-structure interaction and the prediction of damage in nuclear containment structures. Although his main research contributions have been in the field of computational plasticity, his interests have broadened to reflect the wider use of high performance computers within computational science.

“It makes sense to me that engineering, mathematics and computer science collaborate as one”


Research at City

How best to protect Cloud computing The rise of Cloud computing on next generation internet networks – services like Microsoft Office 365 and Google Drive – raises security and privacy issues around Cloud infrastructure. How security threats could affect the availability, confidentiality and integrity of Cloud networks is a key concern for the global IT industry. Research co-authored by Professor Muttukrishnan Rajarajan in the School of Engineering & Mathematical Sciences, has proposed how to improve Cloud

infrastructure security against both internal and external threats. His paper surveyed current systems for detecting threats to Cloud computing to identify the desired security levels for next generation computing networks. Major security concerns include the detection and prevention of intrusions into Cloud networks and traditional attacks such as IP Spoofing or Denial of Service attacks frequently used by hackers. The research, published in Journal of Network and Computer Applications, identified the use of a Firewall as a good option for preventing

attacks from outside networks, but not attacks from within a network – which could be mitigated by efficient intrusion detection systems and intrusion prevention systems. Professor Rajarajan said: “This paper emphasised options to incorporate intrusion detection and intrusion prevention techniques into Cloud infrastructure and where they can be positioned for the most efficient detection and prevention. We also identified several security challenges to be addressed by the research community to make Cloud a secure and trusted platform for the delivery of the future ‘Internet of Things’.”


Dr Kizito Salako

Professor Kevin Jones

Modelling assumptions behind computer security Virtually every handheld mobile, tablet and computer device utilises a security policy for access and to use applications such as email, but there are a raft of myths and misconceptions around digital security applications. Professor Kevin Jones and Dr Kizito Salako from the School of Informatics demonstrate that so-called ‘good practices’ in computer security are frequently based on assumptions and on local evidence that cannot be generalised. Cryptography for instance, has provided reliable security which can be modelled

mathematically in banking, military security, e-commerce and other applications but there are few measurable ways for ordinary users to prove the validity of security policies governing their devices or applications. ‘Modelling Security Policy and the Effect for End-Users’ proposes a formal mathematical model of security policies, permitting Professor Jones and Dr Salako to evaluate quantitatively the claimed benefits of security systems to end users, by examining the concept of ‘password policy’ to increase security. The policy is defined as a set of rules for enhancing security by encouraging users to employ strong passwords and use them properly. The authors note a difference between a ‘strong’ password under the policy

and its translation into operation based on human experience and choice. Crucial to the model is the ‘attacker’ profile and behaviour and a requirement to factor in user and attacker choices, to arrive at a true understanding of security vulnerability. The authors call for, “a system of quantifiable reasoning that allows us to make informed decisions about the validity of policy choice, to ensure that we get the right balance of security and convenience.” The research will be presented at Human Computer Interaction International 2013 and has been accepted for publication in the proceedings by academic publisher Springer.


City Research Online Have you uploaded your research outputs to City’s research repository? City Research Online can help raise the visibility and citation of your research and help the University to collate and monitor its research. Find out more at:

Does plain cigarette packaging undermine IP? Research by Dr Enrico Bonadio from the City Law School has explored whether a new tobacco control policy introduced in Australia could be compatible with European law. In December 2012, Australia became the first country to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes to reduce smoking. Cigarettes are sold in olive-coloured packaging, with brand names in a uniform typeface and adorned with images of associated health issues. Design elements such as trademarks Functional stupidity causes financial scandals From rogue traders at UBS to Libor-rate rigging at Barclays, a wave of recent scandals has engulfed the financial services industry. Is there a common reason why apparently intelligent and knowledgeable employees leave logic at the door? A paper published in The Journal of Management Studies by Professor Andre Spicer of Cass Business School, suggests the answer lies in what he calls ‘functional stupidity’. “Smart companies – like banks and professional service firms – claim to be driven by knowledge. However, a closer look reveals

registered by tobacco manufacturers are removed. Dr Bonadio and co-author Professor Alberto Alemanno of HEC Paris, explored the compatibility of this policy with EU Intellectual Property (IP) law (in particular trademark and design law) and with fundamental rights provisions enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

that the opposite is the case,” says Professor Spicer, co-author with Professor Mats Alvesson of Lund University. “Many of these firms are actually stupidity intensive. It is not that these firms are full of people with low IQs. This is usually far from the case. Rather these organisations urge highly intelligent people not to make full use of their intellectual capacity. Instead, company members are supposed not to think about things too much and simply get on with the job.” Knowledge-intensive companies are apparently particular susceptible to functional stupidity because of the intangible nature of their work; they become preoccupied with window dressing and ignore difficult longer-term questions.

The paper, An Analysis of Plain Packaging of Tobacco Products under EU IP Law, was published in European Intellectual Property Review. The research concludes that adopting plain packaging at EU and/or member state levels should be carefully assessed under existing provisions. “Opponents of generic packaging might stress this measure would seriously jeopardise the main functions of registered trademarks and prevent tobacco producers from using their registered designs on the packs,” warns Dr Bonadio.

“If employees and senior management alike are encouraged to focus on putting out positive messages, serious problems can be overlooked. When there is less slack in the system, this can result in serious failures, even large-scale corporate disasters.” However, functional stupidity can also be a boon during the good times: “When company members don’t ask too many difficult questions, people tend to get along better and get the job done more efficiently.” The paper gained widespread coverage including in the Financial Times, New Scientist, Le Monde, Liberation, Fortune, The Globe and Mail and Times of India.


Meet the team The Enterprise Office

Catherine Ben


Andrew Bernice


Sue The Enterprise Office aims to increase the social andeconomic impact of the University, through the commercialistation of research outputs, the provision of services to business and the community and the delivery of enterprise education of staff and students. This is a close-knit team of knowledge transfer professionals based in the Myddelton Building on Goswell Road, who work with Business and Research Development Managers in Schools. Activities span businesses and the local community, academics and their research and students (with Short Courses bridging all three areas). The team is led by Dr Sue O’Hare, whose responsibility is to ensure the fit between the University’s strategic direction and the Enterprise Office’s activities.

What we do Linking minds and markets The Enterprise Office champions and strengthens City’s income-generating opportunities from Tech City, including volunteering and outreach (e.g. the City Law School-led City Enterprise Services), placements and collaborative research (e.g. Innovation Vouchers from Creative Works

London) and programmes like City Unrulyversity (City News Issue 15).

businesses that have never worked with City before, or to develop existing relationships.

It also supports City-wide initiatives such as sponsorship of the Digital Shoreditch festival (see page 6).

Enterprise Education The Office provides training and development opportunities for staff, students and external individuals and businesses. The Enterprise Education team enhances students’ employability through events, workshops and competitions in partnership with the Career & Skills Development Service.

Technology Transfer The Technology Transfer team helps to protect, manage and commercialise City’s intellectual property with advice on patents, copyright, design and trademarks. The team helps to negotiate licences and assists academics in accelerating the commercialisation of technologies and research. It runs technology transfer surgeries every Monday afternoon (see page 20). Business Incubation The Hangout (City News Issue 15) is the University’s new incubation space in the heart of Tech City, managed by the Enterprise Office and providing an environment for tech start-ups to interact and build relationships with City students and alumni. Knowledge Transfer This helps academics set up and manage initiatives such as Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and Innovation Vouchers. These help academics to establish connections with

MBA and PhD students also benefit from London City Incubator’s Academy, a University-wide initiative for commercialising new technologies that provides students with in-house training and experience from working on live business projects. Skills Development The Enterprise Office runs over 120 short courses in diverse disciplines including business and management, computing, creative industries and foreign languages. Many subjects are taught at incremental levels, allowing participants to build proficiency over several terms. Short courses are income generating and increase student numbers via marketing campaigns targeting Tech City. Importantly, City’s staff can enjoy a 50% discount for many popular courses.



Marius Nadia


Dionisius Robert



Case study: Knowledge Transfer Partnerships Online video has limited capabilities requiring users to click through to related content using surrounding menus or video-embedded prompts, but a partnership between City and local multi-media production company Hub Productions, aims to enable viewers to interact with online video content. The project was made possible by funding from the Technology Strategy Board’s Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) scheme, secured with support from City’s Enterprise Office. The City-Hub Productions partnership comprises Drs Simone Stumpf and George Buchanan from City’s Centre for Human Computer Interaction Design; Hub

Tia Productions; and Sohail Sahab, a KTP Associate. Dr Stumpf, the project’s Academic Supervisor, says: “User experience design plays a huge role in online customer satisfaction and conversion rates, but relatively little research has been done into how it applies to interactive video. Our new partnership is creating a novel technology that will benefit both viewers and brands alike.” The partnership was established in 2011 when Hub’s Director David Hunstone learnt about KTPs at an industry event and realised that City’s human-computer interaction expertise could help his ambitious project. He approached Nadia Zernina-Forde in City’s Enterprise Office and Drs Stumpf and Buchanan were asked to share their expertise to carry the project forward. Conversations with the academics meant David’s original idea underwent a few

Sophi e transformations before an Expression of Interest was submitted to the KTP advisor affiliated with City. Once it was accepted, the academics and David worked with City’s Enterprise Office on the funding application, which the Technology Strategy Board approved and awarded £100,000 funding (matching Hub Production’s contribution). The team recruited Sohail as an Associate to work on the project under guidance from Simone and George and it is now making tremendous progress. Jan Stringer, City’s KTP Adviser says: “The team has really impressed me with their innovative approach that inspired creativity in the user group. They have also meticulously filmed all the usability studies, which, in my view, will give the product additional credibility and ‘warm up’ potential customers for future sales.” For more information about KTPs, contact Nadia Zernina-Forde in the Enterprise Office:


Student journalist

Reporting from Digital Shoreditch City’s students were in the thick of the action at the Digital Shoreditch festival, gaining hands-on reporting experience By Aurelia Seidlhofer, Catalina Albeanu and Christian Jensen


A group of City Journalism students gained invaluable reporting experience during the recent Digital Shoreditch festival by helping local publisher C21 Media to produce multimedia content on the festival for websites and local press. The four students involved – Aurelia Seidlhofer, Catalina Albeanu, Christian Jensen and Rob Whitson – produced news, features and videos for C21 Media’s Tech City Insider website during the Festival. As part of the agreement they could also use the content for their own purposes. This included the St John Street News news blog, originally created as part of a course module at City but which is now a standalone project edited by students. The students’ publishing of festival content on their blog was so successful that it broke its own records for weekly views. Here three of the students involved talk about their experiences:


1. Aurelia Seidlhofer “I have been writing the Tech City section of St John Street News for three months now but I still learned so much about the start ups scene from covering the Digital Shoreditch Festival. “All of the sessions I attended and the people I interviewed were really inspiring and I made some good contacts but the week was also very intense for me because I had to produce video coverage with C21 media and write content for St John Street News at the same time. I also had to make sure that the other students and staff had access to the content management system of the site and promoting our content on social media. “Luckily everyone on the team was really pro-active and we had a great response from the audience in views, which was a real reward for all the hard work. I think we produced outstanding multi-media coverage of the event that was better than some other media outlets’ coverage.”

2. Catalina Albeanu “Reporting from Digital Shoreditch was challenging at times, but always fun and interesting. I was involved with the Digital Shoreditch Daily last year and I jumped at the chance to do something like that again. Working with C21 Media was a great


opportunity to learn on the job, both from observing the interview techniques of experienced journalists and from interviewing speakers myself. “Being given a list of interview targets and basically set loose to get on with it was difficult at times, but very enjoyable.”

3. Christian Jensen “Working with Tech City Insider and St John St News was a great time. Sadly because it was smack in the middle of the exam period I could join for only one day but it was worth it and if I had more time I would definitely have stuck around. “Working in small teams with a pop-up studio on location is tremendous fun; you get thrown right into the action, have to think on your feet and be efficient. It was a great method for something like Digital Shoreditch and we got some brilliant people on camera. “I would recommend it for all Journalism students, especially if you are interested in broadcasting or news. It was a treat getting a chance to network with all the movers and shakers at the drinks reception as well.” You can read St John Street News, including its coverage of Digital Shoreditch, at:


Staff benefits Employee discounts

Orange Perks Offer

City Discounts from Edenred offers online savings with high street, supermarket, travel and online retailers. Without changing your shopping habits you could save over £500 a year:

Orange Perks enables you and up to four family and friends to get money off pay monthly, pre-pay or mobile broadband deals.

How to sign up:  Go to: Your username is your City email address The initial password is ‘Citydiscounts’

Simply visit an Orange Retail Store with photographic ID and a City payslip from the last two months to sign up. To find out more go online:

Santander Universities on campus The Santander University branch in the Drysdale Building has recently been upgraded to allow cash transactions over the counter. The branch already offers a wide range of products and services for student and staff customers. You can find out more by visiting the branch on the 1st floor of Drysdale Building or contacting Branch Manager Clara Alonso on or T: 05511482091

From the archive City computing in the 1950s

City’s involvement in Tech City and Digital Shoreditch is not the first time it has been at the forefront of British computing. In 1957, the Northampton College of Advanced Technology is believed to have become the first UK higher education institution to have a computer made available for its use. A Ferranti Pegasus computer was provided on permanent loan from Lord Halsbury, Managing Director of the National Research Development Corporation (NRDC), who loaned it after being impressed by a College

summer school on computers and calculators in 1955. The Ferranti Pegasus 1 (number 8 of 26 made) was cutting edge technology and installed for dual use by the College and NRDC. It was a free-standing, rack-mounted unit with chromium-plated switches on a front panel. A special device enabled inputting and outputting using punched tape that required frequent manual splicing. According to The City University by S. John Teague, Senior Lecturer in Mathematics at the time Leslie Clarke was responsible for the

Ferranti and was assisted by a small team of technicians and programming clerks. The loan was paid for by selling surplus ‘time’ on the Ferranti externally to research staff and students, external bodies and other colleges ‘for industrial use and instruction purposes’. In this respect it was hugely successful, generating hundreds of thousands of pounds in revenue for both the NRDC and the College. And the fate of the Ferranti Pegasus? No one seems to know. If you do, let us know by contacting the Editor.

Dates for your diary To find details and to register for events at City, you can visit our website:

University events Undergraduate Induction Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th September Undergraduate Open Day Saturday 28th September Vice-Chancellor’s Open House September 2013 (tbc) Oliver Thompson Lecture Theatre Conferences Applied Legal Storytelling Conference Monday 22nd to Wednesday 24th July, Atkin Building Gray’s Inn Place National Pregnancy Sickness Support Conference Thursday 5th September The Pregnancy Sickness Support charity hosts the only national conference on Hyperemesis Gravidarum, the pregnancy complication. International Conference on Compressors and their Systems 2013 Monday 9th to Tuesday 10th September, Northampton Square Hosted by City University London in conjunction with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers International Conference: The Jack-Up Platform Tuesday 17th to Wednesday 18th September The latest biennial conference on recent developments in the offshore oil and gas industry, related to Jack-Up technology.

Lectures and seminars George Daniels Lecture 2013 Wednesday 18th September, Oliver Thompson Lecture Theatre Other events Technology Transfer Surgeries – From patents to proof of concept funds From 2pm every Monday (booking by appointment) The Technology Transfer team can provide one-to-one advice and guidance on commercialising research, including patents and copyright. To make an appointment, email:

Staff training and development For information about staff training email: or visit:

Welcome to City - Staff Induction Tuesday 23rd July Appraisal Workshop for those that do not Appraise Others (Professional Staff ) Wednesday 24th July

City news issue 16  

Bi-monthly magazine for staff at City University London

City news issue 16  

Bi-monthly magazine for staff at City University London