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News for Staff & Students

66 Research Insights Using Artificial Intelligence to improve our lives Lighting up Durham January - February 2020



January - February 2020

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Welcome Welcome to the first issue of Dialogue in 2020 and a Happy New Year to you all.

@Durham_Uni Family and friends from around the world joined us when we started the year by celebrating the successes of our students and honorary graduates at Winter Congregation. You can read more about our class of 2020 on page 9. As always, I would like to thank everybody who had a role in making our ceremonies such fantastic events. Following a £2.5 million restoration project, I am pleased to announce the reopening of our Assembly Rooms Theatre in January – just in time for the spring/summer programme of Student Theatre. The annual Durham Drama Festival will take place in February and will showcase the creative talent of our student playwrights.



Tell your story Please send your contributions and feedback to dialogue@durham.ac.uk

As a University, we have much more to look forward to in 2020. In April we will formally reopen our Sports and Wellbeing Park after a major £32 million refurbishment. The new Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science Building will open for the academic year 2020/21 and we will open our first new College in 14 years – South College at Mount Oswald. I am delighted to report on the recent successes of two of our academics. Professor Clare McGlynn in our Department of Law has been appointed as an honorary Queen’s Counsel, the highest recognition a non-practising lawyer can receive. Professor Julian (Joe) Elliott, one of our leading education experts, has received the 2020 Award for Outstanding Contribution to Educational and Child Psychology from the British Psychological Society. Many congratulations to Clare and Joe. Finally, I am looking forward to welcoming Dr Wendy Powers as our new Head of University College in June. Wendy’s secondary role will be Associate Vice Provost (Education), where she will use her considerable skills and experience to advance the University’s widening access and participation agendas. I am sure you will join me in making Wendy welcome the next time she is in Durham (ahead of her taking up her new roles). With all best wishes,

Professor Stuart Corbridge Vice-Chancellor and Warden



Contents issue



January - February 2020


Editor Ulrike Klaerig-Jackson, Communications Co-ordinator Contributors Daryl Dowding, Museums and Attractions; Claire Hall, Karen Frost, Steph Hall, Mark Tallentire, Nicky Sawicki, Marketing & Communications; Danielle Philips, CIS; Yvonne Flynn, Greenspace; Sam Nolan, DCAD; Laura Day, PVC Colleges & Student Experience Office; Christine Bohlander, Careers & Enterprise; Charles Walker, Experience Durham


4 Social 5 Congratulations class of 2020 6 Curtains rise on newly refurbished Assembly Rooms Theatre


14 Lighting up Durham for Lumiere festival 16 What’s on in our libraries and museums 17 Helping everyone get around the University safely

7 The Importance of Regional Theatre

18 Greenspace

8 Collaborative Innovation Grants

20 CIS News

9 Women’s British Basketball League Durham Palatinates

22 Durham Inspired Award

10 College round-up

23 An Insight into 24 What’s on

12 Research Insights – Using artificial intelligence to improve our lives

CUR/12/19/137 Durham University and Durham University logo are registered Trade Marks of the University of Durham. Unless otherwise stated, all material in this publication is copyright of the University of Durham. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained here is accurate. Please note that the University’s website is the most up to date source of information and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.




January - February 2020

Social Our favourite posts, tweets and videos over the past two months to show you what's been happening around the University.

Top 3

tweets Today we celebrated the official opening of Teaching and Learning Centre with our Council. The new building has been a real success, hosting nearly 4000 hours of teaching and 2000 hours of @durhamSU societies in its first term alone. https://fal. cn/35wvv  #DUinspire

HUGE well done to the 275 players who took part in the 24-hour football match and helped @CollingwoodDU raise over £4k for @SirStanleyMatth Incredible effort. #DUinspire Read more about this mammoth match: https://fal.cn/35iee


of the month

The votes have been counted and we have a winner. Congratulations to @caitlinkinney who submitted this fantastic photo in our #DUlumiere photo competition.


of the month from YouTube youtube.com/ watch?v=T533M3mTYdc

Durham Global Lecture Series Starting later this month, we’re spending £8m to improve pedestrian and road user movement around our site. Safety is our top priority. Find out more: https://fal.cn/34YiX

Lady Hale, President of the Supreme Court, UK, gives the inaugural lecture in Durham University’s new Global Lecture Series.





Dialogue Chris Kelly


our colleagues, in recognition of their long and exemplary service of national and international importance. Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, Doctor of Divinity, was recognised for his service to the Church of England and for the support and encouragement he offers our students and to St John’s College. Sir Kevan Collins, Doctor of Letters, was recognised for his achievements in the field of education and his role in developing strong links between the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and Durham University. Mr Chris Kelly, Doctor of Civil Law, was recognised for his contribution to the world of rugby and his role as a valued mentor for many of our young athletes. 

Archbishop of York

Barbara Vest

Ms Barbara Vest, OBE, Doctor of Science, was recognised for her long and successful career in the power industry and her role on our Durham Energy Institute Advisory Board, where she has selflessly devoted much time to supporting our students and early career researchers. Our honorary graduates come from a range of fields and all have achieved great things. Their dedication and passion for their work embody our values and we were incredibly proud to award each of them with an honorary degree. We hope that all of our graduates and honorary graduates take Durham with them wherever they go and that they become ambassadors for our University, City and region.

Congratulations class of 2020 In early January, over 1,500 of our students graduated at five ceremonies in Durham Cathedral. We were joined by family and friends from around the world to celebrate the graduands’ hard work and inspiring achievements. For those who couldn’t make it on the day, each ceremony was streamed online, offering front row seats to well-wishers near and far.

Our Chancellor, Sir Thomas Allen, paid tribute to graduands from established Colleges in Durham and also Common Awards graduands from Theological Colleges around the UK, marvelling at all they have achieved so far and offering a reminder of their importance to us here at Durham. During winter congregation, we also awarded honorary degrees to four inspiring individuals. All four were nominated by

Make a nomination If you would like to nominate an Honorary Graduate for 2021, visit our Congregation webpages to find out more: durham.ac.uk/ceremonies/honorary The nomination deadline is Monday 3 February 2020.

Sir Kevan Collins



January - February 2020

Curtains rise on newly refurbished Assembly Rooms Theatre As we work to deliver a world-class student experience, we are investing significantly in our estates and facilities and increasingly making them widely available to everyone in and around Durham.

Lion Theatre Company’s production of Joseph K

Following a year-long, £2.5 million restoration project, the Assembly Rooms Theatre officially reopened on Friday 24 January 2020, just in time for the exciting Spring / Summer programme.

Credit Samuel Kirkman

DULOG Theatre Company’s production of Avenue Q

Durham Drama Festival Durham Drama Festival (DDF) is a key event in our student theatre calendar. The student-run drama festival features nine new plays and showcases the creative talent of our student playwrights. The drama festival also encourages participation in student theatre, whether you’re interested in acting and directing, or lighting and costume design.

The official launch event, opened by our Chancellor Sir Thomas Allen, was an artistic showcase featuring performances by current students and alumni, as well as talks by community artists. Situated on North Bailey, in the most historic part of Durham, the theatre now boasts a revamped box office area, improved facilities and a newly restored 150-year-old ceiling.

What’s on? The theatre will be home to local theatre companies ‘Grim Up North’ and ‘Elysium Theatre’, as well as Durham University Student Theatre, and we hope that the talent on display will enhance the City’s cultural scene.

You can find out more about our Spring / Summer programme and buy tickets online: theassemblyroomstheatre.org/whats-on

The Spring / Summer programme features something for everyone, including poetry, comedy, landmark drama and a sprinkling of Shakespeare. Highlights include a performance by multi-award-winning performance poet and alumnus of the Durham Revue, Bróccán Tyzack-Carlin, an Edinburgh Fringe sell-out hit and a preview of the Durham Showcase 2020 before it travels to The Tristan Bates Theatre in London.

DDF begins on Sunday 2 February 2020 with a Scratch Night, which gives our artists the opportunity to test out new material on a live audience. The main performances take place over three nights, from Wednesday 5 to Friday 7 February, offering you plenty of opportunities to take in a show or two. The full programme and tickets are available to buy from the Assembly Rooms Theatre website: theassemblyroomstheatre.org



DULOG- Singing in the rain


Importance of Regional Theatre

Credit Samuel Kirkman

As we embark on the Spring / Summer season of performances in the newly refurbished Assembly Rooms Theatre, it seems like there is no better time than to look to the future of the theatre as a cultural hub in Durham and, indeed, the North-East of England. Wandering around the city lately has been coupled with an undeniable buzz around the theatre’s reopening, both among the student body and local community. Such excitement is a timely reminder of the unflinching importance of regional theatre in ensuring that access to and opportunities in drama and entertainment are never centralised or restricted to our capital city. London’s theatre-scene is, of course, brilliant, but it is also almost 300 miles and a very expensive train ticket away. The Assembly Rooms is contributing to the ever-vital presence of theatre right here, right now.

The recent Gala Theatre and Durham Student Theatre production of the Lord of the Flies is a testament to the creative possibilities we can foster with a firm focus on collaboration and innovation within the community. The production saw Newcastle-based Artistic Director of Unfolding Theatre, Annie Rigby, unite with the University, another integral part of Durham, on a truly remarkable project labelled “a great success” by the British Theatre Guide. Such relationships are undoubtedly what the Assembly Rooms hopes to continue foster in the coming months as it opens its doors to faces old and new, and to professional companies alongside its regular term-time student productions. With our two Durham-based resident

companies, Elysium Theatre Company and Grim Up North, already in situ, all hands are on deck to ensure that Durham continues to thrive and make its mark on the regional theatre map. By Elvira Parr Elvira is an English Literature student at Van Mildert College. Her interests at University centre around music and drama: she enjoys producing through Durham Student Theatre, is part of two choirs and works as Marketing Assistant at the Assembly Rooms Theatre.



January - February 2020

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

I had been thinking about this project about the impact of ballet on language learning, but I did not have the means to realise it. Now I can develop it and see where it leads to.

DCAD Collaborative Innovation Grants A project which explores how ballet can be used to enhance learning for students studying French as a second language has won the first round of the new Collaborative Innovation Grant – a grant scheme recently launched by DCAD. Dr Géraldine Crahay from the School of Modern Languages explains … “I was thrilled when I learned that I had been awarded the DCAD collaborative grant. I had been thinking about this project about the impact of ballet on language learning, but I did not have the means to realise it. Now I can develop it and see where it leads to.”

This exciting grant scheme has been designed to support staff across the University to develop innovative and inclusive learning and teaching approaches. It is hoped that these initiatives will enhance student learning and success, and encourage good practice across the institution and beyond.

The grants of up to £5,000 will be given to innovative collaborative scholarship projects which support DCAD’s strategic aim of enhancing the academic learning and the teaching experience of Durham students. There will be three calls for funding each year, with projects starting on 1 December, 1 April, and 1 August. Projects can be four, eight, or twelve months in duration. Applications will be evaluated against five criteria: • Innovation - the degree to which the project is novel and sector-leading in terms of pedagogy and practice. Innovative digital projects in particular are encouraged. • Feasibility - how realistic and achievable the aims of the project, timescale, plan, and proposed outcomes are. • Cost effectiveness - the degree to which the project budget represents necessary and appropriate expenditure for the proposed outcomes. • Evaluation - the robustness and appropriateness of the evaluation plan to provide evidence of the value of the project. • Impact - dissemination activities proposed, and the scope and scale of the potential outcomes of the project on academic teaching and learning quality for students within Durham University, and potentially beyond. For more information on the scheme and to apply for the grant, visit durham.ac.uk/ dcad/collaborativegrants Submission deadlines announced so far for 2020 include 3 February and 1 June 2020.


Power Forward


more experience than I have, I look forward to learning from them. It also offers the perfect balance between basketball and studies.” Katie Bennett – Guard / Master of Chemistry “I hope to achieve a balance between my basketball development and academic studies, being able to achieve highly in both whilst becoming a stronger player and successful student” Ellie Hutchinson Guard / Natural Sciences

– WBBL Durham Palatinates

“It’s always so nice to have support behind you and it definitely motivates you on the court. Hopefully this year we’ll give Durham something to be excited about, as we are still developing but have achieved so much already. I know Lee isn’t going to let us stop the hard work so I’m sure we can keep climbing.” Sunny Williams - Guard / English Literature

It’s been a great season for the Women’s British Basketball League (WBBL) Durham Palatinates. As we go to print, the team is heading to the WBBL Cup Finals under the expert guidance of Coach Lee Davie, who scooped the Molten WBBL Coach of the Month gong in December 2019. The WBBL Championship is the premier professional women’s basketball league in the United Kingdom, with 12 franchises in major towns and cities across the nation. Ahead of the 2019/20 season, we spoke to the WBBL Durham Palatinates to find out how they feel about representing their University and how they will balance academic study with playing sport at an elite level. “The coaching staff and support network offer development opportunities mentally, physically, technically and tactically, as an individual and a team. The programme gives me the opportunity to make the most of being alongside players with so much

“The ability to have access to the court pretty much 24/7 was a good reason for me [to join the team] as it enables me to get in additional workouts to improve my game as much as possible.” Mollie Campbell – Team England and Commonwealth silver medallist, Current GB and Palatinates Power Forward / Coach

Hopefully this year we’ll give Durham something to be excited about “I hope my work ethic and passion can be seen by my teammates as this season goes on.” Nicolette Fong Lyew Quee – Team England and Commonwealth silver medallist, current GB and Palatinates Point Guard, Schools Liason Intern Get the latest Palatinates updates at @teamdurham @teamdurham



January - February 2020

College round-up Lionesses at Hatfield This term Hatfield College has welcomed two new Lionesses to the College: our first Lioness Scholar and our new Lioness Sculpture marking thirty years of Hatfield Women. Funded by alumni and friends of the College, the Hatfield Lioness Scholarship offers a fully-funded Master’s to enable a female student from a developing country, where access to tertiary education is limited to benefit from undertaking postgraduate study at Durham. Professor Ann MacLarnon, Master of Hatfield, commented ‘The Lioness sculpture celebrates 30 years since the first admittance of women to Hatfield, and symbolises so much about the modernday College, inclusive, All One Hatfield. Lionesses are a great model - they are strong, they belong to a community, they work together. All parts of our College contributed to the commission by Emma Stothard, a female sculptor from the North East – all three Common Rooms, Hatfield Association, Hatfield Trust, individual alumni and friends. This has been a great College project, a great contemporary reflection of our mascot the lion, from our College crest.’

The Hatfield Lioness with Nahiya, the first Lioness Scholar and Professor MacLarnon, Master of Hatfield

naming the boat. In total, £10,000 was raised, allowing the boat club to purchase a second-hand Stämpfli IV, which was fully refurbished over the summer.

A new men’s’ IV for Grey College Early in the 2018-19 academic year, we were approached by our boat club to see if we could help them to raise funds towards a new men’s’ top IV. This was because the two boats in their fleet at that time were in varying states of disrepair; “The Earl” had become impossible to balance for light-weight crews, coupled with fin problems, whilst “Bluestinov” would regularly take-in water. A campaign was put together during the Epiphany Term, supported by the Grey College Trust, and utilising the College’s crowdfunding site, GreatIdeas. The campaign was launched at a collaborative evening event at the Old Bank of England in London, with members of the current boat club in attendance. At this event, various items of boating memorabilia were auctioned, including a boat-club blazer and the privilege of

Following the refurbishment, the boat was put into use, and it was officially launched and named at a ceremony on 30 October, which was attended by current and former boat-club members, including the father of a current student, who himself was a student at Grey College in the late 80s. The boat was named Schilders, snel beter by Professor Tom Allen, Master of Grey College. This name has a number of interpretations, including Schilders, faster better, in the hope it will inspire our crews to future successes, but also honouring the fact that the person who bid on the right to name the boat was injured in an accident over the summer, and recovered much more quickly than expected. The boat club is really proud of the latest addition to their fleet, which is beginning to really make a difference to the top men’s squads in the College.


C5 (Collingwood College Community Challenge Cup) is a donor funded youth community football initiative that enables young people in the North East to participate in a football tournament organised by Collingwood student volunteers and hosted on Collingwood’s floodlit rubber crumb pitch.

Throughout the day, messages from a number of special guests inspired the young girls. Amelia Kemp, Club Captain of DUWAFC, a BUCS National Champion and former Sunderland Ladies player, spoke to the participants about the strength of women’s football and how she balances sport with her degree. Megan Borthwick and Iris Achterhof from Durham Women’s FC presented the medals and spoke about their journeys into football

and the commitment required to reach the peak of their discipline. Vicki Sparks, a Collingwood alumna, British Sports Journalist and the first female to commentate on the World Cup for the BBC, sent her best wishes to the participants via a video message. Vicki was commentating that day on the England vs Germany game which recorded the highest ever turnout for a woman’s game.

On 10 November, the C5 project hosted their first ever women’s tournament and welcomed around 80 children from local girls’ football teams. After some competitive group stages and some impressive displays of footballing talent, Stockton FC and Brandon United Whites made it to the final. After a dramatic last minute equalizer, the final was eventually won by Stockton on a sudden death penalty shoot-out. Over lunch, teams were buddied up with current Collingwood students and were able to ask questions about university life whilst tucking into a hearty College lunch.

HIV Research Internships in Zambia In 2019, Izzy, Sophie and Megan went to rural Zambia for a unique field experience as part of a study that follows the developmental trajectories of over 1,000 children affected by HIV. These internships are made possible thanks to the support of researchers at Macha Research Trust and donors to Collingwood’s 1972 Club Student Opportunities Fund. Only two of them returned… Izzy (Anthropology) After a long 30 hour journey, we found ourselves in a small village, home to a research base consisting of a hospital, nursing schools, and HIV and Malaria Labs. What struck me most were the beautiful colours; the orange earth, colourful chitenges worn by women in the village, and beautiful sunsets like nothing I’d seen before. Macha is a small but bustling community, and everyone made us feel welcome from the start. My task was to investigate the pluralistic health care in Macha. The community still placed a lot of trust in non-biomedical forms of medicine, such as herbal remedies and “witchcraft”, practiced by traditional healers and I narrowed my study down to ‘African Syntocinon’: the use of herbal remedies to induce and

quicken labour. I interviewed doctors, midwives, nurses, traditional healers, and women working in the market and within MRT. It became apparent that there was a discrepancy in the attitude towards traditional medicine between biomedical workers and the rest of the community, with hospital staff and educated women viewing traditional medicine as endangering women, whereas traditional healers and non-educated women upheld its importance. It’s hard to put into words the lessons I learned during my time in Zambia. After spending two years studying the anthropological research of others it was great to put some of their lessons into a real-life setting; my time in Macha will definitely shape my future career. Sophie (Education) My project focused on how children who are HIV+ fare academically compared to their HIV- peers. I spent a lot of my time working on data that had been collected in order to determine whether there were any correlations. This involved not only the data analyses but also chatting with the local researchers about their ideas and thoughts on my findings. These conversations gave me a lot of insight into the Zambian way of life. I also spent time visiting local schools to learn about how they educate children about HIV. Taking part in this research internship has pushed me towards considering


research as a career as I was able to see how much MRT contributes to the local community, not only through the amazing research, but also by creating many other jobs within the community that allow local people to improve their own economic status and create better lives for themselves. Megan (Biology) My main role was to begin the feasibility study for a new part of the study: investigating the possible negative effects of Efavirenz (a first-line drug for treatment of HIV-1 infection) on the neurological development of HIV+ children in the Macha area, and the role of gene variants in the metabolism of Efavirenz. I shadowed numerous laboratory researchers, learned about different types of PCR machines and how to use them, and practiced laboratory skills such as DNA extraction. I also visited rural health clinics to collect blood samples from infants; it was fascinating to see how the healthcare system works in Zambia, and how decentralization affects people in rural villages. I fell in love with Macha and my project so much that I decided to spend this academic year in Zambia as a placement year. I will be completing the feasibility study in full, which will involve enrolling participants, carrying out neurological assessments and genotyping blood samples. I will also be producing a publishable report by the end.



January - February 2020

Using Artificial Intelligence to improve our lives RESEARCH INSIGHTS

Last year, Dr Noura Al Moubayed was named by RE.WORK as one of the top 30 women working in Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the UK. Noura, from our Department of Computer Science, uses AI to allow computers to demonstrate behaviours usually associated with human intelligence such as planning, learning, reasoning, problem solving and perception.

She is an expert in deep learning which is an approach in AI that mimics the human brain. She uses AI to help develop the area of natural language processing (NLP) which helps computers understand, interpret and manipulate human language. We caught up with her to find out more about her work.

Why did you choose to work in AI? I always wanted to work in a field that is not limited to a narrow topic, but provides opportunities to contribute to society using diverse areas of research and applications. Hence my choice to go into computer science and later on, machine learning. This makes my daily job both challenging and interesting as I move from one area to another. I am currently working on a wide spectrum of applications from social media and marketing, to healthcare, cyber security, and applications in earth science. What is your main area of research? I focus on using AI to improve our quality of life in a range of different areas including



I am working on how to make AI explain its diagnosis in a way that will be understood and trusted by physicians and regulators.

theory and practice of deep learning and natural language processing, which my lab is currently focused on. Recently, there have been a number of studies demonstrating that AI is as accurate as a clinician when diagnosing breast cancer. However, the AI technology needs further development before it can be used as a medical device. I am working on how to make AI explain its diagnosis in a way that will be understood and trusted by physicians and regulators. I also conduct studies using a social robot, which has been designed to resemble a human. It comes in the form of a three dimensional head with a human-like face that mimics the way we speak, as well as using subtle facial expressions, such as smiling, blinking and maintaining eye contact. I carried out a pilot study with typically developed children in order to understand how Autistic children can use the social robot (which we called Robbie) to increase their confidence in social situations. As part of the pilot I took Robbie into a local school and introduced the children

Noura (bottom left) with children and staff from Fellside Primary School

medicine and cyber security. I am currently working with AI for healthcare, which will potentially have a significant impact on the quality of the outpatients’ service in the NHS. I am working with a local healthcare company (Cievert Ltd) who developed an app which records patients’ information once they have left hospital. I am using AI to power the app with the ability to monitor patients’ progress. If any problems are detected, the app will alert the patient’s medical team, enabling early intervention. The app will also determine whether an outpatient appointment is necessary or not, and will reduce the number of unnecessary follow-up hospital appointments. This requires developing technology in the

to the concept of AI. This led to a collaborative project with the school, where I volunteered to deliver lectures to the Year 6 children about machine learning and AI. I then asked them to come up with reallife ideas for using machine learning and invited them to come to my department and present their projects to my students and colleagues. When I gave my first lecture to the pupils, I asked how many of them were interested in studying science and about half the boys and none of the girls raised their hands. At the end of the project, I asked them all the same question again and I was amazed – and really proud – when they all raised their hands. Who was your role model growing up? Growing up in Syria, both my parents had to work long hours with multiple jobs alongside taking care of our family. I admired how my mother, an electrical engineer, worked really hard to prove herself as a female in a male-dominated area. Her ambition and drive showed me that it is possible to succeed in any field regardless of the challenge whether it is technical, gender, or social. 



January - February 2020

Stones, Tigrelab Art, Durham Cathedral

Lighting up Durham for Lumiere festival

Lumiere, the UK’s largest light festival, returned to Durham in November, and we were a major partner. One in a million

At the heart of the fun

Last year’s Lumiere festival was a special tenth anniversary edition, including favourite installations from previous years and new commissions.

We sponsored the festival financially, our staff and students helped make it run smoothly, and we hosted new and returning installations across our campus. These included:

Over four (very wet.) evenings in midNovember, around 165,000 people visited the festival – taking the total number since Lumiere began in 2009 to over one million.

• Cosmic Architecture, a stunning audio and visual experience centred on our Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics and inspired by the world-leading

research undertaken inside the Centre; • Keys of Light, which saw pianists’ tunes visualised through dazzling projections onto Rushford Court, home of John Snow College; • For the Birds, which took visitors to the Botanic Garden on a meditative and immersive journey through the nighttime wilderness; • Fool’s Paradise, a fairytale projection onto Durham Castle; • Lift Off, a video mapping projection onto Dunelm House; and • Shoefiti, illuminated shoes strung across South Bailey.

Dialogue Various artists, Botanic Gardens

Echelle, Ron Haselden, Saddler Street

Cosmic Architecture, Nina Dunn and John Del ‘Nero, Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics

Thanks for the memories. We hope everyone had a great time at Lumiere. We recognise that hosting much of the UK’s largest light festival on our campus has an impact on the dayto-day running of many Colleges and Departments. Thank you for your co-operation, patience and giving our visitors a warm welcome. We look forward to Lumiere returning in 2021. Lumiere is produced by arts charity Artichoke and commissioned by Durham County Council, with additional support from Arts Council England, ourselves and many other funders and supporters. durham.ac.uk/lumiere

Shoetiti, Deepa Mann-kler, South Bailey




January - February 2020

What's on in our

libraries and museums

Liberate My Library Durham Library & Collections are launching a new Liberate My Library initiative. We have wonderful collections across Durham’s libraries and museums but we want to make our collections even more diverse. This February we are working with Durham Students Union to encourage students and staff to recommend items that will increase the diversity of the library’s collections. We hope that staff and students will be inspired to recommend the widest possible range of new additions to our collections. Are there works created by, or representing people, within LGBT+ communities you would like to see on the shelves of our library? What about works relating to the experiences of BAME or disabled communities? How about issues of gender and identity? To get involved pick up a card at any of our libraries or museums or go online to durham.ac.uk/library

Single Use Plastic Pledge Since signing the Single Use Plastic Pledge in March 2019 our catering and procurement teams have been working hard behind the scenes to switch from plastic bottled water to aluminium cans, partnering with our supplier Marlish who source the water in Northumberland. Still, sparkling and flavoured waters are now available across catering outlets and vending machines across our estate. The drinks are sugar free and contain no artificial preservatives. Over 95% of soft drinks have been switched into cans since we signed the pledge and we are County Durham actively looking for solutions for the remaining few bottles.

Single Use Plastics Pledge



Helping everyone get around the University safely If you’ve been around the campus recently, you may have noticed some construction work taking place around the Library or near Collingwood College. These are the first two sections of our Infrastructure Improvements project. What is the Infrastructure Improvements project? We’re investing £8.23 million in helping students, staff, visitors and members of the public get around the University safely.

The scheduling of the works has been planned around the busiest times of year, such as exam periods and City events. We’re making this major investment because we recognise that at certain times of day, areas of our campus can get very busy; and everyone’s safety is very important to us.

The early stages…

The project includes improving existing cycle and footpaths, creating new ones, and developing a new car park at Upper Mountjoy.

The first phase of the project involved improving and widening the footpath between the Whitechurch junction and the Bill Bryson Library.

Our contractor, Colas, started work on site shortly before Christmas. We expect all works to be completed by March 2021.

Then work started on a new foot and cycle path through the woodland next to Collingwood, connecting Howlands with the road entrance to Collingwood.

Over the coming weeks, Colas will be widening the footpath along South Road between Hollingside Lane and Howlands and then creating a ‘hub’ gateway feature at the South Road-Hollingside Lane junction.

Sustainability, accessibility and biodiversity We hope that these improvements will enable more students and staff to choose sustainable travel options. We’ve worked hard to ensure as many people as possible can use the new and improved routes, so will include accessibility features wherever possible. And the project will respect our environment, with no net loss of biodiversity or vegetation.

Find out more We’ll be sharing updates on the project in future editions of Dialogue Magazine, Dialogue Signposts, on social media and at durham.ac.uk/infrastructure Also, Colas will be meeting staff and students and publishing regular newsletters. If you have questions, please contact Contractor Liaison Officer Sophia Large: durham@colas.co.uk



January - February 2020


Electric Vehicle Posts We have upgraded our Electric Vehicle charging posts. To use the charging posts, please sign out a fob from the nearest reception. • Mountjoy Centre Reception • Queen’s Campus – Ebsworth Building Reception. For more information, please visit durham.ac.uk/greenspace/ travel/ev Our charging posts are connected to Hubsta, an online Chargepoint location map with live status and Smart Phone App. Hubsta has many charging posts across the UK and Europe and to access these you will require a personal Hubsta account. It is free to set up an account, however, for some external charging points there may be cost. www.hubsta.co.uk/en/home

Our Energy and Sustainability Team delivers Greenspace, coordinating environmental initiatives across the University. Love Food Hate Waste College Congratulations to all staff and students involved – the competition was a roaring success with seven of the ten participating Colleges showing a reduction in plate waste during the competition. Total waste from plates was reduced by six per cent, which meant students saved 148kg by

either reducing their serving size or eating most of their food, they were served. Well done to St Mary’s College who reduced their waste the most by 0.24 kg per diner, and Trevelyan for having the least amount of food waste per diner at 0.54kg during both weeks.


Inter-Collegiate Energy Competition Energy Awareness Week will run from 27 January to 9 February 2020. During this week, we will be promoting and encouraging good energy behaviours amongst all students and staff. All Colleges will also take part in the inter-collegiate energy competition. Read some energy saving tips, along with other environmental tips at durham.ac.uk/resources/greenspace/ local/50EnvironmentalTipsforStaff.pdf Last year the winning College, John Snow reduced their electricity use by five per cent, saving 200kWh. The total energy savings made by the Colleges totalled 4,675 kWh, during the two week competition compared to the baseline week. That is enough energy to power an average UK home for a year.

Water Awareness Week During Water Awareness Week, the Water Hub and Demeter engaged with students and staff to talk about how much water is used in everyday items, like cotton t-shirts and coffee. They also discussed: • Everyday items • Water Leaks and Burst Pipes • Water’s environmental impact – rivers that crave gorges and pollution in our waterways • Report it - durham.ac.uk/greenspace/ energy/watersave • Shower timers.

Watch out for Environment Week Environment Week will take place between 24 February and 1 March 2020, a celebration and promotion of fantastic local produce, sustainable living and the national Fairtrade Fortnight. Further details will be announced in due course on the Greenspace website.

56% reduction in food waste

Embrace the Waste University College student Matthew Unerman, has introduced a campaign called Embrace the Waste. This scheme allows livers-out to purchase College meals for a small charitable donation. The scheme has saved edible food that couldn’t be reused, from going to waste. Across the University, we have a separate waste collection for food, which is sent to anaerobic digestion to be made into Biogas. From the recorded collections from University College, we have compared November 2018 (prior) and November 2019 (with the scheme), which has shown a 56% reduction in food waste with the scheme in place. Embrace the Waste has raised £700 for the ‘Olivia Inspires’ charity, and has helped local businesses reduce their food waste too. Statistics from the ‘Embrace the Waste’ pilot (initial five weeks): • Food waste at University College in November 2019 (when the pilot was active) was 56% reduced from November 2018 (prior to the pilot) • On average, 20-30 students enjoying meals in return for a charitable donation • £700 raised for ‘Olivia Inspires’, a charity set up in memory of former University College student Olivia Burt. To keep up to date with Embrace the Waste. Follow their Facebook page Embrace the Waste Official facebook. com/EmbraceTheWasteOfficial




January - February 2020

Office 365 is coming Throughout 2020-21, we will enable Office 365 across the University, giving you access to the Office 365 product suite of applications with lots of new collaboration tools. The project will work with our Adoption and Change Management partner, Changing Social, who supported the pilot in late 2019. The schedule per department will be made available shortly. This is an exciting development in the way we will work, share and collaborate together. Keep up to date with the project’s progress at durham.ac.uk/cis/ office365

Wi-Fi gets a reboot Throughout 2020-21, we will be continuing work started over Summer 2019 in Collingwood College to upgrade all of the Aruba Wi-Fi access points across campus. This significant project will see us come into each College, Department and University building to improve capacity and connectivity, addressing coverage blackspots and supporting the latest Wi-Fi standards and security. We’ve already invested heavily to modernise the Wi-Fi control equipment that runs in our data centres.

We will start work in Grey College in February, and then work our way around the whole University with our Wi-Fi installation partner Qolcom. Keep an eye out for more information about when we’ll be visiting your College or Department. For more information about the programme, visit: durham.ac.uk/cis/wifi



It’s a wrap for

The Big 3.

We’re delighted to announce that at the end of 2019, The Big 3 project had completed all of its original objectives. The year-long initiative to deliver next generation infrastructure, updating our University network, storage and hosting environments, delivered to time and to budget. The project was initiated to give students and staff access to a reliable, resilient network that provided high-speed broadband whenever they need it. To do this, we have laid 136.5km of fibreoptic cable throughout the City and now all of our University buildings are part of this strong network. We also wanted to create more storage options. Year-on-year we have seen a growing demand for more storage space, particularly for our research-active staff. Instead of providing ad hoc solutions, we developed a purpose-built storage management tool that allows staff to selfprovision storage to meet their research needs. Personal Research Storage and

Shared Research Storage are now active and available to all researchers. And finally, as our IT estate has grown and technology has developed, we, like many other organisations, have accumulated many legacy hosting environments. The Big 3 has allowed legacy systems to be decommissioned through standardising our hosting so all University applications are now hosted in a single modern, resilient platform. The success of this project has been made possible by great partnerships working across the University’s academic departments, PSS and Colleges. The CIS team would like to pass on thanks to all staff and students for your ongoing understanding and cooperation as we completed this work.

Phase 2 soon to launch While our original project scope has concluded, we have already moved on to The Big 3 phase 2 which started in late autumn. This phase capitalises on an opportunity to provide a simple and secure means to manage our network by implementing Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI). While you as a user will not notice any significant differences, this way of managing our network will give us a lot more flexibility over what we can do, and importantly, how we can do it in the future. If you’d like to know more, please visit dur.ac.uk/cis/ thebig3



January - February 2020

Durham Inspired Award The Michaelmas Term saw over 20 launch events taking place, providing opportunities for students, staff, mentors and tutors to find out more about the Award. Over 600 students have now enrolled and engaged with the Argument Clinic, the first step in the Think zone, whilst also participating in co-curricular activities for which they are renowned. The Epiphany Term sees the launch of development coaching with over 80 staff and members of the wider community supporting our students. We very much hope that, overtime, many of our alumni will want to provide development coaching support – this role can be fulfilled electronically, if required, from anywhere in the world.

Durham Inspired Award

Looking to the future and taking into account student feedback the Award will place additional focus on promoting global awareness and cultural sensitivity whilst considering additional optional modules in leadership development and enterprise.

Launched in October 2019 as a pilot across all our undergraduate Colleges, the Students’ Union and Experience Durham, the Durham Inspired Award is further encouraging our students to Think, Act, and Grow. To think logically, critically and purposefully and to act in theatre, music, sport, enterprise and volunteering, with a strong emphasis on service for others – and grow as a person, with the help of a coach. Graduating from Durham with a Degree and the Durham Inspired Award will be a signal of excellence and roundedness. It will be a key part of the Durham Edge.

Carina Lim said “Having recharged over the Christmas break, I am feeling ecstatic about continuing with the Durham Inspired Award. This term, I will be keeping busy with active involvement in DURC, Stephenson Mixed Lacrosse, VoiceIt Debating Project and the DUSVO’s Tutoring Project. I look forward to seeing how best I can work on harnessing my strengths for the betterment of others, and how I can mitigate my weakness so that I do not let them prevent me from being the best version of myself. I hope I will be able to develop a deeper sense of belonging to my college, the university and most importantly my sporting teams.”

I look forward to seeing how best I can work on harnessing my strengths for the betterment of others, and how I can mitigate my weakness so that I do not let them prevent me from being the best version of myself. The Award celebrates and recognises all that our students naturally do and is very much designed to help them understand the value of their student experience to their personal enrichment whilst at University.



What’s your greatest vice? Being bossy…

What’s your greatest vice? Being bossy…

An insight into

What’s your favourite film? Good Bye Lenin Any nicknames? Kermit (in the past…) What’s the worst job you’ve ever done? Translations of boring contracts What’s your favourite place in the world? Luang Prabang in Laos

NAME: Christine Bohlander

What was your best subject?

JOB TITLE: Employment Development Manager (Careers & Enterprise)


Have you got any pets?

What did you want to be when you were a child?

In the past I had a tortoise, a cat, two dogs and three guinea-pigs but I don’t have any now. What are you reading at the moment? I just finished “My Sister, the Serial Killer” by Oyinkan Braithwaite and am now reading “Home Fire” by Kamila Shamsie.

When was the last time you laughed and why? Just now… This is fun answering.

An astronaut - and a cleaning lady when not on the moon. Where will you be going for your next holiday? Kuala Lumpur?

What would you like you epitaph to be?

What skill or talent would you most like to acquire?

Tell me a secret:

I honestly couldn’t care less.


Which historical figure would you most like to be?

Give me a picture of your ideal day:

I have never watched Dr Who or The Great British Bakeoff.

None. I just want to be myself. What was the first record you bought?

Swimming, walking, eating (but not cooking.), reading and something involving music.

Atom Heart Mother by Pink Floyd.

On a scale of 1-10, how much do you care what other people think of you?

What achievement are you most proud of?


Travelling to exotic places on my own.

What luxury item would you take to a desert island? A comfy bed What’s your greatest indulgence? Daily coffeeshop visits (also in the past…)

What’s on at the University





February – March 2020 Durham Drama Festival 2020

Tales from the heart of Winter

Venue: Various venues across Durham City

Venue: Botanic Garden, Hollingside Lane, Durham

British Museum Touring Exhibition: Pushing Paper: Contemporary Drawing from 1970 - now

Dates: Saturday 8 February

Venue: Oriental Museum

Times: 10am – 3pm

Dates: Saturday 29 February – Sunday 17 May

Dates: 2 – 9 February Enjoy a week of new writing and theatre performances from Durham’s talented students at this year’s annual festival. Look out for shows across the city.

Exoudi Presents Gesualdo and Cruel Ecstasy Venue: Durham Cathedral Dates: Tuesday 4 February Times: 7.30pm MUSICON Concert Series first concert of 2020 brings the ever popular Exoudi, back to perform a programme focused on the extraordinary madrigals of Carlo Gesualdo.

Join Elizabeth Baker from Tillytoo Tales Storytelling as we celebrate National Storytelling Week with some frosty fables and snowy stories.

Lunar New Year Lantern Festival – Late night opening. Venue: Oriental Museum, Elvet Hill Durham

Times: 10am – 5pm This exhibition illustrates how artists experiment with the power of paper to express their ideas pushing the medium in new directions. The exhibition highlights the breadth and quality of the British Museum’s collection of modern art, as well as its global scope.

Dates: Saturday 8 February Times: 6pm – 8pm

Never give up

Join us for special late night opening, to celebrate the lunar new year of the rat. See the Museum lit only by lanterns. Try fantastic crafts, sample delicious New Year food and drink and listen to stories. First 100 children receive a free lantern.

Venue: The Assembly Rooms Theatre, North Bailey, Durham Date: Saturday 1 March Time: 7.30pm Join performers from Durham University alongside RTProjects for an evening of entertainment and a celebration of life. Performed in aid of raising money for suicide prevention in the North East.

For more information on University events go to durham.ac.uk/whatson

Profile for Durham University

Dialogue 66  

Dialogue 66