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Champion the Challengers.

Together we can shape the future. Progress is powered by people who are ready to embrace the challenges of tomorrow and turn them into opportunities to enhance the lives of those around them and make their impact on the wider world. At Northumbria University we champion these challengers and their aspirations. They are our students, alumni, staff and partners. We have the right foundations for success, a proven capability to deliver and an ambitious vision for the future. Now we want to inspire more people in more ways to take on the challenges of tomorrow and play their part in deciding what happens next.

With your support we can make this a reality. We can continue to invest in world-class research, education and facilities. We can create the right environment and opportunities to be at the forefront of significant issues. We can take the lead in finding answers to the questions that will determine the kind of world future generations will live in.

Join us. Be a Champion of the Challengers.

We champion research, shaping global debates.

We live in a changing and increasingly challenging world and we need to find new and innovative ways of dealing with the issues. We have always placed emphasis on creating and applying knowledge for the benefit of individuals, communities and the economy. Through world-leading research, education and innovation the University is pledged to transforming lives and making a powerful contribution to social, cultural and economic development. That’s why we’re tackling real world questions for real world impact. By sharing knowledge and expertise, our researchers are seeking innovative solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges. Responding to these global challenges and community needs, we conduct world-leading research and have an international reputation for creating successful, multi-disciplinary research projects that make an impact nationally and internationally.

These are some of the vitally important areas that our academic staff, postdoctoral researchers and research students are currently tackling:

How do we fight disease in a world where bacteria resists antibiotics? What comes first; people or planet? How can digital technology make cities more liveable? How do we support people with long term health conditions? How can we envision, explore and realise possible futures? How would we survive in a world without ice? What technology will be heating your home and driving your car in 20 years? Who am I and how do I relate to you?


for University of the Year by Times Higher Education (2017)

Top 50

UK University for research power in the latest Research Excellence Framework (2014)

Biggest rise in research power

of any university in the UK as ranked by Times Higher Education (2014)


worth of research grants won by Northumbria University in 2016/17 a new record


international institutions collaborated with to co-author papers (2014-17)

Challenge: Find a better way of diagnosing the Ebola virus

Challenge: Keep astronauts fit and healthy during long trips in space

Challenge: Develop a revolutionary new solar energy solution

Ebola hit the news world-wide during the 2014 outbreak in Africa. At the time testing of potentially infected people had to be carried out in a specialist lab by highly trained staff, and there were only a few of these in the world. Each diagnosis took between 5-8 hours to confirm. Research led and carried out by Dr Sterghios Moschos at Northumbria means that patients with Ebola-like symptoms can now be identified and treated much sooner and at the point of care, helping to reduce the spread of the disease and risks to others.

While working at the European Astronaut Centre (EAC), in Germany, Northumbria’s Dr Andrew Winnard realised there was very little evidence housed under one roof on what changes we expect to occur in astronauts during spaceflight – and what interventions work best to try and prevent these changes.

Innova MicroSolar is a four-year €4m Horizon 2020-funded collaborative research project coordinated by Northumbria, which aims to develop a high performance yet cost effective solar heat and power system. If the project is successful, the proposed technology could be used to deliver the majority of domestic energy requirements in homes across the world and would provide considerable reductions in energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions compared to the best existing low carbon energy technologies.

Working with a manufacturer of innovative diagnostic solutions, a new point of care diagnostic platform – EbolaCheck - has been developed, which can be deployed to the scene of an outbreak and means testing takes less than 70 minutes to complete. As a result, the test is much safer to administer, requires minimal training and reduces the cost of diagnosis significantly. Crucially, its performance is comparable to laboratory testing, meaning any patient with symptoms of Ebola can be safely and reliably diagnosed.

Andrew also noticed that there was no systematic review group for the entire aerospace medicine field, like there are for almost all other areas of medicine. Andrew’s work has led to the creation in 2017 of the Aerospace Medicine and Rehabilitation Laboratory, based at Northumbria University, which aims to conduct world-leading research in the fields of aviation medicine, space medicine, and terrestrial healthcare/rehabilitation. The group will help lead reviews to answer questions such as, what exercises will work in small spacecraft on missions that return to the moon, compared to on the International Space Station (ISS) and also asking how the medical challenges will be different on the moon compared to what we are familiar with on ISS.

The research involves nine academic and industrial consortium members from the UK, Spain, France and Italy. It is being led by Professor Khamid Mahkamov, an expert in Thermo-Mechanical Energy Conversion Systems, who is based in Northumbria’s Department of Mechanical and Construction Engineering.

We have made significant progress by investigating, evaluating and presenting answers to support real world challenges. There is much more to be done; problems to solve, questions to answer and options to explore. These are simply too important to be left to chance. With your support, we can make an even greater contribution to the debates that really matter.

Join us. Be a Champion of the Challengers in Research.

We champion entrepreneurs creating leaders for the future.

The spirit of enterprise runs through everything we do at Northumbria. We have a community that creates an inspiring culture of entrepreneurialism. Thanks to the quality of student experience, our exceptional track record and the success of our alumni we attract many students with an entrepreneurial mind-set.

Our passionate, knowledgeable and experienced team provides these students with the right support through a range of options. We offer an outstanding enterprise curriculum and ever-increasing range of high quality opportunities, including our Business Clinic, Student Law office and global network of alumni and partners to give students inspirational experiences. Our Start-up Hatchery, Prototyping facilities and Entrepreneurial Societies encourage and facilitate entrepreneurship from concept to launch and beyond. Together, these provide a complete infrastructure to support students and graduates develop their entrepreneurial ideas, knowledge and skills and apply this to support in business or to develop their own. Students leave Northumbria University ready to take on the challenges that life has to offer them, with a belief in their own capability and a determination to make their own impact on what tomorrow brings.

No.1 University

in the UK for graduate support for three of the past five years

289 start-ups

created in the past ten years

1,000 jobs

created by start-ups currently trading


combined turnover for our active start-ups

One of the first

UK Universities to launch an Entrepreneurial Business Management (EBM) Programme

90% of students

on the EBM programme graduated with a 2:1 degree or higher in 2016/17

Challenge: Think big and think differently to build an industry-leading business

Challenge: Create a new way of supporting those with dementia and their families

Challenge: Launch a new, international lifestyle brand

Ben Ridgway graduated with a BSc (Hons) Estate Management in 2008. During his time at Northumbria, Ben drew from his degree and support available to him through the Student and Graduate Enterprise service. Having spotted a gap in the market for a new type of property auction service, Ben established I Am Sold in 2009 with fellow Northumbria graduate Jamie Cooke.

Alex Brown, a current undergraduate on our Entrepreneurial Business Management (EBM) course has launched an innovative new project called “Art for the Brain” to help those who suffer from dementia. With a generous grant of £1,000 from The Greggs Foundation, Alex was inspired to start his business by drawing on personal experiences.

The business now has an annual turnover of circa £18million with 140 employees. In 2015 the company was ranked as the 23rd fastest growing company in the UK according to the Sunday Times FastTrack 100 list. Northumbria gave Ben the confidence to set up I Am Sold and the mind-set to think big and think differently – making I Am Sold a pioneer in the property auction industry. The leadership and strategic business planning skills instilled in Ben throughout his degree played a huge role in his entrepreneurial journey.

All students on the EBM course learn by setting up and running their own businesses. Alex’s gran had recently been diagnosed with dementia and this highlighted the challenges it presented not only to his gran but also the family as they supported her. This gave Alex the idea for art classes to provide the tools and space for dementia sufferers and their loved ones and carers to express themselves freely in ways they may have felt unable to before. The first classes are underway for those affected by dementia and traumatic brain injury and are well attended. Alex is now raising funds to progress the idea further.

Isurika Kesara moved to the UK from Sri Lanka to study Fashion Communication at Northumbria University. Working with her father when younger had already given Isurika a strong passion for business and while studying at Northumbria her involvement in two start-up companies gave her further experience of international trade. So when Isurika spotted what she believed was gap in the market for coconut oil lifestyle products she began getting the oil sent over from Sri Lanka. The immediate interest from friends gave her the confidence to turn this into a business idea and the concept for Cohaii was born. Isurika was able to access a wealth of support from Northumbria University and won Best Business Proposal Award at the Young Enterprise North East Finals for her idea. The business was launched and Isurika is now exploring exciting plans for the future development of her brand.

We have a vision to become the UK’s leading University for Entrepreneurship. Our vision is about more than bricks and mortar – it’s about people and possibilities. About a single, world class home for entrepreneurship at the heart of Northumbria University’s campus and student experience. About embracing challenges and redefining possibility. About sharing ideas in an encouraging environment. About the spontaneity of creative and collaborative partnerships. About instilling and building self-belief. About creating the leaders of tomorrow. Your support today can make all the difference in giving others the opportunity to make their mark tomorrow.

Join us. Be a Champion of the Challengers in Enterprise.

We champion sport, health and wellbeing pushing the boundaries for all.

Ensuring the health and wellbeing for all remains a prevalent societal challenge. By engaging our student population in active sports participation at Northumbria we not only create a better student experience, but also help to set people up for success into the future.

Sport also provides a catalyst to equip leaders of tomorrow and provide the experiences, skills and ambition to challenge what is possible. Through our facilities, staff and partners we inspire students to discover the power of sport to enhance their potential. Our extensive programme of community outreach and volunteering gives those involved the chance to use sport, health and wellbeing as a context for learning invaluable skills for life and increasing their employability prospects. At the same time, all these projects across communities at home and abroad deliver real impact and benefit for wider society. Sport is often seen as a celebration of high performance and we are rightly proud of the amazing achievements of all our individual athletes and our teams. At Northumbria sport is also about engagement and inclusion. About giving people the chance to become the best they can be no matter who they are. This is what we mean by transforming lives through sport at Northumbria and it’s why we are able to make such a difference.

Top 10

in the British University and College Sports League (BUCS)

A leader

of disability and women’s sport

National winner

of the BUCS Workforce Programme of the Year 2017

6 Paralympic Medals

won at Rio in 2016 by four Northumbria University students

Over 4,000

students engaged in sport and physical activity

Northumbria Sport Foundation

deliver’s community sport programmes to disadvantaged people in the North East of England

Varsity winners

of the Stan Calvert Varsity five years in a row (annual competition against Newcastle University)

Challenge: Learn new skills and build an inclusive sports team

Challenge: Give adults with learning difficulties access to better health

Challenge: Train and support a world-class Paralympian

Claire Harper is studying MSc International Sport Management at Northumbria University and devotes her free time to volunteering in and playing basketball and wheelchair basketball. Claire undertook a new challenge to build her skills earlier in the year when tasked with creating a brand new Wheelchair Basketball programme at Northumbria University. Claire linked with the Percy Hedley Foundation to launch the club. It started in February this year with 9 members and currently has 18 members and 2 volunteers.

Working in partnership with local charity LD:North, which supports people with learning difficulties, Northumbria Sport Foundation launched a weekly sport and activity session at Sport Central. This was designed to address the lack of physical activity among many of the people LD:North supported and prevent potential physical and mental health implications. These have been run by a combination of volunteers and Team Northumbria coaches and athletes.

When Japanese Paralympian Takayuki Suzuki came to Newcastle in 2013 he made the Sport Central pool his base to continue training after his coach recommended working with Team Northumbria Head of Aquatics and ExParalympics GB Coach, Louise Graham. Taka enrolled on the Sport Management undergraduate degree receiving a funded Athletic Scholarship and athlete support to enable him to study and continue his training.

Not satisfied with establishing the club, Claire entered it into the Wheelchair Basketball University Championships and successfully got together a team to compete, representing Northumbria University at the finals in Manchester in March.

Since launch the sessions have been very popular with both adults and their support workers. Reports from LD:North has shown significant changes in confidence and physical activity beyond the sessions as a result.

The support Northumbria Sport was able to offer through specialised coaching, support services and financial contributions has led to Taka becoming one of Team Northumbria’s most successful athletes both within his sport and academically. Taka’s journey over the last 5 years with Northumbria University has impacted hugely on him as a student as well as an athlete. Now a current Tokyo 2020 and Speedo Ambassador, Taka hopes to continue his journey with Northumbria and extend his studies to postgraduate level as he trains for the 2019 World Championships in Malaysia and his home Paralympics in 2020, Tokyo.

We have achieved so much for our students and the communities in which we work but we have much more to do. With your support, we can continue to embrace the power of sport to make a lasting difference to peoples’ lives; enable research opportunities to create and apply knowledge in sport performance, health and wellbeing; provide specialist equipment and technology to improve participation; offer disability sport scholarships and engaging sponsorship platforms.

Join us. Be a Champion of the Challengers in Sport, Health and Wellbeing.

We champion STEM to STEAM giving young people more opportunities.

We cannot take on the challenges of the future successfully without the right skills. That’s why we launched our pioneering NUSTEM project in 2014 to help engage more young people in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM subjects) and STEAM (including the Arts!)

NUSTEM is a long-term commitment to the region and its children. We target all stages of a child’s journey, from early years and primary to sixth-form and beyond, to enable them to make informed choices about their future with STEM subjects and careers. By supporting children’s key influencers – their teachers, families, and the wider community – we aim to make a measurable difference to children’s aspirations. Our evidence-based approach builds on and contributes to the latest research thinking, integrating best practice ideas from outreach, widening participation, and equality, diversity and inclusion sectors. We build partnerships across the public and private sectors, incorporating professional bodies and networks, employers, science and education trusts, research bodies, local councils and more, working together to meet the skills needs of the region. We focus our work on areas of high social need, where we believe we can have the greatest impact.


individual children and over 6,000 parents and influencers worked with NUSTEM In its first three years


interactions with teachers and almost 1,500 with families, each year

117 Females

year 10 to year 12 students worked with NUSTEM ‘Physics connect’ in 2017

We launched

a ground-breaking research project to track outcomes for thousands of children, measuring impact over the long term

We collaborate

with leading business in STEM, including Accenture and Virgin Money

We support

Centre for Life and Maker Faire exhibitions and outreach since 2015

Challenge: Support teachers to engage children and families in science

Challenge: Bring engineering to life for UK primary school children

Challenge: Find new and fun ways to bring STEAM careers to life

Julia Bourne is the STEM Coordinator for New York Primary School in North Tyneside, a partner school on the NUSTEM project. Our team worked with Julia to help access funding and create ways to give children at the school more opportunities to engage with STEM subjects.

The primary science curriculum covers many areas and feedback we’ve had from teachers involved in NUSTEM is that some can be more difficult to teach than others. One of the more challenging topics covers ‘gears, levers and pulleys’. Working with the British Gear Association, our NUSTEM team developed a dedicated workshop to support teaching of this topic.

The use of digital games in education is growing, especially in engaging individuals who struggle to learn in a more conventional manner. We aim to use this to encourage school children to learn about STEAM careers in a fun and informative way. We recently ran an eight week pilot Digital Games project, based around the full game development cycle of Design/ Story, Implementation and Testing. This gave groups of participating children aged 8-12 a range of experiences, showing them that careers in the games industry are not limited to technical roles.

We helped with a Maker Faire at the school which brought children and their families in to the school to take part in a range of different experiments. And we’ve provided support through our ‘Science for Families’ project, enabling Julia and other teachers to receive training to help deliver early-evening sessions for children and their families. As a result Julia has seen a big increase in engagement from parents, combined with more and more boys and girls with aspirations to pursue the STEM subjects.

This includes guidance and materials that enables professional engineers and technicians to deliver the session in schools across the country. We offer bespoke training for BGA members that includes classroom management techniques, unconscious bias and strategies for improving gender diversity in engineering and coaching on performance and delivery style.

The pilot project was very successful, while also giving us valuable feedback on the best way to engage children as fully as possible. We are now planning to use the results of the pilot to develop a session programme that we can take to both schools and local games studios to see how we can continue to increase interest in the industry.

We believe NUSTEM can demonstrate how concerted effort by schools, communities, universities, and businesses can lead to improved prospects for individuals and competitiveness for industry. This is a major undertaking and with your support we can secure a long-term future for our work. This will enable us to continue to refine our approach, scale up our delivery, build our evidence base, and expand our network of collaborators.

Join us. Be a Champion of the Challengers in STEAM.

From Research and Enterprise to Sport, Health and Wellbeing and STEM to STEAM, every day across the University and among communities around the world, we are taking a lead in embracing challenges and redefining possibility.

The future will always be uncertain, what we know is that with your support we can help to take it on with confidence and optimism.

Find out how you can get involved today at

Join us. Be a Champion of the Challengers.

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