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ISSUE 3, 2012  |  ONLINE EDITION 2, 2011


ON YOUR MARKS, GET SET, GOLD p18 The University’s spectacular role in the London 2012 Games THE BIG QUESTIONS p8 How we’re changing the world through our research A NEW BEGINNING Time for Education at London Road



Clarkslegal LLP 2012:Layout 1



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The Diverse Law Firm

Clarkslegal is delighted to continue supporting the University of Reading’s House of Lords Alumni Reception. We are extremely proud to have been associated with the University for over four decades and to have worked with them on many of their most significant projects in recent years. We recently acted for the University of Reading in successfully completing the largest ever single disposal of student accommodation in the UK. The transaction, worth in excess of £200m, creates one of the most substantial higher education and private sector partnerships in the country. The transaction has provided the University with the funds to invest in research and teaching facilities for its students and to maintain the high quality education that it currently provides, as well as securing the provision of quality student accommodation for the next 125 years. “The University would like to thank Clarkslegal for their huge contribution and the tremendous support given to us in bringing this project to a successful conclusion. They have provided us with excellent legal advice which was always commercial, practical and to the point. Their attention to detail, the service levels provided by every member of the team which went well beyond what one would usually expect and their understanding of our objectives, practical needs and values cannot be faulted.” David Savage - Chief Operating Officer, University of Reading

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If all that wasn’t enough, we played a

2012 edition of Connected Magazine. It

leading role in the spectacular London

is a particular pleasure to do this for the

2012 Games (page 18) and welcomed Her

first time since I joined the University as

Majesty The Queen to the Henley Business

Vice-Chancellor in January.

School for a Diamond Jubilee celebration

It has been an incredible year for the

(page 56). And, of course, our world-class

University, especially as we have seen our position rise in all of this year’s

research has been hitting the headlines time and again, for all the right reasons

league tables published to date (page 7).

(page 8).

This is a vindication of the hard work done

I hope you enjoy Connected Magazine and,

over recent years by staff and students

as always, please do keep in touch. Your

alike. It also demonstrates the rich-

contributions – be it through donations,

ness and diversity of our internationally

volunteering or mentoring – make a huge

acclaimed teaching, learning and research.

difference to life here at the University.

Of course, nothing stands still and the

Lastly, I want to express my grateful thanks

world of higher education is more volatile than ever before. So, diversifying what we do is crucial for future success. On page 33, you can read about our exciting plans to open a campus in Malaysia in 2015.

to everyone who has made me feel so welcome in my first few months as ViceChancellor. It has been a privilege to meet many of you on our campuses and beyond.



I look forward to extending and deepening the bonds of friendship in the months and years ahead. Sir David Bell KCB Read our interview with Sir David Bell: page 28


Connected Magazine is published annually and is circulated free to Reading alumni and Friends. It is produced by the Development & Alumni Relations Office. © University of Reading The opinions expressed in Connected are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the University of Reading.

Front Cover: JJ Hunt photography Photography: With special thanks to JJ Hunt photography and Laura Bennetto Design: Ashley Smith (BA Typography & Graphic Communication 2009) at the Design & Print Studio, University of Reading Editor: Laura Garman (BA English Literature 2008) Contributors: Trish O’Neill, James Barr, Becki Rassell

Front cover: Past and present members of the University’s Boat Club who represented the Team GB rowing squad at the London 2012 Olympics

WHAT YOU’VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT The celery situation Just read my husband’s copy of Connected Magazine 2011 and had to chuckle at the ‘My generation; the 1990s’ article. I beg to differ with Nicola Bark’s comment about the food in Windsor Hall. Celery was not present in every dish that was made there. I should know; I was one of the cooks in the hall and I hate celery. My husband David Gleeson (BSc Chemistry 1995; PhD Chemistry 1998) can vouch for that and he was a resident in Windsor Hall between 1992 and 1998. Just thought that I should clarify that point. Many thanks. Kirsty Gleeson Thank you for making us smile Kirsty – duly noted. We love hearing your feedback on our articles, so don’t hesitate to get in touch and tell us what you think of this issue.

Digital praise Loved, loved, loved the online issue of Connected Magazine 2011. It loaded incredibly fast and the layout and format seemed more eye-catching in the online issue than in the paper issue somehow. In fact, I’d like to request putting a stop to my alumni magazines that arrive in the post and ask that all of my future issues arrive via email (let‘s save a tree!). Kerry McCarney (MSc Environmental Sedimentology and Geomorphology 2001) Glad you enjoyed the online issue Kerry! Everyone can request to receive Connected via email. Simply contact us to say you’d like to ‘go digital’ or log on/sign up to the online alumni community, Stay Connected – – where you can change your mailing preferences.


We love hearing your feedback, stories and news. Would you like to feature on this page? Join in the conversations today. Twitter @UniRdg_Alumni Facebook and Linked In University of Reading Alumni Email Pen and paper Development and Alumni Relations, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading, RG6 6AH

Remembering our Reading wedding

Connected once again

We read about your ‘Reading wedding’ feature in the latest Connected Magazine and thought you might like to hear about our own very unique Reading wedding.

You’re very welcome Angela. Have you spotted a familiar name from your University days in this magazine? Let us know and we shall see if we can put you in touch with one another.

Noel (BSc Zoology 1996) and I married on 4th July 1998, the day after my PGCE finished. Noel then worked as the Entertainments Manager at RUSU. We decided to marry while all our friends were still local, before they spread across the world and started their working lives. We married at a registry office in the morning then my dad drove us to the University where we had a full-blown ceremony in the main hall of RUSU thanks to the boys and girls at Tech Services who draped it out in its finery. We then went to a hotel for a wedding breakfast before coming back to RUSU for a big wedding party with a few hundred party-goers! It was a truly special day. Katie (née Langton, BSc Psychology 1997) and Noel Kithakye We’ve heard lots of great stories from those of you who met at Reading and went on to marry. Keep them coming! Turn to page 45 for another Reading wedding.

An article in the Your News section of Connected Magazine 2011 entitled ‘Class of 1957 keeps in touch’ caught my eye, as I was in St. Andrew’s Hall at the same time as the eight students mentioned in the news piece. It brought back so many happy memories! After a quick chat with the alumni team, I was able to get in touch with the writer of the article – Rita Duckham (née Davis, BA Modern Languages 1960) – who filled me in on all of the group’s news. I am now looking forward to a reunion with them in the near future. Thank you so much for making it possible. Angela Redfern (née Kirkup, BA French 1961)

A romantic proposal

After meeting at Reading Uni 8 yrs b4. I proposed by Whiteknights lake on 28/01/12. Very Happy! #engaged @UniRdg_Alumni Jonathan Bowden @Commander_Face Alumni Jonathan Bowden (BSc Mathematics 2006) and his partner Manuela Wight (BA Politics and International Relations 2006) turned to our Twitter page to announce their engagement at the end of January. After meeting at the University of Reading eight years ago, Jonathan proposed by Whiteknights Lake in January. We wish them all the best for the future!

Women in research

Whiteknights campus, 1966

Elizabeth Holmes @EA_Holmes Thanks Elizabeth (BA Politics and International Relations 1991). If you’d like to see the University’s full photographic exhibition of our ‘Women in Research’, visit: It’s a great insight into a small selection of the 1,100 female researchers working at all levels across the University.

A ten year reunion

What I remember from my time some years ago was the friendliness of all the students and staff. This made a great environment for learning. Clearly that’s still the case! Christian Leigh (BSc Geography 1993) Thank you Trevor Rigg (BA French and Italian 1969) for sharing these photos of the Whiteknights campus in 1966, which included snaps of the Library and HumSS (or the ‘Letters’ building). You definitely got lots of people talking when these photos were posted on Facebook!

Going for gold

Jonathan Cleverly (BSc Psychology and Zoology 1995; MSc Wildlife Management and Conservation 2002) got in touch to share this photo from the Wildlife Management ten year reunion. Turn to page 51 to hear about Jonathan’s intriguing career!

Thank you donors @UniRdg_Alumni The helmets have been brilliant for our whole squad. Thank you Donors :-) #UoR

The truly international mixture of students facilitates a unique shared learning from people all over the world, who bring different perspectives and views to the University’s truly diverse student population. Danish Faisal (MSc International Business 2008) The University of Reading has an excellent team of professionals, infrastructure, materials and equipment, plus a very open and participative philosophy that made my experience unique. Bruno Guemes Delgado (MSc Environmental Studies and Development 2005)

And finally…

@UniRdg_Alumni Here are 8 #UoR MSc Wildlife Management 2002 graduates at our 2012 reunion at Dinton Pastures. #greatday Jonathan Cleverly @JungleJonathan

Times Higher Education Rankings In October 2011 it was announced that the University is amongst the top 1% of universities in the world, according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on why this was!

Excellent piece in @UniRdg_Alumni ‘Connected 2011’ on women in research. Very inspiring and motivating!

Throughout the London 2012 Olympics, we kept you updated on the performance of our 11 University of Reading athletes who were selected to represent Team GB in the rowing and the hockey. Your messages of support and celebration were incredible, and when the news came in that our very own athletes had won two gold medals and one bronze in the rowing, we all shared in celebrating such a wonderful moment in the University’s history. Turn to page 18 for more.

These special visitors often wait outside our office (Blandford Lodge, Whiteknights) in the morning and this photo certainly got your vote of approval when we shared it on Facebook!

Ed Hopkins @edhopkins84 Ed Hopkins, current student and Captain of the American Football Team, tweeted a special thanks to our donors who, through their generous gifts to the Annual Fund, have supported a brand new collection of professional helmets for the team. News








The University welcomed over 3,000 new students in October, who were greeted with an action-packed week of events and activities. The annual two-day Freshers’ Fayre was a huge highlight of the start of term, at which an array of student societies and sports clubs – including our breakdancers – performed their best displays and laid out their eye-catching exhibitions in a bid to recruit new members. Discover more about student life today: page 36

Here is a glimpse inside the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication, which was awarded a renowned Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in November. This distinctive Department has a world-wide reputation for research, teaching and learning in what can broadly be described as ‘design for reading’. The Prizes are the most prestigious form of national recognition open to a UK academic or vocational institution. This is the fourth Queen’s Anniversary Prize the University of Reading has received.

September saw researchers from the University announce their development of a new drug which could reduce the spread of deadly diseases such as Lassa Fever and Aseptic Meningitis. Pictured here is Dr Ben Neuman from Biological Sciences, who has designed a drug which reduces the spread of infection of a family of viruses known as arenaviruses by up to 90% in laboratory tests. Explore more of our groundbreaking research: page 8







Around 600 runners laced up their trainers to take part in the national Sport Relief Mile at the University in March. The Whiteknights campus played host to runners of all ages, and among the participants were a woman celebrating her 78th birthday, a unicyclist, and athletes in fancy dress including computer game brothers Mario and Luigi, a gingerbread man, and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from the film Ghostbusters.


In April, people across the University of Reading community celebrated the news of Reading Football Club’s promotion into the Barclays Premier League. Reading FC sealed their promotion in a match against Nottingham Forest at the magnificent Madejski Stadium near to the University’s Whiteknights campus. Pictured here is University of Reading Chancellor and Chairman of Reading FC, Sir John Madejski. Sir John has recently been re-appointed as the University’s Chancellor until 2017. Picture courtesy of Reading Football Club.

This striking snap was entered as part of the Graduate School’s inaugural research images competition in May, in which PhD students were invited to share a photo which illustrated their research. ‘Into the Groove’ depicts the work of Archaeology student Rebecca Watts, who is investigating skeletal remains of adults to discover how our ancestors adapted to illness and disease.







Reading is already a global university, with thousands of students and staff from all over the world, but in December a deal was signed that will see a University of Reading campus open in Malaysia in autumn 2015. The new campus will be a hub for 2,000 students at EduCity Iskandar Malaysia in Johor Bahru. Pictured here is a taste of what the heart of the campus space will look like. Degrees will be offered across many disciplines including real estate, construction, finance, law and chemistry. Learn more about our world-class ambitions: page 32

We were delighted to welcome our new ViceChancellor, Sir David Bell KCB, to the University in January. Sir David joined the University from the British Government’s Department for Education, where he was Permanent Secretary for six years. Sir David brings a wealth of achievement and experience to the University, acquired during an impressive 30 year career in the education sector. Meet Sir David Bell: page 28

The University of Reading Annual Fund reached an important milestone in February, as donations from generous alumni, staff and friends exceeded the £3 million mark to support students at the University. These donations make a fantastic difference to enhancing the lives of our students, and importantly, provide essential bursaries and hardship grants to those who would otherwise not be able to consider or continue with a University education. Meet Viki, who is living her dream thanks to her bursary: page 57







PICTURES The Times Good University Guide, published in June, placed the University of Reading amongst the top 25 UK universities! We are now ranked 24th in this widely respected guide to universities in the UK, a jump of nine places from 2011. The University of Reading has risen in all the league tables published in 2012 to date, having been ranked 25th by The Guardian, 32nd in the Complete University Guide and 12th in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey.

Justin Fletcher MBE, famed for his role as presenter and star of the children’s television show, ‘Something Special’, joined over 3,500 students at our graduation ceremonies in July, where he was awarded an honorary degree. A group of local children were delighted to meet Reading-born Justin – also known as ‘Mr Tumble’ in his television series – after the ceremony. Justin was nominated for the award by the University’s Institute of Education. Read more about Justin: page 47

The London 2012 Games saw many a cause for celebration; not least because two University of Reading athletes struck gold for Team GB in the Olympic rowing! Current PhD student, Anna Watkins (pictured), rowed to victory in the women’s double sculls race with her partner Katherine Grainger, while alumnus Alex Gregory (BSc Geography 2006) won gold in the men’s four squad. We are enormously proud of our 11 University of Reading athletes who represented the Team GB Olympic squad. Don’t miss our London 2012 interviews and photos: page 18

Year in pictures 2011–2012


The big

QUESTIONS Does changing our diet and lifestyle alter our cancer risk? Why does children’s mental health matter? How can we reduce the desperate need for eye donors? Answering the world’s most pressing questions and providing hope to millions is something we do best at the University of Reading. Our prestigious research covers a huge range of areas. From predicting climate change to transforming mental health support for adults and young people; from finding cures to life-changing diseases to exploring the capabilities of artificial intelligence; all of our research is driven by issues that matter to society now and in the future. The quality of our research is highly regarded nationally and internationally and we are committed to enhancing our position as a leading research-intensive University. Our research changes the world. Here are just a few reasons why.


Can ROBOTS AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE help our lives? Professor Kevin Warwick, School of Systems Engineering ‘People are fascinated by the idea of evolving humans by linking them directly with technology. Just think of what it would be like to be linked directly into a computer network – upgraded memory, extra senses, multi-dimensional thought and the ability to communicate with others by thought alone. I should know – I have had my central nervous system linked to my wife’s.’ Ten years ago, my wife and I linked our nervous systems together via two implants and brought about the first direct electronic communication between two human nervous systems. The connection may have just been for 45 minutes, but it marked a significant movement in the quest to bring about communication by thought. More recently I’ve had my central nervous system linked to a robot hand, so my brain could control the hand by thought alone. Imagine the possibilities of this for somebody who is disabled – it could potentially be life-changing. Right now, I am researching battery-powered stimulators which are implanted into the chest to help people with Parkinson’s Disease. We’re working to make this device artificially intelligent. The idea is to position electrodes deep in the brain which feed information into the artificially intelligent system. The stimulator learns to recognise when the Parkinson’s sufferer is experiencing tremors and musclelocking from the tremors in the brain, so the stimulator fires only when it needs to fire. The idea that we are using artificial intelligence to understand and predict how the human brain operates is a huge breakthrough in biomedical engineering. Robots can tell us a lot about how the brain functions. Another of our current experiments involves linking a biological brain to a robot with a technical body. By moving the robot into different positions, we can begin to understand how memories form in the brain and how we can retain certain memories, which of course gives us a basic understanding to really tackle Alzheimer’s Disease. This is not just scientific speculation – we have seen just how much potential robots have in remedying diseases and enhancing the capabilities of the human body. Discover the robot with a biological brain on YouTube:



How important is HAPPINESS? Dr Marina Della Giusta, Reader in Economics

‘Happiness makes us feel good. Studies have suggested it makes us healthier, live longer and all sorts of great things. But it’s when you start to analyse levels of happiness that things get really interesting, as you uncover a whole new set of possibilities for improving the well-being of our society.’ For years we have been measuring people’s happiness and what influences their positive emotions. People often wonder if earning more money can make you happier for instance. The short answer is yes it can, but the correlation between happiness and income is only strong up to a certain threshold, after which things like personal relationships, your health, and the conditions of the society around you have a greater bearing on the likelihood that you will be happy. It is easy to get excited about such correlations, and while they are meaningful, we are specifically concerned with how we use this data to benefit people’s lives. In particular, by providing the policymakers who steer our laws, regulations and decisions, with the information they need to respond to the issues in our society. Take for example the question of whether men or women are happier. Our research has found that the way in which men and women construct their happiness differs dramatically, not least because women are more likely to take other people’s happiness into account when constructing their own. In fact, there’s evidence to suggest that women are not getting happier over time; perhaps because more women are in the work force, but have had relatively little relief of their care duties in the household, leaving them with a ‘double burden’. It is important that policymakers respond to this not only for the sake of women’s health and well-being, but also for the outcomes for their families. This is just one strand of a range of scenarios linked to happiness that we have looked into, and if we can help policymakers understand whose lives they should be aiming to improve, then I will be very happy!


How can STEM CELL TECHNOLOGY revolutionize organ donations? Dr Che Connon, Reader in Tissue Engineering and Cell Therapy ‘Diseases affecting the eye’s cornea are a major cause of blindness worldwide. Current treatments are limited by availability of donor tissue – people are living longer and we cannot rely on having a steady supply of eye donors. Yet the need for those donors is huge. We are developing artificial corneas from stem cells to combat this problem.’ Corneal transplantation is the most common transplant surgery and there are a range of reasons as to why a patient may need such treatment; whether it’s due to a genetic disorder, wounding or disease. Eye banks are very well established, especially in the UK, but demand is outstripping supply for the corneas. The growing popularity for laser eye surgery is adding to the pressure of a lack of donor tissues because currently, corneas post mortem that have had laser surgery cannot be used for transplantation. We’ve been working on developing artificial corneas to revolutionize transplantation for five years now. The idea is to create a specially engineered tissue in a dish which can then be transplanted into the eye. This work is in parallel with combating another, less common disease which is known as limbal stem cell deficiency, a painful eye disease which can result in corneal blindness. A normal corneal transplant cannot address this stem cell deficiency, but our artificial cornea is looking to combat this in addition to restoring sight to patients. Interestingly, the amniotic membrane – or the womb lining – is very similar to the structure of the eye’s cornea and is an excellent biomaterial to treat corneal diseases, so my work looks at mimicking both of these structures to create optimum conditions for a successful transplant. At the moment, our focus is to create the tissue template and get it working. If we can create this smart material, there could be all sorts of applications – not just for the cornea. In five to ten years, we should be ready to test this on humans.



Why does CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH matter? Professor Shirley Reynolds, Chair of the Charlie Waller Institute ‘One in ten children and young people in the UK have a diagnosable mental health problem. The Charlie Waller Institute at the University of Reading is here to help. Our research and teaching leads to a brighter future for millions of children and adults whose lives have been affected by a mental health problem.’ Imagine a child who is suffering from a mental health problem. Unable to cope with life at home and at school, they become withdrawn, isolated and deeply unhappy. Their behaviour may be mistaken for disobedience, or worse, ignored. If left untreated, the issue becomes more entrenched. By the time they are an adult it is likely that their whole life revolves around their difficulties, making them much more difficult to change. Mental health disorders often go unnoticed in children so the sooner we can intervene, the brighter their futures will become. I’m currently working on a treatment study for depression in young people. We are working with over 500 young people aged 12 to 17 who have depression. The aim of the research is to discover which treatment is most successful and, most importantly, is most effective in preventing relapse. Depression in teenagers very often resurfaces after a spell of recovery, so if we can prevent this from happening, we can not only prevent continuing misery and loneliness, but save millions in future health, education and social care costs. I’m also looking at whether involving parents makes treatment more successful in young people who have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). OCD is a condition where people experience intrusive and unpleasant, frightening thoughts (obsessions) and are compelled to carry out time consuming rituals (compulsions) every day. Generally young people are only offered psychological therapy if their parents are able to be involved. However, we’ve found that treatment without parents is just as effective. This means that young people should be offered the choice about whether or not to involve their parents and this may mean that more of them may choose to have treatment. At the Charlie Waller Institute we take pride in carrying out research to improve and develop psychological treatments and in offering training only for treatments which have been demonstrated to work. We aim to work across all age groups and populations. This unique combination is what helps real people get their lives back on track and is what we do best. The Charlie Waller Institute (CWI) is a collaborative initiative between the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, the University of Reading and Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. To discover more, please visit:


Does changing OUR DIET AND LIFESTYLE alter our cancer risk?

Professor Ian Rowland, Director of Research and Head of the Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition

‘People in different countries have very different risks of cancer and the type of cancer they may experience. When people emigrate from a country of low cancer incidence to an area of high cancer incidence, they often acquire the cancer incidence of the country they’ve moved to. This shows it’s not racial or genetic factors that are involved – it’s actually something to do with the lifestyles we lead and the diets we follow.’ In studies of diet and cancer incidence worldwide, ‘Western’ diets, typically high in fat and meat and low in fibre, fruit and vegetables, present a higher risk of colon and breast cancer. There are some indications that increasing your fibre intake will reduce your risk of colon cancer, and that increasing intake of foods like soy – found in foods like tofu and soy milk – will reduce prostate and breast cancer risk. Recently we have been studying a team of volunteers who have steadily increased their fruit and vegetable consumption from one or two portions per day to seven per day over several weeks, while we apply a series of tests to determine changes to their cancer risk. We have found that as our volunteers increase their fruit and vegetable intake, the level of DNA damage in their blood cells (a key marker of cancer threat) declines. This suggests that UK Government advice to eat more fruit and vegetables may well result in lowering cancer risk, although we may need to eat more than just five portions a day! Currently we are investigating the cancer fighting activities of a range of plant foods and their natural components such as cruciferous vegetables (like watercress, broccoli and cabbage), various berries and even olives. Sadly, there is no magic bullet of a food type which will guarantee a low cancer risk; it really needs a change in overall dietary pattern and lifestyle, including exercising, avoiding becoming overweight and not smoking. From our research however, it seems moving to a more plant-based diet, incorporating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, could be a very good approach.

The Hugh Sinclair Human Nutrition Group is part of the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences. It has an international reputation for its research into the relationship between diet and the risk of chronic disease such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, neurodegenerative disease and cancer. To discover more, please visit: Research


Why must we ensure GENDER EQUALITY in developing countries?

Dr Sarah Cardey, Lecturer in International Development, School of Agriculture, Policy and Development ‘In Sub-Saharan Africa, 50% of the agricultural labour is done by women. The role of women is crucial to agricultural production, economic growth and the well-being of their families, communities and countries. Yet time and again, women do not have equal access to the resources they need for these things to prosper. This must and can change.’ The plight of gender equality is about much more than simply ‘men are in a stronger position than women’. Our research wants to know exactly how men and women carry out their roles differently and better understand the challenges they face. If we can provide these answers, Non Government Organizations, development agents and governments will be in a far better position to solve people’s problems and design policies which will help men and women challenge inequality, and most importantly, improve their lives. Our ever-changing climate and the concerning state of our food supply are just two factors which can significantly affect rural communities. Men and women experience these things differently. They have different levels of access to and control over resources such as land, credit, and agricultural technologies. This can affect their ability to sustain their livelihoods. They also have different levels of access to services, such as health care, agricultural extension, and education, which can hinder their ability to succeed, and to participate in the lives of their communities and countries. How these different experiences play out, however, are complex, and really need to be better understood in our continually changing world. I would like to see women's social and economic position improve so they are not as vulnerable to social and environmental changes. Men must not be ignored either. Men often do things because society tells them this is what a man's supposed to do - that doesn't necessarily mean they want to do it. I want everyone to be empowered to make choices that reflect what they actually want rather than what society has told them. Nobody – man or woman – should be at a disadvantage. Everyone should be able to earn a living, have a sustainable life, and a hopeful future.


How can we improve our

COGNITIVE FUNCTION as we age? Dr Laurie Butler, Head of School, Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences ‘The older we are, the more likely we are to show cognitive decline. There are about 18 million people worldwide who are suffering from Alzheimer's disease and that's expected to double by 2025. What's less understood is that, even within the healthy aging range, most of us will show some cognitive decline as we age; whether that’s our memory performance or the degree to which we process information. Fortunately, there are many simple things we can do to boost our cognitive function.’ Engaging in activities that stimulate you mentally - like playing Sudoku or completing a crossword are all beneficial in preventing cognitive decline as you grow older. I’m particularly interested in nutrition, and whether there are particular types of diet or lifestyle which can slow down the process of cognitive decline as you age. Surprisingly, very subtle nutritional intervention – e.g. 500 ml of a cocoa-rich drink will not only produce cognitive changes, but will also have an impact on our ability to update information as we process the world around us. These small glasses of juice can also have a positive effect on blood flow to the brain and underlying brain function. Blood flow is of course incredibly important as it introduces nutrients and oxygen to the brain to enable efficient cognitive thought, and, with the use of an MRI scanner, we’ve been able to explore these functional changes in great detail. I am very lucky to be working with a broad multi-disciplinary team – with everyone from biologists to neuroscientists – to examine exactly how and why certain nutrients have an effect on cognitive function. Whether it’s looking at how certain nutrients affect stimulation of new neurone growth, or affect the levels of antioxidant in the body; we want to know what mechanism is driving these positive effects – looking at the whole story, you might say.

Research Extended online feature







Omega-3 fatty acids, typically found in oily fish such as salmon, are crucial during early childhood development. As well as being important for the growth of a baby’s brain and eyes, they may also help the development of healthy blood vessels, the heart and immune system. Now, our researchers in Food and Nutritional Sciences have discovered that mothers who eat salmon during the later stages of their pregnancy boost levels of a vital nutrient in their breast milk, but could lower levels of disease-fighting antibodies that they pass on whilst feeding their baby.

Blast! Codswallop! Most of us swear at some point in our lives, but we adapt our bad language in public so as not to cause offence. Amazingly, the practice of censoring our language was already in use over 2,000 years ago by the Romans. By systematically examining Latin exclamations that were used in the Roman world in public situations, Professor Peter Kruschwitz, Head of the University’s Department of Classics, has found that the Romans, too, employed similar techniques to escape falling hostage to foul language use in public.

Scientists at the University of Reading are looking at ways of tackling heart disease and diabetes – through our guts. Experts in gut microbes at the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences are exploring how prebiotics – dietary supplements that encourage the growth of ‘good’ or ‘friendly’ bacteria in the gut – can prevent us from gaining weight and increasing our risk of heart disease, stroke or diabetes. Evidence so far shows that altering the gut bacteria in this way could potentially reduce people’s risks of developing these fatal conditions.

HUMANS COULD EXPLAIN UP TO 70% OF THE LOSS IN ARCTIC SEA ICE Sea ice coverage at the North Pole has shrunk dramatically over the past 40 years. But how much is man-made damage and how much is due to climate variation? According to scientists at the University of Reading and the Japan Agency for MarineEarth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), between 70% and 95% of sea ice loss is due to man-made greenhouse gas emissions. The details of these findings will help us develop more accurate predictions about sea ice and help us to better understand the threats to wildlife and controversial opportunities for oil and gas exploration.



WIMBLEDON STRAWBERRY PRICES WOULD ALMOST DOUBLE WITHOUT BEES Spectators of this year’s Wimbledon tennis tournament were warned that they could face forking out £4.14 for a ten-strawberry punnet if bees disappeared – that’s an 84% increase on current prices! In recent years many bee species have been declining, placing our food supply and economy under threat. Without our pollinating heroes, it would cost the UK at least £1.8 billion every year to hand-pollinate crops like our much-loved strawberries. This new data was released by the University of Reading on behalf of the Friends of the Earth’s campaign, The Bee Cause.

BOOK SHARING COULD BOOST PROSPECTS OF WORLD’S POOREST CHILDREN Reading psychologists, with colleagues in South Africa, are exploring how teaching parents how to share books with their infants could dramatically improve literacy rates in developing countries. With around nine million illiterate adults, and still entrenched divisions in educational attainment between pupils from rich and poor backgrounds, there is considerable concern in South Africa about literacy rates among schoolchildren. A yearlong trial, exploring how training mothers to share books with their children aids their educational development, begins this year.

A major study into GP prescribing, including research from the University of Reading, has found that while the vast majority of prescriptions written by family doctors are appropriate and effectively monitored, around one in 20 contains an error. Dr Rachel Howard from the University’s School of Pharmacy coauthored the research which, amongst the team’s discoveries, concluded that the number of mistakes could be reduced significantly if GP surgeries hired their own in-house pharmacists. The team are now ensuring that their findings are translated into actions that help protect patients, such as reducing the risk of hospital admissions caused by adverse effects from medications.

NEW DRUGS MAY BE IN THE PIPELINE FOR TREATING HEART DISEASE Cardiovascular disease, which causes heart attacks and strokes, accounts for one in three of all deaths in the UK – and scientists at Reading have got one step closer to treating it. Researchers at the University’s Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research have made new discoveries into the way blood clots are formed, potentially leading to the development of new drugs to treat one of the world’s biggest killer illnesses.




The University of Reading and the London 2012 Games


(l–r) Katherine Grainger and University of Reading student Anna Watkins (PhD Maths), who won gold in the women’s double sculls rowing event. Getty Images


There was ecstasy, there was despair. We saw smiles, we saw tears. James Bond jumped out of a plane with Her Majesty The Queen. The Olympic and Paralympic Games had everything. London 2012 will surely go down as one of the greatest sporting spectacles in history and the University of Reading is proud to have played its part in the success of the Games. From gold medal winners to gold medal designers, University of Reading alumni and students were in the thick of the action. Over the next few pages join Connected on an Olympic journey that will show how your University is a leader when it comes to producing winners.


(l–r) Bill Lucas, Natasha Page, Sam Townsend, Anna Watkins, Ric Egington and Charles Cousins: Six of the University of Reading rowers who represented Team GB in the 2012 Olympics.

Oar inspiring – Reading strikes Olympic gold twice Before the Games, Connected met-up with past and present members of the the University of Reading’s Boat Club (RUBC) chosen to row for Team GB. All the rowers did themselves and the University proud at venue Dorney Lake, with two achieving the ultimate goal, Olympic gold. But what were their emotions before the biggest week of their lives and how did they react after their dreams became a reality? From gold prospects … For maths PhD student Anna Watkins, London 2012 was the chance to get even… or better still, ahead! Four years ago in Beijing there must have been frustration when she finished third in the women’s double sculls. Just 0.2 seconds stood between Anna and gold. ‘I’ve spent the last four years trying to get two feet faster!’ said Anna. ‘Our training programmes are designed so we undergo as much workload as physically possible. Improvements come from training hard year upon year, rather than doing anything out of the ordinary.’ And how much commitment does it take to become an elite rower? ‘I’ve lost count of the number of weddings I’ve missed out on due to training camps,’ continued Anna. ‘I’ve been rowing so long you forget what you’re missing out on, but it is sad to miss milestones in your friends’ and relatives’ lives.


‘But it’s all worth it! Although it’s my second Olympics I’m more excited this time as what could be better than having a chance to win a gold medal, at the world’s biggest sporting event, taking place in your home country? There’s such a great buzz everywhere you go, in supermarkets or just walking down the street, everybody is talking about the Games. The memories make it worthwhile.’ Geography graduate Alex Gregory also had unfinished Olympic business. As a reserve at Beijing he had to watch from the stands as the men’s four rowed to Olympic victory. ‘Watching the guys get their medals spurred me on even more,’ said Alex. ‘I don’t know what will happen but I feel proud and excited to be representing Team GB. There is added pressure because I’m in a boat with three guys who won gold in the Beijing Olympics in 2008, so if we don’t win, I’ll feel really bad!’ Getting chosen to represent your country is the result of a massive effort… and little sleep. ‘One of my favourite memories at Reading was getting up at the crack of dawn, doing my training and coming back to Halls when everyone else was only just waking up,’ recalls Alex. ‘It was funny to think I had already done so much when my friends would only just be surfacing!’

… to the gold rush There was no disappointment this time. Anna and her rowing partner, Katherine Grainger, put in a tremendous performance to win the women’s double sculls, beating the Australian pair by over a length. ‘I can’t believe we’ve done it,’ said Anna. ‘I don’t know what planet I’m on at the moment. It’s been very odd walking around and people saying “Look it’s those girls!” ‘We have never been beaten as a combination. We were targeting gold and anything else would have been devastating. It wasn’t until we crossed the line that I dared to think it was the Olympic final.’ And for Alex Gregory Olympic glory was also his. Racing in the men’s four, Alex and his crewmates led their final from the start to be crowned Olympic Champions, despite pressure from another Australian crew … and from within. ‘It certainly will take a while to sink in,’ Alex told Connected. ‘I’ve had many years of disappointment, failures and injuries which slowed down my progress, but gradually over the years I have developed a dream to become an Olympic champion. ‘Thank you everyone at the University of Reading who has helped me along the way, I can’t put into words what the support means, but it makes more of a difference than anyone knows!’

MEMBERS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF READING IN THE GREAT BRITAIN OLYMPIC ROWING SQUAD Charles Cousins (BSc Psychology 2010) 2012 Olympic crew: men’s quadruple scull – finished 5th

Adam Freeman-Pask (current student studying for a PhD in Biological Sciences) 2012 Olympic crew: lightweight reserve

Alex Partridge (current student on Henley Business School MBA programme) 2012 Olympic crew: men’s eight – finished 3rd

Ric Egington (BSc Zoology 2001) 2012 Olympic crew: men’s eight – finished 3rd

Alex Gregory (BSc Geography 2006) 2012 Olympic crew: men’s four – finished 1st

Debbie Flood (BSc Physiology and Biochemistry 2005) 2012 Olympic crew: women’s quadruple scull – finished 6th

Bill Lucas (BA Politics and International Relations 2009) 2012 Olympic crew: men’s double scull – finished 5th (with Sam Townsend)

Sam Townsend (BSc Rural Environmental Sciences 2010) 2012 Olympic crew: men’s double scull – finished 5th (with Bill Lucas)

Natasha Page (BA Art 2007) 2012 Olympic crew: women’s eight – finished 5th

Anna Watkins (current student studying for a PhD in Maths) 2012 Olympic crew: women’s double scull – finished 1st

Read full interviews with the athletes pictured left on the next page 

Pulling together for Olympic rowing glory The University of Reading is steeped in Olympic rowing success. Four years ago in Beijing, Reading students and alumni added three medals to Team GB’s impressive tally. In the 2004 Games in Athens, Reading rowers brought home one gold and two silver medals. In London 2012, at nearby Dorney Lake, three was once again the magic number. Anna Watkins and Alex Gregory struck gold, while Zoology graduate Ric Egington and Alex Partridge, currently undertaking an MBA at Henley Business School, formed part of the men’s eight crew who won bronze in what was one of the most exciting rowing races of the Games. Anna, Alex Gregory, Ric and Alex Partridge are four of the ten University of Reading alumni and students that made the GB rowing squad, the highest number from any UK university. But what is Reading’s golden secret? The University of Reading’s Midas Touch The University offers student rowers strong support, both in and out of the boat. Gold medal winner Anna Watkins said: ‘Reading had a really good reputation and I knew it was the best choice for me as it had the right combination of academic excellence and passion for rowing. I’ve been able to take time out of my PhD to focus on the Olympics and the University has been positive and helpful throughout.’

student athletes and of the facilities we have that helps them achieve their goals. But of course it takes commitment as well as talent to reach Olympic standard and we are delighted their hard work paid off.’

Alex Gregory, who graduated in 2006 and was in the victorious men’s four, added: ‘The University was unbelievably good in supporting me. I joined the senior GB rowing team while at University so I was away a lot at training camps, sometimes weeks at a time. I had great support in my training from both the University and fellow RUBC mates.’

University of Reading alumni have played an important part in Reading’s Olympic success. Thanks to the generosity of graduates, staff and friends of the University,

‘Thank you everyone at the University of Reading who has helped me along the way. The support makes more of a difference than anyone knows!’ – Alex Gregory, Olympic gold medalist 2012 Reading also boasts world-class facilities. Its SportsPark is home to the £2.23 million Vo2 sports centre which contains a state of the art fitness studio. The natural, yet as important, training facility the River Thames, is a mere five minutes away from the Whiteknights campus. Iain Akhurst, Director of Sports and Recreation at the University of Reading, said: ‘I am delighted that the University contributed so many talented rowers to the Great Britain Olympic Squad. The University is proud of the support it offers

over £3.2 million has been donated to support students via the Annual Fund. Will Rand, Director of Rowing at the University, said: ‘I would like to thank the University and its graduates for their unwavering support. We train in fantastic boats, only made possible by monies donated by the University’s Annual Fund and The Friends of the University, which are of enormous benefit to the Boat Club and contribute to our success in major rowing events, such as the recent Olympics.’



Our Olympic journey It's 50 days before the London 2012 Games begin and Connected is having a tour around the University of Reading Boat House. The skies outside may be suitably grey, stormy and wet for June, but the atmosphere inside the Boat House is full of excitement and energy. Today, we are meeting some of the ten University of Reading members who have been picked to represent Team GB in the London 2012 Olympics. And what better venue to catch up with them than the place where their Olympic dreams were fostered? Perfectly on time, laughing and joking, our University of Reading Olympic rowers arrive to the Boat House in great spirits. Despite having just finished another gruelling day of training, they are clearly delighted to be back at their old stomping ground and make every effort to catch up with the current rowing students who have gathered, eager to meet and follow in the footsteps of their sporting heroes. At the time of meeting our rowers, none of us knew what the Olympics had in store for their races. Despite mixed results in the end – some won a medal, others didn't - it was clear that being part of London 2012 was an experience to never be forgotten.

RIC EGINGTON, BSC ZOOLOGY 2001 You won bronze in the men's eight in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Did you know straight away that you wanted to go for London 2012 too? When the Beijing Olympics finished, I wasn't sure whether I'd carry on rowing. But after a few months, I felt I'd done all this work to get to the top of my sport that I should probably try and milk this Olympics thing a bit longer! What does it mean to have the Olympics taking place in London this year? I think it means a lot more to the spectators and the country as a whole. Events like the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and UEFA Euro 2012 have shown just how proud people are to be British. It's a really great thing – to see everyone being so patriotic in a really upbeat way. What life lessons have you learnt from taking part in the Beijing and London Olympics? You have to invest a lot of time and energy if you want to be the best. I just wish I had the same work ethic when I was younger! Favourite memories from your time at the University of Reading? I absolutely loved everything about University and had a fantastic three years. I have really good memories of playing pool in St Georges Hall and living really close to the sports pavilion. The University had a very friendly community where everyone would say hello to each other as you walked round campus. I really valued all of that, especially as I knew I wouldn't be there my whole life. What's next after the Olympics? An extended holiday! I'll be retiring from rowing so I will have to get a career! My degree is in Zoology so I hope there will be some opportunities that come up. 2012 Olympic crew: men's eight


SAM TOWNSEND, BSC RURAL ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE 2010 You had quite an unconventional route into University. Can you tell us a bit about that? I got rejected by UCAS because my A levels were not as good as they should have been. Rowing had taken over my life but I realised that I needed to be more open minded – I could get injured one day and then where would I be? Luckily the University could see that I was serious about working hard at a degree and allowed me a place. It worked out brilliantly in the end – I got a 2:1. How did you first get to know Bill (Lucas), your double sculls rowing partner? Bill and I were both selected by the GB Rowing Team Start Programme. Our then-coach Mark Earnshaw (who funnily enough is also coaching us through the Olympics!) put Bill and I in a double sculls boat from the very beginning. So it's quite a strange turn of events that, seven years on, we're now racing in a double at the 2012 Games! Will this be your first Olympic Games? Yes. Our quadruple scull squad didn't qualify for the Beijing Olympics. It was going to be a full Reading boat, with Bill, Charles (Cousins) and Alex (Gregory). Sadly we missed qualification by a second. We were devastated and it took a long time to get over it but it fuelled the fire over the next few years. What kind of sacrifices have you made to get to this point? My fiancée Tash (Page) is competing in the women's eight squad and often we have to head to separate training camps and won't see each other for weeks. It's a long time to spend away from relatives and loved ones. What does it mean to be representing Team GB in the 2012 Olympic rowing squad? It really hit home when the Chief Executive of the British Olympic Association officially nominated Bill and I for the men's double scull for the London Olympics. Knowing we're two of the 550 athletes representing Team GB makes me realise that we're part of a much bigger thing than just delivering our own role. It's giving me goose bumps just thinking of it! 2012 Olympic crew: men's double scull





How much dedication has it taken to be selected to represent Team GB in the Olympic Rowing? It's been several years in the making! Like Sam (Townsend) I started the sport through the GB Rowing Team Start Programme. From that moment I was aiming to compete at international level so there was no easy way in. When I went to Reading to study, the training really ramped up and I started rowing with the senior camp after my first term.

How is being part of the Olympic Games different to any other sporting competition you have been involved with? This is my first Olympics. In terms of the scale of the event, the number of people competing isn't very different from a world championship; but with the Olympics, there will be thousands of people watching on the lakeside and millions watching on TV!

How strict is the diet and lifestyle you lead? Rowing at this level is a full time job, seven days a week. A day off will come every month to six weeks. The diet isn't as strict as you may think but we eat about 6,000 calories a day to keep our energy up. Even when I started University, I think I only managed one night out during Freshers’ Week.

Have you experienced any obstacles in the lead up to London 2012? Last year I had major back surgery, so I set London 2012 in my sights for a comeback. There was a chance the surgery may not have been successful but I've been lucky. When I think back to this time last year when I couldn't even walk around without help, I feel so happy to be here.

How did you manage your training alongside your degree? I had a sports scholarship and that gave me access to the University gym and facilities so I could train between my lectures. The Boat Club was well stocked with gym equipment too and I did most of my training on the river there. My tutors were very understanding of what I was aiming for. I had an awful lot of support. Without it, I wouldn't have been able to get to where I am. What is your advice to students who are thinking about taking up rowing at the University of Reading? The Boat Club here has great facilities and a great stretch of river. Will Rand, the Director of Rowing, has a lot of experience of dealing with rowers with high aspirations so if you want to make it work he knows how to help you do that. To fulfil my rowing ambitions, I knew I had to study at Reading. What's next after the Olympics? I'll live life, enjoy it, be a bit more carefree and see my wife more. Our schedules have been so structured for a long time it will be great to let my hair down a bit. I'll probably stick around for one more Olympic Games. I'd like to go for Rio 2016. 2012 Olympic crew: men's double scull



What runs through your mind in the moments before you start a race? In the half an hour before the race, I like to stretch and go for a little walk, put my headphones in, look at the lake and try to relax with some David Bowie. There are a lot of nerves in racing, but in 20–30 years time I am going to look back with fond memories so I am going to make the most of enjoying it now. How did you manage your training alongside your degree? Firstly, the psychology department was very understanding. I delivered all the work, and tried to do it as best I could and in return they were a bit flexible. The sports scholarship was a big part – I probably wouldn’t have been able to afford to go to university if it weren't for that support. Favourite memories from your time at the University of Reading? I made some great friends - people who are rowers and those who are not. I had a great time after all the exams finished in the third year too: the weather was awesome and we had BBQs every night. In terms of sport, winning the BUCS Regatta (British Universities and Colleges Sport) was a top memory. 2012 Olympic crew: men's quadruple scull


How are you feeling about the impending Games? Relieved! Last November I was quite poorly; I had blood clots all over my lungs and we didn't know if I would be able to make it back into rowing, let alone the Olympics. Getting back into the women's eight is really exciting and it feels like I am back where I am supposed to be. You competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. How does training for the 2012 Olympics compare? I was quite young in Beijing and we didn't have a particularly successful time because a few of us got ill. These last four years leading up to the 2012 Games have been a lot more intense and I couldn't believe it when I got ill last year! Having that time out has made me appreciate being back in the women's eight once more and now I feel at my fittest. We often hear that ‘it isn’t the winning, but the taking part that counts’. Can the same be said for competing in the Olympics? Oh no, that's what my mum says! It's not true at all. Competing in the Olympics is the pinnacle of your career and you want to win it. My mum always says ‘just make sure you enjoy yourself’ but I wouldn't train day in day out, every week if I didn't want to get a result at the end of it. What next after the Olympics? Stopping and retiring! Sam (Townsend) and I are getting married after the Olympics so we've got that to look forward to. When I was ill, I kept myself busy with wedding planning, which was a nice distraction. Getting all our family and friends together and having a big party will be great after the Olympics. I'd quite like to be a primary school teacher so I need to work out a plan for my life after rowing. How did you and Sam meet? We met through rowing in 2004 – I was studying at the time, he was in the year below me. Coming to the Olympics, we both know how to cope when one of us does well, and the other not so well – we've learnt to cope throughout. At the beginning it was a massive struggle for me because I used to worry about him a lot more than he did about me, but gradually I've got better and better. 2012 Olympic crew: women's eight


Extended online feature


Hugh Robertson MP (BSc Land Management 1985) Minister for Sport and the Olympics Land Management alumnus Hugh Robertson was appointed Minister for Sport and the Olympics in 2010. We caught up with Hugh to discover what legacy he hopes to see the London 2012 Games pass on.

‘I want London 2012 to inspire more people to take up a sport. However, there will be an Olympic legacy in terms of business won, a social legacy in terms of volunteering, a regeneration legacy in East London and a considerable legacy for sport.’

‘Watching the way that the country has embraced the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the effect that this has had on our reputation internationally has been fantastic.

Like millions of us across the world, Hugh is clearly delighted with how the London 2012 Games have gone. But were there any hiccups along the way? Not if the University of Reading had anything to do with it.

An unforgettable Games The University of Reading is immensely proud to have had such significant connections with the London 2012 Games. Here, we meet some of the most prominent and respected individuals who have helped make the Games well and truly unforgettable.

Jonty Clarke (BSc Economics 2002) Team GB Men’s Hockey Player and 2012 Olympic athlete Having grown up immersed in hockey, Jonty’s first taste of competing internationally came just after he started at the University of Reading. Here, Jonty reflects on his University days and his London 2012 Olympic journey. ‘I had an amazing time at University, but it’s fair to say that I wasn’t the most conscientious student at the time. Hockey certainly cost me some marks in my degree, but I was determined to succeed in the sport.’

Image courtesy of GB Hockey, Ady Kerry

And succeed Jonty did. He went on to put in a sterling performance as part of the Team GB Men’s Hockey team in the London 2012 Games. Jonty’s proudest moment came during their match against Australia: ‘We were 3–0 down with 25 minutes to go, and managed to get ourselves back into the game to draw 3–3 against the world’s no.1 ranked team. That match gave us good momentum to take into the final group game where we got the draw we needed against Spain, to reach the semi-finals.’ 24

Jonty and the team may not have won a medal, but he has been amazed by the support of the public and members of the University of Reading community. ‘I was totally blown away by the number of messages that I received in various ways, and I would like to thank everyone who supported us and helped to make it an amazing experience.’ It is great to hear Jonty speak so highly of his time at University too. ‘I will always look back fondly on my days at Reading as a time when I met some great people, including my wife Sarah Clarke (née Brennan; BSc Land Management 2002). In the end I got my degree which allowed me to get a job and subsequently qualify as a Chartered Accountant. I am now taking some time out to work out what to do next. There’s a huge temptation to continue playing hockey, particularly because the Olympics didn’t end as we wanted, but I think I will make my mind up once the emotions have settled down.’

‘The understanding of property picked up by studying land management at the University of Reading was invaluable in overseeing the construction of the Olympic Park – the largest construction project anywhere in Europe. The many hours that I spent playing hockey also proved quite useful!’

Image courtesy of LOCOG

Sir John Armitt (Honorary Graduate 2008) Chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) Sir John has been responsible for ensuring that the London 2012 Olympic Games were delivered on time and to budget. There’s nothing like a bit of pressure when the whole world is watching you… ‘One of the biggest challenges has been to ensure that all our stakeholders had the right understanding of our activities and challenges at any point in time. The ODA also had to see that the objectives for our key themes of health and safety, sustainability, legacy, employment and training, diversity and design were also achieved.’ Clearly, Sir John’s role has been a mammoth task. And despite the Olympics having drawn to a close, his role is far from over. ‘For the next 15 months, the ODA will be installing kitchens and making other improvements to all the apartments in the Olympic Village to establish the Olympic Park as a desirable place to live, work and play in London.’ And what does Sir John make of the University of Reading’s connections with the Games? ‘Universities can provide a strong support system, particularly to athletes, whether through sporting facilities or research programmes. Reading has clearly done better than many others in this regard.’

Professor David Watkins (BA Fine Art 1963) Designer of the 2012 Olympic Medals Watching our rowers win two gold medals and one bronze at the London 2012 Olympic Games was a spectacular moment for the University of Reading community. Not least because they have been wearing medals designed by another of our graduates; the leading British artist, Professor David Watkins… ‘I was absolutely delighted when I found out I was the designer of the 2012 Olympic medals - and surprised too, because I don’t normally do this kind of work. I am certainly doing a lot more interviews than I ever used to!’ Rewind fifty years, and David was a Fresher at the University of Reading throwing himself into student life. David credits Reading for influencing his life in many ways. ‘I met my wife, Wendy Ramshaw (Dip Art Teacher 1961) at University and we’ve worked together successfully

ever since. I also recall signing up to the University Jazz Band on Fresher’s Day – Jazz is my other love you see. And of course, I still have a handful of dear friends who I met at University.’ And what did David make of his Fine Art course? ‘It was a great opportunity to follow what was in my heart and work closely with like-minded people who I learnt a lot from.’ Having followed what was in his heart ever since, and having recently undertaken the most prestigious project in his career history, what’s next for David? ‘I’ve been collaborating with my wife Wendy on a new project to design some architectural decorations for a prestigious site in London. I cannot say which site yet, but it is going to be great. Watch this space…’

Share your Olympic story Were you involved with the London 2012 Olympic or Paralympic Games? Or any of the Games that have taken place over the years? Share your story with us: University of Reading Alumni @UniRdg_Alumni Feature


Discover your future Whether you graduated from Reading this year or perhaps a little longer ago, you may be all too aware of how strange it can feel to leave the University that you have called 'home' for such a long time. University of Reading graduates have gone on to do great things in the world. But what happens when you aren't sure of what to do next? Or that dream job you were chasing hasn't worked out yet? Perhaps you just need a little more guidance to find the career that is right for you? In any case, your University is here for you. If you haven't already discovered The Careers, Placement and Experience Centre, allow us to introduce you‌


Image courtesy of LOCOG


Your career starts here

The Careers, Placement and Experience Centre is situated in the heart of the Whiteknights campus, in the Carrington building next to the much-loved Students’ Union. Excitingly, the team has recently launched a new, dedicated service for graduates to bring you the careers and vacancy resources, help and information that you need. All new graduates are encouraged to contact the team at the Careers, Placement and Experience Centre as soon as possible at in order to book in for a one-to-one session with a Careers Adviser. But hurry – the one-to-one service is only available for six months after graduation. And don't worry if you graduated a little longer ago: permanent careers provision is available for all graduates in the form of workshops and webinars. There is also a range of online resources, including a regular e-bulletin to promote vacancies that employers want to advertise directly to Reading graduates. To register for access to the full jobs vacancies board, go to: careers/graduate/register In the meantime, meet Adam, one of our 2009 graduates, who tells us about his favourite university memories, unicycling and how the Careers, Placement and Experience Centre helped to get him noticed.

A date for your diary All graduates are welcome to attend the annual Autumn Careers & Placements Fair – 1 November 2012, 11am–4pm in the Palmer Building, Whiteknights. No need to book – simply turn up on the day.

ADAM CASS, BA POLITICS AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 2009 I decided to study politics at Reading to figure out a practical way to understand and try to improve the world. After a great three years at the University, and a little time out to find a career, I am now on an operations management graduate scheme for a great logistics company. I’m getting experience managing people and supply chains with the long term plan of working in disaster relief and humanitarian aid. How has the University of Reading helped in your chosen career path? It took me two years after graduation to find a career. I held several jobs and voluntary positions in that time, but I had little career success despite applying to a wide range of jobs. I contacted the Careers Advisory Service (now known as the Careers, Placement and Experience Centre) for some advice and received some brilliant tips from the team. Their support helped me get out of a rut (I was bored out of my mind stacking shelves for a living) and really increased my confidence. Do you have any top tips for new graduates on the job hunt? Never, ever give up. Sometimes things don’t work out straight away, or quite how you expect them to; but if you keep trying you will find a job you enjoy. Whatever you do, don’t pursue something that doesn’t make you happy. Do what you really want to do. I did plenty of voluntary work alongside part time jobs to develop my skills as much as possible. I became an assistant Scout leader and worked in my local Oxfam store whenever I could. I met a lot of brilliant people and I unreservedly recommend volunteering to everybody. What was the best bit about living and studying in Reading? I enjoyed the wide variety of clubs and societies at the University and the centre of Reading has more or less everything you could ask for from a town. I also liked cycling and running along the canal! What does the University mean to you and what is your favourite memory? University was a place of great development for me. I changed immeasurably during my three years at Reading and became a far happier, more confident person than I thought was possible. My favourite memory? Deciding to ride a unicycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats with a friend shortly after graduation. That’s the kind of thing that gets you an interview…


Special online feature


Being Sir David Bell To say that Sir David Bell has led an impressive career in the education sector would be an understatement. Having started his working life as a primary school teacher in his home city of Glasgow, his CV has expanded to include roles such as Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools; Permanent Secretary for the British Government’s Department for Education, and since January 2012; Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading. Just how did he find his way through such a remarkable career? Who is the man behind all the public-facing success? And what does it mean for the University of Reading to be under his leadership? Decisive, hardworking, Scottish. Meet Sir David Bell.



‘When I was eight, my teacher – a lady called Miss Walton – wrote the devastating words in my report card: “Not working to full capacity.” Those words have always stuck with me and I suspect I have overcompensated ever since!’ Laughter aside, this is a man who has accomplished a huge deal since the fateful day Miss Walton arguably set his course for life. Somewhere along the line, whether it was becoming a head teacher aged just 29 or being appointed as one of the most senior civil servants in the country six years ago, Sir David must have been pinching himself at his extraordinary journey through the education sector, surely? ‘When I started my career as a primary school teacher, I never expected that I’d end up doing the things that I did. I just kept looking at the next step up as I became more experienced. Mind you, it was still a shock when I first became Chief Inspector of Schools at Ofsted.

running the Sport Relief Mile on the Whiteknights campus on the Sunday; before enjoying The Friends’ Heritage Trail at London Road with his wife, Louise, later that afternoon. It is a wonder how his feet touch the ground. ‘That was an exceptionally busy weekend for the University! But when I took the role of Vice-Chancellor, I decided that I would immerse myself in University life. I’m very fortunate that my wife is happy to join me at these events too. In the last six years, I spent long days working in London, meaning Louise and I didn’t see much of each other during the week. Now that’s all changed, and as a Vice-Chancellor, I feel hugely privileged to do these things.’ And is this commitment all down to the first flush of enthusiasm in his new role? After all, when Sir David is not answering emails late at night and packing in University events around his Vice-Chancellor duties, he can often be seen at the University SportsPark pounding away on the treadmill.

‘When I took the role of ViceChancellor, I decided that I would immerse myself in University life.’ ‘I remember being on the train to London and someone sitting across from me was reading a copy of The Times newspaper, on which I was quoted on the cover! That was the real wake up call… and a somewhat daunting moment when I realised I had moved from the local to the national stage.’ Renowned amongst his friends, colleagues and family for his fast-paced approach and prodigious output, the University of Reading is delighted to have Sir David as its new Vice-Chancellor. And the feeling is mutual. Since becoming Vice-Chancellor in January 2012, Sir David has hit the ground running – and hasn’t stopped since. One weekend in March, he was meeting and greeting our University supporters at Donor Day on the Saturday;


‘I’ll probably need to pace myself a bit more’ he says with consideration ‘… but then again, it’s not my style.’ It is no wonder then, that a recent article in The Guardian newspaper described Sir David Bell as the University of Reading’s ‘Mr Impeccable’. Is there anything that troubles him or keeps him awake at night? ‘Nothing. Seriously – I sleep like a log. Although I will confess, I don’t think I have been more nervous before any other event than I was at my first graduations in summer. I didn’t want anything to spoil the occasion for the students and their families.’ Given his outstanding public-facing career history, it is quite remarkable to imagine Sir David Bell feeling nervous

at the prospect of overseeing our graduation ceremonies, but it is clear that providing the very best experience to our students is what matters to him. In this new fees era, whereby tuition fees at Reading will, like many other top universities, rise to £9,000 a year, it is reassuring to know that he has the student experience at the forefront of his agenda. ‘Firstly, Reading prides itself on offering a demanding and rigorous education and that’s really important because we have increasingly high expectations of the students who will attend. Secondly, and I feel this very strongly, Reading is a very friendly place. When I first visited the campus, I was struck by the warmth of the student ambassadors, who all vouched for the friendly atmosphere across our beautiful campuses. I will continue to make sure that Reading students have a great education and enjoy themselves. ‘I also think it’s wonderful – and Reading should be proud – that such a high proportion of alumni want to stay in touch with the University. At graduation, I told our students they must stay in contact with us. The practical support our alumni provide really is incredible.’ So how have things changed since Sir David was a student at Glasgow University in the late 1970s? ‘Nowadays, students are more concerned about how their degree will contribute to their employment prospects – something people weren’t so worried about in my generation. At Reading, we’re responding by offering work-related experience to all of our students which is really going to help us stand out from the crowd. Our employment statistics for 2011 graduates are above the sector average, which is really positive.’ Positive is a word that resonates with Sir David a great deal: ‘I’ve always had a positive outlook on life. I said to the students who were graduating in summer that life is not a rehearsal – you get one chance at it and you should live every day to the full.’ And lead by example he will. As the University’s ambitions and world-class prestige grows, you can guarantee that, just like his lifestyle, Sir David will not be letting any opportunities pass the University of Reading by.

THE QUICK FIRE INTERVIEW Why did you want to be a primary school teacher? The high-minded reason was because I thought teaching across a range of subjects would be very interesting. The slightly more shameful reason was that I thought it would be a bit like being an actor, with a captive audience of 30 children in your ‘theatre’! Who were your early inspirations? My parents and Gordon Banks, the England goalkeeper (I was a goalkeeper when I played football at school). Have you got to work with other people you’ve looked up to? Yes – Les Kemp. He was the headteacher of the primary school in Essex where I was deputy in my twenties. What ambitions have you got for your career? To continue to enjoy every minute of every day. What do you do to relax? Keep fit, read, enjoy sport and Sunday afternoon walks around the University’s farm, the Centre for Dairy Research, where I am living. It’s really nice to have 600 cattle as neighbours!

‘It’s wonderful that such a high proportion of alumni want to stay in touch with the University – the support our alumni provide really is incredible.’

What is your proudest achievement so far? Being a half-decent dad to my two daughters. Watching them grow up has been great fun and, remarkably, we’re all still friends. Highlight of your time at the University to date? My first graduation season was utterly memorable and it was a huge privilege to oversee the ceremonies. Favourite University event you’ve been part of? The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Garden Party, held at our Henley Business School Greenlands campus in June. What a fabulous, fabulous event. The staff, students and alumni involved were exemplary and meeting the Queen is one memory I will hold onto very fondly. Perfect is the word.



The University of Reading is ranked in the top 1% of the world’s universities, a statistic that may surprise some readers. However, through conducting world-class research, giving international students the very best experience and strong teaching and business partnerships worldwide, Reading is now a major global force in higher education. The team at Connected set-off to discover why Reading strikes such a chord with friends and partners abroad.

Around the world The legacy of an Angel

Life-changing research across the globe

When Angel Caballero completed her 5,000 mile journey from Bogota, Columbia, to study agriculture at Reading in 1907, we suspect she may have been slightly in shock and a little homesick. But the University has always prided itself on the warm welcome and experience it offers international students. Hopefully she settled in quickly.

Reading has an international reputation not only for the excellence of its teaching but for the quality of its research – important projects which are tackling real world problems across the globe.

Angel was one of the University’s first international students. Now Reading is proud to have nearly 6,000 students on campus from outside the United Kingdom. Reading is a popular place to study, both for home and international students, for many reasons. Students receive a world-class education which gives them a fantastic start to their chosen career, and a learning environment that is second to none. The University’s beautiful Whiteknights campus was recently voted one of the best in the UK. Reading ensures its overseas students enjoy a fantastic experience. The latest International Student Barometer found that 92% of Reading’s overseas students were satisfied or very satisfied with the support they received while at Reading. And of course Reading’s international students add to the multicultural community, at the University and in the town itself. For the University though, going global means much more than recruiting students.


Africa faces enormous challenges ranging from issues to do with governance, food security and climate change. The University is working in close collaboration with many African institutions to find solutions through education, research and training. Reading is leading a new initiative that aims to make a real difference to the lives of people in Sudan and the surrounding region. Experts in climate variability and change, agriculture, food security, poverty and social protection are working with Sudanese universities and NGOs in order to strengthen Sudan’s capacity to confront these issues. Out of Africa, University climate scientists are trying to understand how the South Asian monsoon will change in the future. More than a billion people are dependent on the rains for water, agriculture and hydroelectricity. With projected increases in population and pressure on food security, accurately predicting how the length and strength of the rainfall might change is vital.

Professor Steve Mithen is the University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for International and External Engagement: ‘Reading conducts world-class research that is making a real difference to the lives of people now and in the future,’ said Steve. ‘We are putting in place partnerships that will strengthen our research capability, from working with the Queensland Government in Australia to understanding the link between climate change and flooding, to our collaborative research with US universities in developing special polymers which could lead to self-repairing bullet-proof vests.’ The University of Reading continues to go from strength to strength, both domestically and internationally. Its teaching and research excellence provides the world with talented, well-educated people and the knowledge to combat issues that affect us all. We’ve no doubt Angel would be proud of how her university has developed into the important global institution it is today. Her long voyage for a degree ended in the UK. Reading’s international journey continues.

Architect’s impression of the heart of the University of Reading campus, Malaysia

Introducing the University of Reading in Malaysia The University has a long tradition of educating talented people around the world. Reading enjoys teaching partnerships with institutions including Taylor’s University College in Malaysia and Henan University of Technology in China. Henley Business School at the University of Reading delivers executive education and MBA programmes in Europe, Asia Pacific and South Africa. But perhaps the most exciting international development is the recent announcement of an agreement to establish a campus for the University of Reading in Malaysia.

‘The Malaysia campus will open in September 2015 with an initial intake of 500 students, with long-term student numbers settling around 2,000.’ The campus will open in September 2015 as part of EduCity Iskandar Malaysia in Johor Bahru with an initial intake of 500 students. It is planned that enrolment will rise to approximately 1,800 students within three years with long-term student numbers settling around 2,000. ‘The planned opening of our campus in Malaysia in 2015 is an important and very exciting step for Reading,’ explained Professor Tony Downes, Chair of University of Reading Malaysia Project Board. ‘Increasingly it is the University’s work on the world stage that defines our reputation. We look forward to welcoming students from Malaysia and across the world to our new campus where they will benefit from a first-class student experience.’




Share your story

We love hearing your stories. Here, we celebrate the achievements and memories of four of our alumni who are living, working and making a great difference around the world.

See Lian Ong BSc Quantity Surveying, 1971–1974 I have had a very fulfilling 39 year career in Quantity Surveying. On 4th July 2011, I was very honoured to be elected Global President of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and this has made many of my fellow Malaysians extremely proud, especially as I am the first non-British passport holding President in the 143 year history of the organisation. Why did you choose to study at the University of Reading? I was given a scholarship by the Government of Malaysia to study Quantity Surveying at Reading as part of the Government’s efforts in capacity and nation building. The University of Reading was chosen by the Government of Malaysia because of its ability to produce graduates with strong leadership qualities, as well as for its academic excellence.

What was the best bit about living and studying in Reading? The campus and its facilities are excellent. I lived in Childs Hall which was walking distance to the faculty buildings and the library. Above all, Reading is very close to London where I spent most of my weekends – at the cost of £0.50 for a train ticket. How has the University of Reading helped in your chosen career path? The Quantity Surveying course curriculum at Reading at that time was revolutionary. Much of the course was devoted to developing analytical and management skills. This was a major differentiator from courses offered elsewhere.

‘In Malaysia, Reading was known for its ability to produce graduates with strong leadership qualities and for its academic excellence.’

What does the University mean to you and what are your favourite memories? Reading provided me with a firm foundation for a fulfilling career. My fond memories are the days I spent in Childs Hall which had become a mini United Nations with students from around the world.

Analía Kandel MA Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), 1998–2001 I started teaching English in 1989 and came to Reading in 1998 to study the MA in TEFL at the Centre for Applied Language Studies – or CALS (now known as the International Study and Language Centre). Since my return, I have worked both in the public and private sectors as a teacher, teacher trainer, administrator and consultant. In 2009 I was privileged to have been elected by my colleagues as President of APIBA, Buenos Aires English Teachers’ Association. Why did you choose to study at the University of Reading? My mentor at teacher training college in Buenos Aires suggested the MA in TEFL at the University of Reading was the best option in the field, and he was right. At CALS, I found the academic excellence I sought. What was the best bit about living and studying in Reading? The outstanding tuition, the multicultural environment, the wonderful campus and


its facilities, and the warm atmosphere among my fellow students and lecturers. How has the University of Reading helped in your chosen career path? My MA in TEFL at Reading was a turning point in my professional career. Not only did I improve my insight into the English Language Teaching field but I also honed my intercultural and interpersonal skills and broadened my contacts network. I have shared the skills and knowledge I acquired at Reading with my students and colleagues in Argentina and elsewhere. What does the University mean to you and what are your favourite memories? My studies and experiences at Reading provided me with a deeper understanding of my profession and the field I specialised in. I miss meeting my fellow students at The Queen’s Head, life at Sherfield Hall, the library at CALS, the freedom and time I had as a full-time postgraduate student, my shopping trips in Reading and my occasional visits to London.

‘I have shared the skills and knowledge I acquired at Reading with my students and colleagues in Argentina and elsewhere.’

Nadine Chahine MA Typeface Design, 2002–2003 I am the Arabic Specialist at Linotype and Monotype Imaging which is the largest font company worldwide. I am also delighted to have featured in Fast Company’s list of the top 100 creative people in business in 2012. Why did you choose to study at the University of Reading? The University has the leading type design MA course worldwide, and the moment I saw the course description I knew that this was where I wanted to study. What was the best bit about living and studying in Reading? I was very excited about moving to England and to date I still have very warm memories of the year I spent in Reading. The course was unbelievably good and really interesting, and I was very lucky to have amazing flatmates at Sherfield Hall.

How has the University of Reading helped in your chosen career path? Academically, the course helped me develop my design skills and taught me so much about the intricacies of type design. The great reputation of the programme opened many doors in the design world and introduced me to an amazing network of designers. To have an MA in Typeface Design from Reading is a mark of excellence and I am always recommending the programme to everyone who wants to learn about letter forms. What does the University mean to you and what are your favourite memories?

‘The year I spent at Reading is still the best one of my life. It was the little things in life and those moments with close friends that are the real treasure.’

The year I spent at Reading is still the best one of my life. My favourite memories are the times I spent with my flatmates in the kitchen, where eight of us would cook together and spend hours chatting. Of course, my friends and I went out to restaurants and pubs as you would expect a student to do, but it was the little things in life and those moments with close friends that are the real treasure.

Awanish Kumar Singh MA Rural Social Development, 1994–1995 After graduating from Reading in 1995, I returned to India and worked for the Forest Department. Since early 2011, I have had the privilege of working in the Jammu and Kashmir region as the Chief Wildlife Warden. My role gives me the opportunity to work in national parks in conservation and the protection of wildlife, including endangered species. Why did you choose to study at the University of Reading? The government of India was offering two to three different options of where I could go and study. I chose Reading because the course content was closest to my area of functioning in my job. The course included social and rural elements which are key to conservation. What was the best bit about living and studying in Reading? The campus was beautiful and clean, the atmosphere was great and the people were friendly. The Professors and guest speakers we met on our course were

specialised, so we learnt a lot from them. I was encouraged to speak freely, develop my ideas and grow with the subject. How has the University of Reading helped in your chosen career path? At the University of Reading, I mixed with students from all over the world – from South Africa to Japan. Interacting in such a diverse community gave me new ideas and allowed me to appreciate different points of view. It enhanced my understanding during decision-making and delivery. What does the University mean to you and what are your favourite memories? The University had a very positive impact on me and my family. The professors were very friendly, took a keen interest and were academically involved in their subjects. We used to visit the town centre regularly and meet the locals and my son still remembers studying at Ridgeway Primary School!

‘At the University of Reading, I mixed with students from all over the world – from South Africa to Japan.’ If you’d like to share the story of your University experience and the life you have led since graduating, then we’d love to hear from you! Simply contact and we’ll get in touch to organise a short interview. Read the full interviews given here and meet many more graduates who have shared their story: alumniprofiles



Student life

TODAY Sports clubs and societies


Anyone for Quidditch? How about lock-picking? Or maybe a spot of belly dancing? Student clubs and societies have grown and diversified a huge amount through the decades, sparking new friendships, creating lots of fun and adding a splash of colour to the student experience. With over 160 sports clubs and societies to choose from at Reading, students can find themselves with no end of opportunities for competition, social immersion and physical exertion. Here is a glimpse at four of our top picks.

Did you know? The tip of the fencing sword is the second fastest moving object in any sport, after a marksman’s bullet. Yet fencing is much less likely to result in injury than most mainstream sports.

Did you know? The alleged answer to ‘the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything’ is 42. Like many before who have been left stumped by this revelation coined by The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, we too are none the wiser as to why it may be 42, although Sci-Fi members explain that the real mystery is the question itself.

Fencing This sport has come a long way since its origins as a very serious and deadly practice that served to settle disputes between men of honour in society. The days of duelling may be gone, but the art of fencing has, somewhat conservatively, remained intact. Students with athletic ambition and fans of fantasy alike find their way into the Fencing Club at Reading, and have achieved remarkable results at various competitions this last academic year. They’ve won many trophies and came top at the London International University Fencathlon 2012.

Science fiction, fantasy and horror Every Thursday evening, a team of students brush the real world under the carpet and immerse themselves in sci-fi, fantasy and horror films from across the ages. In a society where the idea of being a ‘geek’ is a welcome badge of honour, our sci-fi students can regularly be seen to collaborate with members of Lego and the Games and Role Playing societies for excursions and social nights, too. The society is also known as SWAGA (Society Without A Good Acronym), just to confuse everyone who is not a member and even those who are.



Did you know? The longest shot ever recorded from a modified foot bow is just over 1.4km. The longest shot with a ‘normal’ bow, like the ones our Knights Archers use, is just shy of 500 metres. Our team is yet to beat this record, but assure us that if they begin to on a regular basis, they will be moving to larger training grounds!

Archery At the heart of the University sports pitches, you will often find the Knights Archers lined up with their bows, arrows and targets on the long summer evenings. Expertise in the club ranges from complete beginners to students who dedicate hours a week to training. The team take part in regional friendlies and national championships dotted throughout the year, having recently made their first appearance at the British University Team Championship in Nottingham. Despite being the underdogs, the team came 4th out of 32 universities.


Belly dance A fusion of glorious costumes, fast-paced hip shaking and Middle Eastern zest gives the Belly Dance Society an exotic flavour like no other club. With promises of traditional and modern belly dancing workshops throughout the term and the opportunity to truly immerse oneself in the Middle Eastern culture of dance, food and celebration, it is no wonder that membership of this club is growing more and more each year. From Bollywood to Berkshire, the art of belly dance is well and truly alive on the University campus.

Did you know? The Belly Dance Society was founded seven years ago by Iman Khonji (BA Art and Television 2009; MSc Marketing and International Management 2010), who, despite having graduated from Reading, still coaches members today.

THE WEIRD AND WONDERFUL WORLD OF CLUBS AND SOCIETIES AT READING The Harry Potter society was founded in summer 2012. All students are sorted into houses, have distinctive house ties and plan to start playing Quidditch later this year. With 57 sports clubs and 107 societies currently running, students are spoilt for choice when it comes to extra-curricular activities at Reading. Members of the Lego Society have been commissioned to build a model of the University of Reading Malaysia campus, due to open in 2015. We’ll keep you posted on the progress! Snowsports is the biggest sports club at Reading, with over 200 members enjoying the recreational skiing, snowboarding and racing trips. There are 28 societies devoted to celebrating and supporting different cultures and faiths at the University. The Boat Club is the longest running sports club, with a history that stems back to the 1920s. In the 2012 Olympic Games, ten graduates and students represented Team GB in Rowing – with two striking gold. Lots of our societies are heavily involved with outreach work in the local community, like the Circus Arts Society, who regularly run workshops for local charities, young carers and adults with learning disabilities. The Annual Fund has given over £200,000 to support extra-curricular activities across the campus, thanks to generous donations from alumni, staff and friends.



Time for Education at London Road The London Road campus holds a special place in the hearts of many who have lived, studied and taught in its beautiful surroundings. Gifted in 1904 by the local Palmer family, the London Road site has been a home, a classroom and a backdrop for graduation celebrations for thousands of students through the years. It may be over a century old, but London Road shows no signs of tiring.

Now, London Road is in the spotlight more than ever, as a £30 million investment has transformed the University’s ancestral home into a new teaching environment for the 21st century. Why? Because after nearly 20 years of celebrating success at Bulmershe Court, the University’s Institute of Education – one of the leading providers of teacher training in the UK – has made an iconic move back to its original home on the London Road campus. It’s exciting, prestigious and a renaissance. Education has come home to London Road. Discover the Institute of Education at London Road



Explore the Institute of Education at London Road Each year, the Institute of Education works with around 100 secondary schools and 400–500 primary schools to train over 1,000 teachers in the heart of Reading. Welcome to the best bits of the newly energised Institute of Education at London Road – mixed in with some familiar sights you may remember…

The official opening The new home for the Institute of Education was officially opened in June by the Secretary of State for Education, The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP. Mr Gove called Reading a ‘premier league’ university – a statement supported by the fact that newly qualified teachers from the Institute of Education have a 96% chance of finding employment.

Happy days! Do you remember the 1970s American sitcom Happy Days? Henry Winkler – better known as The Fonz in the popular series – made a special visit to the Institute of Education in June to raise awareness of dyslexia and learning difficulties amongst school pupils. The father-of-three found out he was dyslexic aged 31 when he struggled to read scripts after taking on the role of cool leather-clad Arthur Fonzarelli in Happy Days. A distinctive degree Hands up if you’re a TAEDS graduate? For those of you not in the know, TAEDS stands for Theatre Arts, Education and Deaf Studies, and is a unique course of its kind in the country. The course, run by the Institute of Education, has recently celebrated its 25th birthday and marked the occasion by bringing together many of our graduates who have gone on to do exceptional work in theatre, education and with hearing impaired people.


The sound of the Great Hall Arguably the most iconic building to grace the University of Reading campuses, the Great Hall has seen thousands of students through their graduation ceremonies over the years – and maybe the odd exam too. One of the first buildings to be constructed in 1904 when the London Road site was acquired, today the Great Hall plays host to a number of performances by national choirs and orchestras, giving our trainee music teachers the perfect opportunity to get involved and further their skills.

GOODBYE BULMERSHE As the Institute of Education comes home to London Road, and following the move of Film, Theatre & Television to the Whiteknights campus last year, we have now said farewell to the Bulmershe campus.

Beneath the cloisters Many of you will have walked under the beautiful cloisters that connect the London Road site together. The buildings amongst the cloisters have been given a new lease of life to create dedicated spaces for the teaching of subjects such as music, physical education, drama, languages, the sciences, ICT and art.

A remarkable resource The Teaching Resource Base is home to an incredible collection of learning aids, educational toys, text books and teaching materials – the perfect space for inspiring trainee teachers as they source and prepare their lesson materials.

National Centre for Language and Literacy The NCLL is a sight to behold. As you walk through the doors, you can expect to be greeted by a spectacular array of over 18,000 children’s books to support primary school teachers. The Centre also develops courses for international students who are teachers of English as a second language and is currently developing programmes in Dubai, Khazakhstan, Oman, China and Jamaica.

The merger with Bulmershe College of Higher Education in 1989 was a significant moment in the University’s history. As well as playing home to the Institute of Education for 20 years, Bulmershe added new areas of study such as Film and Drama, Children’s Literature and Applied Social Studies, including nursing. And of course, Bulmershe brought thousands of students to the University, who lived and studied on the campus in its two decades. While it has been sad to say goodbye to Bulmershe, we are proud of the great institution it was and the lasting legacy of excellent teaching, learning and research that lives on. Did you live or study on the Bulmershe campus? If so, tell us about it and we’ll publish the best stories: University of Reading Alumni @UniRdg_Alumni





The turn of the millennium saw the University of Reading develop at a rapid rate. We welcomed fresh campus buildings, established a world-class merger, celebrated our 80th birthday and said hello to a new Chancellor. There was also the opening of a new student nightclub. We suspect some of you remember that better than others… It may seem like only yesterday, but here are your memories of the 2000s – or the ‘noughties’ – student experience.

Welcome 3sixty ‘I worked at the Students’ Union doing light and sound when 3sixty opened. The first week, Feeder were due to play but sadly the drummer Jon Lee died the week before, so Dreadzone stepped in. I worked at some great gigs at 3sixty, and a lot of big name comedians performed there before they became really famous!’ Lee Hayes (BSc International Securities and Investment Banking 2003) ‘I remember going to watch the band Athlete in 3sixty back in 2004. A little known band called Snow Patrol were the support act – shortly after they shot to stardom and were soon selling out stadium tours!’

‘I was at Reading as an exchange student (from Düsseldorf, Germany) from September 2002 – March 2003. I had a great time at the University and it has left quite a mark on my life. I have been to Reading several times over the years and will visit again in November to meet with friends who I met through the various societies. We plan to celebrate the tenth anniversary of starting our studies at Reading.’ Christian Egners (Visiting student, English 2003)

Kate Cooke (BSc Biological Sciences 2005)

The noughties and the University of Reading 2000: HRH The Princess Royal opens the brand new Agriculture building at Earley Gate, Whiteknights


2001: The new Students’ Union nightclub, 3sixty, opens

2004: The Development and Alumni Relations Office is founded, and the Annual Fund is established to raise money to enhance the student experience. Today, over 6,000 generous donors have donated £3.2 million to support Reading students

2005: The first intake of Pharmacy students join the University. 15,000 students are now studying at Reading

2006: The University celebrates the 80th anniversary since receiving its Royal Charter – the moment when we officially became ‘The University of Reading’

2006: Reading is established as one of the world’s top 200 universities in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings

A ‘Reading wedding’ ‘We met at Reading in 2000 on a Mountaineering Club (RUMC) social and married in 2010. Four of our bridesmaids and three of the ushers are also Reading graduates of 2002. Here we all are on our wedding day.’

l-r: 1st Jenny Hurley (BSc Psychology and Statistics), 3rd Amy Garrido (née Crawford), 4th Gemma Dodgson (BA Politics and International Relations), 5th Sarah Butcher (BSc Psychology), 6th: Hannah Baker (BA Linguistics)

l-r: 1st Rob Green (BSc Chemistry), 2nd Dan Ahern (BSc Botany), 3rd Neil Garrido, 4th Pete Turner (BSc Chemistry)

Introducing the Henley Business School, Whiteknights

Beloved Bulmershe

‘Like most students I had a brilliant time at Reading and after three years of hard labour I had the difficult decision of whether to enter the professional world or stay and study another year. A deciding factor in me staying and studying a Masters was the new Henley Business School. This provided state of the art equipment and facilities for all those studying in the Real Estate and Planning Department and truly made my last year at Reading the most enjoyable of them all.’

‘I was among the last few cohorts of students to live on the Bulmershe campus, which had such character and was shared by some really creative people. I studied Film, Theatre & Television, which I adored. Although I was sad to hear that Film at Bulmershe was no more, I am really impressed by the new Minghella building on the Whiteknights campus where the course is now taught. It’s stunning and I am slightly jealous of all the new kit.’ Hazel Watts (BA Film and Theatre 2007)

Amy (BSc Psychology 2002) and Neil Garrido (BSc Environmental Chemistry 2002; PhD Organic Chemistry 2006)

Celebrations for the Class of Typography 2009 ‘Typography at Reading was internationally renowned when I came to study in 2006. I learnt from top academics and got some great work experience on the Real Job scheme. This photo was taken on our graduation day in summer 2009 – there were 20 of us in the class and had all become really good friends!’ Ashley Johnson (BA Typography & Graphic Communication 2009)

Nick Bignall (MSc Urban Planning and Development 2010)

2007: Sir John Madejski, Founder of Auto Trader and Chairman of Reading FC, is installed as the University’s Chancellor

2008: Following a merger with Henley Management College in 2008, the Henley Business School at the University of Reading is born

2008: The Whiteknights Development Plan is published – a £250 million investment is planned in the main campus over ten years

2009: The creation of the Henley Business School sends student numbers soaring to almost 20,000

Thank you to everyone who shared their memories and photos with us. If you would like to share the story of your time here, then do get in touch: University of Reading Alumni @UniRdg_Alumni



Community and Friends NEWS STUDENT VOLUNTEERS RECOGNISED AT THE COMMUNITY AWARDS University of Reading students have been recognised for their sterling volunteer work in the local community, with three individuals – Janine Holmes, Nicola Abram and Laura Truesdale – winning a Student Community Award in June. The prize money for the awards came from University of Reading alumni, whose donations made through the Annual Fund support the project. Janine Holmes, a final year Psychology student, was recognised for working with the local Me2 Club, which supports children and young people with additional needs. Janine has made a huge difference to an 11-year-old girl with autism called Polly, with whom she quickly built a strong relationship through her weekly support. Polly said: ‘Janine always helps me. She is kind and funny. I have had a few volunteers but Janine is the best. She understands me and still likes me when I have a wobble.’

Janine (r) and Polly, who have become firm friends

Third year PhD student Nicola Abram works as part of the night outreach team with The Rahab Project, supporting sex workers. Nicola offers transport and assistance to women on their visits to and from court, prison and hospital appointments. Lorraine Joslin, manager of The Rahab Project, said: ‘Nicola is a fantastic team leader, immensely kind and engages easily and humbly with women who are often ignored or marginalised by society.’

Laura Truesdale has not let her ME diagnosis six years ago stop her helping people. She has run self-help groups for eating disorders, and set up and run workshops for Reading’s Drug and Alcohol Information Services. Laura commented: ‘Suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome I thought it would be very difficult to get a paid job but I don’t like sitting around not doing anything so I started volunteering. It’s been great to spend some time outside the university bubble and become more aware of Reading the town.’

THE FRIENDS OF THE UNIVERSITY With membership now exceeding 530, The Friends have enjoyed a very encouraging year. The autumn 2011 talk given by the Chairman, Andrew Palmer, and the spring talk in March 2012, given by Martin Andrews of the Department of Typography, touched, amongst other things, on different aspects of photography. Both were very well attended.

Family fun at The Friends’ Heritage Trail



In February, members were invited by the University Boat Club to their excellent Head of the River event. The Friends’ third Heritage Trail in March marked the return of the Institute of Education to the restored London Road campus, and attracted over 260 people – including lots of families eager to take part in the famous annual treasure hunt! The Friends greatly appreciate the support of the Institute and other Departments of the University.

Before the Yearly Meeting in June The Friends had a fascinating visit to Food and Nutritional Sciences, at which the Vice-Chancellor, Sir David Bell, addressed the guests. June also saw the annual privilege of visiting the gardens of the President Emeritus, Lord Carrington. The Friends received applications for grants from all over the University and awarded £8,000 to support various projects, funded by members’ subscriptions. The autumn talk – ‘75th Birthday Tribute to Geoffrey Goddard, Reading’s song-writer extraordinaire’ – will be given by Professor Jim Knowlson on Wednesday 14 November. Details of this and future events will be circulated and published online: New members are always welcome.

Graduation ROUNDUP Honorary degrees

A time to remember

Justin Fletcher Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters

Lieutenant-Colonel Rupert Thorneloe MBE

Born in Reading and a graduate of the Guildford School of Acting, Justin Fletcher has been an actor, children’s television presenter and voice-over artist for fifteen years. He is the voice of Shaun in Shaun the Sheep which won the Grand Prix best animated production award last year. Justin Fletcher’s theatre credits include What a Performance with David Suchet, Class Act with Joanna Lumley and Calamity Jane. Ten years ago Justin started the company Scrumptious House with the aim of creating high quality children’s television, video and theatre productions. Justin has won two BAFTAs for best Children’s Television Presenter, and was awarded an MBE for his services to children’s television and the charity sector.

Sir Nicholas Montagu Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters Sir Nicholas was at the heart of Government for over twenty years and worked on pensions, rail privatisation and public service reform, playing a leading role in all three. After lecturing in Philosophy at the University of Reading, Sir Nicholas entered the Civil Service and led the secretariat for the Pensions Inquiry. From 1992 to 1997, he was at the Department of Transport, overseeing the privatisation of the railways and the competition to build the fast rail link to the Channel Tunnel. As its Chairman, Sir Nicholas led the Inland Revenue through its greatest changes in its 200-year history. He is currently Chairman of the Council at Queen Mary, University of London, Chairman of the Financial Ombudsman Service, and Chair of the Committee of University Chairs. Sir Nicholas was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in 2001, having previously been a Companion of the Order (CB).

The summer 2012 graduations also marked a time to remember the late Lieutenant-Colonel Rupert Thorneloe MBE, a graduate of the University, who died in Afghanistan in 2009. At a special ceremony, Rupert – the most senior British army officer to die in action since the Falklands War – was remembered by the University, members of his family and Major Guy Stone of the Welsh Guards, who had served alongside Lt-Col Thorneloe. A plaque, situated alongside the University’s existing war memorial under the historic clock tower at the London Road campus, was unveiled in Lt-Col Thorneloe’s memory. At the unveiling of the plaque, his father Major Thorneloe said: ‘Rupert would feel enormously honoured that the University of Reading should remember him in this way. He was extremely happy here, that I remember so well. Rupert often told me that what the University had taught him helped him enormously in his career. He was taught to work hard, get the best out of life and be the best he could possibly be.’ Lt-Col Thorneloe’s name joins those of 144 others from the University of Reading who gave their lives in the service of their country. The Welsh slate plaque was designed and the lettering cut, by hand, by Wayne Hart, a graduate of the University’s Department of Typography & Graphic Communication.

Major John Thorneloe, Rupert’s father, unveils the plaque in memory of his son News


Your NEWS Welcome to Your News. If you’d like to tell us where life has taken you since graduation, please get in touch! University of Reading Alumni @UniRdg_Alumni

1930 – 1939

1960 – 1969

Diana Minchin (Mrs Adwick)

John Askill GenSc 64, BSc

Art 38 is now a widow. Her daughter is married to an Army Officer and they live and work in America. Diana’s son works for ALCIS, on campus at Earley Gate, Whiteknights. She would love to hear from fellow art graduates.

61, PhD 64, PA. After teaching college-level physics for 38 years, John retired in 2003, to Florida.

1940 – 1949 Janet Gilfillan (Mrs Carr)

Psy 48, WX is a retired clinical psychologist, but still continues with her interest after 47 years.

Daniel Mead Diploma Ag 44,

PA is retired and has remarried after five years as a widower. They have 16 grandchildren and three great grandchildren between them.

Graham Walker Ag 47,

PA has retired but a large garden is keeping him fit.

1950 – 1959 David Church Class 51, DipEd 52, DA has retired from education as a headteacher. He has vision and movement impairment. Jane Fayle (Mrs Hughes) Dairy 53, AN is enjoying retirement with David and keeping fit by gardening, walking and cycling.

David O’Hara GenSc 59,

WK is a self-employed artist and sculptor. He has had major exhibitions in the UK, USA, Japan, Switzerland and Ireland over 40 years. His most recent show was at University College, Cork, Ireland, in 2011 – water colours of wild flowers of California.

John Roberts Maths 54, PA. Once a timpanist, playing with the University Orchestra, John is now retired, following nearly 40 years working in the Mathematics Departments of GEC Plessey and Siemens. John has had numerous authored and co-authored papers published in the Electronics Literature plus his book, ‘Angle Modulation’, which is No 5 in the IEE Telecommunications Series. He was awarded three premiums by the IEE and is included in the Dictionary of International Biography. Dalma Horvath (Mrs Takacs) Diploma Ed 56, WX has published her science fiction novel ‘The Condo, Or… Life, A Sequel’. To find out more, visit her blog: www.


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Maurice Cockrill Dip Art

Tchr 64 was born in 1936 in Hartlepool, and was elected as head of the Royal Academy Schools five years ago. He previously had 14 years experience at Liverpool College of Art, and at Central St Martins, the Slade and the Royal College of Art. He has a studio provided for him as Head of the Academy Schools, his first ever studio with central heating! It is a place known to few and seen only by a privileged handful, hidden away in a high corner of Burlington House. Landscape, weather and the elements all feature in his bold, increasingly abstract works of the past two decades. Many of these will go to the Adam Gallery for his new show.

Simon Coombe Fr 68, WI

is a retired civil servant, a publisher and proof reader. His wife died in July 2009. His daughter is a graduate of UCL/College of Law, now working in Yorkshire.

Peter Davies Ag Bot 62, PhD 66 is a long-time Professor in the Departments of Plant Biology and Horticulture at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Peter spent the past year as a Jefferson Science Fellow with the United States Department of State in Washington DC, where he also made several trips abroad as an advisor on biotech crops. He recently visited London for the 2012 Olympic Games, where he saw his daughter win Gold at the Olympics as the stroke of the USA’s women’s rowing eight. William Eckford Fr 67, PA. Between 1999 and 2007 William lived mainly in Hong Kong teaching English. Between 2008–2009 he worked in Quy Nhon, Vietnam. He is now semi-retired and a supply teacher.

Errol Ennis Ec 69, SB repre-

sented Kingston College, Jamaica, in Manning Cup football and athletics in 1960 and was champion in the class one shot-put in 1959, breaking the record in the second year, before leaving for studies in the UK. After Reading he joined the Economic Development Institute of the World Bank, then returned to Jamaica and became Vice-President of the Jamaica Development Bank. Following this he set up his management consultancy company with partners Pat Francis and Richard Lumsden and then ventured out to Portland and bought a farm and house in the 70s . In 1989 he became the JLP candidate, until glaucoma, spurred by diabetes, got the better of him. Before the end of his last term in 2009, he found he was going blind, so he stepped down. He is sad that he now cannot read the many books he purchased for his retirement. Ennis now talks politics a lot and writes articles on political philosophy. He is immensely proud of his wife Sandra, a business woman and farmer, his five biological children and the five others whom he adopted.

Christopher Folland Phys 66,

PA was awarded a Fellowship of the American Geophysical Union in 2011. Only one in 1,000 AGU members receive this award in a given year. He was also made a guest professor at Gothenburg University, Sweden in 2011. Since June 2012 he is part funded by the University of Gothenburg and partly by the Met Office Hadley Centre for Climate Change. Chris also became an adjunct professor at the University of Southern Queensland, Australia, in 2009.

Clare Jenkinson (Mrs Henry)

Art 64, AN moved to New York in 2000. Clare’s husband Phillip is a New Yorker and gallery director, whilst she is an art critic for The Financial Times. She thanks the University for her grounding in Fine Art. Over 30 years later she still writes for art magazines in the US and UK. Grandchildren mean she and Phillip split their time between Glasgow and New York.

Patricia Leigh Lat/Fr 63, WX.

After living in Huddersfield since 1964 and travelling widely escorting tour groups, Patricia has now moved to the seaside town of Dawlish in Devon. She is still involved in organising holidays, although has ceased trading as a tour operator.

Andrew Munro Maths 66,

PA worked for over 33 years at the European Space Agency at its Technical Centre in Noordwijk, The Netherlands; initially as a system

programmer writing operating system software, then system support, leading into email. He has spent his last year and a half working in ESRIN, the Italian establishment of ESA near Rome, as a Web Master.

Anthony Pitt GenSc 60, DipEd 61 retired from the Deputy Headship of Pershore High School, Worcestershire in 1996, having left the Territorial Army in 1995 after 23 years as a Major in the Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry. He then took one day’s compulsory gardening leave and went back to school as a four-day a week Head of the Psychology Department. He retired again from full-time teaching in 2005, but was soon called back to fill in for three years for maternity leave replacements. He finally left teaching, aged 71, in 2010, after 48 years as a school master. He now walks the dogs and makes model elephants for small children to ride on. Marion Radford (Mrs Richardson) Fr 61, WX has retired as

principal teacher (guidance) at Banff Academy, and is now a celebrant for the Humanist Society Scotland. Weddings, funerals and namings keep her busy, alongside working as Education Officer for the Aberdeenshire Humanist Group.

Peter Routledge Ger 65, DipEd 66, WG is completing a masters in research in German Literature at Exeter University. Abu Saleuddin PhD Zoo 63 has

completed a book entitled, ‘Clams and Snails: A Memoir’, published by the York University Bookstore. The book covers his personal and professional life experiences from age 15–45. His personal experiences are recounted throughout the book from teenager to university student, to doctoral candidate in England, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Alberta, then instructor at Duke University and finally to a full professor at York University. He has researched work on clams and snails in many countries including Venezuela, England and France. He is a Professor Emeritus of Biology at York University, where he taught for 37 years, before retirement in 2002. For the past 18 years he has been the editor of the Canadian Journal of Zoology and was president of the Canadian Society of Zoologists and the Bangladesh Association of Canada, Toronto.

Desmond Sergeant PhD Mus/

written nearly one hundred books. Her most recent,’ A Strange Place to Call Home’, features poems about animals that live in dangerous habitats. Visit her web site: www. She very much enjoyed her time at Reading and remembers it fondly.

Robert Smith Phys 65, PA.

Robert’s entire career was in the Information Technology field, working in England, South Africa, Canada and the United States. He is now retired and living in Las Vegas, Nevada. Friends can contact him at

1970 – 1979 Anthony Benton Geog 74, CH left his full-time role at Westminster City Council in 2007, after working in the Building Schools for the Future Project Team. He did two further years with the BSF team as a consultant Project Manager. After a short-break he took on a part-time role working with athletics clubs in Essex, one of his main hobbies. He is now winding down towards retirement. David Brittain FdSc 78, MN is based in Johannesburg with his family and is still working with Coca Cola as Technical Stewardship Manager. Much of the work involves sustainability and he has been actively working with local sugar farmers in Durban to improve irrigation and yields. His family are with him. David Connellan BEd Hist

77, BU having lived and taught in London and Surrey for 34 years, David took early retirement and moved to the heart of the East Sussex countryside with his daughter who gained a triple scholarship at Brighton College.

Mohmed Dagash Diploma RurSocDev 76, MA 76, DA is Dean at Omdurman College, Sudan. Paul Dickinson Ger/Ec 70,

WK retired prematurely to be a full-time carer for his wife, Fiona née Mounteney (Germ 70), who sadly died after a long struggle with multiple sclerosis, and was formerly a teacher of languages in Oxford. Paul was previously international director of a market research company. He would like to hear from any former Reading friends.

Susan Sharp (Mrs Doughty)

Ed 69 has retired from full-time teaching at Roehampton University, but remains active in research in fields of voice and music psychology through a Visiting Fellowship at London University Institute of Education.

Ag 74, DA retired from clerical work because of multiple sclerosis, which is managed well by the NHS, so she is able to walk and serve as a parish councillor in Twyford, Berkshire.

Marilyn Singer Occ Engl 68, GE spent a memorable junior year at Reading, graduated from Queens College, NY, and got her masters in communications from NYU. After teaching high school English for four years, she became a children’s book author. Since 1976, she has

has recently exhibited a series of large-scale canvases based on views he saw whilst walking in the county last year. He was born in India, but relocated to Dorset from London with his two children. Before Reading he graduated with a first-class degree in fine art from Camberwell

Gerald Dudgeon MFA Art 79

School of Art. After winning a travelling scholarship from the Slade School of Art, he rented studios in London before moving to the West Country in 1987. He also continues to exhibit art in Bath and London.

Charles Frean Ger 72, WK

combines a career in the corporate IT world with running a remote technical support website at, which caters to users of Macintosh and iOS devices.

Ian Freestone Geol 72, WI has moved from Cardiff University and joined UCL Institute of Archaeology as Professor of Archaeological Materials and Technologies.

Paul Geelmuyden Ag 76, WG is working for a year as a catastrophe loss adjuster in Christchurch, New Zealand, following the earthquakes that devastated the city centre and surrounding businesses. He takes time off at weekends to hunt in the hills. Douglas Grant PhD Maths

79, SB retired from Swinburne University of Technology last year, but continues there as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science. He has been elected as Vice President, Membership Boards, of the Australian Computer Society. Retirement consists of serving in that role, and enough teaching to be able to avoid gardening! Doug and wife Marge enjoy travelling, both to Europe, including the UK, and the US, to visit son Euan, in Seattle.

Gail Hart-Porter (Mrs HillHartporter) Ital/Soc 77, PGCE

78. After her return to Australia in 2002, Gail and her husband set up a business making stylised concrete garden features, from small to huge. They sold the business in 2004, She then worked as an educator for Life Education Queensland, a charity teaching health and drug education to primary schools. She has now retired and takes part in many activities with the University of the Third Age: jewellery making, photoshop, rambling, Italian and water aerobics, and is hoping to add mahjong and genealogy to the list.

Muriel Hebditch (Mrs Hirst)

Staff, at 82, vividly remembers her wedding day on 16 December 1970. She was secretary to Professor Peter Fellgett and married Professor Wallace Hirst who was in the same Department of Applied Physical Sciences, at her church, St Barnabas in Earley Road. She held her wedding reception at Foxhill House and was able to change in an upstairs room, and descend the lovely staircase in her going-away outfit.

Stuart Holden Cyb/IPhys 72,

PA has taken the position of CTO with Toly Digital Networks, Jupiter FL, USA. He has lived and worked in England, Germany, Belgium and the USA. He strongly believes that his Cybernetics degree was the best engineering training he could have received anywhere. He is married to Janet, a musician from the Royal Academy of Music and has two sons


and a daughter. He still meets with a group of Reading friends when he returns to the UK.

published. Keith hopes to have another children’s novel out in the near future.

Christopher Kemp Soc/Pol 74,

DLitt 93 is a Yorkshire ambassador for the carersUK GP registration of carers initiative and is a member of the Royal College of Optometrist Patient Reference Group.

Michael Smith PhylGeog/Geol 78, CH . Thirty years after graduating Michael found himself on the Whiteknights campus once more, with his son, who was looking at studying at Reading. Reading ticked all the boxes, so in 2010 his son started studying a degree in War, Peace & International Relations  – a far cry from his own degree. The journeys to and from Reading at the beginning and end of each term bring back many pleasant memories of his own time as a student. His daughter also favours Reading, having found the exact course she wishes to pursue, so his visits may continue for some years to come!

David Mitchell Ling 76, CH

Barry Speed Cyb/IPhys 72, SB

SB is a Procurement Specialist with buyingTeam, a leading procurement outsourcing company, working with their clients.

Paul Le Blond Geog 70, CH.

After more than 30 years with BAA and Eurostar, Paul is a consultant in air and rail transport. His son Peter is also a Reading graduate (BiolCyb 04).

Juliet Lodge MA 74, MPhil 74,

accepted a consultancy arrangement with Sony from July 2008 and formed his own company. In September 2010 he became an Associate of the Institute for Translation & Interpreting.

Eric Mosley Soc 75, PA is still living in Prudhoe, Northumberland, between Newcastle upon Tyne and the historical town of Hexham. He remains active in the local branch of the University of the Third Age and is very interested in links between Northumbria and the Eastern Cape province of South Africa which was settled by large numbers of British immigrants.

has continued with a career in IT, including a spell as Board Director and is now at the Health & Social Care division of Civica UK. He is enjoying life; his elder daughter has left home, and younger daughter is doing A-levels. He attempted to revisit his university days by climbing the Matterhorn for his 60th birthday.

Derrick Oosterhuis MSc Ag &

Bot 73, DA was awarded the 2011 Werner L Nelson Award by the Fluid Fertilizer Foundation at their annual meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona, in February 2012. The award recognises outstanding contributions in the development of soil fertility practices and plant nutrition management to increase crop yields for the benefits of the North American farmer and consumer. Dr Oosterhuis holds the Clyde H Sites Endowed Chair in International Crop Physiology, and is a fellow of the Crop Science and the Agronomy Societies of America.

Shaun Russell MSc PlantTax 74, has secured a further three year contract as Director of the Wales Environment Research Hub in Bangor, North Wales. Hosted by Bangor University, this unit services environmental evidence needs of the Welsh Government and is supporting the ‘Living Wales’ ecosystem approach to policy and governance. In 2011, as Lead Author, he published the Wales Chapter of the ‘UK National Ecosystem Assessment’. During 2012 he has been advising state-level Governments on the conduct of regional ecosystem assessments in India. Keith Sheppard Maths &

Comp Sci 72, WI retired two years ago and has since been concentrating on his writing. His second children’s book, Welcome to the Crazyverse - a collection of comic verse based on famous characters in history - was recently

Alastair Thomas Est Man 77, WK is a Chartered Surveyor and property developer based in Suffolk. Alastair has recently set up an internet based business selling striped blazers in university colours at and of course, the first blazer on the production line was designed with the University of Reading colours – black and purple! The new blazers are modelled in the photo above by Alastair and his son Hugh (Real Estate 12) together with an original University of Reading blazer from the 1930s. Stergios Tzortzios Ag & Ec

75, SB is a Professor in Biometry at the University of Thessaly, VolosGreece, where he has been working for 24 years. He is married with two daughters. Stergios has been Chairman of the School of Agricultural Sciences & Rural Environment and has been elected as President of the Eastern Mediterranean Region/ International Biometric Society (EMR/IBS) Committee. He would like to hear from old friends who were at the University in 1974–75.

Gareth Williams Zoo 70, PGCE

71, WK has retired as Head of Science, in Cheshire, and moved back to his native Llandudno. He continues to write successful textbooks for secondary science; runs marine fieldcourses in Anglesey; is an ecology teaching consultant and a Fellow of the Society of Biology. He is currently adapting his A-level Biology textbook for the Gulf States.

He married Diana in 1975 and has two daughters; one is a strategic lead teacher, the other a principal in an environmental impact assessment firm.

1980 – 1989 Tess Baxter Geol 81, BR is a

food writer and photographer, self-publishing through Dane Stone Cards. She went back to university in 06, completing a BA in Sociology and Independent Studies at UCL, followed by an MA in Gender, Sexuality and Culture at the University of Manchester. She is planning to start a PhD at the University of Southampton.

Kay Beadman Art 86, DA. Her exhibition in April entitled ‘Stepping Out’, focused on the mundane and the common, which was a shoe and painted in such a way that she challenged the viewer to examine and connect it to something in his or her life. Theresa Bentley MA Coun/ Guid 88, DA is a retired counsellor and nurse teacher/lecturer. Despite finding it hard to admit being retired, she is too busy to go to work. She is a mentor, working voluntarily for Refugee Resource and involved in many other activities. William Brierley MSc ConMan 86, GE leads multi-disciplinary teams developing and constructing energy to waste facilities and airports. Ian Bulley Geol 83, GE has

over 23 years experience as a petroleum geologist in a wide range of exploration and development settings gained through working on acreage in Australia, SE Asia, Middle East, East and West Africa, and the North Sea. He has worked in both exploration and production environments, for Amoco, Hunt Oil, PGS, Hardman Resources, Tullow Oil and other oil companies and consultancies. Ian holds a master’s degree in Petroleum Geology, Imperial College, from the University of London and is a fellow of the Geological Society of London.

John Buxton Law 80. After graduating from Reading, John qualified as a Barrister-at-Law in 1981 and then worked as an inhouse lawyer for a few years before changing over to the world of Corporate Finance in which he has now worked for 25 years. John is self-employed and runs his own advisory company, Kingsworth Associates, which provides advice to privately-owned and family

companies on a range of matters. John draws upon the knowledge he acquired during his Law degree a lot.

Jeremy Cole Ag & Ec 81, WX is Director/Owner of Agricole Ltd, a grain and oil brokerage in Cambridge. Rowena Tibbles (Mrs Comrie)

Art 82, DA was a finalist in the 2011 ASPECT Prize and in January her work was exhibited at the Fleming Collection in London. Rowena was born in Southend-on-Sea and graduated with honours from the painting school at Reading, which was in the hands of Sir Terry Frost until 1981. She moved to Aberdeen in 1988 and continued to paint on a professional basis for the next 20 years, whilst also teaching and managing workshops. Exhibitions have been held at the Meffan in Forfar and the Tolbooth Art Centre, Kirkcudbright, in 2010 and the Rendezvous Gallery, Aberdeen, in 2011. She exhibited in the Hughson Gallery, Glasgow, from the end of Nov until 18 Dec 2011, having moved there from Aberdeen in 2009.

James Cunich MSc Fd Proc Eng 80 is working for Ohly as Sales Director Asia Pacific, and living in Brisbane, Australia. He would be interested to hear from any classmates. Howard Day LandMan 83, DA has had his own business since 2002 which specialises in the valuation of properties in the leisure and health sectors. He is a Qualified Dispute Resolver and can act as Expert, Arbitrator or Mediator. He is in contact with friends from Reading and has contributed a chapter in the sixth edition of The Income Approach to Property Valuation, working with the authors who once lectured him! He is still playing football (just), but golf and cycling will hopefully keep him fit in the future. Neil Dymond Psy 89, WG is

living in Thornbury with his new partner and her children and his son and daughter. He has a new job with The BD Consultancy in Bristol.

Christian Eley PhD Chem 85, SB is still working for EDF Energy as Group Head of Chemistry & CO2 Oxidation Group at Barnwood. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2010. Sheila Sullivan (Mrs King)

LandMan 82, WL is the group retail leasing director at Hammerson, having joined them in 1994, and is the woman to thank for introducing fashion brands such as Hollister and Forever 21 to this country. Hammerson runs nine UK shopping centres (from Aberdeen to Southampton) and it is Sheila’s job to ensure the right mix of retailers. She always wanted to go into land management, having been influenced by her architect father whilst growing up in Derbyshire, and hence her degree at Reading. She lives in Mayfair, London.

Image courtesy of Paul Howard Photography, Reading

JOHN BISHOP OBE, BSC AGRICULTURE 1971 I enjoy farming and consider it a privilege to have been managing a 420 hectare farm – known as Rushall – in a beautiful part of Berkshire for nearly 40 years. Many people have been able to share in this through the educational trust set up by my wife, Lindsay Bishop (née Martin, BSc Agriculture 1971) and myself: 10,000 children come on educational visits and a further 12,000 people come on open days, camps, weddings, family celebrations or just to walk in the countryside a year. I was awarded an OBE this June for services to agriculture and the community. Why did you choose to study at the University of Reading? I had a place at the Royal Veterinary College but went sailing just before my Physics A Level. Reading took me to do Physiology and Biochemistry of Farm Animals with a Preliminary Year. I changed course to straight agriculture and joined the 75 students on that course at the London Road site. What was the best bit about living and studying in Reading? I was one of the first students in Sibly Hall. I stayed there throughout my four years and loved the international smells and conversations which filled the crowded kitchens. I met Lindsay Martin who was also doing agriculture early in my first term. She refused to go out with me three weeks before our annual exams ensuring that we both passed. How has the University of Reading helped in your chosen career path? A degree in the late 1960s was heavily taught, with 28 hours of lectures a week covering absolutely everything by research lecturers who really knew their stuff. In my final year I studied Biological Systems with Professor Spedding. He was an inspirational teacher and it was the first year of the course. What does the University mean to you and what is your favourite memory? I always wear the University tie at funerals and am proud to have been there when there were outstanding research centres all around. My dissertation was on Mastitis and so I worked with people at the National Institute for Research in Dairying. My favourite memories are winning the Freshers Fours with a very untidy crew (but only because St Pat’s team fell out their boat) and organising the Agri Club Conference; a huge two day event in 1971. News


SHARE YOUR STORY LEI XU, MSC MULTINATIONAL ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT 2003 I had worked in accounting for seven years in China before I arrived at the University of Reading to study Multinational Accounting and Financial Management in 2002. After graduation, I took up the position of Financial Manager in a joint venture and obtained the Advanced Level of Qualification Certificate of Specialty and Technology. In 2007, I joined Crowcon Detective Company Ltd of British Halma Group in Beijing as the Financial Controller and am still enjoying this role. Why did you choose to study at the University of Reading? I compared the courses offered by a few different universities, but my top choice was the Multinational Accounting and Financial Management offered at Reading because it was very practical. Furthermore, I really liked the campus and Whiteknights Lake in particular – I was completely obsessed with it when I was first there. What was the best bit about living and studying in Reading? I really liked the fact that Reading was a small, quiet town but if you wanted to go to London to experience the metropolis culture, you could do so very easily. Reading gives you the best of both worlds. How has the University of Reading helped in your chosen career path? The Multinational Accounting and Financial Management MSc was excellent and practical. After graduation, my career prospects increased significantly and more opportunities came up for me in Accounting and Finance. I believe the educational experience and networking through friends – particularly the friends I made during my studies – helped me get to where I am today. What does the University mean to you and what is your favourite memory? I made some really good friends at Reading and we still keep in touch nearly ten years after graduation, despite living in different countries around the globe. There is normally an alumni get together every few years in Beijing, which makes me feel connected to the University.

Catherine Hacking (Mrs Kitchen) Micro 84, WG. Kit

is doing admin work to keep one child at Univeristy and one at school. She serves as a Lay Preacher and Cub group leader, and enjoys being married to John, kite flying, playing drums and eating abroad. She spent 20 years in the Royal Navy and naval reserves, serving in the USA, Portugal and Sierra Leone. After 12 years in the Royal Navy, she finally used her degree at RN hospital Haslar. She is now a full-time mother but retains reserve links. The family live in Milton Keynes. She would love to hear from Sarah Parry, Marion Devine, Frances Thomas, Caroline Smith, Gwen Tregunno, Jeff Austin, John Steele, Anne, Robbie, Bridget and Sue Goodger. Her father was John (Ag 51, PGCE 67), who sadly died in 2008.

Spyros Kouvelis MSc Ag & Econ 89, BR. After being elected to the Greek Parliament in 2007, then again in 2009, and having served from 2009 to 2011 as Deputy Foreign Minister of Greece, Spyros has now withdrawn from politics and started NU*Age, a company focusing on renewable energy, innovation, and outreach to new markets. He is also the creator of the campaign Greeks Can!, showcasing positive examples of Greeks who did well by doing good in science, technology, arts, business, and many other fields. Hong Lim CompSci/Cyb 86,

WX is the new Deputy SecretaryGeneral (DSG) for ASEAN Economic Community for the period 2012-15. Guided by the ASEAN Charter, he will support the SecretaryGeneral by providing leadership in the implementation of the AEC Blue print and by managing the AEC Department. He will provide strategic advice to support member states in transforming ASEAN into a region with free movement of goods, services, investment and skilled labour. From 2002–09 Hong Lim served at the Brunei Economic Development Board, Prime Minister’s Office, where he was responsible for attracting, retaining, and adding value to foreign direct investment to diversify Brunei Darussalam’s economy to create new opportunities for Small and Medium Enterprises and local people. He is also a graduate of the University of Hull and the University of Western Australia.

David Ling Kiong Ong MSc

UrbLandApp 88, CH is Chairman of HVS China & Southeast Asia, responsible for valuation, consulting and investment advisory services. After Reading, he gained a Bachelor of Business (with Distinction) from Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia. David is a member of the Australian Property Institute (API) and the Singapore Institute of Surveyors and Valuers (SISV). He is also a Licensed Appraiser registered with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore.

Suzanne Somerville Minnett (Mrs Lockwood) Ed 83, BU

is a practising Buddhist working towards ordination as a member of the western Buddhist order. She has now retired and her children have both finished university; one daughter is in Australia, and her other son


and daughter live in Ditchling. She has two grandchildren. Suzanne has travelled to India, and retreats in the UK, with Buddhism being the main context.

Gary Lye Biotech 89, PhD 93,

WK is Director of the Industrial Doctoral Training Centre in Bioprocess Engineering Leadership and Deputy Head in the Department of Biochemcial Engineeirng, University College London. He is married with two daughters.

Michael McHugh Chem 82, WK. After Reading Michael travelled for a year, before starting an MSc in Glasgow. He now runs a successful electrical manufacturing business in Yorkshire.

Steven Nicholls BldConMan 86, MBA 93, CH is a hands-on consultant guiding strategy implementation in both large and small organisations within Europe, North America and Asia, having started out as a project manager on skyscraper construction. After his MBA at Henley in 1992, he applied his project management expertise to grow businesses and new ventures in the communications and technology industries. He also has an MSc in Organisational Development and NLP (2008) from the University of Portsmouth Business School. Over the years Steve has added millions of dollars of value to his clients’ bottom line. Steve has taught hundreds of people the secrets of effective project management and has implemented advanced internet applications since the early 1990s with organisations such as: British Telecom, Ciena Corp, Deltathree, Inmarsat, John Laing and the NSPCC. Anthony Parkin Geog 83,

DA is Headteacher at Eastborough J I & N School. He is married to Jane and has three children.

Trevor Phillips Micro 82, CH

was appointed Chief Operations Officer for Vectura in 2011, having joined in 2010 as President of US Operations. Prior to joining Vectura he gained extensive international experience in organisational leadership, management and pharmaceutical drug development in a number of senior roles, such as CEO and President of the US publicly held company, Critical Therapeutics Inc, following six years as the company’s Chief Operating Officer. Between 1986 and 2002, he held a number of management positions at Sepracor, Accenture and GlaxoWellcome. After Reading, Trevor obtained a PhD in 1997 in microbial biochemistry from the University of Wales . He was awarded an MBA from Henley Management College in 1997.

Timothy Rishton Mus 81,

GE. After four wonderful years at Reading (the fourth of these working in the Music Library), he took a master’s degree in Manchester and PhD in Wales, where he then taught

music (in Welsh), before marrying a girl from an Anglesey farm and moving to a small island in the Arctic. They later bought a large old house on the banks of a beautiful West Norway fjord. To avoid being bored they have also bought a very remote mountain, including a farm, where they live in the midst of their own birch forest, half an hour’s drive from the nearest street lamp. He played the organ, taught, and became Associate Professor at the University in Tromsø, later in Stord/ Haugesund and then at Lancaster University, whilst his wife was vicar of an Anglican church in Lancashire. He has written a handful of books; a couple of dozen articles; recorded a few CDs and played hundreds of concerts in many countries, as well as some broadcasts. He spent the summer of 2011 writing a book for a Norwegian publisher about why Genesis and Exodus are at the heart of the Gospel. His wife Tracy is now Rector of a big evangelical church back ‘home’ in Norway. They have four children, aged 22, 20, 17 and 11, as well as one who sadly died as a young baby.

Lynn Colling (Mrs Rishworth)

85, BU is now Chair of Sheffield Interfaith. It has a varied programme of multi-faith events planned for the coming months. She is still doing fun things with Random Acts.

Marvin Rourke Cyb/ContEng 88, CH has completed three and a half years in Saudi Arabia, working in the oil & gas service industry in Eastern Province. He decided to ‘throw in the towel’ with his company after 23 years! He has now moved to Beijing, China, working for a Chinese company in the energy sector. He says, ‘what a change from the Middle East! A very interesting experience’. His daughter is just over two years and he is enjoying the wonderful experience of being a dad (again!). Russell Ryan Phys/Elect 85,

CH. After graduation, Russell completed an MBA at London Business School in 1991. He is now Managing Director at Hawaiian Airlines. Russell has more than 20 years of aviation experience with a diverse professional background that has included responsibilities for aircraft leasing, purchasing and selling, fleet management, business and strategic planning, financial analysis and modelling, and marketing and sales as an airline employee and consultant.

John Stapleton MSc FdSc

87, GE founded the New Covent Garden Soup Company in London in 1987. His soup was not only good but profitable – the company sold a decade later for £22 million. He graduated with a degree in industrial microbiology from UCD in 1986, a time when things were very bleak, and leaving Ireland was a natural step. Hence a masters in food science and technology led to a career in food and for a farmer’s son seemed like a safe bet. Determined not to spend his career in a white coat, a chance meeting in the final months of his course with Andrew Palmer, a stockbroker, who thought there might be money in fresh soup, proved pivotal. He was a pure entrepreneur and John was a pure scientist, and so the idea was imple-

mented. The pair set about creating a fresh alternative to canned and packet versions. Convincing retailers that customers would buy soup from chilled cabinets and not the soup aisle where they’d always found it was one of the biggest hurdles. Patenting a process that made the soup safe with the minimum amount of processing, in 1988 the pair persuaded Waitrose to give their product a trial run in 50 stores. Things took off from there. John’s next move was to take the idea ‘Stateside’. However the lack of a national chilled distribution system was a stumbling block, alongside a refrigerated product with a short shelf life not being ‘convenient’ and the $4 million invested to build the company’s own factory took a long time to claw back. At a time when Jamie Oliver was campaigning for better food for school children, John was put in touch with his current business partner Hillary Graves, and in 2006, the pair founded Little Dish, a range of nutritionally balanced ready meals for children. The company is now backed by the team behind the Innocent Drinks range and is stocked in Waitrose, Tesco and Sainsbury’s in the UK and in Tesco and Superquinn in Ireland. He said sales have been buoyant in the last 18 months. In 2011, they hit about £7.9 million in revenues and in any one week, they feed about 100,000 children.

Simon Sutton Phys 89, PhD 92, GE works with a supplier of plastic materials which are essential to making underground high voltage cables which supply power to homes and businesses. He started as a physicist, joined an electricity transmission company doing electrical engineering and now works in marketing for a chemical company. Each role brings new challenges and he has had to acquire new skills and knowledge as his career has progressed. Having worked in the field for 15 years, he has seen the field evolve greatly. Twenty years ago almost no one had heard of climate change, but now the shift to renewable energy is leading to major investments in the electricity sector. Mohammed Umaru MSc Ag 84, BR opted for early retirement in August 2010, after serving as Director of NAERLS, Ahmadu Bello University, for four years. He is now involved in community development work with particular interest in animal disease control and prevention of animal to man disease transmission. Ian Williamson ElecEng 80,

WI is Director with AECOM, based in the United Arab Emirates, and leading design and project management teams on major infrastructure and building projects in the Middle East. He has two daughters aged 21 and 19 who are studying in the UK.

Amanda Wragg Geog 89, PA

is living in Cheltenham and working for a local council, plus doing some lecturing at Exeter College. She would like to hear from anyone who remembers her.

SHARE YOUR STORY Stuart Bailey. Their activities, which include a workshop and bookstore in New York, explore the possibilities of publishing in both printed and digital form – often in relation to art production.

Martin Biddiscombe Maths

Don Yong Biol/Engl 83, BR is Chairman of the Malaysian Institute of Baking, which evolved from a small confectionery shop to a thriving, top-notch baking institute in Petaling Jaya. The institute, which began in 1987 as the English Hot breads School of Baking, prides itself as being one of the pioneers and has much in store for baking fans this year as it is celebrating its 25th anniversary. MIB not only teaches students to bake but they also learn the science of baking. It includes anything from choosing the right ingredients to understanding different techniques and methods that are used. As a young boy, Don spent most of his time helping his mother in the confectionery shop. It was his mother’s ingenuity and keen business acumen that propelled the small confectionery business into a huge success.

1990 – 1999 Alessandro Adriani Occ 95, WK. In June 2011, Alessandro was appointed Chief Executive Officer for Bridge Alliance. Previously he was Head of International Services, Multinational Corporations and Roaming with the Vodafone Group in London and in Italy, for a decade. Prior to joining Vodafone, he held senior positions in Arthur D. Little, Bouygues Telecom and Telecom Italia Mobile, from 1998–2002. He holds two master’s degrees in science and business administration, both from the Henley Business School. He was previously awarded the European Union scholarship at the University of Reading and also has a BA in Economics and Banking at Siena University, Italy. Mary Albanese PhD ComStud

99. Since her time at Reading she has hosted a radio show in Park City, Utah (‘Weekend Edition with Dr Mary’). Now back in England, she has become a writer. Her new book Midnight Sun, Arctic Moon, chronicles her early years as an arctic geological explorer in Alaska between 1977–87. Critics have called it ‘an engaging memoir of an adventurous life in Alaska – tough, humorous, and inspiring’ (Meg Gardiner, author of The Nightmare Thief). You can see the trailer at:

Simon Appleyard Hist/IR

94, CH is married with two boys and living in rural Shropshire. He has a great job, great friends and all is good.

Stuart Bailey Typog 95, BR

After graduating he worked for Werkplaats Typografie in 2000, and co-founded the arts journal Dot Dot Dot the same year. Stuart is currently involved in diverse projects at Parsons School of Design (NYC) and Pasadena Art Center (LA). Dexter Sinister is the compound name of designers David Reinfurt and

92, MN returned to education in 1996, gaining an MRes in Telecommunications in 1997, then a PhD in Electrical and Electronic Engineering in 2000, both from UCL. For the next few years he worked at Nortel in Harlow. Since 2005 he has been working at Metaswitch Networks in Enfield, most recently as a support engineer for their Perimeta Session Border Controller. He lives in Sawbridgeworth and is married with four children.

Crinan Dunbar MSc LandMan

98, GE is a chartered surveyor based in London and Scotland.

Michael Elliott Fr 98, AN. After ten years in industry working for Michelin Tyre PLC and Renesas (formerly Hitachi), Mike re-trained as a MFL teacher and is currently teaching French and German at a secondary school in Hemel Hempstead. Nicola Edwards Mus 92 is a

PGCE music student at Homerton College, Cambridge. She recently completed a MMus in Musical Composition at King’s College, London.

Nicola Elliott Soc 98, WI is studying towards a diploma in Equine Podiatry.

Paul Etherington Bot 90, PA

has had many roles since joining Grant Thornton in London in 1990. He is now living in Sonning, Berkshire, with the office having moved to Winnersh. He has been appointed to the firm’s UK National Leadership Board.

Ludovic Blackburn LandMan 96, WL qualified as a chartered accountant in London and worked as Operational Finance Director for a large national firm of property directors. He became Magna’s finance manager in 2009 and was promoted to Deputy Group Finance Director in 2010. David Bloxham Fr/Engl 96, CH is Managing Director of GCS Recruitment, 2011’s best medium recruitment business. They are three years into a five year plan to treble the size of the business. Anne Scullion (Mrs Brabazon)

MA TEFL 91 has been in the United Arab Emirates for 16 years. She is Dean of English and General Education and is always happy to hire TEFL teachers from the Reading Masters programme, or communicate with old friends and colleagues. She is happily married.

Rachel Sowerbutts (Mrs Buckle) HistArtArch 99,

AN gave birth to identical twin girls on 18 January this year, Isabel Grace and Sophie Eve.

Helga Burch Diploma Mdwif 97 retired in September 2012. Charles Chewe Stats 98, SB has

been a smallholder farmer in rural Zambia since 2007. He recently published a novel, The Queen’s Mines, available online and in bookshops. The novel is all about Reading. Charles would like to hear from all who remember him at Sibly Hall.

Paul Cooper Biol 92, PA is seeking Canadian residency whilst working as a snow sport school department manager, ski instructor, mountain bike instructor, bike technician and sometimes an accountant in Vernon, BC. He is enjoying life and trying not to work too hard! Owen Day Comp/Cyb 95, WK

is Director of Engineering at Masabi, a company based in London, which uses technology to improve transport. The appointment will support continued growth at the mobile ticketing technology experts.

Yubak Gc MSc TechCropProt 98 having completed his thesis in the area of insect parasitic nematodes and their effectiveness against Helicoverpa arminger, under the auspicious guidance of Dr Simon Gowen, he returned to Nepal in 1998 and was engaged as Assistant Professor of Entomology by the Agricultural University, Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science, in Rampur, Chitwan. Whilst there he assisted a number of students in different areas of their thesis study and was given responsibility as head of the department. With his in-depth knowledge of insect pathology he gained a PhD position in Basel University, Switzerland, where he did most of the research tasks in the Federal Research Station, Zurich, a study supported by the Swiss Government. He resumed his university job in Nepal after nearly three and a half years where he continued with his teaching and research. He then moved to the government job in Kathmandu as Joint Secretary, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. He is thankful to the teaching and administrative faculties at Reading for the vast knowledge he gained. Marc Guerrero i Tarragó Ec

94, WK was re-elected as VicePresident, in November 2010, at the 32nd Congress of the European Liberal Democrat Party in Palermo, Italy.

Troubador Publishing Ltd. It is a fastpaced action novel with a gripping plot and an ingenious bell-ringing story thread, inspired by authors including James Patterson, Dan Brown and Jeffrey Archer.

Peter Jenner Staff 88–96.

Since leaving Reading, where he was University Chaplain 1988–96, Peter has been Vicar of Mellor on the edge of Greater Manchester. He moved back into academia at the beginning of 2012, becoming Chaplain and Dean of Chapel at the University of Chester, as well as being part-time on the staff of Chester Cathedral.

Matthew Jordan Phys 96 has

joined the North-East based firm of Youngs Chartered Surveyors in Hexham as a graduate trainee. A local farmer’s son from Longhirst, near Morpeth, Matthew has a degree in agricultural business management from Newcastle University. He is hoping to complete his Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) with Youngs, as well as his exams to become a member of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV). He is very excited about this opportunity and being back home.

Marion Shadbolt (Mrs Kemp)

CombSt 92 would like to hear from some of her class mates.

Dr Peter Kwapong Hort 98

is a lecturer at the University of Cape Coast. Since graduating from Reading, Peter has maintained strong links with the University and continues to work on research projects with Reading staff. He has also helped to establish links between the University of Reading and the University of Cape Coast for student exchanges, research collaborations and academic visits. In addition to building links with Reading, Peter has established the International Stingless Bee Centre near Kakum, a centre for environmental education and tourism. At the 2012 British Council Awards, Dr Kwapong won the award for being the Best Ambassador for his University and British education.

Joseph Lamptey PhD Ag & Bot 96 is Head of the Plant Pathology Section of the Crops Research Institute, which is the largest institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. He is involved in the diagnosis and control of fungal and viral diseases affecting root and tuber, cereal, legume and horticultural crops.

Stephen Harness MSc/Dip

T&CPlan 92 is a lead town planner for Defence Infrastructure Organisation Estates, Ministry of Defence, in Bicester. He is currently planning the Technical Training College at Lyneham, Wiltshire.

Brian Heathcote Dip VocGuid

93, BU is a patrol ranger for the Peak District National Park Authority. In 2011 he was awarded the Graham Attridge Bursary to help fund a study visit to another National Park to report on sustainability and accessibility issues.

Gregory Hunt MSc LandMan 99, SH is a bell-ringer and chartered surveyor working for a property consultancy in the centre of Birmingham. His first novel, The Ringer, was published in 2011 by

Li Shirong PhD ConMan 98, BR is the first female and first non-British president of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB). Electing a female Chinese president is a significant break with tradition in the CIOB’s 175-year-long history. Li’s appointment also signifies new co-operation between the China and UK architectural industry. She is Deputy Director of the Chongqing Foreign Trade and Economic Relations Commission, responsible

JONATHAN CLEVERLY, BSC PSYCHOLOGY AND ZOOLOGY 1995; MSC WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AND CONSERVATION 2002 After a brief spell as a school teacher, I started my own business ‘Jonathan’s Jungle Roadshow’. I tour the UK with a host of weird and wonderful creatures to provide animal encounters to the general public. I have worked with the BBC, thousands of school children and adults, and of course, hundreds of animals. I am doing the best job in the world! Why did you choose to study at the University of Reading? After completing my undergraduate degree at Reading, and after a six year gap, I realised I wanted to work in conservation but knew it was a competitive industry. Dr Graham Holloway in the School of Biological Sciences came to my aid and recommended coming back to Reading to do an MSc in Management and Conservation. I was nervous coming back to do a Masters, but have never looked back. What was the best bit about living and studying in Reading? I loved the beautiful campus, the summer evenings sitting out by Whiteknights Lake, learning to dive with the University’s Sub Aqua Society; there honestly was nothing about Reading that I didn’t enjoy. I fondly remember my undergraduate days in Whiteknights Hall – I was the only one in our corridor who had a television and VHS player so my room became the unofficial common room! How has the University of Reading helped in your chosen career path? Put simply, I wouldn’t be doing the job I love if I hadn’t come back for my MSc at Reading. My MSc project went so well that I was offered a PhD at Reading. During my PhD I had the chance to teach undergraduates, which is when I realised that I loved sharing what I knew with others. I then became a teacher for a while before realising that I wanted to run my own animal roadshow business. I learnt a lot about myself at University and that has led me to where I am today. What does the University mean to you and what is your favourite memory? Five years in total of really good fun! It was the best thing that ever happened. I gained great friends and qualifications and the confidence to teach. My favourite memory is the week-long field trip my MSc group took to Brittany, where we were identifying spiders and learning about their habitats and the local wildlife – an unforgettable experience. News


SHARE YOUR STORY for promoting foreign investment in Chongqing. Between 2003 and 2006, she worked in local government as vice mayor and was responsible for urban development and construction. She is also a part-time Professor of Construction Management at Chongqing University, where she worked for more than 20 years before joining local government. A pioneer in construction management in Chongqing Municipality, Li’s academic work focuses on China’s construction industry in transition, sustainable urbanization, the role of government in construction, urban planning management, design, tendering and construction, private finance, industrialized building systems and the international construction market. She has published more than 170 academic papers and 26 books, both in China and overseas.

LUCY CHOVE, PHD FOOD BIOSCIENCES 2009 I am now lecturing undergraduates and postgraduates in the Department of Food Science and Technology at the Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) in Tanzania. I have wide practical experience in all aspects of food processing and preservation, nutrition and product development and am actively involved in internationally funded research. I am also the wife of Professor Bernard Chove (MSc Food Process Engineering 1988) and a mother of two lovely children Twilumba and Lupyana. Why did you choose to do a PhD at the University of Reading? When my husband was studying at Reading, I visited the Department several times and was impressed by the facilities, especially the pilot plant. I had never seen anything like that before! What was the best bit about living and studying in Reading? The international community in Reading is so diverse. I interacted with people from all over the world, from Australia to Iceland. I learned a lot academically and socially. In addition, being a mother meant I had the opportunity to interact with school teachers, workers and parents. How has the University of Reading helped in your chosen career path? I was already employed as a lecturer at SUA before I arrived at Reading. The specialisation in Dairy Technology during my PhD studies enabled me to focus on the field and took my career to the next level. I am now the Departmental expert in this area and all dairy-related courses are taught by me. What does the University mean to you and what is your favourite memory? Both of my children were born, baptised and received their first Communion in Reading, so it feels like our second home! Favourite memories include my husband watching proudly as I received great comments for my presentation at the Annual Research Day, co-hosted between the Universities of Reading and Surrey. I also remember the wonderful summer BBQs, Open Days and the international meal that celebrated the diversity of me and my PhD friends. I absolutely loved my time at Reading!


Angela Lusigi PhD AgEcon 98 now has over 13 years of knowledge and experience in the field of socioeconomic analysis, pro-poor policy development, resource mobilisation and programme management. She has just taken up a position as a policy advisor, Macroeconomics, for the United Nations Development Programme’s Regional Bureau for Africa in New York. Prior to her appointment she was with the Poverty and Environment Initiative, a joint UNDP and UNEP Global initiative, and was responsible for supporting mainstreaming poverty and environment concerns in national planning processes in Botswana, Kenya, Liberia, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. Before joining UNEP, she worked as a Programme Specialist in poverty reduction in Tanzania. She has also managed UNDP’s Strategy and Policy Unit in Nigeria as an Assistant Resident Representative 2003–05. Angela has broad experience in development gained from working for several UN agencies. Wendy Wilks (Mrs Maclaughlin) MSc ProjMan 99

is a vice-president of Hill International’s subsidiary, McLachlan Lister, in its Brisbane office, Australia. She is in charge of construction claims and dispute resolution services throughout Australia for Hill’s Construction Claims Group. She is a chartered civil engineer with more than 20 years experience in engineering design, planning, scheduling and construction. Prior to joining Hill, she was a partner with the consulting firm Accuracy, and before that was a managing director with Navigant Consulting.

Jason Mitchell Zoo 98, WI.

After a move to the USA, prompted by an internet romance, Jason is happily married to his wife Jenn. He is currently the Executive Director of Emmaus Mission Center, a Christian ministry comprised of a homeless shelter, residential child care facility, food pantry and thrift store. In addition, he is the current Chairperson of the Cass County Community Network – a group of local organisations working together to better serve the community, and the Chairperson of the Area V Head Start Policy Council. The latter represents the interests of Cass County in relation to a federally funded pre-school program that benefits many young children. In his spare time he teaches fencing; a sport he became interested in while at Reading.

James Norminton MA IntSec

Her eldest has just started school and the younger has just started playgroup, so she is looking forward to the academic stuff starting all over again, and to hopefully instilling a love of literature, history and the arts in both!

Steven Parham Comp/Cyb 93, WL now lives near Portsmouth and runs a group of small engineering and computing companies. He lives with his long-term partner Rachel and their two boys, Daniel aged two and Henry aged one. He is still in touch with a number of cyberneticists.

Najma Sachedina (Mrs Virani)

96, DA is a senior advisor with the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs & International Trade. James and his wife are proud to announce the birth of a future Reading alumna, daughter Zoey.

Rachel Pudner LLB Law 97, WI, an expert childcare lawyer and a member of the Law Society’s Children Panel, has joined legal firm Hutchinson Thomas in Neath, Wales. Before joining Hutchinson Thomas, she was a solicitor at Avery Naylor. Stewart Ravenhall Stat 92,

CH is moving house again, this time back to an old cottage. The five cats, three children and wife are pleased.

Elizabeth Wolstencroft (Mrs Read) Fr 97, WK works for the

Bible Society Charity in Swindon, as Church and Volunteer Fundraising Manager. She returned to work after the birth of her second son, Joshua, in February 2011.

Silvia Secchi MSc Ag & Ec 95, BR has earned a staff excellence award from Southern Illinois University. She is Assistant Professor in Agribusiness Economics in the College of Agricultural Sciences and earned praise from colleagues for ‘a strong record of excellence’ in teaching, research and service since coming to SIU Carbondale in 2008. She has secured, as principal investigator or co-principal investigator, seven externally funded projects totaling more than $5 million. She has a book, 14 journal articles and nine book chapters to her name. Marc Stapley Maths 91, MN

is Senior Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer for Illumina. He joins Illumina from Pfizer, where he served as Senior Vice-President responsible for global financial processes and systems. Prior to Pfizer, he served in a variety of senior finance roles at AlcatelLucent, including Americas CFO. He also worked as Finance Director and Controller for several groups at Cadence Design Systems. Marc began his career as an Auditor at Coopers & Lybrand.

Bodo Steiner AgEcon 93, PhD

99, WX. After a number of years in the US and Canada, she is very happy to be back in Europe and started at the University of Southern Denmark this July. She is looking forward to sharing old Wessex and Wantage memories, and perhaps seeing colleagues in the beautiful town of Sønderborg, on the shores of the Baltic Sea!

Paul Swaddle Ec/Acc 92, CH

has been elected President of the Conservative Party National Convention and will be chairing the 2012 Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham this October.

Paul Swain MSc NumSol 99, SH would like to hear from anyone he knew at Reading. Katherine Milton (Mrs Terry)

Engl/Class 97, WG is married, living in Surrey, and mother of two.

Acc&Econ 99, SH works as an Accounting Manager at Manhattan Associates in Atlanta, which also has a branch in Bracknell, near Reading, which brings back memories for her. She is a hop and a skip away from home, so she sees her two daughters at lunch, almost every day.

Mark Stevens Qty Surv 93,

is currently Regional Managing Partner for GSS Architecture, a leading practice of architects and quantity surveyors. Mark is responsible for managing the South West Region, and is based in the Bristol office, which he set up ten years ago. In addition to continuing to practice as a Chartered Quantity Surveyor, he has just been elected HRH The Prince of Wales’ Business Ambassador for the South West. This is after actively promoting the benefit of pro bono working by professional firms to help community groups within Bristol.

Linxiu Zhang PhD Ag & Ec 95, BR is the Coordinator of IEMP (International Ecosystem Management Partnership) Science for Policy Initiative. She is a professor and Deputy Director at the Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy (CCAP) of CAS. For the last 30 years, most of her research concentrates on policy relevant studies on agricultural and rural development in China, including public investment in agriculture and its impact on growth, poverty and inequality, poverty and environmental dynamics, and integrated resource management at community level, community governance and public goods investments, the New Cooperative Medical System, and the economics of education.

2000 – 2009 Christina Adamou PhD F&D

03, PG Cert 05 is now a Lecturer in Film Studies at the Department of Film, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.

Amit Alagh LLB Law 03, graduated with an MBA from the Instituto de Empresa Business School, Madrid in December 2011. He works for The Practical Law Company as a Product Specialist, as well as running the food supplements company ‘Healing The Person.’ Shirley Jones (Mrs Anstis)

Susan Utting FTT 93, BU is an award winning poet who launched her latest book, Fair’s Fair, in March 2012. Susan was Poetry and Creative Writing Tutor at the University of Reading for 17 years and was the 2005-6 Creative Writing Fellow at the University’s School of English and American Literature. She is the founder of Reading’s Poets’ Café, and a member of Thin Raft Poets. Susan has read and performed her poetry at arts venues and festivals and runs poetry workshops country wide. She was awarded an Arts Council Laureateship in 2000–1. Jennifer Orford (Mrs Welham) Geog 99, GE is now a

full-time mum to twins and living in Hertfordshire.

Ravina Mackay (Mrs Whale) EnvEarthAtmos 99, MSc 00, SH married Martin in 2004. Their daughter, Megan, was born in 2007 and their twins Robert and Andrew, were born in 2009. She is loving motherhood, but missing work. The garden design business is on hold until their children are in school!

James Whitham Cyb/ContEng 95, MN was elected Reading’s third Green counsellor in May 2012. He has spent 15 years in the area since studying at Reading and runs a small software company in the town. He is an active Greenpeace member, a campaigner against nuclear weapons and for more renewable energy and sustainable ocean fishing. He is also a keen cyclist and gardener. Nuria Garcia Rodriguez (Mrs Wicksman) Engl & Flm &

Drama 96, MN recently moved to Los Angeles with her husband and scriptwriting partner Dan Wicksman.

PG Dip CarGuid 97, MA 01, HS. Shirley’s book, They Call Me… was launched in the UK on Grenada Heritage Day, 16 July 2011 and again on the Isle of Spice in August the same year. Shirley, who grew up in Grenada and the Bahamas, carried out 70 interviews in one exhausting and intense week. The book explores the culture of nicknames on the Caribbean island and the effects on a wide range of people of answering to a nickname, cruel or kind, for life.

Sean Batty Met 02, AN served as a weather monitor at the Met Office on the RAF’s Middle Wallop base in Hampshire before moving into doing the weather at the BBC. Now he is STV’s most popular weatherman. He and an STV crew flew to Iceland in February to film inserts for his first TV mini-series, Weatherwatch, with Sean Batty. Since Sean first started his chirrupy bulletins as part of STV’s news team, he has built up a solid fan base and is now stopped for autographs in Asda, of all places! Even on a tour to Iceland to get up close to extremes of meteorology, geology and vulcanology and their potential impact on Scotland, he couldn’t escape glances of recognition from holidaying Scots. He isn’t just a presenter, he’s a scientist – albeit one who is now, arguably, the face of STV. He feels at the age of 29 that he has already achieved his life’s ambition. Fiona Hill (Mrs Bridges) Soc

01, WK is married to Ben (Wessex Hall, 01) and they live in South East London with their daughter, born in 2009. Since leaving university she has worked in various PR roles and is now Internal Communications Manager at Aviva Investors, Aviva’s asset management business.

Chloe Courtenay (Mrs Courtenay-Bennett) Engl/Class 01, MA EnglLang 04, MA Angl/ AmLit 05, SB has had an eventful

couple of years. Having worked at Thames Valley University (TVU) for five years, she felt it was time for a change and went to work at the Sino-British College (SBC) in Shanghai. She is now course developer in the EAP Department working on curriculum development, materials design and standardisation, as well as teaching EAP support classes on the degree programmes. She also teaches Film, Literature and Society classes. She met John Bennett whilst they were both working at TVU. They married last year. When they are not working they like to travel.

Michelle Anthony (Mrs Cresswell) Mus 05, WG founded and

directs the largest community choir in Oxford - The Oxford City Singers.

Hannah Curry Engl & Flm &

Theatre 08, CH is actively and successfully pursuing a career in film, along with other Reading Film, Theatre & Television alumni.

Danish Faisal Int Mgmt 08.

After graduating, Danish pursued an entrepreneurial path. He co-founded an accountancy firm; is the founder of a London-based technology consulting firm; and co-founded ‘The Young Entrepreneurs Foundation’. The YEF is a social enterprise that advances entrepreneurship as a means to tackle youth unemployment in Britain.

Andrew Fraser BSc/Diploma

LandMan 09 joined Haslams as a graduate and has now qualified as a chartered surveyor.

Polly Knight (Mrs Garland)

FdMMM 04, RSV is a Brand and Communications Officer for Tate & Lyle PLC. She is married to Dan Garland (Chem00) and they live in Maidenhead. They have one daughter born July 2010 and a second child due in November 2012.

Luis Gonzalez MA TEFL 03

was Chairman of the World Forum in Washington in 2009 and in Cambridge, UK, in 2010.

Christian Guy Pol/IR 04 is the new Managing Director of The Centre for Social Justice, the think-tank set up by Iain Duncan Smith after he lost the Tory Party leadership in 2003. He is an expert on street gangs and is married with a young daughter. Ghislaine Hamilton (Mrs Hamilton-Williams) BEd

Ed&Mus 00, BU is finishing an MA in Deaf Education, working as a Teacher of the Deaf at an infant school in Basingstoke. She achieved the Level 2 British Sign Language Qualification in 2011.

Katherine Hayward Geog 04. Since leaving Reading, Katherine was out of work for a year and was then recruited by the British Council in London to teach English in Madrid as part of their language assistants programme. During this time, she taught English to children aged 3–12 years, then went on to teach English to 12–15 year olds as an English teacher at a Berlitz summer camp in Cuenca, Castilla-la-Mancha. She is engaged to Luis Alfredo Pérez Soto. Despite being unable to work due to health issues and now being an electric wheelchair user, she never lets things get her down. She is planning to study Portuguese or Italian and fashion journalism as distance learning courses and would ultimately like to do a masters in Tourism. She and Alfredo hope to marry and have children someday.

Joy Mills (Mrs Holmes) Occ 02, WG spent a year with her husband Jason, in El Progreso, Honduras, teaching at a bilingual school. They returned to the USA in 2011 and they are now employed full-time at the University of Arkansas, Monticello.

four Vice-Chancellors and served The Association of The Friends of the University for over 10 years, the latter of which has grown from just 200 members to over 530. All very happy days and having obtained a Reading degree, she feels well and truly part of the establishment!

Chibamba Kanyama MSc DevFin 01, SB , a Zambian author, has written a book entitled, ‘Determinants for Foreign Direct Investment in the Southern African Development Community’ with a particular focus on risks and opportunities. The book has been developed from a manuscript submitted by the author during his research at Reading. A German publishing company has identified the manuscript as having great potential for a global market and has offered to publish it as a monograph. The book will be highly relevant for Zambian policy makers who need to fully comprehend the dynamics of FDI in the country and how to engage with foreign investors in an informed manner.

Mark Nicol Geog 00, MSc 01, CH has been appointed as the Regional Manager – Asia for Echologics Engineering, based in Singapore. Echologics specialises in the provision of advanced technical solutions to address the worldwide issues of water loss and asset management.

Melanie Lawrence ThDeaf 08, PA says that theatre arts, education and deaf studies offered her a unique experience for which she could use British sign language to communicate daily with staff and peers. It is a skill that she now uses in her support role for deaf-blind individuals. Peter Le Blond Biol&Cyb 04. See Paul Le Blond 1970.

Deborah Macdonald Hist 01, MA 03 is working on multilingual children’s primary stories and supply teaching. Due to personal experience she has become a CAN and Local Representative for Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

Karl Masi LLB Law 07, PA has obtained pupillage at 5 St Andrew’s Hill, London. Kerry McCarney (Mrs McCarney-Castle) MSc EnvSed &

Geom 01, HS. In 2000 Kerry was accepted onto the postgraduate programme in the Post-Grad Research Institute of Sedimentology, now discontinued. She saved her money, took out several bank loans, and flew over to the UK from her hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the September. After leaving Reading, she was hired as an Assistant Project Geologist with a civil engineering firm and moved to South Carolina to help build one of the largest dams in the USA. In 2007, she married Jody Castle and they have a daughter, born in 2009. In 2010, she completed her PhD in Geology at the University of South Carolina and is now the Senior Research Geologist for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Geological Survey. She considers her time at Reading to be not only the turning point in her career, but also one of the best times of her life. She hopes to visit the UK in the next few years and to enjoy a pint in the Queen’s Head!

Brenda Morris Engl 07 graduated as a mature student in 2007. As a member of staff in the Development and Alumni Relations Office, originally the Alumni Office, she has completed 27 years at the University and has seen many changes. She remarried in 2000 and renewed her vows to Andy (CertEngl Lit 05) this year at Ruscombe Church, where her parents are buried. She has worked under the leadership of

Christine Ottery Phil & Eng 03. Since graduation, Christine has been a windsurfing instructor, travel magazine editor, freelance science journalist and is now working on an environmental campaign to make ‘Ecocide’ an international law. Christine got married in August 2012. Louise Hurford (Mrs Roberts) Engl 02, BU married Adrian in 2007 and they have a daughter Bethany who is two-years-old.

Metehan Sonbahar MSc

ConMan 05, BR has worked in several countries in the fields of construction contracts and claims management. Now back in Turkey, he works as a senior consultant in a consultancy and law firm. He acts as an internal technical expert.

George Stowell Con Man 07, was delighted to learn that the Sports Canopy at the National Tennis Centre, which his practice designed with engineers Airlight and Arup for the Lawn Tennis Association, won the British Construction Industry Awards – Small Project Award in October 2011. The award was presented by HM Governments’ Chief Construction Adviser, Paul Morrell Rachel Griffiths (Mrs Thomas)

Ling 03, WK is a self-employed seamstress and living in Reading. She has two children, Isaac (three) and Polly (nine months). She is married to Ben Thomas (Land Management 2005).

Hilary Tomczik MA TEFL

04 has worked at the University of California, Santa Barbara Extension, since graduating. Hilary usually returns to England each year as her younger son is living in Reading. She sends greetings to all students and the faculty of the MA TEFL programme of 2003–04.

Philip Turvil Hort 06, CH has been out and about at botanic, heritage and zoological gardens, in practical and educational roles. Two years ago, he launched county and London networks of volunteers, called Master Gardeners funded by the Lottery, NHS and local government. This is a flagship programme for the national education charity, Garden Organic, near Coventry. His journalistic moments were developed at Reading and he was Junction 11’s head of news and Spark’s news editor. He is now horticultural advisor for several publications and radio, including the BBC and national ‘Grow Your Own’ magazine. He was delighted to be a finalist for ‘Journalist of the Year 2011’ at last year’s Garden Media Guild Awards.

2010  Hubertus Baumer MSc

RealEstFin & Invs 10. At the end of July, Hubertus joined the Hamburg-based property fund manager’s team of Union Investment Institutional Property GmbH. From 2008 onwards he was formerly employed by the Generali Real Estate group, where he was responsible for setting up and looking after indirect investments and developing fund products for the insurance group. Alongside his role as Senior Investment Manager for Real Estate and Infrastructure Investments in Cologne and Milan, he was most recently Managing Director of Generali Immobilien Verwaltungs GmbH in Cologne and a member of the board of directors of Generali Europe Income Holding SA, Luxembourg.

Eilidh Mcallister Invs & Fin Prop 11. Eilidh has joined Haslams chartered surveyors as a graduate in its commercial agency and development department. James Mcilwraith Hist 10 is the drummer in the band Vetoes, one of 42 acts that played at the Reading Festival in 2011. The band met in Cambridge and spent 2010 in Reading before moving to London. The band were snapped up by Reading-based producer Adam Whittaker and their debut EP Ritalin/Ritalout, was released online through Adam’s independent label SpaceRay. Deborah Phillips MSc IntBdg 10 is a qualified architect.

Emily Shaw Geog 11. As the

Societies and Volunteering Coordinator for Reading University Students’ Union, she is responsible for the day-to-day administration of over 100 student societies and the development of voluntary projects in the local community. Emily is due to start a ‘Managing Volunteers’ course in late 2012. She says that work is hectic, but great fun!

Elisabetta Stringano 11

has a permanent job in Austria at Ebewe-Sandoz. She works as an analytical scientist in the field of antitumor drugs. She attributes her PhD as being fundamental in securing her position.

CLASS OF 1961 STAY CONNECTED The 1961 Science graduates had a gathering in 1997 and then things went fallow. But the pull of a 50th anniversary in 2011 became too much, and Pat Hogger (née Chevallier, BSc Sciences 1961) shouldered the job. She dredged the 1997 archive, the Development and Alumni Relations Office and Christmas card lists to nail a quorum. Thus, 36 ancient ‘Einsteins’, minus white coats, gathered at what used to be St. Andrews Hall (but is nowadays the Museum of English Rural Life – MERL). Plus, word having got around, a few Agri '61 graduates joined in too. So we gathered, and looked through the bifocals at hair and teeth and labels (a few completely unchanged individuals being recognisable still without reminders, others a mystery till we spoke). Over groups of two or four or larger we partially re-told, partially re-heard fragments of life. Amazing how little most had changed – in looks and as people. We could have slipped straight back into the same teams doing the same experiment, or sitting gassing in the refectory (The Buttery that was). From MERL we adjourned to the adjacent ‘Cotton Club’ at big tables for more exchanges. Thence to the old stomping grounds of the Cloisters, the Library and the Great Hall. The Hall where we suffered as a group in silent exams, enjoyed dances and events, and, with surprise, graduated. Next time we may even circulate our CVs beforehand so we can talk about what we’ve really learned – but, heaven forbid, some of us might need to keep our CVs with us to know who we are… Written by Doug Glading (BSc Sciences 1961)

Mark Whiley Engl 11 was

active as a community warden for two years in Reading and stood in the last elections in Battle Ward. He now works for a Reading IT firm.

CONDOLENCES Connected is sad to have been informed of the following deaths: Douglas Wilson-Spratt (BA Art 1940) Dr Bernard Verdcourt (BSc Sciences 1945) Desmond Francis Day (BSc Horticulture 1951) Dr Anne Paterson Johnson (née Kerr) (BA French 1963) Godfrey (Goff) Richards (Dip Education 1966) Dr Andrew Forester (PhD Zoology 1974) Dr Christophoros Pappas (PhD Food Science 1979) Mr David Needs (BA Latin and Linguistics 1984) To read our online tributes, please visit: If you have a friend or loved one you would like us to acknowledge in the condolences section, please get in touch.



Events ROUNDUP With the London 2012 Games, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, an ever popular Public Lecture Series and the unveiling of state of the art teaching and research facilities, 2012 promised to be a memorable University year – and it certainly lived up to expectations. Here are just some of the event highlights from the last 12 months.

OSCAR-WINNING FILM PRODUCER LORD PUTTNAM OPENS ‘REMARKABLE’ MINGHELLA BUILDING May 2012 David Puttnam, who produced Chariots of Fire and The Killing Fields, officially opened the University of Reading’s new state of the art home for its Department of Film, Theatre & Television in May. Lord Puttnam toured the building along with relatives of the late Anthony Minghella, after whom the building is named.



June 2012

March 2012

Over 1,000 guests enjoyed the traditional annual alumni day at the Henley Business School Greenlands campus in June. The English garden party skills of eating a hamburger, holding a glass of wine and controlling an umbrella simultaneously were on display. Faculty staff and Deputy Dean of Henley Business School, Professor Ginny Gibson, enjoyed reminiscing with alumni and updating them about plans for the future.

Around 80 alumni stretching back more than 25 years gathered at the British Council for this popular reception. A number of alumni flew from other cities to attend and Dr Yinshan Tang, Dr Ioannis Kokkoris and Ms Anna CampbellColquhoun spoke about exciting developments at the University, particularly the opening of the University of Reading Malaysia campus.

LAW ALUMNI WELCOMED TO ALLEN & OVERY FOR NETWORKING RECEPTION November 2011 Law alumni and students were welcomed to the London offices of generous sponsors Allen & Overy to network with contemporaries in November. Professor Christopher Newdick from the School of Law emphasised the importance of maintaining a strong alumni network: ‘We are very proud of our alumni. Their generosity and support ensures Reading law students have access to a greater range of opportunities to excel, and enhances the School of Law’s ability to produce graduates of the highest calibre.’ 54

FUTURE TALENT DISPLAY WORK AT UNIVERSITY OF READING’S ART DEGREE SHOW June 2012 Reading’s renowned Department of Art opened its doors to the public and showcased the exciting work of nearly 70 graduating students in June. Head of the Department of Art, Professor Susanne Clausen, said: ‘Highlights included rock star impersonations, pregnant dancers, a shrine to consumerism and students buried under the weight of their impending debt.’

READING REAL ESTATE FOUNDATION ROUNDUP The Reading Real Estate Foundation (RREF) reached a special milestone in 2012: their 10th anniversary year. RREF launched celebrations at their 10th Annual Dinner in November 2011 with 480 alumni and industry contacts, raising over £48,000 – the highest amount ever raised at a RREF event. Guests at RREF’s Supporters Evening in June heard from the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Sir David Bell, as he spoke about the work of RREF and thanked guests for supporting RREF since 2002.


Saturday 13th July 2013 Whiteknights and Silchester

We are delighted to announce that Sir Simon Gass, NATO’s senior civilian representative in Afghanistan and Reading Law graduate, will be giving the 2013 Law Lecture. Booking is essential. More details to follow. Visit:

Thursday 8 November 2012 The Grange St. Paul’s Hotel, London, EC4V 5AJ Join us for the largest Real Estate alumni and industry event in the UK and help celebrate a very special milestone – our ten year anniversary. With 500 guests from the sector, it is one not to be missed. Visit:


Save the date: Tuesday 22 January 2013 Whiteknights




Join the celebration of nearly five decades of success for the Department of Archaeology at Reading! As the retirement of Professor Bob Chapman and Professor Richard Bradley – two of the department’s founding fathers – approaches, alumni are invited to revisit the department, share its success and catch up with friends. More details to follow. Visit:

Wednesday 20 February 2013, 7.30pm Great Hall, University of Reading Sam Price – Mezzo Soprano Michael Pollock – Piano The Friends are delighted to invite one of Reading’s most exciting musicians of recent years to give a recital as she begins her career. Sam Price (BSc Speech and Language Therapy 2009) takes her first role with English National Opera in September 2012. Tickets £10, £6 concessions. Contact: or visit:

The series kicks-off with ‘Thirst: Water and power in the ancient world’ on 17 October 2012

CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS LECTURE 2012 Dr Neil Cocks, Department of English Language and Literature Monday 17 December 2012, 4.00pm Palmer Building, Whiteknights Join us this year for a Charles Dickens themed Children’s Christmas Lecture – a fun and interactive event for children aged seven to 11. All children must be accompanied by a responsible adult. School groups are welcome to attend. Booking is essential for this popular event. Contact:

PUBLIC LECTURE SERIES 2012–2013 CHAPLAINCY NEW YEAR LECTURE Wednesday 16 January 2013, 7.30pm Henley Business School, Whiteknights The University and Chaplaincy are pleased to present this lecture, which will be given by the Director of Christian Aid, Loretta Minghella. Contact:

October 2012 – March 2013 Palmer Building, Whiteknights Our Public Lecture Series showcases research highlights from across the University. Lectures will take place at 8pm on the following Wednesdays: 17 October 2012, 14 November 2012, 12 December 2012, 30 January 2013, 13 February 2013, 20 March 2013. No ticket is required but numbers are limited so please arrive early. Visit:



A royal celebration


It was spectacular, magnificent and perfect all at once; it was the day Her Majesty The Queen celebrated her Diamond Jubilee at the University’s Henley Business School.

Hosted by the Lord Lieutenants of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, the garden party was part of The Queen’s UK-wide Diamond Jubilee tour.

Guests included people from all walks of life from each of the three counties, including representatives from public life, business and commerce, the armed services, the arts and sports and media.

Over 4,000 guests joined Her Majesty and His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh, for a summer garden party on the beautiful lawns of Henley Business School’s historic Greenlands campus in June.

The stunning Greenlands campus, just outside Henley-on-Thames, is close to where the three counties converge and under glorious skies, provided the perfect backdrop for the celebration.

The day may have passed by quickly, but welcoming Her Majesty to campus is one memory we shall always hold on to very fondly.

Final focus

Photo: Courtesy of David Hartley. (L–R) Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire, The Duke of Edinburgh, HM The Queen, the Hon Mary Bayliss Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire and Tim Stevenson Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire.

In profile | Transforming lives Bright and talented people who would love to go to university don’t always get the chance. The Alumni Bursary, supported by generous donations to the University of Reading’s Annual Fund, is here to change that. The Alumni Bursary is awarded to some of our brightest applicants to the University of Reading, but with a focus on those who are often the first in their family to attend university and to those who come from schools where the percentage of pupils that go on to study at university is low. Thanks to the generosity of our alumni, staff and friends of the University, the Annual Fund has been able to support students like Viki… Victoria (Viki) Wicks is realising her dream of studying for a BA in Business and Management at the Henley Business School at the University of Reading, thanks to the support of an Alumni Bursary.

‘I suffered with a benign leg tumour at school which affected my studies. I also come from a school where a low percentage of pupils carry on to university. Despite this, it only pushed me to work harder and I came out top of my class at GCSEs and A-Levels. I am incredibly grateful for the support I have received; without it I may not have been able to continue my education at this level. I have been in very good hands through visiting, applying and studying at the University of Reading – the financial aid offered by Reading was by far the best and I am having the time of my life. All I can say is thank you!’

The Annual Fund was established in 2004 to support current students at the University. More than £3.2 million has been raised from over 6,000 donors, funding over 100 projects. Over half of donations are used to provide bursaries, scholarships and hardship grants, ensuring that students at the University are supported throughout their time at Reading. The Annual Fund seeks support each and every year, from both existing and new donors. To find out more or to make a gift, visit

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For more information, please contact: Development and Alumni Relations University of Reading Whiteknights Reading, RG6 6AH, UK Tel +44 (0)118 378 8006 58 TT-COC-002452

Connected: Magazine for Alumni and Friends- Issue 3  

In this issue: On your marks, get set, gold! The University's spectacular role in the London 2012 Games. The big questions: How we're chan...

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