Page 1




From Font to Forum

Goodbye sticky floors, hello £38 million venue…


A Space Pedagogy

How you can help shape the future of the University

The class is always

greener Alum Michelle Dixon and the Environment Team’s Ecocampus Awards


Coughs and Cappuccinos Containing the flu virus, consuming Italian coffee

Evil Shepherd By Heli Ryhänen Saturday 17 January – Saturday 21 February Examine the depths of the human mind with these sculptures, made of fabric, steel, light and shadow, whose human-like presence create dreamlike atmospheres containing feelings common to us all: happiness, fear, loneliness and relationship tension.

Film fans…

Positive Strides Film Event Friday 23 January 6.30pm

The Univ ersity of H ertfordsh ire Arts a nd Galler ies Progr amme

Exhibition enthusiasts…

winter 09 ISSUE 4


Enjoy this showcase of a number of award winning short films and documentaries by Positive Strides, a Stevenage based social enterprise. There will be an opportunity to conduct Q&A’s with some of the well known and local actors and directors from these films.

Fun for the young ones… Visualise: Reloaded Presented by Science Made Simple Saturday 7 March 3.00pm

18 04 Letters In our pigeonhole this issue 05 Global Futures Congratulations! Graduating all over the world

Watch how this mix of physical theatre, live science demonstrations, projected images and music illuminates young minds. Experiments involving light, steam, smoke and sound waves present natural phenomena and create a world of wordless mystery!

We welcome alumni to our venues and offer concessionary rates to all ticketed events.

More information and bookings: Phone: +44 (0)1707 281127 Email:

06 News Stories from your alma mater 08 Retrospective From Font to Forum 11 COVER STORY Spotlight on... the University’s Environment team 14 Research Fighting flu, consuming coffee 18 Competition Remembering campus art 20 2020 Vision Your University, all our futures... 23 Alumni Fund Case study: how your donations are making a difference 24 Friends of the Turbi Sir Stuart Matthews and the student plane, 50 years on...


26 Graduate Futures How to make the most of their on-line services

Editor: Steve Corbett Production Manager: Jeremy Reid Art Editor: Dani Corbett Publisher: Alison Coles


Special thanks to: Kate Bellingham, Michelle Dixon, Katherine O’Brien, Satpal Bassan, Jo Wearne, Frances Elliott, Tobi Alli-Usman, Lindsay Tuke, Barbara MacPherson, Kelvin Ward, Sir Stuart Matthews, Professor Jonathan Morris, Professor Robyn Martin, Kate Cox, Natalie Fountain, Amisha Karin, Susie Barr, Anusha Everson, Dawn Causon, Lauren Johnson, Andrew Francis, Geraldine Ring, Jade Smith, Jo Iles, Naomi Kotz, Hajrë Hyseni, Dawn Howton and Ian Scott Photography Contact us: Development and Alumni Office, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL10 9AB Telephone: +44 (0)1707 284480 Switchboard: +44 (0)1707 284000 Email: Website:

29 Alumni Profiles Your loves, lives and careers... 31 de Havilland Circle Recognising our leadership donors 32 Flare The business ideas challenge 34 The Alumni Association Be a part of it 35 Events All around campus and beyond...

20 03





We’d love to hear your feedback on Futures or anything to do with your time here… Please email us at:, or write to: Development and Alumni Office, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL10 9AB

For Auld Lang Syne…




…as the old Scottish Hogmanay tune goes. And as we look forward into the New Year, the sentiment of toasting days gone by seems particularly apt when attributed to you - our past generations – whatever the season may be. So, welcome to Futures magazine – your regular slice of all things past and present here on campus. And can I just say a huge thank you for the tremendous feedback we received on the summer edition. It really is appreciated. This time around we raise our glasses to the institutional College Lane watering hole, The Font; as it calls time for the very last time in lieu of the new Forum opening later this year. In our cover story, we take a topical look at the award winning work being carried out by the UH Environment team in our ‘Spotlight On..’ article, and we also ask you to comment from your own professional sectors on where you think we might be a decade from now; helping the University to strategise a ‘2020 Vision’ for the future. So read on – and from all of us here in the alumni office, here’s to a happy and prosperous New Year. We hope that wherever you are, you have enjoyed your seasonal celebrations this winter. And if it was a little excessive… see you at the gym!


Alison Coles Head of Development and Alumni


Kate Bellingham President of the UH Alumni Association


I visited the new campus a few months ago for your science research showcase, and I was very impressed with how the place has grown since I graduated in 1992. You may remember that 1992 was quite a key year for the University of Hertfordshire. It’s the year it changed from Hatfield Polytechnic to UH, and I was part of that first cohort that sat their exams on Hatfield Polytechnic exam paper, but ended up with a University of Hertfordshire degree certificate. Anyway, I have lots of nice things to say about UH, and

WOW! - what a write up (re ‘Pixel Perfect’, in the Summer 08 issue). It’s a great article and so well written. Thank you for being so complementary about the show. Sol Rogers. Just wanted to say congratulations on the summer edition of the magazine…it looks (and reads) great. Lucy Griffiths.

Trinidad go and Toba

o Agency; Steve Corbett


ere, in the UH Alumni Association, keeping in contact with over 100,000 people of all walks of life is, well, tricky. If you graduated a while ago, it may well be that your old stomping ground appears to have changed so much that you don’t feel any particular affinity to UH as it is today? But this is where you couldn’t be more wrong. Universities cannot grow without the vital, core element that is their student body and the accomplishments of every single generation of their alumni. Each and every one of you is responsible for the recognition we have seen year-upon-year on our Hatfield campuses and beyond. Since the 1950’s, the goals and values of the institution have remained exactly the same - and this is why we want you to feel proud of your academic lineage, and of the University each of you had a hand in building. Whatever the logo looks like, or whatever it may be known as these days, you are all, and always will be, alumni of this institution. Something all of us who have studied here can be justly proud of.

how the confidence I built while at university still helps me in my business life even today. I also read in Futures about the mentoring programme. I would be interested to find out more, and whether there is a way that I can ‘give back’ a little to the University, using my skills and experience to perhaps help encourage future generations of students. Congratulations also on Futures magazine – I much prefer the format and content of this compared to XUH. David Whale.

Photography: Papadakis Press Phot

A letter from Kate…

News from probably the oldest Old Students (1952-4)! Once again we were able to meet – seven students and four husbands. This time we were in Stratford-upon-Avon and managed to combine a visit to a very unusual ‘’Taming of the shrew’’ with our annual lunch and general get-together. We are now working on ideas for next year! Ruth Lewis.

Mala ysia



2008 The University of Hertfordshire. Proud mother of circa 5,000 scholarly offspring all around the world, graduating in 2008 with a degree, Master’s, Honorary award or Fellowship. From St Albans to Trinidad, Hong Kong to Malaysia, Midwifery to Computer Science, Engineering to Philosophy, Finance to Fine Art… Last year UH degrees of all manner of skills and disciplines were handed to every worthy recipient as they moved on to the next stages of their lives and careers. And like all chuffed parents at Graduation, your Alma Mater was there with a camera – clicking away to make sure she never forgets a single moment… fÈ 05

futuresÈ WINTER 09

futuresÈ NEWS


We bring you a taste of some recent highlights on and around your campus... DEBBIE UPTON Humanities Alum and Deputy Head of Enfield County School

Something to Aspire to

The University of the Year Award

Last summer, the University of Hertfordshire was shortlisted for The Times Higher Education 2008 ‘University of the Year Award’. The Times Higher Education Awards, now in their fourth year, acknowledge the ground breaking work undertaken by UK higher education institutions, and to be shortlisted for the award is a great honour. The other institutions shortlisted, were: King’s College London, University of Dundee, University of Leicester, University of Liverpool and the University of Surrey. The winner was announced at the awards ceremony, held at Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London, at the end of October (2008), and our congratulations this year went to the University of Leicester. At the time of shortlisting, Ann Mroz, Editor, Times Higher Education, commented: The Awards recognise the very best in higher education in the UK and we are delighted to announce that The University of Hertfordshire has made it on to the shortlist for The University of the Year. Our senior advisory panel has been taken from all fields of academia and had to choose from hundreds of firstclass entries – only the best made it through to our shortlist.” 06

The end of 2008 saw the launch of a new initiative: ‘Project Aspire’. The project is comprised of material written by current journalism students, profiling successful UH alumni. These include a West End musical actor, a charity founder, and an entrepreneur. The aim of the project is to give journalism undergrads real-life experience, whilst providing a hub of inspiration and career lessons for current students. Read all the Aspire profiles on the alumni web portal.


The annual birthday party of UH Recordings and its subsidiary student record label Infuse, took place on 25 November last year, on the College Lane campus. Staff, students, artists and friends gathered in the Art and Design Gallery, for food, drink and a deserved celebration of their achievements so far. The month marked the labels’ 2nd and 1st anniversaries respectively; UHR launched as the University’s first wholly owned, (classical orientated) recording company in November 2006, with Infuse being set up as its student-only indie label a year later. A speech by UHR’s Executive Producer (and Emeritus Professor of Music), Howard Burrell, announced the commission of a new recording studio on College Lane, and congratulated everybody who has been involved with labels on their achievements over the last two years. Also giving a speech was Infuse’s enigmatic debut recording artist, David Mapp – whose new album ‘On Sex and Suicide’ was exclusively handed out to all the evening’s guests.

On Tuesday 18 November last year, the first student to Graduate from the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Postgraduate Medical School proudly attended the ceremonies at St Alban’s Cathedral to collect her MSc certificate. Along with her equally proud dog, Denzel. Annette Aldridge, from Hemel Hempstead (who was awarded her MSc in Dermatology Skills and Treatment), has bilateral sensory hearing loss, which has resulted in the gradual deterioration of her hearing over the years. This in turn has culminated in the need for Denzel - her Hearing Dog - to be her constant companion. “When the MSc in Dermatology Skills and Treatment was developed by the Postgraduate Medical School at the University, I jumped at the chance to enrol and so did Denzel,” said Annette. “He settled well into University life and helped to break down perceived communication barriers between myself, students and University staff.” Madeleine Flanagan, Programme Leader in the MSc Dermatology Skills and Treatment, added: “Denzel gave Annette the confidence to join in class discussions and become a confident member of her student group. He ensured that lecturers were always reminded of her needs - even if he did have the rather disconcerting habit of snoring in class.” Annette enjoyed the course so much that she now wishes to hone her surgical skills and has plans to undertake a course in Advanced Dermatology Surgery.

The Real University Challenge

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tim Wilson delivered his 2008 public lecture to a near capacity audience, including members of the Board of Governors, representatives from the business community, staff, students and alumni, at the Weston Auditorium in October. Entitled, ‘Enterprising economies: The real university challenge’, the lecture was thought-provoking, forward looking and timely – as the consequences of the credit crunch are faced by the country and across the world. Professor Wilson, who was introduced by University Chancellor, Lord Salisbury, said, “The key to prosperity is a sustainable enterprising economy.” “So how do we secure an enterprising economy? I believe it is a three-way inter-dependent partnership: wealth creating employment, talented people and a high quality community infrastructure,” he explained. In the face of the current economic climate an optimistic challenge was called for. Professor Wilson said: “Universities can no longer stand apart from the economic needs of our communities; it is time for universities to commit to partnership with our civic leaders. It is time to promote an enterprise economy. It is time for universities to step out of the shadows and step up to the mark. I believe it is time for universities to establish our place in the enterprise economy. That is the real university challenge.”

Top ten tips...

on surviving a recession Frugal advice from the Business School’s very own Andrew Francis.


ANDREW FRANCIS Head of the Marketing Enterprise Department and

HAVE A PLAN It’s not just businesses that should plan, especially when times are turbulent. How are you going to achieve your goals, especially those you’ll need to help survive a recession? It’s not enough to keep them in your head; get them on paper and set some timelines and reminders to check progress along the way – it really works.


HAVE A PLAN B Just in case, as sometimes even when things seem bright, something unexpected can turn up to confound you!


INVEST IN YOURSELF Right now, possibly the one thing you can invest in with a degree of certainty is yourself. Whether you make a career change, go to university, or start a business, you are the one investment that can truly change your life.


UPGRADE YOUR CV In my opinion, one of the best ways to guard against a recession is to ensure that at work, you are as credible as you can be and this might mean upgrading your educational qualifications or honing those all important job skills.


MAINTAIN THOSE LONG TERM INVESTMENTS Even though the recession appears to be biting, it will pass eventually. Recessions are temporary, one to two years typically, but your long term investments are likely to be over 10, 20 or 30 years. So think long term and don’t worry too much if they suffer a bit in the short term.


BE ENTERPRISING Recessions are great opportunities for the entrepreneur, although this approach is not for the faint-hearted but an enterprising mind can not only survive a recession but gain significantly from it.


TIGHTEN YOUR BELT If you become affected by the recession, then if you’ve been demonstrating a little financial control of late, it may ease the pain. Audit your expenditure and try to keep a little in reserve.... and if you have responsibilities, then frankly you may need a lot in reserve.


SPEND LESS - SHOP ONLINE This may seem quite frivolous, but shopping online using one of the plethora of cashback sites available is an easy way to save money.


NETWORK Great, whatever the economic climate, but to hedge your bets, crank up your networking activity and explore every opportunity.


DON’T PANIC I read somewhere that in times of a recession you should “walk softly but carry a big stick!” In other words, if the recession begins to directly affect you, don’t act rashly, take your time, research your options and act with knowledge and confidence. fÈ



Font The

of all

knowledge For those of you who will always feel that you learned more about life, the universe and everything in the Font Bar than you ever did in a lecture theatre (but perhaps always forgot it all the next morning?), this year really will see the end of an era. Making way for what promises to be a £38 million entertainment utopia, the old SU bar is about to close its doors forever. But can we hear anyone complaining? As we bid the Font farewell, ladies and gentlemen – please be upstanding for… The Forum *.


t was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness”. OK, so it’s unlikely Charles Dickens ever drank, ate, or DJ’d in the Font. But anyone who has will undoubtedly be able to relate their student memories (of great nights and sticky endings) to the infamous opening line of his classic novel. Although in this case… the story is ‘a tale of two venues’. For countless generations studying here in Hatfield, the Font Bar (previously known as The Hub) has proudly staked its claim as the main nightclub venue, watering hole, social meeting ground, and purveyor of plastic cups on campus. Nestled deep in the heart of the Student Union building, it has played host to many a DJ, band, quiz, comedy performance, drinks promotion, theme night (from school disco to doctors and nurses, pyjamas to beach parties), and every style of music that has ever been. It’s that special breed of nightclub that opens for business at ten o’clock in the morning, and that only time in your life when frequenting one at that time seems perfectly acceptable (even if it is just for a jacket potato…). And as those of you who contacted me through the alumni Facebook group have proved (many thanks to you all for contributing your favourite memories of the place), each generation has a particular element of fondness and familiarity with their old haunt… From “the vinyl furniture” to “ice fights behind

the bar before it was split into two”, “the ‘font mud’ the sticky stuff on the dance floor that would cover your toes!”, “Bob the barman”, “the bar staff picking up plastic cups off the floor at the end of the night with 2 plastic food trays!”, “volunteering to drive someone to hospital with blood pouring from a cut above his eye!”, “watching other people make idiots of themselves!”, and one particular memory - “when we destroyed the old font and played noughts and crosses on the walls in spray paint”… These days, despite an extensive refurbishment in the summer of 2002, the low-lit, paint-peeling, battle-scarred décor tells a thousand such juicy stories of student-merriment. The other quintessential side of the University experience, that after long days of essays, lectures and practical assessments, invariably leads to stealing shopping trolleys with a traffic cone on your head. The

Inset and opposite Familiar lasting images of the Font Bar on College Lane


http:// hertfordshire






With award-winning projects rapidly reducing our carbon footprint on campus, we asked alumni contributor, Satpal Bassan to find out why the UH Environment Team really are in...

A league of their own



Above Computer generated image of how the Forum will look once completed Right Under construction: the build is due to open in September (2009)

its own theme, and completely separate from the main 2,000capacity auditorium. Where The Font often has appearances by guest DJ’s and hosts the likes of Holly Willoughby and Vernon Kay, this main space will be able to accommodate, larger professional acts, transforming the University’s events calendar. And the new build is not just aimed to replace The Font either. The project is an entire re-generation of the south end of College Lane; including shops, a coffee bar and restaurant, new bus stop terminals and a brand new, purpose-built nursery. So, as much as we may miss The

Font - and all it’s classic debauchery - maybe the modern-day demands of our future generations are ready to cast off the traffic cones, and enter a new realm of more civilised student recreation? Only time will tell. But either way, may we thank The Font – and all those who have sailed in her – for the indelible mark they have left on College Lane, and look forward to The Forum opening later this year. No doubt, it will follow in the footsteps of the de Havilland campus, further transforming the face and facilities of the University forever. And perhaps even play host to the most state-of-the-art, 2000strong pyjama party the world has ever seen… fÈ

Photography: Ian Scott

very odour of the place has that age-old familiarity; the open, split-level space prevents it smelling like an old fusty pub, and yet it has that distinctive, yeasty bouquet brought about by years of beer being absorbed into the walls and furniture. And so, with such an entrenched and beloved heritage on College Lane, what could possibly usurp this esoteric Mecca of student partying? Enter, The Forum. The Student Union’s ambitious new ‘state-of-the-art entertainment space’ - and perhaps with it, a new age for the social exploits of the 21st century student? Due to open in the 2009/10 academic year, the £38 million Forum will cater for the recreational needs of our future generations at a commercial level – making it one of the most impressive and professionally capable venues in the area. It will boast not just one, sticky-floored club/bar, but three (no doubt beautifully shiny-floored) – each set on a different level with

e have all heard of the football Premier League, but how many of you out there have heard of the Green League? No it’s not aliens from outer space dressed in football shirts bending the ball like Rooney and co. The Green League, which was established by The People and Planet Network in 2007, is in fact the only league table showing the environmental performance of Britain’s universities. Its purpose? To show how 119 universities around the country have managed environmental issues on their site. In 2008 the Green League placed the University of Hertfordshire in joint fifth place alongside the prestigious University of Cambridge, the popular Loughborough University and the University of Central Lancashire. This was the second year running in which UH achieved a top five position in the league. So what have been the key forces behind UH’s success? Credit has to be given to UH’s Environment Team who have successfully implemented three key programmes -the Carbon Management Programme, the Sustainable Purchasing Project and the Ecocampus Environmental Management System. The idea: to emphasise UH’s endeavour towards achieving environmental sustainability. Working in conjunction with the Carbon Trust, an organisation that helps organisations reduce their carbon emissions, the Carbon Management Programme aims to reduce the University’s carbon emissions through energy efficiency projects and behaviour change campaigns 11




amongst UH’s estates staff, academics and the student body. Michelle Dixon, Environmental Advisor at the University of Hertfordshire described the philosophy behind the Carbon Management Programme: “The Carbon Management Programme aims to reduce the University’s carbon emissions by 20% by 2012. As part of this, the University is investing over £1.5million in improving the energy efficiency of our campuses. We are also asking staff and students to reduce energy wastage, make more sustainable travel choices and to reduce and recycle their waste. At the end of the day the cheapest and easiest way for us to cut our carbon emissions is to change our behaviour.” One of the first things the University is doing is to fit meters in all its buildings to see where the most energy wastage occurs and plan where to focus their efforts. The programme also saw the launch of the campaign UH is Your Planet: Climate Change It! which was developed to make both the University’s staff and its students more aware of UH’s commitment to reduce its carbon emissions. A key success factor of this programme has been the implementation of new recycling facilities around the University and in the halls of residence which collectively enable UH to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill. Since the introduction of these facilities the University’s recycling rate has increased to over 50%, which is seen as an improvement on the 5% that was recycled 5 years ago. But this campaign is not only designed to promote environmental change on a large scale and other equally important projects, such as the Sustainable Purchasing Project, have been developed under this umbrella term to make individuals aware of the smaller changes they can make in their everyday lives. The Sustainable Purchasing Project focuses on ensuring key suppliers to the University conform to environmental standards. The project ranges from considering sustainable purchasing in the design of UH buildings to exploring opportunities for reuse and recycling of materials. However, none of these projects could have been possible without the Ecocampus Environmental Management System which provides universities with the tools necessary to assist them in moving towards environmental sustainability and adopt good operational and risk management practices. It also awards universities on the successful implementation of these practicies. Having already gained the Ecocampus bronze award for environmental planning in February 2008 and the silver award for implementing policies in April 2008, UH aims to complete the gold and platinum phases, by July 2009. The gold award recognises the successful operation and operational control of environmental policies. Whereas, the platinum award is the highest award available and acknowledges the implementation of action plans that facilitate continuous environmental improvements. So is being environmentally friendly as complex as it sounds? Aside from the financial commitment what is certain is that being green is not rocket science. UH’s continual success in the Green League and EcoCampus awards, shows that it is practical for organisations to become more environmentally friendly. By taking action under the Carbon Management Programme, UH are projected to save over £1 million, showing that being environmentally friendly can also be friendly on the purse-strings. Anyone for a front row seat to a greener future? fÈ 12

‘‘ A winning team: UH Environmental Advisors, Katherine O’Brien (left), and alumnus Michelle Dixon (right)

The University is investing over £1.5 million in improving the energy efficiency of our campuses



Pandemic Cultures

Scratching once again beneath the surface of pioneering research being undertaken by UH, this issue Steve Corbett turns to Europe; from the spread of Italian coffee shop culture, to the pandemic threat of the Flu virus across the EU. For a paranoid hypochondriac with an addiction to espresso-based beverages, perhaps he should have turned the other way…




hen these two papers were posed as potential subjects for our regular research article, I had some personal reservations. Fascinating though I knew they would be, I also knew that they would prey mercilessly upon two of my biggest weaknesses; health scares and expertly crafted lattes. And neither one needs any encouragement. OK, so that may be a little overdramatic… but in truth, the scare of pandemic disease and the desire to sup strong, steaming, espressobased coffee from a porcelain cup (or plastic lid respectively) extends to many more people than myself. And at a time of year when coughs and sneezes make most of us want to wrap up warm and reach for that hot beverage – what better time to take a closer look at them both? In the name of widespread, seasonal topicality, it was time to ‘man-up’ and face both fear and addiction head-on in the name of journalistic integrity. “We are now preparing for a likely pandemic of human influenza deriving from avian influenza, for which there are yet no vaccines or effective medicines.” This very direct, stark statement is taken from the research paper supporting the PHLawFlu project; a major EU project (co-funded by the European Union Public Health Programme), for which the University of Hertfordshire is lead partner. Led by Professor Robyn Martin, who is based in the Centre for Research

in Primary and Community Care, the project addresses how current public health laws in the UK and throughout much of Europe, would aid the containment and control of a widespread outbreak of highly communicable disease. Particularly pertinent at a time when scientists believe that in the fallout of ‘Bird Flu’ (initially in Asia, and recently across some parts of Europe), we are now on the verge of a new – currently untreatable - strain of human influenza. So, in the face of pandemic disease, why might the law be of such importance to us? In November 2002, a farmer in the Guangdong Province of China was admitted to his local hospital with extreme viral symptoms. He died soon after, with no definite diagnosis as to the cause. Within months, the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) epidemic had spread across South East Asia and Canada. With science fighting to understand and treat this completely unknown disease, it was the public health laws and


Opposite page If faced with a new untreatable flu pandemic, updated public health laws in areas such as quarantine will be essential in its containment

as contact tracing and quarantine - which prevented it spreading further across the globe. And while for many of us, words such as ‘outbreak’ and ‘quarantine’ may conjure up images from season 3 of 24 (the award-winning US action drama series), without the fictional prowess of Jack Bauer singlehandedly averting such a disaster, the situation was, and still remains very real. As Professor Martin outlines in the report, the development of modern medicine has caused public health law to be a “much neglected discipline” in the EU. She argues that if we are to face a public health crisis across the continent, a coherent legal framework will be vital in conducting a formulated response to an outbreak such as flu. A formal network of expertise in public health law across Europe is also imperative; much of the current law on disease control in the UK for example, has not been addressed for over a century. The current laws with their outdated perceptions, the report tells us, “are grounded in nineteenth century mores. Many national disease control laws fail to recognise contemporary issues of human rights and human ethics.” And many other EU Member States have identified the same needs to revise and reform their programmes. Alongside Professor Martin and the University of Hertfordshire, the four applicant partners involved in

In the fallout of ‘Bird Flu’, we are now on the verge

of a new untreatable strain of human influenza.

coordinated response in these countries that enabled its effective containment. Public health law is something that preliminary research by partners involved in this study has recognised as being outdated, incoherent and inconsistent across the UK and Europe. The control of the SARS outbreak was largely down to legislative measures, such


gaining funding for the project by the EU, were the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Technische Universitat, Dresden, INSERM 558 Unit/Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Toulouse, and Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon. Additionally however, the PHLawFlu project has 15



an extensive list of collaborating partners, including WHO (World Health Organisation) Europe, WHO Geneva, academic and governmental bodies in the 32 Member States involved in the study – and key institutions in countries outside the EU (such as Hong Kong, Australia and the US). These countries outside Europe are good examples of those who have focused far more on updating their legal protocol in terms of effectively preventing and containing disease. Professor Martin and the team are hoping that by addressing these issues now, and establishing a European Public Health Law Network *, they can promote crucial revisions to the current legislation on disease control all across Europe. The parliamentary processes involved in making any legislative changes are of course inevitably slow, and so by acting now, the project’s endgame will be to have the necessary levels of containment and precaution in place, if faced with pandemic influenza. It is a huge and vitally important area of research – not least of all for the University, whose role as lead partner in the project will serve to increase its research status enormously. Upon awarding the funding, the EU reviewers described the work as “a valuable project for the Commission’s further coordination of activities in the field of preparedness to public health crises.” Completion date for the


trading very successfully on the stylishness of Italian culture. Arriving in Italy as far back as the 16th century (and made using methods of Turkish origin for elite coffee houses), the international rise in popularity of Italian style coffee has for the most part, been a steady slow-burner – predominantly over the last few decades. Since the end of the last millennium however, the caffè latte has joined Star Wars, bubblegum, the Beatles, and could even be bigger than Girls Aloud in the annals of popular culture. Along with all its espresso-based cousins, it is something that has become synonymous with contemporary city life all over the world - and whilst now branching out into more provincial climes, shows no sign of slowing down. And with a personal and professional interest in Italy, it is this recent phenomenon that led Professor Jonathan Morris of the University’s School of Humanities to seek funding from the Cultures of Consumption Research Programme (jointly run by the Economic and Social Research Programme, and the Arts and Humanities Research Council). As a result, since September 2004, he has undertaken a study (along with researcher Claudia Baldoli) that has taken him through more than 100 years of Italian coffee as we know it today (the ‘Ideale’, the first ever espresso machine was created in Milan in 1905), charting


The Caffè Latte has joined Star Wars, bubblegum and the Beatles in the annals of popular culture. project will be December 2010. But disease aside there is also a more welcome phenomenon that has spread out of Europe - creating a global pandemic of a very different variety. A variety which includes Lavazza, Illy, Costa, Starbucks - and the nearinexhaustible list of coffee purveyors 16


the biography of espresso in a global and historical context. He has visited the largest trade shows, met with some of the most pedantic artisans in the business, and of course sampled countless cups of the beverage, becoming quite the connoisseur himself. When I met with Jonathan to

chain, after a visit to Italy). With the coffee house format entering into the UK in the 1990’s, by the year 2000, coffee had overtaken tea as the nations favourite beverage consumed outside the home. Today, Italian espresso coffee has spread throughout Europe and beyond; it is now more popular than filter coffee in Germany, and its popularity in Asia and the Middle East is also growing. The irony is that the one place the culture is

Right The introduction of a new method of making espresso in Milan in 1948 revolutionised both the beverage and the culture of its consumption


talk about his project (entitled, ‘The Cappuccino Conquests: The Transnational History of Italian Coffee’ * ), it was of course rather aptly over a hot cup of Joe (to use a colloquially American term). In the coffee bar at the MacLaurin Building, our young Barista (Italian for ‘bartender’, and the term most commonly given to those serving espresso in coffee houses), was Sibo. Only a couple of weeks into the job, and feeling the pressure (Professor Morris had after all been made a cappuccino by the World Barista Champion…), she was obviously a natural. Carefully studying her methods, he finally complimented Sibo on her “great pouring technique” as she added the frothy milk; an important, yet commonly overlooked finale to any great cup. Thoughtful and very softly spoken, Jonathan Morris has a calming presence about him, and I found him to be clearly as passionate about the cultural background of the subject as he is the taste of good espresso coffee. When I asked him what the most interesting part of the research was for him, after a short pause he replied: “I think its how complex coffee is in itself as a product. No

two blends are the same – it’s like an equation with a thousand different elements, which can change to fit different markets and different tastes.” And it was meeting people who’s levels of passion surpassed even his own, that made the research so enjoyable for him. For instance, one such example was an Italian gentleman who had an espresso machine installed in his house, who would routinely spend no less than 40 minutes preparation, getting everything right - before even pulling a shot. So how did Italian coffee become so popular? Although its basic conception had been brought about in 1905, it was in 1948 that the espresso was revolutionised into the more luxurious form we are familiar with today. This was due to the Ideale machine being superseded by the invention of the ‘Gaggia Classica’ – which was also created in Milan. Where the vertical boiler design of the Ideale had generated enough steam to force hot water through the ground coffee at 1.5 atmospheres, the Gaggia Classica used a manual levered spring piston, which easily produced a whole 9 atmospheres of pressure. This created a thicker espresso, topped with a creamy mousse

The irony is that the one place the culture is no longer growing is in Italy itself.

known as the ‘crema’; an instant commercial hit that could only be produced professionally in bars, developing the domestic culture of its consumption. Interestingly, a fad for creamy, ‘frothy coffee’ first spread to the UK during this time – originally served as a continental delicacy in fashionable department stores and nightclubs. During the 1950’s, this developed in a similar way to Italy, with designated ‘coffee bars’ being set up, as a trendy alternative to pubs (where younger people could socialise away from older generations). The coffee bar culture didn’t transcend into 60’s UK however, phasing out when a combination of factors such as changes to licensing laws, the pub environment, and the introduction of cheaper, simpler ‘pour-andserve’ coffee-making systems were introduced. It wasn’t until the late 1980’s, when members of the AngloItalian community such as the Costa brothers began introducing espresso-based coffee back to UK consumers – aided by simultaneous growth in other markets, by chains such as Starbucks in the States (when owner Howard Shultz turned the bean retailer into a coffee house




no longer growing is in Italy itself – whose exportation of roasted espresso has increased dramatically over the last decade. But it is still the quintessential ‘Italian-ness’ that remains a big part of the coffee house experience in other countries. And amidst all the clichés and stereotypes of ‘Italian passion’, when it comes to coffee, it’s easy to see why it’s a beneficial image to retain. As Jonathan discovered during his research, the true purists of this artisan craft still undoubtedly hail from Italy. Never more perfectly illustrated, than at the Italian History: History, Quality, Culture event here on campus. He recalls that the most memorable part was the National Institute for Italian Espresso being adamant that the huge number of coffee blends on offer could not under an circumstances be tasted in paper cups. Nor however, could they be sampled in just any porcelain espresso cups – they had to be the correct Italian-made porcelain espresso cups, with the custom bobble in the bottom to swirl the crema effectively. And when no supplier in Britain had that number of correct cups for the exhibition? They had them flown them in, in their hundreds, from Italy. And you can’t top that impassioned attention to detail with any amount of crema. fÈ 17


A blank campus


Whether or not you know your Monet from your Margareta Kern, whilst here on campus, you will have wandered past many pieces of our resident artwork more than a few times. But thinking about it now, how many of them made that lasting impression?... We’ve all seen them many times. Like the buildings and bustling students, the paintings and sculptures organically nestled around campus are very much a part of the University’s heritage and landscape. But as you rushed to your classes or office every day, or simply made your routine visit to the refectory/bar, which of our treasured pieces did you become most familiar with? Tell us where any of the following photos were taken, and the answers will be revealed in February’s edition of e-Futures. The person who recognised the most campus art will also be announced, and will receive £25 off any order at the UHShop. Please email your answers to:, with ‘CAMPUS ART COMPETITION’ in the subject heading... Good luck!






3 18


futuresÈ 2020 VISION

“Then tell me, ‘Future Boy’, who’s President in the United States in 1985?”

Do you have an insight that will help us form a vision of the University in 10 years? Email us with your thoughts and predictions at (or via the alumni group page on Facebook), with the subject heading: ‘2020 Vision’.

Back to the Future


n Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale’s astutely crafted screenplay for the1985 time-travel romp, Back to the Future, much of the dialogue penned for Dr Emmet Brown’s crazed, breakneck delivery is given to his extremely insightful observations on the ‘future’. By writing a story about travelling back to 1955, they did of course have 30 years of cultural reference to draw on. When the 50’s ‘Doc’ poses the above question to our protagonist, Marty McFly (to add bearing to Marty’s claim of having travelled back in time from 1985), he finds his answer of Ronald Regan utterly absurd. Only to retract when observing video evidence, with the line: “No wonder your President has to be an actor... he’s gotta look good on television.” 20

That 1950’s America would perhaps not have attributed mediafriendliness to being a key requisite for their Commander in Chief is a simple case in point. As is Zemeckis and Gale’s playful commentary on the burgeoning media-crazed society of the mid-1980’s, from the viewpoint of a simpler era. Cultural shifts and changed perceptions can be created with gradual knock-on effect by any imposing factor in our society. Not least of all technology. And today, the way in which even the most advanced media developments become instantlyabsorbed necessities in our everyday lives, creates continually new horizons over our social landscape. So when the way that we communicate, access and share information, undertake transactions, and consume our entertainment

media is dictated by the latest means we are given to do so, how does this then translate to the future face of higher education? And more specifically, if you combine these aspects of our culture with the political and environmental changes that will take place over the next decade, what will the University of Hertfordshire look like, and where should it aim to be by 2020? With the Government already looking across every sector, launching the debate on how to achieve the most successful and effective workforce over the next ten years, these are the questions being asked by Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Graham Galbraith, as he heads up the University’s own ‘2020 Vision’ project. With the input of staff and students, Professor Galbraith aims to use


As the first decade of the new Millennium is coming to a close, all eyes are looking towards the shape of things to come in the next ten years. But as is often said at times like these; you can of course predict everything except the future. Which is why we’re asking for your input, in forming the University of Hertfordshire’s ‘2020 Vision’…

every generational viewpoint to strategise how we can both align ourselves with, and accelerate the Government’s overall plan. Of course any discussion on the future of society automatically turns to the fantastical whims of science-fiction-made-real - fuelled by perpetual media reports of scientists on the cusp of medical and technological breakthroughs. Just around the alumni office, the subject generated talk of such ideas as autonomous ‘virtual lecturers’; the same teachings being delivered by any computer-generated holographic form, as specified by the individual student. One could be listening in earnest to Albert Einstein, whilst the person sitting next to them is receiving the same tutelage by a 7-foot alien? Who knows - maybe I would have paid far more attention to the history of Russian politics if it had been taught to me by Angelina Jolie? Looking back at my own university experience across a similar timeframe (let’s call it a ‘baker’s decade’ of 13 years ago…),

apart from the obvious juxtaposing cocktail of naiveté and bravado, the life of a 2008/09 undergrad is almost unrecognisable. Graduating in 1996, my years as a student went by without the mere mention - let alone use - of the internet. The small numbers of clunking PC’s in the library were slow and unintuitive to novices like me, and come the end of term, I would routinely pay a girl I knew to type my essays up for me, rather than waste that whole night before deadline trying to locate the power button. There were no all-singing, all-media, flavour-ofthe-month, iDevices to organise my life around. And with even the most basic mobile phone costing the Earth and weighing-in at the size of a small moon, not a single student was ever seen walking around with one. Instead, many an hour was spent lying in my corridor in Halls, chatting to my girlfriend on the ‘incoming calls only’ landline fought over by the entire floor. In just over a decade, the taken-for-granted minutiae of contemporary living has effectively transformed the way

Above What specialist skills and technological tools will our students have to carry into the workplace in 2020?

in which we do everything, giving today’s students a whole new set of priorities and life-skills. In 2020, our students will be the much talked about generation of ‘millennium babies’, upon which society has placed all our hopes and dreams. It is expected that there will be an equal percentage of men and women entering into the workplace, and improvements in medicine and longer life expectancy will also see a greater number of older people active in society – with a likely retirement age of 70. But we would like to hone these predictions even more - drawing on the experiences that you had both here, and in the professional sectors you have entered into since. To provide the necessary skills and training to create the future workforce of 2020, we must gain as much understanding as we can, of where society, business and industry are taking us. Because as Doc Brown so famously informs us: “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads...”. fÈ Steve Corbett 21

New releases from UHR and Infuse UHR, the University of Hertfordshire’s professional record label, has a growing reputation for pairing fantastic composers with talented musicians to produce new and interesting recorded works. Infuse, a division of UHR, is a record label designed to infuse students into the professional music industry through working with people already in the business.


Who careswins

One campaign, 10 student callers….3,590 phone calls….to you…..our wonderful alumni who have given us the opportunity to help our students…but why? Jo Wearne

Build up your collection of UHR and Infuse works with these fabulous new album releases… Aylwin String Quartet And the Birds Sang Too Isabel Chaplis and Karis Stretton Piano Music: Images and Impressions The Plaxtol Scholars Resonet in Laudibus John Hopkins The Music of John Hopkins The David Mapp Quintet On Sex and Suicide

The Vice Chancellor visits the callers

Available from: Or call: +44 (0) 1707 286066 UH Recordings Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Hertfordshire Company Reg. No 5846643



https://alumni. Go.aspx?Id=190

ome of you may have spoken to one of our student callers over the past few weeks and others of you may receive a call soon but what does the money you donate actually do? The first of the nine Alumni Fund * scholarships has been awarded to Jade Smith who is studying for her MSc Physicians Assistant degree. We let Jade do the talking; ‘After completing my BSc in Radiotherapy and Oncology at Hertfordshire I planned to take a year out to earn enough money to support myself through an MSc. When I heard that the Alumni Fund scholarship was available I applied immediately but carried on with trying to find a job – I knew I wouldn’t be eligible for any government funding or a loan so I would have to fund myself completely. After writing an essay and

attending an interview with the lecturers I was given the news that I had been selected to receive this scholarship. I was completely overwhelmed and, I know it sounds clichéd but, it really did turn my life around…I registered on the MSc course rather than taking a year out and some of my financial worries were alleiviated. I am now studying and on placement at the QE2 and Lister Hospitals from 8am – 5pm every day. I then work as a carer in the community from 6-10pm every night and some weekends to fund


It is difficult to put into words what a boost this scholarship has been – both financially and to my confidence. Thank you to everyone who made it possible, I am truly grateful and when I graduate I will definitely join you in donating to the Alumni Fund.’ Principal Lecturer, Maureen Brennan says ‘Jade is a committed student and when she graduates she will have the skills to assess, diagnose and treat a range of conditions either in A&E or on general wards under supervision.’

I am truly grateful and when I graduate I will


definitely join you in donating to the Alumni Fund. me through university and pay for my living expenses The £2,000 scholarship funding will be put towards my tuition fees, which is a huge help to me.

If you are interested in donating to the Alumni Fund please contact Joanne Wearne on +44 (0)1707 281273 or at fÈ 23


Experiencing a little Turbi-lence More than half a century ago, a small group of penniless aeronautical students decided that the only way they would ever realise their dreams and take to the skies, would be to build their very own aeroplane. Celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of their Turbi aircraft’s first flight, Futures met with Sir Stuart Matthews, to find out how he and a band of life-long friends took DIY to a whole new altitude…



t’s a well-known fact here at Alumni Towers that our very own Jeremy Reid is a bonafide, no-holds-barred, ‘friend of the Turbi’. From his desk in our office on the top floor of the University’s MacLaurin Building, our colleague’s tireless passion for UH’s aeronautical lineage is aided by the panoramic view beyond the de Havilland campus, right across what used to be Hatfield Airfield. And the many fantastic stories we collate from the Technical College’s early days of working with the de Havilland Aircraft Company are as limitless it seems as the sky itself. But you don’t have to be as passionate as our Jeremy to appreciate the story of this little Turbi; a two-seat aeroplane, built right here in Hatfield by a group of eight students in the 1950’s, that is still flying today. Based on an aircraft design by French engineer, Roger Druine, the Turbi project was conceived as

an affordable way for “a group of impecunious students” to learn to fly (at a time when flying lessons cost £3 per hour – more than a week’s wages for a student in the fifties). The same way that many great ideas come into being, the project was all about solving this problem. “Being aircraft design and production students,” explained Sir Stuart Matthews – one of the students involved in the build, “we might have liked to design our own aircraft from scratch. But that would have taken forever, so we went with Druine’s two-seat Turbi - an adaptation of his single seat Turbulent.” It was 1954. Lead by Neil Harrison and Tim Longley, Stuart, together with fellow students Chris Marsh, David Wingate, Manjit Rana, John Musto, Chris Batten, Jim Young, and David Bader, began building the aircraft’s various wooden sub-assemblies. Some parts were constructed at “Hatfield

Tech”, some in the neighbouring de Havilland factory, and smaller parts were even built in their individual homes. “Initially we got uncertain support from DH (de Havilland), but as the years went on, and the project finally looked more than just a ‘flash in the pan’ mad students’ dream, there was more positive help.” Stuart explained. “Particularly in having our pre-war engine reconditioned by the DH Engine Company”. Four years later, in August 1958, the big day finally came. Their very own Turbi was complete, and ready for take off. One of de Havilland’s senior test pilots, Pat Fillingham


decorated career in aviation. Among his many notable accomplishments and awards in the field, he helped build ‘the Comet’ (the world’s first jet airliner), worked on the Concorde programme, set up and ran the subsidiary of Dutch company Fokker Aircraft in North America, was elected President and CEO of the Flight Safety Foundation, and in 1994, he was knighted in the Order of Orange Nassau for his services to aviation by the Queen of the Netherlands. We caught up with Stuart on 9 August last year, when he visited the University from his home in Arlington, Virginia, (near to

Opposite page The Turbi re-lives that first momentous flight at its 50th anniversary last year. Insert: Sir Stuart Matthews Below bringing back old memories: the friends of the Turbi, August 2008.

Lunchtimes and evenings were favourite times


for giving joyrides to our fellow students

made the first flight, and the maiden voyage was an accomplished success, hardly needing any modification. Neil Harrison made the second flight, and a few days later, flew it across the English Channel to France to participate in a light aircraft rally: “Some might think doing that quite so soon was slightly foolhardy! - but everything went without a hitch”. A true testament to the hard work, skills and sheer passion of the young aeronautical engineers. “Soon the Turbi was flying all over the place.” Stuart recalled. “Neil Harrison and myself already had pilot’s licences that we had obtained prior to joining de Havilland as student apprentices. Consequently, we were the ones who hogged the flying in the beginning! – taking our fellow student constructors and a lot of others out at every opportunity. The aircraft was kept in a corner of the main DH flight hangar, so lunchtimes and evenings were favourite times for giving joy rides.” Since flying gliders at the age of 16, Sir Stuart has had a long,

Washington DC), for a tour of the School of Aerospace, Automotive and Design Engineering as it is today. It was the day of the Fiftieth Anniversary of that first momentous flight, and that evening, a reunion for most of the original team. The next day, a crowd of 60 people who had been involved with the plane over the years, congregated to witness a re-enactment of that day. Hampered only slightly by the weather, the Turbi flew once again.

“There are many more tales to tell of those heady days when it always seemed possible to get things done if one tried.” He said. “Somehow I doubt that it would be possible for students to undertake a similar project today, but I hope that I am wrong in that.” Thankfully, Stuart’s hopes that there are new generations of young, enthusiastic – and above all optimistic – students following in his footsteps and chasing down their dreams are contrary to his fears. Periodically, groups of likeminded students, dedicated to their discipline, and with all the requisite energy and passion for their cause, choose to go beyond the regular remit of their learning… And like the Turbi team, achieve something truly worthy of their hard work and innovation. Like fellow engineers, the Student Formula Team, with their award-winning race cars… Rather than being a product of the 50’s, I think we can look back on this admirable story, and see it as a product of youthful determination at the dawn of a lifelong passion. A passion and work ethic that stands individuals like these in extremely good stead for the careers they choose. Hopefully in essence, at some point in our lives, we are all true friends of the Turbi. fÈ



GRADUATE FUTURES Last issue, we introduced you to the launch of a unique new careers service – one that doesn’t just help final year students, but everyone from freshman to alumnus. This issue, we take a look at how even from the comfort of your own computer, no-one is better placed to help you progress (or assess) your chosen career… than Graduate Futures.


last summer. The Fair played virtual host to 630 registered job seekers and many of these posted their CVs for prospective employers to peruse online. Around 40 exhibitors participated in the Fair; ranging from Atkins to Venture Navigator - so watch out for further news as they are planning to hold something very similar annually. Another venture will be podcasts of soft skills workshops and events held around campus which you will soon be able to view online. Apart from all the new developments however, there are several services that you can already make the most of; so sit back, logon, and just ‘click here’... Facebook – www.facebook. com One of the most popular social networking sites. Logon, and search for Graduate Futures. The fan page has information and updates on talks, presentations, discussions and of course careers. A video outlines what the service does and


So sit back, logon, and just ‘click here’...

and business networking is fast becoming as blurred on the web as it is face to face. Which is where Graduate Futures comes in. The online presence of the Graduate Futures team is already widespread; and with more developments in the pipeline, this really is the time to start making the most of these services. For example, there’s the Virtual Careers Fair; which they were involved in 26

where to find them. You can access self help leaflets and also post direct questions to members of staff. Events and their details are also posted on here and of course you are invited too. – http://delicious. com/graduatefutures Delicious is a bookmark sharing site with careers, employer and professional body resources.

Visiting the Graduate Futures webpage allows you to search for specific careers information, job search websites or just browse online magazines. Each section on the webpage is tagged by subject area and very easy to find. Second Life – http://wiki.feis. of_Hertfordshire If you haven’t done so already, explore the University of Hertfordshire island within Second Life. Use your ‘avatar’ (virtual self) to interact with other alumni, members of staff, students, businesses and research communities. Key features include voice chat, media streaming facilities, presentation space, meeting places and conference areas. JobsNetPlus – www.herts. jobsnetplus JobsNetPlus is free and open to students and alumni. You can search for vacancy and employer listings for work experience opportunities, first employment and graduate jobs. Alumni can use the service to advertise your organisation’s vacancies and if job hunting, set up e-mail alerts which make it even easier to keep up to date with new entries that match your personal criteria. Graduate Futures Website – graduatefutures Just click on the ‘Our services to you’ section, and you’ll find a whole page on services to alumni. fÈ



ocial networking sites. We’ve all heard of them. Lots of people are using them. And many people… well… spend more time logged on to them in an average day or night than they do, say, breathing. But like all good advancements in social and personal technology, the reputation of such a phenomenon is polarising; as embraced and enjoyed by some as it is misunderstood and feared by others. And these sites and services are certainly no different. For a start, they’re just for kids, right? A sort of jacked-up, electronic cross-pollination of surfing the net, MSN/text messaging and online video gaming - that’s of no real use or benefit to any sane, mature adult, other than keeping their offspring out of their hair for hours on end. Well, this may have been the case in the not-too-distant past - but if you are at the front end of contemporary business and have your finger on the rising pulse of new media, you’ll know that the line between social networking


Would you like to become a Chartered Engineer?

If you have a BEng degree in Engineering or a BSc in Computing this work-based MSc may be for you. The MSc Professional Engineering has been developed with the Engineering Council, the IET, IMechE and the RAeS to meet the academic requirements of UKSPEC leading to full institution membership and Chartered Engineer Status. The programme is designed to be based upon a series of projects that you undertake in the workplace but that are overseen by the University and that are subject to the same quality standards as our on campus courses.

For further information visit professionalengineering contact Dr David Pearce on +44 (0)1707 284231 or email


Where are they now? Artist? Carer? Dotcom millionaire? Send us your profile, and let all those who knew you back then read about you right now…

Hashi Mohammed

Year Graduated: 2007 Course Studied: BA (Hons) Law and French Current Employer: BBC Area: London My main objective was very clear when I came to UH - I needed to test the limits of my capabilities and leave, intellectually, a shadow of the man I was. I think that I have been largely successful in doing that. My experience at UH has prepared me in many ways, the people I met, lecturers and fellow students, have taught me a great deal about law and life in general. With encouragement from special teachers, I was able to nurture a healthy level of doubt with the view of questioning everything and trying to offer solutions to some of the world’s social and legal challenges. I have also forged precious friendships with my contemporaries and try to maintain, wherever possible, contact with my former fellow students as well as lecturers. I have been working as a BBC journalist for a year on News and Current Affairs programmes like Newsnight, Today Programme and News. I started my Master’s in African Studies and Arabic at St - Antony’s College, Oxford in October 2008

Hayley Mercer

Year Graduated: 2003 Course Studied: Physiotherapy Current Employer: Handicap International Area: Papua New Guinea Until recently I was working for Voluntary Service Overseas in Papua New Guinea (PNG) as a Physiotherapist and Disability Mainstreaming Officer. I was developing a series of training seminars for VSO and other NGO Physiotherapists and newly qualified PNG National Physiotherapists regarding HIV and AIDS. This pilot project aims to empower Physiotherapists to support improvements to the quality of life of people living with HIV and AIDS. They hope to undertake a research element that will be looking at how effective the two-day training session is in encouraging physiotherapists based in Goroka and Kundiawa to incorporate HIV into their work and train-up Community Based Rehabilitation workers in HIV-related issues. I am now working for Handicap International as a volunteer in Ethiopia. I am the Rehabilitation Project Manager, based in Dire Dawa and Jijiga hospitals and refugee camps, for the next 2 years. My main role is to build the capacity of Ethiopian Physiotherapists, through training and raising the awareness of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation within the hospital and community.

David Eames


Year Graduated: 1976 Course Studied: Mechanical Engineering Current Employer: Rolls-Royce Corporation Area: Indianapolis, Indiana, USA I was a 5-year apprentice at Rolls-Royce (Leavesden) and completed the first four years at ‘Hatfield Poly’! Dr Bhinder helped develop my interest in thermodynamics which has served me well throughout my career. After graduation, I completed an MSc at Cranfield and stayed with Rolls-Royce until 1979. My wife and I then moved to the US where I worked at Boeing in Seattle for two years until re-joining Rolls-Royce Inc. in Atlanta. During my fourteen years there, I managed the engine installation group supporting the US/ UK Advanced Short Takeoff and Vertical Landing program that eventually became today’s Joint Strike Fighter. In 1995, Rolls-Royce purchased the Allison Engine Company and moved us to Indianapolis. Since that time, I have held various chief engineer positions from preliminary design, research and technology strategy, business development and onto my current position as chief systems engineer for early program development. Thanks to UH for helping launch my career in aerospace! You can contact me on Facebook. 29




Hilary Ruth Laurie

Year Graduated: 1992 Course Studied: Psychology Current Employer: Retired Area: Huddersfield From 1992-1998, I was a Basic grade then Higher Forensic Psychologist. I worked with ‘lifers’ and helped implement a cognitive skills course nationally - including designing and administering staff training. I was a Senior Psychologist from 1998-2000, working with maximum security prisoners mainly - mostly those with problematic personality disorders. I moved on to become a Principal Psychologist from 2000-2003, managing and supervising trainee forensic psychologists in High Security Estate. I also travelled to Russia to advise on the introduction and application of Forensic Psychology in situ, and travelled to Canada to assess the suitability of programmes for UK usage. I helped design and implement the new MSc in Forensic Psychology at the University of York, and helped introduce Dialectical Behaviour Therapy for the treatment of severe Borderline Personality Disorder in incarcerated women. Later on however, I fell over on a proverbial wet floor and damaged my spine! I’m now on my own (and loving it!) but with family close by - so I’m having the chance to use my developmental psychology on 2 grandchildren! My interests are dogs (2 of them), singing with Huddersfield Choral Society (a BIG commitment), walking (though now rather more restricted), politics (activist in Lib-Dems), being a Quaker (a full-time job in itself) - and anything else I can fit in!

Moises Enrique Rodriguez

Year Graduated: 1986 Course Studied: Industrial Engineering Current Employer: Nestlé Area: Switzerland I am the only Colombian I know of to attend the Hatfield Polytechnic, and I obtained a BSc in Industrial (now Manufacturing Systems) Engineering in 1982-1986. After Hatfield, I went on to do a Master’s in Computer Science at The University of Birmingham (1987) and then moved to Switzerland, where I had just been offered a job. I have lived in Switzerland ever since, where I have occupied several positions in Manufacturing and IT systems engineering in both industry and academia. Since 1998 I have worked for Nestlé, and my job has taken me to countries as diverse as Denmark, Norway, the United States, Portugal, Ghana, Brazil, Poland and Bulgaria ... in the last case for a full year. My true interest, however, is history and my book ‘Freedom’s Mercenaries’, about British soldiers of fortune in the Wars of Independence of Latin America in the 19th century, was published in 2006. My second book, ‘Under the Flags of Freedom’, about British volunteers in the Iberian Civil Wars of the 19th century and the Greek War of Independence, is planned for 2009. I married a Ukrainian but got divorced ... Alas, I learned some Russian as a result which is often useful on a Saturday night.

Celine Samarasinhe

Year Graduated: 1995 Course Studied: Councelling-Enb Current Employer: Barnet Primary Health Care Trust Area: London and Sri Lanka After training and working as a district nurse, I decided to take a course in counselling at UH. This has proved to be invaluable in my career since then. In 1999 I set up the first ever Community Health Care Service in Sri Lanka, in one of the slums just outside Colombo. This has now grown to 3 projects with 25 employees and around 60 active volunteers. This charity, called SHARE, now has a centre in Payagala, one of the fishing villages hit badly by the tsunami in 2005. The health centre counselled patients, provided new fishing boats, and continues to aid rehabilitation by running health education classes. The most recent health centre, in Anuradhapura (opened in January 2008) has 142 patients who would otherwise have little or no access to medical care. I have received an award from the Archbishop of Westminster, an Unsung Hero award from the Celebrities Guild of Great Britain, and the Social and Humanitarian Award from the Asian Women’s Achievement Awards in 2006. My experience at UH gave me confidence to achieve more and more with SHARE. If you want to do something good, it can go a long way.... but start small and have a goal you can achieve. More about Celine’s foundation can be found at 30


increasing Marking the launch of our exclusive donor leadership group, Lord Salisbury hosts the Founding Members… of the de Havilland Circle


he University has of course always been extremely grateful to its many friends, supporters and benefactors. Particularly those philanthropic individuals whose long-term generosity towards our campaigns really has set a precedent for charitable giving. So


last year, we decided that it was about time they were honoured with the galvanised level of recognition they deserve. Therefore, 24 October 2008 saw the official launch the de Havilland Circle; an exclusive leadership group bringing together the University’s most generous

Pictures Access all areas: Lord Salisbury kindly gave his guests a tour of his private quarters at Hatfield House

individual donors. The launch event was hosted by the Marquess of Salisbury, who was kind enough to grant an extremely rare, personal tour of his private apartments at Hatfield House. The tour was also accompanied by a supper in the historic dining room – where we were granted exclusive permission to photograph for the occasion. The ‘Founding Members’ of the group are those who have been recognised for each giving £25,000 or more to development projects or endowed scholarships; which currently includes, Lady Staughton, Queen Guitarist and astronomer Brian May, and Vice-Chancellor Professor Tim Wilson. fÈ



The guy’s got flare *

When it comes to being an entrepreneur, those who have what it takes to win a project like Flare – the University’s business ideas challenge – don’t have their fingers on the pulse... They are the pulse. And with the deadline for this year’s competition looming, Steve Corbett meets last year’s winner to find out why everybody else struggles just to place their finger on them.


An opportunity like

Flare is a God-send 32



he morning I meet with Hajrë Hyseni it’s your typical English, early winter’s morn; cold earl-grey skies and a silent sheen of misty rain. Not a great deal to be chipper about. Unless you’re Hajrë. Hailing as the University’s ‘Flare Entrepreneur’ of 2008, anyone who has ever met Hajrë Hyseni will know that when it comes to talking about his already successful business venture, ‘Steam’ (a web optimisation company, running out of his home country of Kosova), there are no drab, uninspiring days in his world. Insightful and extremely driven, he is a constantly coiled spring of business acumen. I had however expected nothing less. Having experienced him pitch his company to investors in front of a live audience last year, I was fully aware of Hajrë’s passion for his business. And not just ‘his’ business – but the whole business arena. Wearing Wall Street braces and shirt sleeves rolled to the elbows, he had sold Steam with confidence, poise and precision. The Weston Auditorium was clearly his gladiatorial amphitheatre. This time around however, he is far less adrenalised – but despite the more relaxed, mood, the enthusiasm of someone who clearly never switches off is still very much there. Before we even start the interview, the first test of any true enterprising individual is passed with flying colours. We haven’t sat down, and yet he already knows my title, remit, and the structure and functionality of the Development and Alumni Department. A natural inquisitiveness that allows him to gauge exactly who he’s talking to, quickly slot all the information into the bigger picture, and evaluate what sort of links he can establish.

Every meeting is a networking opportunity - all part of the modus operandi. Born and schooled in Prishtina, the capital of the Republic of Kosova, Hajrë stepped into a management role for a local company at just 19 years old. “Adding value is key,” he explains, “I am always improving everything I do, so being able to manage, and have the flexibility to change things is very important.” Graduating with his first degree in Kosova, his studies had brought him to London on a work placement, and he was persuaded to stay in England, working and learning from the company. He attained an MBA at the University last year, and was selected as one of the top four students in his class. “I don’t like doing anything that doesn’t involve risk” he says. “That’s why I love things like bungee jumps and snowboarding that are exciting and full of adrenalin!” And one of the most exciting moments in Hajrë’s career so far, has been winning the Flare competition last year; the business ideas challenge run by the University, for all enterprising students, staff and alumni. Once shortlisted, the Flare final was held at London’s Tower Bridge, where he was given just 5 minutes to pitch his business plan to the panel of experts. “I didn’t sleep the whole week,” he recalls, “but once my pitch began, the energy just came from somewhere!” Winning a cash prize and free accommodation on the University Campus, he is adamant however that the most valuable part of his Flare package, has been the business consultancy he has received from the company, ‘Igloo’ - who themselves won funding from the BBC’s Dragon’s Den. “Winning Flare has given me a huge push. In terms of networking, and promotion, it is still opening doors for me. Just getting involved can get you talking to influential people,” he advises “On your

own, starting a business is difficult, but this gives you a real chance.” And as Hajrë concurs, projects like this make the University of Hertfordshire the leading business-facing University in the sector. “It’s things like Flare that make the University so different,” he says, “its so committed to both its students, and to business.” So, with Ruth Badger turning the tables on her appearance on The Apprentice, to be one of the judges on this year’s panel, I ask what advice last year’s winner would give to anyone who might be thinking of pitching for Flare, 2009. “If you have an idea, seize the opportunity” he enthuses.

“Flare is very exciting, and presents a brilliant package for entrepreneurs.” But he’s also very specific about the hard work required to really make it in both Flare and the business world. “You still need to put in the work though and you really need to enjoy what you’re doing or your creativity will be stifled. Do your research, form your business plans, go out and meet people – if you are committed, an opportunity like Flare is a God-send”. Do you have a great business idea? Go online to apply.The deadline for applications will be 26 January 2009. fÈ


It’s your University

For the latest range of UH merchandise and clothing go to Have you got a business idea?

flare The business ideas challenge Open to all students, staff and alumni. £25,000 prize fund! For further information visit:

Sponsors include:

The University of Hertfordshire may have an exciting new image... But it will always be your institution. Stay a part of it.



The University of Hertfordshire

Alumni Association Continuing futures…

From the day you start at UH we consider you an exclusive life-long member of our alumni. With access to our dedicated website, discounts on a host of services and attractions from car hire to Alton Towers, and events organised throughout the year, we want you to feel the benefits from day one – and long after you graduate.

From us to you…

Register on our website – – to join the Alumni web community, and view the benefits and discounts available to you. These include exclusive events, reduced ticket prices to Merlin Entertainment attractions (such as Thorpe Park), discounts on magazine subscriptions, membership at the Hertfordshire Sports Village, borrowing at the University’s Learning Resource Centres, and much much more... The full list of current benefits is found in the alumni website https:// You can also use the site to keep your own “profile” up-to-date, and to contact lost friends you made at Uni.

…and from you to us Some people don’t realise that there are many ways for alumni to remain involved with their University. By doing something to give back we all benefit: current students, future generations and the alumni who give. Offers to help could include opportunities for work experience, mentoring or even funding a scholarship! Full details can be found on our alumni website: W: and if you would like to discuss your idea, please contact us at: E:

Events... FineArt @ 25 March 2009 Alumni who started on a Fine Arts degree in 1984 (25 years ago) are invited back to the University for a celebration and reunion in March 2009. Plans are still being made as this magazine goes to press, so we would be grateful if you could register your interest by emailing We look forward to seeing you there! UH Angels 2009 24 March 2009 See UH Alumni pitch their ideas live on stage to our ‘Angel Investors’, in this ‘Dragon’s Den’ style event. With host and keynote speaker, Ruth Badger from the BBC’s ‘The Apprentice’. Event will take place from 6.00pm - 9.00pm at the Weston Auditorium, de Havilland Campus. Doors open at 5.30pm, with refreshments available. 8.30pm-9.00pm will be a networking session with a light buffet. ADMISSION FREE. For more information contact Tobi Alli-Usman at: or on +44 (0)1707 286545. 30 year anniversary of the PSiFA 4 April 2009 and 6 June 2009 The PSiFA (Polytechnic Science-Fiction and Fantasy Association) will be marking 30 years since the University’s Sci-Fi and Fantasy society was founded, with two full days of screenings and events. Lecture rooms will be used to show a variety of films, and hopefully some other bits and pieces will be happening throughout the days as well. All alumni are welcome, so if you wish to come along, please send an email to:, stating which date (or both) you plan to attend - and you will be put on the guest list. Deadlines for the guest list are the end of February (2009) for the April event, and the end of April for the June event. More details about specific times and film showings will be emailed to all on the guestlist nearer the time. For any additional information, feel free to contact the association at: Farewell to the Font Party 30 May 2009 The Font is closing, and a new Student Forum is opening for the next academic year! In order to say “farewell” to this watering-hole of international repute, we have arranged a special evening for alumni and students on 30 May 2009. Tickets should be purchased in advance to avoid disappointment, and will cost no more than £5.00 per person. They will be available at the Students’ Union Box Office or online at the SU website ( To gain entry on the night you will need your alumni registration number (found alongside your name/address on the back of this magazine) and a form of photographic ID (photo driving licence or passport). An alumni card – purchased from – will also assist your entry. Law School Alumni Reunion and Celebration 25 June 2009 All Law graduates are invited back to the St Albans campus to meet old class-mates and lecturers on 25 June 2009. And in case you have not heard, a team of our current law students won the nationwide ESU Mooting Competition in June 2008 and we will also take this opportunity to join them in celebrating this success. Details are still being finalised as we go to print with this magazine, so please register your interest by emailing and keep an eye on our events pages in the alumni website Wall Hall Reunion 27 June 2009 All alumni who studied at Wall Hall are welcome back to Hatfield (sadly not to Wall Hall) to meet up with old friends, chat about old times and enjoy an afternoon garden party with a few staff members you may remember. The event will be held from 3.00 to 5.00pm on the College Lane campus, and the cost will be £7.50 per person. Please email us to register your interest at One Year On - Rhythms of the World July 2009 For the second year, we will be at the Rhythms of the World festival at Hitchin in July 2009. We welcome alumni who departed the University a year ago, to find out what you are doing and what your plans are for the future. In fact, we welcome alumni of all eras and faculties as this wonderful event is an ideal opportunity to come together and socialise among others with similar backgrounds. Visit us at the University of Hertfordshire marquee! Please contact us if you are planning a reunion and would like to advertise it on this page. If you need any assistance, we can search for contacts and venues. Please contact us at alumni@herts. or on +44 (0)1707 284480 fÈ



If undelivered, please return to Development and Alumni Office University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, AL10 9AB, England

Divine Inspiration…

UH Angels 2009 The Pitch Event L 24 March 2009 L 6.00pm – 9.00pm See UH Alumni pitch their ideas live on stage in this ‘Dragon’s Den ‘style event With host and keynote speaker, Ruth Badger from the BBC’s ‘The Apprentice’ Doors open at 5.30pm L Refreshments available L 8.30pm-9.00pm,networking session with buffet L ADMISSION FREE Weston Auditorium de Havilland Campus University of Hertfordshire Hatfield AL10 9AB E: or T: +44 (0)1707 286545

Profile for University of Hertfordshire

futures - Winter 2009  

The magazine for alumni and the friends of the University of Hertfordshire

futures - Winter 2009  

The magazine for alumni and the friends of the University of Hertfordshire

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded