ALUMNI AND SUPPORTER MAGAZINE AUTUMN 2020
Meet the families with up to seven Southampton graduates FIGHTING A GLOBAL PANDEMIC How the University and our alumni are tackling coronavirus DOMINIC MOHAN From Wessex News to Editor of The Sun CLASS NOTES What are your old classmates up to?
WELCOME FROM THE PRESIDENT AND VICE-CHANCELLOR I’m delighted to once again introduce Hartley News. Last year, we brought back the University of Southampton’s alumni and supporter magazine as a one-off edition celebrating 100 years since the opening of Highfield Campus. Owing to the success of the revival, I’m pleased to say Hartley News returns for 2020 with a bigger and even better issue. Since I welcomed you to the magazine this time last year, the world has changed beyond recognition. Coronavirus (COVID-19) has had unpredictable, farreaching consequences for all of our lives. The activity on our campuses was very much reduced in March, with students migrating to online education, and research being significantly scaled back. Thanks to the tremendous efforts of the University community, a phased reopening of campuses has taken place over the past few months, and we were delighted to welcome our new and returning students back in September. Every effort has been made to allow some face-to-face teaching wherever safely possible, combining this with online education in an approach known as blended learning.
Within days of the UK lockdown, we launched the Southampton Coronavirus Response Fund to support the University’s vital work in tackling the pandemic. Thanks to the generous giving of our alumni and supporter community, we were able to raise almost £700,000 – helping countless students and funding dozens of lifesaving research projects, which you can read more about on pages 6 to 8. Beyond coronavirus, this edition of Hartley News features inspiring interviews with alumni from all walks of life, reports on the incredible impact that our community’s generous support has enabled, and of course a review of the year’s University news and Class Notes. Don’t forget to also take a look at pages 12 and 13 to see what you told us in the survey packaged with last year’s magazine – we had a tremendous response, and are listening and acting on your feedback. I hope you enjoy reading the 2020 issue of Hartley News, and would like to thank you for the continued and proud relationship you share with the University of Southampton. Professor Mark E. Smith CBE President and Vice-Chancellor
IN THIS ISSUE
Fighting a global pandemic
Shaping your alumni community
Committing to a greener future
Class of 2020
City of Culture
Creating a legacy
2020 in news
Class Notes 3
ALUMNI FAMILIES Among an alumni community of more than 250,000, it’s not surprising to hear of familial connections: partners who met at the University, children who followed in their parents’ footsteps, or siblings who share their alma mater. But what about the alumni that have several of these links with Southampton? Hartley News talks to three such families about their stories and memories. The Matthews family The Matthews have a truly exceptional connection to Southampton: no fewer than seven members over the past three generations have attended the University. The family’s proud association began in 1953, when Barbara Guise (BSc Economics, 1957) applied to do a certificate in social work, but was encouraged at the interview to instead study an economics degree. “It was a decision that I have never regretted,” laughs Barbara. A generation later, and all three of her scientifically minded sons chose to attend Southampton: Peter Matthews (BSc Mathematics, 1980), Andrew Matthews (BSc Mechanical Engineering, 1982), and David Matthews (BSc Mathematics, 1988). While at an event with the University’s sailing club in his first term, Andrew met Suzanne Lewis (BSc Business Economics and Accounting, 1982), with whom he coincidentally lived at Connaught Hall; the couple married several years later and had three children. Naturally, two of them ended up studying at Southampton: James Matthews (MPhys Astrophysics, 2012; PhD Physics, 2016) – “I loved it so much I stayed for two degrees!” – and Bethany Matthews (BM Medicine, 2015). With experiences of the University spanning 60 years, the Matthews’ memories of Southampton and their time here offer unique insights into some of the dramatic changes that have taken place – both to the campuses and to the institution itself. Barbara recalls: “There were only 900 students at Southampton when I started, and each year the numbers gradually increased. The
proportion of men was very great overall, partly because there was a large engineering department, and partly because fewer women went to university at that time. Many of the men had already done their National Service, which did give a certain maturity to the campus.” By the early 1980s, student numbers were around 6,000 – about a quarter of today’s size. Suzanne, having revisited the University several times since her graduation then, also notes the growth: “I have driven down University Road and have felt very emotional about my time spent there. Highfield Campus is much bigger, but just as beautiful. The library is still the same outside, but my memory inside is of a much smaller entrance hall lined with wooden card index boxes where you could find book and journal locations. We had microfiche readers too, I seem to remember; they seemed very cutting edge.” Despite having all shared Southampton as a home at some point during their lives, the family are now spread across the south of England in Bristol, Cambridge, Exeter, Truro, and Shoreham-by-Sea. Barbara, meanwhile, remains at the family home in Coventry. And how does it feel seeing your children follow in your footsteps and attend your alma mater? “It was actually rather lovely,” comments Suzanne. “They did not intend to follow us, but Southampton is a good university, and had the courses they wanted to do. They both did very well academically there, but more so, I am really pleased they had a positive experience from their time there, particularly when we have such fond memories.”
The Williamson family
The van Herwijnen family
Rosana Jelaska grew up in Croatia and Afghanistan, while Robert Williamson is a born-and-bred Hampshire man. Both came to the University in 1978 as students of BSc Biology and Oceanography, and met during their first week. It wasn’t long until romance blossomed, and a year later, the couple welcomed their daughter Amelia into the world – while they continued to study for their degree.
Eric van Herwijnen and his family have strong roots in Southampton. His great-grandfather, Harry Vincent, was mayor of the city from 1945 to 1946. His mother met his Dutch father on a youth exchange programme, and despite relocating to the Netherlands in 1953 until passing away this year, she remained a Sotonian at heart.
“I managed to complete my course, with the help of family and with the full support and kind assistance of my tutor and others at the University,” Rosana recalls. “I was even allocated a family house in University Road.” Rosana and Robert got married in 1983, and have lived in the New Forest ever since. What’s more, both chose to return to the University in subsequent years: Robert did his PGCE in 1987, and Rosana studied MSc Environmental Studies in 1996. But the story doesn’t end there. Their daughter Amelia is associated with the University not only by birth, but also as an alumna; in 2012, she took her PGCE at Southampton. Amelia has since moved to Australia, and teaches at a secondary school. Rosana remarks: “Seeing Amelia go to our old University was very emotional. As she was born in Southampton during our BSc course, it was a bit like completing a circle. Though we miss her, it’s great to know that she is using the skills she gained at Southampton to teach teenagers all the way Down Under.” To top off the familial connections, although not an alumna of the University, Robert’s late mother, Dr Elspeth Williamson, lectured in genetics at the Medical School in the 1970s – meaning members of the Williamson family have graced the University for four of the past five decades. “I’ve been back to the University a number of times, and driven past Highfield Campus regularly in the past year. I think the changes I’ve noticed most are all the new buildings that have sprung up, and the revamp of the Boldrewood Campus,” reflects Rosana. “The other main difference is all the students walking around with smartphones – not something that we could have imagined back in the late ‘70s/ early ‘80s! Ultimately, we are grateful to the University, not just for providing us with an excellent education, but also for helping to make us a family.”
With a bicultural Anglo-Dutch upbringing, Eric chose to take an MSc in Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University in 1977. “The first thing I remember from the Theoretical Physics department, led by Ken Barnes, was the tutors’ respect for their students,” recalls Eric. “It felt good to be treated as an equal colleague. The importance of good human interactions was pervasive.” Eric went on to have a lengthy career at CERN – from 1982 until his retirement this year – and established a family in France. Of course, Eric isn’t the only van Herwijnen who attended the University. His brother ended up settling in Hampshire – whose youngest son, Bart, commenced his degree in Medicine at Southampton in 2008. “Knowing that he also stayed in Glen Eyre, from which I have so many happy memories, reinforced that family link with the University,” comments Eric. Moreover, Bart’s sister – Eric’s niece – Ineke is a specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology who now teaches at the Medical School. The alumni connection was revived again in 2018, when Eric’s son, Louis, came to Southampton to study MSc Oceanography. Being able to revisit the University after 40 years, Eric was amazed to see how much had changed around the campus and city. He reflects on decades of van Herwijnen links with Southampton: “The importance of the role that British universities and the University of Southampton in particular have played in the education of my very European family cannot be overstated. The origin of my family stems from the desire to bring young people from the UK in contact with similar young people on the continent after the Second World War. I sincerely hope that the University can continue to fulfil this role to the benefit of future generations of our families.”
Read the Matthews family’s full story and other ‘Looking back’ articles on Hartley News Online: www.southampton.ac.uk/hartley-news 5
DID YOU KNOW?
FIGHTING A GLOBAL PANDEMIC The entire world has been affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) in ways that have never been experienced before. There have been dramatic changes to all aspects of our lives – simply unimaginable at the start of the year. In times of crisis – particularly healthrelated – universities are often considered a beacon of hope, and Southampton is no exception. Our unique partnership with University Hospital Southampton and our strengths in medicine, life sciences, and engineering in particular are reflecting the truly remarkable capabilities of the University. The global pandemic required an urgent response, which is why we launched the Southampton Coronavirus Response Fund within just days of the UK lockdown. Thanks to the incredible support of your alumni and supporter community, almost £700,000 was raised – enabling us to respond effectively.
Our response From accelerating our lifesaving research to providing support where it’s been needed most, the University community have been working tirelessly on many key projects since the pandemic began – fighting coronavirus, and ultimately protecting and saving more lives. Here are just a few such examples. Creating reusable PPE Properly fitted personal protective equipment is essential for all healthcare workers on the front line,
but throughout the pandemic, it has often been inadequate and in short supply. A team at Southampton worked to rectify this problem with the development of PeRSo – Personal Respirator Southampton – and was awarded a President’s Special Award for Pandemic Service by the Royal Academy of Engineering, for exceptional engineering achievements in tackling coronavirus throughout the UK. Led by researchers at the University, the project team developed and prototyped the PPE solution by the time lockdown began in the UK. PeRSo consists of a fabric hood that covers the wearer’s head, integrated with a plastic visor to protect their face. A small portable unit delivers clean air through a HEPA filter to the wearer from a battery-powered fan pack mounted on a belt. The prototype was created using off-the-shelf components, and received very positive feedback from doctors, nurses, and patients in initial demonstrations. University Hospital Southampton was the first trust in the country to trial the equipment, and a rapid scale-up is under way, with PeRSo now standard PPE on all coronaviruspositive wards.
Though largely unheard of by many of us until this year, coronavirus itself is not a new virus. Virologist David Tyrrell CBE FRS, an honorary graduate of the University of Southampton, led research into the human coronavirus at the Common Cold Unit in Wiltshire. David’s description of human coronavirus – a family of viruses that now includes SARSCoV-2, the cause of the current coronavirus pandemic – was first published in The British Medical Journal back in 1965.
The PeRSo project also received support at an early stage from significant donors and from funding provided through the Southampton Coronavirus Response Fund. This includes a donation of more than £168,000 from Southampton alumni Dr Alison Steele and Stefan Cross QC, who met at the University in the 1980s. Their significant contribution will fund a postdoctoral researcher to help build and test further prototypes of the respirator, including a lightweight version for care home staff and other front-line workers, plus a flat-pack, low-cost version for prompt use in developing countries. PeRSo: Personal Respirator Southampton
Treating vulnerable patients The University and drug development company Synairgen announced positive results from clinical trials of a drug (SNG001 – inhaled formulation of interferon beta) that may prevent worsening of coronavirus in those most at risk. The odds of developing severe disease – for example, requiring ventilation or resulting in death – during the treatment period were significantly reduced by 79 per cent for patients receiving SNG001, compared to patients who received a placebo. In addition, patients who received the drug were also more than twice as likely to recover over the course of the treatment period – and have a markedly reduced measure of breathlessness – compared to those on a placebo. Further analysis is currently being conducted by the Synairgen team, and will be reported in due course. Tom Wilkinson, Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the University and Trial Chief Investigator, said:
product is widely produced, it could be rapidly deployed to clinics and GP surgeries as a point-of-care test – which would relieve the high demand currently being experienced by testing centres. The low cost of the product could also pave the way for large-scale testing of individuals in schools, airports, or businesses. Piloting a new saliva testing model Southampton took a lead role in evaluating regular coronavirus infection testing for whole households through a new, weekly home-testing approach that uses saliva samples. The programme – which is a partnership between Southampton City Council, the University, and the NHS – uses a convenient, non-invasive saliva test to check for coronavirus, with results sent by text message within 48 hours.
“We are delighted with the positive data produced from this trial, which is the result of a momentous coordinated effort from Synairgen, the University, University Hospital Southampton, and the highly expert research teams across the National Institute for Health Research network and regulatory bodies in the UK. “The results confirm our belief that interferon beta – a widely known drug that, by injection, has been approved for use in a number of other indications – has huge potential as an inhaled drug to be able to restore the lung’s immune response, enhancing protection, accelerating recovery, and countering the impact of SARS-CoV-2 virus.” Providing rapid results The University has developed a new diagnostic test for coronavirus, which could provide a rapid and inexpensive alternative. Current testing largely requires samples to be sent to a laboratory, which means results are not available until one or two days later. This new test, developed by the University’s Zepler Institute for Photonics and Nanoelectronics, can detect the presence of the SARSCoV-2 virus in just 10 to 15 minutes. The test involves taking a patient’s nasal swab, and mixing it with a solution in a tube. Working in a similar way to the commonly available pregnancy test, a paper strip containing a capture antibody is then dipped into the tube to absorb the solution. As the liquid moves up the strip, a red line will appear if the virus is present in the sample. The University’s Faculty of Medicine carried out trials using 150 patient swabs, 125 of which tested positive with a PCR test and 25 that tested negative. The results showed the new product can reliably detect coronavirus in individuals with moderate-to-high viral levels – the most infectious patients. The team are now in discussions with manufacturers that would be able to produce it at scale, and begin the process for obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals. If the
The nature of it allows easier testing of people of all ages, and ensures that everyone in the household gets checked – regardless of symptoms, and on a regular basis. The programme’s initial phase saw Southampton’s GP workforce take part, followed by other key workers and some University staff and students. Following this successful pilot study, the programme now enters its second phase. Southampton will be assessing it on a large scale by rolling out free saliva tests to over 20,000 students, pupils, and staff from the University and four local schools. The details of those who test positive will be shared with the NHS Test and Trace programme so contact tracing can start immediately. The learnings from the initiative will help the UK plan for potential wider-population testing over the coming months, slow the transmission of the virus in Southampton, and help activities in educational settings to restart as safely as possible. We’d like to thank everyone from our alumni and supporter community who donated to the Southampton Coronavirus Response Fund. Together, we’re making a difference.
Find out more about our continuing fight against coronavirus: www.southampton.ac.uk/research/ coronavirus.page CONTINUED OVERLEAF
Stories from the front line Throughout the year, stories from those on the front line – whether out in the community, in hospitals, or from key workers in supermarkets and schools – have warmed the hearts of everyone, and helped in the unprecedented circumstances we’re facing. Our alumni are making a difference in a variety of ways, across the globe. Hear their stories, in their own words.
“Cuando Volvamos was first launched in Madrid, and, as Valencia is the third biggest city in Spain and our hometown, it then led us to launch the Cuando Volvamos Valencia franchise. “Although very challenging at times, we loved every minute, and we were always extremely happy every time we saw one of our businesses make a sale. During almost three months of lockdown measures, our Valencia platform helped over 70 businesses earn money and advertise for free.” Adam Edwards (BA Philosophy, 1991)
Maria Garcia-Mateo (MSc Engineering in the Coastal Environment, 2015) “Back in March, I was travelling round the world with my family as part of a sabbatical year. We made the tough decision to fly to a relative’s place in Barcelona, temporarily, until things improved, and we could continue our travels. Unfortunately, we soon realised that was not going to be the case. “We landed in Spain with the lockdown already enforced, and immediately realised we could not just sit there and wait for the storm to pass, so we started to explore options to be able to help those most affected by coronavirus and the effects of the lockdown measures. “I contacted a friend who was leading a crowdfunding project to bring surgical masks and PPE over to Spain, and she told us about another idea for a project that needed volunteers – it took us just minutes to get involved. “The project was called Cuando Volvamos (When We Are Back). We set up an online platform where local businesses could offer their products in the form of a voucher for the clients to buy and pay in advance, and receive the service or goods later on when the lockdown measures were eased. The aim of the platform was to provide local businesses with an online sales channel to help them continue to survive whilst shut.
“I thought it likely that I’d had coronavirus in March, and when a consultant at a local London hospital messaged in early lockdown to say that they were looking for volunteers – since no visitors were allowed and the pandemic was impacting staffing levels – I applied, trusting that my work colleagues would be understanding. “My legal background resulted in being asked to assist the hospital’s sole Emergency Planner, who was responsible for operating their coronavirus operations centre, but who had no assistant. “The role placed me in the NHS trust’s boardroom, which was doubling as the control centre, and where the daily meetings to report and assess performance and incidents over the past 24 hours took place. This is where challenges such as the daily toll of the disease, PPE stock levels, oxygen pressure, ventilator numbers, and morgue spaces were discussed. Consummate professionals were working with the persistent backdrop of being uncertain how much worse it would get, and for how long the
emergency would last. For a time, all wards were coronavirus wards. “During the two months of volunteering, I was involved in many different tasks, including ensuring that we had the necessary daily ‘runners’. At that time, runners were hospital staff who volunteered to go ward to ward at 08:30, donning and doffing PPE, in order to collect the previous 24 hours’ coronavirus data. This was then collated and reported to the government, directly informing the tragic numbers we all received on the nightly news. Those runners, generous with their time, are some of the unseen, unsung heroes. “There are elements of guilt: balancing a full-time job with volunteering was a challenge, and only possible with the generous support of my colleagues; seeing the hardship for patients and their loved ones, separated at the doors of the hospital or ambulance, with no possibility to visit – and for some that last glimpse was the literally the last; and having left, seeing the daily volunteer group chat of those who valiantly continue today to support the hospital, week in, week out. Stars! “But there have been many positives, such as meeting the multitude of diverse hospital staff, who worked tirelessly to ensure that the hospital coped and cared for so many in the face of a new disease. There was undoubtedly a ‘wartime spirit’ of comradery and ‘we will get through this together’. And it has been a pleasure to watch several of my fellow volunteers see the appeal of looking for a permanent role within the NHS as a direct result of their volunteering experience. A small but tangible silver lining.” Adam Edwards and the team
IGNITING BRILLIANCE Financial struggles should never prevent a talented individual from reaching their potential. The reality is, however, that many students drop out of university because of their difficult circumstances – and countless potential students feel deterred from applying for the same reason. Thanks to our amazing alumni and supporter community, the University’s Ignite Programme is addressing that. The Ignite Programme aims to make education at Southampton accessible to everyone, regardless of background, age, or financial situation. Opportunities such as scholarships, bursaries, and grants for extracurricular activities ensure a level playing field for applicants and students. The vital fund was borne from a generous alumnus’s desire to provide students from low-income backgrounds with the same opportunities he had: to graduate from university without any debt. He was grateful for the head start in life that Southampton had given him, and wanted to return the favour to the next generation of bright minds. In its first year, the Ignite Programme helped four students, whose lives were immeasurably changed by the support. This year, thanks to the generosity of our donors, we’re able to do even more, as we vastly expand the programme to 31 students. Students like Julie, who is a recipient of the Ignite Bursary – one of the programme’s three strands. We spoke to her about what it means to receive this support and encouragement.
Julie’s story “I had always wanted to do a Fine Art degree, but bringing up a family and other circumstances never allowed me to before now. I lost my partner over four years ago, and my children – who range from 23 to 31 years old – all moved away shortly after. It’s taken me some time to get over traumatic events, re-evaluate my life, and start a new chapter. “At 53 years of age, I never thought I’d be lucky enough to go back and study at this time in my life. I’d been working in a secondary school as an art technician for 19 years, but my job was written off the structure last summer as the school was in financial difficulty. My head of department suggested I apply to university. Although worried about the financial implications, I was offered a place at Winchester School of Art, and couldn’t wait to start. “I was loving my studies as soon as I began, but couldn’t afford to take part in many of the activities. Living alone, I was totally relying on the student loan for everything. I had made the conscious decision that I would forfeit lots of things for the chance to go to university – but I was finding it a struggle, and was unsure if I could continue.
The anxiety that can go with struggling to fund university has been lifted, and I feel very lucky after what has been a hard few years for me,” says Julie.
“The Ignite Bursary has changed that. I’m now able to buy equipment and materials for my studies. I’ve been able to purchase paints, sketchbooks, artists’ books, and visit galleries in London – which are part of our course, and will progress my studies enormously. The bursary has also helped with day-to-day running costs. I’ve been able to have eye tests and purchase glasses, pay for repeat prescriptions I need, as well as travel costs to uni. “I now know that I made the correct decision to return to study, and the place exceeds everything I expected. I’d like the donors to know that I feel very privileged to have received the Ignite Bursary, and that it’s making a real difference to my life. The anxiety that can go with struggling to fund university has been lifted, and I feel very lucky after what has been a hard few years for me. “I knew that returning to study would not be easy, but I’m so passionate and determined to succeed, to show the donors my real appreciation for the generosity they have shown me. I don’t know if they will ever really know how thankful I truly am.”
The Ignite Programme The programme continues to be funded by donations and legacy gifts from across our alumni and supporter community – and ensures that brilliant students can be supported however grave their financial circumstances. Chris Richards (BSc Physics, 1979), an Ignite donor, said of his inspiration for giving: “I just felt that as I get older, it is important to reflect on and remember the excitement and inspiration a university experience can be for a student. If, through the Ignite Programme, alumni from my generation are able to plant some ‘seeds of hope’ for students who may otherwise not be able to experience what could be a really positive, lifetransforming experience, then it has to be worthwhile.”
Find out more the Ignite Programme: www.southampton.ac.uk/ignite-programme 9
CLASS OF 2020: GRADUATING IN A PANDEMIC At the start of the 2019/20 academic year, nobody could have predicted the mass disruption that would unfold as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Our students worked hard to adapt to the circumstances, embracing changes such as online learning. And the University was there every step of the way to ensure they were well supported. Alongside keeping students and staff safe, the University’s priority was – and continues to be – ensuring teaching remains uninterrupted for everyone. The migration to online learning presented inevitable challenges, which were soon overcome to deliver a full experience for students and academics alike. And since September, this online approach has been ‘blended’ with as much face-to-face education as possible. The University also implemented a number of services to ensure that students in Southampton were cared and provided for. Our halls of residence remained open for those who had to stay. If a student developed coronavirus symptoms and needed to self-isolate, the Student Life team made sure they were being monitored and looked after – and arranged to get food and other provisions delivered to their door. Many students, especially those from lower-income backgrounds, rely on part-time jobs to support themselves. Loss of employment due to the lockdown meant that they struggled to pay for basic needs, like rent and food. Working with colleagues in the Student Services team, our Southampton Coronavirus Response Fund helped them with short-term grants to cover these essentials costs. While students across the spectrum faced difficulties in the early months of the pandemic, there was one group in particular that had additional pressures to deal with: those in their final year, graduating as the Class of 2020.
Lily’s story Alum Lily McDermaid, the University of Southampton Students’ Union’s (SUSU) first-ever Disabilities Officer, graduated
this summer in Law with Psychology – and had an experience that illustrates just how challenging it’s been for students from all walks of life to finish their degrees. Lily suffers from fibromyalgia: a longterm condition that causes pain all over the body, meaning that adapting to this year’s fluctuating situation – at the University and on a national level – has been especially hard. Although Lily is originally from Bournemouth, going home while travel restrictions were in place became impossible. Fibromyalgia also makes walking and carrying objects difficult, meaning going shopping became further challenging. Sadly, Lily – like so many people – was missed off the NHS vulnerable list, and therefore didn’t qualify for special access to food deliveries. Adding to Lily’s stress was the uncertainty around final-year exams as the University adapted to government guidelines. Lily recalls: “I personally felt quite calm about some of the unsure situation, but it was very easy to soak up the fear of my cohort. In that sort of atmosphere, I think it became really hard to motivate ourselves for final exams.” Despite concerns, Lily’s graduated with an impressive first-class degree, reflecting much hard work in the years before – and months during – coronavirus. And although living through the pandemic has been difficult, Lily took real positives from time in lockdown: “I was able to cope with it simply because I am used to being stuck at home a lot as a result of my fibromyalgia. But it also showed me that I am more resilient than I thought – I was able to adapt quite well, and even take on new commitments.”
When reflecting on the years at Southampton, Lily has many positive moments: “One of the best memories is the summer between first and second year, where I worked three jobs and it was absolute mayhem – but the sort you can thrive on. University has been an incredible journey that has changed me into a different person, and that I’m very grateful for having pursued.” Since finishing, Lily has undertaken internships with the legal division of a large international consulting firm and the Civil Service. Now part of our alumni community, Lily is excited to continue supporting current students: “Last September, I gave a careers talk on my journey and tips I have for self-care whilst applying for jobs. I want to continue offering advice and help where I can, as I’m still going to remain a member of societies.” Despite the circumstances in which this graduating cohort found themselves, we are proud of their achievements at Southampton and beyond, and welcome them wholeheartedly to our alumni community. Congratulations to the Class of 2020!
Lockdown showed me that I am more resilient than I thought – I was able to adapt quite well, and even take on new commitments,” says Lily.
CITY OF CULTURE Southampton is bidding to become the UK City of Culture in 2025. This is a huge opportunity for our city to celebrate the wealth of cultural activity taking place, to showcase our artistic diversity on a national stage, and to deliver a range of transformative benefits for our region. Claire Whitaker OBE, Southampton’s UK City of Culture 2025 Bid Director, says: “Southampton is a diverse port city with an extremely rich cultural identity. It has been shaped over the centuries by international trade and the movement of people, making it overflow with stories and potential.” Southampton is in the running, and faces competition from Bradford, Medway, Gloucester, and Lancashire. There is a lot to gain from becoming a UK City of Culture; when Hull won the title in 2017, it added £300m to their tourism market, and up to £17m gross value to their local economy. Southampton’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2025, if successful, will look to deliver similarly substantial economic, social, and cultural impacts. “Our period of consultation and engagement spanning across Southampton will ensure that the bid programme is shaped by our people and our communities,” adds Claire. “Bidding to become UK City of Culture 2025 provides us with an excellent opportunity to deliver huge social, cultural, and economic benefits for the city that will last for years to come.” The development of the bid and its programme will come from an extensive consultation process led by researchers from the University of Southampton. The consultation will capture findings from our local community to shape the bid – generating greater civic pride, a sense of place, identity, wellbeing, and community connections, whilst also placing cultural-led regeneration at the heart of Southampton. In addition, the University has proudly declared its support. Professor Mark Spearing, Vice-President of Research and Enterprise, comments: “We are excited to be a partner of the bid. Our city has a great story to tell for Southampton 2025, and as an important civic institution since 1862, the University will be playing its part. We have a long history of supporting arts and culture in Southampton, both directly through our venues such as Turner Sims and John Hansard Gallery, but also through our community, who I am sure will be eager to engage.”
If successful, Southampton would utilise the bid to aid its recovery from coronavirus, generate economic impact, and create a global competitive advantage that attracts investment. This would raise aspirations and skills in the workforce, and lead to the establishment of new businesses, and the creation of quality jobs to attract and retain talent. The role that businesses must play as part of the process is key to delivering a successful competitive bid. The commercial strategy developed in support was recently launched, and is for a six-year period that ensures a year of legacy after 2025. It will enable businesses to contribute to the bid, with long-term investment kicking in if successful. Alumna Councillor Satvir Kaur, Cabinet Member for Culture and Homes and Chair of Southampton 2025, says: “I urge all businesses to get involved and invest in our bid to become UK City of Culture 2025. Now more than ever, we must stand together to energise and regenerate, building on our impressive history and cultural offer. The bid will be a key component in our coronavirus recovery plans. We truly believe in the power of arts and culture, and their ability to change lives, transform communities, and make cities like Southampton great.” Commercial partnerships offer businesses the opportunity to leverage the city’s marketing assets and branding, access huge audiences, drive business growth, raise brand profile, and activate corporate social responsibility. In addition to the commercial strategy, there will be a framework for philanthropy and individual giving in order to support the bid. Everyone can get involved by following and sharing on social media – just search for ‘Southampton2025’ on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Tell us what you love about the city and its culture.
Find out how you can be part of the city’s ambition, raise profile, and generate impact commercially: www.southampton2025.co.uk
SHAPING YOUR ALUMNI COMMUNITY Over 250,000 of you from 185 countries form the University’s alumni community – and it continues to grow every year. You’ve all taken unique paths since your time at Southampton, and we want to support you as best we can. That’s why, with last year’s Hartley News, we included a survey asking for your opinions. From your thoughts on Southampton as an institution, to the communications you’d like to receive, and the opportunities you’d like to hear about – we wanted to get an in-depth understanding of your wants and needs so that we can ensure our work continues to be relevant, helpful, and exciting. Thank you to everyone that took the time to fill in the survey – over 4,000 of you responded, and here’s what you told us.
Where respondents live: 30%
within 50 miles of Southampton
more than 50 miles from Southampton
outside the UK
SOUTHAMPTON AND YOU We were pleased to see that you overwhelmingly feel proud of your alma mater, and want to continue to hear about important news and updates happening at the University. These responses will help us tailor the frequency we communicate with you, the method we use, and the type of stories and information we prioritise.
‘strongly agreed’ or ‘agreed’ they’re proud of their connection with Southampton
would recommend Southampton to a prospective student
Top benefits of an alumni and supporter community: Staying informed of University news (59%) Feeling part of a worldwide community (50%)
Staying in touch with other alumni (35%)
Top areas of interest:
Preferred ways to hear from us:
1. Research news
1. Online magazine
2. University news
2. Email newsletter
3. Alumni stories
3. Social media
EVENTS We continue to offer alumni and supporters a programme of exclusive events. We want to ensure that we are holding the right events, at the right time, in the right locations.
74% would attend an event back in Southampton
Preferred event topics: Related to course studied (60%)
Preferred event speakers:
Preferred event formats: Lectures from notable speakers (75%)
Networking-style events (44%)
Alumni reunions (57%)
Notable alumni (66%)
Related to innovative research (56%)
Public figures (62%)
Dinner and drinks (43%)
GIVING BACK Southampton alumni have a long history of giving back, in both time and philanthropic donations. This generosity helps to progress our world-leading research, and plays an important role in the lives of many of our students. We will use these responses to ensure our future fundraising and volunteering opportunities are relevant and interesting to you.
61% were aware the University has charitable status
Areas most likely to be supported: 1. Research on societal health challenges
TELL US MORE Your survey responses provided us with plenty of helpful information that we will continue to analyse as we plan upcoming activity in the years ahead. We are always keen to hear from our alumni and supporters, so if you have any further ideas to share, let us know!
2. Research on other global challenges 3. Students from disadvantaged backgrounds
Most interesting opportunities to give time:
Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Careers advice (31%) Talks on areas of expertise (30%) Student mentoring (29%) 13
DOMINIC MOHAN Former Editor of The Sun Dominic Mohan (BA English, 1990) had his sights set on a career in journalism and media from a young age. His aspirations brought him to Southampton, where he was heavily involved in the University’s student magazine Wessex News, now known as Wessex Scene. Since his graduation, Dominic has had a varied, colourful career – from interviewing some of the world’s biggest musical stars, to editing the UK’s most popular daily newspaper. We talked to Dominic about his time at Southampton, his career highlights, and his opinion on the future of journalism in a world increasingly dominated by social media and fake news. During your time at Southampton, you were very active with Wessex News. How did this experience influence your future career? My burning ambition from the age of 13 was to become a national newspaper editor. When I looked around various universities, I always checked out the student newspaper, as I knew that working for one would give me valuable experience and, what was then called, a cuttings file. I was impressed with Wessex News as it seemed lively and dynamic, as did those who worked on it. Within a few months of my first year, I was made Sports Editor, and was appointed Joint Editor soon after. There were five of us, including David Charter, who is now the US Editor of The Times, and Dominic Smith, who went on to edit FHM and a number of other magazines. It helped us get to know journalists on the nationals, some of whom ended up working for me years later. We would give stories to them, one of which I remember made the front page of the Daily Mail. The experience was precious, and the wealth of stories I had written and edited meant that I was able to land a job immediately with a London news agency on £520 a month. I graduated on a Friday, and started work on the Monday.
What were the highlights of your time at Southampton? One of the other reasons I chose English literature at Southampton was that the department offered a scholarship exchange programme with Rutgers University in New Jersey. I was always fascinated by American culture and literature, but had never been, so in the second year, myself and four other students spent six months in the US, and I studied English and journalism there. Needless to say, my first call was at the offices of the student newspaper, The Daily Targum. Wessex News came out every two weeks with a small print run and pagination. The Targum was a daily beast with a circulation of 30,000 plus, and was a very professional outfit. I met some very talented people there, and still see a number of them now. Southampton was a lot of fun – I saw some great bands, and did my first of what would be many celebrity interviews with Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant, who played at the Union. You have had an extremely varied career. What have been some of your most memorable experiences so far? Setting up my own media consultancy business in 2018 was a huge step, and something of which I am very proud. I am also about to become a published author, which has been a long-standing ambition, having spent lockdown putting together an art book with my client the painter Morgan Howell, a.k.a. SuperSizeArt. Launching The Sun On Sunday in 2012 was a particular highlight, and conceiving the idea to rerecord Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas? 20 years on snowballed into something
massive. It spawned the Live 8 concerts, which raised tens of millions for the starving in Africa. Being summoned to 10 Downing Street to be berated by a furious David Cameron after ridiculing him in print was pretty memorable too. My timing was fortunate, certainly in the early part of my career. I joined The Sun in the mid-‘90s as Britpop, Cool Britannia, and then TV shows like Big Brother exploded. As the Showbusiness Editor, I travelled to Japan with Oasis and the US with the Spice Girls, U2, and Coldplay, and interviewed Madonna, Sir Paul McCartney, Bono, Rod Stewart, Beyoncé, George Clooney, and many more along the way. Having been appointed Editor of The Sun in 2009, you were in post during a time of increased scrutiny on the practice and ethics of the British press, culminating in the Leveson Inquiry. What was it like being responsible for a tabloid paper during this time? Being Editor of The Sun is a way of life, and stressful at the best of times. This period was challenging, but I was supported by a brilliant team – second to none, in fact. One of the paper’s best scoops under my tenure was published at exactly that time: Political Editor Tom Newton Dunn’s exclusive about Cabinet Minister Andrew Mitchell’s outburst to police, whom he branded ‘plebs’, and which resulted in his resignation. Dominic on the scholarship exchange programme (1989)
With the public’s reliance on social media for news updates, and with ‘fake news’ resulting in declining trust in journalism, where do you see the future of traditional journalism heading? I feel it is a moment of opportunity for the traditional media in many ways. Titles like The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Times in the UK, and magazines like The Economist, have been performing well, and are making the subscription model work. Such titles have an escalating air of authority and trust in a Facebook era. Increasing numbers of consumers are learning that social media cannot be trusted, and that they may be being manipulated. However, a number of traditional titles that have been unsuccessful in building their digital brands will die out over the next few years – the pandemic may have accelerated those deaths. You have a history of charity work, being instrumental in the rerecording of Do They Know It’s Christmas? and the Live 8 concerts in 2005. What spurs you on to make a difference in these unique ways? I was 15 when the first Band Aid record came out, and Live Aid had a profound effect on me. I was mesmerised by the power of that movement and the force that celebrity and the media could exert on governments and the world. I’ve always been drawn to the power of mainstream media as a force for good, and I think that’s something that is often overlooked. The idea to rerecord it 20 years on came out of a conversation my wife Michelle and I had over breakfast after hearing a news report about a new Ethiopian famine. By the end of the day, backstage at a Travis concert, Fran Healy had agreed to take part. That meant Chris Martin was then on board, and it exploded from there.
What advice do you have for individuals looking to get into the field of news, journalism, and broadcasting? A journalist is only as good as his or her contacts book, so seize opportunities to gain experience and make those contacts. In the last term of my third year, I remember a number of final year students came into the Wessex News office, and said they suddenly wanted to be journalists. We all thought: “Where were you three years ago? We’ve been toiling away throughout our courses.” That enthusiasm, dedication, obsession almost, is what brings success, and makes the difference.
COMMITTING TO A GREENER FUTURE Climate change is one of the biggest challenges that will face generations to come. As part of our commitment to sustainability at the University of Southampton, we are proud to be working with our students, staff, and alumni community to ensure our research and activity is environmentally friendly. As ex-President of University of Southampton Students’ Union (SUSU) for 2019/20, Emily Harrison worked closely with University staff – such as Professor Rachel Mills, alumna and Dean of the Faculty of Environment and Life Sciences – to guarantee we’re dedicated to sustainability, and to ensure you can be proud of the work we’re doing for the future of our planet. Emily made much headway during her term as President, and continues to do so as Sustainability Strategy and Student Services Development Coordinator – part of her post-sabbatical 12-week internship. Hartley News sat down with Emily to find out more about her work.
We’re not messing around. Southampton isn’t just writing another strategy for show – it’s investing time and people into actually making a real difference.” Emily Harrison Sustainability Strategy and Student Services Development Coordinator
Professor Rachel Mills with students
Why did you decide to focus on sustainability as part of your internship? In the last couple of years, sustainability has become ‘cool’ and ‘on trend’, which is great because people are talking about environmental issues on a global level. But the environment isn’t a trend – I want to make sure we’re continuing to make positive change long after people have moved on to the next hot topic. Universities, as huge institutions of research and teaching, can play a massive part in helping to make positive change in the world. As President, I lobbied for a new University sustainability strategy, and for resource to set up a dedicated Sustainability team to ensure tangible actions happen – which the University supported. However, you’re only President for a year, so when I finished, there was still lots more to be done. That’s why it was great to be offered an internship with the University to keep working on the strategy and other sustainability-related projects. It sounds really cheesy, but we do only have one planet; we need the habitats and resources it provides to live, so when we hurt the environment, we’re hurting ourselves too. That’s why it’s so fulfilling working on something that you know is making a positive difference. How has your placement been so far with Professor Rachel Mills? What have you learnt about sustainability from her? I worked a lot with Rachel during my time as President, and we get on well, so it’s great to get to continue working with her during my internship. What’s great about Rachel is how enthusiastic and open-minded she is. If someone suggests an idea or project that’s worth doing but difficult for whatever reason, her first question is “okay, how do we make this work?” It’s a refreshing and positive attitude to be around.
What work on sustainability has the University been doing recently? What are you proud to talk about? We recently put out a green paper of our thoughts on what the strategy should focus on – and asked our community of staff and students for feedback. We had an overwhelming number of responses, which I’m so pleased about as we really wanted to make sure this wasn’t just a run-of-themill corporate strategy, but a living, breathing, collaborative document that incorporates ideas from all of our community. We’ve now taken the feedback on board, and have almost finalised the strategy, which we’ll be releasing soon. I’m also currently working on a project to map out where all of the content related to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals is in our curriculum, and suggesting how we can improve this content. As an alumna yourself, what do you think our community ought to know about the University and sustainability? We’re not messing around. It’s so easy for companies to say they care about the planet, but much harder to put into practice. Southampton isn’t just writing another strategy for show – it’s investing time and people into actually making a real difference, and that’s what makes me so proud to be an alumna and current staff member at the University.
Beyond the strategy Since speaking with Emily, the green paper has been approved by the University Executive Board, and will be used to develop the sustainability strategy. We’re aiming to have its implementation plan complete by the end of 2020, and part of the new Sustainability team’s work will be to monitor and progress this vital work. As part of our commitment to sustainability, we also want to ensure our research in the field is innovative and world class. Already, staff such as AbuBakr Bahaj, Professor of Sustainable Energy, have been working with Southampton City Council on their Green City Charter by developing the Performance Tracker. This helps the Council track the city’s carbon output, and ensures it meets the five components of the Charter towards a cleaner, healthier, greener place. We want to play our role in developing the future and being responsible for output into society and the world. By working with staff, students, alumni, and the local community, it’s our goal to make the University of Southampton a green hotspot.
Find out more about our commitment to sustainability: www.southampton.ac.uk/ sustainability
Despite the fact that she’s a senior University executive and I’m an intern, working together very much feels like a partnership of equals. I don’t ever feel like there’s something I can’t say or challenge; I feel just as valued and respected as someone she may have worked with for years. Safe to say I’ve learned lots from her! Emily at The Plant Pot: the University’s vegan café and zero-waste shop.
CREATING A LEGACY Did you know that the University of Southampton was founded on a legacy gift? Henry Robinson Hartley left his estate to the Corporation of Southampton upon his death, wishing to promote the study and advancement of science and learning. The result was the Hartley Institution, opened below the Bargate in 1862. Today, the University is home to 25,000 students across seven campuses. It’s amazing what a legacy can do. And our alumni and supporters continue to leave gifts in their wills, contributing enormously to Southampton’s ambition of changing the world for the better. In fact, over a quarter of the donations we receive come from gifts in wills. Our ever-growing community of legacy donors have made – and are continuing to make – a lasting difference. The impact of their generosity is felt for generations, and across many areas of University life – from launching future research to shaping tomorrow’s campuses. Many of our supporters also wish to ensure that today’s bright students have the same opportunities they enjoyed, regardless of their financial circumstances or background. One such donor, Denis Henry Desty, chose to remember Southampton through the gift of scholarships. Denis with Margaret Thatcher
Denis’s wife, Doreen
Denis remembered well the financial support he received whilst studying at Southampton, and so very much wanted to give future students the same opportunities that he had.” Graham Martin Nephew of legacy donor, Denis Henry Desty
Denis Henry Desty’s legacy Alumnus Denis was educated at Taunton’s College (now Richard Taunton Sixth Form College) in Southampton, and studied chemistry at the University in the late 1940s under Professor Neil Kensington Adam, one of the country’s foremost authorities on surface chemistry. Becoming a prolific inventor and Fellow of The Royal Society, Denis devised practical techniques in the fields of chromatography and combustion science, many of which have had widespread application; nearly 500 patents are associated with his name. His distinguished career led to twice winning the Tswett Medal for Chromatography, as well as the Royal Society of Chemistry Award for Combustion Chemistry. Denis passed away in 1994, and – with his wife, Doreen – chose to remember the University in their will. Their generous legacy provides chemistry scholarships at Southampton, which Denis himself had received during his student years – and claimed that the support greatly contributed to his successful career. Graham Martin, Denis’s nephew and executor, explains the motivation: “My uncle Denis had an incredible passion for science and seeing young people develop their potential. He remembered well the financial support he received whilst studying at Southampton, and so very much wanted to give future students the same opportunities that he had.” The result has been the Denis Henry Desty Scholarship Programme, which provides two £8,000 scholarships for chemistry undergraduates each year, as well as support for PhD students and vital outreach activities with local schools. Graham says: “I really wanted to establish something fitting in Denis’s memory, so I was pleased to work closely with the School of Chemistry and the University to set up the Denis Henry Desty Scholarship Programme. I was fortunate enough to recently meet the first scholars, and it is lovely to see the difference our family’s gift is making to their studies.” Kristina Kovacic is one such beneficiary of Denis’s gift. During the first year of her PhD in organic synthesis, she’s been working on large-scale synthesis of bile acid derivatives, which will be tested as potential drugs for neurodegenerative disease. Kristina is extremely grateful for the support: “Recently, I’ve been working really hard to catch up on lab time as the lockdown put everything on pause for a few months. The compounds I’ve been synthesising will soon be sent away for some measurements, and the results should give me a good basis to apply for an international chemistry conference in Canada next summer – an opportunity that would be unavailable to me without this funding.” Kristina adds: “The recognition of both Denis’s family and the School of Chemistry – that I was worthy of the support – fills me with motivation and drive, and I hope to live up to Denis’s expectations.” By leaving a gift in his will, Denis has encouraged dozens of aspiring scientists to follow in his distinguished footsteps. Students like Kristina are now able to excel in their studies – creating a legacy that will continue for years to come.
Scholarship recipient, Kristina Kovacic
Create your legacy If you’ve been inspired by the impact of Denis’s legacy, we invite you to let us know: W hatever stage you’re at with considering a gift in your will, if you’d like to talk in person, please contact Richard Wilson, our Legacy Manager, at richard.wilson@ southampton.ac.uk or on +44 (0)23 8059 7157 I f you’re already in a position to let us know your plans, please complete and post the legacy intention form that we’ve included with all postal copies of Hartley News.
Denis’s Fellow of The Royal Society enrolment
In the meantime, find out more about leaving a gift in your will: www.southampton.ac.uk/ legacy
2020 IN NEWS Latest rankings Southampton had another successful year in the university league tables, as our reputation for excellence continues to be recognised both nationally and internationally. Our performance in these rankings has a very significant impact on the University – especially on the recruitment of students and staff, and research funding from around the world. In arguably the most prestigious global table, Southampton jumped seven places – now sitting at 90th in the QS World University Rankings 2021. If you took part in this year’s survey for QS and nominated the University, we’re hugely grateful – and will circulate details of how to register for next year’s survey shortly. Elsewhere, we retained 11th place for the fourth successive year in the Times Higher Education rankings of the world’s ‘Golden Age’ universities (established between 1945 and 1967) – the second highest British entry. Within the UK, Southampton is ranked 17th in The Complete University Guide 2021 – a rise of three places on last year, and the highest climber of any top 20 institution. For the second year running, the Guide also placed us first for physiotherapy, and ranked 14 other subject areas within their respective top 10s. This success was echoed in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021, in which Southampton again maintained first place for physiotherapy, and rose to joint 15th overall. E-Mentoring Southampton In June, we launched E-Mentoring Southampton: a brand-new platform E-Mentoring Southampton launches
that allows alumni to connect virtually with students and other alumni in need of careers guidance. Mentors no longer have to live near the city to offer their time, opening up the University’s career mentoring opportunities to over 250,000 alumni across the world from all walks of life. E-Mentoring Southampton ensures users are matched up with others of a similar academic background, and the organisation of relationships and discussions is completely flexible. In the current pandemic, our students and new graduates have never needed careers advice more. Visit www. ementoringsouthampton.com to register and explore profiles, matches, groups, and events. Dame Susan Dougan Alumna Susan Dougan (née Ryan; MA Education, 1997) was last year appointed Governor-General of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. This marks the Caribbean nation’s first female Governor-General, and also the University’s first alumnus as a head of state. Susan’s success has continued into 2020, as she was awarded Dame Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George in January. Her actions have been instrumental in curbing the spread of coronavirus across the islands, which at the time of writing, is one of just a handful of countries to record no deaths from the disease. Born in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in 1955, Susan reinforced her passion for education at Southampton. Prior to her recent appointment, she had a distinguished career in her home country: first in teaching, rising through
Dame Susan Dougan
the ranks to headmistress of a girls’ high school; later in public service as Chief Education Officer, Cabinet Secretary, and Deputy Governor-General. Her damehood is the second honour that she’s received from HM The Queen, after being awarded an OBE in the 2010 New Year Honours. The University has remained in touch with Susan, and continues to strengthen its global links with the Caribbean. WSA 150 2020 saw Winchester School of Art (WSA) celebrate its 150th anniversary. The School was founded in 1870 by a group of Winchester College Dons, who wanted to put the city on the map for art education. Joining the University of Southampton in 1996, WSA now welcomes over 1,800 students every year, and its notable alumni include model Stella Tennant, Designers Guild founder Tricia Guild, and musician Brian Eno. A planned programme of events and projects has been put on hold, but alumni of the School are being encouraged to share their stories, memories, and photos on social media with the hashtag #wsa150. The Kanneh-Mason family Kadiatu Kanneh (BA English, 1987; MA English, 1989) and Stuart Mason (BSc Physics, 1985; MSc Mathematics, 1987) met at the University in the 1980s, got married, and had seven children together – all of whom are now musical prodigies. The Kanneh-Mason family has been called the Von Trapps of the classic world, with the siblings – aged between 10 and 23 – all able to play violin, piano, or cello. WSA celebrates 150 years
The Kanneh-Mason family
Neither of the alumni parents chose to pursue musical careers themselves, but have been proud to see their children perform at high-profile events – including the Royal Variety Performance, the BAFTA Film Awards, and the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. 2020 remained a busy year for the family, as they were featured in a BBC documentary during lockdown – This House Is Full of Music – which included a concert from their home and interviews with the musically gifted siblings. Early November also saw the release of their debut family album, Carnival of the Animals. Queen’s Birthday Honours Owing to the pandemic, the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours were
delayed from their usual spot in June, instead being announced in October. Shortly before Hartley News went to print, we were delighted to hear that among the recipients were five University academics – four of whom were recognised in part for their response to coronavirus. Professor Stephen Holgate receives a knighthood for services to medical research, and as a leading authority on respiratory illness for over four decades, has been consulted widely this year about the disease. He’s also a co-founder of Synairgen, which announced positive results from clinical trials of a drug that may prevent worsening symptoms in those most at risk. Professors Paul Elkington and Hywel Morgan are both awarded MBEs
after leading the team behind PeRSo: new, reusable PPE for healthcare staff on the front line, which takes the form of a protective respirator. You can read more about both Synairgen and PeRSo on pages 6 to 8. Two alumnae-cum-academics also receive OBEs: Professor Lucy Yardley in recognition of her contributions to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) – the body tasked with providing scientific advice to aid government decision makers during the pandemic – and Professor Jackie Wahba for services to economic policy as one of the leading voices on the economics of migration. We’re very pleased to be hearing from a number of other alumni who were also recognised in the Honours.
Southampton in the press The University’s work is regularly covered in national and local press – and our staff and students interviewed and quoted for their expertise. Here are just a few of our top stories from the past 12 months that made the headlines. A new study by Southampton palaeontologists suggests four bones recently found on the Isle of Wight belong to new species of theropod dinosaur, the group that includes Tyrannosaurus rex and modern-day birds. The dinosaur lived in the Cretaceous period 115 million years ago, and is estimated to have been up to four metres long.
Credit: Trudie Wilson
The remote switch-on of a cochlear implant for an 18-month-old patient – believed to be a UK first – by the University’s Auditory Implant Service during the coronavirus lockdown featured on MailOnline with a video. The story was also covered on the BBC, Sky News, and over 300 regional news websites.
Professor Andy Tatem played a major role on the BBC’s Panorama programme, explaining the WorldPop project and its research into the migration of people in and out of the Hubei province in China during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. His comments were also carried as part of articles published by the Mirror, The Independent, and The Guardian. Scientists at the University’s Centre for Cancer Immunology have discovered a way to transform antibody drugs previously developed to treat autoimmunity into antibodies with powerful anti-cancer activity – through a simple molecular ‘switch’. The work was published in the prestigious journal Cancer Cell, and focuses on a molecule called CD40 that’s present on the surface of immune cells.
In the run up to the 2019 UK general election, the BBC News Channel based a reporter at on-campus startup accelerator, Future Worlds, throughout the day – profiling nine student entrepreneurs about their businesses and what they want from the next government. On the same day, the BBC World Service broadcast live from the Students’ Union bar – interviewing six students about the general election and how engaged the student population is. A First World War German submarine has been surveyed for the first time since its loss in 1917. Scientists led by Southampton deep sea archaeological expert Dr Rodrigo Pacheco-Ruiz investigated the wreck of UC-47 during offshore operations to prepare for the laying of a new pipeline in the North Sea, some 20 nautical miles off the coast of Yorkshire.
Find out more about how our research is changing the world: www.southampton.ac.uk/ researchhighlights 21
CLASS NOTES Class Notes is a regular feature of Hartley News: alumni from across the decades get back in touch with life updates to share. Do you recognise any of the names from your years at Southampton? 1950s Tony Brown (BSc General Science, 1959) and his wife Karen celebrated the birth of their second grandson on 1 July 2020.
1960s Hugh Benham (BA English and Music, 1965; PhD Music, 1970) recently released his second album of choral music on Convivium Records. The CD includes a Mass, an evening service, motets, anthems, and three organ pieces. Duncan Walker (BSc Mechanical Engineering, 1965) recently published the paperback version of his electronic book, Rotor Dynamics of Turbomachinery. Duncan has written two other textbooks – Torsional Vibration of Turbomachinery and Steam Turbine-Generator Torsional Vibration Interaction with the Electrical Network – and currently lives in the United States. Michael Winch (BSc Physiology and Biochemistry, 1969) is the coach for Britain’s top woman shot-putter, Sophie McKinna. Sophie gained selection for the upcoming Olympic Games when she reached the final of
the World Athletics Championships in Doha last year. Despite the coronavirus lockdown, Michael is back to training Sophie online, and will be meeting ‘in the flesh’ over the next few months.
1970s Thomas Thatcher (CertEd, 1972), Peter Smith (BSc Physiology and Biochemistry, 1974), and Robert Milner (BSc Mechanical Engineering, 1974) formed the only University band during their student years: Gland Band. Nearly 50 years later – and despite being spread across the globe – the friends still find time to meet, having reunited four times over the years. The trio are often joined by the band’s next generation of musicians, with Tom’s daughter on guitar and vocals, and son on the sax. Sunil Weeramantry (LLB Law, 1973) works as a chess coach in the United States, and received the 2020 Distinguished Service Award from US Chess. He coaches his stepson, Hikaru Nakamura, who is currently the number one blitz chess player in the world. Barbara Miles (BA Music, 1976), Vice-President of Advancement at the Australian National University,
received the prestigious Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) John Lippincott Award for Global Advancement and Support of Education. This award honours an individual who has made significant contributions to CASE and to building and growing the advancement profession globally. Stephen William Rowe (BSc Electronic Engineering, 1977) has announced his retirement after a long career researching ultra-high-voltage electrical insulation, plasma physics, and high-current electrical arcs. Now living in France, Stephen spends his time writing novels and composing music. James Simister (BA History, 1977) taught for 18 years in further and adult education. He now gives historical talks to various groups and on cruises, and also portrays British historical figures like Thomas Paine and Dr Samuel Johnson. David Dawson (BSc Mathematics, 1979) has begun a new career as a novelist. He recently won a US award in the category of Mystery and Suspense for his novel The Necessary Deaths, published in 2016.
Dr Panos Adamopoulos and his daughter
Dr Yvonne Jones’s Breathe
Dr Panos Adamopoulos’s (MSc Engineering and Applied Science, 1985; PhD ISVR, 1990) youngest daughter is following her father’s footsteps by studying her law degree at Southampton this September.
Erika Sharrock, née Otte (BSc Physiology and Biochemistry, 1959) died on 13 August 2019, aged 83. Erika taught chemistry, physics, and then mathematics for many years, before working for British Birds magazine until her retirement. She leaves two children, five grandchildren, and her ex-husband, Dr Tim Sharrock (BSc Botany, 1959; PhD Botany, 1967), whom she met whilst at Southampton.
1990s Sylvia Fleming-Maguire (BA Music, 1996) has been taking part in various musical endeavours, including Mozart’s Requiem in October 2019 and the Christmas Oratorio in January 2020. She recently finished teaching, but is learning a new musical repertoire at home.
2000s Ashley Hyde (MPhys Astrophysics, 2010) has been promoted to Science Department Chair at St Andrew’s School in Middletown, Delaware. After working in both the United Kingdom and the United States for a period of years, Ashley will be the first woman in the role since the school was established in 1929. Dr Yvonne Jones FRSA (PhD Fine Art, 2010) has a piece of art, Breathe, that is on display at an exhibition at Modern Art Oxford from 2 October 2020 to 3 January 2021.
Professor Joe Hammond (BSc Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1966) passed away this July. He played a major role in the advancement of engineering, science, and mathematics across three decades at the University of Southampton, where he twice led as a Dean of Faculty during a dynamic research career in signal processing.
Professor Joe Hammond
Stay updated We’d love to keep you up to date with all the latest news, events, opportunities, and more from your alumni and supporter community. We may not have your most recent details, however, so let us know how to stay in touch: Go online to www. southampton.ac.uk/ alumni-update Alternatively, complete and post the ‘Update your details’ form that we’ve included with all postal copies of Hartley News.
Professor Jamilur Reza Choudhury (MSc Advanced Structural Engineering, 1966; PhD Civil Engineering, 1969) passed away peacefully in his sleep on 28 April 2020. Richard Grady (BSc Environmental Science, 1987) passed away on 28 December 2019 after battling brain cancer for some months.
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Find out more: www.southampton.ac.uk/alumni
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