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UPdate

Autumn 2016

Annual magazine for alumni and friends

TAKING ON THE WORLD PARALYMPIAN LAUREN STEADMAN GOES FOR GOLD

ALSO INSIDE: ALUMNUS TIM PEAKE IN SPACE CHERNOBYL SPARKS MEDIA MELTDOWN ALUMNI BENEFITS


FROM THE TEAM It has been a summer packed with sport – the Euros, Wimbledon, America’s Cup, Olympics and now the Paralympics, which are well underway. Here at the University of Portsmouth we are delighted to be supporting our very own gold medal hopeful, Lauren Steadman. Paratriathlon World and European Champion Lauren is competing in Rio as we go to press… Good luck Lauren! If you hadn’t heard about the first British European Space Agency astronaut, Tim Peake, before the start of this year, then I’m sure you have by now. As Tim is a Portsmouth alumnus, we were excited and proud to watch him during his 185-day journey in space, which came to an end in June.

alumni from all walks of life and across the globe. Become an e-mentor or e-mentee, find former classmates or share best practice with alumni in your industry. For more details on how to register see page 22. Finally, we hope you can join us in March for Sandi Toksvig’s last Chancellor’s Dinner. We’ll be announcing the guest speaker soon and are already putting plans in place for what should be a night to remember. The Alumni Relations Team

This summer has seen a number of alumni activities, including an event supporting the America’s Cup, followed by a University partnership with the popular Victorious Festival. These crosscity collaborations are something that we in the alumni team are excited about and proud to be part of. We hope to build upon these in the future. We are keen to improve what we offer to you as alumni and so this month will see the launch of our new e-networking and e-mentoring platform, Portsmouth LinkUP. Connect with fellow

VICKY HODSON Alumni Relations Officer

EMMA DEABILL Development Officer

CHLOE SMITH Alumni Support Officer

CONTENTS

A top-ranking university.....................................................................................................................................................................1 Highlights of the year.....................................................................................................................................................................2–3 An experience of a lifetime.............................................................................................................................................................4–5 Our very own superstar.................................................................................................................................................................6–7 On campus...................................................................................................................................................................................8–9 Events round up........................................................................................................................................................................10–11 Sky’s no limit for alumnus Tim....................................................................................................................................................12–13 Graduation nostalgia..................................................................................................................................................................14–15 Chernobyl research sparks media meltdown.............................................................................................................................16–17 A design for life................................................................................................................................................................................18 Lights, camera, action!....................................................................................................................................................................19 Successes and awards..............................................................................................................................................................20–21 Alumni benefits................................................................................................................................................................................21 Your impact...............................................................................................................................................................................22–23 Vice Chancellor’s thanks..................................................................................................................................................................23 Thank you.................................................................................................................................................................................24–25

The University of Portsmouth Alumni Association is always keen to hear from former students and friends of the University. Please stay in touch and share your news, stories and successes with us at alumni@port.ac.uk. uopalumni @uopalumni

From the team/Contents

University of Portsmouth portsmouthuni

uniofportsmouth


A TOP-RANKING

UNIVERSITY The University of Portsmouth continues to perform well in the education league tables

43*

in The Guardian University Guide

One of the top

150

young universities in the world (Times Higher Education)

*up from 49 in last year’s guide

A top 50 modern UK university (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016)

Portsmouth in top 2% of world’s universities (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2015)

A top-ranking university 1


HIGHLIGHTS OF THE YEAR SANDI ON THE RUN SEPTEMBER 2015

Sandi Toksvig stepped out in style – along with hundreds of other fitness fans – for the first Chancellor’s parkrun. Sandi joined the weekly event in Southsea, which saw more than 450 staff, students and community parkrunners walking, jogging and running a 5km course along the seafront in glorious sunshine. ‘I’m passionate that our staff and students should engage with their bodies as well as their minds,’ said Sandi.

HEALTHCARE BOOST OCTOBER 2015

The University launched its Centre for Simulation in Healthcare, giving students the chance to experience working in an authentic healthcare environment. The centre boasts a fully functioning operating theatre, an ultrasound suite and a flexible simulation space. It also has its own ambulance. But the centre’s biggest stars are its 15 human patient simulators – lifelike mannequins that can breathe oxygen, drool, secrete fluids, blink, bleed and react to drugs.

MOVIE ADVICE OCTOBER 2015

Emeritus professor of women’s and gender history, June Purvis, was the historical adviser on the feature film Suffragette, starring Carey Mulligan, which told the story of the beginning of the women’s movement in Edwardian Britain. June has published extensively on the suffragette movement, including an acclaimed biography of its leader, Emmeline Pankhurst. June, who also appeared as an extra in the film, commented: ‘Seeing the final film was a moving – and stimulating – experience’.

HOME SECRETARY VISITS JANUARY 2016

Theresa May visited the University’s Forensic Innovation Centre, the pioneering joint venture between the University and Hampshire Constabulary. The then Home Secretary saw first-hand the forensic science and digital crime-fighting partnership where researchers, students and serving police staff work together to solve crimes while supporting students’ learning and career ambitions. She toured the award-winning facility and met several of the new cyber volunteers, police officers and staff.

2 Highlights of the year


PRIZE-WINNING PICTURE MARCH 2016

A Portsmouth photography student came second in an international competition. Veronika Latanovskaya achieved the accolade in the beauty, fashion and lifestyle category of the International Student Photography Awards for this striking black and white image, entitled Martyna. Veronika’s work uses high contrast to focus the viewer’s eye on texture and detail. She said: ‘Everything that disturbs, makes you wonder, gaze, terrifies – creates a more interesting and unique world around us’.

HORIZON EVENT MARCH 2016

A BBC Horizon documentary made with the help of a University astrophysicist won an international award. Dancing in the Dark: The End of Physics? – which featured a major contribution by Professor Bob Nichol, Director of the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation – triumphed in the best TV documentary category in the 2015 Science TV and New Media Awards. It profiled scientists’ hunt for dark matter, the mysterious particle believed by scientists to make up 95 per cent of the mass of the universe.

DATE WITH DISASTER MAY 2016

Staff and students from across the University took part in Europe’s biggest ever emergency response exercise. The scenario, designed to test the UK’s readiness in dealing with major incidents involving urban search and rescue and identifying victims, involved a tower block collapsing on Waterloo Station. Portsmouth provided teams of evaluators for Exercise Unified Response, which took place over four days.

RESTORED TO GLORY JULY 2016

University experts helped recreate the Mary Rose figurehead, which went on show for the first time as part of the revamped Mary Rose Museum. A team led by Dr Vaughan Powell created a 3D digital rendering of the emblem from Henry VIII’s favourite warship, which sank in the Solent in 1545. The original figurehead has been significantly eroded, but the experts used advanced techniques to show how it would have looked in its original colourful form.

Highlights of the year 3


Volunteering is becoming increasingly important in giving graduates the best chance of landing their dream jobs or providing them with valuable life experiences. We caught up with two of our alumni, both with a passion for nature, to find out more about their incredible adventures.

AN EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME

A stunning skyline in the Bay of Biscay

LUCY MCLEOD BSc (Hons) MARINE BIOLOGY, 2015 WILDLIFE OFFICER, ORCA For as long as I can remember, my ambition has been to work at sea, saving whales and dolphins. So after completing my degree I approached the Portsmouthbased charity ORCA and volunteered to help in any role they could give me. I got lucky and was invited on school visits around the Solent as part of the ‘Your Seas, People and Port’ campaign. Thanks to my degree and the numerous presentations I have delivered throughout, I was confidently able to address large groups of people and present to them the true wonders of whales and dolphins, expelling passion into everything I spoke about. I was

4 An experience of a lifetime

also able to volunteer in the charity’s main office performing a variety of administrative tasks. A year on and I have now landed the job of my dreams as Wildlife Officer for the charity. I spend two weeks in every three, sailing across the Bay of Biscay from Portsmouth to Spain and back, monitoring whales and dolphins. It’s more than I could have hoped for! A huge element of my role involves passenger engagement. On board I provide educational presentations for both adults and children on marine wildlife and conservation issues, as well

as what they can expect to see during their crossing. I also host a variety of children’s activities throughout the summer holidays on the ship ranging from marine-themed arts and crafts using recycled materials, through to games and quizzes for all the family. I attribute this success to the months of volunteering in schools (which I still do in my week off the ship) and I rely on that practice every single day in my job. There are so many opportunities out there for people from all walks of life, there is nothing stopping you from getting involved, so just ask, that’s all I did.


CHRISTIAN STAUNTON BSc (Hons) COMPUTER SCIENCE, 2002 DIRECTOR, IN THE BOX MARKETING Last year, while on a long-awaited trip around the world, my partner Anna and I volunteered in the Costa Rican cloud forest for two months. Anna and I both share a passion for wildlife and the natural world, so we planned our trip to include as many of these experiences as we could. We wanted to give something back and make a positive contribution towards the environment, not least to help offset our carbon emissions. We also wanted to stay in one place for a while so we could truly get to know one of the many environments we were visiting. Costa Rica is a must for anyone who loves nature, with a series of fantastic national parks and a world-leading attitude towards eco-tourism. After much research, we found a project in the cloud forest, which had the right balance of cost, climate and cause and importantly to us, no captive animals. The project we chose is called Cloudbridge Nature Reserve, a small cloud forest reserve on the slopes of

Mount Chirripo (the highest mountain in Costa Rica). The reserve, former agricultural land, is a reforestation initiative to return the site to its former forested glory. As a volunteer at Cloudbridge, we spent our time tree planting, clearing sites, looking after saplings, maintaining trails and manning the visitors centre. While the primary objective of the project is reforestation, they also carry out biological research and receive many students and scientists who come to study in the forest. After sweet-talking the Reserve Director, we were given permission to help with some biological research too. Anna has a background and a degree from Portsmouth in environmental science, which no doubt helped. We were both very keen to gain some experience in biological research for our own interest and to aid with a potential change in career. We chose to study hummingbird feeding behaviour, having been enthralled with the birds since arriving in Costa Rica. We

spent our days in Cloudbridge hiking the steep paths to our various tree planting and hummingbird monitoring sites. We found our volunteering experience to be worthwhile, rewarding and thoroughly enjoyable. We met some great people, planted a lot of trees, got to study magical hummingbirds and present our findings to the reserve managers. We also got very fit hiking steep trails every day and still had plenty of time to enjoy the beauty of the forest and its fascinating inhabitants. It remains to be seen if our time in Cloudbridge will lead to a change in career for either of us, but it was certainly an experience we’d recommend to anyone. By contributing to a worthwhile cause, getting our hands dirty and immersing ourselves in another culture, we gained a fresh perspective on the world and found it life-affirming. The Costa Rican people (Ticos) and the cloud forests will stay with us forever; although one day, we’re sure to return.

Anna and Christian at the summit of Mount Chirripo

A blue-throated mountain-gem hummingbird Photography: Christian Staunton

Cloudbridge waterfall

An experience of a lifetime 5


She is the current World and European Paratriathlon Champion and now, University of Portsmouth student Lauren Steadman, is going for gold in Rio.

OUR VERY OWN

SUPERSTAR Juggling a demanding training schedule while gaining a first-class honours degree was an incredible challenge for parathlete Lauren Steadman.

‘I couldn’t have asked for a better university education really. The flexibility has been fantastic and I can’t praise everyone involved enough.’

‘When you see the pictures, people don’t realise how freezing it was on the shoot. I met the kit designer Stella McCartney, who I would describe as a little eccentric.

But this determined young athlete isn’t stopping there. She’s competing in the Rio Paralympics while currently studying for a Master’s.

This is Lauren’s third Paralympics, having competed in swimming events in the previous two in Beijing and London. In Rio she will be competing in the paratriathlon; an event making its debut at the 2016 games.

‘The official kit launch started the ball rolling with the excitement and build up to Rio. It brings it all to life.’

‘Being a full-time athlete is lovely but I get bored really easily. I have a lot of spare time between training sessions, so I like to fill my brain with something away from the constant stress of sport. ‘My MSc Business and Management course allows me to do this,’ she said. ‘The University has allowed me to be flexible and do it part time over a couple of years. ‘I could finish my dissertation by September but the University has said if it’s too stressful, then I’ve got until next April. So, I can focus on Rio and then I’ve got six months to complete it.’ Not many students have to deal with this type of schedule clash but 23-yearold Lauren credits her fantastic team in the city for making her the athlete she is today. She has high praise for the continued support of Paul Tilley, Head of Sport and Recreation, whose encouragement has been invaluable and all the academics who have allowed her study schedule to be flexible.

6 Our very own superstar

‘I’m excited to be competing in a new event but, for me, it’s just another triathlon except it’s got the Paralympics title at stake. I’ve done the course in Fort Copacabana already. It will be hot, it will be flat and fast, but a race is a race.’ Lauren, who comes from Peterborough, is the current Paratriathlon World and European Champion but has her sights set on bringing home the coveted gold medal. ‘I love to win, I may get beaten as there’s some really fierce competition, but to know that I’ve given it my best shot means everything.

‘I’m in a position now where I am the goal to beat so if I don’t up my game, they’ll have me! I raised the game two years ago and people followed and they matched so I’ve got to raise it again in order to stay ahead.’ Incredibly modest and down-to-earth, Lauren was taken out of her comfort zone when she was one of only six parathletes chosen to model the Team GB kit at the launch event.

Lauren’s successful career is paying dividends and she now has a manager who has secured her a range of sponsorship opportunities including a car from Peugeot and contracts with Asics, Oakley and Neutrogena. ‘I never dreamed I’d have a manager. I’m just Lauren, a girl from a small village!’ Once Rio is a distant memory and her dissertation has been handed in, what does the future hold for Lauren? ‘A new chapter of my life will begin. I’m unsure whether to stay in the city, switch coaches, find a job or maybe even do a PhD. The answer is currently illusive to me and my focus is purely on Rio at the moment. ‘Sport is my escape so I’m not necessarily going to make it my career. If I’ve had a stressful day then I go out on my bike or go for a run. But if it were my job then there’d be no escape.’

‘It’s been amazing here. Portsmouth will always be a special place to me. I really do enjoy living here.’


Q&A Why did you choose to study at Portsmouth? I came here and had a good feeling about the place. Head of Sport and Recreation, Paul Tilley told me about the Sport Scholarship, plus the city had just invested in the 50-metre swimming pool and I knew the coach there. What do you do in your free time? I’m limited to playing other sports purely because of the risk of injury but I love to dance. I enjoy salsa and Latin dancing. I can’t really hurt myself. There’s a salsa society at the University and we meet twice a week. Do you have any lucky charms? There is one ritual I always do before a race; I always eat a chocolate dessert the night before!

The Paralympics run from 7–18 September.

Lauren competes in Fort Copacabana on 11 September.

• Paratriathletes must complete a course consisting of a 750m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run.

Our very own superstar 7


The University of Portsmouth continues to dominate the city centre skyline with innovative new buildings being added to the campus.

ON CAMPUS NEW NURSING DEGREE The University has been successful in its bid to bring nursing education back to Portsmouth from next year. The first 110 students, based in St Andrew’s Court, will begin training from February 2017. The first graduates will be in nursing roles from summer 2020. The announcement by Education Commissioners for Health Education England Wessex and Health Education England Kent, Surrey and Sussex follows a formal NHS procurement process. University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Graham Galbraith, said the agreement was a major boost to the region, to healthcare providers and to the University.

NEW THEATRE ROYAL – WHITE SWAN BUILDING The White Swan Building, adjacent to the newly refurbished New Theatre Royal, opened for business in the autumn of 2015. The new building is part of a major project to create new facilities for the University and upgrade the existing Grade II listed historic building. Students from the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries now have access to a range of brand new spaces, including a television studio and technical gallery and a double-height theatre studio, all with industry-standard facilities. The four-storey building also includes music practice rooms, classrooms and drama studios with fully sprung floors. The New Theatre Royal itself has gained the Minghella Studio (a creative learning space designed for smaller performances), new dressing rooms, workshops and fly tower.

8 On campus


FUTURE TECHNOLOGY CENTRE A collaborative project currently under construction in the Northern Quarter is the innovative Future Technology Centre. This will be an exciting new space for engineering, technology and science students to solve the problems faced by industry, using the latest simulation, visualisation and modelling equipment.

NEW HALLS OF RESIDENCE Greetham Street Halls, a new building with 836 rooms in the heart of the city adjacent to Portsmouth and Southsea Station, has been finished and offers much-needed rooms for the current intake of new students. The skyline of the city is also changing with the refurbishment of the city centre’s landmark Zurich House. Currently undergoing a huge renovation, it will eventually be converted into 405 student rooms. An additional 595 rooms will be available at a new purpose-built adjacent halls of residence. Construction of the student housing scheme is set for completion in the summer of 2017.

On campus 9


EVENTS ROUND UP

Since our last edition of UPdate magazine, the Alumni Association has been busy organising and supporting both faculty and University-wide events for alumni. March 2016 saw one of the biggest events in our calendar year with Sandi Toksvig hosting the Chancellor’s Dinner at Portsmouth Guildhall, which entertained more than 300 guests. We’ve welcomed former students back to the University for guided tours and drinks in the Students’ Union, and the International Office has been busy meeting alumni overseas in India, Malaysia and Oman to name but a few.

CHANCELLOR’S DINNER University Chancellor, Sandi Toksvig, hosted the black tie dinner on 4 March 2016 at Portsmouth Guildhall. After a drinks and canapé reception followed by dinner, Sandi welcomed long-time friend, journalist, writer and broadcaster John McCarthy CBE on stage. Brutality and moments of extraordinary kindness peppered the conversation when Sandi questioned her friend about his experiences of being kept in captivity for 1,943 days in Lebanon in 1986. Sandi also presented the first Chancellor’s Award, which was awarded to the Students’ Union’s boxing club for being the most inclusive of all student clubs and societies through the year.

SUN, SEA AND SAILING Working with organisers Team Origin, we sold out of discounted alumni tickets to the America’s Cup Race Village on 23 July 2016. Around 120 alumni, friends and family kick started their day with a complimentary breakfast at Café Coco, as well as enjoying free parking, before making their way to the America’s Cup event on Southsea seafront. The glorious sunshine and sailing made for a brilliant day out.

THE BEST OF PORTSMOUTH September 2015 saw our Best of Portsmouth event come to life when alumni and guests took a nostalgic tour of Portsmouth on a vintage Routemaster bus, followed by a posh fish and chip supper at the Still and West pub in Old Portsmouth. The views of the city from the top of Portsdown Hill were spectacular and it was lovely to see both familiar and new faces back in a popular old haunt.

10 Events round up


FACULTY OF CREATIVE AND CULTURAL INDUSTRIES VIP NETWORKING BREAKFAST The Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries held the University’s first VIP networking breakfast at the Spinnaker Tower on 12 May 2016. The networking event was themed ‘The Urban Future of Portsmouth’ and welcomed more than a hundred people from industry, government, the University and its alumni. University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Graham Galbraith, was joined by an expert panel to discuss the future of the city and the University’s ambitious estates masterplan.

REUNION IN DELHI In June, members of the International Office met with alumni in Delhi. While enjoying a meal at the Varg restaurant in the Taj Mahal hotel, students recalled their fond memories of Portsmouth including being a photographer at Liquid nightclub, travelling around Europe in the holidays and, as I’m sure all our alumni can relate to, spending long nights in the University Library in the build up to exams.

SCHOOL OF COMPUTING STUDENT CONFERENCE The School of Computing’s annual showcase for student and researcher work was held on 16 March 2016 and welcomed more than 60 presenters and 50 alumni, guests from local businesses and across the University. The theme of the conference was ‘Conversations in Computing’ where initiatives and collaborations were discussed on topics including Intelligent Systems Research, Augmented Reality and Cyber-Security and Forensics. Keep an eye out on www.port.ac.uk/alumni for details of the conference in March 2017. All alumni are invited.

THE CHANCELLOR’S DINNER – FRIDAY 10 MARCH 2017 Join University Chancellor Sandi Toksvig for her final Chancellor’s Dinner. It will be a night to remember! Keep an eye out for further information on our webpages www.port.ac.uk/alumni.

If you’d like support with organising a reunion, contact us at alumni@port.ac.uk. You can keep up-to-date with our latest news and events by visiting www.port.ac.uk/alumni.

Events round up 11


Tim Peake was hailed a national hero last December when he became the first British European Space Agency astronaut – and the first University of Portsmouth graduate – to travel to the International Space Agency.

Earth from space Credit: ESA/NASA

SKY’S NO LIMIT FOR

ALUMNUS TIM TIM PEAKE FACTFILE Born: 7 April 1972 in Chichester, West Sussex Family: Married with two sons Hobbies: Skiing, scuba diving, cross-country running and reading Tim graduated from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1992 as an officer in the Army Air Corps He became a helicopter flying instructor in 1998 before being selected for a post with the US Army, flying Apache helicopters He received a degree in flight dynamics and evaluation from the University of Portsmouth in 2006 Timothy was selected as an ESA astronaut in May 2009 He is the eighth Briton to go into space, but the first British ESA astronaut

12 Sky’s no limit for alumnus Tim

Tim at work on the International Space Station Credit: ESA/NASA


Tim on launch day Credit: ESA/NASA

Tim gets ready for his first spacewalk Credit: ESA/NASA

‘We were all excited, but nervous too,’ remembers cosmologist Dr Karen Masters. ‘It’s well-known that the most dangerous parts of space flight are the launch and landing, so I was really relieved when he made it safely. ‘A number of us had met Tim (virtually) when he called in to the National Astronomy Meeting at the University in June 2014, so it felt very weird to watch someone we’d spoken to go into space.’

No University of Portsmouth alumnus, it’s safe to say, has hit the heights quite so spectacularly as Tim Peake. The former flight dynamics and evaluation student spent 185days hurtling through space at a giddying five miles per second – and witnessing 15 sunrises a day – as part of the crew of the International Space Station (ISS). Tim made his nail-biting departure from Earth on the morning of December 15 last year, blasting off on board a Soyuz rocket from the former Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan and docking with the ISS – orbiting the Earth at a height of roughly 250 miles – some four-and-a-half hours later. Among those watching the live TV coverage with especially keen interest that day were staff at the University’s Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation.

To mark the start of Tim’s six-month Principia mission on December 15, and 15 years of human habitation on the ISS, the University made a short video featuring clips of good luck messages in 15 languages – from Slovenian to Japanese. You can see the video – which made it onto BBC South Today and even won Tim’s approval on Twitter – at www.youtube.com/ user/uniofportsmouth. During his time on the ISS, Tim carried out scientific experiments and maintenance work. Highlights of his time on board included a spacewalk – when he left the ISS to replace a faulty component on the station’s solar arrays – a new year message broadcast by the BBC, and running the London Marathon on the space station treadmill. Tim is due to make an appearance at the Principia Schools Conference – being hosted by the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation in association with the UK Space Agency – on November 2 (subject to operational requirements). The session will give children a chance to exhibit work linked to Tim’s space mission and meet experts from the space industry.

Sky’s no limit for alumnus Tim 13


GRADUATION NOSTALGIA

I REMEMBER WHEN... ‘On my graduation day in 1988 I met up with my flatmate and fa mily for lunch in the Still and West pub before the ceremony. In July 2016 I ca me back to the city for my son’s graduation and I booked a meal in the sa me place. But, it was even better this time round as a proud parent and alu mna.’ Elaine Clarke, 1988

‘A classmate behind me threw their mortarboard so high in the air, like a Frisbee, that when it ca me down it hit me so hard on my head, it cracked it open. Blood everywhere!’ Çiler Ömer, 2010

‘ I vividly remember looking up at the Guildhall in my cap and gown and having a flashback of my first year, when I was stood in exactly the sa me spot, doubting whether or not I’d get through the next three years. That was the best feeling of all. ’ Gemma Lake, 2015

‘ The A3 was shut on the day when I needed to travel to the ceremony. The diversion took us out into the sticks and then the signs ran out. So I ca me pretty close to missing my own graduation.’ Glenda Hayes, 2007

‘ It is quite hard to describe my graduation in just one word. It was definitely an emotional day. I cried a little, when I realised that my “journey” had come to the end and I laughed while listening to Sandi Toksvig’s speech. Without a doubt, it was a day I will remember for the rest of my life.‘ Julija Oleinika, 2015

14 Graduation nostalgia


‘ I graduated with a Master’s in 2012 and a m now studying for my Professional Doctorate at the University of Portsmouth. In this picture I’m flinging my mortarboard into the air but accidentally flung it into the face of my colleague. My face says it all!’ Rachel Dominey, 2012

‘ I was six weeks pregnant at my graduation. I got married during my second year of study. We’d been together since we were teenagers. Unfortunately my husband couldn’t make it to my graduation as he was away at sea with the Royal Navy!’

‘After a spell in intensive care just two months earlier, my daughter Livia was allowed time off school to accompany me on my graduation day. I hope one day she’ ll return to Guildhall Square for her own graduation!’ Paul Jeram, 2015

Bethany Reynolds, 2008

‘ I remember standing next in line waiting for my na me to be called thinking “don’t trip, this is your moment, don’t trip!” Graduation was the proudest moment of my life, purely because I didn’t fall over!’ Amanda Gibson, 2014

‘ ‘In my ceremony, I did kiss the Chancellor’s hand as I approached her. That was pretty memorable and I have the picture to show for it!’ Elliot Winch, 2013

‘Here’s me with my fellow Social Administration graduates from 1985 plus a rogue physicist!’ David Trethewey, 1985

Thank you to everyone else who sent in graduation memories. We are sorry we could not fit them all in. Graduation nostalgia 15


White Tailed Eagle Credit: Valeriy Yurko

CHERNOBYL RESEARCH

SPARKS MEDIA MELTDOWN Professor Jim Smith has given the University’s international profile an impressive boost after publishing ground-breaking research showing that wildlife around the site of the world’s worst nuclear accident isn’t faring quite as badly as might be expected… As headlines go, it’s as attentiongrabbing as they come – and a quick Google search confirms it’s one that gained the University of Portsmouth an astonishing amount of coverage. The story, based on newly published research by Professor Jim Smith of the University’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, took the world’s media by storm when it was released in October last year. An international group of scientists coordinated by Professor Smith conducted the first large-scale study of mammal populations in the 4,200km sq human exclusion zone around Chernobyl – site of the world’s worst nuclear accident.

They found no evidence of any decline in the animal populations. Astonishingly, in fact, the number of large mammals – including elk, roe deer, wild boar and wolves – in the area was similar to those in four uncontaminated nature reserves in the region. Professor Smith said: ‘We know that radiation can be harmful in very high doses, but research on Chernobyl has shown that it isn’t as harmful as people think. ‘There have been many reports of abundant wildlife at Chernobyl, but this is the first large-scale study to prove how resilient they are. It’s very likely

16 Chernobyl research sparks media meltdown

that wildlife numbers at Chernobyl are much higher than they were before the accident.

‘This doesn’t mean radiation is good for wildlife, just that the effects of human habitation, including hunting, farming and forestry, are a lot worse.’ After the disaster in April 1986 – when an explosion and fire at a nuclear power plant released large quantities of radioactive particles into the atmosphere – the region’s 116,000 residents were permanently excluded, and animals in the area were exposed to extremely high doses of radiation.


‘CHERNOBYL ALLOWS US TO STUDY THE EFFECTS ON ANIMALS AFTER YEARS OF RADIATION EXPOSURE.’

Przewalski’s Horse Credit: Tatyana Deryabina

A family of Elk Credit: Valeriy Yurko

Baby Spotted Eagle Credit: Valeriy Yurko

The research shows that their populations recovered within a few years. Increases in the area’s wildlife are in stark contrast to a decline in elk and wild boar populations in other parts of the former Soviet Union in the 1990s, as major socio-economic changes brought rural poverty and poorer wildlife management.

because it allows us to investigate the transfers and effects of radioactivity in the long term. There have been many laboratory experiments on the effects of radiation on animals and plants but these are usually quite short term. Chernobyl allows us to study the effects on animals after years of radiation exposure.’

The research included an analysis of historical data from aerial surveys and counts of animal tracks in the snow. The data does not include information about the health or reproductive success of animals, but the researchers have ruled out the current population being significantly influenced by an influx from other areas as highly unlikely.

Reflecting on the impact of his research, Professor Smith said: ‘Nearly 30 years have passed since the nuclear accident at Chernobyl in the Ukraine, but people are still interested in what’s happening in the 30km-radius human exclusion zone around the reactor.

Professor Smith said: ‘The Chernobyl area is a fascinating experimental area

‘I was amazed by how the story – helped by some striking photos from my colleagues in Belarus – spread worldwide.

‘Anything linked with nuclear issues seems to be controversial, with polarised views on both sides of the pro/antinuclear argument. ‘So it’s crucial to try to communicate the science in a way in which the key message is as clear as possible, and at least some of the inevitable caveats and limitations of any study make it through in the media message.

‘Our key message – that we weren’t saying that radiation was good for wildlife, but that the previous human habitation, agriculture and forestry in the area was worse – was reported in almost all the media coverage.’

Chernobyl research sparks media meltdown 17


A DESIGN FOR LIFE Much Ado About Portsmouth was a fun, creative and entrepreneurial festival marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. The festival ran from 18 to 23 April 2016, culminating on the day of Shakespeare’s death. It stemmed from a University of Portsmouth initiative driven by enthusiastic students and staff to encourage projects that will provide a positive legacy for the Portsmouth community. Much Ado About Portsmouth was, quite literally, making much ado about nothing, since part of their challenge was to create a festival without any start-up funds. Events and exhibitions included art exhibitions, cake bake offs, an evening of songs, sonnets and Shakespearean theatre, as well as the Ruff Fashion Show.

THE RUFF FASHION SHOW

The Ruff Fashion Show featured up-andcoming designers who were set a brief to design and make four outfits inspired by Shakespearean times with an interesting modern twist. Their collections were put forward for three prizes. We caught up with first prize winner and alumna Aisha Ally, who is the CEO and Founder of Shantonio, a

University students and alumni got creative and had fun organising the Much Ado About Portsmouth festival.

Portsmouth company working to develop a fashion-based school, which will soon be a registered charity in East Africa. Aisha won a spread in an international magazine based in Cairo, Egypt. Fashion Zone magazine is Egypt’s first and only magazine dedicated to fashion. It is a platform for creative designers, models and luxury brands.

Q&A You studied science at Portsmouth – what made you decide to take up your hobby as a career? I have a young son and as a single parent, being a fashion designer allows me to be flexible in my career. The University has played a big role in helping me to grow as a person though. I have challenged my brain, problem solved and taken full advantage of the fantastic facilities. What was your inspiration for these designs? My inspiration for this collection came from my love of Shakespearean work, the creativity to play on words and the elegance and beauty that can transform words into imagery.

What are your aspirations for the future? I hope to expand my fashion charity school in at least two more African countries and in the UK. I have chosen to make a big step and will be relocating to East Africa this year. As I have a background from the Middle East I would also like to be active in those regions in the fashion industry. The fashion school will focus on young women who have left school but cannot afford further education. For every product I sell, a percentage will be guaranteed to go towards, not only the school in East Africa, but also giving students in the UK the opportunity to gain scholarships to enhance their education. As well as providing these internships at the Shantonio workshop in Portsmouth, my connections with the UK and internationally will continue with at least two high end department stores in London and LA stocking Shantonio designs. Why is it beneficial to get involved in city events such as this? It’s a great way to get known. I love doing charity work and sharing knowledge. Shantonio will continue to participate as much as possible in other city events to promote the brand and its aim of helping others, specifically by raising funds for the school.

Aisha receiving her prize Credit: Sarah Benstead

18 A design for life

Backstage at the Ruff Fashion Show Credit: Sarah Benstead


LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!

Journalism and media studies graduate (2010) Claire Jones talks about how her studies at the University of Portsmouth helped her secure her dream job – a broadcast journalist for the BBC. With bright lights shining everywhere, a dry mouth, shaking hands, and knees knocking, I’ll never forget my first time appearing on live television. There’s no feeling quite like it – one of the most exhilarating, exciting and nerve-racking experiences I’ve ever known. I don’t think you can ever appreciate how long one minute and thirty seconds is until you’re tasked with filling it with informative news content in an articulate way. But thankfully, I was prepared... When I started my career at the University of Portsmouth I had no idea it would shape my future the way it did. It was there I learnt the valuable lessons of news gathering, interviewing, media law, and the dreaded shorthand, all of which I hugely rely on today. All the while I was making lifelong friends and unforgettable memories. I proudly gained a 2:1 that marked a wonderful three years of my life. I went on to complete a Master’s in multimedia broadcast journalism at the University of Falmouth, which furthered my skills in broadcasting.

It was thanks to both of these qualifications that I landed my first job in the business, in my home city, as a trainee reporter for the daily newspaper, the Plymouth Herald. It was here I learnt the trade inside out and really honed my writing skills. The deadlines, stressful situations and responsibilities could never outweigh the huge privilege and immeasurable honour it is to work on a newspaper that is a lifeline for so many people. It’s a job I’m extremely proud to have had. I went on to become the paper’s education reporter where I undertook numerous investigations. It was these stories that enabled me to win Most Promising Newcomer at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations Education Journalism Awards held at the Houses of Parliament. I also won Daily Print Journalist of the Year at the EDF Energy Awards.

develop new skills quickly in a breaking news environment. These experiences prepared me for an attachment working for The One Show in Salford and the Online Regional Headquarters in Birmingham. I most recently worked in the South West current affairs department on a national documentary called Sea Cities. This led to my most recent role working as a producer for the current affairs programme Inside Out South West where I worked on numerous investigative stories. I look back at my time at the University of Portsmouth with nothing but fondness. I worked hard and thanks to the opportunities given to me, and those I made for myself, I’m now working in a job that I love and feel so excited for the future. Thanks for everything, Pompey.

After three years working at the paper I landed my dream job working at the BBC as a broadcast journalist in 2014. Since then I’ve been working in a multimedia newsroom, which has encouraged me to

Lights, camera, action! 19


SUCCESSES

AND AWARDS MARINE POLAR EXPERT APPOINTED AS VISITING PROFESSOR

FORMER PORTSMOUTH POLICING STUDIES STUDENT AWARDED AN MBE

Internationally renowned marine polar expert Professor Lloyd Peck has been appointed visiting professor in marine biology at the University of Portsmouth where he studied for his PhD.

A retired Surrey police officer, Roger Nield, was recognised in the New Year’s Honours list after being awarded an MBE for his exemplary service and contribution to local policing, particularly through social media. During his career, he also received three Chief Constable’s Commendations. Roger studied his undergraduate and postgraduate policing degrees at Portsmouth, graduating in 2005.

Professor Peck, science leader of the British Antarctic Survey, is at the forefront of investigating how marine animals adapt to extreme environments. His appointment is expected to result in significantly increased research collaboration as well as the delivery of seminars and lectures to undergraduates and postgraduates.

UNIVERSITY OF PORTSMOUTH GRADUATE MEETS PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA John Wheal, who graduated with a Master’s in Computer Engineering this year, was selected for the US Embassy’s Young Leaders programme after submitting a video answering three questions about the United States and its relationship with the UK. He met the American President at a meeting where Mr Obama discussed the relationship between the US and the UK, his vision for the future of the cooperation between the two countries, and answered questions on Brexit. John said: ‘It was an amazing experience. President Obama was really inspirational. None of the questions were pre-screened, and his ability to think on his feet was impressive.’

20 Successes and awards

Credit: iStock.com/Akabei


FORMER MEMBER OF THE UNIVERSITY’S PARACHUTE CLUB IS SELECTED FOR A TWO-YEAR TOUR ON THE RAF FALCONS Human Resource Management alumnus, Simon Owen took over as the Deputy Officer commanding the RAF Falcons in October last year and began his first display season as part of the Parachute Display Team earlier this year. For more than 50 years the RAF Falcons have delivered fast paced, high-profile displays from up to 12,000ft across the UK and abroad. Simon’s passion for parachute jumping started when he joined the parachute club at Portsmouth while studying for his degree. Simon graduated in 2008, joining the RAF in 2009 as a Training Officer.

ALUMNI

BENEFITS Did you know there are lots of benefits you may be entitled to as a Portsmouth graduate?

• Invitations  to events and reunions, the perfect opportunity to network, reconnect and reminisce • Portsmouth  LinkUP – on-line support from your fellow alumni through our brand new e-networking and e-mentoring platform • Alumni  Scholarship of 20 per cent fee discount available for self-funded postgraduate students. Both you and the course you wish to study must be eligible – visit www.port.ac.uk/ alumnischolarship • Use  of Purple Door Careers and Recruitment services for up to five years after graduation • Free  external University Library membership for the first year following graduation • Discounted  membership at the University of Portsmouth gym • Use of the University’s Printing Services • Opportunity to purchase an NUS Extra card Go to www.port.ac.uk/alumni for further details.

JOURNALISM ALUMNA WINS YOUNG JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR

Credit: Society of Editors

Bristol Post reporter and former journalism student Sophie Prideaux won Young Journalist of the Year at the Regional Press Awards after her coverage of three tragic deaths in the Avon Gorge. Sophie graduated from the University of Portsmouth in 2013 with a BA (Hons) in Journalism.

Successes and awards/Benefits 21


YOUR

IMPACT Portsmouth

LinkUP

The University of Portsmouth is delighted to announce that we have just launched our own alumni platform which will enable you to connect with other alumni from all walks of life and across the globe. Portsmouth LinkUP also facilitates e-mentoring relationships between alumni and in the future will allow for alumnito-student mentoring. In addition the secure platform will enable you to join groups, set up chapters, register for events, send messages and find out more about what is going on at the University. One other key feature of Portsmouth LinkUP is the ability for you to volunteer your time in a number of different ways including supporting University Open Days, writing a career profile, speaking to current students or offering placements. There are so many benefits to volunteering including the ability to learn new skills, helping a current student and the great feeling of giving something back to your University. Register now at www.port.aluminate.net.

SPOTLIGHT ON VOLUNTEERING

4,650

alumni have offered to volunteer in some way

1,100

alumni have offered to talk to current students about their job

152

alumni have helped inspire potential students at an Open Day

315

alumni have offered to provide a career profile A total of

1,733

alumni have already volunteered for the University 22 Your impact


VICE-CHANCELLOR’S THANKS

SUPPORT US The Portsmouth Futures Fund Over the last year the Portsmouth Futures Fund has supported 28 students with a total of £10,033, we couldn’t have done this without your support. Here are just some of the areas where your support has made a difference: •

Funding for attendance at a two-day workshop at the University of Essex. The workshop supported the student’s research project and enabled them to broaden their understanding of their field of study while gathering research for their projects.

Funding for a student who is a lone parent with a disability and who is in severe financial hardship. The award contributed to nursery fees and rent arrears allowing her to stay on her course.

Support for a mature paramedic science student to help with travel costs to a placement outside of Portsmouth.

Supporting a student to complete their second year by paying for essential materials for models, drawing equipment and printing.

It’s been another exciting year so far for the University, as you’ll have seen from this edition of UPdate. We have a number of developments across the University campus, a rise in University league tables, new events in collaboration with city partnerships and much more. I am, as always, overwhelmed and ever grateful for the support we receive from our alumni as it is your help that’s crucial to the future success of the University. We are lucky to have so many of our alumni offering work placements and graduate jobs, delivering talks, attending events and volunteering time. I hope you will continue to offer your time at the 2016/17 Open Days, and with the exciting launch of the e-networking and e-mentoring platform, Portsmouth LinkUP, there are opportunities for you to learn from and support your fellow alumni. Earlier in the year I attended the Chancellor’s Dinner where I was delighted to see so many of our alumni and students. It was a wonderfully emotive evening and I hope to see more of you at the next dinner, which will sadly be Sandi’s last as University Chancellor. I’d like to say congratulations to our graduates of 2016. We wish you good luck for the future and hope you’ll stay in touch with us. Best wishes for the year ahead and thank you for your continued support.

Professor Graham Galbraith Vice-Chancellor

At the end of 2015 we ran the University’s annual telephone campaign and were delighted to speak to 1,400 of our alumni. The campaign marked our best year ever with over £70,000 being raised for the Futures Fund. This support is invaluable and we would like to thank every one of you who spoke to a student, offered advice or made a gift, it really does make a difference.

Your impact/Vice-Chancellor’s thanks 23


THANK

YOU

The University of Portsmouth would like to thank all of our regular donors for your support over the past year, it really does make a huge difference.

Michael Abbott Karen Addy Jane Agar Theresa Agonmuo Benjamin Anyan Tracy Ashton-Remnant Kate Aston Mark Austin Michael Bage Paula Bailey Georgina Banfield David Banks Matthew Barber Wayne Barry Michael Baycroft Aileen Bentall Sebastian Beynon Marie-Louise Bickley Neil Bishop Sean Blackman Graham Blogg Abigail Bottrill Marion Boyes Sarah Brame Michael Briggs James Bruce Carol Budden Doria Buick Mark Bullen Toni-Ann Byres Tom Cadman Ben Calvert-Lee Michael Capp John Carson Christian Chadwick Paul Chandler David Clarke Amanda Clayton

24 Thank you

Myles Clough Laura Coleman Brian Colthorpe Tim Connolly Martin Cooke Diana Cooper Karen Cracknell Maxine Crawley Tavy Cussinel John Da Costa Bronwen Davies Stephen De Burgh-Thomas Gae De La Fosse Rosemary Devonald Wreford Digings Simon Drayson Karen Dunlop Nicholas Dunton Simon Dure-Smith Marilyn Dyason John Ellison Mikyla Elsey Gavin England John Evans Richard Evans Sian Evans Justin Excell Joy Ezekwesili David Fairlamb Karen Fill Graham Ford Yvonne Forsey Paul Foster Elizabeth Fountain Rob Fouracre Andrew Franklin Michael Garrick Rachael Gee-Woolley

Neil Glasspool Gerald Glover Conor Glynn Nicholas Gregory Richard Grethe Barbara Griggs Nicholas Gushlow Andrew Hagon Charlotte Hamadache Julia Hames Richard Hammer Valerie Hammerton Stephen Harding Farran Harvey Abdelgadir Hassan Jane Hawkins David Hayden-Case Chris Healey Philip Herrey Jane Heywood Peter Hickson Matthew Hinton David Hockaday Stephen Hockenhull Luke Hodgkinson Philip Holehouse Elizabeth Holmes Neil Hopwood Giles Horton Jacqueline Hoskins Andrew Howard Gareth Howard James Hughes Christopher Hunsicker Fiaz Hussain Lee Ingham Morys Ireland William James


Ian Johnson Moira Johnson John Jones Athanassios Katsanos Stephen Keating Neil Kelly Jonathan Kenny Paul Kent Jackie Kibbler Deborah Latto Duncan Lawrence Darren Leach Susan Low David Lucas-Smith Christopher Lunn Joseph Macari Alexander Mackenzie Ben Mayers Phumlani Mbuqe John McCullough Jeanette McDowell Adrian Meaning Toby Mellows Christopher Merriman Scott Metcalfe Andrew Millen Vivien Mills Guy Minshull-Fowler Christine Mitchell Jeremiah Mondry-Flesch Elsa Montgomery Esther Morgan Gavin Morgan Richard Murfitt Jason Murphy Kasthur Narayanswami My Hanh Nguyen Anthony Or

Sharon Orton David Padwick Sally Pastellas Kirit Patel MBE Dawn Petros Debra Phillips Jessica Plowman Brian Pocock Stephen Pomeroy Mark Poole Shelley Poole Natalie Poulten Joe Puddifoot Peter Reader Angus Reeves James Reid Caroline Reynolds Jennifer Reynolds Stuart Reynolds Robert Rodrigues Kathryn Rodriguez David Rogers Jacqueline Rogers Peter Rowe Iain Rowlands Kristian Ryder Helen Sagar Alberto Sande Guiance Paul Shanahan Kassim Shittu Angela Simmonds Alan Sitirling David Slade Julie Sleeman Natasha Sloman James Smith John Smithson David Smyth

George Soiza Barrie Somerville Christopher Sordy Dominique Soulie Lavinia Stevenson Alexander Stewart Paul Stokes Peter Stokes Clare Struthers Nigel Szymanski Neil Taylor Lawrence Terroni Sue Tomblin Jonathan Townsend Aglaia Tsigka Elvis Twum Anthony Urwin Nick Waite Elizabeth Walker Oliver Walter Peter Watson Lauren Webb Timothy Wild Peter Williams Terence Williams Vince Williams Joan Wilson Marla-Joy Wood Sally Wood Darren Woods Muhammed Zahid Ministry of Defence The Lord Forte Foundation The Lloyds Register Foundation Santander Universities Unite Foundation

Thank you 25


Portsmouth

LinkUP

www.port.aluminate.net T: 023 9284 2705 E: alumni@port.ac.uk W: www.port.ac.uk/alumni MD11165 0816

University of Portsmouth Alumni UPdate Magazine 2016  

Annual magazine for former students of the University of Portsmouth featuring alumni successes, campus updates, alumni events and benefits.

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