Contribute to the Ziggurat enewsletter


We are always looking for stories and ideas for Ziggurat, if you wish to submit an article or contribute to the next edition please contact us:


Previous editions 




Ziggurat - The e-Newsletter of the UEA Alumni Association February 2019 View in browser
February header
Featured Stories
Prof Ann-Marie Minihane

UEA London Lecture: Nutrition, brain vitality and dementia

We’ll be welcoming alumni and friends to the Regent Street Cinema in London later this month, to hear how we might tackle the health challenges that arise from increased life expectancy.

In her presentation on Thursday 28 February, Prof Anne-Marie Minihane will explore how a Mediterranean-style dietary pattern rich in fish and fruits and vegetables could be particularly beneficial for our long-term health.

We’ve filmed a short introduction featuring Prof Minihane, in which she introduces her research and explains how we might widen our understanding in this vital field.

If you can’t make it to London for the lecture, you can watch online via our Facebook page or catch up later on UEA’s YouTube channel from the following week.

Read More  
UEA stories blog

UEA stories

This month on the UEA stories blog, Tilly, who graduated from MA Creative Writing Scriptwriting in 2013, talks about her career in London as a playwright penning a sci-fi musical, and her love of theatre.

Also on the blog we hear from Jeff, who had no idea when he came to UEA in 1972 to study Environmental Science how much it would change his life.

Read More  
UEA family

UEA Family

The UEA Family Instagram account tells the stories of the people who make up the University community, one picture at a time.

From anatomy to video gaming, from political ambition to rock and roll, the project intends to shine a light on different members of the UEA community, with new portraits added regularly.

Follow the account  
Everything But The Girl

Gig History

Several months on, the guest blogs may have slowed down but activity continues in the form of new memorabilia and interest from other departments at UEA (and beyond). The project was particularly pleased to be invited to take over the foyer at Regent Street Cinema for the January London Lecture: Pop and the Disabled Body, by Prof George McKay, with copies of the latest edition of The Gig List, a slide show and a brand new pop-up banner (rock and roll).

Memorabilia continues to come through: a family tree of local Norwich Bands from 1979-1983 is currently under glass in the Memorabilia Box and a ticket from Iggy Pop’s one appearance at UEA in 1988 has been unearthed by a follower from the @UEAgighistory feed - almost causing a cup of tea to be spilled. A *discussion* on the feed concerning whether or not New Order supported Billy Bragg at UEA led to Mr Bragg himself interjecting to confirm that they didn’t then sharing a lovely memory of recording this song in the back room of the LCR in 2010. Gig-related presents have been posted by friends from University of Westminster and the shop at Norwich University of the Arts; turning #UEAgigs HQ into the student bedroom it’s always dreamt of.

Last but not least, the much anticipated visit by musician and author Tracey Thorn takes place on Tuesday 13 February for UEA’s Spring Literary Festival. Older listeners may remember that Tracey is one half of pop duo Everything But The Girl. The band played the LCR venue numerous times over the decades, but how many? UEA Gig History is offering a special competition/treasure hunt on the website to win a copy of Tracey’s brand new memoir, Another Planet: A Teenager in Suburbia. See the special Memory Box for details.

Read More  
Graduation 2016

Where’s your graduation mug?

If you got one of our mugs at graduation, we’d love to see where it, and you, are now - send your photos to, or post them on social media using #ueamugshot.

Remember to keep us updated whenever your contact details change. Update your details online or send an email to

News in Brief
Forecast suggests Earth’s warmest period on record

The forecast for the global average surface temperature for the five-year period to 2023 is predicted to be near or above 1.0 °C above pre-industrial levels, according to new figures.

UEA part of world’s first Centre for Doctoral Training in Agri-Food Robotics

The University is one of the partners benefiting from a multi-million pound funding award for a new advanced training centre in agri-food robotics, which will bring together the largest ever group of Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) specialists for the global food and farming sectors.

New legislation needed to regulate police facial recognition technology

Facial recognition technology, being trialled by two major police forces in Britain, should be subjected to more rigorous testing and transparency, according to new research from UEA and Monash University.

More Stories
Taipei alumni dinner

Taipei alumni dinner

Last month, Jeremy Qian UEA’s International Officer for Mainland China and Taiwan organized a small dinner for alumni in central Taipei, Taiwan.

Four alumni joined Jeremy for the dinner, includes three alumni of the MSc in Brand Leadership. At the dinner, the alumni shared their beautiful memories of UEA, and particularly referred to the excellent studying experience of the course. Jeremy discussed raising the University’s profile in Taiwan with the support of our Taiwanese alumni network. The alumni provided their ideas respectively, from the perspectives as an independent blogger, a professional branding counsellor; a social media account coordinator, and a graphic designer. This was a very successful alumni event, and we hope that more alumni will join us for the next event.

Fifers Lane

UEA Fifers Lane Veterans

A Facebook group has been set up, for anyone who lived in the Fifier’s Lane student residences between 1965 and 1994.

Called UEA Fifers Lane Veterans, the group was set up by Richard Buxton and Alex Blagona and is a great place to find and share old photo and stories!

Go to the group page  
Ian Tant

New President of RTPI is UEA graduate

Alumnus Ian Tant has been elected the new President of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).

He used his inauguration speech to emphasize the vital role played by both planning and planners in addressing important environmental issues and meeting the needs of communities.

Speaking to members of the RTPI’s General Assembly at the RSA in London, the message from Ian Tant MRTPI was that planners should be proud of their role as a force for good in society.

Read More  
Impact & Innovation Awards

Alumni among UEA Innovation and Impact Award winners

Winners of the Innovation and Impact Awards 2019 were announced last month at a ceremony held at the Sainsbury Centre. The Awards were presented by guests from a range of businesses and organisations that regularly collaborate with UEA, and the ceremony featured a keynote address from Doug Field, Chair of New Anglia LEP.

The Awards celebrate staff and students who have shown a strong commitment to innovation and impact, and recognised vital collaborations between UEA and organisations outside of higher education.

Finalists, UEA staff, guests, and external organisations, attended for networking drinks, a three-course meal, and presentation of the awards. The evening was a great success and a true celebration of the world-changing research and innovation activities taking place at UEA.

One of the highlights of the night was the presentation of the award for Student or Graduate Innovation and Enterprise, which was won by Dr Oskar Wendowski and Dr Thuria Abduljhbar, two recent graduates who founded, a novel online GP and pharmacy service (pictured above). Since launching in October 2018 e-Surgery has helped over 1,000 patients and dispensed over 700 prescriptions from their bespoke headquarters in Norwich.

Each finalist received a trophy to commemorate their achievement and each category winner will also receive funding towards a marketing venture for their project, to further their impact and reach.

Read More  
Science building

New science building to train the next generation of scientists

UEA’s new science building is set to open in September 2019. The building is a vital development for the University and the continuation of our work as one of the UK’s top institutions for Science. Not only will this £30m development tackle the shortage of science graduates in the UK and inspire local school children to consider STEM subjects; it will provide a talent pathway for the brightest scientific minds into the Norwich Research Park and beyond.

We are very grateful to our alumni and friends who have generously supported laboratory equipment to help train the next generation of world-class scientists.

Get involved and make a donation today or contact Laura-Jane Ryves at if you would like to find out more.

Danse Macabre

UEA academic giving prestigious lecture series at Oxford

From January to March this year, Professor Mark Bailey from UEA’s School of History is delivering the Ford Lectures at Oxford.

His topic, ‘After the Black Death: Society, Economy and Law in Fourteenth Century England’, allows him to revisit one of the greater crises not just in English but world history.

He becomes the second UEA historian in less than a decade to deliver these prestigious lectures, following the example of Professor David Bates, whose own Ford Lectures, delivered in 2010, were subsequently published as a book: The Normans and Empire.

Read More  
Careers video

UEA interns help to futureproof businesses

Businesses across East Anglia are turning to interns and placement students from the University to help innovate, digitalise and future-proof their organisations, with many offering permanent positions for UEA students when they graduate.

The University works with businesses to meet their needs, including providing recruitment support, placements and internships. The UEA Internship Programme contracts are extremely flexible, providing temporary paid workers who can work within a company from three weeks to one year, on a part-time or full-time contract.

Julie Schofield, Joint Head of Careers, Business Engagement at CareerCentral at UEA, commented: “We find that businesses need economic and agile recruitment solutions and quality talent – which is what they can find here at UEA. We work in the most appropriate way to help and if needed we can manage the recruitment process, including advertising to over 17,000 students, sending over CVs, and processing PAYE through our systems – making it much easier to hire a new resource and appreciate their impact right away. We also often have subsidies to help with the costs.”

Chris Sargisson, CEO of Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, who encourages work-based learning opportunities between local businesses and UEA, said: “We know skill is one of our region’s biggest challenges and with many businesses struggling to prepare for a digital future, interns and student workers can be valuable assets in a difficult labour market. Businesses can benefit from fresh new talent, with desirable digital and research skills, who can help define new channels to reach customers or identify inefficient processes that could save them resources or money.”

If you think your business could benefit from hiring a UEA intern or placement student, contact UEA Careers Service at

Prof David Andrews

“Impossible” UEA physics theory proven in practice after 40 years

A physics theory proposed by a UEA researcher 40 years ago has finally found its application.

Prof David Andrews published his theory in his first few weeks at UEA back in 1979. At the time, a real-world application for his work “could never have been imagined” he says.

But after four decades of pursuit by physicists around the world, researchers at the University of Bath have now have confirmed the physical effect of Prof Andrews’ theoretical predictions.

The technique precisely measures the twist, or chirality, of molecules using lasers. The experiments prove it to be 100,000 times more sensitive than current standard methods. For the first time ever, the Bath research team used a physical effect – specifically the colour-changing of light scattered from chiral molecules – to measure the chirality present, confirming Prof Andrews’ predictions.

Chirality describes the orientation of molecules, which can exist in left or right ‘handed’ forms depending on how they twist in three dimensions. Many molecules essential to life, including DNA, amino acids and proteins, exhibit chirality and the handedness can totally change their function or properties. Therefore knowing the chirality of a substance is often critically important.

For decades scientists had sought to prove that you could accurately determine the chirality of molecules by measuring a colour-changing (nonlinear optical) effect upon illumination with circularly polarised light. In theory, such light at very high intensities should change colour, scattering differently from oppositely handed molecules – but this had never been demonstrated experimentally.

Read More  
UEA Chamber Choir

UEA Chamber Choir perform secular choral music through the ages

On Sunday 10 March at 6.30pm, UEA Chamber Choir will perform their Spring Concert in the atmospheric setting of St George’s Church in Norwich.

The 30-strong chamber choir, under the direction of UEA Choirmaster Tom Primrose, will perform secular choral music through the ages. From the exquisite madrigals of the Renaissance to the cheeky glees of the high Baroque, from the sumptuous part-songs of Edwardian Britain to adventurous arrangements of the later twentieth century. Highlights from the programme will include music by Stanford, Finzi, Delius, Tippett and Gabrielli.

The concert is free to attend and all are welcome.

Read More  
British Museum

Manga exhibition

The Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures (SISJAC) is closely involved in the largest exhibition of Manga to happen outside Japan, which will take place at the British Museum.

Open from 23 May until 26 August, the exhibition is curated by Professor Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere, Research Director of SISJAC and IFAC Handa Curator of Japanese Art at the British Museum.

The exhibition is accompanied by a magnificent catalogue, edited by Nicole and Matsuba Ryoko, and an extensive associated public programme - including visits from famous Manga artists - some of which will take place in Norwich. Nicole will give one of SISJAC’s highly regarded Third Thursday Lectures about the exhibition on 20 June.

Nicole also wrote a blog post on 'An Introduction to Manga', which you can read here online.


Films in translation – voices for all: audiovisual translation as intercultural mediation

Every day, millions of us across the globe are able to watch films and other media from elsewhere thanks to the ubiquity of translation. Too quickly perhaps we become insensitive to the complex linguistic and cultural negotiations involved.

In her inaugural lecture on Tuesday 12 February, Prof Marie-Noëlle Guillot from UEA's School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies will examine what these negotiations entail, and will seek to do justice to the largely unrecognised expressive possibilities – indeed creativity – of audiovisual translation as an agent of cross-cultural literacy and intercultural mediation.

Inaugural lectures recognise and celebrate the promotion of UEA academics to the position of professor, whilst giving audiences the chance to hear about their research and its impact on society. These lectures are free and open to all, and there's no need to book; simply turn up on the night, or watch live on our website.

Read More  
Ben Garrod

UEA appoints Ben Garrod as Professor of Evolutionary Biology and Science Engagement

Biologist, conservationist, author and award-winning broadcaster Ben Garrod has been appointed Professor of Evolutionary Biology and Science Engagement at the University.

Ben regularly appears as a science presenter on BBC TV programmes ranging from The One Show and Springwatch to the documentary series Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur and The Day the Dinosaurs Died. He is a Patron to the Norwich Science Festival and the Youth STEMM Awards, as well as an Ambassador for the Norfolk Wildlife Trust.

Over the past decade Ben has lived and worked all over the world, mainly within great ape conservation, spending several years in central Africa developing and managing a leading chimpanzee conservation field site for the renowned chimpanzee scientist Dr Jane Goodall, where amongst other things he was responsible for habituating wild chimps.

Ben, who grew up in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, holds a BSc (Hons) in Animal Behaviour from Anglia Ruskin University, an MSc in Wild Animal Biology from the Royal Veterinary College and a PhD from University College London and the Zoological Society of London.

The new role of Professor of Evolutionary Biology and Science Engagement at UEA includes teaching undergraduate students, and has a strong focus on engaging with the wider public to inform and inspire people about UEA’s research.

Read More  
Coffee Break podcast

New HE advice podcast

UEA has launched Coffee Break, an HE advice podcast for sixth form career leaders.

This month’s podcast discusses all the areas of support that your students can access when they arrive at UEA (as well as during their transition period), from finance and mental well-being to academic support and study skills.

We’re joined by Kamena, one of the co-creators of Open Up UEA, a new app which helps students to build on their emotional resilience, pin down how they’re feeling and how to deal with issues they might face. Not only does the app sign-post all the support provision available at UEA, it also highlights the public services and facilities in the wider Norwich area. It handily includes budgeting tools and cheap recipes to help students manage their finances too.

If you or a colleague would be interested in working with the Open Up team to develop a similar app for your school, you can get in touch with Kamena by emailing

Listen to the podcast  

CMP student looking for survey participants

My name is Maria and I am a final year Business Information Systems student at UEA. I am currently carrying out a study into the Effect of Age on Usability Testing as part of my third year project.

I would like to invite you to participate in a questionnaire and usability testing session. The questionnaire should take approximately five minutes to complete and will determine your suitability to participate in the next stage of the study. All data gathered will be anonymous and your feedback would be greatly appreciated.

For any further information, please email me at or my supervisor, Dr Pam Mayhew at

Please note this study has been approved by the University of East Anglia Computing Sciences Research Ethics Committee.

Postgraduate open evening

Find out where a Master's or PhD research degree could take you

Join us at our Postgraduate Open Event on Wednesday 20 March where you’ll have the opportunity to chat with academics about your course choices, and current students about their experiences.

With UEA’s huge selection of courses, some of the very best teachers and researchers in the world, and access to exceptional facilities, a UEA postgraduate degree can help you realise your ambitions.

Book your place  
What's On

Dragon Hall Debate: Mobile phones – tyranny or liberation?

Monday 25 February, 7pm
National Centre for Writing, Dragon Hall, Norwich

Mobile technology has taken over the world. We use it to communicate privately with loved ones and to publicly display edited highlights of our lives. But is our increasing reliance on mobile technology a vehicle for freedom and progress... or subjugation?

For the second of our spring Dragon Hall Debates, we'll be joined by writer Olivia Sudjic, Laura Biggart from UEA's School of Psychology, and Head of UEA's School of Computing Sciences, Gerard Parr MBE.

The free Dragon Hall Debates series, presented jointly by the University of East Anglia and the National Centre for Writing, tackles a range of topical scientific, cultural and political issues, drawing on the expertise of UEA academics as well as guest thinkers, writers and commentators. Come along and hear from the panel, then join the conversation and have your say.

SISJAC Third Thursday Lecture Mermaids and snowflakes in the great chain of being

Thursday 21 February, 6pm
The Weston Room, Norwich Cathedral Hostry
Dr Mateja Kovacic (University of Oxford)

The Third Thursday Lectures hosted by the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures are on a range of topics related to the art and culture of Japan. Speakers are all specialists in their field and the talks are intended to be accessible to those with no prior knowledge of Japanese history.

The series is funded by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Yakult and the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Charitable Trust.

For more information and to book, please visit the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures website, email or call 01603 597507.

UEA Live: Linda Rose Parkes

Thursday 21 February, 7pm (doors 6.30pm)
Dragon Hall, 115-123 King Street, Norwich, NR1 1QE 

UEA Live, in collaboration with the National Centre for Writing, brings you a series of readings showcasing the past, present and future of UEA writing talent.


In the past month the University has sadly been informed of the death of the following alumni:

Diana Athill, Honorary Graduate

Preshanth Sekaran (NBS05)


Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Events

Have news to share via Ziggurat?

Contact the Alumni office on 01603 591567 or email:

Do we have your current address?

Please visit or email: to update your details.