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Ziggurat - The e-Newsletter of the UEA Alumni Association March 2019 View in browser
March header
Featured Stories
Prof David Richardson

Vice Chancellor Prof David Richardson’s Brexit message

It’s now been nearly three years since I wrote these words in the days following the result of the UK’s referendum on European Union membership.

“As you know, I campaigned for a Remain vote and both UEA and Universities UK believed, and still do believe, that we are stronger within Europe. I believe the result is not only disappointing but also poses us some risks for the future.

“Firstly, and most importantly, we stand by our colleagues and students from the family of EU nations. You, and indeed all our international students and colleagues, are part of our family. You are all hugely valued and UEA remains a place where you will be welcome. I am pleased to say the city of Norwich also voted Remain.”

It is depressing to reflect on the intervening years and months and still find ourselves in a position that remains so very unclear. We could still leave the EU at 11pm on Friday 29 March without any deal. The lack of certainty and clarity is deeply frustrating and worrying for our staff and students, on both a practical and an emotional level.

A recent UK Government update, coming late in January, confirmed that students on current placements will continue to receive funding under the Erasmus+ program – but this leaves questions over the future of the program in the event of a no-deal.

For fellow academics and staff from the European Union the need to ‘claim’ settlement status is deeply offensive in itself. Our colleagues have worked side by side, teaching students and conducting world-leading research – and yet now they are having to claim the right to stay in the UK.

At UEA we stand united in our shared values of intellectual integrity, academic freedom and our belief that together we are stronger. We are proud to be one of the founding partners in the Aurora network of nine European universities and we will continue to co-operate and work on an international basis.

We stand united at UEA. Regardless of leaving the EU, the UK is a European country. UEA is a European university, and always will be, regardless of membership or non-membership of the EU. We are a broad and diverse international family and long may that be the case.

There are a lot of questions about Brexit and, regrettably, still too few answers. We will continue to do what we can to support Universities UK’s lobbying of the UK Government to get greater clarity for our students, researchers and staff.

With the political and economic uncertainty it’s opportune that we start to plan for the next five years (2020 to 2025) towards our UEA 2030 Vision and Plan. We know we have to address key aspects in our People strategy, our values, and our offer for students so that we can continue to improve and ensure our status as a world-class research university dedicated to providing an innovative and collaborative teaching environment.

Prof David Richardson

London Lecture March 2019

UEA London Lecture: Pulsars and our understanding of the Cosmos

Book your place now to join us in London with Dr Robert Ferdman, who will explain what pulsars – the incredibly dense, highly magnetic, rapidly rotating remnants of supernova explosions – have to tell us about physics, astrophysics and the Universe as we know it.

In his UEA London Lecture on Thursday 28 March, Dr Ferdman will go all the way back to the discovery of pulsars by Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell in 1967, and explain how observation of these cosmic lighthouses has shed important light on our understanding of the Universe.

We’ve filmed a short introduction featuring Dr Ferdman to give a taste of what you can expect at his lecture, which promises to transport you to a galaxy far, far away...

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 and book  
Women's Prize for Fiction

Alumna featured in 2019 Women's Prize for Fiction longlist

Alumna and author Diana Evans has been included in the 2019 Women's Prize for Fiction longlist for her novel Ordinary People.

Diane has written novels, the first of which, 26a, won the Orange Award for New Writers, the Betty Trask Award and the deciBel Writer of the Year award in 2005.

The shortlist will be announced at the end of April, and the winner will be announced on Wednesday 5 June.

Read More  
News in Brief
CO2 emissions in developed economies fall due to decreasing fossil fuel and energy use

Efforts to cut emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and tackle climate change in developed economies are beginning to pay off, according to research led by the Tyndall Centre at UEA.

Care home dehydration tests don’t work

Standard tests used to identify dehydration are not working for older people living in care homes – according to new research from the University.

UEA Sportspark awarded nationally as top leisure facility

Sportspark has been recognised as the best sporting facility of its kind in the UK last year at a recent awards ceremony.

More Stories
Waveney Terrace

Waveney Terrace Facebook group

Last month we told you about the new UEA Fifers Lane Veterans group on Facebook, and they were deluged by new members and views!

It has also led to another group being set up for Waveney Terrace, which has also seen a huge amount of activity in the past month. One of our favourite themes has been alumni posting ‘then and now’ photos, with one photo from their time in Waveney with a current photo alongside.

Go to the group page  
UEA Alumni Women's Network

UEA Women's Alumni Network

Following the success of their launch event in January, UEA Women's Alumni Network are running a speed networking event on Tuesday 30 April, 6.30 - 9pm in central London.

They invite all alumnae living in and around London along to the event - it's the chance for people to have some interesting conversations with women from a range of sectors, meet former UEA students, catch up with old friends and find out about the mentoring service.

Tickets are free, but please make sure you book.

Book now  
Tom Cannon

Alumnus is nuts for nuts

School of History graduate Tom Cannon has been awarded a 2019 Churchill Fellowship from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.

The Fellowship will see Tom funded to visit Turkey, China, the USA, Australia and New Zealand to bring back knowledge and inspiration for the benefit of communities in the United Kingdom.

Tom’s project, the Cobnut Project, is in the ‘Rural living: strengthening countryside communities’ category, and its key aim is to protect the future of the Kentish Cobnut, which he advocates through his family business, Roughway Farm. The focus of his research trip will be the production of hazelnuts around the world, examining growing, harvesting, farm diversification and learning about products, local policies, and market environments.

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust runs the Churchill Fellowships, which are a unique programme of overseas research grants. These support UK citizens from all parts of society to travel the world in search of innovative solutions for today’s most pressing problems.

Read Tom's UEA stories blog  
Mark Searcey

UEA appoints new Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Science

Professor Mark Searcey has been appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Science.

Prof Searcey is currently Chair of Medicinal Chemistry and Head of the Schools of Pharmacy and Chemistry at UEA, roles he has held since 2010 and 2011 respectively. He will take up the new role on the University’s Executive Team from Monday 1 April when the current PVC for Science, Prof Phil Gilmartin, moves to the University of Hull.

Prof Searcey said: “From environmental science through to the development of new materials; from speech animation and lip reading to fundamental biology, science at UEA is world leading in its research.” His own research is focussed on targets for the development of new therapeutics with a particular interest in targeting DNA and protein-proteins interactions.

Read More  
Word With Words

Alumni return to campus to inspire students at creative industries event

A huge thank you to all the alumni who came back to campus earlier this month to take part in the Working With Words event, run by Careers Central.

Now in its fifth year, this day-long event provided over 300 students the opportunity to hear first-hand about careers across the creative industries, such as journalism, marketing and public relations, events planning, and publishing.

Over 20 panels, predominantly made up of UEA alumni, gave students insight into the opportunities available to them, as well as practical advice about experience and applications, as well as how to identify skills that could be transferrable to these professions.

Hugo Douglas-Deane, who studied English Literature at UEA and now works as a communications assistant at Norfolk County Council, spoke about his degree and its relevance to PR and Comms, stating: “My degree really helped me get to grips with whatever I had to tell people, and do it in a really creative and engaging way.”

Mark Grist, who studied American and English Literature, spoke about his career as a performance poet, and how students could build their own creative career. Mark did not shy away from the challenges of this industry: “I used to find it very difficult dealing with rejection, but the longer you keep going, the easier it gets. I can now look back on those individual successes and remind myself of those.”

Orchestra event

Orchestra performance hits the right note for local schoolchildren

Last month, primary school children from four schools in Norfolk were treated to a musical performance by UEA’s Student Symphony Orchestra.

Twelve students from UEA’s Music Centre performed six symphony pieces, including music by Beethoven, Dvorak and Bernstein, to over 100 children and their teachers, with instruments ranging from trombones and oboes, to the Clarsach (a Gaelic harp) and a string quartet.

The event was hosted by the Outreach team at UEA, who work to widen participation of students from underrepresented backgrounds in East Anglia.

The aim of the performance was to broaden the horizons of all the children who came along – some of them may never have seen a string quartet or an oboe trio before for instance – and to show them that university has more to offer than just studying.

Read More  
Inaugural Lectures

Watch inaugural lectures online

Watched the latest blockbuster? Up-to-date on all your boxsets? We’ve got hours of entertainment lined up for you, in the form of our archive of inaugural lectures on YouTube.

Just as jam-packed with interesting facts as your favourite documentaries (but with a slightly smaller budget than Blue Planet), our inaugural lectures cover fascinating topics from the human hand to volcanology, via linguistics, Shakespeare and bird migration. Each one is around an hour long, and there are no ad breaks!

UEA’s inaugural lectures celebrate our newest professors, giving them the opportunity to talk about and demonstrate the impact of their research to a general audience. They’re free and open to everyone, so if you like what you see online, why not attend one in person? If you can’t make it to Norwich, you can also watch live on the night via our event livestreams.

Watch now  
UEA Orchestra

Poulenc and Berlioz

UEA Choir, Chamber Choir and Symphony Orchestra will perform music by two celebrated French composers, on Thursday 21 March at 7.30pm at St Andrew’s Hall, Norwich.

Under the direction of UEA Director of Music Stuart Dunlop and UEA Choirmaster Tom Primrose, the 170-strong choir, 35-strong chamber choir, and 70-strong orchestra will perform three pieces by Poulenc - two short motets and the ever-popular Gloria - followed by the little-heard Finale and magical Love Scene from Berlioz's dramatic symphony, Romeo and Juliet.

The choirs and orchestra will be joined in their performance by prize-winning soloists, soprano Jenny Stafford and bass Lancelot Nomura.

Read More  
Culture Shock event

Culture Shock: Putting workplace culture in the spotlight

Last month, UEA presented ‘Culture Shock’, an event in collaboration with Fountain Partnership and supported by the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce.

Held at The Enterprise Centre, the event looked at ways in which traditional workplace culture is being challenged, with guests hear diverse viewpoints from a range of speakers on how these issues and themes might be approached.

Rebecca Lewis Smith, MD and founder of Fountain Partnership, and UEA alumna, delivered an engaging keynote presentation that explored non-hierarchical organisational structure, community-drive success, and the importance of transparency when things go wrong. Guests also enjoyed a chance to network and make new contacts, with drinks provided by Adnams to fuel the conversations.

This is set to be the start of a series of events, so if you would like to be kept updated about future events, or would like to suggest a topic or challenge to be covered, please email to become part of Culture Shock.

Get in touch  
Emily Wilson

Translating The Odyssey again: why and how?

This year's Sebald Lecture on Literary Translation is given by classicist Emily Wilson, whose 2017 English translation of Homer's Odyssey – the first by a woman – met with widespread critical acclaim.

The lecture takes place on Wednesday 17 April, 7pm at the British Library Knowledge Centre in  London. Prof Wilson will discuss why she translated The Odyssey into English yet again, when there have already been almost seventy translations into our language, as well as her working process and goals with this project, from questions of verse form and meter, pacing, style, word choice to narrative perspective, focalisation and point of view. She outlines her vision of this complex, magical, moving and absorbing text about identity, hospitality and the meanings of home.

Emily Wilson is a Professor of Classical Studies and Chair of the Program in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory at the University of Pennsylvania. Her books include a study of tragedy and “overliving”, a book on the death of Socrates and its various cultural receptions, and a literary biography of Seneca. Her verse translations include Six Tragedies of Seneca, four tragedies of Euripides, and a forthcoming translation of Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannos. To follow The Odyssey, she is working on a new translation of the Iliad.

Read More  
Creative Now

Creative now

Join us at Norwich Castle for a series of panel discussions exploring the key challenges facing the sector in East Anglia.

The new series showcases UEA’s commitment to research and innovation in the creative sector. Leading academic researchers from UEA will be joined by industry creatives for four exciting panel discussions exploring the key challenges facing the future of the creative sector in East Anglia.

The first event, on Tuesday 30 April, is ‘How can we achieve a more diverse and equal workforce to fuel new creative projects, collaborations and innovations?’ and May’s event addresses ‘How can creatives in a digital age address new challenges around authorship and content creation that disrupt long-standing trends within creative industries?’

Read More  

Pedagogy before technology: trials and tribulations of an early adopter

All doctors should be prepared to teach, assess, mentor and support medical students, junior doctors and postgraduate trainees. How can they be expected to do this effectively without being trained for it? Could we use technology to facilitate professional development for this role among today's busy healthcare professionals?

In her inaugural lecture on Tuesday 12 March, Prof Veena Rodrigues from the Norwich Medical School at UEA will explore recent developments in medical education, including the use of massive open online courses (MOOCs) for faculty development in the context of supervisors and practice educators in clinical settings.

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  
Open Day October 2017

Postgraduate open event

Whatever you love, go further. Join us at our Postgraduate Open Event on Wednesday 20 March to find out where a Master's or PhD research degree could take you.

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

Read More  
Prof Ann-Marie Minihane

Watch now: UEA London Lecture on nutrition, brain vitality and dementia

The video recording of last month’s UEA London Lecture on nutrition, brain vitality and dementia is now available to watch online.

In her presentation, UEA's Prof Anne-Marie Minihane explores how optimised nutrition throughout life can improve neurophysiological function and brain vitality. She also explains how a Mediterranean-style dietary pattern rich in fish and fruits and vegetables – with associated attributes such as conviviality – has emerged as being particularly beneficial. Try our questionnaire while you watch to see how your diet shapes up!

Watch now  
Sainsbury Centre

The Body Observed: Magnum Photos

Featuring around 130 works from the 1930s to the contemporary, The Body Observed explores how Magnum photographers have turned their lens to the body, examining a range of themes such as identity, sexuality, and ritual, to voyeurism and performance.

Magnum Photos was founded in 1947 in New York by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, George Rodger and David 'Chim' Seymour, and is recognised as one of the best photo agencies in the world, whose members include many of the world's leading photographers.

Opening on Saturday 23 March, this group exhibition includes Eve Arnold’s portraits of Hollywood icon Joan Crawford and Philippe Halsman’s Dalí Atomicus, a work that was selected as one of the ‘100 Most Influential Images of All Time’ by TIME magazine in 2016.

Read More  

Friend Finder

If anyone is in touch with the following people, please ask them to contact the Alumni office at, as one of their University friends would like to get in touch.

Roger Anderson                                     Muhammad Baba Tukur (DEV79)
Alan Culligan (SYS91)                           Samantha Cutter (ART97)
Eleana Dimitrioud (SOC97)                   David Fowle (SOC67)
Martin Hall (SOC89)                              Anne Hansen (EAS98)
Malcolm Mansfield (SOC72)                  Harald Muller (EUR74)
Mark Muller (EUR74)                             Anastasia Papadopoulou (EAS97)
Balkirhsna Rajcoomar (SOC70)            Nomzamo Rankin (DEV92)
Pedro Rosas-Bravo (SOC77)                Louis Sasportas (CHE75)
Gary Speller (BIO00)                             Kenneth Symes
Terence Webb (CHE68)

What's On

Dragon Hall Debate: Drawing the line – do we need borders?

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

As Brexit pushes the UK to redefine its relationships with neighbouring nations, we ask what borders do for us, and whether we need them at all.

For this month's Dragon Hall Debate, Daniel Trilling - journalist and author of Lights in the Distance - will draw on years of reporting to build a portrait of refuge in a fractured Europe; Prof Sarah Barrow, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Arts and Humanities at UEA, will explore borders in Latin American contexts; and Cathie Carmichael, Professor of European History at UEA, will share what we might learn from the history and national identities of the Balkans.

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.

IBM event: 'Fulfilling the promise of AI and disruptive technologies'

Thursday 28 March, 5.30-8.30pm
The Enterprise Centre, UEA

Research and Innovation Services (RIN) invites you to attend the latest event in our AI series with the opportunity to hear from Andy Stanford-Clark - CTO at IBM UK, ‘Master Inventor’, and UEA alumnus.

The event, compered by Tim Robinson, COO at TechEast, will explore the opportunities presented by not only AI, but also the Internet of Things and technology more generally, and our panel, representing our region’s key sectors, will discuss the practical applications at the front end of business.

The panel includes Rob Bush, Operations Manager at EEEGR (the East of England Energy Group), Owen Morris, MD at Aviva Quantum (Aviva’s Global Data Science Practice), Ben Meen, Project Manager at Norse Care, Rohit Chaturvedi, Team Lead at Tech Mahindra (working with East of England Co-op) and Dr Vittoria Danino, Head of the Anglian Centre for Water Studies, Anglian Water.

Also joining the panel is Prof Emma Griffin, from UEA’s School of History, providing a perspective from her latest project ‘Living with Machines’, set to be one of the biggest humanities and science research initiatives ever to launch in the UK.

Spaces are limited and you must register on Eventbrite to confirm your attendance.

The evening will include a networking reception with food and drinks.

Inspire the next generation. Find out more about becoming a teacher

Saturday 27 April, 9.30-12.30

This open event for Primary teaching (3-11 years) will start with a general information talk, then there will be the opportunity for you to speak directly to subject tutors, current students, newly qualified teachers, and members of the admissions team.


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

Annetta Evans (HIS94)

Prof Peter Kidson
An obituary for Prof Kidson was published here in The Telegraph.

Kieran Patel (BIO11)
A tribute to Kieran can be found here on the website.

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