Vice-Chancellor’s Staff Awards Winners 2014

The winners of the Vice-Chancellor’s Staff Awards 2014 were announced at a prestigious ceremony held on the evening of 27 November 2014 in Kimmeridge House. Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Vinney recognised the achievements of shortlisted staff, along with those who had achieved long service, qualifications relevant to their role and promotion to Professor.

Staff from across the university were praised for their excellence either as individuals or teams – with awards for Individual Achievement, Unsung Hero, Collaborative Team and SUBU’s ‘Most Outstandingly Brilliant’ Gold Award. Among the audience were close friends and family and there was a huge sense of pride as people stepped up to receive their awards.

Congratulations to the following winners of the Vice-Chancellor’s Staff Awards 2014:

Academic Staff – Individual Achievement Award

Dr Carol Clark, School of Health and Social Care

Academic Staff – Unsung Hero Award

Dr Chindu Sreedharan, Media School

Collaborative Team Award

The Durotriges Project Team, Faculty of Science & Technology

SUBU “You’re Brillant” Awards

Dr Louise Preget & Roger Fox, Business School

Affiliated Staff – Unsung Hero Award

PC Andy Scarratt, Member of the Universities Safer Neighbourhood Team

Professional and Support Staff – Individual Achievement Award

Dan Ford,  Marketing and Communications

Professional and Support Staff – Unsung Hero Award

Lauren Duff, Estates

Double whammy win for Bournemouth University researchers

Bournemouth University (BU) can boast success once again as two PhD students have received awards for their outstanding research.

Their research focussed on photogrammetry – the use of photography in mapping measurements between objects – from the Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society (RSPS).

Emily Norton was given one of the most prestigious awards, the Presidents Cup, for the best presentation to be shown at the RSPS Annual Conference in Glasgow. Emily’s research looks at how satellite imagery can be used to locate concealed and undiscovered mass-graves from wars or genocide.

To further add to their success, Heather Papworth was given the Wiley Award for Best Photogrammetric Contribution. Her award was given due to her research concerning the 3D measurement of damage and loss to archaeological sites using old aerial photos from World War Two to the present day. Regarding the future of her research, Heather has said: “I believe that my work can now be taken forward for use by heritage bodies to better plan their management and conservation work on these important archaeological features.”

The pair received their awards at the RSPS Annual Meeting in Aberystwyth and they were accompanied by Andrew Ford, a lecturer of geoinformatics at BU, who told us he was “so very proud and just over the moon” about his students’ success. Papworth recalled that she was “shocked but elated” on the announcement that she would receive the award.

By Charlotte Cranny-Evans

Charlotte is a graduate of Budmouth College in Weymouth, who is working at Bournemouth University in the Press and PR Department. She joined BU on a Sir Samuel Mico Scholarship, which provides 10 students from the college with work experience for four weeks over the summer.

Epidurals PhD researcher wins coveted EPSRC award

BU’s Dr Neil Vaughan has won the EPSRC’s ICT Pioneers ‘Transforming Society’ award. The accolade, which recognises the most exceptional UK PhD students, was awarded to Neil at a ceremony in Westminster last week for his innovative epidural simulator project.

Dr Vaughan developed the medical device alongside anaesthetists at Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. The simulator uses software to replicate the epidural process, thereby assisting in training for this delicate procedure that is performed over 1000 times each day in the UK.

The clinical project was proposed by the senior consultant anaesthetist at Poole Hospital, Professor Michael Wee, who also co-supervisor the PhD along with BU’s Associate Professor Dr Venky Dubey.

Dr Dubey said: “This is an exceptional achievement for BU and the collaborating partner Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Neil was up against stiff competition from top universities, including the University of Oxford, University College London and the University of Bath.”

Dr Vaughan’s work was judged by a panel of technical experts from academia and industry. He triumphed through a rigorous selection process over a six month period, which included a written proposal, video and poster presentation. This culminated in a high-profile research showcase, where finalists pitched their project to representatives from the EPSRC, Hewlett Packard, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), BT and an audience of hundreds.

The project

The winning device uses software to replicate the epidural procedure, incorporating ultrasound with MRI images to assist training epiduralists in determining the position of the epidural needle. This has not been done in previous or current epidural simulators.

Unlike existing epidural training technology, this prototype simulator incorporates patient weight, height and BMI. This is more realistic and, coupled with a physical manikin, gives a realistic model for training. An accompanying training package allows epiduralists to monitor their improvement.

Future impact

This prototype simulator allows epiduralists to practise on something that closely resembles the real person. If widely adopted this could reduce the learning curve, making epidurals more effective and potentially reducing the risk to patients. This may be translated into savings to the NHS in the form of a reduction in compensation claims.

The team are currently in discussions with industry partners to develop the simulator further. They are working with NHS Innovations South West, who develop and take forward new innovative ideas – both products and services – to enhance healthcare delivery.

The research team’s ultimate aim is to create a high fidelity epidural simulator with incorporated sound and vision true to the labour environment. This will increase the realistic experience of training, similar to that of a flight simulator.

Related links

Working with our local MP

NHS Innovations South West

Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

About Professor Michael Wee – Senior Consultant Anaesthetist at Poole Hospital

About Dr Neil Vaughan – Researcher at Bournemouth University

About Dr Venky Dubey – Researcher at Bournemouth University

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

‘Lecturer of the year’ Shortlist Success

Congratulations to Mark Gagan, Senior Lecturer in Nursing and Programme leader at University College Yeovil (UCY), who has been shortlisted for ‘Lecturer of the Year’ in the Student Nursing Times Awards.

Mark is among nine finalists within the category, recognised for their valued and essential support. Mark’s entry was supported by testimonials from several students at UCY, as well as testimonials from fellow lecturers.

BU deliver the BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing course at both the Lansdowne Campus, Bournemouth and University College Yeovil.

The Awards celebrate university providers who influence and inspire the nurses of the future; as well as those students who excel in their students and go the extra mile. This has been a record breaking year, with double the number of talented student nurses, education providers, and mentors entering. The winners of the Student Nursing Times Awards will be announced on Thursday 1 May 2014 at London Hilton Park Lane.

Students’ ‘Big Idea’ gives power to children


Bournemouth University students used teddy bears and a comic book ‘super hero’ theme to win a Dragons Den-style ‘Big Idea’ competition run by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

The scheme is part of a new physiotherapy programme aiming to increase involvement child cystic fibrosis patients can have in their care.

Students Gary Whiting and Luke Rockett, both studying Physiotherapy at Bournemouth University, worked alongside other students from the South West and created the ‘Teddies for Toddlers’ scheme as their ‘Big Idea’. The scheme aims to increase children’s engagement with their treatment of Cystic Fibrosis, a life-long condition affecting the lungs.

The idea for ‘Teddies for Toddlers’ came during a work placement at a pediatric physiotherapy unit where they discovered that children and their parents would benefit from having a better understanding of treatments.

Gary Whiting worked with student Dave Progl, from the University of Southampton, to create a system where children can choose how to care for their own teddy bear with help from a comic book giving instructions.

The idea is for children to care for the teddy bear and subsequently learn about their own care. The students said, “Research shows that it’s important for a child to have some say and choose what they would like to do in their care. We would give the initial comic to the child and they would choose their treatment plan from that”.

Children aged 6 to 10 are targeted through a super hero comic book character and games which can later be used to gain feedback.

Dr Helena Johnson, honorary student president said, “We liked the concept of needing to incorporate fun into physiotherapy to promote self-management. It was thoroughly investigated and you then went on to fully develop the product with your comic book and characters.”

NCCA’s BAFTA success receives widespread local coverage

The work of graduates and staff from the National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) on the BAFTA-winning visual effects for the film Gravity received coverage across a range of local media.

Around 40 graduates from the NCCA – as well as current Senior Practice Fellow in Computer Animation Adam Redford – worked with effects house Framestore on the visual effects for the blockbuster, which won six awards at the 2014 BAFTAs.

Their success was picked up in articles by local newspaper the Bournemouth Echo and Blackmore Vale magazine – which both quoted MA Visual Effects graduate Sam Salek about his involvement with the film.

The story was also featured in news bulletins on local radio station Fire FM, while Sofronis Efstathiou, Framework Leader for postgraduate visual effects and animation courses at BU, was interviewed about it live on BBC Radio Solent’s Drivetime programme.

Sofronis told presenter Tim Butcher that Framestore have an outpost based near BU’s Talbot Campus, where some students and graduates worked on the visual effects for the film, and that the reputation for BU’s animation courses and graduates continues to grow.

“We’ve been around for about 20 years now, but over the past 6 or 7 years, every Oscar or BAFTA night we’ve seen our graduates either be nominated or certainly part of those films,” he said.

“We’ve got a big team here and we work very hard and speak to industry, having them feed into our teaching, so it’s good to see it’s working.”

He added that the visual effects industry – and the popularity of BU’s animation courses – continued to grow.

“It’s one of the best courses in the country…It’s a vibrant industry, it’s a creative industry around here – not just in London, but around the borough and certainly around the world it is doing very well.”

Listen to the interview in full (Starts 1 hour 35 minutes into programme)

BU graduates’ work on film Gravity featured in 3D Total

The work of BU graduates on the visual effects for Oscar-nominated film Gravity was featured in an article in 3D Total.

London-based effects house Framestore worked on the visual effects for the film, which has been nominated for both the Oscar and BAFTA for visual effects, and the article highlights that a number of graduates from the National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) at BU hold key positions at the company and worked on Gravity.

The article includes interviews with NCCA graduates including Ian Comley, who is now Framestore’s look development lead and worked on making sure that the texture and lighting of the effects in Gravity were as realistic as possible.

He said: “My year at Bournemouth was packed with lectures ranging from cinematography, through animation and rendering to the mathematics for inverse kinematics.”

Also interviewed was one of Framestore’s resident paint and roto artists, David J Nolan, who completed the MA in Digital Effects at BU.

David, whose work on Gravity involved converting live action sequences to 3D formats, said: “Framestore decided to open an outpost office in Bournemouth, and I was hired as a junior paint and roto artist,

“This meant that I hit the ground running immediately after finishing at the NCCA and was able to put my new-found knowledge into practice, working on some very big projects.”

Another graduate featured in the article was Framestore’s digital modelling supervisor Ben Lambert, who helped oversee all of the visual effects for the film.

He graduated from the BA in Computer Visualization and Animation at the NCCA in 1999, and said his time at Bournemouth University was invaluable.

“The course gave me a very broad overview of all areas of 3D and animation,” he said.

“I think it’s important for artists to have a wide range of skills and versatility, it means they can work at both larger and smaller studios. I think the programming aspects of the course have surprised me with how much I’ve had to now use in my day-to-day job.”

Read the 3D Total article in full

Find out more about the National Centre for Computer Animation at BU 

Media School US Election coverage wins award


Bournemouth University Media School students’ radio coverage of the US 2012 Presidential election has won a Broadcast Journalism Training Council (BJTC) award for best radio news day.

Media School students won the award for working through the night, broadcasting live on Hope FM and online, giving the latest news and results from the US 2012 Presidential election.

The radio coverage included hourly bulletins and news flashes throughout the night, along with live debates and guest speakers including Conor Burns MP.

The radio broadcast was only one strand of the US 2012 coverage as students were also tasked with producing a live television broadcast and a stream of online news coverage about the election.

Multimedia journalism students Beth Graham and Jodie Packwood both worked on the radio coverage as Editors and were in Coventry to receive the BJTC award. They said, “It feels really good as we put a lot of effort and time into this project. It’s the first time the radio side of the project has been recognised with a prize so it’s nice to know our coverage was award winning.

“We learnt that radio journalism takes a lot of pre-planning – you can’t just go on air and have a chat. We planned this right from the beginning of term. A highlight was when we called the result of Barack Obama winning, before the BBC.”

The students were also quick to thank the lecturers who made the radio broadcast possible, adding, “We would also like to thank the lecturers who helped out on the night and in the run up to the event – particularly Cat Greeves who helped us so much. And the project wouldn’t have even been possible without Mat Charles and Ann Luce who were the ‘big bosses’ of the event and put it all together.”

MA Animation graduate award win at Horror Film Festival in Malta


A short film by a recent Bournemouth University graduate has won the Best Animated Film prize at a Horror Film Festival in Malta.

Dark Places was created by Matt Stroud, who has just graduated from the MA 3D Computer Animation course.

It won in the Best Animated Film category at the inaugural Malta Horror Filmfest, which took place over Halloween weekend.

Matt, 24, who is from Malta, said: “Having just finished the course I was really looking to promote myself as much as I could and I found film festivals to be one of the best methods.

“I never expected to actually win anything but when I found out it felt fantastic. It’s always great to get that acknowledgment of your work.”

Dark Places took Matt around three and a half months to complete as his final Master’s project, and focuses on a young boy making his way through the dark.

“Dark Places is horror themed animation about a little boy named Lucas who gets lost in this seemingly infinite dark void with only a lantern to guide his way, but he soon realizes that he isn’t alone,” Matt said.

“The idea partly came from my childhood experiences of being afraid of the dark and was also inspired by my love of horror films.”

Matt added that he hoped to use the skills he learnt on his BU course and the recognition of his work to help build the animation industry in Malta.

“The course made a huge difference to my potential career path,” he said.

“I went from knowing next to nothing about technology, techniques and theory of animation to having a whole new skillset and feeling confident with my ability to work within the animation industry.”

He added: “Thanks to the award more people got to hear about me so you never know what that might lead to, although on principle I put more weight on my work rather than what awards they might win.

“With the skills I have gained I hope to be in a position to help strengthen the animation industry in my country, which is currently still in its infancy.”

Watch Matt’s winning film Dark Places

Postgraduate Development Award

grad-school-logo-250The Postgraduate Development Award is a new opportunity, available to postgraduate students, to enhance their personal and professional development, ultimately leading to enhanced employability.
Provided by the Graduate School, this tailored programme requires students to undertake a variety of activities including a skills audit, completing an e-portfolio and participating in numerous extra-curricular initiatives.
A launch event will take place on Thursday 17 October (12-2pm) in the Student Hall, Talbot Campus. Food and refreshments will be provided.
Postgraduate students can register for the award by visiting the Graduate School PG Community on myBU.
For more information or to register your attendance at the launch event, please contact Jay Nugent.