4 March: IMA Early Career Mathematicians’ Conference Spring 2017, Manchester

This conference will bring together mathematicians from all walks of life, for a day of entertaining and interesting mathematics.  The conference is aimed at mathematicians early in their career – up to fifteen years after graduating – but is open to all.  Previous conferences have been described in Mathematics Today reports as “lively and informative”, “a friendly and relaxed atmosphere” and “educational, informative and entertaining”. Register at: https://my.ima.org.uk/

Soapbox Science’s first visit to Brighton

Head down to the seafront between 1-4pm on Saturday 29 July and celebrate women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) with Soapbox Science.

Soapbox Science hosts events across the UK and the world raising the profile of women in science – breaking down barriers and challenging stereotypes about who a researcher is. And they are coming to Brighton for the first time this summer.
Chantal Nobs, a PhD student at the University of Brighton, was one of 12 women selected to participate in the Soapbox Science London event on London’s Southbank in 2016.

Find out more about the Brighton event here.

Studying and socialising in our nationally recognised building

estates_cockcroft_aw_048The recent, multi-million pound project transforming the Cockcroft building into a state-of-the-art research, teaching and information building has been recognised in the prestigious Green Gown Awards for 2016.

Our university and the architects we worked with Fraser Brown MacKenna were named Finalist in the Built Environment category for what was one of the largest retrofits of an occupied academic building in the UK.

The transformation was described by judges as “an innovative approach integrating architectural, building services and structure design” which unlocked the environmental potential of the 10,500m2 building using the latest technology.

Innovations include an aquifer thermal energy store, potentially reducing energy demand, CO2 emissions and fuel savings. The system stores and recovers thermal energy beneath the ground and provides heating and cooling.

A spokesperson for the awards told the university: “On behalf of the Green Gown Awards Team we wanted to congratulate you on your achievement. Being a Green Gown Awards Finalist is something to be extremely proud of.”

Earlier this year the Cockcroft project won in the Higher Education category of the Architects’ Journal Retrofit Awards 2016. Judges called it a bold project and a model for future similar projects. Continue reading

Flying high on BA’s graduate scheme

Maths with Business graduate Daniel Jack has successfully gained a place on the British Airways graduate scheme as a graduate analyst.

Daniel chatted to our alumni team and explained how the skills and experience he gained on the course have helped him in his role, and how the support he received at Brighton helped in making decisions about his career.

Current job, employer and length of time with employer:
I’m a graduate analyst at British Airways and have been here for four months. I’m currently working in a digital team to try and understand how our customers use the website and looking for the best areas to spend money in order to improve the customers experience and hopefully increase revenue.

What were your careers aspirations while studying?
At the start of my degree I had no idea what I wanted to do and had purely chosen to study based on the fact that I enjoyed maths. Half-way through my second year I realised I had a passion for my statistics modules, and decided I wanted to do work somewhere I could use these skills. After attending the “Maths Futures” Conference where a couple of past graduates had spoken and made me aware of jobs that existed, I planned on applying for roles in insurance with hopes of becoming an actuary. However, once I started looking for graduate jobs in my final year I came across an advert for the graduate Analyst job at British Airways and once I’d seen it, I knew that’s where I wanted to be.

Did you have any fears about entering the workplace after graduation and how you would use the skills you’d developed whilst studying?

I was terrified before I started at BA as I’d never worked in a corporate office environment before and I didn’t know what to expect. Luckily BA has a wide range of graduate schemes on offer and were able to put me in touch with the 50 other graduates joining at the same time so we could get to know each other before hand. This definitely helped to calm my nerves on day one.

As I moved into the job role after my induction I was worried that everything I’d learnt at university would be forgotten over the long summer break, but we were eased in gently with plenty of training sessions: such as using software and engaging with stakeholders. Whilst I’d learnt some of the software skills during my degree, the training really helped to get me back up to scratch, and with each graduate in my team having different skills we were able to help each other get to the same level.

How has your degree helped you get to where you are now?

My degree gave me the hard skills which were crucial to the job, ranging from an understanding of statistics, to the use of software such as SAS.
On top of this my degree has given me a foundation on which I could base all of my learning since I’ve been at BA. Throughout my degree I was encouraged to become independent by taking some of my learning into my own hands, and with a range of assessments and exams I had to learn to manage my own time. These skills are expected of us at BA so that we can manage our own workload to meet deadlines and teach ourselves new things to enhance our skill set.

Did you access any careers-related support at the University of Brighton, if so how?

Whilst at Brighton I made sure I attended the careers fair each year as it gave me an idea of the jobs on offer after university and the people there were able to give advice on applications and an insight into what the company is looking for. I also visited the careers service for support with my CV. Whilst My CV was rather good before I went, the staff there were able to give advice on tailoring my CV to individual employers and job roles, making sure I highlighted my main skills to stand out from the crowd.

What advice do you have for current students as they prepare to enter the workplace?

My advice is simple: stick with what you enjoy and be yourself. There’s nothing worse than trying to do something which you don’t enjoy doing.

What are your career aspirations for the future?

Whilst I still have another placement to go, I really hope to come back to digital analytics after the graduate scheme to work on more advanced things, as digital evolves throughout the business and industry.

The Operational Research Graduate Programme at British Airways, which Daniel successfully applied to,  is open for applications until Tuesday 31st January, 2017.

British Science Festival heads for Brighton

british-science-festival-logoOne of Europe’s leading and longest established science festivals is coming to Brighton next year. And we will be co-hosting it!

The University of Brighton will co-host the 2017 British Science Festival with the University of Sussex from 5-8 September.

The festival, organised by the British Science Association, will have a programme of over 100 events featuring cutting-edge science from world-leading academics covering everything from technology and engineering to social sciences.

Welcoming the announcement, Vice-Chancellor Professor Debra Humphris said: “I am delighted that the University of Brighton will be co-hosting the British Science Festival next year. We were keen to grasp this wonderful opportunity to showcase our world-leading research alongside cutting-edge science from around the globe in an accessible and engaging way.

“The city of Brighton & Hove is world-renowned for its Arts Festival. By hosting the British Science Festival, we can throw open the doors of our facilities to the wider community, including our new state-of-the-art Advanced Engineering Building that is currently under construction.”

We’ll keep you posted as more details are confirmed, and hope to see you all there!

University building scoops top award

The project to refurbish the University of Brighton’s iconic Cockcroft Building has won in the Higher Education category of the prestigious Architects’ Journal Retrofit Awards 2016.

The Cockcroft Building on the University’s Moulsecoomb campus has been a familiar landmark on Brighton’s Lewes Road since the 1960’s.
The awards jury said: “This is a bold project, particularly from a sustainability point of view – and a model for future similar projects. It focuses well on how people use the building. The exterior has been elegantly improved and the interior creatively revamped.”

Welcoming the award, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Debra Humphris said: “This is really excellent news and I congratulate the team involved in this major project. The refurbishment of the Cockcroft Building is an important part of our ongoing investment programme which aims to ensure that our students have access to world-class facilities.”

The multi-million pound refurbishment programme, which took three years to complete, was carried out whilst the building was still being used by staff and students and included:
• Development of state-of-the-art new learning laboratories and office spaces to house schools within the university’s College of Life, Health and Physical Sciences
• Installation of new windows to improve insulation throughout the building
• Exposing the ceiling space to highlight the architectural features of the building’s interior
• Opening up corridors in the building to improve lighting, people movement and provide social and informal learning spaces for students and staff to use.
• Reducing noise levels by putting in place sound buffering and dampening features
• Installing a new roof surface to improve insulation and energy efficiency.

Train to teach this September

If you have considered training to teach after graduating in a STEM subject this year, this post is for you…

Train to teach and inspire hundreds of young minds along the way. Start your teaching career on a Maths, Physics or Physics with Maths train to teach course this September.

Tax-free bursaries and prestigious scholarships of up to £30,000 are available while you train as a teacher. The department of Education (DfE) website has additional support available to help you get started…

  • Read these five simple steps to get into teaching
  • Register to attend the next DfE online event on 18 July; which provides specific advice for new STEM graduates like you.

Or you can register an interest in our programmes here.

It’s not just reading dusty textbooks!

The Mathematics courses at Brighton University are a little different to normal Mathematics degrees. It’s not as theory-heavy, which means that we get a lot more time to look at the real life applications of the topics we cover so you’ll fit into the working world straight out of uni much easier.

Even some of the courseworks reflect this hands-on approach to Mathematics; in the second year module Application Statistics 2, a few groups of student conducted the experimental design coursework using paper helicopters. The aim was to determine what aspects of the helicopter granted longer flight time (but come on, who doesn’t want to make paper helicopters for their coursework?!). More information on paper helicopters can be found here.

This is just one example of what makes the Mathematics course here so much more fun compared to other universities. So, apply soon to get your place here!