Celebrating success

We celebrated some fantastic successes today with our award-winning maths students.

Head of School, John Taylor, introduced the School of Computing Engineering and Mathematics awards ceremony by leading a round of applause and congratulating all our winners.

Congratulations to Kathryn Beckett, Mathematics with Finance BSc(Hons) and Joshua Latter, Mathematics with Finance BSc(Hons), who were awarded prizes from our accrediting body, the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications. The awards were for final year students who have achieved the two highest overall performances in their Mathematical and Statistics modules.

As a department we have strong link with SAS, and Jake Kiernan and Nicholas Stylianou were the recipients of an SAS prizes for best use of SAS statistical software by mathematical students – undergraduate and postgraduate.

Beth Carter received the Frederick Chaffer Project Prize for the best mathematical sciences level 6 project and Bill Wallace received the Frederick Chaffer Prize for the student who achieves the highest overall marks in a mathematical sciences degree.

Owen Watkins was the recipient of the Denise Ware prize for the best professional placement conducted by a mathematical sciences student.

As a division we also awarded a number of prizes for academic achievements which went to Kathryn Beckett, Barney Brock, Connor Freeman, Zak Newton, and Lavanya Sivakumaran

The celebrations for our graduating students continued into the afternoon with our school graduation ceremony at the Brighton Centre.

Congratulations and well done everyone!

A warm welcome at our open day

Sunshine, blue skies, our brilliant ambassadors and friendly staff welcomed visitors to our campus open day on Saturday 17 June.

Open days are a great way to find out about the local area and campus where you will be studying. You’ll also be able to hear more about your chosen subject and talk to our staff and current students.

If you are thinking about beginning your studies in 2018 and missed this one, find out more about upcoming events on our website.

Now that data is ubiquitous, how do we make it useful?

We are proud to welcome back one of our distinguished alumni and honorary graduate, Professor Mandy Chessell, for the final Distinguished Lecture series of the year on Tuesday 6 June, 5-6pm in Huxley 300.

As digital technology sweeps through every aspect of our lives, data has become ubiquitous. The problem is that much of this data is useless because it no longer has enough context with it for people, processes and analytics to understand what it means.

This is an amazing opportunity to hear Professor Chessell examine current data management practices and tools and explain why data loses its context. She proposes an alternative and open approach that will expand our ability to use data to its full extent. She also looks at the issue of providing appropriate protection and governance to valuable intellectual property and sensitive data.

Professor Chessell CBE FREng CEng FBCS is an IBM Distinguished Engineer, Master Inventor, member of the IBM Academy of Technology and Fellow of the Royal Academy. Read her profile.

Find out more and book your place at the lecture here.

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. Read More

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.