Dr Sultan Al Neyadi headshot

Brighton graduate blasts off for six-month mission on the International Space Station

Brighton graduate blasts off for six-month mission on the International Space Station
University of Brighton graduate Dr Sultan Al Neyadi will make history as the first Arab astronaut to take part in a long duration space mission on 26 February.

Dr Al Neyadi will be part of a NASA/SpaceX crew bound for a six-month stay on the International Space Station, blasting off on a Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, USA.

Dr Al Neyadi, 41, said he “felt ready and excited” for the launch, scheduled for 07.07am GMT on Sunday 26 February. “Just the idea of waking up every morning and having access to a window you can see and scan the whole world in 90 minutes is amazing,” he said during a recent NASA media briefing.

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Liam Murphy and father co-founders of Stix Mindfulness Remotes

Brighton graduate celebrates as mindfulness product for kids hits the shelves

“It’s crazy to think that a small sketch during my degree has turned into a product that is now on the market. It’s an inventor’s dream!”

That is the view of University of Brighton graduate and entrepreneur Liam Murphy, who celebrates a major milestone this week as his mindfulness product for kids goes on sale.

Liam has launched his product, The Stix Mindfulness Remotes, to market on 2 February 2023 with the aim of improving children’s mental wellbeing through fun, interactive mindfulness activities.

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Cliff Dansoh profile shot

Meet Dr Cliff Dansoh

How did you choose your subject?

I have spent most of my life in industry. Having started in the Royal Navy and then through a range of consultancy roles I have been lucky enough to experience a variety of diverse types of engineering and ways of getting things done. This journey has impressed upon me the merits of not only being technically competent, but:

  • Having the vision and creativity to establish what needs to be done; and
  • The implementation skills, competencies and behaviours to have the best chance of actually achieving the end.

      What are you most proud of in your career?

      I worked for London Underground in a variety of consultancy roles over several years. On the rare occasions these days that I travel on the London Underground, I have a spark of pride when an S Stock train comes into view having spent 3 years as part of the team that bought it into service.

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      Brighton CCA explores AI visions of a sustainable future

      Visitors to Brighton CCA from 27 January to 27 February will have the chance to explore the (quite literally) limitless potential of Artificial Intelligence-rendered art to inspire solutions for a world impacted by climate change and environmental degradation. 

      The art will be displayed as part of a free exhibition of AI-generated images which integrate the built environment and the natural world.

      Titled SOS: Let’s share our dreams for more sustainable futures and healthier communities, the exhibition is the brainchild of Dr Poorang Piroozfar, a Reader in Architectural Technology and Digital Construction at University of Brighton, and Dr Eric Farr, an Honorary Professor of Architecture and Design at University of Liverpool.

      The AI algorithm behind the show has delved into myriad concepts and imagery around ‘green architecture’ to create visions of a startling world where nature is integrated totally into the structure of urban buildings, from houses to skyscrapers.

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      Dr Derek Covill cropped head shot

      Meet Dr Derek Covill

      Derek is the course leader for Design Engineering BEng(Hons), Design Engineering MEng and Design Engineering BEng(Hons) with integrated foundation year. He teaches in a range of areas such as mechanics of materials, mechanical design, computer-aided design/engineering, and digital fabrication.

      The way I like to teach

      I am a big fan of practical learning, where theory is complemented with practical activities. For example when teaching mechanics of materials, I am keen for students to get hands on to use our materials testing lab to characterise a range of real materials using the theory covered in class. I also try to take a ‘triangulated’ approach to these topics where possible. For example, when comparing real world experimental data with numerical models (e.g. FEA) and then using simplified analytical (i.e. formula based) models. Importantly, we then follow this up with discussions around the benefits, limitations and assumptions made in each of these approaches. 

      I’m also a fan of trying to do project-based learning, and to try to make this fun! We run a series of group-based design projects relating to the design and testing of water rockets. Water rockets make for a great project because they can be very easy to make – a soft-drink bottle, some cardboard fins, tape, a cork and a bicycle pump is all you need to get a water rocket in the air. And even with such rudimentary materials the performance of the rocket is quite astounding, going 100+ meters in the air. From there, we can use a range of analysis tools to measure and evaluate the performance of the rocket. We can go into the wind tunnel to measure its aerodynamic behaviour. And of course we can test it in the field, instrument it with low-cost microcontrollers (e.g. Arduino or BBC Micro:bit), and we can use video analysis to take measurements of attitude, velocity and acceleration. It’s great fun, but equally we can do some great, deep engineering analysis on this using a range of advanced tools, so it makes for a great engineering project!

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      Dr Rotimi Joseph head shot

      Meet Dr Rotimi Joseph

      Dr Rotimi Joseph is course leader for our Quantity Surveying BSc(Hons) degree. He teaches estimating and quantification of construction works, quantity surveying professional practice, construction risk and financial analysis and advanced quantity surveying professional practice.

      The way I like to teach

      I am passionate about quantity surveying activities within the wider construction industry framework. My main approach to teaching is using real-life projects in my lectures. This helps students to understand and contextualise what they are being taught and what they read in textbooks. In addition to this, it prepares students’ minds in readiness for various challenges they may encounter in industry. In making it easy for students to understand 2D drawings, when taking-off quantities, I use SketchUp to translate 2D drawing to 3D and enhance learning and understanding. Measurement is one of the core modules on our course, students are taught both manual and automated estimating and quantification of works using industry lead software.

      What I love about teaching

      What I enjoy most in teaching at undergraduate level is seeing those that have passed through our subject area doing well in the industry. I also enjoy using real life projects in most of my teaching, this gives students the assurance that what they are being taught is very relevant, as they are able to relate with it well, compared to when it is hypothetical scenario.

      Our students are also exposed to industry practitioners, providing them guidance on what they can expected as they leave university and integrate into the construction industry.

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      Catapult connected places logo

      Brighton chosen as site for new testbed to improve ageing healthcare 

      University of Brighton will play a key role in developing improved home-based care for the growing number of older people in the city and beyond.

      The university will build on its long-term innovation partnership with Brighton and Hove City Council as part of the national Homes for Healthy Ageing Testbed project, overseen by the Connected Places Catapult (CDP)the UK government’s innovation agency for cities, transport and place leadership.

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      Quantity Surveying alumni visit photo with Debra

      Class of ’71 reunion for Quantity Surveyors

      On Tuesday 26  May, a group of Quantity Surveyors revisited the University of Brighton to relive their university days. They graduated from the Brighton College of Technology in 1971.  A large group attended a reunion back in 2016 and six years later, four of the cohort came back to take another look. A lot has changed on the Moulsecoomb campus since their last visit with the near completion of the big build. The group observed that the campus now looks very different and more built up since they saw it last and even more different from when they studied back in the late 60s when the campus consisted of only the Cockcroft Building! They reminisced about Club 66 which was situated on the mezzanine floor and observed that the ground floor of Cockcroft didn’t exist back when they were studying, there was water which went underneath the building to the courtyard beyond.

      The graduates had a tour from Noel Painting, Rotimi Joseph and Mahmood Alam (School of Architecture, Technology and Engineering) who discussed the current curriculum and structure of the Quantity Surveying course and how their cohort was the last for a number of years before it was recently reinstated. The group enjoyed a tour of the new Business School (Elm House) and then a look around their old building. The Vice Chancellor Professor Debra Humphris stopped by to welcome the alumni and answer some of their questions about the size and shape of the university.

      The group were intending to meet with another 18 of their cohort in the evening to have their dinner in English’s Seafood Restaurant which was their restaurant of choice after final exams because ‘they could only afford to eat there once a year!’

      David Porter who attended the reunion said:

      “It was both interesting and informative. The meeting with the Vice Chancellor was enlightening. 19,000 students is a great deal more than our time in Brighton. We were all highly impressed with the progress which has been, and is being made, at the University. It goes without saying that we were all so pleased that the QS degree has been revived.”

      “Our reunion was a great success. As you may imagine there was much reminiscing of what happened in Brighton all those years ago. Both at work and at play!!”

      Still of water rocket launching

      Challenge to design, build and fire a water rocket

      To kick start a project to design and build a water rocket, our first-year engineering students took a trip to Wild Park to see some live test firing. With some final year students helping lecturers to lead the session, it was a great opportunity for the project students to see different water rocket designs in action and understand what they are aiming for.

      A fun project firmly rooted in engineering and product design, students focus on measurements, building rigour into the design and keeping in mind what they want the rocket to be able to do. Gathering and using data is key, from fluid dynamics analysis to data assimilation which can be tested in the wind tunnel.

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