UWE Bristol Academic Spotlight: Professor in Unconventional Computing, Andrew Adamatzky

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Andrew Adamatzky is a Professor in Unconventional Computing in the Department of Computer Science and Director of the Unconventional Computing Laboratory at UWE Bristol. 

Professor Adamatzky founded the Unconventional Computing Laboratory in 2001 as a response to an urgent need to develop computers for the next century. They employ complex dynamics in physical, chemical and biological media to design novel computational techniques, architectures and working prototypes of non-linear media based computers.

Read more about the Unconvetional Computing Laboratory in our Blog.

Andrew’s research is focused on reaction-diffusion computing, cellular automata, physarum computing, massive parallel computation, applied mathematics, collective intelligence and robotics, bionics, computational psychology, non-linear science, novel hardware, and future and emergent computation. His research interests are in unconventional computing – developing of novel computing paradigms, architectures, implementations and prototypes of alternative computing devices made of living, physical and chemical systems.

Examples of unconventional computers he has developed include excitable chemical medium computers, slime mould computer, computers from plants and fungi.

In 2019 Andrew led the team of researchers from the  Centre of Unconventional Computing in the development of the construction of a smart home for the future using fungi, a carbon free material, as part of a £2.5 million project funded by the European Commission.

This revolutionary new type of intelligent building is made with green construction materials and capable of adaptively reacting to changes in light, temperature and air pollutants. The work was in collaboration with partners from Denmark (Centre for Information Technology and Architecture), Italy (MOGU) and the Netherlands (Utrecht University).

Read more about this work here

Business Interests:

  • Living architectures
  • Nanocomputers
  • Biosensors

Academic expertise:

1. Development of biosensors based on living fungi and slime moulds
2. Development of adaptive materials (to be used in construction industry and fashion industry) capable for sensing and computing
3. Development of nanocomputers based on cytoskeleton

For further information about Professor Adamatzky’s work click here

Come and work with us..

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We are looking for some exceptional people to come and join the team at UWE Bristol’s Research, Business and Innovation

Help to Grow

Led by the Faculty of Business and Law, and supported by RBI, Help to Grow is a government funded programme delivering leadership training to small and medium sized enterprises.

Project Support Officer

The Help to Grow Project Support Officer will need to provide excellent support for the programme, supporting the onboarding of businesses on to the University and programme systems and providing support for the delivery of face to face activity, co-ordinating room bookings, catering and on-site arrangements.

We are looking for a clear communicator with an excellent eye for detail, who is able to offer exceptional customer service to all of the programme stakeholders. You will be highly organised with competent administration and IT skills and be able to adapt to using a number of different systems, using your own initiative to manage a busy and varied workload.

  • Salary: £22,847 – £26,341
  • Hours: Full time. Fixed term 31 March 2024
  • Closing date: 29/09/2021

Apply here

Research and Knowledge Exchange.

Senior Research and Knowledge Exchange Manager FET & FBL

The Senior Research and Knowledge Exchange Manager for the Faculties of Environment and Technology, and Business and Law. They will be responsible for identifying, developing and delivering across these faculties as well as university-wide Research and Knowledge Exchange externally funded projects for RBI, ensuring alignment to the University’s strategic ambitions. They will work closely with the Deans and Associate Deans responsible for research and external engagement to drive the development and implementation of Research and Knowledge Exchange strategy for these faculties. Leading and managing the Research and Knowledge Exchange (RKE) Team, and coordinating the input of Research and Knowledge Exchange Development Managers, Bid Developers, relevant service staff, academics and external partners in the development of bids and overseeing submission.

  • Salary: £46,042 – £51,779
  • Hours: Full time
  • Closing date: 07/10/2021

Apply here

Senior Research and Knowledge Exchange Manager ACE & HAS

The Senior Research and Knowledge Exchange Manager for the Faculties of Arts, Creative Industries and Education, and Health and Applied Sciences. They will be responsible for identifying, developing and delivering across these faculties as well as university-wide Research and Knowledge Exchange externally funded projects for RBI ensuring alignment to the University’s strategic ambitions.  They will work closely with the Deans and Associate Deans responsible for research and external engagement to drive the development and implementation of Research and Knowledge Exchange strategy for these faculties. Leading and managing the Research and Knowledge Exchange (RKE) Team, and coordinating the input of Research and Knowledge Exchange Development Managers, Bid Developers, relevant service staff, academics and external partners in the development of bids and overseeing submission.

  • Salary: £46,042 – £51,779
  • Hours: Full Time
  • Closing date: 07/10/2021

Apply here

Graduate School

The Graduate School is part of the Research, Business and Innovation Professional Services team and supports postgraduate researchers (PhD, DPhil, MPhil, Prof Doc) and their supervisors.

Graduate School Administrator: Part time

As a Graduate School Administrator you will provide administration support for postgraduate researchers (PGRs) and their supervisors and ensure continuous improvement of processes for a professional service and its customers. The main tasks will involve supporting PGR recruitment, processing postgraduate research applications, working closely with academic supervisors to organise PGR interviews, updating relevant databases, attending Faculty Research Degrees Committees, tracking individual postgraduate researcher milestone deadlines and sending timely reminders.

  • Salary: £22,847 – £26,341
  • Hours: Part-time
  • Closing date: 18/10/2021

Apply here

Graduate school administrator: Full Time

As a Graduate School Administrator you will provide administration support for postgraduate researchers (PGRs) and their supervisors and ensure continuous improvement of processes for a professional service and its customers. The main tasks will involve supporting PGR recruitment, processing postgraduate research applications, working closely with academic supervisors to organise PGR interviews, updating relevant databases, attending Faculty Research Degrees Committees, tracking individual postgraduate researcher milestone deadlines and sending timely reminders; replying to queries received via telephone, email and in-person. 

  • Salary: £22,847 – £26,341
  • Hours: Part-time
  • Closing date: 18/10/2021

Apply here

UWE Bristol’s Launch Space open for applications

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UWE Bristol’s Launch Space Incubator is now open for applications from aspiring entrepreneurs and early stage businesses. Based within the University Enterprise Zone (UEZ), Launch Space is home to high-tech, innovative start-ups with a strong focus on research and development. Applications are now open for the free business support, incubation, and acceleration services we provide for graduate entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses.

The Launch Space incubator and accelerator could be the place for you if:

  • you have a business idea you’d like to put into action
  • you’re a recent graduate, or in the early stages of developing your idea
  • you need support to validate and develop your business further.

With access to communal networking areas, use of professional meeting rooms, and on-site hot-desks, you can get ready to launch your business. Launch Space is home to existing graduate-led businesses at various stages on the start-up journey, so you’ll be working alongside others who have a common goal of making their vision a success.

Launch Space is open to graduate-led, or early stage, businesses with high-growth potential. We’re looking for those that are working on products and services across key themes:

  • Health and life science
  • Advanced engineering
  • Digital futures
  • Sustainability and climate change

Our new Launch Space programme will kick off with an exciting Induction day onsite in early October. Meet your peers, say hi to our Innovation team, and get your first glimpse of the science and tech community in our University Enterprise Zone.

A weekly programme of pitch events, boardroom advisor sessions and coaching sessions will kick start your start-up journey and help bring your idea to life.

If you’re a graduate entrepreneur, you may also be able to benefit from a £6,000 bursary to support you, while you focus on your new business.

Interested businesses will need to complete a short application form before being invited to an interview. Find out more about the application process here.

Mark Corderoy, Entrepreneur in Residence UEZ, commented:

“We are excited to be able to accept new applications to Launch Space. Launch Space gives those starting out or recent graduates with a business idea the support to be able to really focus on their start-up. The 1-on-1 support and access to expertise and facilities is invaluable for any new business”.

Find out more here.

UWE Bristol and Future Space listed as top Innovators in region

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TechSPARK recently produced their list of top entrepreneurs, techies and innovators who they have named the Top Innovators in the region.

TechSPARK is a not-for-profit network dedicated to connecting, educating and strengthening the digi-tech cluster in the West. They work with tech and digital businesses from Startups to Scaleups, SME’s to Global Corporations based in the region to help them to grow.

In 2019 TechSPARK compiled a list of top innovators from across the region to celebrate and recognise their achievements. We were delighted that the 2021 list featured Aimee Skinner, Innovation Manager at Future Space and Mark Corderoy, Entrepreneur in Residence at UWE Bristol.

Aimee said:

“I am thrilled to have been named as one of the region’s top 75 innovators. The list is brimming with innovative thinkers, future leaders, and entrepreneurs, and I am proud to be considered amongst them.”

Aimee has background in Environmental Science and a decade of continuous improvement experience in regulated industries. She is currently Innovation Manager at Future Space, as well as co-managing Bristol Innovators’ Group. Future Space is part of the University Enterprise Zone, based on UWE Bristol Frenchay campus, and managed by Oxford Innovation. In her role she actively supports the growth of start-ups and SMEs within the South West, providing a range of business support and advisory services, as well as running University engagement opportunities, such as a dedicated Internship programme for resident businesses.

Mark said:

“It’s really pleasing that our work in the University Enterprise Zone is being recognised. Launching a start-up is an ambitious venture for anyone, and we are always trying to find new ways to help these companies succeed.”

With a background in engineering and technology in a variety of commercial settings, Mark is an experienced Technologist and Mentor. He has been at UWE Bristol for last four years as Incubation Manager for the Bristol Robotics Laboratory the leading and largest academic centre for multi-disciplinary robotics research in the UK and also Incubation Manager for Launch Space, a programme that provides business support and space to start-up businesses in UWE Bristol’s Enterprise Zone.

To contact Aimee email ASkinner@oxin.co.uk and to contact Mark email Mark.Corderoy@uwe.ac.uk .

UWE Bristol academics explore if a new concept: “SAILL” (Struggles Around Independent Learning and Living) could help us understand more about student mental health issues.

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Publishing with a UWE graduate, Dr Miles Thompson (co-lead of the Psychological Sciences Research Group, PSRG) and Dr Chris Pawson Associate Head of Department for Psychology) present a new study about how students navigate their entry into higher education, making the transition to independent learning and living.

Student mental health issues are of increasing concern both inside and outside of the higher education (HE) sector. This qualitative study explores contemporary students’ experiences of their transition into HE to try and gain an up-to-date picture of the multiple, potential sources of distress they may be experiencing.

Focus groups and interviews were held with a total of 10 participants. The results clustered around three themes:

(1) Challenges of independent living

(2) Challenges of independent learning

(3) Social support and pressure

In the discussion, the authors note how the existing literature generally supports these new findings. Indeed, they explain how many of these issues have been studied for many years, even decades. As such they wonder what, if anything, has changed such that student distress appears to be on the increase?

The authors go on to consider why the challenges of learning and living independently – “a consistent and longstanding part of university life” – is possibly causing more problems now than previously. The authors provisionally introduce a new concept and potential focus for future work in this area: SAILL (Struggles Around Independent Learning and Living). They consider whether such a focus might help open up new pathways for researchers.

Simon Phillips, Deputy Director Student and Academic Services at UWE Bristol who is thanked by the authors comments:

“Mental health problems in students are rising across the sector. We are grateful for all research that can help us understand more about why and improve the services that we offer to our students. Anecdotally, we recognise this new notion of SAILL in our student well-being caseload. With that in mind, we look forward to working with the researchers to try and understand more about SAILL issues in order to better serve our students throughout their time in Higher Education.”

The full publication is freely accessible to all both online and to download here

UWE Bristol Inspire Workshop Series – New for 2021

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UWE Bristol has developed a series of inspiring workshops for individuals, teams and organisations. Delivered through a blend of peer-to-peer learning and interactive sessions attendees will learn proactive practical skills and tools to enhance their professional and personal impact.

Each workshop is interactive and reflective, with live practice sessions to explore and apply learning within a supportive community of practice. All workshops are delivered fully online through our learning platform which puts you in contact with your tutor and fellow students and there are no formal entry requirements.

Find out more about the courses below:

UWE Bristol Inspire Workshop Series: Power of Good Meetings

Understanding the importance and power of good meetings is the same as investing in the success of any business or vocation. Whether you are hosting, chairing, facilitating or participating in meetings, there are a number of vital things to be aware of and actively support in order to ensure that the organisation, its members, beneficiaries and stakeholders benefit from the power of meetings.

In this interactive workshop, we will be exploring the common pitfalls and landmines in meetings as well as developing tools for good practice towards actual mastery. The workshop is designed for anyone who has ever sat in a meeting and who wishes to become a great host, chair, facilitator or participant.

Programme dates: (all sessions run from 10:00 – 11:30)

  • 26-Jan 22
  • 09-Feb 22
  • 23-Feb 22
  • 09-Mar 22
  • 23-Mar 22
  • 06-Apr 22

UWE Bristol Inspire Workshop Series: The Practice of Attention in a World of Distraction

This workshop is about how we attend, what we attend to, and the stories we tell about it. If you feel exhausted by the ever-increasing wealth of competing demands for your attention, you are not alone. At every turn our attention is subject to capture and most of the time, leaders and managers feel unable to freely give attention to the kinds of activities they consider most important.

The workshop is designed for leaders, managers and others wanting to explore the impact of the Attention Economy and how to address the emerging issues. Gain a set of practical tools that can be used by leaders, managers and all others involved in an organisation or context. Methodologies and content are particularly designed to make good use of a diverse group, so we welcome people in a range of different roles.

Programme dates: 30 Nov – 7 December 2021 (two online sessions)

UWE Bristol Inspire Workshop Series: Trust and Collaboration

Now more than ever, leaders and managers are required to create, develop and support individuals and teams in a range of online environments. However, when we encounter each other in a physical environment, there are a range of nuances, sub-conscious signals and observations that help us establish trust and build collaborative relationships. The more we can be aware of what is gained and lost in the virtual environment, the better our leadership and management will be.

In this interactive workshop, we will explore how to create ways of working together in a virtual environment that develops trust and supports collaboration. We will explore the dynamics in both existing and new teams and learn how to include new members in a way that supports everyone.
Onboarding a new member of staff exclusively online is a challenge that many leaders and managers have had to face in the last year and there are many lessons learnt in the process that we will investigate and develop further together.

Programme dates (all sessions run from 13:30-15:00):

  • 26-Jan 22         
  • 09-Feb 22          
  • 23-Feb 22         
  • 09-Mar 22      
  • 23-Mar 22            
  • 06-Apr 22        

UWE Bristol Inspire Workshop Series: Effective Tools for Habits That Work for You

Recent events have highlighted how important effective routines and habits are in supporting us through challenging times. Adapting to working from home, social distancing, balancing work and personal commitments, career changes, getting fit, wellbeing, being resilient, and the list goes on!

This is for anyone that recognises they need to develop effective habits and practices in order to make changes in their lives, professionally and/or personally. The tools that we’ll use are not specific to an industry or management level but useful and effective for all. We bring the tools for designing habits, you will bring your goals, vision, or desired outcomes!

Programme dates: (both sessions run from 09:30 – 12:30)

  • 20-Oct 21
  • 17-Nov 21

UWE Bristol Inspire Workshop Series: Planning and Delivering Virtual Events Successfully

The recent disruption that the coronavirus has caused has required organisations to quickly transition to running events of all shapes and sizes online rather than in the traditional in-person format. While there will continue to be a place for full in-person events in the future, the flexibility and reach of delivering events virtually are such that organisations will continue to harness online technology and delivery of events as part of a successful engagement strategy.

Designed to stimulate, inspire, and engage, this two-day interactive workshop will provide an opportunity for you to not only learn the fundamentals of designing and running a virtual event but also how to ensure success and the creation of a lasting legacy. The workshop is designed for individuals and SMEs who are currently running or looking to run, events in a virtual or hybrid format.

Programme date:

  • 18-Jan 22, 10:00-1200 & 13:00-15:00

Click here for more information about all of UWE Bristol’s Professional Development Courses.  

UWE Bristol’s Associate Professor in Filmmaking, Charlotte Crofts convenes discussion panel at Symposium.

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Charlotte, is an Associate Professor in Filmmaking at UWE Bristol and Editor in Chief of Screenworks an online, peer-reviewed journal of screen media practice research. She was invited to convene a round table discussion panel on “Publishing Screen Media Practice Research: Editorial Approaches” at the annual MPE/MeCCSA Practice Network Symposium 2021.

The Practice Network Symposium is delivered in association with the journal of Media Practice Education and is hosted by the Faculty of Business, Law and Digital Technology at Solent University, Southampton. It’s also supported by the MeCCSA Practice Network that champions practice within the Media Communications and Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSA). MeCCSA are dedicated to maintaining and developing links with the creative industries and relevant networks.

This round table discussion with the editorial board of Screenworks, focussed on the journal’s evolving editorial approaches. Using Screenworks as a case study, they explored the dialogic relationship between written statement and practice, critically examining the peer review process (from both sides of the experience) and outlining the journal’s journey to becoming more accessible and inclusive.  They also explored Screenworks’ role in academic publication of the emerging field of videographic film criticism.

Read the event details and view the YouTube footage below.

Dr Charlotte Crofts’ research spans traditional publication, practice and knowledge exchange, including filmmaking (both documentary and narrative), pervasive media (award-winning locative heritage apps) and curatorial practice.

She has led impact case studies for REF14 and REF21. She is on the steering committee of UNESCO Bristol City of Film, is director of the Cary Comes Home Festival (established 2014). She is co-founder of the Angela Carter society and is currently developing a feature film adaptation of Angela Carter’s ‘Flesh and the Mirror’ which has been supported by the BFI Development Fund.

UWE Bristol academic publishes study exploring which aspects of treatment IAPT service users most value

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Working with UWE Bristol graduates from both undergraduate and Masters programmes, Dr Miles Thompson, Senior Lecturer in Psychology and co-lead of the Psychological Sciences Research Group (PSRG), publishes a study exploring which aspects of an low-intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) intervention delivered through Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) contributed to successful outcomes from the service user point of view.

IAPT services are not without their critics, but the aim of this mixed methods study was to both identify the elements of interventions which contributed to successful outcomes from the service user point of view, and also to attempt to frame the results within the common versus specific factor framework. Common versus specific factors refers to a sometimes acrimonious debate within the psychological literature about what matters most: common factors which are present in all therapies, or specific factors which are only found in certain interventions.

Eight participants took part in this multi-stage research which used both qualitative interviews and a quantitative questionnaire. In stage 1, participants spoke freely about any factors that played a role in their successful treatment as they saw it. In stage 2, participants were given a list of possible contributors to therapeutic change, to encourage them to consider factors they may not have otherwise thought of. Finally, in stage 3, participants were invited to reflect on whether their answers to stage 1 had changed at all following the stage 2 questionnaire. Interestingly, participants did not significantly change their answers after stage 2, and felt their initial responses reflected the most helpful aspects of their therapy.

Five overarching qualitative themes were identified in the data. Three relating to common factors – i. insight, ii. talking and iii. therapist qualities and two relating to specific factors – i. responding differently to thoughts and feelings and ii. tasks/activities. Importantly, all participants spoke about the importance of both common and specific factors. This may suggest that both factors, not just one or other, play an important role in successful outcomes.

It also seems important to note, that “talking” was a key factor in successful outcomes from the service users’ point of view. Some research into IAPT notes that allowing service users the space and time to talk can sometimes be constrained. This study highlights the importance of allowing talking to happen in all its fullness.

Future research that gains a fuller understanding of service user perceptions into why their interventions were successful may provide more evidence about what aspects of treatment are important. This may both increase our understanding of therapeutic processes and help us improve real-world outcomes.

The full publication is freely accessible to all both online and to download here.

KTP Project with Viper Innovations Nominated for KTP Best of the Best Awards 2020

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UWE Bristol’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Viper Innovations (Portishead), which completed in 2018, has been nominated as one of three finalists in the Business Impact category for the KTP Best of the Best Awards 2020. To be considered for the award, an organisation must be able to demonstrate substantial ongoing impact from their KTP beyond the expectations as set out in their Partnership’s original KTP proposal.

The two-year project with Viper, undertaken by KTP Associate Kim Mahoney, identified and directed the market opportunities and priorities of the company as part of their business diversification into new sectors: rail, airports, power and communications. The project was focused specifically on the company’s newly launched CableGuardian™ product. With academic expertise from Tim Hughes (Bristol Business School) and Tracy Hunt-Fraisse (Bristol Business School) the team identified penetrable markets and worked to increase product awareness within them. The learning and outputs from the KTP have formed the basis in scoping Viper’s diversification strategy for its CableGuardian product and services for the next 5 years and the financial impact is set to be very impressive.

Neil Douglas (Director, Viper Innovations) noted “Viper Innovations is absolutely delighted that this KTP has been recognised with this nomination. The success was largely due to the commitment by all parties and the quality and ability of the Academic Supervisor and the KTP Associate, coupled with a highly focussed scope of work that was a key element of the growth strategy of Viper Innovations.” UWE and Viper have continued to collaborate and have since secured funding for a second KTP project, which started in June 2020.

The winner of the award will be announced on 09 September 2020.

Future Space resident, Mass Spec Analytical, Receives Innovate UK Funding for Plasma Ion Source Research

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Future Space resident Mass Spec Analytical, announced today that it has received additional funding from Innovate UK to pursue its Plasma Ion Source Development work.

Mass Spec Analytical (MSA) received the award through the Analysis for Innovators Competition where the aim is to help companies overcome intractable product, manufacturing or process performance problems through advanced measurement and analytical technologies.

Mass Spec Analytical specialises in the development of versatile direct-analysis ion sources for substance identification using mass spectrometry.

MSA was awarded a further grant under the COVID-19: Continuity Grants initiative to provide additional support to the project, ensuring that the challenges presented by the current pandemic and lock down of key facilities would have as little impact as possible.

Lance Hiley, MSA Managing Director commented: “The Analysis for Innovators (A4I) programme has provided our business with access to experts and equipment in laboratories recognised worldwide for analysis and measurement”

“That is invaluable to a company like ours developing innovative products. Our project had just got underway when the Covid-19 Lockdown was announced, and our plans delayed. The Covid-19 Continuity Grant has provided us with additional funds to develop workarounds with our Innovate measurement partner and implement alternative approaches to the workplan. The structure of the grant also ensures that the additional funds will pay for a legacy in our business in the years to come.”

Read the full story here.

Future Space is part of the University Enterprise Zone. They connect entrepreneurs and tech innovators with scientists, researchers and graduate talent – to spark collaboration, innovation and growth. Find out more here.