UWE Bristol Academic Spotlight: Dr Patrick Crogan

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Patrick Crogan is Associate Professor of Digital Cultures at UWE Bristol where he teaches and researches in media, technology and culture. Originally from Australia, he completed a doctorate at the University of Sydney and taught at a number of institutions in Australia before coming to the UK.

He has worked at UWE Bristol since 2008, where he supports the Media Communications degree programme. He is also a founding member of UWE Bristol’s Digital Cultures Research Centre, a collaborative network focussing on practical approaches to responsible technological futures.

Patrick’s work specifically highlights the link between digital media making and theory. He works in both conventional ‘academic’ and practice-based modes, working with creative makers, an approach that he says keeps him “’fresh’ and ‘honest’”.

Area of expertise

Automation and AI:

Patrick was one of the UWE Bristol-led, AHRC-funded South West Creative Technology Network’s Automation Fellows in 2019-2020. He worked with other Fellows on the future of creative uses of AI and automation. Before that, Patrick was co-investigator on the AHRC Automation Anxiety Research Network (2017-18) which explored innovative methods by which the humanities might address contemporary cultural anxiety about new forms of automation.  He also works on military drone developments and the future of AI and automation in military and civilian circles. In addition to this, he is a collaborator and research lead on the I am Echoborg​ project. Led by colleague and interactive experience designer, Rik Lander, this interactive show challenges the audience to discover the best possible outcome for the relationship between humans and intelligent machines.

Video games and digital culture: 

Patrick’s 2011 book Gameplay Mode critically examines what videogames can tell us about the relations between war and computer-based technoculture. 

He also ran the Creative Territories AHRC Video games research network (2014-15). Its major report The Good Hubbing Guide outlines its major findings and recommendations about independent game maker colocation. 

Bernard Stiegler: 

Patrick’s work is strongly influenced by Bernard Stiegler, a French technology and media philosopher who argued that individuals and society as a whole are increasingly shaped by algorithms and automated systems, driven by economic rather than human interests.  

Patrick has written several pieces on Stiegler’s work’s relevance to film, media and digital cultural theory and translated some of his writings into English. He also guest edited a special issue of the journal Cultural Politics on Stiegler. He is currently working on a book about the philosopher’s relevance to digital media and cultural studies.

Fully Funded Inclusive Digital Skills Bootcamps

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Inclusive Digital Bootcamps will help you to secure new or better Digital Employment and are free to register for individuals based in the West of England. Inclusive digital skills bootcamps are delivered by UWE Bristol as part of the Digital Skills Investment Programme

Data Science & AI

Who is it for?

  • 19 – 25-year-olds*
  • Women*

Delivered mainly online with a few sessions at Frenchay Campus, BS16 1QY

*Anyone can still apply to take part, but priority access is given to those who meet one (or more) of the above criteria.

What will I learn?

  • Mathematics and computer programming
  • Data science fundamentals
  • Software development
  • Machine Learning & AI approaches

When does it start?

This free course is running twice with two different cohorts, starting in late November 2021 and February 2022

  • 17-weeks
  • 8-hours scheduled learning per-week plus self-study

UX Design

Who is it for?

  • Those with living with health conditions, learning difficulties or impairments*

*Anyone can still apply to take part, but priority access is given to those who meet one (or more) of the above criteria.

Delivered mainly online with a few sessions at Frenchay Campus, BS16 1QY

What will I learn?

  • Learn advanced aspects of UX design for digital platforms
  • Responsive design for smart phones and robots
  • Specialised support to access ‘Disability Confident’ employment
  • Understand UX design trends for a range of platforms

When does it start?


This free course begins in January 2022

  • 13-weeks
  • 8-hours scheduled learning per-week plus self-study

More information:

Employability Support

Each bootcamp has an embedded industry project element. This will allow you to:

  • Build and showcase your higher-level skills to potential employers
  • Implementing your learning in real-world scenarios

Mentoring

Throughout the bootcamps, you will be paired with an industry mentor to complement your learning and open up doors to future employment opportunities.

There will also be opportunities to access specific mentoring support if you are from an underrepresented group within the digital industry.

Job Preparation

Each of the bootcamps will finish with a 2-week ‘Preparation for Employment Module’.You will be provided with a range of in-person and online support tools to help you secure higher-level employed roles.

Support includes:

  • CV & Cover letter writing
  • Interview preparation
  • Introductions to relevant employers

Contact

If you would like to speak to a member of the team before registering your interest, email digitalworkforce@uwe.ac.uk and we will be happy to help.

Vacancies – Green Skills for Jobs and Entrepreneurship

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7-month secondment opportunity

Green Skills for Jobs and Entrepreneurship (Green Skills) is a new 7-month project – led by UWE Bristol in partnership with NatWest Bank and Black South West Network (BSWN) – funded by the Government’s Community Renewal Fund.

Launching in January 2022, this project will address the skills shortages needed to deliver the West of England’s net zero ambitions by providing training, entrepreneurship and employment opportunities for young people. The Project will encourage participation from Black British and British Asian heritage young people, in recognition of the employment gap that exists for black graduates and inspired by the #10000BlackInterns initiative.

A major legacy of the Project will be a Green Skills for Jobs and Entrepreneurship Hub, hosted on an online platform and accessible to the wider West of England skills, innovation and enterprise ecosystem.

UWE Bristol are looking to recruit 5 roles to support this project. These roles will be 7 month fixed term contracts, with an immediate start in January 2022. We would welcome applicants from private and public sector organisations as a secondment opportunity.

We are looking for:

  • Project Manager
  • Partnerships Manager
  • Mentor and Cohort Manager
  • Project Officer
  • Finance Officer

Project Manager

We are looking for a confident and experienced Project Manager to coordinate project activity and design an 8-week green skills programme, co-delivered by the Project’s partners and external consultants. You will line manage and coordinate the activity of the Green Skills Cohort Manager (providing mentoring and coaching to young people) and Green Skills Partnerships Manager (developing and managing partnerships with SMEs and employers for green internships).

Project Manager vacancy

Partnerships Manager

We are looking for a dynamic and experienced business Partnerships Manager who will be responsible for promoting the project to local employers and securing internship placements for young people. You will co-ordinate and deliver an employer and ‘pitch’ events where young people can find out more about internship opportunities, further training, and incubation support.

Partnership Manager vacancy

Mentor and Cohort Manager

We are looking for an enthusiastic and experienced Mentor and Cohort Manager to provide mentoring and coaching to 5 cohorts of young people and be responsible for ensuring that all participants have access to the information and learning support they need. You will hold regular 1:1s with each young person during their 8 weeks of study and will provide additional support once participants have moved on to any internship, incubation or further training activity.

Mentor and Cohort Manager vacancy

Project Officer

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 project stakeholders, whilst ensuring compliance within funding regulations. You will need to enjoy solving problems quickly and implementing these solutions across the project.

Project Officer vacancy

Finance Officer

We are looking for someone who is finacially minded, has an excellent eye for detail and who is able to offer exceptional customer service to all of the project stakeholders. You will need to oversee the project budget, handle day to day financial transactions, maintain accurate expenditure records and project forecasts.

Finance Officer vacancy

UWE Bristol Professor commissioned by BBC to voice and write new Cary Grant video essay

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Dr Charlotte Crofts, is Associate Professor of Filmmaking at UWE Bristol in the Department of Film & Journalism where she teaches on the BA (Hons) Filmmaking @UWE_Film.

Charlotte was recently commissioned by BBC Arts to write and voice a new video essay about the Bristol born, Hollywood Actor Cary Grant. She is director of the biennial Cary Comes Home Festival and @carycomeshome on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. The Festival aims to celebrate Cary Grant’s Bristol roots, develop new audiences for his work and recreated the golden age of cinema-going.

The film that Professor Crofts has been commissioned to write a video essay about explores the tension between Cary Grant’s working-class roots and his screen persona as the epitome of style. Class was the theme of the recent festival in November and there are events planned this December to commemorate the 20-year anniversary of the unveiling of the Cary Grant statue in Millennium Square in his hometown Bristol.

Cary Grant outside City Hall, College Green, Bristol
‘Cary Comes Home Festival’

December Events

  • Sunday 5 December, 2pm GMT- Looking for Archie Walking Tour: IN-PERSON, Bristol City Centre, UK (book with link)
  • Tuesday 7 December, 6.30pm GMT –  paying homage at the statue: IN-PERSON, next to the statue in Millennium Square, Bristol, UK. No booking required just come and find us next to the statue!
  • Tuesday 7 December, 7.30pm GMT – Interview with David Long who campaigned to erect the statue: ONLINE: Crowdcast

Find out more about the Cary Comes Home Festival

Some Versions of Cary Grant ‘Cary Come Home Festival’.

Watch the video essay on:

Become an Industry Mentor and support our Skills Bootcamp learners

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Do you work within a digital skills role in areas such as data science, AI, cyber security, digital engineering, UX Design, games technology or sustainable development? Would you like to share your experience with our skills bootcamp learners? 

UWE Bristol are looking to work with a number of individuals to act as mentors across our skills bootcamps, supporting our learners as they develop their new skills and search for their next career opportunity.   

Register your interest to become a mentor

What is an industry mentor? 

Acting as a mentor you will support learners by providing guidance and share your experiences and knowledge from your area of expertise.
As part of your mentoring sessions, you will look to help your mentee(s) to:

  • Map their next steps in their chosen career path
  • Identify key skills needed for potential job opportunities 
  • Provide feedback on work they develop as part of their bootcamp portfolio 
  • Provide your perspective on your industry and give exposure to best practice 
  • Introduce them to your role or other suitable roles to understand the industry further  
  • Provide a networking experience to your mentee

Why become a mentor?

While you will be supporting our learners, acting as a mentor, you can also support your own personal development. Mentoring can be rewarding and provide you with insight from those looking to enter your industry and for you to learn from their experiences.

Our mentoring scheme will also give you the opportunity to:

  • Engage with our curriculum
  • Take part in a half day mentoring skills workshop to gain new transferrable skills
  • Receive a digital badge to showcase your experience in mentorship

Required skills/commitment

As a skills bootcamp mentor, you will:

  • Have 3+ years’ industry experience in one of the following areas:
    • Data Science & AI
    • Digital Engineering
    • User Experience &Design
    • Games Technology
    • Cyber Security
  • Be able to commit to meeting with your mentee(s) once a fortnight over a 2- 3-month period (this will usually be online)
  • Be willing to inspire, encourage and guide learners looking to start their career in your industry
  • Share your own experiences and examples with your mentee(s)

FAQ’s

I have less than 3 years industry experience, can I still become a mentor?

While we ask for 3 years industry experience, we would be happy to speak to anyone with less than this, that feels they would be able to contribute positively to the programme

Do I need to live in/near Bristol?

As sessions will run online you do not have to live in the Bristol area

Will I be paid for this?

Our mentoring positions are generally unpaid; however mentors will receive half day training workshop to develop their mentoring skills and a digital badge at the end of their involvement.

Register your interest to become a mentor

Introducing our research strength focus: Digital Futures

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At UWE Bristol we are proud of our active and collaborative research community of bold and innovative thinkers that are breaking research boundaries. 

Our four key research strengths are:   

  • Creative industries and technologies 
  • Digital Futures 
  • Health & Wellbeing 
  • Sustainability and Climate Change Resilience

Over the past three months we have been sharing content around our research strength, Sustainability and Climate Change Resilience. We are now moving onto our next focus: Digital Futures.

 Our research strengths in this area include: 

  • robotics, artificial intelligence and advanced engineering 
  • industrial digitalisation, high-value design and next generation services 
  • future mobile communications, ubiquitous computing, data science and cybersecurity. 

To introduce this research strength, we are going to share with you two of our Digital Futures research case studies: 

Cyber crime: Helping authorities worldwide to tackle financial crime 

Being as vast and intangible as it is, the internet has proved one big loophole for cyber criminals – until now. Turning the tables on fraudsters is the raison d’etre of experts in cyber security and financial crime, who are helping police forces across the world to close in. 

“We know that the rapid exchange of information between cyber criminals, and the lack of information sharing across police forces and countries is a major barrier to success in tackling the issue,” says Professor Phil Legg, Associate Professor of Cyber Security. “Our goal is to work with police forces to understand what tools they currently lack and how we can help by using our research intel to come up with a solution.” 

Phil is working alongside Professor Nic Ryder, Professor of Financial Crime, on a multidisciplinary project to address the evolving nature of crime online, and to develop technological solutions for facilitating law enforcement in this globally connected space. 

Much of Nic’s work has already helped shape improvements in how law enforcement agencies across the world tackle terrorism financing and money laundering. As well as training police authorities in Rome, the Netherlands and the UK, he has worked with NATO, the UK Home Office and the Centre of Research Evidence and Security Threats (CREST). 

A seminal piece of work is the development of a fraud typology that enables agencies to identify where financial crime is being used to fund terrorist activity. The typology is a robust toolkit based on evidence from convicted terrorism cases, which revealed how terrorism is often connected to fraudulent activity in areas including immigration, identity theft, credit cards, tax, student loans and insurance. 

View the full case study  

Digital ethics: Balancing creativity with ethics on and off screen 

What happens when you give people the power to raise the dead? Aside from the creative potential for screen directors to shock audiences into paying attention, the deep fake phenomenon which does precisely that, raises a host of ethical and legal challenges. Who better to test the balance of such powers than Maggie Thatcher…? 

Digital face replacements are commonplace in the high budget film industry, with the widespread use of CGI and digital effects by Disney and the Star Wars franchise, among others. Since 2017 the open source, lower resolution alternative of deep fakes has become widespread, providing an affordable means of translating existing images into a simulated context. 

For television and film directors like UWE Bristol’s Dr Dominic Lees, Associate Head of Department, Filmmaking, this is interesting territory that poses both creative and ethical questions when it comes to examining a director’s intentions and the potential for shifting perceptions. 

“We have a moment in technological development that is really exciting,” says Dominic. “It’s the democratisation of what has been an extremely elite part of the studio and film process for some years. Philosophically, it raises questions around why we would want to do this, how we do it, and whether we even ought to.” 

These are the questions that Dominic is exploring in collaboration with colleagues from Law, and Engineering and Technology, via the Virtual Maggie project, digitally resurrecting the former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher for a contemporary short film set in the 1980s. 

Having filmed several scenes with a real actor, they are now testing out open source (artificial intelligence) AI technology to recreate the actor’s scenes with a simulated version of Thatcher’s face. 

Dominic says: “It’s both interesting and rattling to consider whether I want people to completely believe that this is Margaret Thatcher, which I could never do because the audience knows she wasn’t alive when I was shooting this film? Or whether I want it to be slightly unbelievable so that viewers are aware of the artifice of what I’m doing, and appreciate the fakeness?” 

View the full case study

For UWE Staff: Women Researchers’ Mentoring Scheme

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The Women Researchers’ Mentoring Scheme (WRMS) aims to promote and facilitate professional development for women researchers working at UWE Bristol, helping them reach senior research roles.  This scheme provides support to female staff to develop and strengthen their research portfolio, making them more able to compete for senior research roles alongside their male counterparts.

This scheme offers a specified number of mentoring opportunities, which aim to provide mentees with encouragement, support and advice from experienced colleagues in order to help the mentee realise their potential and fulfil their research career aspirations. 

The new application cycle for the Women Researchers Mentoring Scheme (WRMS) is now open. The scheme is open to all women in academic and research roles, employed by UWE, who wish to develop their careers.

The benefits of being involved in the scheme by becoming a mentor or mentee could assist your development and progression. The scheme will entail a nominated woman researcher being matched to a mentor, who can be a woman or man. Training will be provided to all new participants. The application deadline is Wednesday 12 January 2022.

Further details of the scheme including how to apply is available on the Women Researchers’ Mentoring Scheme staff intranet pages.

UWE Bristol to deliver green skills for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic young adults to get them into green jobs

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UWE Bristol will deliver Green Skills for Jobs and Entrepreneurship aimed at helping Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic young adults young adults into green jobs.

The project, led by UWE Bristol and in collaboration with NatWest and the Black South West Network will help the West of England region transition to a green economy.

Green Skills for Jobs and Entrepreneurship will be delivered alongside an ambitious programme of skills development and training for people and businesses in the West of England, delivered by UWE Bristol’s Regional Skills Academy. Working with partners, the Regional Skills Academy is reskilling and upskilling the region’s workforce to support economic recovery, meet the demands of a digital and zero carbon society, and provide lifelong learning opportunities for adults from all communities and backgrounds.

Professor Steve West, Vice-Chancellor, President and CEO of UWE Bristol and President of UUK said: “At UWE Bristol, we passionately believe in inclusivity and opportunity, recognising the key role education has in helping transform society, to the benefit of all individuals and communities. We are delighted to have been chosen to help deliver the Government’s Community Renewal Fund which recognises the vital role that Universities have to play in helping the UK build back. Not just better, but faster, stronger, and greener too.

“This fantastic partnership with our colleagues at Black South West Network and NatWest will provide unique skills, employment and start-up opportunities to young people from communities across our region, generating an inclusive pipeline of talent for local businesses and driving the West of England’s transition to a green economy. The country needs its universities more than ever to help drive our post-Covid recovery, to support our NHS and to create good, sustainable jobs in our local communities. We are ready to turbocharge this recovery – fuelling inclusivity, growth, opportunity, mobility, and prosperity.”

This is one of four successful bids to the UK Community Renewal Fund, submitted by the West of England Combined Authority. A total of £2.4m has been secured to support people and communities most in need across the region.

Find out more about Green Skills for Jobs and Entrepreneurship or get in touch to request more information.

UWE Bristol announce Inclusive Digital Skills bootcamps

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UWE Bristol, in partnership with the West of England Combined Authority (WECA), is delivering a series of fully funded ‘Inclusive Digital Bootcamps. These courses are being delivered in response to the growing demand for Digital Skills in the region and to support those whose progression, development or employment has been affected by the pandemic.

UWE Bristol are delivering three different bootcamps to develop medium-to-high level Digital Skills in the region. These targeted bootcamps will deliver both digital/specialist skills and the interpersonal soft skills that employers expressly need.

These bootcamps will be delivered over a period of 12-16 weeks. Throughout their learning, participants will have 1:1 mentoring support and will link with relevant industry to work on and understand real-life digital projects and showcase their skills to potential employers.

Each of the bootcamps will finish with a two-week preparation for employment module, where learners will be provided with a wide range of in-person and online support tools focused on entry into medium/higher level employment opportunities.

The Bootcamps

Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Bootcamps

Starts 8 November

Equipping learners with skills needed to be at the forefront of emerging technologies across different industrial sectors.

  • Mathematics and computer programming
  • Data science fundamentals
  • Software development
  • Machine Learning & AI approaches

Data Bootcamp: Cloud-based skills

Starts 29 November  

Developing learners’ cloud-based skills & creating Microsoft Power experts that will be an asset to any forward-thinking organisation.

  • Master Microsoft cloud-based apps
  • Understand and use Microsoft Power Platforms
  • Access the Microsoft Learn programme

UX Design Bootcamp

Starts 15November

Know what makes a good user experience and understand responsive design for smart-phones, robots and more.

  • Learn advanced aspects of UX design for digital platforms
  • Responsive design for smart phones and robots
  • Specialised support to access ‘Disability Confident’ employment
  • Understand UX design trends for a range of platforms

The bootcamps are primarily aimed at:

  • 19-25 year olds
  • Female learners
  • Those living with health conditions or impairments

Anyone can still apply to take part, but priority access is given to those who meet one (or more) of the above criteria.

These bootcamps are fully funded for adults and are designed to be manageable alongside existing employment.

Find out more and register your place.

UWE Bristol announces final funding round of the Digital Innovation Fund

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The University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) has opened its final round of the Digital Innovation Fund (DIF).  The scheme offers eligible businesses grants of £10,000 to £40,000 to undertake digital innovation.

The scheme has already supported 34 companies across the West of England and is offering businesses a final chance to apply for funding before the programme closes. Eligible businesses will be offered one to one support to develop their projects and application forms.

The scheme, funded by the European Regional Development Fund, offers small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in, Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset or South Gloucestershire grants from £10,000 to £40,000 to fund up to 35% of project costs. Projects must be completed by December 2022.

The deadline for applications is 12.00 (midday) on 16 November 2021

Apply now

Director of Research, Business and Innovation at UWE Bristol, Tracey John commented: “We want to fund strong innovation projects from dynamic businesses that are creating jobs in the region. This is a great time to support R&D activities that boost growth and competitiveness.  We actively support SMEs that are delivering digital innovation or research and development projects.  We provide one to one support for eligible businesses to help them through the application process. We are proud to support businesses in the West of England.


Notes to editors

European Regional Development Fund:

The project will receive up to £1,900,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.  The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund.

Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.  For more information visit here.

West of England region: All organisations with a presence in Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

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