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Research and Enterprise at the University of Salford
Vol. 1: Issue. 1 | May 2013
Citizen scientists help map
the auditory landscape
Design to
fight crime
Centre involves young people
to find solutions
Digging Greater
Local excavations engage
the community
What’s in your
fish dish?
Mislabelling contributes to
fisheries' decline
How to create a
dream team
The stats behind the sports
Welcome from the
Welcome to the first edition of Perspectives
magazine, which sets out to demonstrate the
impact of the University of Salford’s research and
enterprise activity on the communities we serve,
while also highlighting our engagement with,
and relevance to, issues of direct concern to you.
It is named Perspectives because we are taking an evidence-informed view on current issues, and giving
an insight into our work and those of fellow community members that you may not otherwise have
known about. It does not set out to be a comprehensive overview of all our activity over the past six
months, but rather is simply a selection to show the breadth, and depth, of activity. Hopefully you will
find it interesting reading.
The University’s research pedigree is a long one, arguably dating as far back as Joule’s research in
the basement of an unassuming Georgian redbrick terrace – what is now known as Joule house,
pictured on the front cover and home to some of our enterprise units.
At the heart of any university lies research; indeed some would argue that research defines what
differentiates a university from any other teaching and learning establishment. However, this is not a
zero-sum game: learning and teaching and research are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary, they
reinforce each other, and in the best universities they are completely intertwined.
Enterprise, or what was once called “third mission” activity, now also underlies so much of what we
do, whether it’s launching a new research-informed course for practitioners, or a Knowledge Transfer
Partnership to share research and expertise between the University and industry, or research and
development commissioned by business – enterprise, research and innovation are seamless concepts here,
and this is what the University is particularly well known and respected for.
We are always eager to engage with you further on projects such as these, or through volunteering
to take part in a research study, or coming to the University for one of our free public lectures.
Our doors are open and we hope that you will join us.
Professor Martin Hall See the VC’s blog at:
Vol. 1: Issue. 1 | May 2013
04 | Design to fight crime
10 |How to create a
dream team
Centre involves young people
to find solutions
The stats behind the sports
09 |Poetry in motion
Examining the close links
between movement and
16 | Exploring soundscapes
Citizen scientists help map the
auditory landscape
24 |Joining forces
University and the fire service
team up
26 | Making small spaces
seem bigger
Activated carbon “air”
finds new purpose
30 | D
igging Greater
Local excavations engage
the community
36 | G
o global with
social media
Helping companies overcome
the challenges of working in
different business cultures
39 | W
hat’s in your
fish dish?
Mislabelling contributes to
fisheries' decline
40 |Optimal dartboard
Maths makes traditional game
more challenging
54 | Campaigns in
rude health
Social media raises
health awareness
Regular features
Subscribe to Perspectives
14 | P
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May 2013 | 3
Perspectives Feature
centre has
designs on
crime and
If good design can be described as maximising function with form, then
the pioneering work taking place at the Design Against Crime Solution Centre
is having a major impact on some of society’s biggest blights.
4 | May 2013
esign Against Crime
was established at the
University of
Salford in 1999 via a
project funded by the
UK Design Council
and the Home office,
as part of a national
programme of policy initiatives to embed crime
prevention in design practice and education.
In 2003 the Design Against Crime Solution
Centre was established, which is a unique
partnership with Greater Manchester Police
and the Dutch research and planning
consultancy, DSP-groep. The Solution Centre
provides leadership in design-led and
sustainable practice to improve crime
prevention and community safety, and works
in partnership with police forces, governments,
planning authorities, the voluntary sector,
service users and communities.
“The research cluster here at the Design
Against Crime Solution Centre offers a
distinctive approach, and considers ‘design’
as referring not simply to the physical design
of environments or products, but includes
research, analysis, evaluation and the
formulation of integrated systems of delivery
and value adopted by stakeholders,” explains
Dr Caroline Davey, Co-Director of the Centre.
“Our approach is very much informed by
human-centred design and systems design,
and we adopt a focus on the constituent
systems of meaning, learning, delivery
[practice] and value [impact]. The impact of
our work is underpinned by research that has
taken place in a number of key projects.”
The youth of today…
have got lots to say
One of these projects is Youth Design Against
Crime (YDAC), a programme to engage
young people in design-led crime prevention,
developed by the Design Against Crime
Solution Centre and national young people’s
charity, Catch22. Supported by youth workers
and teachers, and mentored by local police
officers, the project sees multiple teams of up
to nine young people challenged to address
issues of crime and community safety in their
neighbourhoods, and the ideas generated
are presented to senior local stakeholders
from agencies including the police, planning
authorities and local councils. YDAC is novel
in its approach because it is aimed at young
people who have come to the attention of
schools or police authorities due to behavioural
problems, and who may be excluded from
school and following an alternative curriculum.
Dr Caroline Davey and Andrew Wootton, Co-Directors of
the Design Against Crime Solution Centre
Using these challenges really improves
young people’s confidence, knowledge,
qualifications and skills, and fosters better
relationships with the adult participants,
including police mentors.
“People are starting to realise the value in
encouraging young people to participate in
projects that have a direct impact on decisions
about environments and spaces, including the
public realm of towns and cities,” says Andrew
Wootton, also Co-Director of the Solution
Centre. “YDAC challenges young people
considered ‘at risk of offending’ to address
problems in their neighbourhoods, using a
process of research and design to help
generate innovative and evidence-based
solutions to crime problems. Using these
design challenges really improves young
people’s confidence, knowledge, qualifications
and skills, and fosters better relationships
with the adult participants, including police
mentors. The young people we work with
develop creative solutions to problems,
and are able to convince stakeholders involved
in policing, community safety and urban
planning of the value of their ideas.”
With YDAC structured to run over ten to
12 weeks, young people completing the
programme and associated workbook have the
opportunity to gain an ASDAN Wider Skills Level
2 problem-solving qualification, which in turn
can be a springboard to further study.
During the first three weeks of the programme
the participants undertake team-building
activities, including identifying individual
strengths and weaknesses, creating a team
name and choosing an area to focus on.
The scanning and mapping stage (weeks four
to six) involves researching the focus area,
considering why it is important to the team
members, looking deeper into the issues and
understanding how they can be addressed.
A police mentor assists this process and works
with the teams to research problems in the area,
as experienced by other users, and then
a ‘problem profile’ is produced.
During weeks six to ten the groups develop
design concepts in response to their research,
which are then evaluated in terms of their
potential impact on users, crime and antisocial behaviour. A final design concept is then
selected and in weeks ten to 12 the young
people develop drawings, models, presentation
materials and arguments to communicate to the
judging panel at the YDAC showcase evening.
At this event each group is given ten minutes
to present their finished design to the judging
panel and an audience of friends, family and
invited stakeholders, before taking questions for
five minutes. One group is then selected by the
judging panel as the YDAC winner, and receives
a trophy, while all runners up are awarded
medals and certificates of completion.
May 2013 | 5
Five YDAC projects have been initiated to
date: Greater Manchester (2009), the London
borough of Southwark (2010), the London
borough of Lambeth (2011), Salford (2011)
and Bolton (2012). Together, these projects
have directly involved over 200 young people
aged between 12 and 19 years from schools
and youth groups, with the majority generally
coming from poor educational backgrounds,
and some having been excluded from school or
involved in anti-social behaviour and identified
as ‘at risk of offending’.
community members, the four teams of young
people participating in the Greater Manchester
YDAC identified four main problem areas
on which to focus their efforts. The first of
these was an isolated subway close to the
team’s school that had become a magnet for
robbery, anti-social behaviour and serious
crime; the second was a pedestrian route to a
local shopping precinct where groups of street
drinkers congregated and created a climate of
fear; the third was an underused public park
and playground; while the fourth was the
The panel reviews the students’ design ideas
at the Southwark showcase
“Designers and other stakeholders are aware
of the power of creativity, but much of the
creativity possessed by young people often
goes untapped,” adds Wootton. “Design
doesn’t necessarily mean art though, but rather
is focused on the intelligent use of creative
thinking to solve problems and meet identified
needs in an elegant way, which means that
really understanding problems and needs is key
to developing successful new designs. It is for
this reason that we believe that the research
process is central to the success of YDAC and
its creative challenge nature in general is vital.
The young people taking part develop a strong
team spirit, improve their communication skills,
demonstrate their ability to help each other
and take responsibility for the decision-making
process. On top of that, because the process
requires the participants to consult with and
understand the behaviour of all the users of
an area, both legitimate users and offenders,
it helps to forge community cohesion and
build bridges between these various groups.”
As an example of the project proving a
catalyst to address crucial issues that affect all
6 | May 2013
playing field next to the team’s youth centre,
which had become a hotspot for drug dealing.
At the showcase evening, Kevin Mulligan,
Chief Superintendent of Salford, pledged to
secure funding for the implementation of
the winning team’s ideas, which was to deal
with the isolated subway close to Albion High
School. As a result, the team was invited to act
as young advisers to Urban Vision Engineering
Design, who met with the group to discuss their
ideas to improve the Pendleton Roundabout
subway. Staff at Urban Vision were stunned
with the creativity of the ideas and very keen
to incorporate these into the new design of
the subway. Money was made available for
making improvements to the subway and Urban
Vision, appointed by the council, completed the
renovations in summer 2010.
“The young people demonstrated a clear
understanding of the issues relating to the
improvement of the Pendleton subway,” Max
Griffiths, Structures Manager at Urban Vision,
said at the time of the design work.
“It is so important to give young people
the chance to be involved in the decisions
that affect their local community, especially
as so often their voices are ignored,” Glen
Barkworth, General Manager at Manchester
Arndale and member of the Greater
Manchester YDAC judging panel, said at
the time of the project. “We owe it to all of
the groups who have been involved in this
project to start making these really simple and
relatively inexpensive changes happen right
now. It may only be the tip of the iceberg
when it comes to eradicating crime in these
areas, but changing a handful of young
people’s futures for the better is most certainly
worth the effort,” he added.
This sense that something special had been
achieved, which would actually make a real
difference, was echoed by Nicola Wood, a
youth worker from North Manchester Youth
Inclusion Project, who said: “The young people
have developed and grown in their ability to
work together as a team, learn about issues
that affect their local community and grew in
confidence throughout the project, especially
through delivering the presentation."
The success of the YDAC programme has
convinced those involved that further research
is needed into developing the project to a
wider audience. In partnership with Catch22
and partners in several EU states, staff at the
Solution Centre are now exploring ways in
which YDAC might be rolled out as a national
programme in the UK, as well as considering
pilots in other European contexts.
International impact
One of the main reasons why the successful
YDAC programme is being considered in a
European context is due to the impact other
projects and research undertaken by the
Solution Centre is having not only in the UK,
but further afield in Europe and beyond.
One example is the Design Against Crime
Evaluation Framework, which was created
in 2005 to support the implementation
and evaluation of crime prevention in
design development. Providing designers,
manufacturers and developers with detailed
guidance on integrating crime prevention
within the development cycle, it was validated
against ten design development projects in the
UK, Netherlands, Austria, Greece and Poland.
“This framework is transferable between
different contexts and design disciplines, and
covers the entire product lifecycle, including
maintenance, monitoring and business
learning when the development is in use.
It enables researchers and crime prevention
experts to conduct rigorous evaluations of
design solutions within products, services and
environment,” explains Wootton.
More recently the Centre has also been
contributing to the development of a common
European policy platform on urban security,
leading to a policy position on the future of
crime prevention, which was communicated
via a manifesto arising from the European
Forum for Urban Security (EFUS) conference
in Paris – an event that was attended by
delegates from more than 180 cities in 40
countries. EFUS is the oldest non-governmental
organisation of local authorities working in the
field of urban security and acts as a focus for
research, dialogue and co-operation between
its 300 local authority members. It has inspired
numerous national forums throughout
Europe, Africa and Latin America, and the
Paris conference, held in December 2012, was
entitled Security, Democracy and Cities:
The Future of Prevention.
Caroline Davey was invited to speak at the
‘Planning shared public space’ session and
presented scientific evidence on the links
between design and security, highlighting
reductions in crime across Europe attributed to
effective design intervention. “I recommended
that crime prevention be considered within the
early stages of the design process to increase
the cost-effectiveness of solutions and avoid
the retrofitting of unsightly security measures,”
The Solution Centre evaluated Greater Manchester Police’s
Architectural Liaison Service, which resulted in the
re-branding of the service as Design for Security, and the
embedding of crime prevention within urban design and
planning in Manchester.
she explains. “I described approaches from
across Europe that enable crime and related
social issues to be integrated within urban
planning, design and development, and
drew on findings from the Centre’s recently
completed EU Planning Urban Security (PLuS)
project, which was led by the [the German
Federal police.
On the PLuS side
Over the past decade, the Solution Centre
has developed a network of partners
across Europe that includes DSP-groep, the
European Designing Out Crime Organisation
(Netherlands) and the University of Applied
Sciences, Cologne.
The PLuS project provided an opportunity to
continue working with existing partners in
Austria and Germany, as well as to establish
new police crime prevention contacts in
Poland. Through these European partners,
the Solution Centre has been able to examine
the effect of contextual factors on crime
prevention measures, and a strong presence
in Germany has been developed through
participation in conferences and seminars on
design and crime prevention.
The PLuS project conducted empirical research
into the urban context in partner countries,
with a quantitative survey of the residents in
each PLuS study area carried out, followed by
qualitative interviews with residents’ groups
and other stakeholders. The results revealed
significant differences between residents in
each of the three European countries in terms
of demographic details, lifestyles and attitudes.
In 2007, the Solution Centre evaluated Greater
Manchester Police’s Architectural Liaison
Service, which resulted in the re-branding
of the service as Design for Security, and the
embedding of crime prevention within urban
design and planning in Manchester.
This project resulted in the service being
awarded the 2010 Secured By Design
Innovation Award, as well as journal
publications, guidance materials and process
models that have been disseminated across
“Through the PLuS project, we have been
able to track the ongoing development of
the Design for Security service and identify
aspects of their working process – what has
become called the ‘Manchester Model’ – that
may act as examples of good practice for
other European countries. In parallel, research
conducted by PLuS partners has revealed
alternative approaches and examples of good
practice from which organisations in the UK
might learn. This has also enabled us to reflect
on the underpinning ideas, assumptions and
paradigms that inform the UK approach to
crime prevention,” Andrew Wootton said.
In a previous European project, the Solution
Centre developed a method to promote the
exchange of best practice across Europe,
and the PLuS project has allowed Salford
researchers to progress this work and develop
the ‘Planning Urban Security Capability
Maturity Model’. This model is tailored to the
European approach to crime prevention, and is
now helping to guide efforts to improve crime
prevention delivery in Germany. Development
of the model has benefited greatly from the
feedback of European partners who are also
practitioners in the field and, together, the
PLuS project team has been able to develop a
model that functions across different European
contexts and languages.
Impact into the future
Due to the impact that the Solution Centre has
had so far, both at home and abroad, it is little
surprise that their innovative work is leading to
new opportunities all the time. Several exciting
new initiatives are either underway or planned,
which means that the future promises to be
both busy and varied.
May 2013 | 7
Much current
activity also relates
to addressing
emerging national
and European
policy imperatives
of civil security
and community
“I have been nominated as the UK
representative on the Management Committee
of the European Commission COST Action
TU1203 Crime Prevention Through Urban
Design and Planning, while Dr Davey will be a
representative on one of the working groups,”
says Wootton. “COST is an inter-governmental
framework for European Co-operation in Science
and Technology, which allows the co-ordination
of nationally funded research at a European level,
and so to represent the UK is a real privilege
and a very exciting opportunity. We are actually
holding the first meeting of COST here in Salford
at MediaCityUK in May 2013, and the action
leaders specifically chose this venue because they
wanted experts from across Europe to learn from
the best practice that has already been developed
8 | May 2013
and taken place in Greater Manchester. In
collaboration with this group of experts, here
at the Solution Centre we will support the
implementation of best practice in design-led
urban crime prevention and community safety
throughout Europe.”
Much current activity also relates to addressing
emerging national and European policy
imperatives of civil security and community
resilience, and a priority for the immediate
future is to grow doctoral research in the area
of design-led approaches to crime prevention,
security and resilience.
“This is an area we’re really keen to develop,”
says Dr Davey. “While we are justifiably proud
of all that has been achieved so far at the
Solution Centre, as well as the ongoing work
we are undertaking, we know that there is still
so much more that can be done. Every impact
we make at the centre is underpinned by the
research that has taken place, and so we need
to encourage new and innovative activity in
order to continue to influence improvements
and enhance the capacity to deliver crime
prevention and community safety in the UK
and Europe.”
To find out more about the Design Against
Crime Solution Centre, please contact:
[email protected]
With experimental poetry becoming increasingly popular, and alternative
dance classes springing up in church halls and community centres
across the country, new research is examining the close links between
movement and language.
Poetry in motion
ast September, Dr Scott
Thurston, a Senior Lecturer in
English and Creative Writing,
visited New York as part of the
50th anniversary celebrations of
the Judson Dance Theater. This
pioneering studio championed
the concept of multi-disciplinary arts, including
work by the likes of Yoko Ono and John Cage,
who went on to become huge international
“The New York art scene in the 1960s was
characterised by multi-generic work,” says
Thurston, “with dancers, musicians, poets,
artists and film-makers working in collaboration
to produce films and performances.”
Thurston, who is based at the School of
Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences, was
amazed to see such huge audiences watching
performances of pieces like The Pronouns:
A Collection of 40 Dances for the Dancers.
The piece features a series of ‘dance-instruction’
poems by the poet Jackson Mac Low (b.
1922), which were composed algorithmically
Mac Low's 40 dancers (© Ian Douglas, used with permission)
using 56 index cards, each bearing one to five
different actions. As befitting experimental art,
says Thurston: “There were a wide range of
interpretations, some of which were very close
to the words on the page, and some which were
completely abstract responses to those pieces.
They were written to be performed but it’s
very open as to how you interpret them.” And
now he believes we could see similar interest in
Britain, too.
Thurston’s research is part of a bigger enquiry
into genre and how different art forms often
work together, such as poetry and dance, poetry
and visual art and dance and sculpture. It will
feed directly into the University as part of the
MA Creative Writing: Innovation and Experiment
course, and Thurston has also lectured on his
findings at both Edinburgh and Bedfordshire
universities, and performed his creative work at
Liverpool’s famous Bluecoat Arts Centre.
“There was a period in the 60s and 70s when
experimental poetry was more visible over here,”
he explains, “but it’s been ‘underground’ for the
last 40 years.
“The research is generating important new
knowledge about the field, and furthers the
University’s reputation as a research-informed
institution that produces original work,” he
explains. Thurston is also exploring ways in
which writing and language can be linked to the
practice of movement therapy which, among
many things, can be used to help people suffering
from depression and emotional problems.
“Now, work that has previously been seen
as more marginal is reaching a wider poetry
audience and people are beginning to take more
of an interest in non-traditional approaches,”
he continues. “I think things are poised to go
almost mainstream in the UK too, so now seems
to be the perfect time to explore the connection
between postmodern dance and experimental
To find out more about research in the
humanities and the MA in Creative Writing,
May 2013 | 9
Sports business
How to create a
dream team
With the BBC and several major football teams on our doorstep,
the University’s latest research centre, the Centre for Sports
Business, is well positioned to help sporting organisations get
a head start.
nd they’re off to an
auspicious start with
Rick Parry, the former
Chief Executive of the
Premier League, kicking
off the proceedings at the
launch, with a speech about how and why the
Premier League was created.
Research and consultancy
The Centre for Sports Business is particularly
strong in analysing the statistics of sport,
which has led to a tie-in with global video
game company EA SPORTS. Several years ago,
a call went out to universities asking about
rating players in the Premier League. The
rating system needed to be objective and the
mathematical model proposed by statisticians
in the Centre was accepted by the Premier
League. The rating system now known as the
EA SPORTS Performance Index (PPI) is the
official player rating system for the Barclays
Premier League, the most-watched league in
global football with an estimated TV audience
of 4.7 billion people. This is the kind of highprofile work that has made the new Centre a
leader in its field.
The PPI, which is also used for the second-tier
league in English football – The Championship
– is cleverly constructed so that it can compare
players from different positions, looking at the
contribution each player makes to the success
of his team. The highest ranked player doesn’t
need to be a goal scorer or even be in the top
team. The best player is simply the player that
would hurt any team the most if they were to
lose him.
10 | May 2013
The key to being able to set up success
stories such as EA’s PPI is the revolution in
the mathematical analysis, or ‘analytics’, of
football. Several things have come together to
make this possible. Naturally, there has been
the rise of computer processing power – a
general trend in all data analysis. However, you
must have data in the first place to be able to
process it. This is where the most significant
change has occurred. Companies such as Opta
and Prozone now collect astonishing amounts
of data for every Premier League match. Each
game generates a 1,500 row by 200 column
spreadsheet of match facts and figures. It
looks at the X-Y coordinates (position on pitch)
The key to success stories
such as EA’s PPI is
the revolution in
mathematical analysis.
of shots and passes, and their destination.
Z coordinates even tell you how high the
ball travels. Everything imaginable is logged:
from the position of the ball to recording if a
tackle is sliding or standing. There are even
companies that now record the positions of all
22 players four times a second, which means
you can get data on not just the speed but also
the acceleration of players. All this information,
and the computers to handle it, means that
it is now possible to mathematically model a
continuous, fluid, dynamic game like football.
The statisticians at the Centre take this data,
feed it through their computer models and
produce analysis of games and players.
The ‘stats’ are essentially the collection of
data, perhaps given a very rudimentary level
of analysis; for example, the average number
of goals per game, but the real power comes
from analytics – using the statistical modelling
on large data sets to offer insights into teams
and the effect of individual players.
Just how powerful this knowledge can be is
shown by its impact on North American sport.
It was first demonstrated successfully with
an American baseball team called Oakland
Athletics, which wasn’t very successful and
relatively speaking didn’t have much money.
A statistician suggested to them that instead
of using old-fashioned scouting techniques for
identifying talent, they should use an analytical
model of baseball matches to find players who
are statistically undervalued by the market.
They used the model, and with a fraction of
the budget of the top-rated New York Yankees,
beat them. The model looked at what attributes
players bring that can have the biggest impact
on the probability of being successful, and
then looked for gaps in the market to sign up
promising but ‘cheap’ players.
The next stage in the evolution of sports
analytics is to ensure UK sports management
get the buy-in of UK sports, like football,
so that the owners and management can
appreciate what analytics offer. It is far more
than just choosing new players. Devising
strategies and working out which players in
a team work well together are the kind of
problems that analytics is good at helping to
solve. In Britain, football’s popularity makes
it a big focus for the Centre’s work, but
researchers are also looking at other sports.
Tennis and golf are amenable to similar models
"The highest ranked player doesn’t
need to be a goal scorer or even be
in the top team. The best player is
simply the player that would hurt
any team the most if they were to
lose him."
Dr Ian McHale, Director of the Centre for Sports Business
May 2013 | 11
Sports Business
that examine a player’s strengths and progress
over time and work is ongoing in these sports.
Rick Parry speaks at the opening of the Centre
Fighting corruption and match fixing
An area of growing interested is detecting and
preventing match fixing. One of the Centre’s
researchers is heavily involved with a Qatarbased organisation called the International
Centre for Sports Security. Qatar, having
recently won the rights to host the World Cup,
is serious about preventing corruption in sport.
It’s not easy to spot a fixed match but one
approach is to use models of match outcomes
based on what is going on in the match,
and compare the predicted match outcomes
with betting market activity. The point is that
when a match is fixed, somebody somewhere
puts a lot of money on a particular outcome
that the crooked better knows is more likely
to happen than the prediction model. When
this happens, bookmakers move the odds
to protect themselves. So, if you watch the
odds, and know the probabilities inferred
by the model, which is based only on what’s
going on in the match, then it should be
possible to flag up an event that doesn’t
ring true, possibly by a large volume of
abnormal betting caused by dishonest insider
knowledge. This is not pointing the finger at
bookies, rather highlighting red flag events
revealed by their reacting to betting levels.
From there, depending on the circumstances
and the level of suspicion, a report to football
governing bodies such as UEFA or FIFA could
be generated.
That’s the analytical approach, but the Centre
is also looking at other aspects of match fixing.
The basic economics of crime say a player will
choose to commit a crime if it’s worth his while.
In a sport like football it’s generally not worth
it for a Premier League striker to fix a match.
He’s paid very well, has excellent sponsorship
and would risk losing a fortune.On the other
hand, referees are not paid very much, so from
an economic point of view, a referee could be
offered a ‘realistic’ amount of money and he
might start thinking about cheating.
It’s not just football, other sports can be
even more vulnerable to match fixing.
For example, in snooker some top players are
not paid a great deal of money.
The first prize in an international snooker
12 | May 2013
competition is just a week’s wage for a top
Premier League footballer. Couple that with
the enormous amounts of money involved in
betting on snooker in the Far East and the risks
are serious. Last, but not least, it’s not difficult
to hide cheating in snooker – a player just has
an ‘off day’.
Analysing which sports and what form
corruption can take is an important aspect
of the Centre’s research.
Good analysis needs a
whole season before it can
start to see what is really
The National Lottery
Analytics can also be used to demonstrate that
match fixing or other forms of malpractice
have not been taking place. A good example is
the Centre’s work for the UK National Lottery
via the Gambling Commission. Given the size
of the lottery, it is not surprising that a small
number of people develop varying levels of
conspiracy theories about the appearance of
certain numbers or combinations of numbers.
Someone might call up and say ‘36 has
appeared three times in the last four weeks,
this is clearly impossible and the lottery must
be a fix’. So, the Lottery uses statisticians at
the Centre to run a series of tests to show it
is random and nobody is cheating or being
cheated. People tend to think it’s extremely
unlikely that two consecutive balls will appear
in the lottery and complain if this happens on
a regular basis.
It should be possible to
flag up an event that
doesn’t ring true, possibly
caused by a large volume
of abnormal betting.
In fact, quite simple probability theory
reveals that the odds of consecutive numbers
appearing is actually nearly 0.5 and so will
happen nearly every other week in the
long run.
MBA in Sports Business
The intention of the new Centre is to be
more than a hub for research, however.
From January 2014 it will offer an MBA
in sports business, designed to produce
tomorrow’s leaders of the sporting world.
While a few other British universities offer an
MBA in sports management, no other Centre
is able to offer the range and depth of
expertise; for example, Salford was ranked
second worldwide for sports economics
research in a 2009 review.
The Centre is fortunate in that the reputation
of its members has attracted prominent
industry figures right from the start. As well as
his launch lecture, Rick Parry has agreed to give
a series of talks to MBA students. So, as well
as traditional lecturers drawn from academia,
leading representatives from the sporting
world will teach modules and give lectures to
MBA students. Perhaps the last word on the
new Centre for Sports Business should go to
its director, Dr Ian McHale.
"You only have to look at the interest and
excitement last year’s Olympics brought to the
UK to see how much sport matters to us. And
of course it is not just here that sport means
so much – sport is a global business and to
me, there is no doubt about it, it is the most
exciting business there is.
"Here at Salford we are extremely fortunate in
having a group of academics who, during the
last ten years and more, have earned a global
reputation for high-quality research in each of
our subject disciplines when applied to sport.
This group of people now form the Centre for
Sports Business.
"So who are we? We have expertise
in statistics, economics, business and
management and law. We already constitute
what is arguably the leading collection of
researchers into quantitative analysis in sports
from around the world.
"But it is not just research we do – we are
heavily involved in consultancy projects within
the sports and betting industry. From developing
the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index to
advising governments and sport’s governing
bodies on strategies to detect and prevent
Centre for Sports Business
The Centre for Sports Business promotes
research and consultancy in sports
statistics and analytics, sport finance,
sports law and the economics of sport.
It boasts a continued record of worldrenowned research with its members
publishing their work in top-rated
academic journals.
To discuss a PhD, business or study
proposal, please contact the Director,
Dr Ian McHale on +44 (0)161 295 4765
or [email protected]
Co-Director Professor Chris Brady can be
contacted on +44 (0)7956 575278.
To receive research findings, reports and
papers, please send your details to
[email protected]
match fixing, the Centre for Sports Business is
already at the heart of the sports business.
"The primary concern of a university is its
students and teaching. We are currently
developing an MBA in Sports Business –
designed to produce tomorrow’s chief
executives and leaders in the sports industry."
May 2013 | 13
Solving the right problems
Professor Nigel Mellors is the newly-appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor
of Enterprise at Salford, but he has a long history with the
University and in business, which dates back to even before his
undergraduate student days…
Why did you choose Salford as
a student?
I began my career as an entrepreneur
developing my first enterprise venture
from leaving high school, which I sold 10
years later and took the opportunity to
study at University. I visited several places
and considered my choice carefully before
deciding to come to Salford for a
physics degree.
What is your research about?
I started out looking at nano-transmitters
and the “Joule effect”– it was fascinating to
be studying what James Joule posited right
here at Salford, 150 years later. I’m currently
very interested in energy reduction and how
to reduce the amount of waste. It’s a topical
issue and one which affects everyone on the
planet. Did you know we lose 2 kilowatts
(kw) of energy for each kw used – so if your
kettle uses 3kw, it actually costs the system
9kw because it takes 3kw of wasted energy
to produce each kw used? We don’t need
more power if we can address this energy
When I started work in this area I thought it
was all about the technologies and improving
those, but actually there is much more to
consider in terms of people’s behaviour
and behaviour change . In effect, it’s the
connection between technology and people
which matters – houses themselves don’t use
energy, people do.
How does a business know where to
start in terms of working with the
It could feel like searching for a needle in a
haystack trying to find out who out of our
800-strong academics would be the right
person to approach. So we’re building a
gateway into the University and a responsive
team behind that. It has to be a two-way
partnership between business and researchers
– even “pure” research funding agencies are
interested in the impact research can have
and how technologies can be exploited and
commercialised for everyone’s benefit.
14 | May 2013
Nigel Mellors outside the Energy House
We are keen to develop long term
relationships with key partners and
stakeholder both at regional and national
level and a more integrated approach of
both research and enterprise. I believe this
approach will lead to a more meaningfully
and sustainable relationship for both the
university and our partners. We have a
number of great cases studies where this
has worked extremely well including the
partnership with Greater Manchester Fire
Service where a number of academics
from across the University are engaged in
developing and supporting the Fire Services
goals (see page 24). Tell me more about Energy House
Energy House is a unique facility for people
to easily see how research and business come
together and get industry in to the University.
Right now some of the projects we have
underway look at thin materials to insulate
buildings, particularly retrofitting old stone
or listed buildings with easily installed energy
saving measures including double-glazing or
new external cladding and internal insulations
because of space restrictions or aesthetics.
There are many disciplines needed to develop
new technologies including nanotechnology,
physics, engineering, the built environment
and architecture, but we need to also include
end users and installers. If these technologies
are not installed correctly then they can work
10-20% less efficiently than predicted which
has a significant impact when the UK has 26
million houses to make more energy efficient
within this decade if it is to meet its carbon
reduction commitments.
What’s your vision for the future of
enterprise at the University?
I want the University to be a place business
can connect with academics and real-world
research. To do this we need to understand
academics’ needs as well as what industry
needs. It should be a place where public,
commercial, and contract research funding
come together as the model for going
forward. We need to make sure all parties
understand their shared goals and how
they’re going to achieve them. Salford is
in a really good position to capitalise on its
heritage in terms of real world research.
We have a long history of connecting industry
and public sector, and have been doing this
for over 50 years. As a University, we’re very
good at solving problems, but we need to
work with business to ensure we’re solving
the right problems.
To find out more about Energy House and
some of our consultancy work with industry,
The Salford MBA
One of the most flexible
MBA programmes in the world
Salford Business School offers one
of the most flexible, enterprise-led
MBA programmes in the world;
you can join the programme at
any one of five starting dates
throughout the year, on a full-time,
part-time, modular, in-company or
international basis.
Our MBA modules address time-critical
business needs, developing innovative
thinking and providing solutions
to tackle complex business issues
and leverage market opportunities.
Whichever route to an MBA you take,
you are guaranteed a degree of the
highest quality. The Salford Business
School MBA is AMBA accredited – an
internationally recognised guarantee
of quality demanded by the highest
calibre management graduates
and employers.
You will study at one of the most
exciting locations in the UK –
MediaCityUK – where creativity,
innovation and learning meet in a
state-of-the-art facility next door to
the BBC at the thriving centre of the
North West’s booming creative and
digital industries.
For further information
about our MBA, visit:
Cutting-edge data collection by citizen
scientists maps a world of sonic diversity
Consider the following seemingly unconnected scenes: a slug eating a lettuce leaf,
disposing of an unexploded bomb in Vietnam, and an office on an offshore
platform in the North Sea. The chances are good that you imagined them
visually, you ‘pictured’ them. We live in a strongly visual culture, where visual
information is the norm and the environment is often described in visual terms.
Yet, we know that there is much more to our sensory capability than just vision.
Exploring people’s auditory appreciation of our environment is the subject of a
pioneering project from the Acoustics Research Centre in the School of Computing,
Science & Engineering. >
16 | May 2013
“… the isle is full of noises,
sounds, and sweet airs,
that give delight…”
May 2013 | 17
he “sound map of Britain”
project is an interactive
examination of soundscapes
and the construction of
an online sound map. The
apparently random examples
mentioned earlier are just three of the 1,700
soundscapes that have been uploaded to the
project. It has received high-profile coverage by
participants from around the world including
the BBC, Times2, The Daily Telegraph, The
Guardian and local papers.
A soundscape is the aural equivalent of a
visual landscape. It’s the sum of all sounds at
a particular place and time. In some ways, it is
more all-embracing than a landscape, because
it represents 360 degrees of stimulus, not
just the view ahead. You can turn away from
a landscape, but a soundscape completely
surrounds you.
When it started, the project was limited to just
the Manchester area, but the widespread use
of smartphones and the all-pervasive reach
of the Internet meant that the researchers
received submissions from all around the UK.
Then, as online publicity took off, the project
became global, with data coming in from
around the world. This set the research apart
from traditional sound data gathering, which
used to be highly localised.
The project was careful not to be
prescriptive about collecting a specific kind
of sound because the aim was to gather as
broad a range as possible. A soundscape
could even be silence, although that is difficult
to find outside an anechoic chamber.
❚ Soundscape – the total sounds of
a location in time and space
❚ Sound map – a graphical collection
of soundscapes
❚ Citizen scientist – a non-professional
participant in scientific research
❚ iPhone app – a computer program
designed for a specific purpose that
runs on Apple’s smartphone – iPhone
18 | May 2013
A soundscape is the aural equivalent of
a visual landscape. It’s the sum of all
sounds at a particular place and time.
In some ways, it is more all-embracing
than a landscape.
One word that was avoided in any publicity
inviting people to submit soundscapes was
‘noise’. If the project had been ‘noise’ oriented
then it would have biased submissions towards
negative sounds and environments. The term
‘soundscape’ is neutral; it reflects both
negative and positive sound experiences.
There was an important objective beyond
creating an interesting collection of
soundscapes – a public engagement brief.
The aim was to raise public awareness of
soundscapes and the research potential
around them. Participants not only captured
the recording of the soundscape, but also
rated the soundscape using different semantic
scales: from good to bad, how exciting,
eventful, tranquil and other descriptors. They
were also invited to explain why they chose to
record their particular soundscape.
The impact of the smartphone
One of the hallmarks of this project is the
collection of data by smartphones – in this case
Apple’s iPhone. In fact, iPhones proved to be
so useful that the project in its current form
would have been impossible just six or seven
years ago.
As early as 2006, Salford researchers were
looking at using smartphones to collect
soundscapes. Relatively simple mobile
phone technology had already been used to
collect research data. Health workers had
implemented schemes in countries without
a landline infrastructure, using SMS texting
to transmit data. However, the collection of
soundscapes was a more complicated
undertaking, which needed the power of
more sophisticated smartphones. These have
many advantages for soundscape collection:
they are widely used, include a microphone,
are powerful in terms of processing power
and have the potential to record and
upload research data.
This approach was tried; the predecessor of
the current iPhone app was written for the
previous generation of smartphones using a
Java mobile edition. The problem was not a
technical failure to operate, but the number
of hoops users had to jump through to
successfully send a soundscape. In those ‘early’
pre-iPhone days, the process of uploading
directly from many phones was greatly
hindered by a lack of bandwidth – people
simply didn’t have good enough data
contracts, so they had to go to a computer,
plug in the phone, copy over the files and
upload to the project’s website via their
computer’s Internet connection. It was a real
hassle, and the longwinded process killed the
spontaneity of capturing a soundscape on the
spur of the moment. It put off most people
and only a few determined individuals sent
in submissions.
In 2009, PhD student Charlie Mydlarz needed
a new mobile and bought himself an iPhone.
He realised that the simple interface and
increased data allocation of iPhone subscribers
meant all the technical and human interface
pieces were now in place for an
easy-to-use system that enabled users to
upload soundscapes straight from their phone.
A worrying lack of submitted data for his thesis
was the final spur he needed to develop the
iPhone app. Fortunately, it worked – before the
iPhone and its app arrived there were about
300 to 400 submissions, but at last count there
were over 1,700, thanks in no small way to the
iPhone. To upload a soundscape, users now
need an iPhone, the bespoke Salford recording
app and a few taps on the screen.
Apple operates a closed system for its iPhone
apps – all apps, even free ones, must be
submitted to them for approval before they
can become available for users to download.
It can be a slow process, and the Salford app’s
first submission took three weeks for approval.
Any subsequent update, whether to iron out
bugs or to simply add new functionality can
take another two weeks for each new
iteration of the system.
This was one of the few drawbacks with an
otherwise vastly improved soundscape capture
tool. If a fault develops, it can create real
problems. After the iPhone app was launched,
the project was covered by BBC click, which
ran a story focusing on the app. Unfortunately,
there was a system fault. Although it was
a relatively small error, the effect was
devastating for the project, because if an app
is downloaded but doesn’t work first time then
online feedback can be extremely negative,
putting off potential new users.
Fortunately for the project, the medium for
this feedback produced the ideal solution
to bypassing system problems and
communicating easily and directly with users –
social media.
Social media
In terms of dissemination, social media played
a big part in the growth and continued success
of the project. It’s not enough to have a good
data collection tool, even one that is easy to
use, you need to be able to engage with and
respond to your field ‘researchers’. The power
and flexibility of social media meant that it also
became a useful recruitment tool and helped
to reduce user attrition if there were problems
or glitches in the system.
The soundscape project uses all the usual social
media outlets. There’s a Facebook page, which
is active as a discussion board for people to
debate sounds and talk about soundscapes.
In the app itself, you can click a button so that
when you upload the recorded soundscape, it
will automatically post to Facebook and Twitter.
From a technical point of view, the social
media aspects of the project are pretty much
self-sustaining, requiring only occasional
system management. However, the key to
running a successful social media system, and
ultimately a responsive and successful public
engagement project, is you have to remain
active. You have to strike up conversations
and be very quick to respond to questions,
suggestions for improvements and updates on
any problems. Facebook became the official
project discussion board, the social hub of the
system. So even if there was an app problem
that might take a couple of weeks to sort out,
users could be reassured and kept in the loop
over progress.
oundscapes online
❚ –
the Salford soundscape project
sound map
‘cmydlarzSAY’ collection on YouTube
– videos associated with the Sound
Around You soundscape project
– the Facebook page and social media
hub of the Salford soundscape project –
updates and tweeting from
researcher Charlie Mydlarz and
soundscape senders
‘i-say’ iPhone app from Salford
University – Search for ‘i-say’ in the
iTunes store, or alternatively go to: and click
on the App Store link at the bottom.
The app lets users quickly and easily
record a soundscape, add a brief
explanation and upload it to the
project’s sound map. Facebook and
Twitter options are included.
Twitter also proved its worth for fault finding.
Users tweeted about the project: ‘this doesn’t
seem to work’, or ‘how do I do this?’ and
helpful replies often bounced back from other
users in real time. Another useful aspect of
social media was providing positive feedback.
It ‘opened my ears’ was one quote, which
helped to keep up the morale of hard-pressed
researchers. It showed that users were starting
to engage with the project and understand
the difference between hearing and listening,
really appreciating and thinking about the
sounds around them.
Although it does not fit the conventional
definition of ‘social media’, the sound map lets
users listen to each other’s soundscapes and
helps to reinforce the shared community aspect
of the project. The interface is easy to use, and
is one that most Internet users are familiar with
– Google Maps.
Soundscape locations are precisely placed on
the sound map, thanks to the app including
the phone’s GPS data. For the occasional
submissions that don’t use the smartphone
and instead opt for upload via the website,
then you still have to enter the location of the
The term ‘soundscape’ is
neutral; it reflects both
negative and positive
sound experiences.
Demographics – a trade off
Despite the success of using the iPhone, it
did limit data submissions to people who
use the Apple device. This had two effects;
the first was regular requests for a version of
the soundscape app for people who don’t
use iPhones, in particular a version that
runs Google’s operating system – Android.
Such enthusiasm from non-iPhone users
was encouraging, but expanding the system
would have doubled the software element.
Sticking with just iPhones meant that data
was submitted in a consistent manner,
using essentially the same hardware and
distribution platform. That said, the team is
considering writing an Android version, but it’s
fundamentally a question of time and funding.
The second effect was that just using iPhones
meant users were a self-selecting demographic.
The results were undoubtedly male biased
and the age range that took part in the
project closely mirrored that of smartphone
use, roughly 24 to 34. It was essentially a
trade off between the widest possible range
of participant versus maximising the number
of people who can easily access the project.
Groups who tended to miss out were the over
65s and the under tens; those who tend not to
have smartphones.
May 2013 | 19
Places of interest on the sound map
and the comments submitted
❚ Berlin – ‘People enjoying and
exploring acoustics of large sphere
that belonged to a former soviet radar
station. Now a famous ruin’
❚ Mecca, the call to prayer – ‘Best sound
in the world’
❚ Tel Aviv – ‘Missile bomb siren’
❚ Antarctic – ‘Colonies of Adelie and
Gentoo penguins, occupying the same
physical space; this is the sound of the
edge of Antarctica.’
❚ Stockport – ‘I can’t believe a kitten so
small can make such a loud noise!’
❚ Manchester – ‘At the opera house
waiting for panto to start ...’
❚ Athens Georgia – ‘Football game day
in Athens!’
❚ Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – ‘Religious
❚ Vietnam – ‘In my first week of work
in Vietnam, I went to my first bulk
demolition where a 750lb bomb was
destroyed. I thought this would be an
interesting and unique contribution to
the project – and I think it’s important
for people to understand the power
of unexploded ordnance, even 40
years after it was originally dropped...
❚ Isle of Eigg, Scotland – ‘The Singing
Sands are famous on Eigg, but many
don’t know this phenomenon can be
heard in Scotland. It’s a weird sound,
but it doesn’t convey the physicality of
creating it. You have to kick through
the sand, or jump into it.’
❚ Bermuda – ‘Unusual sound at first as
the tree frogs chirp every night, but
after a few nights you can’t sleep
without their sound’
Citizen scientist
One of the most successful aspects of the
project was a key requirement of funding –
public engagement and the concept of the
‘citizen scientist’. When the Salford team
rebid for funding, they included a public
engagement element to their proposal.
They got the funding from the EPSRC, as part
of a Partnerships for Public Engagement (PPE)
grant and the remit was to produce research
20 | May 2013
whose main aim was to raise public awareness
of the topic of soundscapes and the sound
environment. Rather than talking about people
who take part as ‘subjects’, the Salford team
viewed them as participants – everyone who
makes a submission is a part of the research
team. In some ways it is a little like amateur
astronomy, where anyone can make a valuable
contribution. The data is ‘crowd-sourced’.
Many of the early submissions were from
schools, particularly ones that helped pilot
the project. Collecting soundscapes fitted in
nicely with their curricula because of the active
element of going out and collecting data.
Teachers bought into the project and gave
their students iPads to map their school and
surrounding area.
This has three important advantages.
First, it engages the public. People who might
otherwise have had no opportunity to take
part in a serious academic project at a leading
research centre can make a valid contribution.
Second, submissions were received from all over
the world; from places a small research team
could never have the time or resources to reach:
from Antarctica to northern Norway, and from
Kabul to Burkina Faso and Paraguay, people
have supplied soundscapes.
The project team also worked directly with local
schools using ‘sound walks’. Participants walk
around a pre-set route in silence and actively
listen to their environment. There are stop
points where the researchers record and write
down what they’ve heard. The walks range
from a 10-minute city stroll to a one-hour tour.
Humans like to be around
other people and prefer to
be in places where there is
human sound.
Unique access is not just a question of distance
from Salford, but also privacy. One submission
from the Mid-West in the States is a family
watching television. You only get that kind
of data from citizen scientists. The classic
researcher, with a microphone and recorder
would never get such intimate access to
people’s lives and the soundscapes they inhabit.
Third, and perhaps most important, if a group
of paid researchers are used then you will only
get what they are interested in. By using the
public, you get a vast range of submissions,
from the mundane to the truly extraordinary.
Soundscape research is ultimately about people,
so it makes sense for the collection of data to be
human centred. The project worked because it’s
about members of the public. You need to have
the public playing a central role, enfranchising
them with choice. Normally, academics would
choose to focus narrowly or set the agenda
but with the public taking part, they make
the decisions.
The work with secondary schools proved tough
but useful. Some of the best beta testers were
school students aged 14 to 16. If they didn’t
like an aspect of the pilot software they had a
real no-nonsense attitude in expressing their
views on usability and functionality. Quite a
few changes were based on the feedback from
school pilots.
Charlie Mydlarz – background to
a PhD researcher
"While I was at school I became
interested in audio equipment –
designing and making small projects
like radio station speakers. When the
time came to choose a university course
acoustics looked perfect for my interests,
so I studied audio technology at Salford.
The course covered the mathematics and
physics of sounds, a lot of electroacoustic
and transducer design, psychoacoustics
(human response to sound); and even
radio production.
My main strength was psychoacoustics
and programming, which led neatly to
the soundscape project and my PhD at
Salford. My role started in 2007, and
now I’ve just handed in my thesis. I’m
hoping to get follow-on funding to do
more soundscape work."
thereby raising awareness. Research can also be
used to influence policy, building standards and
legislation, because it provides a firm body of
Charlie Mydlarz in the University’s anechonic chamber
Project findings
Not surprisingly, when people are at a site of
relaxation or taking part in recreation then
generally they rate the soundscape higher. One
might assume that people like to be surrounded
by natural sounds, birdsong and waterfalls, but
the data and feedback from users of the sound
map show that it seems that humans like to be
around other people and prefer to be in places
where there is human sound. It seems our
natural disposition is to be social beings, even in
our choice of environment.
rise in car ownership. In the study, the most
common negative sound is car and traffic
noise. While this has certainly been true over
the past few decades, things may now be
slowly changing. One of the major reasons for
optimism is the advent of electric cars. As more
and more electric cars displace the internal
combustion engine, the overall rise in noise
pollution should reverse. This will increase the
dynamic range of the soundscape because the
general background level will drop, allowing
more pleasant sound to come to the fore.
Taking part in the project also helped people
discover more about their sound environment.
Participants tweeted or emailed that they would
take a different route to work because of a
more pleasing soundscape.
However, it is not necessary to wait the decades
that the electric car revolution will need to
improve the urban soundscape; positive steps
can be taken immediately. A good example
where the sound environment has been
factored into design is by Sheffield train station.
A large fountain was built into the square in
front of the station and helped to create an
attractive public space where people meet
and sit. This square is by main roads, but the
addition of a positive soundscape helped to
offset the negative impact of traffic noise.
In the longer term, as new built environments
are constructed, the Salford research
team wants to encourage the inclusion of
soundscapes at all stages of urban design.
Modern public spaces often look good, but
the soundscape is generally not considered as
much as it could or should be. The hope is that
soundscape projects will start to generate and
promote appreciation of the sound environment
so that it can become a driver and a factor
in urban design. By engaging the public in
soundscape research, you can get the public to
comment, discuss and talk about soundscapes;
Mydlarz said: “It was fun watching the
soundscapes come in; you never knew what
was going to turn up next. The slug eating
lettuce was good, totally unexpected and just
bizarre. The bats in the basement of a palace in
India are great. You can hear them chirp, since
not all of their sounds are above the bandwidth
of smartphone – I assume it’s just ‘bat chitchat’
and not echo-location. Even the mundane
soundscapes can be fascinating; there’s a tattoo
parlour in Toronto, with background chatter
and the sound of a needle. Last, but not least,
I enjoyed the Antarctic penguins, but then
everyone likes a penguin.”
As the world gets busier and ever more
mechanised, there is a perception that urban
soundscapes are becoming increasingly
degraded, particularly with the phenomenal
Acoustics Research Centre,
University of Salford
The Acoustics Research Centre at the
University of Salford is a world-renowned
acoustics research centre funded by
research councils, government bodies
and industry. Its specialities includes
human response to vibration, vibration
research, low-frequency noise,
environmental noise, sound
reproduction, building and architectural
acoustics, outdoor sound propagation
and the study of soundscapes.
You can find out more about their
activities at:
The future of the soundscape project
Subject to time and funding, the next stages
of the soundscape project will look at more
focused studies. One of the strengths, but
also drawbacks, of the project so far is that
submissions were very varied. Such a wide range
of place types and sounds made analysis of
significance difficult. The researchers are hoping
to set ‘virtual fences’ around urban parks in
major cities and focus on the soundscapes
of sites of relaxation. This should give a more
focused approach and tone down the amazing,
but hard-to-analyse variety generated so far.
The virtual fences or ‘geo-fences’ let you trigger
someone’s phone to alert them when they walk
into a certain area. Again, the research will
make heavy use of the power of smartphones
to know their location thanks to in-built GPS
technology. The study of soundscapes offers
a new and fascinating perspective on our
environment, both natural and manmade.
The pioneering work at Salford has engaged a
huge range of contributors, from local school
students to a penguin spotter in Antarctica. It
has made an important contribution to raising
awareness of the opportunities that careful and
considerate design can offer when building,
inhabiting and using the world around us.
May 2013 | 21
Facilities focus
Salford Analytical Services
Take a peek inside one of our enterprising labs
alford Analytical Services
(SAS) is a unique facility
on the University campus.
Located in the Cockcroft
Building, from the outside
the SAS laboratories are very
unassuming but inside they are a showcase
of some of the most sophisticated scientific
equipment the institution owns. Within the
SAS laboratories there are a range of hightech microscopes and analytical instruments
that can examine materials at the ‘nano’
scale. They have recently invested in a stateof-the-art Transmission Electron Microscope
(TEM) that has a magnification range over
1,000,000 and can produce images of atomic
structures down to a few nanometres (nm) in
size. A nanometre is a millionth of a millimetre
and, to give a sense of scale, a human hair is
about 60,000 nm thick and a single flu virus is
typically about 100 nm in diametre.
Other equipment in SAS includes a Nuclear
Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrometer
and an X-ray Diffractometer, which are
used to accurately determine the chemical
composition of a wide variety of materials
such as pharmaceuticals, paints, minerals and
plastics. Not only does SAS provide a service to
students, researchers and academics but they
also undertake a large amount of commercial
analytical work for external companies. For
example, they have recently been working
with a car manufacturer to determine why the
seat coverings were wearing out prematurely.
Other projects have included the analysis of
pharmaceutical products to determine if they
were genuine or counterfeit.
The highly sophisticated equipment and the
extremely experienced technical staff within
SAS make for a very powerful combination.
How samples are prepared has a huge
influence on the results; it takes a great deal
of skill to prepare samples for the new TEM
machine, which requires very thin slices about
50nm thick and samples for other microscopes
have to be coated with a thin layer of a metal
such as palladium. There is a small close-knit
team at SAS comprising two analytical
chemists, Joe McMahon and Kirit Amin,
with Geoff Parr managing the whole
22 | May 2013
Kirit Amin demonstrates the operation of the high field
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrometer.
operation. All the SAS team have come
from industry and between them they have
over 95 years' experience in materials and
analytical chemistry.
Geoff Parr commented: “We are an unusual
laboratory in the University in that we don’t
have researchers or academics. Our philosophy
is very much about offering a professional
service both internally to researchers and
externally to business. Our equipment is
state-of-the-art and expensive to run, so the
income from the external commercial work is
crucial since it makes a major contribution to
our running costs. If it weren’t for the
commercial work, we would not be able to
operate much of this equipment and our
researchers would lose out. The commercial
work is also a great challenge for us – we have
no idea what will come through the door next,
but given our experience we have usually come
across a similar problem before.”
Much of the commercial work comes from
local companies, many of whom are small and
could not justify purchasing their own
analytical equipment. One such company is
Manchester-based Lofrix, who manufacture
additives for use in lubricating oils. Ian Sibbick,
a director at Lofrix, said: “I am very impressed
with the range of equipment, the knowledge
of the team and the set up at SAS. We are
based in Manchester and, as a small company,
it’s really valuable to us to be able to access this
type of capability.”
Professor Nigel Mellor, Pro-Vice-Chancellor
Enterprise, concludes: “Since SAS established
in 2009, Geoff and his team have achieved
an excellent reputation within the College of
Science and Technology for their technical
expertise and ability to solve problems. They
also have an impressive range of commercial
clients and have established themselves as
the first choice for analytical services with
a number of multinational medical device
manufacturers. Moving forward, they will
be playing a key role in the development of
our innovation cluster, which will be working
closely with business in the Bio Sector.”
For more information about SAS, visit:
t: + 44 (0) 161 295 3343 / 5703 or
e: [email protected]
Wellness Works
Our “Total Wellbeing Approach” to your business’s
workplace health
Wellness Works provides tailor-made solutions for the physical and mental health, as well as wellbeing needs,
of businesses like yours.
How can we help you?
Our primary aim is to help you keep your workforce present, engaged,
performing and resilient!
Keeping skilled staff in place: avoiding unnecessary staff turnover
and reducing the overall cost of sickness absence for organisations.
t: 0161 295 4124
e: [email protected]
Joining forces
University and the Greater Manchester Fire Service
team up to address challenges
verall, more than 20 potential
projects are currently being
assessed in what Paul Sharples,
the Fire Service’s Head of
Intelligence and Knowledge,
describes as: “a groundbreaking, all encompassing partnership.”
The Fire Service is the largest outside
London, with over 2,500 employees and 41
fire stations, covering an area of nearly 500
square miles and a culturally diverse
population of 2.5 million people.
“Our aim is to build this relationship into
a strategic partnership, underpinned by our
proven relationship management
methodology,” explains Mike Taylor,
a partnership consultant at the University.
“The secret is really understanding what they
do and how they do it, what keeps them
awake at night and what their strategic aims
and business objectives are.
“Equally important is enabling the Fire Service
to fully understand how the University’s
funding mechanisms work, what we do in
the laboratories and how this world-leading
scientific expertise can help their organisation
become more efficient and effective.”
Project control
Current projects include work with sports
sscientists from the University’s College of
Health & Social Care, who have developed
fitness programmes specifically for
firefighters, as well as specialised rehabilitation
and occupational health services.
Continuous professional development is
another key element of the partnership.
A new business within the University,
Salford Professional Development, is creating
bespoke courses which include management
and leadership training, while the University’s
Energy Hub team will be teaching firefighters
how to use thermal imaging cameras.
24 | May 2013
“The technology was originally used to help
us assess and measure the impact of insulation
on properties, as part of the Green Deal,” says
Taylor. “But we discovered that it can also be
used by firefighters to help locate
a fire’s hot-spot.”
The partnership is also developing a virtual
reality ‘City’ at the University’s facilities at
MediaCityUK as part of a Knowledge Transfer
Partnership, which addresses another very
real need, says Taylor. “The fire service is
attending less and less house fire call outs
due to the success of its prevention strategy,
so training fire fighters is becoming
increasingly difficult.”
What these projects
show is how the
University can apply the
scientific research and
ideas developed by our
academics for use in one
industry to something
completely new, in
this case helping the
emergency services.
The project is designed to embed the use of
mixed reality learning in the way in which both
incident management and firefighting are
taught. It also addresses the fact that future
budgets require new and innovative ways of
delivering training, which currently involve
exercises with actual buildings and vehicles,
which are both costly and resource heavy.
What has particularly impressed Sharples is
that: “the University is able to develop a virtual
Greater Manchester, with exact 3D replica
street layouts, buildings and even firefighters
and engines. If we were to buy an off-the-shelf
virtual reality system, it would be very
expensive to tailor it to our exact needs.
“So what we’re getting is a system that’s fit for
purpose, embedded within the organisation
and, from the public’s perspective, is good
value for money.”
The organisations are also looking at a possible
link up around robotics and artificial
intelligence, with the University working on a
drone which could be used to give firefighters
an aerial view and thermal images of an
incident. They are also developing an
autonomous robot called a 'Husky', which
is capable of independently entering and
assessing the inside of a building, before
sending live 3D thermal images back to
officers to help improve decision making.
The University is assisting with environmental
management too, helping the fire service to
manage issues such as water use, urban diffuse
pollution and the effect on the watercourse
of the chemical-based foam often used to
fight fires.
Innovative thinking
The sheer breadth of the partnership is shown
by one last initiative, involving the University’s
Salford Housing and Urban Studies Unit,
which is carrying out culture and community
mapping for the fire service.
“We’re aware that certain communities across
Greater Manchester have traditional cultural
issues which could make them more
vulnerable to the dangers of fire,” says
Sharples. “By finding out exactly where these
communities are, we can develop a more
targeted campaign of prevention.” And Taylor
adds: “What these projects show is how the
University can apply the scientific research and
ideas developed by our academics for use in
one industry to something completely new, in
this case helping the emergency services.”
Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Enterprise, Dr Nigel
Mellors, said: "We are establishing a system
where we approach a business as a complete
university, rather than one department offering
one service."
Chief Fire Officer Steve McGuirk with Vice-Chancellor Martin Hall
Are you interested in being involved in our health
and rehabilitation research?
The School of Health Sciences at the University of Salford is the
largest of its kind in the country, and we are always looking for
people to take part in our research.
This often involves both people with the conditions we are studying
and ‘healthy’ people. By volunteering, you could play an important
part in helping to improve the health and welfare of
your community.
If you are interested in finding out more about joining
the register please contact us for an information pack.
To help us contact potential volunteers, we have established a
register of people who have expressed an interest in our work but
we are always looking for more participants.
For more information contact:
Please note you must be aged 18 years or over.
t: 0161 295 7016 e: [email protected]
May 2013 | 25
Commercialising research
Making small spaces
seem bigger
The unique properties of activated carbon, a substance that has
been around for centuries, are central to the plans of a new
spin-out company.
ctivated carbon is
commonly found in
products such as odour
eaters, gas masks and loud
speakers, and has also been
used for water filters.
But now its ability to absorb noise, and to
seemingly make smaller spaces appear much
bigger, is being harnessed for a whole new
range of uses.
And it’s these properties which allow it to
soak up noise, and absorb gas and air,
making smaller spaces seem bigger.
The company’s Technical Director is University
alumnus Dr Rodolfo Venegas, continues
Coakley. “He developed some amazing
software that can simulate the behaviour of
carbon, both acoustically and mechanically,
and it’s this magic algorithm that we are
now putting to use.”
Carbon Air was set up on the back of a study
by the University’s Acoustic Research Group,
explains the company’s Managing
Director, John Coakley. The research group was
checking out some startling claims about the
acoustic properties of activated carbon that
had been made by a loud speaker
manufacturer. And although they set out
to disprove them, they ended up proving
the ideas.
Carbon which has been activated by high
pressure steam is like a sponge at microscopic
levels, and has a huge surface area.
Research councils that
fund R&D are increasingly
looking for impact.
“The unique properties of activated carbon
are its amazing ability to eat up low frequency
noise and to make small spaces behave as
if they are much larger,” says Coakley.
Activated carbon is created by driving
steam through lumps of charcoal at high
temperatures and at high pressure.
This removes all its impurities, leaving a
‘scaffold’ of millions of pores and holes.
“It’s like a sponge at a microscopic level”
continues John. “It’s just riddled with holes,
and each hole is riddled with holes, and so on.
It’s got a huge surface area.”
26 | May 2013
The company is in discussions with a range of
businesses to commercialise their findings, so
specifics are confidential. But Coakley says that
activated carbon has a wide range of uses in
transportation, with its ability to make small
spaces seem bigger, particularly useful when
developing air-spring suspension for cars,
trucks and even trains. Components can
also be made lighter and smaller, which
appeals to the automotive sector, he adds.
In construction, it will allow developers to
install noise absorbers which are considerably
thinner and more efficient than many
current solutions.
“Carbon’s not just the future, it’s the past too,”
says John. “Activated carbon has been known
about for centuries and its behaviour too but
no-one has ever done much commercially
with its capacity to change the behaviour of
air. From all our patent searching, it would
appear that we are now at the forefront of
a new technology.”
The commercialisation process
Carbon Air is the latest example of a successful
University spin-out, a phenomenon which is
becoming increasingly important within higher
education, explains Dr Blake Prime,
Commercialisation Associate at the University.
“Research councils that fund a lot of R&D are
increasingly looking for impact,” he says.
“And that means taking the research out of the
lab and putting it into an industrial environment.”
When the University decides not to take an
idea forward alone, continues Prime, they
approach investors. “We explain that we’ve
got an opportunity and we want to take it
out of the University so that it’s managed
professionally in a commercial way. This is
where spin-out companies come in. The
way the deal works is that in return for the
intellectual property - the basis of the company
- we will take a shareholding in it.”
The University has a strong track record of
developing spin-outs. Among them are coating
specialists CVD Technologies, which was
created in 2000, and Onco-NX, a far newer
business that is helping to commercialise
anti-cancer therapeutics developed at the
“The other way we work is to licence
something ourselves,” continues Prime.
For example, the University’s Spray Research
Group has developed a new valve design
which could play an important role in
helping to phase out VOCs (Volatile Organic
Compounds), which were introduced during
the 1980s to replace CFCs in aerosols. The
new valve will allow manufacturers to use
compressed air as a propellant instead.
“A good track record of spin-out companies
and licensing agreements makes the
University much more attractive to research
councils and makes them more likely to fund
further research,” says Prime.
Want to continue to
receive Perspectives
twice a year?
Please fill in our subscription
form online at:
You can choose to receive a hard copy,
an electronic version, or both.
You can also let us know what types of
projects or issues you’d like to receive
more info about in the future.
“If you can demonstrate that you are trying
to get research out there into society,
via commercialisation, you’re more likely to
get further research grants, too.
“And it is also good for staff, as it gives them
experience of the real needs of industry, which
in turn helps to inform their future research.”
The Technology Transfer team are also
working on a diverse range of other
projects reflecting the breadth of research
at Salford, including:
❚ A new type of biological microscope for
real-time imaging of live cells
❚ New drug candidates for treatment of
cancer and vascular disease
❚ Sports footwear designed to reduce
player injuries
❚ A welding torch that minimises the
operator’s exposure to hazardous fumes
❚ An improved fabrication step in the
production process for semiconductors
and solar cells.
If you’re interested in finding out any
more about projects or technologies
the University is looking to spin-out,
technology or contact Dr Blake Prime
at [email protected]
e: [email protected]
t: 0161 295 3122
May 2013 | 27
On our reading list...
This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but rather give you a
sense of the breadth of the published work being undertaken
at the University.
Professor of Criminology, Chris Birkbeck,
wrote Collective Morality and Crime in the
Americas, which was published by Routledge
in 2012. This study examines the ways in
which the moral community is talked into
being in relation to crime, and the objects of
concern that typically occupy its attention. He
also published Comparative Criminology:
Case studies of Crime, Social Control and
Morality in Spanish, with Editorial Dykinson
in Madrid. This book brings together 15 of his
articles on Criminology published since 2000,
which deal with varied topics relating to crime
and criminal justice, many of them using data
from Venezuela.
Video Gamers by Professor Garry Crawford
is the first book to explicitly and comprehensively
address how digital games are engaged with and
experienced in the everyday lives, social networks
and consumer patterns of those who play them.
He also wrote Online Gaming in Context:
The social and cultural significance of online
games to explore the opportunities, challenges
and patterns of gameplay and sociality afforded
by the Internet and online gaming.
28 | May 2013
Ralph Darlington, Professor of Employment
Relations and Director of Postgraduate
Research in Salford Business School, wrote
Radical Unionism, published by Haymarket
Books. It provides a comparative analysis of
the dynamics and trajectory of the syndicalist
movement that swept the world during the
first two decades of the twentieth century,
which was committed to revolutionary trade
union struggle and raised fundamental
questions about the need for new democratic
forms of power through which workers could
collectively manage industry and society.
Reverberations by Ben Halligan and
Michael Goddard, of the School of Arts and
Media, is the first of two books arising from
a conference convened at Salford in Summer
2010, called “Bigger than Words, Wider than
Pictures: Noise, Affect, Politics”.
It considers noise from political, sociological,
architectural, legal and artistic perspectives. It is
the first such study to expand methodological
and analytical approaches across a number of
fields. Its sister volume, Resonances: Noise
and Contemporary Music, will be published
this summer.
Drs Ben Halligan and Kirsty FaircloughIsaacs authored The Music Documentary,
which offers a comprehensive discussion of
the history of music documentaries, insights in
their production and promotion, close studies
of documentaries relating to favourite bands
or performers, and approaches to questions of
music documentary and form, from the celluloid
to the digital age.
Gill James, Programme Leader and Lecturer
in English, had five titles published in 2012,
including Otherwhere and Elsewhen:
tales of alternative realities. If you weren’t
convinced before that there were other realities,
you certainly will be after you’ve read this
collection of stories that take place in another
time and another space, light years from here.
James also wrote two young adult novels
including Spooking and A Gallery for Nick.
On This Day is a collection of short stories
about everyday lives and how they are gently
connected with a day’s world shattering event,
from President Kennedy’s assassination and the
death of Princess Diana to 9/11. A percentage
of the author’s royalties are being donated to
International Rescue Training Centre Wales
(IRTCW), who provide search and rescue dogs
to the emergency services.
and based on fieldwork conducted by the
author and material in Sima it provides one of
the first studies of any non-state language to
include data from new technology.
Along with Deb Hobz-Wyatt, James also
co-edited Café Lit. Each story in this little
volume is the right length and quality for
enjoying as you sip the assigned drink in your
favourite creative café. You need never feel
alone again in a café. Also available as an
e-book from Kindle.
Family Interventions in Mental Health by
Neil Withnell and Neil Murphy, lecturers in
the School of Nursing Midwifery and Social
Work, addresses the importance of working
with families and staging effective family
interventions as an important and logical aspect
of promoting recovery in mental health nursing.
Safeguarding children from abroad:
refugee, asylum-seeking and trafficked
children in the UK, co-edited by Emma Kelly,
Lecturer in Social Work, examines the issues and
problems faced by ‘separated’ children, that
is children from abroad who are alone in the
UK. With contributions from practitioners and
academics, the book considers the safeguarding
needs of separated children and how these
needs should be met.
Communication skills for Children’s Nurses,
edited by Veronica Lambert, Professor
Tony Long and Deirdre Kelleher, will
help children’s nurses to communicate with
confidence, sensitivity and effectiveness; to
meet the individual needs of children and their
families. The book emphasises the importance
of listening to and respecting children’s views
and rights, in addition to respecting parent
responsibility, rights and duty to act in the child’s
best interests.
The results of a painstaking 15-year study into
one of Tameside’s most historic sites have been
published in a new book by University of Salford
archaeologist Dr Michael Nevell. Buckton
Castle, which overlooks Stalybridge, was built
in the 12th Century by the Earls of Chester to
consolidate their lands and protect them from
the threat of incursion by the Scots. It was
occupied for around a hundred years, but until
now little has been known of it.
The Structure of Mehri, by Professor
Janet Watson, is a comprehensive linguistic
description of two major Mehri dialect groups:
Mahriyōt, the eastern Yemeni dialect of Mehri
spoken in Ḥawf, and Mehreyyet, the Mehri
of the Omani Najd. Mehri is the most widely
spoken of the six Modern South Arabian
languages, with populations in eastern Yemen,
western Oman, the southern fringes of Saudi
Arabia, and parts of the Gulf. The Structure of
Mehri provides the first description of Mahriyōt,
Photography & the Artist’s Book was
edited by Theresa Wilkie, Jonathan
Carson & Rosie Miller, all of the School
of Arts & Media, to highlight the renewed
interest in the relationship of photography
and the artist’s book, both as a work of art
and as an alternative means of exhibition
and dissemination. The theorising of the
photographic essay, and notions of “conceptual
documentary”, have become important areas
of discourse for practitioners and theorists
alike who are interested in working with the
photograph in book form.
Professor Igor Shabalin published UltraHigh Temperature Materials as part of the
Springer Series in Material Science.
The work is a thorough treatment of ultra-high
temperature materials with melting points
over 2,500°C. The reader is provided with the
full qualitative and quantitative assessment
for the materials, which could be applied in
various engineering devices and environmental
conditions at ultra-high temperatures, on the
basis of the latest updates in the field of physics,
chemistry, materials science and engineering.
Note: Only books published in the past 12
months have been included. For an up-todate list of all publication activities, including
conference proceedings, book chapters and
reports, as well access to many peer-reviewed
journal articles, visit our open access online
repository at
May 2013 | 29
Educational archaeologist Kirsty Whittall and a young volunteer
30 | May 2013
Do you dig it?
Dig Greater Manchester is a major community archaeology programme
led by Salford’s Centre for Applied Archaeology and is the largest
project of its kind in England
he project, which began in 2011 and is
funded by the Association of Greater
Manchester Authorities (AGMA) and the
borough of Blackburn with Darwen, is
being led by staff from the Centre for
Applied Archaeology and managed by members of all
project partners. The overall aim is to involve thousands
of people from local communities in the investigation
of their local history under the theme of: 'Accessing,
Exploring and Celebrating your Heritage.'
Over the course of the project to date more than
6,000 people across Greater Manchester, ranging from
absolute beginners and schoolchildren to experienced
archaeology volunteers, have become involved in their
own history and heritage through taking part in an
archaeological excavation.
All of this contributes to the project’s three overarching
research aims, which are to examine the significance
of community archaeology, the practice of community
archaeology and the archaeology of industrialisation in
the Manchester city region.
“We finalised the detailed project design for Dig
Greater Manchester in March 2011,” explains Dr
Michael Nevell, Head of Archaeology at CfAA, the only
university-based archaeology organisation which is
also located within a School of the Built Environment.
“This contained all of the detailed project activities,
delivery outputs, milestones and added value for the
whole five-year project. Based on the initial pilot study
list of suitable archaeological sites we decided that
each local authority should have one evaluation of
three weeks’ duration during the first three years and
then two flagship large-scale, five-week archaeological
excavations would be chosen for the final two years.
This choice would be based on the most successful
evaluation results in terms of archaeological findings,
schools participation and volunteer numbers.”
Adding value through community cohesion
From the outset, Dig Greater Manchester had to be
about far more than simply increasing numbers involved
in archaeological work; it had to have real, tangible
community benefits.
To find out more about the
Dig Greater Manchester
project or to volunteer, contact
Senior Archaeologist, Brian
Grimsditch on 0161 295
3821 or email [email protected]
In October 2009 the Department of Communities
and Local Government published its Building Cohesive
Communities: what frontline activities need to know
report, which called on volunteer, charity and local
government bodies to ‘develop a shared story of place
that takes into account the history of the locality and
its communities’.
It was with this inspiration to view the exploration
of the past as an endless and significant quest which
empowers people that the project was founded, and a
number of themes and key target groups were adopted.
At its heart the project aims to improve community
cohesion, increase youth participation, reduce
worklessness, promote healthy living and increase
learning outside of the classroom. This is achieved
through targeting volunteer archaeologists, local groups
and associations, local communities, schools, people not
in employment and those with disabilities to become
involved. Volunteers receive in-depth training in various
non-intrusive archaeological techniques such as historical
research, geophysical surveys, archaeological building
surveys, graveyard surveys and finds processing.
May 2013 | 31
The project aims to
improve community
cohesion, increase
youth participation,
reduce worklessness,
promote healthy
living and increase
learning outside of
the classroom. This
is achieved through
targeting volunteer
archaeologists, local
groups and associations,
local communities,
schools, people not in
employment and those
with disabilities to
become involved.
While these in themselves are worthy aims, it is
also vital that the involvement of these groups
adds quantifiable value. It is expected, for
instance, that the number of volunteer days by
the time the project is complete will number over
5,000, which in itself is estimated to be worth
over £375,000 at Heritage Lottery Fund estimates
of £75 per volunteer day.
To complement this, it is anticipated that the
increased participation and publicity created by
the project will also lead to a number of new local
history and archaeology societies being created,
which will be supported through the loaning of
equipment and provision of training.
By the numbers
❚ Over 6,000 local people involved
to date with over 10,000 expected
in total
❚ 6,500 schoolchildren
❚ 4,000 local volunteers putting
in 5,000 days
32 | May 2013
Indeed, proof of this aim has already been
provided with the creation of the Bury Local
History Group, set up by one of the volunteers
whose interest in the subject was fuelled while
helping out at the Bury excavation in Radcliffe’s
Close Park.
The enthusiasm of youth, meanwhile, is being
tapped through extensive work with local
schools. “This is a key aspect of the programme,
as archaeology is an excellent subject for both
formal and informal learning,” explains Brian
Grimsditch, Senior Archaeologist at CfAA.
Bury Council recently made a bid to the Heritage
Lottery Fund to undertake further work at the
site of Radcliffe Tower within Close Park. The Dig
Greater Manchester work already undertaken at
the site has uncovered a great deal of evidence,
resulting in much local public interest, and so
it is hoped that, if successful, the funds will be
used to develop this, involve more community
volunteers and conserve the remains. This
approach will be based on the Dig Greater
Manchester methodology and should result
in the provision of greater public access to the
tower, a listed building and Ancient Scheduled
Evaluations to date
❚ March 2012 – Etherstone Hall,
Leigh – Wigan
❚ July 2012 – Close Park,
Radcliffe – Bury
❚ September 2012 – Chadderton
Park – Oldham
❚ October 2012 – Reddish Vale
Country Park, Reddish – Stockport
❚ March 2013 – Moss Bank Park,
Halliwell – Bolton
❚ June 2013 – Balderstone Park,
❚ July 2013 – (Exact location to be
confirmed) – Manchester
❚ October 2013 – Buile Hill Park,
❚ 2014 – Tameside Borough
❚ 2014 – Trafford Borough
❚ 2014 – Blackburn with
Darwen Borough
Great excavations
At the time of writing, five excavation evaluations
have taken place, the first of which was at
Etherstone Hall, Wigan in March 2012. The same
year saw excavations completed near Radcliffe
Tower in Bury, Chadderton Hall in Oldham and
Wood Hall in Stockport.
The Wigan evaluation explored the archaeology
of a medieval house, which was rebuilt by a local
cotton merchant during the early 19th Century.
After the house was demolished the site became
overgrown with woodland and was blighted by
fly-tipping, vandalism and anti-social behaviour.
As a direct result of the archaeological evaluation
and community interest generated, the local
council cleared the area and made it safe, creating
footpaths and a performance space for long-term
community use in the process.
The second evaluation in Bury’s Close Park
explored the area around the medieval Ratcliffe
Tower and the later workers’ housing, which
was built as part of a bleach works that occupied
the site in the 19th and 20th centuries.
This successful excavation uncovered much
evidence and generated a great deal of public
interest, resulting in the creation of the Bury Local
History Group and the Heritage Lottery Fund bid
due to be decided this summer. Meanwhile, the
close relationship that developed with the local
council as part of the Oldham project has resulted
in the team being asked to design a project
for further work on the site, and the Stockport
evaluations saw park rangers working closely
with school groups which has led to further joint
initiatives between these two departments.
“We are extremely pleased with the response
we’ve had to the evaluations so far,” says
Grimsditch. "Seeing the community so
enthusiastic at the first excavation in Wigan set
the tone for the rest of the year, and directly
resulted in the council taking an active interest
in the site and making it fit again for public use.
These are tangible outcomes on top of the targets
we have set internally for the project, and it is so
pleasing to know that the work we are doing is
making a real difference.
“On site at Moss Bank Park in Bolton, which was
the first dig of 2013, we identified the remains of
an 18th century mansion house belonging to the
owner of the bleach works, and Higher Bank,
a row of workers’ cottages.
May 2013 | 33
"Once again, we’ve had an excellent response
from the community and it was so pleasing to
see that all of the volunteer places were fully
booked more than four weeks prior to the start
of the dig. While we are extremely sorry to have
to turn anyone away due to lack of places, but
we believe that this shows what interest there is
out there in local heritage, and so hopefully that
interest can be harnessed into the future.”
have been doing. During the warm weather just
before we finished for Easter the children were
allowed on the school field. A number of them
came to me with handfuls of pottery that they
had dug up from just below the surface of our
land and were talking about what they thought
they were and who had used them. The school
is built on land where terraced houses and a
mill used to be, and these treasures are now on
display in class!”
With further excavations planned for 2013 in
Rochdale, Salford and Manchester, it certainly
seems that this sense of community enthusiasm
for local heritage is set to continue.
“Related to this, and also less tangible in terms
of quantifiable outputs, we have also had several
people work on site with us who have difficulties
mixing with others, including a keen archaeology
student who was going to leave her course due
to these issues. We were contacted by her tutor
and mentor and provided a placement for her on
the digs, which included further practical training,
and we’re told that this has really contributed
to her catching up with her coursework and
refocusing on her studies.
Past and future come face-to-face
Since the very first excavation in Wigan, the
project has seen several undergraduate and
postgraduate students from local universities
volunteering on site, keen to improve their
fieldwork skills and boost their portfolios.
Students from the nearby universities of
Manchester and Bolton, Leicester and
Sheffield have also taken part, while from further
afield students have travelled from Scotland
and even Australia and New Zealand to gain
some on-site experience.
“As an archaeology student from another country
who has not yet had the chance to participate in
an archaeological excavation, my experience with
the Dig Greater Manchester project has been
fantastic,” said Ryna from Australia during the
time she took part in the Etherstone and Newton
Hall excavations. “I received a tremendous
amount of help, guidance, support and care
from everyone on board. I was also allowed to
participate in various tasks and learned quite a
lot about excavation methods and techniques,
the methods of conducting an archaeology
research project and what is required in terms of
surveying, gathering information and working
as a team. Dig Greater Manchester also gave me
many opportunities to meet other like-minded
people and establish some useful contacts for my
future endeavours in archaeology. I would highly
recommend this volunteering opportunity to
students of archaeology who are building up their
fieldwork experience, archaeology enthusiasts
and all who have an interested in local heritage.
I found it highly rewarding and enjoyable to be
part of this project."
One of the schools that visited the Wigan
excavation in 2012 was St Joseph’s Primary
School in Leigh, and headteacher Anne McNally,
who organised the activity, says that the children
found it extremely worthwhile. “Our children
have been inspired by the dig and the work they
34 | May 2013
it has been wonderful to welcome them to all
of our sites up to now,” says Brian. “There are
two groups within the partnership: one that
uses art work to improve and create learning
opportunities, and another that does more
physical work on the sites, including some
excavation. During their time with us the
therapists and supervisors said that they’ve
observed improvements in their clients as a result
of the work they’ve been doing, which is another
extremely worthwhile result that, while difficult
to quantify in a report, is what Dig Greater
Manchester is all about.
By accessing, exploring
and celebrating the city
region’s unique heritage, we
are helping communities
to understand and enjoy
their local history in a very
hands-on way, leading to it
being cherished more and,
therefore, protected by
those communities.
Opening access to all
To complement this capturing of youthful
enthusiasm and to make the project accessible
to as many people as possible, opportunities
to participate have also been made available
to people with learning disabilities and other
special needs.
One example of how this has been
enthusiastically received is provided by the way
the Manchester Learning Difficulties Partnership
has attended all five digs so far. “The partnership
deal with people with learning difficulties and
"We’ve also welcomed a local resident with
dyslexia who has been unable to find permanent
employment, and who was noticeably reticent
to talk or mix with other volunteers on the first
Wigan dig. As a result of the satisfaction he gains
from being part of the project he has since been
to every dig, and the vast improvement in his
confidence is noticeable to the point where we’re
now able to place inexperienced volunteers with
him for training,” he adds.
Exploring, understanding, inspiring
into the future
With further excavations in 2013 still to come in
Rochdale, Salford and Manchester, it also seems
certain that this good work will continue, and the
benefits will continue to be shared.
“By accessing, exploring and celebrating the
city region’s unique heritage, we are helping
communities to understand and enjoy their local
history in a very hands-on way, leading to it
being cherished more and, therefore, protected.
This definitely cultivates a sense of place and
distinctiveness,” explains Dr Nevell. “What
Dig Greater Manchester is doing is creating an
opportunity for local communities to become
involved in their own history and heritage in
a number of ways. We are already seeing the
project act as a catalystto inspirefurther analysis,
presentation and, most importantly, enjoyment,
of local heritage.”
Social Care news
Study investigates welfare
conditions and behavioural
The University of Salford is leading a major
research study into the conditions attached to
welfare benefits and whether they are successful
in changing the behaviour of claimants.
The Economic and Social Research Council
(ESRC) is funding the five-year £2.5m project
which brings together leading researchers
from the University of Salford, University of
Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University,
Heriot-Watt University and the University of
Stirling. The study will explore the ethics and
efficacy of welfare conditionality which has
increased over the last 20 years to encourage
the ‘positive’ behaviour of welfare recipients,
for example undertaking a training or work
programme in order to claim Job Seekers’
Allowance or complying with conditions related
to family intervention projects.
In addition to influencing future welfare policy
and practice, the study aims to contribute
towards training the next generation of
social researchers by establishing eight PhD
Project to bring almost
1,000 empty homes back
into use
Working with the Association of Greater
Manchester Authorities, the University hopes to
find new ways to trace and communicate with
the owners of 930 empty homes across the
region. Experts from the University’s Housing and
Urban Studies Unit and Salford Business School
will be using innovative ways to trace absentee
owners and encourage them to bring their
property back into use.
The problem of empty homes in Greater
Manchester is a pressing one. There are 25,000
empty properties in the region and if they were
all brought back into the market they would
help address the 100,000-strong social housing
waiting list. However the reasons for being the
owner of an empty home are diverse and even
more difficult to address. Homeowners can be
located almost anywhere, be of any ethnic or
age profile and may be unwilling or unable to
do anything with the house due to finance,
emotional attachment or family breakdown.
The aim is to bring 930 homes back into use
during the project, but more importantly, to learn
lessons that can be applied in Greater Manchester
and, eventually, further afield. To help solve the
problem the researchers will be working with
officers from Tameside Metropolitan Borough
Council to develop new techniques.
This includes exploring how social media could
engage with empty home owners, as well as
linking owners to housing organisations that will
be able to manage the empty home on
their behalf.
Salford researchers secure
major EU Roma grant to
reduce racism
The University is the lead research partner in a
Europe-wide project to reduce discrimination
against Roma and promote better integration of
this marginalised group with the rest of society.
Approximately six million Roma live within the
EU and they make up the continent’s biggest
ethnic minority. However, they continue to
face marginalisation, with the European Roma
Rights Centre recently reporting on issues such
as forced evictions in Romania and Italy and
segregated education in the Czech Republic.
Led by Migration Yorkshire, the Roma MATRIX
project spans ten European countries and
comprises 19 partner organisations. Salford will
be conducting a number of research activities
within the project to meet the objective of
reducing discrimination against Roma.
The University will conduct fieldwork
across Europe to evaluate and compare the
effectiveness of existing policies and structures
to reduce anti-Gypsyism.
Closer to home, the Salford team (made up
of Professor Peter Dwyer, Dr Philip Brown and
Dr Lisa Scullion) will develop a UK network
of interested policy makers, practitioners,
academics and researchers, end users and
other stakeholders to improve integration by
influencing both policy and practice. A Roma
mentoring scheme will also be established by
Salford, partnering with a public authority, to
provide training, support and experience around
working within this sector.
The project is the second consecutive EU grant
that Salford will deliver in partnership with
Migration Yorkshire, building on previous and
ongoing projects that focus on Central and
Eastern European Roma. Roma MATRIX is a
two-year project commencing in April 2013
and will complete in early 2015.
May 2013 | 35
Go global with social media
Could social media be the key to helping companies and students overcome the
challenges of working in different business cultures? This is the premise behind
a new body of research carried out at the University in conjunction with seven
European partners, called Passport to Trade 2.0.
he project has been designed
to help small and medium-sized
businesses (SMEs) looking to
expand into foreign markets, as
well as students wanting to take
work placements or jobs abroad. It provides
an extensive and free guide to business culture
in 31 European countries, and covers social
media etiquette, advice about online and
face-to-face networking, and tips for trading in
these countries. By exploring the ways in which
business is carried out in different countries,
the guides are setting out to demystify business
etiquette and protocol, explains Dr Aleksej
Heinze, from the Centre for Digital Business at
the Salford Business School.
“We want to give businesses and individuals
the knowledge and support they need to
succeed abroad,” he says.
36 | May 2013
The project has been funded by the European
Commission and evolved from an earlier
project, which looked at business culture in 25
European countries and offered online business
support for SMEs interested in developing links
with companies in other EU countries. The
project team is now working with universities
and companies from around Europe to
precisely map out the use of global social
media networks in Europe.
The research is based around interviews with
over 240 SMEs and nearly 1,400 students,
and focus groups with the survey covering the
issues and obstacles they face when trying
to trade or work abroad. All country guides
produced are peer reviewed by students and
companies from the countries being studied.
Based on this research, a European Mobility
Framework structure has been developed,
which highlights key elements to be considered
for businesses and students who wish to be
successful in other European countries.
This Framework highlights country-specific
attitudes to punctuality, business meetings,
business negotiations, use of social media
networks and student placements,
amongst others.
Free trade
More than half the SMEs that responded to the
survey reported using social media as a way
of generating leads and developing business
partnerships, a figure which greatly encourages
social media-based innovations and business
development. The predominant use of social
media networks across Europe is for increasing
customer awareness of the business. A top tip
for any business is to set up basic social
media monitoring to survey comments that are
published about their business. For example, any
establishment that has reviews on TripAdvisor
has to reply to any negative comments and take
actions where needed.
Top Tip: set up social
media monitoring to survey
comments that are published
about your business.
Around 99% of business within the EU is carried
out by SMEs but just 8% of these companies are
involved in the, often lucrative, export markets.
The team suggest that harnessing the power of
social media could help to radically change this
because social networks increase the potential
for international collaboration by making the
whole process faster and simpler. Their research
can help SMEs to develop new social media
strategies and provide them with the social
media marketing tools and techniques they
need to effectively engage with new business
opportunities and expand into new markets.
Social mobility
The research also highlights that although there
are some common social networks amongst
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businesses, such as LinkedIn and Twitter, other
country-specific networks are also popular, such
as Xing in Germany and Vladeo in France.
The vast majority of students, on the other
hand, use Facebook. “Social media can help to
play an important role in fostering mobility and
breaking down cultural barriers,” says Aleksej.
“For young people, traditional country borders
are no longer obstacles when it comes to
developing their networks.”
Further details about the project, including
the social media guides and details about the
various European partners, are available at: Aleksej recently
presented the project at the monthly Research,
Innovation and Enterprise Exchange, powered by
PechaKucha, and the slides are available online
Meet Aleksej and other Salford Business School
colleagues at the launch of the Centre for Digital
Business on 5 June at MediaCityUK (see Events
listing on page 56 for more details).
This project has been funded with
support from the European Commission.
This publication reflects the views only of
the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any
use which may be made of the information contained therein.
Digital news
Salford data-mining
knowledge helps
not-for-profit lending
A two-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), funded with the help
of the Economic and Social Research Council, as well as the Engineering
and Physical Sciences Research Council, has been helping people on low
incomes access finance more readily. East Lancashire Moneyline (IPS) Ltd,
a not-for-profit industrial and provident society that provides access to
credit, savings and advice, is set to increase its lending by 50%, topping
£10 million this year.
“Benefit claimants and others on low incomes typically have difficulty
in obtaining loans because they fall outside the lending criteria of high
street banks and building societies,” explains Diane Burridge, Chief
Financial Officer of Moneyline.
“Our typical customer relies wholly or partially on benefits and has no
alternative but to manage their finances from week to week, so when
an unexpected item of expenditure occurs they often have little or no
disposable income or savings to meet that need.” To help tackle the
financial exclusion experienced by low income groups, as well as reduce
the risk of bad debts, researchers from the University of Salford worked
in partnership with Moneyline to develop a consistent and objective
framework of risk assessment for use in the process of loan approval.
Professor Sunil Vadera, from the School of Computing, Science and
Engineering at the University of Salford, explains: “The main aim of the
KTP was to create a framework to assist loan approval at East Lancashire
Moneyline by applying data mining methods to a real-world problem
where success would have a positive impact on improving financial
Data mining is the process of detecting patterns in data which can be
used to inform decision-making models. “For this project we were able
to combine our expertise in data mining with Professor Karl Dayson’s
knowledge of microfinance and Dr Jia Wu’s experience of data analysis
to understand the socio-economic factors and personal circumstances
that can influence loan approval for those on low incomes,”
Professor Vadera concludes.
Identifying patterns of data in, for example, cash machine use enabled
researchers to create a web-based Credit Risk Assessment Tool (CRET) for
use in the objective assessment of loan applications. Using this tool has
enabled East Lancashire Moneyline to move from a relatively simple and
informal means of assessing loan applications to a consistent framework
for risk management.
38 | May 2013
Participants playing the Volcano Simulation Game
THINKlab develops
Volcano Simulation
Game for BBC Learning
In collaboration with the University’s THINKLAB, BBC Learning is
exploring how interactive digital media could be used to introduce
scientific and nature subjects in a more exciting manner. As a first part
of a series of interactive learning programmes, THINKLAB has been
commissioned by the BBC Learning team to produce an interactive
learning platform to introduce the science behind volcanic explosions.
The novel platform produced by the THINKLab team allow two players
to enter into an volcanic island and, using body gestures, change the
parameters such as gas content, crystal content, silica and magma
flow to affect the type and intensity of the volcano eruptions. The final
score is calculated based on the time taken to complete the task and
the height of the eruption. The game has been successfully trialed by a
group of children invited by the BBC to experiment with the controls.
This gaming platform will be part of the ‘tool kit’ for the BBC Learning
events run throughout the year. The audiences for these events vary
from children to adults depending on the subject matter and THINKLAB
will continue working with BBC Learning to modify this gesture-based
gaming platform to present suitable data for each audience.
For more information on the THINKLAB, including how your
business could use the venue and its technology, visit:
he mislabelling of fish is now a
major international concern.
Fish stocks around the world are
being over-exploited – in the last
50 years nearly one in four of the
world’s fisheries has collapsed
– and there has also been a dramatic rise in
so-called IUU (illegal, unreported and unregulated)
fishing. Worth as much as €20 billion a year, it’s
an industry that is putting further pressure on the
sustainability of our fisheries in part due to
Led by Dr Stefano Mariani, a marine biologist from
the School of Environment & Life Sciences, a team
is investigating how to optimise and standardise
the way in which seafood products are genetically
identified, and ultimately make it easier to
prosecute mislabelling offenders. According to
Mariani, part of the problem stems from the fact
that most fish are now processed at sea, where
many of the features that set individual species
apart are removed.
As a result, fish is sold in such a processed state
that it’s hard to know exactly what type of fish it
is. This can lead to product substitution, when less
valuable, more common species are mislabelled
as rarer and often more expensive fish. As well as
breaking quotas for certain species, and putting a
further strain on the sustainability of fish stocks,
it’s a practice that also cheats the consumer
and may also expose them to the risk of food
allergies. “But don’t blame the fisherman,” says
Mariani. “It’s a complicated supply chain and it’s
the big processing plants, supermarket chains
and suppliers that will decide the fate of different
batches and orders of fish.”
A recent survey in America
showed shocking levels
of mislabelling, with over
50% of fish wrongly
Worldwide issue
It’s a problem that is rife all over the world.
A recent survey in America showed shocking levels
of mislabelling, with over 50% of fish wrongly
marked. And despite the strong regulations
introduced by the EU, there’s evidence that tuna
and swordfish caught in the Mediterranean, as
well as North Sea cod, are also being mislabelled.
What Mariani believes is needed is a forensic test
that will enable investigators to check whether
fish have been caught illegally, or whether a
product in a supermarket or restaurant has been
mislabelled. DNA testing is central to this, and
offers a quick, cost-effective and reliable method,
which can distinguish between species and
provide the forensic evidence needed to take a
case to court. However, at the moment, a variety
of different methods are being used.
Dr Stefano Mariani of the
School of Environment &
Life Sciences
Fish mislabelling
A team of researchers at the University of
Salford is working on a process to stop an
insidious practice that is contributing to the
mismanagement of fish stocks worldwide.
“The ultimate aim of the research is to produce
a simple, standardised process that allows you to
take a piece of fish, subject it to the extraction
of the DNA, and then the sequencing of a
particular portion of the DNA that identifies
the actual species that you are dealing with,”
explains Mariani. “It’s a process that is very
similar to that which has been used in the recent
horse meat scandal.”
“We want to ensure that in terms of procedure,
collecting, delivery and reproducibility of all the
results, regardless of what country or laboratory
you’re in, it’s going to be 100% reliable.
Mariani’s research is part of a European project
called LABELFISH, which includes partners in
Ireland, Portugal, Spain, France and Germany, and
will focus on eight of the most popular species
- Atlantic cod, haddock, hake, monkfish, plaice,
tuna, ling and sardine. The research will also test
the effectiveness of EU legislation.
Below: Dr Mariani performs a
demonstration at the Manchester
Science Festival in October 2012
“Ultimately,” he adds, “I would love to see
national, compulsory and well-enforced genetic
testing, and random spot checking of products
along the production chain in every country.”
Mariani’s team, and those in the partner
countries, have been testing shop-bought
samples of fish using a variety of different DNA
testing technologies.
“Traditionally different countries and different
governments had different control labs that were
using different techniques to achieve the same
results, and there was a lot of inconsistency.
This can be a problem with potential legal cases.
“We are aiming to standardise this whole
process as much as possible and hopefully this will
then become a model used around the world.
May 2013 | 39
To many people, darts is already a fiendishly difficult game, but now David
Percy, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Salford, has made it even
He has created the ‘Optimal Dartboard’ by re-arranging the numbers in such a
way that they minimise the chances of a high-scoring random throw. As well
as alternating odd and even numbers, Percy’s board also groups the numbers in
similar scoring clusters.
(1+2+1)/4 Dartboard Comparison
Normal dartboard
Running averages
Position on dartboard
Optimal dartboard
40 | May 2013
eople have been looking
at this problem for the
last 30 years, but only as
a bit of fun,” Professor
Percy explains.“ But they
were using the wrong
optimality measure
and also ignored the importance of having
alternating odd and even numbers. The idea is
to make the dartboard as hard as possible.
“What they were looking at was trying
to make the difference between adjacent
numbers as large as possible, so that if you
miss a big number, you get a small number.
But what you actually need to do is look at
the total score of two adjacent numbers and
try and make that as similar as possible all the
way around the board.”
Percy analysed the traditional board by totting
up the average scores for different sections
of the board and laid out the plans for the
new board in a paper published in the journal
Mathematics Today.
“The average of all the numbers on a
dartboard is 10.5, so put simply, you can gain
by targeting those sections where the average
is higher than that,” he explains. He showed
that it was easier for a lucky throw to score
highly in the left-hand side of the board,
where there is a section containing 12-9-14,
with an average of 11.7, as well as 16-7-19,
with an average score of 14.
It is easier for a lucky throw to score
highly in the left-hand side of the board,
where there is a section containing
12-9-14, with an average of 11.7, as well
as 16-7-19, with an average score of 14.
With players traditionally trying to get from
301 or 501 down to zero, the layout of the
optimal board also makes a big difference at
the end of the game, when players have to go
out on a double. If they’re on an odd number,
they’ll need to hit another odd number before
being able to go for a double. On the old
board, even the worst player had a good
chance of hitting one close to the bottom of
the board, with its cluster of four adjacent
odd numbers 7, 19, 3 and 17.
Percy’s new alternating arrangements has
put pay to this, along with another favourite,
double 16. On the traditional board 16 and 8
are next to each other, so if you miss double
16 and hit single 16 instead, you then require
double 8, theoretically making it easier to hit
as you already have your sights set on that
part of the board. Similarly, the 10 and 6 are
no longer adjacent, which makes finishing
harder when players are on an even number.
The dartboard was trialled at the BDO World
Professional Darts Championships in January
by darts legend Bobby George, and several
prototypes have been developed by leading
dartboard manufacturer Winmau. However,
there are no plans to replace the traditional
board, the numbering of which is thought to
date back to the 19th century.
Modestly, Percy adds: “Maths is often about
finding the optimal solution to a problem and
this is the optimal solution to that particular
problem. I lay no further claims – it was just
an interesting piece of work!”
May 2013 | 41
Built Environment news
For the latest on the School of the Built Environment, visit:
Salford develops guide for
implementation of Building Information
Modelling and Lean Construction
Expertise from the University
of Salford’s School of the Built
Environment has been used in
compiling a definitive and free
guide to Building Information
Modelling (BIM) and Lean
Construction for the industry.
Five of the world’s leading
academics in the development
of the latest efficient and digital
methods of construction have
written a guide for CIRIA, the
Construction Industry Research
and Information Association.
Designed for practical use
by clients, designers and
construction companies,
the guide covers the entire
lifecycle of implementing and
embedding these more efficient
methods into a company or
project – resulting in lower
costs and quotes during hard
economic times.
In particular, the University is
working hard within the UK to
make the construction industry
aware of the benefits of BIM
ahead of the Government’s
imminent requirement for the
whole industry to trial it and
Lean on public sector projects.
As a result, the guide not
only contains advice but also
successful examples sourced
from the authors’ experience
around the world in countries
where BIM and Lean is much
more firmly entrenched in
the sector. These examples
include facilities management
at Maryland General Hospital
and planning techniques for
the Skanska Headquarters in
Professor Lauri Koskela from the
School of the Built Environment
led the writing of the guide
along with colleagues Professor
Arto Kiviniemi, Bhargav Dave
and Dr Patricia Tzortzopoulos,
alongside former Salford
academic Robert Owen from
the Queensland University of
Technology. The guides can be
downloaded from the CIRIA
website –
BIM demonstrated at THINKlab, photo by Martin Riese
In search of innovation
Innovation is one of the key drivers of
economic development and a key source
of new employment opportunities. Indeed,
the Regional Innovation Scoreboard shows
that 35% of the variation in regional per
capita income (at the EU level) can be
explained by differences in innovative
Encouraging innovation is, therefore, a key
policy objective at the regional level. The
scope for expansion in innovative activity is
considerable in areas with a strong higher
42 | May 2013
education-based knowledge infrastructure.
Innopolis is co-financed by the European
Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and made
possible by the INTERREG IVC programme,
which aims to identify and disseminate best
practice in innovation policy in university
city-regions. More specifically, the project
focuses on regional policy that can facilitate
knowledge transfer between universities and
enterprises. It involves universities and regional
authorities in four diverse European university
city-regions: Greater Manchester, Helsinki,
Lodz and Thessaloniki.
This three-year project is led by the University
of Salford. So far the project has mapped
20 existing policies and identified 125 best
practices in its four partner regions. The project
will also study the US, where policies have been
particularly successful in supporting knowledge
transfer, and Prague as the most innovative
post-socialist city region. Video case studies of
ten such practices can be viewed on the project
website at:
Study proves classroom
design really does matter
In a pilot study by the University of Salford and architects Nightingale Associates,
it was found that the classroom environment can affect a child’s academic progress
over a year by as much as 25%.
The year-long pilot study was carried out
in seven Blackpool LEA primary schools.
34 classrooms with differing learning
environments and age groups took part.
The study took two lines of enquiry.
The first was to collect data from 751
pupils, such as their age, gender and
performance level in maths, reading
and writing at the start and end of an
academic year.
The second evaluated the holistic
classroom environment, taking into
account different design parameters such
as classroom orientation, natural light and
noise, temperature and air quality. Other
issues such as flexibility of space, storage
facilities and organisation, as well as use
of colour, were evaluated.
This holistic assessment includes both
classroom design and use factors to
identify what constitutes an effective
learning environment.
Notably, 73% of the variation in pupil
performance driven at the class level can
be explained by the building environment
factors measured in this study.
Current findings suggest that placing
an average pupil in the least effective,
rather than the most effective, classroom
environment could affect their learning
progress by as much as the average
improvement across one year.
Through these promising findings, the
study will continue for a further 18
months and cover another 20 schools
in different areas of the UK. This study
is being funded by the Engineering
and Physical Sciences Research Council
(EPSRC) and the Principal Investigator is
Professor Peter Barratt.
73% of the variation in pupil performance
driven at the class level can be explained
by the building environment factors
measured in this study.
May 2013 | 43
Flooded small businesses relying
too much on insurance cover
Floods in Cockermouth
New University of Salford research carried out
among businesses in Cockermouth in Cumbria
following catastrophic floods in 2009 has found
that very few have taken flood protection
measures – despite an average 1,750% rise in
insurance excesses being reported among the
businesses surveyed.
The research team from the University’s
Centre for Disaster Resilience is now calling
for businesses to make greater use of trained
professionals such as chartered surveyors
who can recommend effective mitigation and
prevention improvements to their facilities.
In the study, of the businesses which had
implemented at least one measure, the most
common action was to review insurance.
Comparatively, only 11% had installed floodresilient wall finishes and a similarly low
percentage had moved stock and equipment
above floor level.
44 | May 2013
In light of the current guidance, it is important
that communities at risk of flooding learn to
live and adapt to flooding by implementing
adjustments to their property and processes
rather than totally relying on insurance.
These issues are not only relevant to
Cockermouth. In 2009, the Environment
Agency identified that 5.2 million (or one in
six) properties in England are at some risk of
flooding, and in 2013 an agreement between
the government and insurance industry is set
to expire – potentially resulting in much
higher premiums.
As a result, the researchers are keen for there
to be more surveyors who have knowledge
of flood prevention and resistance techniques
and more businesses taking up advice which
can prevent significant costs, damage
and disruption.
are keen for
there to be
more surveyors
who have
knowledge of
flood prevention
and resistance
Conference Services
A flexible planning, advisory
and management service for
all your conferences and events.
Need a venue or help
managing your next event?
The University of Salford is
conveniently located just over
a mile (3 km) from Manchester
city centre, as well as a site at
With a wide variety of venues we
can cater for events serving 10 to
1,000 people. We pride ourselves
on offering competitive pricing
with a friendly, professional
and flexible service, and in
partnership with Visit Manchester
can assist with everything from
bids to logistics.
Let us know how we can help.
e: [email protected]
t: +44 (0) 161 295 5374
Looking beyond conferences?
The diversity of our venues allows
us to host a range of events
in addition to conferences,
including summer schools,
football camps and use as a
filming location.
Technology news
Salford PhD student develops
revolutionary elderly care robot
A University of Salford doctoral
researcher has come up with
a novel way of dealing with
stretched resources caused
by us all living longer – an
interactive care robot for
elderly people.
Antonio Espingardeiro, who is
studying in Salford Business School
and the School of Computing,
Science & Engineering, has created
the P37 S65 robot, which has the
Antonio and his robot prototype
ability to remind elderly people to
take their medication and exercise, and can even tell jokes. It can also
provide 24-hour emergency notifications and will directly connect to
carers or GPs through video conference or SMS. As resources to care for
the elderly become more strained, Antonio believes that his robot can
supplement the intensive care required by many care home residents
and conduct routine tasks without significantly reducing the human
contact that people need. Crucially, one person can monitor many
robots – requiring fewer trained staff at each site.
In fact, based on his earlier studies in care homes, he believes that
his robot can actually improve the quality of life for the elderly by
promoting exercise, playing games and acting as a video link to family
and loved ones. It will also support carers by following them around
with meals and alerting them to emergencies and regular appointments.
His robot can be programmed with many routine health interventions
that are designed for people with dementia – such as speech therapy
and object recognition exercises. Through face recognition it can also
remember the preferences and requirements of each patient,
as programmed at the instruction of a human worker.
Antonio conducted initial fieldwork with existing commercially
available robots and discovered that residents found them to be highly
stimulating and a break from their normal environment. He feels that,
with his bespoke P37 S65, there is even more scope for the robot to
support the work of human professionals in the exercise of care.
Gamma invests millions in
intelligent systems
Research taking place at the University could help develop
the use of intelligent and autonomous systems in small and
medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), potentially creating new
jobs in the engineering sector.
Growing Autonomous Mission Management Applications (GAMMA)
is a three-year, £9.1m project, aimed at driving SME engagement
and developing technology within the autonomous systems markets.
Autonomous systems are technologies that replace humans in tasks
that are mundane, dirty or dangerous, or that require levels of detail
and precision that are beyond direct human capabilities. You can
see this growing technology in the driverless trains such as in the
Docklands Light Railway or the militarised drones we hear about
on the news, together with the almost automated processes that
produce cars on production lines, for example.
There is significant market growth forecast in autonomous systems
across sectors including healthcare, transport, aerospace, nuclear,
manufacturing and petrochemicals. These systems should provide a
sustainable business for SMEs in software upgrades, maintenance
and sensing technology. Salford is one of five universities in the
North West to be involved in the project.
Other partners include North West Aerospace Alliance (NWAA),
BAE Systems and National Nuclear Laboratories. Salford will be
leading work on Intelligent Tasking and Mission Management,
which includes control systems applications for small-scale vehicle
demos, onboard mission, collaborative planning and task allocation,
optimisation, intelligent decision making and sensing systems, fault
diagnosis systems, and safety management and fault tolerance.
Professor Samia Nefti-Meziani and her colleagues in the School
of Computing, Science & Engineering will be key contributors to
the programme. Samia said: “GAMMA will primarily focus on
the end users of autonomous and intelligent systems, ensuring
that the UK is in a strong position to capitalise on this developing
market. The three key areas will be technology development and
business growth, job creation in SMEs and development of a future
generation supply chain.”
Prosthetics study to improve mobility of amputees
When walking with a single prosthetic leg,
above-knee amputees typically use up to
60% more energy than people who are
able-bodied, causing fatigue and a 40%
slower walking speed. These difficulties
can hinder an amputee’s mobility and,
as a result, affect their quality of life.
The energy storage and return capabilities
of prosthetic legs are crucial to improving
an amputee’s gait and mobility,
46 | May 2013
but most prostheses only store and return
significant energy below the knee and
in an uncontrolled way. To overcome
these problems, the team of engineers and
prosthetists will explore the potential for using
hydraulic technology to harvest and store
energy from the parts of the prosthesis that
absorb power, and then return that energy to
the parts that do useful propulsive work. The
results will be used to develop new prosthetic
leg designs which have increased functionality
and require less energy from the amputee.
Salford is the only provider of prosthetics and
orthotics higher education in England, focusing
on teaching, research and enterprise. Many of
its graduates are now leaders in the profession,
both nationally and internationally.
The three-year study is supported by a grant of
£672,000 from the Engineering and Physical
Sciences Research Council.
Science news
For up-to-the minute science news, follow our Twitter feed @SalfordScience
Reverse swerve to blame for
unpredictable modern footballs
Aspiring Premier League stars can gain
just as much from studying Wasim Akram
as Gareth Bale, now that aeronautics
researchers at the University have
discovered that cricket-style reverse swerve
is an important factor in how modern
footballs behave in the air.
The addition of rough surfaces intended to
make balls go faster has had the unintended
side-effect of creating the same aerodynamics
as a cricket ball that’s been used for 40 or more
overs, the researchers say in a study that has
won the Catherine Richards prize for the best
paper published in journal Mathematics Today
in 2012.
The researchers, led by Dr Edmund Chadwick
from the School of Computing, Science &
Engineering, found that if a high degree of spin
is applied to the football which is similar to the
forward velocity of the ball, then an unexpected
pressure difference will be created, leading to
strange movement in the air.
Older footballs didn’t experience this kind of
issue since they had a more uneven surface,
with seams and smooth surfaces creating a more
complex flow of air. Instead the researchers
compare the new footballs to cricket balls which
gradually get rough on both sides, producing
reverse swing, such as those originally used by
Pakistani cricketers such as Wasim Akram and
Waqar Younis.
Although the Salford team would require
simulations to prove individual cases, they do
believe that it might exonerate Robert Green
from his ‘howler’ against the USA in 2010.
PhD student discovers new species
of parasite
A postgraduate student from the University of Salford has
discovered a new species of parasite which infects voles.
“This is a unique experience for Kellyanne – very few biologists can claim
to have discovered a new species in their careers!”
Kellyanne Boyce was studying the parasites affecting rodents in the
complex ecosystem of Malham in the Yorkshire Dales when she found a
parasite which could not be identified using traditional guides and papers.
Kellyanne said: “I was really excited when I discovered that I had found a
new species. It’s amazing to think that my PhD has added a new species
to our catalogue of the natural world and that my name will be associated
with it in future scientific literature.’’
Following the collection of a large number of samples, careful
measurement of the parasites, characterisation using DNA-based forensic
techniques and an exhaustive search of the scientific literature, Kellyanne
was able to prove she had discovered a new species.
The parasite has been named Notocotylus malhamensis and preserved type
specimens are housed at the University and the Natural History Museum in
London. Its DNA has also been stored on international databases.
Professor Geoff Hide of the School of Environment & Life Sciences said:
“We have recorded knowledge of around one million species on the
planet, but there are probably nine million more in existence. Kellyanne’s
discovery shows that it is possible to discover a new species in our local
environment, despite our detailed knowledge of its biodiversity.
Notcotylus malhamensis
May 2013 | 47
Arts news
Lecturer wins international
poetry competition
English professor Antony Rowland has
triumphed in a major poetry competition,
which attracted over 1,500 entries, to
snatch a £10,000 prize.
Antony’s portfolio of four poems won the
Manchester Poetry Competition – a biennial
event sponsored by Poet Laureate Carol
Ann Duffy and organised by Manchester
Metropolitan University for an international
audience. Judges Ian Duhig, Frances Leviston
and Adam O’Riordan selected a shortlist of six
poets from the 1,500 entrants before
announcing Antony as the final winner at a gala
event in Manchester on Friday 19 October.
Announcing the winner, chair of judges
Adam O’Riordan said: “In the end, the selection
of the winner felt very clear and natural and
unanimous. We admired the dynamic intense
musicality of the winning poems, the poet’s
evident relish for the vocabulary they were
employing, how well the tone was controlled,
and the ease with which the poems moved
between the contemporary and the historical.”
Fashion students’ designs
hit the high street
Two graduates from the School of Art &
Design will see their fashion designs and
photography in clothing stores nationwide
after scooping both first prizes in a
prestigious fashion industry competition.
Natalie O’Hare, who graduated with a BA (Hons)
in Fashion Design, won the design award of the
fourth Warehouse Design Competition, while
BA (Hons) Fashion Image Making and Styling
graduate Rachel Hannaway was chosen as
winner of the photography category. Organised
by clothing label Warehouse and the British
Fashion Council (BFC), the competition was open
to students from the 34 institutions across the UK
which are members of the BFC’s Colleges Council,
who were invited to submit their graduation year
A judging panel, including representatives from
Warehouse, the BFC and Grazia magazine,
chose the winners for their impressive design
ability and creativity, and Natalie and Rachel
joined Warehouse for a six-month paid design
placement. Natalie will then see designs from
her collection produced and sold in selected
Warehouse stores across the UK, while Rachel
will be responsible for photography for the
collection’s campaign.
Image: Natalie O’Hare and Rachel Hannaway
48 | May 2013
Peter Kay launches
new comedy course
One of Salford’s most famous graduates, Peter Kay, returned to the
University in October to launch its new dedicated comedy course for
budding writers and performers.
Household name Peter Kay first discovered a talent for stand-up comedy back
in the 1990s when he studied for an HND in Media Performance at Salford.
Since winning the North West Comedy Award in 1996, he has gone on to
achieve huge popularity with That Peter Kay Thing, Phoenix Nights, Max
and Paddy’s Road to Nowhere and has sold out national stand-up tours.
Peter was at the University’s MediaCityUK campus to launch its new comedy
pathways course for performance students who want to develop their skills
in sketch writing, physical comedy and clowning, sitcom and stand-up while
investigating the roots of what makes people laugh, the business of a career
in comedy and the cultural importance of the art form.
May 2013 | 49
Commercial news
University and Key103 launch crisis
and media training courses
Salford Professional Development (SPD) and Manchester’s No. 1
commercial radio station – Key103 – have formed a partnership to
deliver expert media training at the University’s MediaCityUK campus
and Key103’s studios.
SPD, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the University, is working with Key103 to
offer bespoke crisis PR and media training to meet the needs of individual
organisations. The courses will be delivered by Key103’s award-winning
journalists who are also trained professionals in reputation management and
crisis PR. They will provide expert guidance, practical solutions and presentation
skills so that organisations can shine in the glare of media attention and stay
calm under pressure.
SPD has already helped hundreds of people keep up with the changing
demands of the workplace with its continuing professional development
programmes that draw upon over 100 years of educational excellence.
Key103 is a market leader in commercial radio, part of the Bauer Media Group,
whose portfolio of brands includes 42 radio stations in the UK’s largest cities,
TV stations including Heat, Box, Kerrang! and magazines such as Heat,
Closer and Grazia.
The need for research into the pest industry sparks KTP
Today’s pest management industry in the
UK is changing. Traditional divisions are
disappearing. The services once offered by
local authorities are increasingly shifting
to the private sector and the role of local
authorities may one day be restricted to
serving enforcement notices.
As a result, it is becoming ever more essential that
research is carried out into how this will affect the
provision of those services which protect public
health and housing, as well as prevent inner city
areas from becoming degraded.
The National Pest Advisory Panel (NPAP) of the
Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH)
believes that many of today’s changes in urban
pest management will have an adverse effect
on public health unless they are recognised and
ministers introduce or encourage measures to
minimise them. This concern was set out in the
CIEH publication The Perfect Storm.
The body of evidence-based research is growing
but needs to be interpreted and presented in an
accessible form. To address this, Killgerm Group
formed a KTP with the University. Knowledge
Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) are joint projects
50 | May 2013
between companies and universities who work
together to carry out research and, at the same
time, transfer their knowledge and expertise to
each other. Joanne Fozzard, who has an honours
degree in environmental health from Salford,
is employed by the university but works with
Killgerm. The aim of this particular project is
to ensure that research capacity is embedded
into the work of the company and that the
evidence-based information generated presents
a clear case to local and central government
departments and agencies about the need for
sound public health pest management.
Killgerm’s strategic KTP aim is to develop the
collection of better data and present it in a
way which can be used to bring about
changes in the provision of public
and environmental health.
This will allow Killgerm to lead
in this area, gain recognition
and raise the profile of the
pest industry, not just in
the UK but also within
Europe. Working in
a commercial
environment with a company such as Killgerm
provided Joanne with a unique opportunity to
carry out her research. Killgerm is looking to
strengthen its future management team and
views this KTP as an excellent way of introducing
new expertise in the areas of research and
development in the promotion of the public
health pest control industry.
For more information about the University’s
leading KTP programme, visit:
Energy news
Stay up to date with the Energy at:
Government minister
opens leading European
research lab
Business and Enterprise Minister Michael Fallon
opened Europe’s most advanced facility for
creating energy efficient glass. Mr Fallon met
with leaders of businesses working on low
carbon technology during a visit to the
University in October.
Mr Fallon, who is also the Minister for the low
carbon economy and construction, officially
opened the University’s new Wolfson Chemical
Vapour Deposition (CVD) Laboratory, which has
been funded by a £250,000 Wolfson Foundation
Grant from the Royal Society. The new labs will
allow research and product development for
depositing thin coatings onto glass that reduce
heat loss from windows.
Michael Fallon, Minister for Business and Enterprise visits the Wolfson CVD Laboratory
New solar power research
facility produces first panel
Clean energy businesses in the North West are
set to receive a major boost as the University
opened a new £400k research facility for
solar power.
Offering free consultancy and R&D based on the
University’s expertise in the energy sector, the new
facility will give businesses in the region a space
where they can test new designs, configurations
and installation methods for solar cells.
The Salford-based site is fully equipped with
industry-standard production machinery imported
from Italy, and is staffed by experienced academics
and technicians. While it is capable of turning out
a production line of panels, the University believes
that it can be most effectively used in the same
manner as the Salford Energy House, where a
rebuilt terraced property has been installed inside a
climate-controlled lab and is used by businesses to
test the latest in energy-efficient technology.
For example, charity Solar Aid is working with
Salford to provide solar lamps to help children in
remote African communities study at night.
May 2013 | 51
Health news
For the latest news, visit:
Award for nurse’s contribution to organ donation
A postgraduate student who works as a transplant co-ordinator was voted Best Nurse 2013
by British Malayali (a group for South Indians living in the UK).
Agimol Pradeep works at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in the Renal
Transplant Unit where she regularly witnesses the shortage of organs donated by people of South
Asian descent. National figures show that South Asians wait three times longer than white people for
a kidney transplant due to the difficulties in finding a successful match.
Agimol’s PhD project aims to tackle the problem by exploring the views of South Asian people to
understand why they are reluctant to become donors. She is working with community and religious
leaders, GPs and intensive care units to implement strategies to increase donation, educating Asian
people about the benefits of organ donation and joining the donor register.
For more information go to: and
Acute illness nursing
course first of its kind
Care of acutely ill patients being taught across Europe.
The early recognition of an acute deterioration in patients
is crucial if they are to receive the best quality care and
timely admission to critical care areas. The award from the
European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme will
be used to provide student nurses with the knowledge,
skills and experience to recognise and respond appropriately
when a patient’s vital signs indicate that they are becoming
acutely unwell.
Students from partner universities in Finland, Germany,
Spain, Cyprus, Slovakia and Winona in the USA attended
the course, and each country’s academics will participate in
teaching on the course as it moves around Europe on an
annual basis.
Boxing champion
tests fitness at Salford
Professional boxer Scott Quigg spent a day at our Human Performance
Laboratory, testing his strength and fitness in the run-up to his world title
match in November.
Undefeated British champion Quigg, 24, from Bury, has been training for a rematch
against Rendall Munroe for the interim WBA world super-bantamweight title. He was at
Salford with his coach to undergo a series of strength and conditioning tests.
The Human Performance Laboratory is one of the best in the country with an extensive
range of biomechanical and physiological equipment. It is regularly used by professional
sports clubs, including Salford City Reds and Sale Sharks.
Senior Lecturer in Health and Exercise, Paul Sindall, said: “We carried out a range of tests
which showed that Scott Quigg’s fitness is higher than most boxers and on a par with
elite endurance athletes.” Quigg was recently named Young Boxer of the Year.
52 | May 2013
The programme engages Greater Manchester Critical Care
Skills Institute to teach the management of acute illness,
North West Ambulance Service for an exploration of the
emergency services and the RAF for the treatment of
military personnel in conflict zones.
Students participated in clinical scenarios in the University’s
hi-tech Simulation Laboratory, which contains computercontrolled mannequins in a hospital ward environment.
The simulation of human patients means that students can
develop their skills in a realistic environment before coming
into contact with real people.
They also examined pertinent issues such as the use
of physical or chemical restraining methods in rapidly
deteriorating patients.
International news & awards
Salford and RICS join forces
to launch Indian school
The University has signed an agreement to support research, course development
and student exchanges with the newly established Royal Institution of Chartered
Surveyors' (RICS) School of the Built Environment, Amity University in India.
Under the memorandum of understanding signed by RICS, Amity University and Salford, the
University will bring its world-leading expertise in the construction and built environment to
India alongside RICS in a venture which is the first of its kind.
Salford work praised
at Times Higher
Education and
Guardian awards
The University of Salford finished
runner-up in the Guardian University and
Times Higher Education Awards for its
international work in post-war disaster
recovery efforts.
The new school will be part of Amity University and will be based at its campus in the National
Capital Region of Delhi. It will teach subjects such as construction management, real estate
management and quantity surveying.
Salford will contribute to a number of areas for the new school such as course development and
collaborative research. There will also be opportunities to conduct student and staff exchanges
between the two institutions.
Professor Mohammed Arif of the University’s School of the Built Environment has led a significant
initiative in India in the last five years. As part of this, Salford has conducted research and
several industry outreach workshops and seminars on issues such as green construction, offsite
construction and low cost housing. More recently, the School of the Built Environment has been
developing and delivering continuous professional development courses in India with RICS.
With rapid economic growth in India, and an estimated spending on infrastructure to be USD 1
trillion, the country has a fast expanding construction sector and there is currently an acute skills
shortage which the RICS school will go some way to addressing when it starts enrolling students
in September.
In Iraq
Salford’s team, led by Professor Mustafa
Alshawi of the School of the Built
Environment, worked closely with the Iraqis
to set up a dynamic educational, multidisciplinary research centre – the Basra Centre
for Development and Innovation (BCDI).
Using Internet-based communications, Iraqi
students and academics interact, access
international expertise and participate in
real-time global collaboration, including
live seminars. This success sparked the
development of a Science and Technology
Park in Basra working with global companies
Arup and Lyle & Partners.
In Sri Lanka
Following Sri Lanka’s ethnic war, which ended
in May 2009, communities needed to be
rebuilt physically, socially and economically.
The conflict had restricted the capacity of
universities in the North and East of the
country to undertake essential research for
the reconstruction.
The Salford-led Conflict Prevention through
Infrastructure Reconstruction project (www. brought together
a creative international collaboration which
improved understanding of the relationships
between physical infrastructure reconstruction
programmes and social cohesion among
people affected by conflict, helping local
stakeholders deliver conflict-sensitive
reconstruction programmes.
May 2013 | 53
54 | May 2013
Campaigns in rude health
thanks to social media
Using applications like Facebook and YouTube means we can
provide health promotion messages with humour, rather than
just relying on static posters in GPs’ waiting rooms.
ere really are massive
opportunities for increasing
the public’s engagement
in health using social
media,” says Professor
Paula Ormandy, from the
University’s School of Nursing, Midwifery
& Social Work.” The University has a long
history of promoting public health across the
region and Ormandy, along with her colleague
Professor Ben Light from the College of Arts &
Social Sciences, has recently been working on
awareness campaigns that have harnessed the
power of social media.
Their work with Brook Manchester, a charity
that provides free and confidential sexual health
services and advice for young people under 25,
was part of a wider campaign to help reduce
Manchester’s high youth pregnancy rates.
It looked to change the way they delivered
health care education for young men and
instead of relying on practical demonstrations
to show young men how to use a condom, the
campaign used a mobile phone app instead.
Developed in conjunction with Brook staff and
service users, it proved a huge success. “It’s
allowed Brook staff to deliver the information in
a much more sensitive way, taking away much
of the embarrassment,” says Light.
The University has also been working with
the Lesbian and Gay Foundation (LGF) to raise
awareness about the importance of cervical
screening for women in same sex relationships
across the North West of England. Such
women face a number of additional barriers
to screening because of their sexuality, so a
focused mixed media campaign was developed
with the LGF around a Hollywood ‘screen test’
“We found the site certainly increased people’s
engagement,” says Light, “and the LGF has
since been asked to take the campaign forward
on a national basis.
“Of course there are lots of digital campaigns
promoting health but what’s innovative about
this project is that it embedded an evaluation
mechanism into it so that we could constantly
audit its performance, and change things if they
weren't working or became tired.”
The University’s biggest, and current, campaign
is The Cat That Got the Screen. Commissioned
by the NHS Cervical Screening Quality Assurance
Reference Centre in the North West, it aims to
encourage 24-29 year olds to go for a cervical
screen, and pushes the message that early
detection is critical.
What’s innovative
about this project is
that it embedded an
evaluation mechanism
into it so that we could
constantly audit its
The campaign was developed in collaboration
with students from the School of Arts & Media,
the project team and women in the campaign’s
target age group.
As Light explains, the ads are designed to get
people talking about, and engaging with,
cervical screening. It rests on the internet
‘meme culture’ (a concept that spreads from
person to person via the internet) and engages
seriously with ideas of user-generated content
and user participation.
As the campaign moves forward it will, for
example, deploy short promotional videos,
mash-ups of cat images (because funny
cat pictures are some of the most viral and
most searched for on the internet), and
an app to allow users to create their own
health education promotional materials –
‘the Mogatron.’ The campaign also uses a
monitoring system called Brandwatch alongside
other software such as Google Analytics to
collect real-time evaluation data.
Maria Rossall-Allan, the campaign’s project
officer, explains: “Such an approach allows
you to see who’s talking about the topic you
are campaigning about online and then follow
up those links, to push the campaign within
targeted groups.”
And word has spread about the innovative
nature of the projects, with extra funding
now coming from Heywood, Middleton and
Rochdale Primary Care Trust, to create a
targeted cervical screening campaign for ethnic
minority communities.
Ormandy can see many other applications for
the technology and is currently working with
Cristina Vasilica, a PhD student at the University,
who is developing a new interactive patient hub
for people with chronic kidney disease.
“Like the cervical campaigns, it places a huge
emphasis on interaction, encouraging people
to leave their own comments about their
experience so the site actually starts to generate
its own content, rather than simply relying on
the words of health care professionals,”
she adds.
May 2013 | 55
Interaction methods are tailored to the device,
e.g. hand gestures for big devices and touch
gestures for the smaller ones – come see it
in action!
Register online at: http://fascinate.
Final Year Classical Elective
Performers Recitals
Wednesday 22 May 11.00am - 1.00pm
Peel Hall, Peel Building
Performance elective students from within the
University’s Music Directorate present their
final recitals to an examination panel in an
arena open to the public. Each programme
will represent the culmination of their time
here at Salford and their own personal
development as performers. This free event
is the climax to the Repertoire Studies and
Performance Practice component of each
student’s academic profile and provides each
performer with an open platform to
demonstrate their musicianship.
Research, Innovation & Enterprise
Exchange, Powered by PechaKucha
Thursday 23 May 1.00pm - 2.00pm
Staff, students and the public are invited to
hear from three members of the University
community, speaking on a common theme
related to their area of expertise. They will
each give six-minute PechaKucha-style
presentations (20 slides of 20 seconds each)
aimed at stimulating discussion and prompting
collaboration and new ideas. Networking and
informal discussions will follow for the last half
an hour.
The theme for May is Soundscapes.
Admission: Free – register online at:
FascinatE Showcase: Immersive
Broadcast Technology
Thursday 30 May from 10.15am
Previous presentations are online at our
slideshare account at
unisalford, or videos can be found at our new
Research & Innovation Youtube channel.
Professor Tony Whyton, Director of the Salford
Music Research Centre, is working in
partnership with Serious (who run the London
Jazz Festival and delivered the BT River of
Music for the Cultural Olympiad) to curate a
three-day festival of the humanities in London
at the end of May. The event, 'The Time and
The Place,' marks the end of the first
Humanities in the European Research Area’s
Joint Research Programme and will be
showcasing the work of 15-19 funded
What is the connection between Bronze Age
artefacts, European jazz, medieval manuscripts
and photography which captures Europe’s
complex colonial past? And how do artists
as diverse as gipsy band Budapest Bár, or
saxophonist/MC/rapper Soweto Kinch, or the
hauntingly beautiful Sami voice of Mari Boine
fit into the picture? These seemingly disparate
subjects form part of a series of concerts and
creative interventions from a Europe-wide
choice of artists whose music acts as a
counterpoint to the themes of a wide-ranging
and fascinating group of research projects that
reach their conclusion this year.
Ticket prices start at £9.50 – for more details
Launch of Centre for Digital Business
Wednesday 5 June 5:30 - 7:30pm
MediaCityUK Room 3.29
Join us for the official launch of the Centre for
Digital Business, with guest speaker Mike Ryan,
a Digital Futurist (@mikemanchester and http://
Contact [email protected] for details or
FascinatE (Format-Agnostic SCript-based
INterAcTive Experience) is a €9.35m EUfunded research project to examine the
technologies for producing and delivering
ultra-high resolution panoramic content of live
events, to offer the viewer a more interactive
experience tailored to different devices.
FascinatE has developed a full system to allow
end users to interactively view and navigate
around an ultra-high resolution video
panorama with accompanying audio
changing to match the selected view.
56 | May 2013
The Time and The Place Festival
of the Humanities
Thursday 30 May - Friday 1 June 2013
Kings Place London
Create at Salford Festival 2013
Wednesday 12 - Sunday 16 June 2013
MediaCityUK and Salford Quays
Create at Salford Festival brings together more
than 800 creative students in a number of
exclusive events taking place over a five-day
period at MediaCityUK and Salford Quays.
The Festival will mark the launch of the new
School of Arts & Media, celebrating individual
and School successes, as well as showcasing
why we are one of the UK’s most successful
higher education providers in arts and media.
Admission: Free. Full Festival programme
information will be announced soon – for the
latest news go to:
North West Brass Band Collaboration
Wednesday 19 June 7.30 - 9.30pm
MediaCityUK and Salford Quays
Undergraduate Open Day
Friday 28 - Saturday 29 June
10.00am - 4.00pm
Maxwell Building, Allerton Building
and MediaCityUK
These events are open to the general
public but are subject to change.
Check for a
comprehensive list of all events held in
association with the university,
including conferences.
Come along to our university-wide open days
to learn more about the opportunities on
offer at Salford.
You will learn about the courses we have on
offer, view our specialist facilities and meet
the tutors from your subject area of interest.
You can take a tour of the campus,
accommodation and our brand new facilities
at MediaCityUK, as well as attend a variety
of talks. Parking is available at the Irwell Place
car park.
Royal Northern College of Music Brass Band,
conducted by John Miller, together with the
University of Salford Brass Band, conducted
by Dr Howard Evans. We are pleased to present
a follow up to last year’s collaboration with the
Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) here
at the University of Salford. This will be the
first visit to Salford by the RNCM Brass Band.
This event provides a unique opportunity to
hear the ensembles of both institutions come
together to perform individually and as a
massed ensemble. The concert will draw upon
their respective archival material, featuring
some of the early brass band arrangements
and transcriptions and putting this into a
contemporary context.
Digital Economy (DE) 2013: Open Digital
Wednesday 6 November 2013
MediaCityUK, Salford
Admission: Free. For more information email
Duncan Winfield [email protected]
An event which brings together innovative
thinkers and researchers to share ideas about
how to transform society through the
design and deployment of information and
communications technologies. The two-and-a
-half-day event will feature keynotes, themed
sessions, paper presentations, workshops and
technology demonstrators.
Research, Innovation & Enterprise
Exchange, Powered by PechaKucha
Thursday 20 June 1.00 - 2.00pm
MediaCityUK, Egg Suite
Submissions are welcome from anyone in the
research or industrial community whether
funded by the RCUK Digital Economy
theme or not; doctoral student submissions
are particularly welcome.
The theme for June is Dementia Design
Admission: free – register online at:
May 2013 | 57
The Editorial Board of
Perspectives magazine comprises:
Prof Ben Light
Associate Dean, Research, College of Arts & Social Science
Prof Carl Abbott
Associate Head of Enterprise & Engagement,
School of the Built Environment
Nathalie Audren-Howarth
Science & Technology Research & Innovation Manager
Prof Amanda Broderick
Executive Dean of the College of Business & Law
Dr George Baxter
Director of Research and Innovation; Editor
Kelly Burgess
Research & Innovation Projects Officer, MediaCityUK
Tracie Davies
Business & Law Research & Innovation Manager
Mike Hession
Research & Innovation Manager, MediaCityUK
Anish Kurien
Health & Social Care Research & Innovation Manager
Chris Larkin
Director of Communications
Prof Nigel Mellors
Pro-VC of Enterprise & Engagement
Sarah McAleny
Head of Corporate Marketing
Colin McCallum
Executive Director of Advancement
Rosie Miller
Research Development Coordinator, School of Arts & Media
Dr Victoria Moody
Impact Coordinator
Danielle Perigoe
Marketing & Communications Manager; Managing Editor
Prof Judith Smith
Head of School of Environment & Life Sciences
Prof Jim Yip
Pro-VC of Research & Innovation; Editor-in-Chief
Prof Tony Warne
Head, School of Nursing, Midwifery & Social Work
Prof Yiu Lam
Associate Dean, Research & Innovation,
College of Science & Technology
In addition, a huge thank you to all the colleagues – not already mentioned above – who suggested stories or submitted their
work and engaged with writers to get their stories told, as well as any others we may have missed.
Dr Stephano Mariani
Prof Nigel Mellors
Dr Ian McHale
Janet Morana
Charlie Mydlarz
Paula Ormandy
David Perry
Geoff Parr
Prof Chris Birkbeck
Prof Garry Crawford
John Croakley
Caroline Davey
Prof Ralph Darlington
Dr John Eccles
Dr Brian Grimsditch
Dr Ben Halligan
Dr Aleksej Heinze
Prof Geoff Hide
Prof David Howard
C. Emma Kelly
Dr Angela Lee
Prof Gill James
Eric Lou
Tony Long
Writers and copy editors
Jamie Brown
Brown Communication
Ben Cawley
Joe Flanagan
Matt Hillsden
Karen Reeves
Danielle Perigoe
Matthew Pulzer
Laura Jewkes
Sarah McAleny
George Baxter
Liam Curtis
John Thornton
Ade Richardson
Our online communities
Keep in touch by following
us on our social media
Greg Harding
Paul Burrows
Plus others who submitted
their own images, which
were credited where possible.
58 | May 2013
Dr Blake Prime
Michael Rogan
Prof Philip Scarf
Dr Scott Thurston
Elena Vasilieva
Andrew Wootton
Neil Withnell
Prof Janet Watson
Building a skilled workforce
Helping individuals to achieve
their career goals
Salford Professional
Development helps individuals
to achieve their career goals
through lifelong learning and
development programmes that
draw upon over 100 years of
educational excellence.
We also assist organisations with
training to support their workforce
development plans, with specially
designed training packages.
Working in partnership with
organisations such as the Institute
of Directors™, Key103™ and The
Pacific Institute™, Salford Professional
Development is the one-stop-shop
for all your training needs.
To do this, we offer a comprehensive
range of CPD-Certified™ professional
development courses across many
sectors, including:
Health and social care
Leadership and development
Energy and the built environment
Media and digital
Business and law
Contact us to find out more
or to book on our courses:
t: 0161 295 3000
e: [email protected]
University of Salford
The Crescent
Salford, M5 4WT
t: +44 (0)161 295 5000
e: [email protected]
60 | May 2013

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