Asian Correspondent » Oxford Brookes The Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment Asian Correspondent Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:16:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Student-Led Oxford Brookes University Teaching Awards for 2015 are Announced Fri, 26 Jun 2015 13:52:11 +0000

Winners of the Oxford Brookes Teaching Awards 2015

Winners of the Oxford Brookes Teaching Awards 2015

The third annual Brookes Union Teaching Awards took place on Friday 27th March in Headington Hill Hall. The awards were set up by Brookes Union to celebrate the fantastic work that academic and support staff do at Oxford Brookes University.

Congratulations go to Dr James Balkwill who was awarded ‘Brookes most inspirational lecturer’. Dr Balkwill is Principle Lecturer in Student Experience, Mechanical Engineering and Mathematical Sciences.

James Balkwill is the single reason I chose Brookes. I left the lecture that he gave during the open day feeling intrigued, inspired, and excited… Four years into my degree, and he remains the most inspirational teacher I have ever had the pleasure to learn from. Whether he is teaching Newton’s Laws of motion in first year Mechanics, or Belbin’s team working model in final year New Product Development, he radiates total enthusiasm for the subject and it is infectious.” – Student nominee.

Over 200 members of staff were nominated by students over seven categories such as ‘Most Inspirational Lecturer’ and ‘Above and Beyond the Call of Duty’. Nominations praised staff for consistently going above and beyond the call of duty.

Rachel Rimmer, Vice President: Academic Experience, stated: “The Student-Led Teaching Awards is an excellent opportunity for students to thank and recognise staff’s outstanding contributions to their overall student experience.”

The full list of awards and winners can be viewed at

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Oxford Brookes University Tutor, Clare Nash Appointed as RIBA Role Model Wed, 17 Jun 2015 15:30:55 +0000
Oxford Brookes Tutor Clare Nash Appointed as RIBA Role Model

Oxford Brookes Tutor Clare Nash Appointed as RIBA Role Model

Clare Nash, an Oxford Brookes University tutor and Architect was appointed as a RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Role Model.

Role Models are a great example of people who have overcome many different obstacles to become architects, proving that architecture can be for everyone.

As a Role Model, Clare supports the scheme from RIBA; she says that ‘diverse role models from different social and economic backgrounds are vital in proving that you are incredibly passionate about what you do, you can make it as an architect’. This promotes the idea of inclusion – because talent can be found in people from all kinds of backgrounds. RIBA also encourages firms to harvest talent and inspire young men and women to stick with architecture.

You can find out more about Clare’s inspirational story of how she became an architect here.

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Oxford Brookes University Academic speaks on Radio about ‘The Changing Role of Women in Architecture Mon, 08 Jun 2015 06:09:41 +0000


Dr Igea Troiani was interviewed by Wardululu Alsaffar, Anthony Andrews, Galina Borovikova and Adrian-Constantin Alexandrescu on Brookes Radio about ‘The Changing Roles of Women in Architecture.

In the radio talk Dr Troiani discussed issues of gender discrimination and difference in both teaching and professional practice. She also elaborated on dealing with parenthood and professional life, as well as what it has been like being a woman in a male-dominated profession in the construction industry. The interview builds upon research untaken by Troiani on ‘The Image of the Woman Architect’ published in Architectural Theory Review and the book, Women, Practice, Architecture: ‘Resigned Accommodation’ and ‘Usurpatory Practice’ (Stead ed.) as well as her co-authored paper “The Apparel of Architecture: Dress, Image and Identity in a Creative Profession” (Troiani and Stead) recently presented at the ‘Fashioning Professionals Symposium’ held at the Victoria and Albert Museum on the 27th March 2015. The podcast of the radio interview is available here.

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Oxford Brookes Architecture Students Display Catwalk Costume Show Tue, 02 Jun 2015 16:09:36 +0000




On Tuesday 14th April 2015 at 6.30pm on the 4th floor of the Abercrombie building the School of Architecture hosted a Catwalk show exhibition of Costumes of ‘Famous Buildings in Architectural History’ modelled, crafted and made by First Year BArch students as part of their coursework for the module ‘Introduction to Architectural History and Theory’.

Attended by around 120 visitors, the show was the outcome of a a form of performative practice-based teaching – where students study architectural history, read seminal texts by the architects who designed the famous buildings, and then translate the design philosophies of those buildings into publicly exhibited costume designs. The show was a celebration not only of the study of modern architectural history but also the innovative and creative use of design practice by the students within Cultural Context teaching undertaken in the school. The exhibition was curated by Tom Linzey, Jack Young, Amy Johnson, Shi Ying Teo, Craig Ross and Hilton Murrell in collaboration with Dr Igea Troiani, the module leader and Subject leader of History and Theory in the School and member of the OBU research group Architecture and the Culture of Interdisciplinarity.

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Santander Universities UK visit the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mathematical Sciences Tue, 14 Apr 2015 11:04:06 +0000

Santander Universitires UK visits Oxford Brookes University

On 18 February 2015 Thomas Stead, University Relationship Branch manager from Santander Universities UK, visited the department to learn more about the activities of Oxford Brookes Racing.

Santander Universities UK are a strong supporter of the Formula Student competition, which aims to inspire and develop enterprising and innovative engineers. Santander has provided a grant to Oxford Brookes racing, as well as supporting two Formula Santander scholarships for the 2014/15 academic year. During the visit, Stead was given a tour of the Formula Student workshop which is within the Auto Lab.

Iain Allen, Formula Student Team Leader, said ‘I think the visit went well, Thomas seems to be passionate about Motorsport and was impressed with the hard work the team have put in and how we have made use of the Santander grant.’

For more information about Oxford Brookes Racing and the Santander Formula Student grant:

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John Watson MBE visits Oxford Brookes University Thu, 26 Mar 2015 14:43:47 +0000
John Watson MBE @Brookes

John Watson MBE @Brookes

On Monday 2 February, Sky Sports commentator John Watson MBE visited Oxford Brookes University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mathematical Sciences.

John Watson is a British former racing driver from Northern Ireland. He competed in Formula One, winning five Grands Prix and also in the World Sportscar Championship. Students on the MSc engineering programmes and members of Oxford Brookes Racing got the opportunity to meet Watson and tell him about the things they are working on.

Holly Watson-Nall, a second year BEng Motorsport Engineering student at Brookes, said of the visit “It was fantastic to meet John and to hear a few of his stories about F1 from back when he raced. He was really interested in our 2014 Formula Student car and it was a great opportunity to discuss our own engineering with him.”

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Oxford Brookes University Lecturer expert on United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Fri, 06 Feb 2015 11:22:36 +0000
Photo © Beacon Mbiba, 2014

Photo © Beacon Mbiba, 2014

On 16-18 December 2014, Dr Beacon Mbiba from Oxford Brookes University, participated as an expert at a United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) organised Expert Group meeting on “Optimising Africa’s Urbanisation Potential for Structural Transformation” in Addis Abba, Ethiopia. Twenty international experts, policy makers and practitioners took part in the event to examine whether African’s current rapid urbanisation can be the moment for the continent’s long-term structural transformation.

In the short term, built environment and social scientists have a leading role to play in delivery and management new infrastructure and services to support diverse needs and businesses emerging in rapidly growing cities. The Expert Group meeting addressed some of the complex questions facing urbanising Africa, such as:
  • What kinds of production pathways are possible and desirable for urban Africa?
  • How should cities relate to nature, to the extraction of resources and management of wastes?
  • What kind of social relations and everyday life should be fostered in the urban environments?
  • What role is technology playing in the transformation of African societies?

Africa’s diverse communities, ecologies, history, cultural and political economies mean that there is no single pathway for all countries – thus creating an exciting environment for policy makers, researchers and entrepreneurs alike.

Dr Mbiba is a Senior Lecturer in Urban Policy and International Development and Program Leader for Urban Planning in Developing and Transitional Regions. Following the meeting, he conducted city site visits and held discussions with city officials and local academics to gather information useful for future teaching and collaborative research projects.

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Oxford Brookes University Senior Lecturer in Architecture wins International award for architecture journal Tue, 27 Jan 2015 14:07:07 +0000

Igea journal award image news

An architecture journal established by Dr Igea Troiani from The School of Architecture has won the prestigious Council of Editors of Learned Journals (CELJ) award for ‘Best New Journal’. The award was announced at a ceremony held at the Vancouver Convention Centre on the 8 January 2015.

The journal, titled Architecture and Culture and published by Bloomsbury was created while Dr Troiani was Chair of the Architectural Humanities Research Association (AHRA), an organisation for which she remains a Steering Group member.  Architecture and Culture investigates the relationship between architecture and the culture that shapes and is shaped by it. More information can be found on the Bloomsbury website.

The judges of the CELJ competition gave their feedback on the journal:

Architecture and Culture serves as an impressive source for scholarship that is simultaneously inclusive, thoughtful and substantial. One of the majors trengths of this journal is that in its mission to promote a multi-disciplinary approach to the study of architecture, it publishes work from an impressive range of scholars. Architecture and Culture stands as an innovative journal that will continue to publish work that informs, surprises and enriches its field.

In her winning speech at the CELJ presentation, Dr Troiani said: “I am delighted and honoured to receive thisaward. “The award is crucial not only to the work we do in AHRA but also in supporting my own research that I do in the Oxford Brookes research Place, Culture and Identity sub-group Architecture and the Culture of Interdisciplinarity. “Receiving this award shows that creative interdisciplinary architectural research is now an important part of the research culture and goes beyond the conventional limits of what has been done at many other national and international universities.”

The journal was launched in November 2013 at Oxford Brookes University, then the University of New England in Bristol, with a launch at the Edinburgh College of Art the following April.

Three issues are published per year: in March, July and November. The next issue (Volume 3, No 1), which is themed ‘Architecture Film’ is edited by Dr Troiani and Professor Hugh Campbell (University College Dublin) and is due out in March 2015.

More information about architectural research can be found on the website.

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Oxford Brookes University co-hosts Canadian migrant detention seminar Mon, 12 Jan 2015 16:33:48 +0000

Oxford Brookes co-hosts Canadian migrant detention seminar

Oxford Brookes University and the University of Oxford co-hosted a seminar by Tings Chak on the graphic novel ‘Undocumented: The Architecture of Migrant Detention’. ‘Undocumented’ examines immigration detention as a growing industry in Canada.

The seminar was held on Monday 8 December 2014 at the University of Oxford. It was organised by Border Criminologies at the University of Oxford, and Oxford Brookes University’s Place, Culture and Identity research group.

‘Undocumented’ explores the role of architecture in the context of an immigration detention centre and the “invisibilised reality of immigration detention in Canada”. It also looks to examine and represent both those who are detained in the detention centres, and the people who design these spaces.

Tings Chak is an architect and multidisciplinary artist based in Toronto, Canada. Her Master of Architecture research into immigration detention centres earned her a Kuwabara-Jackman Thesis Gold Medal. Her work with No One Is Illegal – Toronto and the End Immigration Detention Network led to the creation of the graphic novel.

– See more at:

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Oxford Brookes University Architecture staff win ‘Best Paper’ award for low carbon community research Tue, 23 Dec 2014 12:09:56 +0000

Architecture staff win ‘Best Paper’ award for low carbon community researchImage Caption

A research paper by Rajat Gupta and Matt Gregg has won the award for ‘Best Paper’ at the 30th International Passive and Low Energy Architecture (PLEA) conference.

The paper was titled ‘A quiet revolution: Mapping energy use in low carbon communities’. It followed the research on carbon mapping in the EVALOC low carbon communities project. The conference was held in Ahmedabad, India from 16-18 December 2014. It was attended by 500 delegates from 50 countries and approximately 200 papers and 100 posters were presented. On winning the award, Professor Rajat Gupta said it ‘should add further to our international esteem/impact.

Rajat Gupta is Professor of Sustainable Architecture and Climate Change at Oxford Brookes University. Matt Gregg is a Research Fellow in Architecture and Climate Change at Oxford Brookes.

PLEA is a network of individuals that shares expertise in the arts, sciences, planning and design of the built environment. They organise international conferences and workshops, expert group meetings and consultancies, scientific and technical publications, and architectural competitions and exhibitions.

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British Book Design and Production Awards 2014 in association with Oxford Brookes University Tue, 02 Dec 2014 15:49:51 +0000


The British Book Design and Production Awards were held on 20 November 2014 at a glittering event in central London at The Grange St Paul’s Hotel. The guest speaker for the evening was John Lloyd, the man behind some of the most successful and well-loved TV and radio shows of the last three decades.

Lloyd is the television producer responsible for, among other shows, To the Manor Born, The News Quiz, Not the Nine O’Clock News, Spitting Image, Blackadder and QI. He has also written or co-authored over 30 books, and is the driving force behind developing a new concept of education based on QI.

The evening celebrated everything that is great in British book design and with a record number of books entered, the judging process was harder than ever. The awards are organised by the British Printing Industries Federation in association with Oxford Brookes University and the Publishers Association.

The overall winners of the night were publishers, Thames & Hudson, who took home 3 awards including Book of the Year for The Sick Rose. Judges commended the entry saying, ‘this beautifully crafted book held the judges attention and provoked our imagination like no other this year’. Angus Phillips, Director of the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies, presented the award for Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Education, sponsored by Oxford Brookes, to Neil Palfreyman of Thames & Hudson for their title What’s Inside?

A panel consisting of industry experts from the design, publishing and production industries met over two days at Oxford Brookes University to select the shortlisted entries and winners.

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Publishing MA distance learning opportunity this January Mon, 01 Dec 2014 12:56:57 +0000

Want to study publishing but not sure how to fit in a degree around your worklife?

Oxford Brookes offers a distance learning option for Publishing Studies MA with a flexible learning programme delivered online using interactive features of the virtual learning environment.

Designed to be studied in conjunction with employment in any field, the programme addresses evidenced publishing employers’ needs, providing students with unparalleled support from tutors and state-of-the-art learning technologies.

The Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies provides you with relevant and tailored learning opportunities. There is no similar distance learning provision offered by higher education institutions in the UK or Europe.

You will develop the skills and knowledge necessary to address the marketing, production and editorial functions in publishing, as well as skills in data analysis and writing practices.

But don’t just take our word for it! Listen to what the students themselves have to say about the programme:

For more information visit our website or

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20 Year Anniversary Celebration for MSc Sustainable Building: Performance and Design at Oxford Brookes University Tue, 25 Nov 2014 09:37:08 +0000


On 31 October the School of Architecture at Oxford Brookes University held a 20 year anniversary celebration for the master’s degree in Sustainable Building: Performance and Design. The event took place at Headington Hill Hall and was attended by over forty alumni, staff and current students.

The event began with an opening speech on the ‘Cutting Edge Approaches to Sustainability’ by Professor Sue Roaf, one of the original founders of the course. Mary Hancock, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Design at Oxford Brookes chaired the session and introduced the alumni speakers. The programme of events included a small exhibition of posters illustrating the wide scope of work in which alumni are involved both locally and worldwide.

Presentations covered topics ranging from the practice of sustainable design to research and wider issues. A practice perspective was provided by Francisco Guerrero Neguillo of Reardon Smith Architects. Francisco graduated from the course in 2008. His presentation provided an outline on ‘The Challenges of Introducing Sustainable Design in the Hospitality Field.’ 2011 graduate Richard Turner of Qoda Consulting, spoke about ‘Emphasising the Importance of Interdisciplinary Working with Building Information Modelling (BIM).’ Gary Wilburn, 2010 graduate and Director of Design and Sustainability at HPW Architecture, provided his take to ‘Getting Clients On Board.’

The celebrations continued later that evening with a local dinner event, before concluding the following day with a walk and talk activity and a party in the evening. The closing remarks were given by Professor Rajat Gupta, Director of the Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD) and 2001 graduate, and Dr. Paola Sassi, Programme Leader and Senior Lecturer at Oxford Brookes.

The MSc Sustainable Building: Performance and Design course was originally established in 1994 with the title MSc Energy Efficient Building. Later adaptations saw the course retitled as Energy Efficient and Sustainable Building, before its final format change in 2008. It was one of the first master’s degrees in the UK to focus on energy efficient and sustainable design. Today it boasts over 400 alumni working worldwide in the fields of energy, building and education.

Speaking about the event Mary Hancock said, “The success of the event reflects the close relationships developed between students and staff that is characterised by teaching, learning, field trips, crisis and camaraderie, and discussions about the future of sustainability, life, the universe and everything.”

More information on Sustainable Building: Performance and Design at Oxford Brookes

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Preparing for the circular economy – a guest post by Prof Allan Hutchinson Mon, 24 Nov 2014 14:45:31 +0000

The following is a guest post by Professor Allan Hutchinson from Oxford Brookes University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mathematical Sciences.
Our world is complex. Preparing young men and women with the right skill sets to embrace the future requires a multi-disciplinary approach – combining design, science, technology, mathematics and engineering. Historically the focus of education was on absorbing facts, learning tools, developing analytical skills and establishing confidence in problem-solving. To this mission must now be added some whole life thinking. At its simplest, the ability to imagine new products on paper, or in digital form, is the first step. Secondly, analysis takes care of dimensions, permissible stresses, potential materials, and performance requirements. Thirdly, a bill of materials can be established with associated details, masses and costs.But stop! We cannot continue along the same historical path. We have been making stuff without due consideration for what happens to it at the end of its life. We have used resources, made products and junked them. And then bought another one. This is not sustainable unless we consider the constituents of the product that we no longer want as a resource to make another product.

The circular economy embodies the idea of a virtuous circle – a cradle-to-cradle approach. At its heart is the concept of design that minimises the use of new resources and minimises the energy used to make stuff. This also saves money for the manufacturer. New products must be imagined that employ renewable resources, recycled materials and re-manufactured components – ideally made with a renewable energy source. Whole life thinking also imagines that the need to own products is not sacrosanct. Larger, high value, products can be leased, hired or rented. This is also in the manufacturers’ interest because they can recover materials and valuable components, and it’s in our interest because it provides a route to dispose of unwanted products.

The circular economy is best explained in a video provided by the Ellen Macarthur Foundation. Take a look at the whole website and get a sense of what else is on offer. Last week saw the end of a series of events under the banner of a Disruptive Innovation Festival.

Tomorrow’s engineers must not only define the design of a product, but also the process by which the supply chain will deliver it, monitor it in use and recover it at the end of life. The use of digital information and sensors to record information on products, materials identification, performance in use, and so on will become increasingly important – a digital nervous system. So tomorrow’s young professionals need to be digitally literate, be able to implement whole life thinking and provide a new definition of design.

We have some great role models to look up to, including experienced professionals and our own recent graduates. A few weeks ago we heard from Keith Freegard, the CEO of Axion Recycling, who discussed the lucrative business opportunity in the automotive sector. Our former Knowledge Transfer Partnership associate, Charlie Symonds, applied whole life thinking to the company ethos at Stannah Stairlifts. As a result, Stannah, a very successful premium provider of stairlift products, has transformed its business for the better and Charlie is in a senior role in the organisation. One of our Motorsport Engineering graduates from 2006, Glen Pascoe, is a product manager at GKN Land Systems. He recently delivered a lecture entitled Driving Energy Forward to our Sustainable Engineering students. Glen also offered some project ideas for 2015 that GKN would support. One of last years’ BEng graduates now works for Glen after a placement over the summer, following a successful final year project on life cycle analysis of the Gyrodrive KERS.

So it’s not just a circular economy. The circle is also complete in terms of undergraduate project opportunity and graduate employability.

Visit The Sustainable Prof for more posts by Professor Allan Hutchinson

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Oxford Brookes University MA Art student selected to be part of the Noise Festival 2014 Fri, 21 Nov 2014 11:33:35 +0000


Viviane Fallah, who studies Art at Oxford Brookes University, was chosen to submit a portfolio to this year’s Noise Festival. Her work was chosen from over 5,000 entries to be part of the Noise showcase.

Her artworks, which included ‘Morphology’, ‘Fusion’ and ‘Harmonics’, received seven ‘excellent’ commendations at the festival by the curators judging the works. One of the curators who seemed particularly taken with Fallah’s work was Denise Proctor, CEO of the Noise charity. Also judging the works of Fine Art was Tim Marlow, Director of Exhibitions at White Cube and award-winning broadcaster, along with other selected artists.

Fallah has previously exhibited her work in the Lost/Find exhibition at Oxford Brookes University and at Free Range London where a representative of Noise had discovered her work. On her experiences, Fallah said that she was “a bit apprehensive” explaining why “an impressive line-up of top creative industry professionals” should choose her work. She also mentioned that she was “surprised” to have seven commendations, and feels proud of her achievement.

The Noise Festival is running from September until November this year. It exhibits artists in many areas: fashion, architecture, music & arts, photography, fine art, games & interactive, film, illustration, print/zines, comedy/spoken word, enterprise/underground music, advertising, and product design.

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Oxford Brookes University Student project hailed as one of the best. Tue, 18 Nov 2014 11:03:50 +0000
Blueprint Magazine Class of 2014 celebrates Brookes Architecture students - See more at:

Blueprint Magazine Class of 2014 celebrates Brookes Architecture students – See more at:

Blueprint magazine recently published their list of exceptional art and design student projects and hailed Oxford Brookes University’s as one of the best.

To choose which projects would feature, Blueprint brought in practitioners, designers and critics to judge and comment on each project. Hugh McEwen, Associate Lecturer for Architecture and Unit F tutor at Oxford Brookes School of Architecture, was among the judges. The chosen projects came from a wide range of subjects including communication design, product design, material futures and architecture. Three projects from Oxford Brookes architecture students were selected for inclusion in the magazine. Dougal Sadler and Jack Clay’s project, which reimagined part of Jacques Tati’s Playtime with a chain-smoking cleaner, was praised for its ‘delicately coloured renders and sketches’. Praise was also given to Unit J, Sadler and Clay’s unit, which is run by Sara Shafiei and Aleksandrina Rizova. Sally Taylor’s three-dimensional convention centre for Lanzarote was praised for “deft use of space frame and fire brick… construct[ing] her own architecture around a programme-less space.” Georgina Hale’s depiction of cigarette smuggling on the coast between Spain and Gibraltar was also singled out. Comments on Hale’s work described her “beautiful hand-illustrated designs,” as a “fantastic exercise in contemporary architecture parlante”. The recognition of these projects is a gunreat tribute to the hard work and high quality of Oxford Brookes’ architecture students.

See the special issue of Blueprint magazine. The Brookes students’ work features on pages 180-181, 188-189, and 202.

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Oxford Brookes University Knowledge Transfer Partnership amongst the Best of the Best Thu, 13 Nov 2014 09:25:32 +0000


An innovative Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between Oxford Brookes and YASA Motors has scooped a prestigious award from Innovate UK.

The initiative took home the Engineering Excellence prize in the Best of The Best Awards 2014. The awards celebrate the stand-out successes among the year’s KTP projects from the commercial world and publicly funded organisations.

A KTP is a government programme which brings an ambitious graduate, supported by a university specialist, into a company to lead a transformational project, which may involve new technology and new business systems.

In 2011, Oxford Brookes’ Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (MEMS) entered into a KTP with YASA Motors, an Oxfordshire-based engineering company. YASA are the creators of a revolutionary electric motor which first made an appearance in the Morgan LIFECar and has opened up huge opportunities for the company in the automotive sector. The KTP with Oxford Brookes has helped YASA to prepare for mass production in a market predicted to be worth £15bn by 2020.

Oxford Brookes is currently engaged in a second KTP with YASA to address the challenge of motor cooling.

David Hartley, Commercial and Knowledgeable Transfer Manager, commented: “It is excellent news that Oxford Brookes and YASA Motors have been recognised with this award. KTPs are a unique opportunity for the University and business to come together to work on innovative projects. The YASA collaboration is an excellent example of this and the partnership has developed in recent years following its initial successes. We look forward to continuing with this and our range of KTPs in the years to come.”

In total, five of Oxford Brookes’ projects were shortlisted for national awards. In the last ten years Oxford Brookes has achieved 80% graded as ‘outstanding’ or ‘very good’ in the independent gradings that are awarded to KTP projects.

This compares to the national average of 55% and demonstrated the real value that Oxford Brookes brings to businesses in its knowledge transfer, and the robust arrangements the University has in managing its collaborative projects.

More information on KTPs can be found on the Oxford Brookes website.

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Headington gets chalked up for The Big Draw Tue, 11 Nov 2014 10:58:50 +0000


Oxford residents have joined thousands of events all over the world for ‘The Big Draw’, by drawing their journeys in Headington. On 18 and 25 October, around 600 people of all ages came out to make chalk drawings of their journeys along London Road.

The chalk-up is part of ‘The Big Draw’, a global arts festival with events all over the world from 1 October until 2 November. The festival is being promoted by Andrew Marr and Quentin Blake for the Campaign for Drawing, which advocates the principles of John Ruskin.

The event was organised by Jean Wykes, a former primary school teacher and a mother of three, studying contemporary fine art at Oxford Brookes University. Jean organised the event with the support of Naomi Goldsmith, an art teacher at Oxford Christian School. The aim of the event was to get more people involved in drawing. In particular, she wanted young people and schoolchildren to attend as she believes that drawing helps with learning.

Coloured bicycles were placed around Headington promoting the event. Around 275 children from Headington and Marston drew their journeys to school. Barclays bank, Headington, exhibited the children’s drawings for a month beginning in half term. Coco Noir also has an exhibition of photos of the event.

Speaking about the event Jean commented, “Drawing … is the basis of all intellectual development. It helps develop hand, eye and brain coordination. It helps with shape and pattern recognition which is the basis for recognition and differentiation of letters and symbols; the basis of reading, mathematics and science. Drawing helps with neural plasticity, which we should all be aware of to keep our brains as active and fit as possible.”

For more information visit the Big Draw website

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Oxford Brookes University’s School of Arts represented at second International symposium of Mokuhanga in Tokyo Mon, 10 Nov 2014 12:15:42 +0000


September 2014 saw delegates from all over the world gather to Tokyo for the second international Mokuhanga conference. The conference was held at Tokyo University of the Arts from 10 to 14 September.

Among those who attended were Ruth Millar, Technical Specialist in bookworks and digital imaging at Oxford Brookes, and Laura Boswell, is a Brookes associate lecturer. Laura Boswell teaches on Mokuhanga, which is an environmentally friendly printing process that uses woodcutting, in the Fine Art summer school programme.

Ruth Millar and 17 other delegates representing printmaking backgrounds from different countries held meetings and presentations to describe their workshops. The presentations were given in front of Japanese educators, students and printmakers to encourage Japanese artists and art students to apply for international artist-in-residency schemes. Representatives from companies who fund these schemes also spoke, including the Daiwa Foundation who had funded Millar and Boswell’s trip.

Works made by Oxford Brookes University’s Fine Art students were exhibited at 3331 Chiyoda Arts amongst prints by delegates from other workshops. One of Brookes’ Fine Art alumna Di Oliver also had work exhibited in an international exhibition of artists’ books at the conference.

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Martin Broderick, Honorary Research Associate with the Impact Assessment Group at Oxford Brookes University writes article on noise impact assessment Sun, 09 Nov 2014 09:34:27 +0000


Martin Broderick, Honorary Research Associate with the Impact Assessment Group (IAU) at Oxford Brookes University, together with Graham Parry, have written an article about noise impact assessment and new guidelines.

The impact of noise in development is gaining increasing recognition, as the new Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA) guidelines have been created. These guidelines aim to assess the potential noise issues that arise with development projects. Martin Broderick, Honorary Research Associate with the Impact Assessment Group (IAU) at Oxford Brookes University’s Department of Planning, together with Graham Parry, have written an article about noise impact assessment and these new guidelines.

The article states that the guidelines can be used in all stages of the development process: construction, operation, decommissioning and restoration. Various types of projects can apply the guidelines, from small projects that do not require Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), to major infrastructure. The guidelines can also be used by a number of practitioners, such as regulators, developers and professionals in the field of acoustics and noise control, not just for environment practitioners.

While the guidelines can be used everywhere in Europe and the UK, practitioners should consider the specific legislation, policies, regulations and relevant advice that could have an effect on projects. There are differences in the noise policies for England, Scotland and Wales.

The main intentions of the IEMA guidelines are to define noise impact assessment and to show where the assessment fits in the EIA process. This includes scoping of noise assessment, considering the issues when defining the baseline noise environment, predicting changes in noise levels as a result of implementing development proposals, and evaluating the significance of the effect of changes in noise levels. The new guidelines look to make a more positive impact on perceptions of development by preserving the surrounding environment from any damaging effects.

For more information on the Impact Assessment Group, please visit

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Oxford Brookes Racing at the McLaren Employee Motorshow Sat, 08 Nov 2014 11:57:22 +0000


On 30 August 2014, Oxford Brookes Racing were invited to display their Formula Student car, Carly, at the 2014 McLaren Employee Motorshow at the McLaren Technology Centre.

Thanks to Oxford Brookes alumni, who now work within the McLaren group, the Oxford Brookes Racing team had the opportunity to present their car amongst a display of over 200, only three of which were Formula Student Cars. The event has grown year on year, and in 2014 it was attended by over 3000 people from all companies within the McLaren group, with Carly garnering a lot of interest from the visitors.

The McLaren Employee Motorshow is an annual event which provides employees with a space to show off personal projects, which they work on in their spare time. It is also a rare chance for family members and friends to see inside McLaren’s famous Technology Centre, getting to view their most recent automotive innovations, along with their F1 cars.

The team had a thoroughly enjoyable day, and got some excellent photo opportunities.

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Graduates broadcast at the IBC Fri, 07 Nov 2014 09:30:32 +0000

This September three graduates from Oxford Brookes University got the opportunity to work at a week long broadcast convention in Amsterdam. The International Broadcast Convention (IBC) is an annual event that attracts over 50,000 people and some of the world’s biggest companies, such as Sony, Panasonic, Avid and YouTube.

Gillian Kelly, CCT Associate Lecturer for Journalism and TV News, got the opportunity to recommend three people to work at the IBC, so she turned to her most promising students.

Graduating in 2014, Bethan Evans and Sam Swinnerton studied BSc Sound Technology and Digital Music, whilst Adam French studied BSc Multimedia Production’. During their degrees they took the module ‘TV News Production’ where they gained experience working in a live news room, broadcasting the weekly episodes of BrookesTV from the studio at Wheatley campus.

During the convention they worked on live broadcasts, which aired 12 hours a day throughout the six days of the conference. Bethan, who is now a Mastering Engineer at Pinewood, said “IBC TV was amazing. I met Brian Cox and Robert Rodriguez, worked with some amazingly talented individuals and floor managed a live TV studio.The three students excelled, and did themselves and Oxford Brookes proud” . Gillian says she “[…] looks forward to choosing some stars from this year’s academic crop to join her again next year“.

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Oxford Brookes University’s Harriet Harriss Speaks at TEDx Conference in New York Thu, 06 Nov 2014 09:07:15 +0000


Harriet Harriss, senior lecturer in architecture and subject coordinator discussed her book, ‘Radical Pedagogies: Architectural Education & the British Tradition’ at a TEDx event hosted by the New York Institute of Technology.

Architecture, medicine, entrepreneurship and music were the topics of discussion at the TEDx conference this October in New York. Speakers and performers from many different industries were invited to share their chosen topics. Among them was Harriet Harriss, senior lecturer in architecture and subject coordinator at Oxford Brookes. The topic of her talk was her upcoming book, Radical Pedagogies: Architectural Education & the British Tradition.

The book discusses the changes that are and could be happening in architectural education. Harriss has first-hand experience of these innovations. She is the founder of “Live Lab” and “Live Project” programs, which connect architecture students with companies to create designs for the community.

The New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) organised and ran the independently organised conference. TEDx conferences are designed to give the flavour of TED conferences to more local and smaller communities. This is achieved through the combination of live speakers and performers and pre-recorded TED talks within set guidelines. The speakers have 18 minutes to ‘give the talk of their lives’ and discuss their ‘ideas worth sharing’.

More information about Harriet Harriss

TEDx at the New York Institute of Technology

TED – Ideas worth spreading

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PhD Students from BMW Munich consider ‘Transport challenges for Oxford’ at Oxford Brookes University Wed, 05 Nov 2014 11:56:58 +0000

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On 17 and 18 September, 19 PhD students from BMW Headquarters in Munich visited Oxford. As part of their trip, the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mathematical Sciences invited them to Oxford Brookes to engage in a project-based task, ‘Transport challenges for Oxford’.

The task was set and supervised by Professors of Mechanical Engineering Denise Morrey and Allan Hutchinson from Oxford Brookes University, and Professor Malcolm McCulloch from Oxford University. The task was based on the ‘feasibility report’ of a Technology Strategy Board project funded to examine the impact of the closure of the Westgate Car Park on transport within the Oxford ring road. Llewelyn Morgan, Transport Research and Economics Manager at Oxfordshire County Council, and Christian Brand, Senior Research Fellow at the Transport Studies Unit, Oxford University, assisted at the workshop as facilitators. Professor Morrey said of the visit “The BMW students engaged with the project and task very enthusiastically and brought additional insights to Oxford’s transport problems from the city of Munich. It was a very worthwhile activity which all the students seemed to enjoy.”

The students worked in groups of three to propose solutions and pilot business plans. The winning solution chosen by the panel was a Rickshaw pilot, which aligns with Oxford Brookes’ commitment to fostering a culture of sustainable travel. Anika Stephan, one of the BMW students, explained “the intense workshop gave us the opportunity to experience the mobility challenges of Oxford and develop concrete solutions. We are curious about the realisation of our ideas – especially the proposed rickshaw service!”

While in Oxford, the students also visited the BMW Mini Plant Oxford at Cowley.

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Oxford Brookes University Computer Science Student Developed an App for Freshers Tue, 04 Nov 2014 09:30:08 +0000

Computer Science student Oliver Poole recently released an app that is sure to be popular with new students starting at Oxford Brookes University. Oliver developed the ‘Oxford Brookes Freshers’ app which is full of lots of helpful information about life in and around Oxford. It contains maps of the university campuses, details of restaurants and pubs, lists of useful phone numbers and a section on how to get advice.

Oliver is one of many students who are producing their own digital creations. Members of the Computing Society have been working with locals and small businesses to get their ideas transformed into apps and games.

The app is now available on the iTunes store

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