Monthly Archives: December 2017

Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Karen Cox

Happy Christmas from Karen Cox

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you all for what you have done for our University this year. It has been incredibly successful with much to be proud of – including our Gold rating in the TEF, the launch of KMTV on terrestrial television, a well-deserved Higher Education Academy award for the Centre for Child Protection and, more recently, a Times Higher Education Award for our Student Success Project. None of these initiatives and achievements would be possible without the help and support of all our staff across the whole of the University.

Congratulations as well to all our successful researchers and research support teams who have secured funding for their work across our faculties of Humanities, Social Sciences and Sciences. The diversity of the research undertaken here at Kent, its interdisciplinary nature and the collaborations involved are just fantastic. The work you do really does transform lives.

May I wish you all a peaceful and happy break over the Christmas and New Year period. It has been a very busy few months and I think we are all ready for a bit of ‘down time’. I look forward to continued working with you over the next few months and celebrating many more successes together in 2018.

Professor Karen Cox
Vice-Chancellor and President


A video of Professor Cox ‘In Conversation’ with our Chancellor Gavin Esler on Foundation Day (23 November 2017) is now available on YouTube

IS quiz for Catching Lives

Fundraising success with Catching Lives quiz

In November a team of Information Services staff came together to raise money for Catching Lives. The event was a great success and after totting up online donations and the amount raised on the night we can announce a grand total of £1,122!

Catching Lives works hard to support rough sleepers, homeless and vulnerably housed people in and around Canterbury. We were proud to be able to contribute to the efforts of such a vital community organisation. Terry from Catching Lives (right) visited the Templeman Library to collect the cheque and told us that the money we raised will be used to help with their winter shelter – an essential service for many in our city this Christmas.

Special thanks go out to Suzanne Duffy (from left), Nikki Gregory, Josie Caplehorne and Clair Waller (not pictured) for pulling the event together!

Big thanks also to Dr Oliver Double for being a splendid quiz-master/compere and everyone who contributed to making the evening such a success.

Consortium meeting, Thailand

GCRF project aims to bring high-tech drugs to Thailand

A Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) grant awarded to a consortium of researchers from the UK and Thailand, led by Professor Colin Robinson (School of Biosciences, University of Kent), aims to establish production capacity for biopharmaceuticals and animal vaccines in Thailand.

The grant kicked off with a great meeting of the whole consortium in Bangkok in December. Research teams from the National Biopharmaceutical Facility (NBF) at King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi and The National Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC), Bangkok, are joining forces with researchers from the University of Kent, UCL, Imperial College and LSHTM to undertake this ambitious project.

Biopharmaceuticals are protein drugs that are used to treat a wide variety of diseases, including cancer and auto-immune diseases. These drugs are normally produced in animal or bacterial cells, which means they are expensive to make. Thailand currently imports all of its b  iopharmaceuticals, making them prohibitively expensive for most patients, resulting in fewer than 2% of patients having access to anti-cancer biopharmaceuticals that are routinely used in the UK. Likewise, imported animal vaccines are expensive and often ineffective because they are not designed to combat the strains of virus that affect livestock locally.

The aim of this GCRF project is to combine the expertise of scientists in the UK with those in Thailand in order to develop the capacity for Thailand to make their own biopharmaceuticals and animal vaccines, reducing costs and in turn, widening availability.  In the long term, the project aims to not only develop a production pipeline for biopharmaceuticals and animal vaccines in Thailand, but to disseminate the processes and results from this project to allow neighbouring SE Asian countries to begin production of these “high-tech” drugs, ultimately leading to a significant improvement in human health in this region.

For further information, see an introductory booklet on GCRF or the RCUK webpages.


Tim Meacham features at LOMA and Turner Contemporary

On 8 January 2018, Tim Meacham, Lecturer in Fine Art and Partner College Liaison Officer in the School of Music and Fine Art, is delivering a paper with a video & sound piece as part of the Large Objects Moving Air conference (LOMA) with CRISAP (Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice at UAL , London College of Communication.

And in February 2018,  in conjunction with the Turner Contemporary Margate, Meacham has been asked to make a piece of work as part of the Journeys with the Wasteland exhibition which explores the significance of T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land through visual arts. The work – Eye of the needle – will be exhibited in the Hantverk & Found gallery in Margate

Of the work Tim explains: ‘The viewer accompanies the needle on its journey across the landscape of a gramophone record.   The role of the needle is considered in first embedding sound, through creating the grooves of the record, and then as a “rider” travelling across the surface of the disc as it plays. 78-rpm records, made of shellac and slate dust, give something of themselves (dust) in order to release their sound, thus changing the landscape with each play.’

The work explores TS Eliot’s relationship with the mechanical sound recording of the gramophone, making particular reference to its role in The Waste Land in providing the machine mediated sound track of modernity.

“She smoothes her hair with automatic hand,
And puts a record on the gramophone.”

The Waste Land 254-56

For more info go to

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu – English Open Champion

Aron Soto from the University’s Campus Security team recently participated in the English Open BJJ Championships held at the University of East London. Aron came away with a Gold medal, competing in the Purple Belt Masters Division under 70kg. Aron won his first fight in under 30 seconds via a loop choke! The final match was won on points 8-4 against an opponent who had a similar style, which made for great entertainment for the spectators.

Aron competes in a sport called Brazilian Jiu Jitsu which derives from Judo. The aim of the sport is simple, you either win by gaining more points than your opponent within a set time limit or you submit your opponent through various locks and chokes. Aron currently holds a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu which is mid-way through the ranking structure, having started in the sport in 2010. Unlike many other traditional martial arts it takes a long time to gain the coveted black belt. Negotiations are currently taking place for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to feature in the Olympic Games at some point in the future, this will be a great achievement for the sport.

Aron trains and teaches out of a gym called Silverbacks MMA, based in Canterbury. The club are always happy for new members to join (including younger members for their children’s classes). Further information can be found on their website. Aron hopes to win the British, European and World championships in the future and is currently investigating sponsorship opportunities with local companies.

IS staff awards

Information Services Staff Excellence Awards 2017

A busy year in Information Services has meant many well deserved Staff Excellence Awards for 2017!

Each year we reward individuals and teams alike for going above and beyond, be it by working on a project or simply excelling in their day-to-day roles.

Denise Everitt, Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer and John Sotillo, Director Information Services awarded the prizes at a ceremony which was followed by a celebratory lunch.

Congratulations to all staff members who bagged an award, and thank you for all your hard work for Information Services.

MFA student work a huge success at Eastgate House

The historic Eastgate House in Rochester recently hosted Authenticate, an intervention with live multimedia installations and performances by Year 3 Event and Experience Design students.

The event was so successful that Eastgate House want to keep part of one of the works by student Emma Greenwood – an installation of a jigsaw/drawing of a decorative plaster ceiling, on a viewing mirror. They also want to work with student Elle Mayne on a future video mapping commission.

Lisa Caleno, Visitor Development Officer, at Eastgate House commented: ‘We were so impressed with the students work at Eastgate House this week, not just in the creativity and understanding of the house shown in the installations but also their courtesy and professionalism.  We were particularly impressed with Emma’s work in the mirror room and Elle’s projection in the Rochester Room.  I would like to consider working with Elle when she has graduated on a potential installation at the house using projection. We would also be very interested in acquiring the jigsaw puzzle which Emma created to have as a feature of the mirror room.’

Peter Hatton, Programmes Director for Event and Experience Design, Event and Experience Management and Fine Art, and Deputy Head of School, added: ‘Both outcomes are very good for the students in terms of their confidence, portfolio and employability, and the reputation of EED, & SMFA, University of Kent.’

Architecture Conference – Papers invited and discounted rates

Kent staff and students are being offered discounted rates for the Centre for European Architecture’s Biennial Conference.

The conference, entitled From Building to Continent: How Architecture makes Territories, takes place in The Cathedral Lodge, Canterbury, on 28 and 29 June 2018.

Papers are also being invited – abstracts should be submitted by 15 January 2018.

Guest speakers at the conference include:

  • Professor Lucia Allais, Princeton University (US) on ‘Maps of Monuments and Scales of Design: Strategic Bombing and the Post-war International Order’.
  • Professor Mark Bassin, Södertörn University (Stockholm) – ‘Nature as State: Geopolitics and Landscape Monuments’.
  • Professor Kenny Cupers, University of Basel – ‘The Earth that Modernism Built’.
  • Professor Tullia Iori, The University of Rome Tor Vergata – ‘Engineering the Italian Landscape: the Autostrada del Sole as Territorial Construct for a New Post-War National Identity’.

The conference fee is £140 per person, which includes coffee/tea and refreshments, and buffet lunches on both days. Kent staff and students are eligible for a reduced registration rate of £25 for both conference days, including tea/coffee breaks (but lunches are excluded). Kent University ID will be required for verification at the registration desk.

Paper proposals – 150-200 words in length – may cover any time period, continuing into the present. Relevant proposals from all disciplines are welcomed. Paper abstract submission deadline is 15 January, 2018. Selected papers will be announced on 31 March, 2018.

Please send paper abstracts as a Word doc (without images) to:

You can find out more about the conference on its webpages.


A Chodzko portrait by Clay

SMFA’s Adam Chodzko joins faculty of British School at Rome’s Council

Adam Chodzko, SMFA’s Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, has been asked by the British School at Rome’s Council to become a member of the Faculty of the Fine Arts from 1 January 2018, until December 2022.

He joins a faculty that includes the Director of the National Portrait Gallery, the Director of the Government Art Collection, and Senior Curator of Contemporary British Art, Tate.  You can find out about the British School at Rome on its webpages.

Exhibiting internationally since 1991, Adam Chodzko works across media, from video installation to subtle interventions, with a practice that is situated both within the gallery and the wider public realm.

Medway image - Jane Seamen

Fight, Flight or Freeze by EED graduate Elise Berdah featured on KMTV

Fight, Flight or Freeze, a highly topical touring immersive and interactive installation from 2017 Event and Experience Design graduate Elise Berdah which raises awareness of sexual consent, has been featured on KMTV – see the interview here.

Originally presented in the Drill Hall Library during the Student Wellbeing Festival in May, it was recently commissioned by Clara Lee, Vice President (Welfare) of Kent Union to be presented again in the Student Hub at Medway and Canterbury during November and December.  It may tour to other Universities and Colleges.

See the images and videos here.