Monthly Archives: February 2020

People from Massai village in Amboseli, Kenya sat on grass

KBS Student has launched Self-Funded ‘Project_Daaylight’

In 2018 while visiting Kenya, MSc Healthcare Management student Martin Daay had the opportunity to visit a rural Massai village in Amboseli near mount Killamanjaro. While touring the village, Martin learned from the elders about fuel and the difficulties they can have obtaining it.

Martin saw the cramped conditions the people were living in and the potential health risks associated with burning fuel in these environments. In these communities, after sunset, many people have no light and are forced to use kerosene lamps. Consequently, these communities have seen millions of children each year get severely burned. Sadly, kerosene is the leading cause of child poisoning in Africa and one of the main causes of respiratory diseases for women in the developing world. It is also three times the cost of electrical energy.

Upon leaving the village, Martin thought of the possibility to introduce solar technology to the village. The use of solar technology could lead to a reduction of issues he witnessed in the village; health hazards, fire safety and spending cost. In August 2018, after returning to the UK, Martin launched Project_Daaylight with the support of his friends in Kenya and the UK. In phase one of the project, Martin self-funded 40 solar lanterns for the village in Amboseli.

Project_Daaylight aims to

  1. Provide scalable solar power solutions to the village to gradually eliminate the use of kerosene lamps
  2. Develop a social enterprise working with young women and men in the village to train them on solar technology
  3. Promote the use of sustainable solutions (health management and Environment management).

In addition to these aims, Project_Daaylight hopes to further contribute to addressing some of the social challenges faced by these communities such as high rates of unemployment and child marriage.

Martin has received positive feedback from members of the Amboseli Maasai village about the impact of his donation; improved light quality for children doing school work at night, improved air quality in the homes and reduction in spending on Kerosene. This humble success has further motivated Martin to develop phase two of his project.

Phase two of Project_Daaylight, which is due to begin in April 2020, will see the introduction of high capacity solar powered systems to the village.  Martin plans to install a total of twelve home lighting systems in addition to providing solar lanterns in the village. These systems will allow the villagers to cater to their basic energy needs.  Furthermore, Project_Daaylight aligns with the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development initiative.

Martin is very passionate about supporting others, whether they are here in the UK or other locations around the world. His vision is to support the Amboseli Maasai village attain 100% of their electrical needs via renewable solar energy.



Professor Stephen Peckham standing on a podium on stage giving a talk with a projector screen behind him saying: Faculty of Social Sciences Prize and Advanced Research Professor Stephen Peckham Centre for Health Services Studies

Prestigious NIHR award for CHSS Director

Professor of Health Policy Stephen Peckham, Director of CHSS has been appointed NIHR Senior Investigator (SI). The award is given by the National Institute for Health Research to outstanding national research leaders.

Stephen, who is Founding Director of the new NIHR Applied Research Colloboration, Kent Surrey and Sussex (ARC KSS) said ‘This represents only the second ever Senior Investigator award given in our region, so I’m really delighted to be recognised in this way’.

Senior Investigators are among the most prominent and prestigious researchers funded by the NIHR. Collectively, they constitute the NIHR College of Senior Investigators. As senior leaders demonstrating research excellence, they act as NIHR ambassadors, helping to attract, retain and develop a highly skilled health research workforce.

Stephen is currently the only NIHR Senior Investigator based in Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

You can find out more on the NIHR website.

Two book covers of Gothic-heroines-on-screen and Star Attractions books by Dr. Tamar Jeffers McDonald

Book award nominations for Tamar Jeffers McDonald

Congratulations to Dr Tamar Jeffers McDonald, Reader in Film and Head of the School of Arts, for having recently having two of her books nominated for awards.

Tamar’s edited collection with Lies Lanckman, Star Attractions: Twentieth-Century Movie Magazines and Global Fandom (University of Iowa Press, 2019) has recently been nominated for the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Best Edited Collection Award.

And Tamar’s collection edited with Dr Frances Kamm, Lecturer in Film, Gothic Heroines on Screen (Routledge, 2019) has been nominated for the 2020 Kraszna-Krausz Book Awards in the Moving Image award category.

Our congratulations to Tamar and all the contributors to these collection.


Will Wollen - Senior Lecture of Drama and Theatre at Kent

Peter and the Wolf comes to Colyer-Fergusson

University musicians and alumni will be presenting a performance of the ever-popular Peter and the Wolf in the Colyer-Fergusson Hall on Sunday 8 March at 15.00, an hour-long orchestral fairy tale for all the family, however young or old.

The concert will be conducted by Director of Music, Susan Wanless and features William Wollen as the narrator (pictured).

William’s background in physical theatre saw him working with Jim Henson’s Creature Shop in the 2005 film of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and his creature work features in the 2016 release of major motion picture The Legend of Tarzan (Warner Bros.). As an actor, and actor-musician playing sax and tin whistle, he has performed all over the country at all scales of theatre, and sang the role of the eponymous villain in Cherub Company’s 2001 production of Hans Krasa’s operatic fable Brundibár (written 2 years after Prokofiev’s musical tale).

He is Senior Lecturer in Drama at University of Kent, where he leads on the acting modules. William’s wealth of theatrical and musical expertise will come to the fore as he brings alive the story of Peter and his friends the bird, duck and cat, the grumpy grandfather and the big bad scary wolf!

Tickets (Full £8 / Students & Children £5) are available from the Gulbenkian Tickets & Information, T: 01227 769075. To book online visit the Gulbenkian website.

Five women all wearing fitness gear taking part in a fitness class with their arms up by their head.

Get moving with this year’s FitnessFest 2020

As part of the University of Kent’s Worldfest celebrations next month, FitnessFest 2020 will offer seven different classes to get you moving. In our annual fitness class shakeup, Kent Sport invites you to sample a unique evening at the tenth annual FitnessFest medley on Monday 9 March.

FitnessFest 2020 kicks off with a free Bollywood Workshop and free Indian Dance workshop at 3pm and 4pm, respectively. Open to all staff and students, join dance company Beeja for something unique! These events are hosted privately, so please book on the Eventbrite website.

At 17.30 we mix things up with FitSteps – an energetic, upbeat dance fitness class featuring all of your favourite strictly dances.

Join us for Cultural Circuits at 18.10 with the effervescent Del. Come dressed up as your favourite country to get into the spirit of Worldfest.

Feel the beat with our next class – Drums Alive® with Jeni at 18.30. Drums Alive® is a program that fosters a healthy balance physically, mentally, emotionally and socially!

Following on at 19.30 John spins us around the globe in an inspiring Spinning class.

To close the evening, epic duo Jeni and Kealy bring you Zumba at 20.30. If you love to move, then this is the perfect class to let loose.

Click ‘Going’ on our Facebook event and tell all your friends about this epic night of fun!

All FitnessFest classes are free for Premium Plus and Premium Members. Plus and Pay to Play pay £2 per class. Booking online is available up to seven days in advance.

If you’re not a member it’s easy to join, ask at the Sports Centre or The Pavilion reception or visit the Kent Sports website.

For Kent Sport news, events and special offers, Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter.

Alumni Kami Asamani wearing a blue blazer and glasses, smiling as she look up and to the right.

Latest issue of Kent magazine now available

The latest issue of the University magazine is out now, available in print on the Canterbury and Medway campuses, and online on Issuu.

This issue includes:

Cover story: An alumni feature by Kami Asamani who writes about her time at Kent and her career path to date.

An introduction to the University’s advancement campaign from the Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Karen Cox and the three themes of the campaign – with a case study for each theme below.

A World of Opportunity – “It’s time for action, not excuses, on inclusive theatre” by Alumni Postgraduate Research Scholar, Kasia Senyszyn.

A World of Discovery –  A Balancing Act: The Science of Vestibular Stimulation, outlining this pioneering research by Professor David Wilkinson.

A World of Community – Memories of the Gulbenkian, following on from the celebration of their 50th anniversary last year, and information about their name-a-seat appeal.

Staff profile: Sam Ranger, Street Kitchen Chef.

Student profile: Eloise Jack, Music Performance Scholar and BSc Biochemistry student.

Some of the articles have been optimised for mobile devices – on Issuu select ‘Read issue here’ and pick one of the articles listed under ‘What’s inside’.

If you’d prefer a hard copy, you can pick one up from:

Canterbury: Gulbenkian cafe, the Sports Centre, Templeman Library cafe, Keynes foyer.

Medway: The Deep End foyer (magazine stand just inside the door), Gillingham Building and Medway Building receptions, and the Rochester Building foyer.

Kent staff: Alternatively, if you’d like to be sent a copy in the internal mail, please email your name and location to Chris Wenham via

Work has already started on the next issues of the magazine, but if you’ve got ideas, please contact the Editorial Board.

A group of college age students are working on a mechanical drone project for a university class. They are working on the electrical aspect of the drone.

Kent launches Mechanical Engineering including a Foundation Year

The School of Engineering and Digital Arts at Kent is pleased to announce the launch of a new undergraduate course, Mechanical Engineering including a Foundation Year.

If you don’t have the right grades to enrol directly on to our BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering degree, you could opt to start your studies with our Foundation year. The extra year is intended to give you the best possible preparation for success on the degree pathway.

On successful completion of your Foundation Year, you can go to the Mechanical Engineering degree or the Mechanical Engineering with a Year in Industry degree.

Mechanical Engineering is a fundamental discipline that is responsible for the design and the development of mechanical systems and it is vital in many tech industries. At the University of Kent, we focus in the modern applications of Mechanical Engineering, e.g. robotics, assistive technology, smart materials and autonomous vehicles.

Our research led degrees mean our graduates can work at the forefront of the major areas of mechanical engineering, combining theory with practical and project work, turning ideas into real systems.

We have strong links with the Royal Academy of Engineering and with institutions that provide accreditation to university degrees (Institution of Engineering and Technology and Institution of Mechanical Engineers). Our engineering students’ work has won international prizes and our visiting industrial professors contribute to a strong industrial relevance of our courses. For further details, visit the undergraduate courses webpage.


An image of Drill Hall Library with red brick and an arched frontway

Drill Hall Dialogues

You are invited to our next Drill Hall Dialogue event.

Dr.Richard Webb from Canterbury Christ Church University will be joining us for this discussion.

Richard will be discussing the following:

Vitamin D has been well documented along with Parathyroid hormone in the homeostatic control of calcium levels within the body. Reduction in Vitamin D has been shown to result in Ricketts and long bone malformation/defects. Current Differentiation cocktails continue to exclude vitamin D in favour for growth factors or a base differentiation media.

In this study we have replaced growth factor with vitamin D and early results indicate 100 fold increase in calcium deposition when vitamin D is used as a component of differentiation media when compared to standard base differentiation media where dexamethasone, ascorbate-2-phosphate and beta glycerophosphate are utilised.

All welcome, however, please RSVP to Jackie Wright for numbers attending.


University of Kent logo

Coronavirus: latest update

The Government has updated its advice to include those who have recently travelled from Italy, Iran and South Korea, as well as Wuhan and Hubei province.

The University’s coronavirus response group is currently writing up the set of principles which we have established to help staff assess any travel plans line with government advice. These principles will also inform the support that we are giving to students who are impacted by the situation and will also advise schools and departments who have visitors coming to the University. These principles will be available shortly.

In the meantime, if you have visitors coming to the University from any of the areas identified by the Government, we would suggest you contact them to make sure they are aware of the steps to take to keep themselves and others safe, as outlined by Public Heath England and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

We would also like to remind you that all overseas travel, work and study undertaken on behalf of the University, as part of a University teaching programme or organised by the University must be risk assessed.

All travel on University business should be booked through Key Travel. Not only is this a procurement requirement, it also enables the University to know where travelling staff are just in case we need to support them due to the impact of the coronavirus or other issues.

It is also important that you are covered by the University’s travel insurance.  This will not only provide essential cover, but give you access to a wide range of travel advice, including the option to sign-up to daily intelligence briefings and SMS travel alerts.

Technician Ayman El-Kharrat

University Technician is runner-up in photo competition

The National Technician Development Centre (NTDC) ran its first technicians photo competition this year, as part of its work to promote the delivery of high quality and sustainable technical services across all sectors.

There was a huge response from across the country with applicants submitting high quality images of technicians undertaking a variety of roles across a wide range of disciplines. The judges were overwhelmed with the quality of submissions and faced a tough decision to select their winner and eleven runner up photos.

The School of Engineering and Digital Arts (EDA) very own Technician Ayman El-Kharrat was successfully chosen as one of the 9 runners up with his photo showing a specialist electronics technician fabricating printed circuit boards. Aymans photo will be featured in the NTDC competition winners’ calendar and used to promote technicians throughout the country.

Paul Sinnock, Director of IT and Technical Services and a member of the Kent technician commitment working group commented, “It is fantastic to see Ayman recognised for the quality of his work which highlights the essential role of technicians within the University. We have such talented technical staff who, often behind the scenes, deliver vital support to all aspects of our operations. I am so pleased the University of Kent has joined other institutions in recognising technicians by signing the technician commitment which aims to ensure visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability for technicians working in higher education”.