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    Archive for the 'Built Environment' Category

    Back to the future: climate change lessons from the Pliocene era

    By Yohann K Koshy, on 17 February 2014

    Of the many clichés passed from generation to generation, “You must understand your past in order to understand your future” is both the most intuitively correct and consistently ignored.

    Too often the historian’s excavation of the past is considered to be of merely academic interest rather than a stark warning about the social, political and economic conditions that can re-enable historic calamities.

    Dr Chris Brierly (UCL Geography), who delivered the Lunch Hour Lecture on 13 February, is pursuing historical research to help us comprehend our past and possibly safeguard our future from devastation.

    V0023203 An ideal landscape of the Pliocene period with elephants, hiInstead of looking back 100 years at Franz Ferdinand’s assassination, Brierly looks back 5 million years, when the world was curiously similar yet significantly different to the one we inhabit today.

    Brierly explained how his research concentrates on mapping the tropical climate of the Pliocene epoch, which began around 5 million years ago and ended 2.6 million years ago.

    Just like the present, the Pliocene world was both warm and cool: grassland expanded and ice-caps accumulated. It did, however, have a structurally different tropical sea climate.


    UCL community turns out for the Provost’s Public Engagement Awards

    By Clare S Ryan, on 30 January 2014

    Public Engagement at UCL is a ‘big deal’. Throughout the year, students and staff at all levels reach out into their communities, expertly guided by UCL’s eight-person strong Public Engagement Unit.

    Guests at the event

    Guests at the event

    So it was no surprise to find a real cross section of the UCL community at the fifth Provost’s Public Engagement Awards. In the jam-packed venue, I spotted deans, PhD students, heads of professional services, undergraduates, lecturers and personal assistants.

    There were even some real life members of the public who had come with their children to the event – giving it a real sense of celebration.

    Presenting the awards, after the jazz band and lively audience had eventually piped down, ‘new’ Provost Professor Michael Arthur expressed his enthusiasm for the achievements in this area.

    “It’s fantastic to come to UCL and see such a commitment to public engagement. It’s tremendous,” he said. “My experience in Stratford and the excellent work that we’re already doing there has highlighted the real importance of two-way public engagement.”

    So, without further ado, here are the winners:


    UCLoo Festival kickstarts the eco-sanitation discussion

    By news editor, on 25 November 2013


    Written by Kate Oliver, Faculty Communications Manager for UCL Engineering

    It’s a cold November afternoon and UCL’s President & Provost is standing in the Main Quad, waiting for the newest loo on campus to be free. He’s not the only one; a queue of students, staff and miscellaneous toilet fans snakes past the Portico, hinting at the fact that a further 2.6 million people are still waiting for their toilets.

    UCL President & Provost Professor Michael Arthur opens the UCLoo festival

    The sudden enthusiasm for sanitation is not a campus crisis: the loo in question is a special environmental composting model, installed in the Quad as the centrepiece of UCLoo Festival. Kicking off on the first UN-recognised World Toilet Day (19 Nov, of course) these two weeks of activities, events and exhibitions invite London to UCL, hoping to start a discussion about the future of water-based sanitation in urban environments, as well as raising awareness of sanitation issues worldwide.


    Animate this!

    By news editor, on 21 June 2013

    pencil-iconWritten by Tia Kansara, PhD student at the UCL Energy Institute

    The projections were awe-inspiring: an unrivalled London event. Whoever would have thought ten years ago that education could be delivered in such an interactive, fun and intelligent manner?

    UCL Quad during the day

    The above image is of the UCL main building in all its architectural glory, below how it was transformed at night

    Projections on the UCL Portico

    The UCL quad was filled with people excited to see how the iconic Wilkins building was transformed, as EPSRC-funded research was projected on the building as if it were a screen. (more…)