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UCL events news and reviews


Archive for the 'Engineering' Category

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…)

Wooden bathrooms, golden spoons and other tales of materials in society

By Clare S Ryan, on 15 March 2013

This morning, crawling out of my bed in icy south London my first post-sleep experience was of a chilly, tiled bathroom.

Sullenly brushing my teeth with my feet on the cold floor, new questions popped into my head. Are cold tiles really the best material to clad the bathroom in? Who made these tiles in the first place? What are they made of?

Professir Mark Miodownik

Professor Mark Miodownik

Before attending Professor Mark Miodownik’s Lunch Hour Lecture ‘Stuff matters’ these were not questions that routinely entered my head – the appearance of my first coffee was a much more pressing matter.

But Mark’s view of the world is perhaps different to most people’s, and it probably explains why he is the UCL Professor of Materials & Society (note the ‘society’ part) and we are not.

Materials and Society
If you look around you now you will see a lot of materials that once started out as rocks, sludge and various non-identifiable living things. Take, for example, the plastic of your keyboard, the water glass on your table, the concrete on the pavement outside or a stainless steel fork that you ate your lunch with (perhaps that last one’s just me). (more…)

Gender and disasters: what causes the risk gap?

By news editor, on 15 March 2013

pencil-iconWritten by Dr Joanna P Faure Walker, UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction.

Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, following 2011 earthquake courtesy of Tex Texin on Flickr

Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, following the 2011 earthquake
(courtesy of Tex Texin on Flickr)

On Friday 8 March 2013, the UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction hosted an open panel discussion on ‘Gender and Disasters’.

The panel was chaired by Dr Ellie Lee (Reader in Social Policy and expert in gender issues from the University of Kent), and comprised: Paula Albrito (Head of the Regional Office for Europe for the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction), David Alexander (Professor in Risk and Disaster Reduction, IRDR UCL), and Linda O’Halloran (Director of NGO Thinking Development).

The three panellists provided examples of various natural disasters in which women showed a greater risk to the event than men either through active discrimination or through pre-existing factors.