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Professional Services Conference

Jack H CDean24 June 2014

The inaugural Professional Services Conference took place on Monday, 16 June. The afternoon consisted of a series of presentations and panel discussions followed by an awards ceremony for staff and teams nominated by their colleagues across the university.

Rex Knight, Vice-Provost (Operations), introduced the conference as a “celebration of work going on across the university”. Professor Anthony Smith, Vice-Provost (Education) said: “it’s all too easy for academic events to take precedent. This is an opportunity to say thank you to the unsung aspects of the institution.”

Empowered - Emma Todd and Alice Chilver (UCL Bartlett)

Empowered – Emma Todd and Alice Chilver (UCL Bartlett)

Over the past decade, there has been a 20% increase in staff and a 16% increase in student numbers and Knight continued “thanks to your extraordinary professionalism all would not be as it is without what you do”.

There were then presentations from Emma Todd and Alice Chilver (UCL Bartlett), co-founders of Astrea, the professional women’s network at UCL. Dr. Debbie Challis spoke about the exhibition, A Fusion of Worlds, at the Petrie Museum and funded by UCL Grand Challenges.

Finally, Bob Carey discussed the Strategic Leadership Programme and Steve Rowalt and Kate Cheney delivered their presentation on the UCL Masterplan 2011, which has overseen the current transformation of the Cruciform Hub – @ucl_crucitwit.

The Professional Services Awards consisted of five categories with nominations coming from a diverse range of staff across the university. Emma Todd, Strategic Communications Manager and Alice Chilver, Business Development Manager at the UCL Bartlett, won the ‘Empowered… confident and enabling’ award for their work in setting up Astrea. (more…)

The UCL Awards for Enterprise – inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs with stories of the last

newseditor25 May 2012

A startling and inspiring story marked UCL’s fifth Annual Awards for Enterprise – that of Professor Roger Ekins, who invented technology that enables a single drop of a newborn baby’s blood to be used to test for thousands of different substances and ensure that they begin life in the best possible health.

Yet the technology – now used in hospitals around the world and worth billions of dollars annually – started with research by one man, who was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award during the ceremony in recognition of his accomplishments.

It summed up the mood at the Awards – this year, with an appropriately chosen Olympic theme – of a feeling that a vision, with nurturance and support, can become a success that defies expectations.

Some visions for the enterprises awarded were very inspiring and exciting – especially Art Stavenka’s eye-catching bikes that can display 3D animations, ads and cartoons on the wheels.

A demonstration at the reception afterwards quickly grabbed the assembled guests’ attention, having already achieved that of the judges – resulting in an Award of £7,500 in funds to kick-start his business, Old Bond Ltd.

(more…)

Provost’s Awards for Public Engagement

newseditor1 February 2012

The third annual Provost’s Awards for Public Engagement were held on 25 January. Ben Davies was there to applaud the winners.

Academia, it seems fair to say, can be a little inaccessible to those outside the loop. Accusations of academics operating with an ‘ivory tower’ mentality do seem increasingly unfair, but there is still an element of the mysterious about the whole endeavour; having studied Philosophy, one of the more mysterious subjects offered at university level, I know that a subject that fails to communicate will be seen as esoteric, perhaps even a waste of time.

This is not only a great shame when the truth is that academic research is of great relevance to the public, but is also damaging to universities themselves. More than ever, public engagement is vital to higher education.

The seriousness with which UCL treats its own public engagement, therefore, can only be a good thing. The awards ceremony was organised by the university’s Public Engagement Unit, which supports staff and students in communicating with the public in a constructive way, and whose staff were thanked by UCL President and Provost Malcolm Grant for “leading on public engagement for the institution as a whole”.

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UCL Entrepreneurship Guest Lecture: Edward Parkinson, Viagogo

newseditor26 January 2012

UCL Classics student Carolina Mostert summarises the talk held on 19 January below.

It is not the first time Edward Parkinson has engaged a UCL audience in an inspiring lecture. Having studied Chemistry at Oxford, Edward worked in consultancy in England and America. He joined Viagogo five years ago and is now Director of Viagogo’s UK offices.

The idea behind Viagogo is quite straightforward: it aims to make the experience of getting tickets for an event better and easier. Through technology and the internet, Viagogo promises to create a secure place to sell and buy tickets, guaranteeing transparency in the transaction.

In its early days, Viagogo was the official retail ticket holder for Chelsea FC. Football tickets, in fact, are the only tickets that, in order to be resold legally, need to be resold through an official website.

(more…)