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News Archive: April 2017

Bangor science project shortlisted for second EU award

BREAD4PLA, a green science and technology project in which Bangor University’s research played a significant role, has been shortlisted in the ''Green Awards'' as one of the best LIFE Environment Projects of the last 25 years.

Publication date: 28 April 2017

Welsh universities announce new national supercomputing research facility

A new £15m supercomputing programme of investment has been announced by universities across Wales.

Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government, ‘Supercomputing Wales’ will enable the country to compete globally for research and innovation that requires state-of-the-art computing facilities to simulate and solve complex scientific problems.

Publication date: 28 April 2017

Fact Check: Do six million people earn less than the living wage?

I’m angry and fed up with the way in which six million people earn less than the living wage.

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, interviewed on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show on April 23.

To assess this claim by Jeremy Corbyn, distinguishing various low-wage floors is important. In 2017, the Living Wage Foundation’s higher voluntary Real Living Wage (RLW) is £9.75 an hour in London, £8.45 elsewhere, based on a calculation of living costs.

The government’s compulsory wage floor is lower and covers all employees. For employees aged 25 and over, it’s called the National Living Wage (NLW) and is £7.50 per hour. For younger employees, it’s called the National Minimum Wage, and ranges from £3.50 to £7.05.

Publication date: 27 April 2017

Rhinos should be conserved in Africa, not moved to Australia

This article by Matt Hayward, Senior Lecturer in Conservation, at the School of Environment, Natural Resources & Geography was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Rhinos are one of the most iconic symbols of the African savanna: grey behemoths with armour plating and fearsome horns. And yet it is the horns that are leading to their demise. Poaching is so prolific that zoos cannot even protect them.

Publication date: 27 April 2017

Bangor appears in UK Top 10 League Tables

In addition to being placed third in Wales according to 2018 league table, the University also appears among the ten best UK universities for five subject areas taught at the University.

The Guide complements other data available to would-be students, to help them with their decision making, including the most recent news that Bangor University was placed 3th in Britain according to the WhatUni Student Choice Awards (April 2017) and won the Best Clubs & Societies Award at the same event.

Publication date: 26 April 2017

First investigation of eye-tracking in Electronic Gaming Machine play

New research, funded by GambleAware used eye-tracking to investigate how machine players pay attention to Electronic Gaming Machine (EGM) displays in local bookmaker offices.

The research, conducted by Professor Robert Rogers and colleagues at Bangor University's School of Psychology is the first study to use eye-tracking to improve our understanding of how machine players pay attention to roulette and slot games in commercial settings. The study describes the distribution of visual attention towards the game features of roulette and slots, and offers methodology for studying and optimizing the timing, placement and content of harm-minimisation messaging. The data show that problem gamblers look less often at the roulette wheel while placing bets and while it spun, compared to non-problem gamblers, and tended to look away from the machine more frequently. By contrast, in slot games, problem gamblers looked more frequently at amount-won messages.

Publication date: 26 April 2017

Pioneering research into benefit of computer games to treat Parkinson’s Disease

North Wales neuroscientists are researching the potential benefits of brain stimulating computer games in the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease.

The study is being led by researchers at Bangor University’s School of Psychology with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) and neurological experts at the Walton Centre in Liverpool.

They are studying the effects of touch screen “spatial reasoning games” on the part of the brain used to control movement in Parkinson’s patients.

Publication date: 25 April 2017

Teaming up for cheaper energy from ocean tides

Oceanographers at Bangor University’s School of Ocean Sciences are launching a major project to study tidal turbulence at the Menai Strait in Wales. Just how can this project help reduce development costs, leading to cheaper energy from the tides?

Ocean energy represents a vast and largely untapped renewable energy resource. The global market for marine energy has been estimated to be worth around £76 billion between 2016 and 2050, according to numbers released by the Carbon Trust.

To access this source of energy, oceanographers at Bangor University’s School of Ocean Sciences have been awarded two major grants totalling £230k to study ocean turbulence. The aim is to help improve the design and operation of tidal energy capture devices.

Publication date: 25 April 2017

Young carers get a taste for University

Young carers from across north Wales were recently invited to Bangor University to sample university life. Twenty-seven young people, aged between 15- 20, enjoyed the first residential taster experience in north Wales which has been specifically designed for them. This was a partnership between Bangor University’s Widening Access Centre, the Carers Trust Wales and Action for Children.

Publication date: 25 April 2017

Want to stay mentally healthy in older age? Stimulate your brain in early life

Stimulating the brain by taking on leadership roles at work or staying on in education help people stay mentally healthy in later life, according to new research.

The large-scale investigation published in the journal PLOS Medicine and led by Prof Linda Clare of the University of Exeter, recently of Bangor University’s School of Psychology used data from more than 2,000 mentally fit people over the age of 65, and examined the theory that experiences in early or mid life which challenge the brain make people more resilient to changes resulting from age or illness – they have higher “cognitive reserve”.

Publication date: 24 April 2017

Zip World Triumph for Enterprising Students

Bangor University’s Enterprise by Design team are delighted to have pioneering company, Zip World as the commercial partner this year to provide the students with a meaningful challenge that actively seeks to contribute to the future success of the company.

Twelve multidisciplinary teams pitched for a stake in the £5,000 prize fund following ten weeks of working alongside postgraduate facilitators and academic specialists in a design-led process to tackle a real world design brief.

Publication date: 24 April 2017

Double degree awarded prestigious prize by the Franco-British Lawyers Society

Bangor University and Université Toulouse-Capitole have been awarded the 2017 Robertson-Horsington Prize by the Franco-British Lawyers Society (FBLS) for their double degree programme: the Licence/Master 1 in International Law / LLB English Law and French Law.

This innovative, transnational, double degree law programme, offered in partnership by Toulouse-Capitole, France, and Bangor University, Wales, offers law students the opportunity to spend two years studying law in each country, leading to the award of the British LLB and the French Masters I after four years.

Publication date: 20 April 2017

All aboard for a train ticket to bring Europe together again

In many countries, turning 18 marks the transition into adulthood. With it comes the delights and difficulties of all new rights and responsibilities, from voting to drinking alcohol. Now, there’s talk that it could also be the beginning of an international adventure.

Publication date: 19 April 2017

Heat from the Atlantic Ocean is melting Arctic sea ice further eastwards than ever before

The seasonal sea-ice retreat across the Arctic Ocean is perhaps one of the most conspicuous indicators of climate change. In September 2012, a new record was set for the time that we have been tracking sea ice with satellites: the minimum sea ice extent was some 50% below the climatic average for that month. Four years on, and the September 2016 record tied with 2007 for the second lowest sea ice extent since measurements began in 1978.

Publication date: 19 April 2017

Russians visit Bangor to find out about our language planning and Welsh language support

Academic researchers from Russia were recently welcomed to Canolfan Bedwyr, Bangor University’s Centre for Welsh Language Services, Technology and Research.

Publication date: 12 April 2017

RoboLlywydd and other Welsh Voices

Bangor University has created new tools for producing natural sounding synthetic voices in Welsh. They will be able to read aloud any Welsh text from a computer or mobile device. 

As part of the Macsen project, funded by the Welsh Government, a quick and easy method was devised for preparing prompts, recording individuals reading them aloud, and using information about Welsh sounds to build synthetic voices that sound very similar to the voice of the individual recorded.    

In the SeneddLab2017 event in Cardiff recently, the team for the Language Technologies UnitCanolfan Bedwyr had an opportunity to test this method, building a new voice in one hour to give oral information about the Welsh National Assembly, calling it ‘RoboLlywydd’ (‘RoboPresident’).

Publication date: 11 April 2017

Bloomageddon: seven clever ways bluebells win the woodland turf war

The appearance of vivid bluebell carpets in British woodlands is a sure and spectacular sign of spring. Bluebells – Hyacinthoides non-scripta (L.) Chouard ex Rothm – are Britain’s favourite wildflower and particularly fine carpets attract visitors to well-known sites such as Kew Gardens in London and Coed Cefn in Powys, Wales.

This article by Vera Thoss, Lecturer in Chemistry, Bangor University was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article

Publication date: 10 April 2017

Prestigious Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship Awarded

Dr Alexander Sedlmaier, a reader in Modern History at Bangor University has been awarded a prestigious Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship. These highly competitive fellowships are aimed at fostering interdisciplinary research, innovative academic training and international collaborations.

Publication date: 10 April 2017

Bangor University Wins UK Award

Bangor University is the best University in the UK for its Students’ Union Clubs and Societies and is the third best University in the UK according to this year’s Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2017, with the nominations based on the excellent reviews and opinions of the University’s own students.

Publication date: 7 April 2017

Celebrated 'English' poet Edward Thomas was one of Wales' finest writers

Shortly after 7am on April 9 1917, 39-year-old writer Edward Thomas was killed by a shell during the Battle of Arras in northern France. He left a body of mostly unpublished work that has since cemented his place as one of Britain’s greatest poets.

This article by Andrew Webb, Senior Lecturer in English Literature, was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Publication date: 7 April 2017

There are no two ways about it, grey squirrels are bad for the British countryside

According to some animal rights groups the grey squirrel is a victim of circumstance. They say it has been made a scapegoat for regional red squirrel population extinctions and claim that loss of the reds is caused entirely coincidentally by habitat change. They suggest the true facts are being hidden and scientific research being intentionally misinterpreted.

This article by Craig Shuttleworth, Honorary Visiting Research Fellow, Bangor University was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Publication date: 6 April 2017

Pupils receive Modern Languages Awards

Around 150 pupils aged 13-14 visited Bangor University recently in order to receive awards at the end of their participation in the Modern Foreign Language Student Mentoring Scheme, which introduces school pupils to the value of studying foreign languages, before they make their GCSE subject choices. The North Wales School Effectiveness and Improvement Service (GwE), Bangor School of Modern Languages and Cultures, Bangor Confucius Institute, the Centre for Galician Studies in Wales and the North Wales Deaf Association delivered a series of motivational speeches and taster sessions in Mandarin, Galician and Sign Language.  

Publication date: 5 April 2017

Bangor University research is set to assist newly protected species

We know that trade and transport of ivory is strictly controlled to safeguard the elephants, and that other animal by-products such as the use of rhino horn is also controlled in an attempt to clamp down on the poaching and illegal trade which affects some of our most threatened species.

The list extends beyond those charismatic species that we’re probably all familiar with.

The organisation responsible for regulating and monitoring trade in wildlife products is the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), to which 183 countries are signatories.

Another group of species, the devil rays, has now joined that list following a recent CITES meeting, and as of today (4 April 2017) the new regulations will be implemented. One Bangor University student is to play a part in the safeguarding of the devil ray and the already protected manta ray.

Publication date: 4 April 2017

Dr Rowan Williams Public Lecture: Worshipping God, Growing the Church, Loving the World.

The Chaplaincy Team at Bangor University is very pleased to announce that their public lecture this year will be given by Dr Rowan Williams.  

This public lecture is open to all and takes place on Monday 24th April at 7 pm in Pontio Level 5 Lecture Theatre. The lecture will be delivered through the medium of English.

Publication date: 3 April 2017

Prospective students find out about universities

Local students can get their uni questions answered at the North West Wales UCAS Higher Education Conference being held today (Monday 4 April).

Students from  across north west Wales applying for university or college should visit the UCAS exhibition at  Bangor University to learn all about life in higher education.

Publication date: 3 April 2017

The latest developments in solar energy to be highlighted at Bangor University

Bangor University's School of Electronic Engineering will host to the Solar Energy Society’s PVSAT 13 (Photovoltaic Science, Application and Technology) conference this month (5-7 April), bringing together the brightest and best scientists in the field of solar for the most important conference on solar energy research in the UK.

Around 5% of our electricity is produced from solar energy in the UK, with a 25% increase in solar energy production in recent years and a constantly reducing production cost, solar is one of the cheapest forms of energy production so the future looks bright for solar. It remains a popular research area in the science and engineering sector of UK universities.

Publication date: 3 April 2017