School of Computer Science

Weekly Newsletter

 30 Sep 2013


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News from the Head of School

SET success

Laura Howarth-Kirke has won the 2013 BP Award for the Science, Engineering & Technology Student of the Year, and Gavin Brown has won the lecturer of the Year award.



The Science Engineering and Technology (SET) awards are sponsored by major industries, supported by all of the major UK professional institutions and open to students from all over Europe. There are awards for the best student in 15 different categories, the best Information & Communications Technology Student being judged by the BCS. Laura won the Best ICT student award, and then won the overall prize of Student of the Year.


You can see the winners of each category here:

There is a University newsletter article here:


Laura’s final year project was using Machine Learning for Gesture Recognition on the Microsoft Kinect. She developed a system which learnt and recognized dynamic body gestures, capable of controlling devices like a TV. The School awarded Laura the Kilburn medal and she won a University Outstanding Academic Achievement Award. She is now on the BBC's prestigious Future Media Graduate Scheme.

PhD Students sponsored to attend Global Young Scientists Summit

Two PhD students, Claudiu Mihăilă and Alan Stokes, have been selected to represent the University of Manchester at the Global Young Scientists Summit@one-north 2014 (GYSS@one-north 2014). The summit will take place from 19 to 24 January 2014 at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and will give participants a unique opportunity to interact with over 300 peers and over 17 eminent speakers, ranging from Nobel Laureates, Fields Medallists, Millennium Technology Award and Turing Award winners, and an IEEE Medal of Honor recipient. Alan and Claudiu have been sponsored by the Singapore Government and by the University’s Alumni Office.

More information

Student numbers

Although we don’t yet have definitive numbers for this academic year (there  may still be a few international students to complete registration) it seems likely that the School will have very nearly met its targets for student intake in all areas.


In particular Home (UK/EU) undergraduate numbers seem to be on target. Last year we had a serious shortfall in UG Home intake, and many people in the School have worked hard throughout the year to meet the target.


Having said that, our target this year was deliberately set lower than our historic recruitment level and so we have still not recovered to the numbers that we used to recruit. Open days, visit days, interviewing, web pages and all activities that raise the profile of he School externally remain very important to us in securing the number of excellent students that we need, and so...

Open day on Saturday 5th October

If there are any academic staff who are not already helping out at the Open day on Saturday 5th October, please contact Jez Lloyd to see if you can help the School to recruit the best students.


There have been a number of bicycles stolen from the IT Building. Please remain aware that the Kilburn and IT Buildings are open access during the daytime and that it is possible for anyone to get in. Please do not leave offices unlocked when there is nobody in and do not leave valuables unattended.



Manchester Computer Science ranked 8th in EU!

The School has ranked highly in the 2013 QS World University Ranking for Computer Science and Information Systems. Manchester is ranked 6th in UK; 8th in Europe and 30th in the world out of 200 entries, an increase from 37th place last year (QS 2012).

The QS World University Ranking is one of the top ranking systems for universities, it takes into account the opinions of other academics (peer review), student ratios, citations and internationalisation amongst other criteria.

App success in the BCS UK Industry Awards 2013

he burn can be easily shaded on the phone


A medical app created by PhD student Chris Seaton has been listed as a finalist for the BCS UK Industry Awards 2013, Innovative Mobile App of the Year category (listed as St Helens & Knowsley Health Informatics Service). The Mersey Burns app is in good company, with other companies in the category including Virgin Media, Network Rail and other big national and international companies.


Mersey Burns is the first regulated phone app in the UK has previously been recognised through the eHealth Insider Awards 2012 (Finalist and Highly Commended, Best Use of Mobile Technology in Healthcare) and the NHS North West Health Innovation Awards 2011 (Winner, Excellence in Innovation).

New poster cabinets in the School

We have new poster cabinets up on the 2nd floor of the Kilburn Building to display the School’s research.  If you have a recent A1, portrait research poster for display please contact Sarah Chatwin for collection or drop them off at her office, 2.7.

University Historian and Heritage Officer

Dr James Hopkins has been appointed as the University Historian and Heritage Officer. If there are any activities relating to the University’s history and heritage then please contact him on ext. 63075 or by email:

2014 Manchester art exhibition

Manchester Art Gallery are putting on an exhibition inspired by the Turing Test and 'Manchester’s rich history of engineering and computer science'.  The Gallery is looking for ideas and involvement from the School.  If you have any suggestions please contact the exhibition organiser, Claire Gannaway.

More information



University’s Foundation Day Lecture                                                       16 Oct 13

Drinks Reception: 16:00, University Place

Foundation Lecture: 16:30, University Place

The Lecture will end at 17:45.


The President and Vice-Chancellor would like to invite as many members of staff as possible from across the University to attend this occasion.


The 2013 Foundation Lecture will be delivered by Professor Mario Molina, best known for his study on the effect on Earth’s upper atmosphere of man-made compounds.  The title of the lecture is: “Climate Change: Science and Policy”.


There are also a number of places available to attend the Foundation Day Honorary Degree Ceremony which follows the Lecture.


Honorary Degree Ceremony: 18:15, Whitworth Hall


Honorary Degrees will be conferred upon :-

Sir Bobby Charlton

Professor Peter Higgs

Professor Mario Molina

Ms Frances O’Grady


Unfortunately, there are a limited number of tickets available so tickets have to be allocated on a first come, first served basis. 

If you are interested in attending one or both elements of the Foundation Day celebrations, please request a ticket by emailing Lesley Sisson.


Funding Opportunities

Research Support Office

Please contact us through

There is information about support for grant writing and submission at and the EPS blog The Word contains features News, Events and comment relevant to Postgraduate Researchers, Research Staff and Supervisors or PIs.

BBSRC scraps final reports

The BBSRC has taken the decision to discontinue issuing final reports on awards with an end date on or after 1 Oct 2013 unless explicitly requested. Investigators must still enter their results and outputs on the Research Outputs System (ROS).

Final Expenditure Statements remain a requirement and will continue to be issued to your Research Organisation Finance Office at the end of the Grant.


Note: this change does not apply to awards completing before 1 Oct 2013.

Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowships 2013             11 Oct 13

The University can only put forward a limited number of applicants for the RAEng Engineering Research Fellowship and all prospective applicants must go through the Internal Review Process.

IMPORTANT please contact Sarah Chatwin asap if you are interested in applying, who can provide more details.

Internal deadline: noon 11 Oct 2013

Royal Academy of Engineering ERA Foundation Entrepreneurs Award 2014                                                                                                                             21 Oct 13

For early career researchers and academics…The RAEng ERA Foundation Entrepreneurs Award recognises entrepreneurial researchers (individuals or a team), working in UK universities in the broad field of electrotechnology, who are at an early stage in their career.

The winner will receive a personal prize of £10k together with a further £30k to invest in the development of the winning idea. In addition to the first prize, two cash prizes of £2k may be presented to the runners-up.

If you have any questions please contact Sylvia Hampartumian at the Academy.

Closing date: 21 Oct 2013

British Council India Knowledge Economy Partnerships (KEP)       28 Oct 13

The Knowledge Economy Partnership Programme supports collaboration between UK and India academics by providing limited seed funding of £5-20K (for up to 1 yr) for project activities and exchange visits for the primary purpose of building capacity and to strengthen policy and practice of Higher Education in India and the UK. Research-only activities will not be supported.


Government departments, industries, accreditation agencies and other education bodies can come in as secondary partners if they bring in expertise, knowledge, skills and co- funding.


Proposals are invited in collaboration with an Indian partner, for submission to Successful projects will be expected to start project activities in January 2014.

Closing date: 28 Oct 2013 by 17:00 hours IST.

JSPS London Postdoctoral Fellowship for Foreign Researchers     5 Dec 13

Fellowships must start between 1 May 2014 and 31 March 2015.

For young pre- and post-doctoral UK researchers from Europe and North America based in the UK, to conduct cooperative research with leading research groups at Japanese Universities and Institutions. Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) is the leading research funding agency in Japan. The Postdoctoral Fellowship for Foreign Researchers (Short Term) provides the opportunity for researchers based outside of Japan to conduct collaborative research activities through visits of between 1 to 12 months. Eligible applicants need to be either within 2 years of finishing their PhD at the time of applying to start their fellowship in Japan or have obtained their PhD after 2 April 2008. Eligible research fields are not limited.

Closing date: 5 Dec 2013

BBSRC funding for Biotech/Healthcare SME Collaborations at UoM

The University has been awarded £100K by the BBSRC (‘Sparking Impact Award’) to support new partnerships between researchers and small biotechnology and biomedical sciences companies.
Companies will be invited to visit the University and share their technical challenges or unrealized opportunities to facilitate an accelerated route to market and/or the development of new market opportunities with the expertise available in the University.

For further details and to apply to take part, please contact Dr Zoher Kapacee or Dr Victoria Hand.


Research Professional is a useful search engine for finding other funding opportunities.


Have we missed something? If you have some award news that you would like us to know about please contact Sarah Chatwin.