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  • School of CS newsletter

    Published: Monday, 02 February 2015

    Weekly newsletter for the School of CS

    News from Head of School

    • Christoforos Moutafis

      Welcome to Christoforos Moutafis who joins the School as a lecturer in the NEST group on 2nd February. Christoforos comes to us from the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) in Switzerland where he has been working on skyrmions. A paper on this work, “Dynamics and inertia of skyrmionic spin structures” will appear in Nature Physics on 2nd February.

      gravatar Jim Miles
    • Upcoming building work

      There will be extensive building work on the ground floor to enable the transformation of IT Services. This will inevitably affect the School, although detailed plans and schedules aren’t available yet. In parallel with the work on the ground floor it is expected that opening double glazed widows will be fitted throughout the building and that there will be improvements to heating and ventilation.

      gravatar Jim Miles
    • The Kilburn Club

      Schools are finding it hard to cope with the expansion of computing activities and the new computing curricula. Most schools have no staff with a suitable background and skills to teach the subject, and schoolchildren often fail to realise that computing is an exciting and creative subject, leading to exciting and creative careers.

      The School of Computer Science has taken a lead in supporting schools in their adoption of computing. Amongst our many activities in this area is a new venture: the Kilburn Club, led by Suzanne Embury, Cassie Barlow and David Rydeheard. This is a club formed from selected schools across Greater Manchester and surrounding areas - schools that we believe would specially benefit from strong ties with the School of Computer Science and whose students will be capable of joining us in the future.

      The inaugural meeting of the Kilburn Club took place last semester, where the highlight was a talk by Gerry Pennell on the computing infrastructure of the London Olympics. The latest meeting focussed on the extraordinary diversity of jobs available to those with strong computing skills - a diversity that is not, in general, appreciated in schools, by teachers or by students.  We had talks from IBM, the BBC, Bank of America and Barclays, as well as our employability tutor, Duncan Hull. The feedback from schools has been very positive and we intend the Club to be a means of establishing long-term relationships with these schools.

      gravatar Jim Miles
    • Venture Out

      Rotimi Ogunsakin, one of our MSc students, is a finalist in the Digital section of Venture Out 2014  

      “YourBit is a Social Media Platform for the Charity to aggregate like ‐ mind ready for the change (Sustainable Charity), not just by contributing their "Bit"

      gravatar Jim Miles
    • £25,000 worth of prizes!

      FutureEverything and the Greater Manchester Data Synchronisation Programme (GMDSP) are hosting a Lean Startup weekend for entrepreneurs, technologists, creative professionals and social innovators on 21st and 22nd February. Participants will be given the opportunity to work with highly skilled specialists to help bring their business ideas to life.

      £25,000 worth of prizes are available for the best concepts developed during the weekend. These are designed to help accelerate digital startups and assist product development in established businesses.

      More details can be found here:

      gravatar Jim Miles
    • Star in a video!

      The Division of Communications and Marketing are producing four videos profiling four female academics to mark International Women’s Day which is on Sunday 8 March. The videos will initially be used on the University’s website and we are aiming to produce one per faculty.

      The aim is for them to be along the lines of the Heritage Heroes videos -, they would need to be filmed in the next few weeks and would take no more than half a day to film.

      If you might be interested please email Kath Paddison by Thurs, 5 Feb:

      gravatar Jim Miles

    News and announcements

    • Research that makes an impact - Making the Difference awards

      Has your research made an impact?

      The University’s Social Responsibility team has just launched its new ‘Making a Difference’ awards.
      The 'Outstanding benefit to society through research' award category will recognise success in collaborative working, partnerships and KE activities that have enabled Manchester research to deliver significant economic, social, health, environmental or quality of life benefits.


      gravatar Sarah Chatwin
    • Could you be a media expert?

      If you’d like to be put forward to the media to speak about topical issues which relate to your area of expertise, please contact the Media Relations Officer for your area.

      gravatar Sarah Chatwin


    • Towards a pragmatic approach to Empirical and Experimental Software Engineering

      14:00, 4th February 2015, Kilburn Lecture Theatre 1.4.

      Speaker:   Radouane Oudrhiri  (CTO, Systonomy, London.)

      Host:   Kung-Kiu Lau


      Any engineering discipline is usually defined as the combination of three main components: practices, science and economics. What is the status of the software engineering industry and discipline? How much of these three dimensions do we really cover? ... Can we really qualify Software development as a true engineering discipline? This thought-provoking seminar will start by presenting the state of the practices within the sofware community and raises some fundamental questions. It will then introduce an Empirical and Experimental approach to Software Engineering Process Improvement, yet a pragmatic one. The proposed approach is, a problem solving method, based on many years of application within the area of sofware process improvement throughout various industries. It aims at linking the dots between the three dimensions, mentionned above, and more precisely focuses on the Economics of Software Engineering, in a way to link explicitly between the day-to-day actions and a return on investment (value). This pragmatic view of software process improvement and the experimental problem solving approach make it an accelerator for enterprise level improvement programs. A number of practical examples from IT and Software organisations will be presented.


      Dr. Radouane Oudrhiri is CEO of Systonomy, he has more than 20 years of teaching and consulting experience in software quality engineering, Lean Six Sigma and DFSS for Software, empirical and experimental software engineering and maturity-based models. He implemented software process initiatives within large and small organisations. He is a Six Sigma MBB trained by GE Medical Systems and Motorola. Radouane sits on the board of high-tech start-ups and is part of chair many standardisation initiatives. Radouane has an M.S. in Operations Research, MBA and PhD in Information Systems and formal Logic. He is a Lecturer at La Sorbonne Paris, HEC, ESSEC, Telecom Paris and an evaluator at the European Commission).

      gravatar Bryony C Quick
    • EPSRC Open Meeting: The Funding Landscape – Working in Partnership for the Future

      • Event: 1430-1530 05 Feb 2015, Rm 2.220 University Place

      The University is hosting an open meeting with Professor Philip Nelson, Chief Executive, EPSRC.

      All staff with an interest in Engineering and Physical Science Research are invited to a presentation by Professor Philip Nelson, followed by questions and answers.  EPSRC are currently putting together their next Delivery Plan and are consulting widely with the research community.  This is an opportunity to understand their thinking and explore key issues.

      Booking is not required but places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis on the day.

      gravatar Sarah Chatwin
    • 2015 IEEE DL Lecture 17/02/2015

      Event: 11:00, 17 February 2015, 2.19 Kilburn building.

      Perpendicular magnetic anisotropy: from ultralow power spintronics to cancer therapy: Russell Cowburn

      Most thin magnetic films have their magnetization lying in the plane of the film because of shape anisotropy. In recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in thin magnetic films which exhibit a magnetization easy axis along the surface normal due to so-called Perpendicular Magnetic Anisotropy (PMA). PMA has its origins in the symmetry breaking which occurs at surfaces and interfaces and can be strong enough to dominate the magnetic properties of some material systems. In this talk I explain the physics of such materials and show how the magnetic properties associated with PMA are often very well suited to applications. I show three different examples of real and potential applications of PMA materials: ultralow power STT-MRAM memory devices for green computing, 3-dimensional magnetic logic structures and a novel cancer therapy.

      Russell Cowburn has research interests in nanotechnology and its application to magnetism, electronics and optics. Before returning to Cambridge in 2010 he held positions at the CNRS Paris, University of Durham and Imperial College London. He is the founder of two start-up companies and the inventor of the anti-counterfeiting technology ‘Laser Surface Authentication’. He has had over 60 patents granted and is a frequent invited speaker at international conferences. He is the winner of the GSK Westminster Medal and Prize, the Degussa Science to Business Award, the Hermes International Technology Award and the Institute of Physics Paterson Medal and Prize. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society.

      gravatar Bryony C Quick
    • Royal Society Manchester visit

      Event: 18 Feb 2015, 2.30-4.30pm in Michael Smith Lecture Theatre (Seminar Room)

      The Royal Society will be visiting the University to talk about a range of Fellowship opportunities. The intended audience is final-year PhD students and researchers from post-doctoral level upwards working in the areas of life and physical sciences (excluding clinical medicine, and engineering).

      The presentation will cover the following funding schemes:

      • Early Career Fellowship schemes: University Research Fellowships, Sir Henry Dale Fellowships, Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships, Newton International Fellowships
      • Senior Fellowship schemes: Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowships, Wolfson Research Merit Awards, Research Professorships
      • Innovation Schemes: Industry Fellowships, Brian Mercer Feasibility Award, Brian Mercer Award for Innovation, Paul Instrument Fund
      • Research Capacity/Infrastructure Schemes: Research Grants, Leverhulme-Royal Society Africa Awards, Wolfson Laboratory Refurbishment Scheme, Royal Society-DFID Africa Capacity Building Initiative
      • Collaboration and Travel schemes: International Exchanges Scheme, India-UK Scientific Seminar Scheme, South Africa-UK Scientific Seminar Scheme, Newton Advanced Fellowship, Newton Mobility Grants

      There is no need to book, attendees can just turn up.

      gravatar Sarah Chatwin
    • KTPs: Enabling Innovation within Medical and Human Sciences

      Event: 24 Feb 2015 12.15-1.45pm, rm G.306A Jean McFarlane Building

      Funding Opportunity: Enabling Innovation within Medical & Human Sciences

      This event will provide academics with the opportunity to learn more about using KTPs to engage with industry to deliver and demonstrate impact. Includes lunch.

      Register via Eventbrite.


      Within the School, both Jon Shapiro and John Brooke has been awarded successful KTPs recently.

      gravatar Sarah Chatwin
    • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science - Manchester visit

      Event: 1-2pm 24 Feb 2015, rm 3.204 University Place

      Are you interested in developing or enhancing research links with Japan and obtaining funding to develop existing collaborations and establish new ones?

      Representatives from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science will give a presentation on their funding schemes. Following the presentation there will be an opportunity to meet with the JSPS representatives on a one-to-one basis. 

      The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science is Japan’s leading funding agency and promotes the advancement of academic research in all disciplines from social sciences and humanities to natural sciences and engineering. Additionally, JSPS administers a number of bilateral and multilateral programmes for scientific cooperation and exchange under memorandums of understanding concluded with its various counterpart foreign academic institutions around the world.


      JSPS main functions are:

      • Funding research initiatives
      • Fostering next generation of scientists
      • Advancing international collaborations

      Register through: For further information please contact Emma Dixon Includes lunch.

      gravatar Sarah Chatwin
    • ESRC media training

      Event: 26 Feb (Leeds); 18 Mar 2015 (London)

      The Economic and Social Research Council is offering free mid-career media training to researchers on two dates, Leeds on 26 February and London on 18 March.    

      gravatar Sarah Chatwin
    • Discrete Maths Seminars

      The Discrete Maths Seminar will be starting again in February. It's an informal seminar where anyone can share bits of maths they find interesting (and which very loosely have some connection to discrete maths but pretty much anything is welcome). Most speakers and audience members tend to be PhD students, so it is a particularly nice environment for student talks.

      Past seminar information can be found here:

      Contact Joe ( for further information or to be added to the mailing list.

      gravatar Bryony C Quick

    Funding Opportunities

    • ARTEMIS funding

      A report from the January brokerage event

      Kung-Kiu Lau attended the ARTEMIS brokerage event in Amsterdam, 21-22 January 2015 (


      ARTEMIS-IA (ARTEMIS Industrial Association) ( funds research under the ECSEL Joint Undertaking (

      The next ECSEL Call is expected in March 2015, Project Outline deadline around May 2015 and Full Project Proposal deadline in September 2015.

      gravatar Sarah Chatwin
    • Reminder - EPSRC IAA 8th Call for Proposals

      Closing date: noon 25 Feb 2015

      The EPSRC IAA Operations Board is pleased to announce the  8th Call for Proposals. Funding is available under the following mechanisms and must be based on EPSRC-funded research:

      • Concept & Feasibility Scheme
      • Exploitation Secondment
      • Academic Secondment
      • Outreach Fund (no deadline)
      • Relationship Incubator (no deadline)


      Within the School we have had many recent successes in this scheme, including Simon Harper, Sean Bechhofer, Uli Sattler and Renate Schmidt.

      gravatar Sarah Chatwin
    • ESRC Impact Acceleration Account - Call 2

      Closing date: 20 Mar 2015

      ESRC has awarded The University of Manchester over £860k to deliver the Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) until 31 March 2018. The IAA will be used to fund knowledge exchange activities to accelerate the impact of research in the social sciences, across the University.

      Applications are invited under the following schemes:

      Staff exchanges/placements. Flexible support for secondment-out of academics to external partner organisations or enabling secondment-in of external partners. This scheme is to increase the exchange of knowledge through mobility of people, enhance external links of the academic team and provide the secondee with experience of working in an external organisation (or academic environment where this is a secondment-in).

      Policy/evidence seminars. Facilitated events centred on strategic themes that bring together policymakers/research users and academic staff to define problems and influence policy development through the research base. Ideally these will develop into co-produced social science research which impacts policy, strategy and practice.

      Research into practice. Activity to translate research evidence for use by research users/practitioners. The scheme is flexible and open to innovative projects but activities may include relationship incubation (to support early stage contact and strategic alignment between academics and external organisations), building sustainable relationships or coproduced research etc. 

      note: ESRC IAAs do not have to be based on ESRC research


      gravatar Sarah Chatwin
    • H2020 FET Open funding opportunities for Research projects

      Next Call deadline: 31 Mar 2015

      FET (Future Emerging Technologies) Open continues its mission to support early-stage joint science and technology research around new ideas for radically new future technologies. FET Open covers now ALL technological areas.

      FET Open calls for early-stage joint science and technology research towards radically new future technologies. Being entirely non-prescriptive with regards to the nature or purpose of the technologies that are envisaged, this call targets the unexpected. It is open to collaborative research that satisfies the FET-Open 'gatekeepers': long-term vision, ambition of the scientific and technological breakthrough, foundational character, novelty, high-risk and deep synergistic interdisciplinary approach. FET-Open aspires to be an early detector of new and promising ideas, but also of the new high-potential actors in research and innovation (such as young researchers and high-tech SMEs) that may become the scientific and industrial leaders of the future.

      FET Open also calls for coordination and support activities to turn Europe into the best place in the world for responsible collaborative research on future and emerging technologies that will make a difference for society in the decades to come. For the next call deadline, FET exchange and FET Take-Up topics are addressed.

      Budget: 38.5M€ for Research and Innovations Actions; 1.5M€ for Coordination and Support Actions.

      More information is available on the Participant Portal.

      Check also the video of the FET Open session presented at the last ICT Proposers' Day event (9-10 October 2014).

      gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Featured Research Outcomes

    • Exploration of 3D Monolithic Memory Design

      • Dr Vasilis Pavlidis
      • Royal Society International Exchanges Kan Tong Po Visiting Fellowships Programme 2014
      • £2,350

      Vasilis Pavlidis is collaborating with Professor Volkan Kursun from The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, with a focus on how to design memory cells.

      End-users desire high density memories at low cost and only those types of memory which managed to satisfy this need survived. Thus, new means to increase density without raising the manufacturing cost is an important element for the memory manufacturers.

      3-D monolithic integration is a highly potent technology to surmount the bottleneck associated with the physical scaling of the devices within the memory cells. In addition, the present infrastructure within the semiconductors industry can be employed (for the most part) for this technology keeping the cost at reasonable levels. Stacking or folding of the memory cell could double the memory density extending the memory evolution path for a few technology generations, an exciting prospect that will be pursued during this collaboration.

      gravatar Sarah Chatwin
    gravatar Jim Miles
Generated: Thursday, 02 April 2020 23:05:58
Last change: Monday, 02 February 2015 14:52:04