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  • School of CS newsletter

    Published: Wednesday, 13 March 2019

    Weekly newsletter for the School of CS

    [ top ]News from Head of School

    Transitional PS arrangements

    As you may have heard, the expected timeframe to have the PS structural arrangements in place to support the new FSE 2 School structure, has had to be delayed. This is due to the wider University restructuring piece now taking place, on the back of SLP and the introduction of a new University Leadership Model.

    To support the new FSE structures from 1 August, there are some transitional arrangements being put in place from a PS perspective, to bridge until the final University restructuring activity is completed. At a broad level, the arrangements include a selection of new 18 month secondment opportunities for PS colleagues and some new reporting lines.

    More information, including some transitional structure charts are available on FSE Staffnet

    gravatar Kim Graakjaer

    Upcoming retirement

    After 18 years here at the University, Gill Lester has taken the decision to retire at the end of July 2019. Gill has had a big impact here in the School and will be greatly missed, though I am pleased that she will finally be able to enjoy more time with her family, after a long career in HE. Kim and myself will now be working on some transitional plans to ensure continuity for the SSO as we move to the new 2 School model

    gravatar Kim Graakjaer

    Welcome to our new Research Support Manager

    Please join me in welcoming Melanie Macrae to the School, who has joined us from the University of York as our new Research Support Manager, following Su Smith's departure. Melanie started this week and will provide cover for the School up until August 2019, when we expect Sarah Chatwin to then return into that post. Melanie is part of the wider Faculty Research Support Hub, but is based alongside our existing Research Support and Research Finance teams, here in the Kilburn Building.

    gravatar Kim Graakjaer

    Elections to Senate

    Congratulations to Simon Harper who has been elected to the University Senate. Simon will take up this role in September. Simon joins Uli Sattler as a Senate member from this School.



    gravatar Karon Mee

    Research Support Updates

    I’m pleased to confirm that Melanie Macrae has joined us this week from University of York as Research Support Manager, replacing Su Smith, and will provide cover for the School up until August 2019, when we expect Sarah Chatwin to return into that post. Melanie will be based where Su was previously, alongside the Research Support and Research Finance teams in the Kilburn Building RM 2.126.

    Chris Dolan has also recently joined FSE as Research Services Operations Manager. Chris has previously worked in similar roles at Imperial College and more recently Sheffield Hallam and has overall responsibility for RS within the South Campus; line managing RSM’s across the five schools. He is based in the Schuster Building RM 251 but will also spend time hotdesking in the Kilburn building on a regular basis.

    To allow Melanie some time to familiarise herself with our process (as she is new to our University) during the period 18 February - 11 March we will be working to some interim arrangements:

    · RSM contact point for queries: (i.e.: anything that would have previously been sent to Su) please can these be sent to Chris Dolan (Research Operations Manager) ( who can then coordinate cover across the RS Hub team.

    · Contact point for new applications and HR changes: please can these continue to be sent to the CSM inbox:




    gravatar Karon Mee

    [ top ]Events

    Advanced Materials Construction Conference

    Construction conference aims to build on materials innovation

    The Advanced Materials for Construction (Amconf) conference is coming to Manchester – and University colleagues are being offered a ticket discount while early career researchers can enter a poster competition with prizes totaling £500 up for grabs.

    This premier conference and exhibition will be held on April 3 and 4 at the Barnes Wallis Building on the University’s North Campus. Manchester has been selected for this event because of its reputation in advanced materials and as a key player in the multi-billion pound investment plans for the Northern Powerhouse.

    “With the construction market being one of the largest in the world the industry continues to look for materials to enable innovative designs,” explained Gemma Smith, Director for Amconf.

    “This is a must-attend conference for all those interested in challenging traditional solutions with innovative alternatives. We are bringing together senior figures from client organisations and other industry representatives, along with material suppliers, contractors, designers, innovators and investors.”

    Speakers include Tim Wood, Rail Director for Transport for the North; Alex Heward, Innovation Manager for the Laing O'Rourke/EWR Alliance and Neil Appleton, Market Development (Construction) from the National Composites Centre. They will join Manchester materials experts, including colleagues interested in potential graphene applications.

    Organisers are offering delegates from The University of Manchester a 40% discount from the standard delegate rates (this offer can be processed via invoice only).

    Gemma Smith is also putting out a call to the next generation of early career researchers to enter a poster competition. She added: “The poster competition is an ideal vehicle to demonstrate current research topics to an audience of specifiers, end-users, architects and engineers.

    “Shortlisted posters will be displayed throughout the conference and the main author will be invited to appear in an elevator pitch.”

    Closing date for entries is Friday, March 15, and it’s FREE OF CHARGE to enter. Prizes will be awarded to the top three posters with a total prize fund of £500 up for grabs for the winners.

    Further information can be found at including entry to the competition, programme, exhibition, dinner and accommodation details. Accepted poster entrants can benefit from £100 discount from the registrations by using a voucher code at checkout.

    · For more information and to register for Advanced Materials for Construction Conference visit


    gravatar Karon Mee

    STAFF-STUDENT QUIZ - come and join in

    STAFF-STUDENT QUIZ. On Thurs 28 March the annual Staff vs Student pub quiz will take place again! There is a £3 donation entry fee for the Malawi Project fundraising. The place is postgrad common room, so come for an exciting and fun evening! The time TBC, so keep an eye out on our social media for updates.  For more information contact Gavin Donald

    gravatar Ruth Maddocks

    [ top ]Tech Support News

    Interim management

    As we currently recruit to a new Technical Operations Manager to replace Ian Cottam, Kim Graakjaer will line manage the TECHSO team and act as the escalation point with IT Services. As a first point of call however from 1 March, for any day to day queries or work requests, please contact the relevant TECHSO team member directly as follows:


    • Software for Teaching & Learning: Chris Page
    • Hardware for Teaching & Learning: Jeff Pepper
    • General hardware/electricals/AV: Stephen Rhodes
    • Administrative systems: Colin Morris
    • SpiNNaker: Dave Clark
    gravatar Kim Graakjaer

    New 4000 core HPC system at UoM

    Reminder: Research IT will soon be bringing online a 4000 core High Performance Compute (HPC) system with fast interconnect. It will have a lightweight application process for staff and PGRs to use. The main consideration is that your application must be HPC and not HTC (High Throughput). Other systems, such as Condor, are available for HTC applications.

    Research IT are particularly keen to attract new users – of course existing users of, say, the Computational Shared Facility are also welcome. Feel free to use me, in my new role as a Research Software Engineer, to discuss possible use cases and interface with the research infrastructure team, if you like. I remain:

    gravatar Ian Cottam

    [ top ]Social Responsibility

    Easter fundraising for Emmelines Pantry and Wood STreet Mission

    Emmeline’s Pantry are inviting Easter Egg donations:

    “Yes we will be accepting eggs in all shapes and sizes and like to make sure every woman and child receive one.
    We need regular ones dairy free ones vegetarian ones.
    We also would like bunnies bibs and rattles to give out to the ones who are not allowed chocolate or too tiny xx

    And Wood Street would like book donations:

    “This year instead of Easter Eggs we are appealing for donations of brand new books for children aged 0-16 years, to distribute through our Book Clubs and school Roadshows. #woodstreetbookappeal”

    If you would like to donate either, please drop them in to Mel in 2.4 who will make sure they get to their final destination! Thank you to Lynn for starting the ball rolling with Easter Eggs.




    gravatar Karon Mee

    gravatar Ruth Maddocks
Generated: Thursday, 02 April 2020 22:44:41
Last change: Wednesday, 13 March 2019 10:56:10