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  • School of CS newsletter

    Published: Monday, 18 May 2015

    Weekly newsletter for the School of CS

    [ top ]News from Head of School

    University Long Service Awards

    Staff who will reach 25 or 40 years continuous service with the University of
    Manchester, (which may include continuous service with either of the legacy institutions), will receive either gift vouchers worth £400 or 5 additional days
    of annual leave (pro rata for part - time staff). Full details are in the Terms and Conditions of Employment. Normally HR Services will contact any staff who qualify, if you believe that you might qualify and you haven't been informed you should contact HR Services.
    gravatar Jim Miles

    [ top ]News and announcements

    School Research Newsletter out now

    Find out the latest news about research in Computer Science at or hard copies are available from outside KB2.7. 

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Reminder - Energy research survey

    Deadline: 18 May 2015

    Energy is one of the five University research beacons (see the energy section of the University website We have over 150 academics and 500 researchers who are working on energy related projects at the University. In income and publication terms we are 2nd to 3rd in the UK. While we are proud of our achievements in energy research, other Universities continue to ramp up their own activities and beyond REF we feel it is time to review our overall energy research strategy.

    As part of this review we are looking for input from colleagues across the University working in energy. We are asking them to make an input to the survey that can be found at The results of the survey will be provided to a group of staff from across the University who are attending an away day on the 27th of May. We are looking for responses from all those involved in managing, delivering and supporting our energy research – not just academic staff. Please therefore circulate this message to any colleagues you feel could contribute to the development of a new research strategy.

    If you would like to discuss this in any more detail, please contact Ian Cotton (0161 306 8735) or email 

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    £10,000 boost for TRAM business as 2015 Venture Further winners

    Congratulations to recent CS PhD graduate Erol Chioasca (supervised by Dr Liping Zhao; co-supervised by Prof. John Keane and Dr Goran Nenadic) for winning the research award at the 2015 Venture Further competition.

    Last Wednesday (6th May) saw the 2015 Venture Further winners announced, as part of an evening of celebration at the Whitworth Art Gallery. 

    Software engineer Erol Chioasca and a team of researchers from the School of Computer Science won £10,000 in the Research Category for TRAM, their Texture Requirements to Analysis Model. The team recognised that 85% of the information required to develop a software system already exists in documentation such as reports, manuals or emails. Business analysts currently need to examine this information manually in order to develop high quality requirement specification documents using standard tools. The tools are not purpose built and there is no additional support to the user, which can result in a slow and costly process.

    TRAM is a state-of-the-art information extraction and management service which will enable business analysts to examine required information in days rather than months with the same level of accuracy.

    Erol says: “A colleague of mine suggested entering Venture Further so we could really define the business model for TRAM.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Making a Difference - PhD Computer Scientist Highly Commended

    PhD student Michael Bramhall (supervised by Prof. Andy Brass and Dr Sheena Cruickshank (FLS)) was highly commended alongside his colleagues for The Worm Wagon public engagement initiative.

    On the 7th May “Team Worm” (including Sheena Cruickshank, Kathryn Else and Joanne Pennock) and The Worm Wagon were highly commended at the University Make a Difference Awards.

    Michael has volunteered as a member of The Worm Wagon's "Team Worm" at various events across the country, helping to communicate information about parasites and their impact on health to members of the public of all ages. Of particular importance is the role of parasitic worm infections in developing countries - while rarely fatal, gut worm infections are one of the leading causes of children missing school in these regions.

    "My involvement with the worm wagon has ranged from designing our public displays, doodling pictures of worms with toddlers and discussing life-cycles and impact of worms with school children and members of the public. We have run events at Jodrell Bank, Manchester Museum and The Museum of Childhood in London. It is great fun and being a member of Team Worm is a very rewarding experience!"

    Michael Bramhall

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    CS@Manchester Podcast

    The School of Computer Science is launching its own monthly ‘CS@Manchester’ podcast, which you will be able to find it in the itunes store and also available to stream via our soundcloud page. The podcast series aims to cover a variety of presentations and events, interviews with staff and their research, reflect our student experience and feature alumni profiles. Episode one begins with a recent panel discussion on the Future of Computing from the Kilburn Club, featuring Professors Steve Furber & Ross King, Tom Higham (Future Everything) and Mark Ewart (Barclays Bank).

    If you have any ideas for content or questions about the podcast series then we would be really pleased to hear from you - just contact



    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    [ top ]Events

    Seminar on Brain Imaging in Mental Health

    How can Brain Imaging help us to understand Depression & Addiction?

    02 June 2015, 13-14:00, Atlas 1, Kilburn Building

    Manchester Informatics are pleased to announce that the next Seminar in the Human Behaviour Seminar Series will take place on 2nd June 2015. Professor Rebecca Elliott (Neuroscience & Psychiatry Unit) will present 'Brain Imaging in Mental Health.'


    Twenty years ago modern brain imaging techniques were hailed as likely to revolutionise psychiatry. This free lunchtime Seminar will examine how brain imaging has helped us understand mental health problems, specifically depression and addiction. The presentation will consider how brain imaging techniques may help us think about mechanisms of vulnerability and successful treatment.

    Professor Elliott's research focuses on understanding the neurobiological basis of emotional, motivational & social processes, particularly in the context of psychiatric disorders. She combines brain imaging techniques (particularly functional magnetic resonance imaging, fMRI) and neuropsychological testing to explore neurocognitive aspects of emotional, motivational and social function, in healthy volunteers and patients with neuropsychiatric problems.

    Light refreshments will be provided.

    Register here

    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    School seminar: Encrypting Files Stored on Cloud-based Storage Services

    Tuesday 19 May 2015 15:30, Kilburn Lecture theatre 1.4 

    Speaker: Mr Tom Murphy. ncryptedCloud LLC

    Host: Robert Stevens

    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    EPSRC State of the art in simulation and design workshop

    Closing Date:           16:00 10 June 2015


    EPSRC and Innovate UK (previously TSB) would like to invite applications to participate in a workshop to help explore the state of the art in simulation and modelling tools for engineering design.

    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    Manchester Informatics & OCF Big Data Symposium

    Event: 18 June 2015, 09:30-17:00, Lecture Theatre 1.1, Kilburn Building


    Manchester Informatics and OCF present a one-day Big Data Symposium to showcase the diversity of big data analytics in higher education, research and the public sector. Featuring presenters from Future Cities/Manchester City Council, SKA, ARM, Oracle and the University, the day aims to highlight the latest projects and themes currently being undertaken and discussed in this rapidly growing field.

    Speakers include Prof. Magnus Rattray (keynote), who will present 'Biology in the era of big data'; Steve Turner (Manchester City Council) Miles Deegan (SKA) Tim Harris (Oracle) John Goodacre (Arm Ltd) Michael Gleaves (Hartree) Mark Elliot (University of Manchester) Chris Brown (OCF.)

    Please visit the Manchester Informatics events page for further information and to register.

    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    [ top ]Funding Opportunities

    Novo Nordisk Collaborative Research Initiative

    Deadline: 30 May 2015

    Novo Nordisk seeks to fund two highly aligned research projects (for up to 3 yrs) for the purpose of translating novel research into therapeutic innovation. The objective of the initiative is to solicit applications that specifically address the mechanisms by which novel, unexplored targets and pathways, or known targets, mediate sustained diabetes resolution, weight loss, diabetes resolution and improvements in other diabetes-related metabolic disorders. An additional interest is novel targets with potential to stabilize or prevent progression of diabetic eye or kidney disease.  Studies directly validating and developing protein- or peptide-based therapeutic strategies based on novel targets are of the highest priority.

    Areas of Interest

    • Type 2 Diabetes and Glucose Homeostasis
    • Insulin Resistance
    • Obesity
    • Diabetic Microvascular Complications – Diabetic Kidney Disease and Diabetic Retinopathy


    Application Process

    • Phase 1 – pre-proposal preparation and submission; 5-page excluding references (pre-proposal form attached); the Scientific Director is available for consultation. Submissions reviewed internally and final applicants selected.
    • Phase 2 – Proposal preparation and submission; Novo Nordisk Champion Scientist assigned as collaborator to optimize proposal
    • Phase 3 – Final review; in-person presentation to R&D management and award offering within 2 weeks of the final review


    Please discuss your proposal with the Business Engagement Team who will assist you to complete the application form. Pre-proposal applications must be submitted by email to

    Contact for additional documents

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    RAEng Industrial Secondment scheme

    Deadline: 16:00 15 June 2015

    Industrial Secondment scheme

    For early and mid-career academics to gain industrial experience by working on a collaborative research project with industry for up to 12 months. The secondments are expected to result in significant improvements to awardee’s teaching activities. The award contributes to the basic salary cost of the applicant paid pro-rata against the amount of time to be spent at the industry host.

    For further queries, please email Ms Tapsi Khambra.

    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    EPSRC funding opportunities

    Research Software Engineer (RSE) Fellowships

    Closing Date:           16:00 21 July 2015

    This call will support Research Software Engineer (RSE) Fellowships for a period of up to 5 yrs. The RSE Fellowship describes exceptional individuals with combined expertise in programming and a solid knowledge of the research environment.

    gravatar Bryony C Quick

    [ top ]Featured Research Outcomes

    PhD congratulations

    Congratulations to Aqeel Al Naser (supervised by Dr John Brooke) for his successful thesis, entitled 'Provenance of Visual Interpretations in the Exploration of Data'

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Prof. Steve Furber in the feature acticle of the IEEE Pulse magazine

    Neurotechnological Revolution: Unlocking the brain's secrets to develop innovative technologies as well as treatments for neurological diseases.
    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    gravatar Jim Miles
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Last change: Monday, 18 May 2015 09:20:23