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  • Department of CS newsletter

    Published: Friday, 25 March 2022

    Weekly newsletter for the Department of CS

    [ top ]News from Head of Department

    Coffee Morning Success

    Many thanks to those of you who could pop down and have a coffee and a chat with staff - it was especially nice to meet new members of the Department.  It was so nice to be able to meet up in person again.  We will be arranging another coffee morning in the coming weeks - details will be circulated soon.  If anyone has an idea for other social events then do drop Ruth a line.

    And also a thankyou for the generous donations for Red Nose Day - we raised £131.00 which is a splendid effort.  

    gravatar Ruth Maddocks

    [ top ]News and announcements

    Kilburn Rodent Problem

    We have a Mice problem in Kilburn again.  Whilst Estates are tackling the issue with a pest control contractor, they have advised that it will almost be impossible to stop unless occupants keep foodstuffs out of their reach.  So please make sure to not leave any food sources out in the building, and to please keep any foodstuffs in sealed containers/cupboards/fridges etc.

    We will be doing building walkarounds periodically - and foodstuffs that are left out and not in a sealed container may be disposed of. As we all make a return to campus we are reviewing how we handle the reporting of Estates issues and also how we handle requests for certain things relating to our offices and environment.  The Ops team are picking up a lot of these types of issues so we have created a mechanism to capture the information in a way that makes it easy to monitor and also to pass on if appropriate.

    Department of Computer Science - Estates Issues -Report and Requests

    Please use this to report estates issues - for example - temperature too hot/cold, things being broken, ceiling tiles broken in corridor, mice issues etc.

    gravatar Ruth Maddocks

    UKRI's new Open Access policy which will take effect from 01 April 2022

    UKRI-funded authors should familiarise themselves with the details of the new policy and what they need to do to in order to comply.  Advice for UKRI-funded authors and full details of the upcoming policy changes are available via the Library website: UKRI’s new Open Access policy.  UKRI-funded authors need to arrange for journal articles to contain a Data Access Statement, and be published immediately Open Access, with no embargo, under a CC BY licence.
    You can also watch a presentation detailing the upcoming changes.  Library online drop-in clinics are also available for anyone with questions about the new policy:

    • Wed 30 Mar 2022, 14:00 - 15:00
    • Tue 5 Apr 2022, 09:00 - 10:00
    • Thu 21 Apr 2022, 13:00 - 14:00
    • Wed 27 Apr 2022, 14:00 - 15:00
    • Tue 3 May 2022, 11:00 - 12:00 
    • Fri 13 May 2022, 12:30 - 13:30
    • Thu 19 May 2022, 10:00 - 11:00 
    • Mon 23 May 2022, 15:30 - 16:30

    If you have any questions about the policy, please contact  

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Cyber security fundamentals: protecting yourself at home and at work

    As the ongoing conflict continues to escalate in Ukraine, many organisations will be impacted by the heightened threat of cyber security attacks, here's a reminder on Phishing, Updating and Passwords.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    FSE Outreach Events – Volunteers required

    The FSE outreach team is planning some on-campus schools events in June and July and we are currently looking at recruiting volunteers both staff (both academic and technical) and students.

    Our two themes are:
    Girls in STEM - we're inviting Year 5 girls (10-year-olds) from local priority primary schools to come onto campus for some hands-on activities and to meet our female scientists and engineers. We're looking for 80-minute workshops for groups of up to 25 on 29th June. This could be related to any area of science, engineering, technology or maths, and all genders of workshop leads/volunteers are welcome.

    Y10 Insight Days - we're running three days showcasing Engineering and Material Science for local Year 10s (14 years old), with talks, MECD tours, activities and 'speed networking' to introduce different areas of engineering and materials. We're looking for 60-minute workshops for groups of up to 30 pupils, on 30th June, 6th July, or 7th July.

    The link is here: Workshops for events in summer 2022 ( and all details about the two events are included within the form. The current deadline is 15th April. Any questions can be directed to


    gravatar Marion Morris

    Faculty of Science and Engineering Better World Funding 2022

    The funding is in place to enable staff and students in the Faculty of Science and Engineering to bid for up to £3000 for projects that ‘make a difference’ and support the University’s social responsibility agenda. There are 6 key areas that have identified that funding needs to fall into.

    All ideas and existing projects will be considered. The funding is open to all staff or students (individuals or groups). However, priority will be given for new projects / ideas addressing the areas of:

    • Environmental sustainability, Living Labs and / or LEAF.
    • Subsidy for the cost difference of a more sustainable study-related travel (postgraduate students only).
    • Civic / community engagement and supporting prosperous communities.
    • Innovation in social responsibility in the curriculum.
    • Widening participation.
    • Equality, diversity, inclusion and accessibility projects.

    All the details can be found on the website here:


    gravatar Marion Morris

    Consultancy process up and running

    Faculty of Science and Engineering fully switched to new consultancy service – making it quicker and easier for colleagues who want to make an impact.

    More Information: Consultancy | Research and Business Engagement | StaffNet | The University of Manchester

    gravatar Marion Morris

    Information Rights requests and Microsoft Teams conversations

    gravatar Marion Morris

    Ordering of Books

    Ordering of Books

    If the books are available from Blackwell’s , that would be the best place to order them from as they are a registered supplier and we can make the requisition through iProc.

    If the books are available through Blackwell’s, please send us a link to the books requested, the account code and task code if an R or P code is to be charged and the delivery address. We can then make the requisition for you.

    If the books are not available through Blackwell’s, then we can order them from Amazon. This will be a credit card request so please find attached the relevant form to be completed and returned. Please ensure that the following items are completed on the form to avoid unnecessary delay:

    • The budget holder has approved the expenditure – either by electronic signature on the form or by email approval, which should be sent to If you are not sure who the budget holder is, please contact CS Ops.
    • The account code to be charged is on the form.
    • A task code if the account code is an R or P code. Any other codes do not need a task code.
    • Justification as to why this should be a credit card purchase.
    • Delivery costs and VAT should be included.


    gravatar Marion Morris


    Last Friday we had a huge number of students turn up to have fun, get active and represent their department... You've been patiently awaiting the results and here they are! …..drumroll..... The winner of the Darren Huyton Sports Day 2022 is Computer Science with 1.33 points per game! Hurray! CS had the most number of participants and played more games. An engraved trophy will be put on display in the Manchester Engineering Building soon. A huge thank you to everyone who participated, we hope you had fun!

    gravatar Marion Morris

    Cyber security fundamentals

    Cyber security fundamentals: protecting yourself at home and at work

    Cyber security fundamentals: protecting yourself at home and at work | StaffNet | The University of Manchester


    gravatar Marion Morris

    [ top ]Events

    The Digital Futures team are hosting a series of online talks

    Turing-Manchester Seminar Series (RESCHEDULED)

    29 March |14:00 – 15:00

    *Please note: this event was originally scheduled to take place on 1 March but has been rescheduled due to the UCU strike action.*

    The Digital Futures team are hosting a series of online talks by The University of Manchester's new Turing Fellows for 2021-22. For the final event in this series, new Turing Fellow Christopher Conselice is joined by Turing AI Fellow Anna Scaife.

    Register here.

    gravatar Marion Morris

    Please join us for our forthcoming seminar (online) in Computer Science

    Date and time: Friday 8 April, 12pm (UK time)


    Title: An Arms Race in Intellectual Property Protection of Deep Learning Models

    Speaker: Youcheng Sun (Lecturer in Cyber Security)


    Deep learning models, especially those large-scale and high-performance ones, can be very costly to train, demanding a considerable amount of data and computational resources. As a result, deep learning models have become one of the most valuable assets in modern artificial intelligence. For instance, it can cost $1.6 million to train a BERT model on Wikipedia and Book corpora. It is thus of utmost importance to protect deep learning models from unauthorized duplication or reproduction.

    This talk will be about threats to deep learning copyright and corresponding defence techniques, especially the latest software testing method, on copyright projection of deep learning models.


    gravatar Marion Morris

    ECR Symposium on the environments impact on health

    Poster abstract submission deadline: 11-Apr-2022
    Event: 28-Jun-2022 09:30 – 17:00

    At UoM, we have lots of early career researchers (ECRs) working on issues relating to the environment and its effect on health, but they are spread across faculties, schools, and departments with little interaction or collaboration. This, combined with recent remote working has led to a community that lacks connectivity which is why we are running this symposium.

    The organising committee welcomes posters from early career researchers on any topic related to the themes outlined below. The organising committee will also consider posters from ECRs who’s research fits more broadly with the theme of ‘The environment's effect on health’ should space be available.

    We are interested in these intersections and the effect they have on us and our environments e.g.

    • Air quality
    • Chemical safety
    • Climate change
    • Ecosystem health and services
    • Housing and health
    • Noise
    • Occupational health
    • Transport and health
    • Urban health
    • Water and sanitation
    • Social science and inequalities
    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund

    (as seen in Beeline 18-Mar-22)

    Event: 21-Apr-22, 10am-4pm

    We are hosting a sandpit event to stimulate new Biomedical/AI collaborative activity. The morning session will feature guest speakers and in the afternoon, participants will be able to explore the application of statistical and machine learning approaches to biomedical data integration. 

    A hybrid event in the morning will feature invited speakers and lightening talks* from attendees.

    In an online event in the afternoon, participants will explore the application of statistical and machine learning approaches to biomedical data integration and develop proposals.

    Following the event our review panel will award funding for a number of 6-month long projects from a total pot of £80k. Proposals must be submitted by 05-May-22 and projects must be completed by the end of 2022.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Deep dive into the GM Care Record – connecting health and care across Greater Manchester

    Virtual event: 26-Apr-2022, 13.00 - 15.00
    Health and care organisations across Greater Manchester (GM) have accelerated the deployment of the GM Care Record for all 2.8m citizens to provide frontline professionals with vital information in the fight against COVID-19.

    The GM Care Record allows workers in health or social care, easy access to patient information that is critical to support decision-making about patient care and treatment. It is being used to access over 140k patient records by over 13.5k frontline users each month (Dec. 2021) and connects over 500 organisations including primary and secondary care, mental health and community trusts, out of hours services, specialist trusts, social care and the region’s ambulance service.

    This event brings together different perspectives from clinical, academia, industry and the GM health and care system to showcase the work that has gone in to creating the GM Care Record and the benefits this will bring to the care and treatment of the citizens of GM in future.

    Speakers include, Prof. Niels Peek (Professor of Health Informatics): Beyond direct care – the GM Care Record and population health research.

    Registration for the Connected Health Ecosystem is now open – tickets are limited, so we recommend securing your place now.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    Please join us for our forthcoming Atlas Talk (on campus) in Computer Science on Wednesday 30 March

    Time: 14:00 – speaker Johan Åkerman

    Host: Christoforos Moutafis

    Kilburn Building: Lecture Theatre 1.1

    Title: Spin Hall nano-oscillator based Ising Machines for combinatorial optimization – see here for abstract


    Prof. Johan Åkerman received his Ph.D. in Materials Physics from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in 2000. After a post-doc at University of California, San Diego, he joined Motorola, for four years, to be responsible for MRAM reliability. The MRAM technology he helped to launch remains the most commercially successfully MRAM to date. In 2005, he returned to Sweden to start his own research group at the Department of Materials and Nanophysics at KTH Royal Institute of Technology. In 2008 he was recruited as Full Professor to the Physics Department at University of Gothenburg, while remaining a Guest Professor at KTH. Prof. Åkerman has been working with spintronic technology for the last 20 years and has authored over 250 scientific papers with over 12 000 citations. He holds about 15 patents and is the founder of two start-up companies, NanOsc AB, commercializing spintronic devices, and NanOsc Instruments AB, designing and manufacturing spectrometers for ferromagnetic resonance measurements at cryogenic and room temperatures. His main projects are related to spin torque and spin Hall nano-oscillators, with particular focus on mutual synchronization, magnetodynamical solitons, and oscillator networks for neuromorphic computing






    We hope you will be able to attend.

    gravatar Marion Morris

    [ top ]Research News

    AI initiatives survey


    The President and Vice-Chancellor, Nancy Rothwell, has convened a pan-University working group, under the Institute of Data Science and AI, to prepare to submit a competitive bid for a UKRI AI Centre of Excellence – to establish a Centre for AI Fundamentals, and to develop a business case for a Turing Innovation Hub. The working group would welcome your input to any of these initiatives. Read more.

    gravatar Marion Morris

    Paper award: Distinguished Artifact Award

    Congratulations to Hugo Lefeuvre and Pierre Oliver on the FlexOS team for their achievement of the Distinguished Artifact Award for their paper titled FlexOS: towards flexible OS isolation. The article proposes FlexOS as a novel OS allowing users to easily specialise the safety and isolation strategy of an OS at compilation/deployment time instead of design time. The award was announced at the 27th conference of ASPLOS 2022.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Research Funding Opportunities

    Leverhulme International Professorships scheme - internal sift

    • Nomination deadline: 13-Apr-22
    • FSE internal deadline: 20-Apr-22
    • Leverhulme deadline 27-May-2022

    As only one bid can be submitted per institution, Faculties are being asked to select one candidate each.  For FSE, this will be decided by a Faculty Panel, with the Faculty nominated application being sent to the central Research and Business Engagement Team by 20th April 2022, where a central University panel will decide on which candidate to take forward.

    In order for the FSE Panel to select the best candidate, we are asking for nominations by Wednesday 13th April. Nominations should consist of a short CV and 2 page (max) summary of how the research leader fits the criteria for the call and strategic vision for the Faculty.   

    Please submit these to Daniel Twiddy (, cc-in by Wednesday 13th April 2022.

    Leverhulme International Professorships
    Applications are encouraged from universities seeking to recruit excellent research leaders of any nationality, currently working outside the UK, in order to fill strategically important positions in this country. The Trust has allocated at least £100m over five years to fund these grants.

    It is expected that the university will offer:

    •                    a permanent appointment to the Professorial candidate and, where possible, to staff appointed on the grants and
    •                    an ongoing package of support after the end of the grant.


    N.B. Not to be confused with two other Leverhulme processes that are also ongoing. Here's brief clarification on how they differ, confirmation of dates etc.

    1)      Philip Leverhulme Prize 

    Three bids per category can be submitted by UoM.

    Details: The call is open for applications, with a deadline for institutional nominations of 4pm, 17th May 2022. These prizes recognise the achievement of outstanding researchers whose work has already attracted international recognition and whose future career is exceptionally promising. The prize scheme makes up to 30 awards of £100k a year, across a range of academic disciplines. The selected subject areas for the 2022 competition are listed below. Note that the disciplines selected are intentionally broad, and nominations will be considered irrespective of a nominee’s departmental affiliation.

    Due to demand management, the following internal selection process will be put in place:

    4pm,  Monday, 28th March 2022: Outline application for internal selection process to be sent to the relevant academic contact (see below). Outline application to consist of:

    • Subject Area
    • CV
    • Significant research achievements (400 words)
    • Future research plans (400 words)
    • How the nominee would use the prize (400 words)
    • What the prize would enable nominee to achieve that current funding would not allow (400 words)
    • Confirmation from the nominee that their HoD supports the outline application being considered for selection

    Tuesday, 3 May 2022: Recommended internal deadline for successful candidates’ sections of Leverhulme application form to be completed. As there is significant input and approval required by the Head of Department, the Research Services team are asking that candidates complete their sections of the application form by this date.

    Tuesday, 17 May 2022: The deadline for submission of institutional nominations.

    Subject areas 2022 – School / Faculty leading on the selection of nominations and contact email address for outline applications to be submitted to: 

    ·         Chemistry – Prof Richard Winpenny (
    ·         Engineering – Dr Vahid Niasar (

    Eligibility: Nominees must hold either a permanent post or a long-term fellowship in a UK institution of higher education or research that would extend beyond the duration of the Philip Leverhulme Prize. Those otherwise without salary are not eligible to be nominated. Nominees should normally have been awarded their doctoral degree not more than ten years prior to the closing date of 17th May 2022. The award date is considered to be the date on which the degree was confirmed by the awarding institution.


    2)      Leverhulme Research Leadership Awards

    Internal deadline: 28-Mar-2022
    External deadline: 10-Jun-2022

    Internal bids to go to Daniel Twiddy (, cc-in by midday on Monday 28th March 2022.

    One applicant can be submitted per institution so the Faculty will be putting forward 2 bids to the Centre before a UoM candidate is determined. Costs are up to £1m for 4 or 5 years – there are restrictions on how experienced people can be and a contract that spans the length of the award is a prerequisite. No funds claimable for the Fellow themselves so relatively basic costings may be required for this (the sift asks candidates to briefly outline their budget)

    FSE invites outline proposals (3 pages max) per the guidelines below:

    PROJECT TITLE (Name of Applicant)


    1.            Abstract of proposed research: this should be in language suitable for a lay reader

    2.            A detailed statement of the intended research which should include the following:

    a. Main aims of the research and the proposed methodology, including how it is not a currently identified priority of the main research councils/significant public funders

    b. The extent to which the proposed work can be seen to bring about a fruitful reshaping of the disciplinary landscape

    c. Fit of the proposed research within the institution

    d. Record and promise of the group leader

    e. Structure and activities of the research team

    f. Brief summary of costs

    3.            CV of the applicant

    The outline proposal (not including the cv) must not exceed 3 pages.


    This faculty level selection process supersedes any local departmental arrangements that have been in place previously. Confirmation of the supported application will be announced mid-April.

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    BBSRC Discovery Fellowships 2022 - internal sift

    The Faculty have decided to approach the BBSRC Discovery Fellowships in a slightly different way for this round, and will be providing additional financial contributions to successful applicants in order to show BBSRC that we are supportive of our Fellows. This means, however, that the faculty will only be supporting up to two applications in this round.

    BBSRC’s deadline is 5th May 4pm, so we would like to follow the below timeline to identify FSE’s candidates:

    gravatar Sarah Chatwin

    [ top ]Sustainability and Green Impact News

    Digital Tools and Climate Responses

    Date: Tuesday 5th April
    Time: 14:00 – 16:00
    Venue: Virtual
    Register here

    We are hosting an exciting cross-platform event between the Digital Futures Cities & Environment theme and the Sustainable Futures research platform. This internal networking and ideas generation event will bring together researchers from across the University of Manchester to explore how digital technology can be used to develop innovative responses to climate change. It will provide an opportunity to spotlight important interdisciplinary research in this area, and discuss future research collaborations.

    If you have any questions related to the event, please contact Peter Kane.

    Agenda (timings TBC):
    2-3pm: Spotlight talks
    3-4pm: Networking and ideas generation session

    Confirmed speakers:

    • Claire Hoolohan, Presidential Research Fellow, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
      Everyday practices and organisational practices linked to water use (title TBC)
    • Muir Freer, PhD Student, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
      Carbon Efficient Digital Twin Modelling of a Critical Climate Change Mitigation Technology for the UK
    • Raphael Tarpani, Research Assistant, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
      Environmental impacts of digital services for health and wellbeing in the home
    gravatar Marion Morris

    Towards Sustainability and Net Zero with Digitalised Surface Manufacturing:

    Professor Allan Matthews |Towards Sustainability and Net Zero with Digitalised Surface Manufacturing: The role of the EPSRC DSM NetworkPlus

    The DSM NetworkPlus is a £1million investment by the EPSRC to bring together the diverse expertise and capabilities in UK academia to enhance digitalisation in surface manufacturing sector. Their aim to capture and understand the current UK coating research and manufacturing framework and pump-prime digitalisation activity to move the sector forward towards Industry 4.0. In this talk Allan will discuss the role of the EPSRC Digitalised Surface Manufacturing NetworkPlus in working towards Sustainability and Net Zero with Digitalised Surface Manufacturing.

    Register for Allan’s presentation here.

    gravatar Marion Morris

    gravatar Marion Morris
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Last change: Friday, 25 March 2022 12:40:02