City Alumni Network

Monthly Archives: November 2010

City University London is proud to announce its new Chancellor

City News.

City is delighted to announce its new Chancellor, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Michael Bear. The appointment was confirmed on 12th November, the day before the annual Lord Mayor’s Show.

 The Show – an annual high point in Londoners’ diaries – provided the first opportunity for City’s students and staff to celebrate the appointment of their new Chancellor. City’s float was an old Routemaster bus containing students, members of staff and the Music department’s Middle East Ensemble.

Alderman Bear will hold the position of Chancellor during his tenure as Lord Mayor of the City of London.

The new Chancellor brings to his role at City a wealth of knowledge and international experience in engineering and construction.  Having studied Civil Engineering at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa, he went on to gain an MBA at Cranfield University.  Alderman Bear is also an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. 

As well as delivering a range of projects in the US, Europe, the Far East and Africa, he has taken part in charity initiatives in Africa and Bangladesh.  His work in London includes the successful regeneration of London’s iconic Spitalfields.

City’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Curran commented:  “Our new Chancellor, Alderman Bear, is a perfect fit for City.  He is an exceptionally well-regarded engineer who has contributed much to the development of London.  The coming year is set to be an exciting one for the University and I look forward to working closely with him.”

City’s new Chancellor, Alderman Michael Bear, added: “City University London’s commitment to academic excellence and business and the professions feeds directly into the challenges facing the City of London.  I am delighted to take up the role of Chancellor as part of the Mayoralty and look forward to developing the fruitful partnership between the University and the City of London”.

Lord Mayor Show

City students enjoying the Lord Mayor's Show

MSc Economics Lecture & Reception

Arts and Social Sciences News, Events.

Econmics alumni are invited to attend a lecture with guest speaker Peter Andrews, Head of Economics of Financial Regulation at the Financial Services Authority.

The lecture takes place at 6.30PM on Thursday 25th November in the Tait Building. A an opportunity to meet fellow alumni follows.

To register, please complete our online form and for further information email:

City Law School expert shares stage with a host of leading global politicians

Law News.

The City Law School’s Professor Alan Riley has appeared at two major international conferences alongside some of the world’s most prominent political and diplomatic figures.

Professor Riley gave a presentation on the energy challenge earlier this month at the 7th Yalta Annual Meeting in Ukraine, where delegates included former US President Bill Clinton, Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and President of the Ukraine, Mykola Azarov. 

The Yalta conference, entitled ‘Ukraine and the World: Re-Thinking and Moving On’, was held by YES, an international body established to promote Ukraine in a wider economic, judicial and political context and to support its entry to the European Union.

Professor Riley, Director of the LLM Master’s programme at The City Law School, collaborated on the presentation with Valery Yazev, Vice Chairman of the Lower House of the Russian Federal Assembly, and Leonid Grigoriev, President of the Institute for Energy and Finance, Moscow.

Meanwhile, Professor Riley also appeared in October at the Black Sea Energy and Economic Forum run by US think-tank Atlantic Council. 

Held in Istanbul, the high-profile forum featured speakers including Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani.

Commenting on his recent appearances, Professor Riley said: “We have a growing profile in the energy sector and I have been doing a lot of research work on the regulation and functioning of global gas markets. In addition, The City Law School now has a suite of energy-based Masters courses on the LLM as well as a dedicated energy LLM programme.”

He added: “As our capacity in this sector builds, the School’s reputation is increasing and as a result we are getting many more requests to speak at such significant international events.”

City to improve packaging quality through enterprise partnership

Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering News.

The School of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences and Sencon UK Ltd – a leading developer of sensor and control systems for the metal packaging industry – have begun a three year, £200k Knowledge Transfer Partnership, to improve the quality control of the coatings applied to food, drink and aerosol cans.
Such coatings are used internally to protect cans’ contents and externally for branding. Currently, manufacturers are often limited to measuring their relative thickness, which can be inaccurate.

The partnership will develop a robust, low-cost optical sensor system that is capable of measuring absolute thickness instead, enabling manufacturers to check more accurately that cans are the correct colour and provide sufficient defence against contamination.
During the project, City will share its significant experience in measurement and instrumentation – the teaching and research of which has been a focus for the University since its foundation in 1894 – helping Sencon to develop two new systems.

The work will be led by Professor Panos Liatsis, Head of City’s Information Engineering and Medical Imaging Group, who says: “The majority of commercial optical coating thickness sensors are intended for use in the laboratory. Through this enterprise partnership, we will learn more about the potential industrial uses for such technology and draw on our knowledge to benefit manufacturers.”

The collaboration is funded with £136k from the Technology Strategy Board and is part of the UK-wide Knowledge Transfer Partnerships programme, which helps businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of the knowledge, technology and skills found within the UK.

Speech and Language alumni volunteer overseas

Health Sciences News.

VolunteeringEight City University London graduates recently set off to Cambodia, where they are completing a three month volunteer programme, providing speech and language therapy to disadvantaged communities in Phnom Penh.

The City-Cambodia Speech and Language Project, now in its fourth year, was started in 2007 by Professor Tim Pring.

Commencing in September each year, City qualified therapists work with children with cleft lip and palate at the Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC) and the National Paediatric Hospital (NPH) and with children with cerebral palsy and other special needs at an orphanage and a special school.  Those working with cleft palate receive extra training and support from Dr Debbie Sell at Great Ormond St Hospital.

“Cambodia has no speech and language therapy service so the programme provides a vital role in exporting City’s expertise to the developing country and in helping to train local people.”

Professor Tim Pring, City University London

The programme has been supported by the Cleft Lip and Palate Association and the Multi-Agency International Training and Support organisation for the past three years, but staff and students also fundraise to support their involvement in the programme.

The project has grown, from three therapists in its first year, to eight this year.  Last year two nurses from the School of Nursing also went and will return in February to train Khmer nurses at the NPH. “There is great scope to expand the project and the demand for places is high however funding is a continuing constraint on its development,” says Professor Pring.

City University Concert Series

Arts and Social Sciences News.

Sekar Enggal, Gamelan Concert | RSVP

Tuesday, 30th November | 7PM | Performance Space

Sekar Enggal is an ensemble based at City University, which performs music from Sunda (West Java) for gamelan degung.  A gamelan is an ensemble from Indonesia which consists primarily of bronze instruments such as large hanging gongs, smaller gong kettles suspended horizontally, and metallophones, as well as a xylophone, drums, voices and a fiddle or flute.  Gamelan degung is normally found only in West Java, and originated as a courtly entertainment played only in the palaces of the aristocracy.  After Indonesian Independence in 1945 degung began to be enjoyed by the wider populace.  Consequently the music played on degung was greatly enriched through the inclusion of other types of repertoire.

The group is directed by Simon Cook, who began playing gamelan in the Netherlands in 1979, and spent 12 years in Indonesia studying gamelan.  For further information on the group and Sundanese music generally, visit

Tickets by programme on the door:
Adults: £5
Concessions: £2.50


City University Symphony Orchestra Winter Concert |RSVP

Thursday, 2nd  December | 7.30PM | St Giles Cripplegate Church Fore Street, Barbican, London EC2Y 8DA

Programme to include:

  • Anton Bruckner Three Pieces for Orchestra
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams  Concerto for Tuba in F minor | The England of Elizabeth: Three Portraits
  • Gustav Mahler Blumine (originally from Symphony no.1)

Also an appearence by the City University Chamber Choir.

Adults: £8
Concessions £4


For more information on either event email:

For updates you can follow @CityUniConcerts on twitter

The Olive Tree Middle East Forum


Middle East Forum The Olive Tree Middle East Forum; Israel: Politics, Religion and Identity | RSVP

Wednesday, 24th November | 6PM | Room A130, College Building

You are cordially invited to participate in the second of three panel discussions to explore complex questions about identity, religion and politics in ‘The Holy Land’.

On the panel:
• Rabbi Herschel Gluck currently lives in Stoke Newington, London, but his work is international and involves mediation between Jewish and other faith groups and communities. He is honorary secretary of the Arab-Jewish Forum and is chairman and founder of the Muslim-Jewish Forum.
• Dr Amnon Aran joined the Department of International Politics at City University in 2009, prior to which he was an LSE Fellow, and he recently published a book entitled: Israel’s Foreign Policy towards the PLO: The Impact of Globalization, with Sussex Academic Press.

The Olive Tree Middle East Forum; Jerusalem in Conflict: Frontier Urbanism | RSVP

Wednesday, 1st December | 6PM | Great Hall, College Building

Principal Investigator Dr Wendy Pullan, Director of the Martin Centre for Research, Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge & Co-Investigator Professor Michael Dumper, Politics Department, University of Exeter will give an illustrated talk on their research findings, before discussing the key implications with the audience.
City University Olive Tree Scholar and photographer, Yoav Galai will present his work on East Jerusalem.

City’s giCentre recognised for scientific impact at world leading conference

Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering News.

The School of Informatics’ giCentre won four high-profile awards at IEEE VisWeek 2010 – the world’s leading data visualization conference, which took place in Salt Lake City, Utah, in late October.

Data visualization presents complex numeric, textual and other information in a graphical manner through interactive interfaces, giving analysts access to information in new ways.

Dr Aidan Slingsby, Willis Research Fellow, led the giCentre’s winning entry for the Discovery Award, which recognises the scientific impact of research. His Making Hurricane Tracks Accessible project took the top prize. The work visually analyses centuries of global storm activity and helps insurers assess the financial impact of atmospheric risk and the effect of climate change on it.

Jason Dykes, Professor of Visualization, received an Honourable Mention for the paper Rethinking Map Legends with Visualization (pdf), which offers new guidance for creating map legends in interactive software. The work was undertaken with the UK’s national data centre for tertiary education, EDINA. Jason also participated in the panel Teaching Data Visualization, which received the Best Panel prize.

 Dr Jo Wood, Reader in Geographic Information Science, represented the giCentre’s entry in the annual VAST Challenge, developing two visualization applications to interpret hospitalisation records and mutations of diseases. These received top marks for the findings and awards for the quality of their design and analysis.

 Professor Dykes says: “Data visualization is a fast-growing and exciting field and VisWeek is the key worldwide event for the discipline. It’s fantastic to receive global recognition from our peers for the quality of the work we are doing at the giCentre, particularly for the impact that our research is having in industry.”

You can access images, videos and textual summaries and use interactive applications at

Vice-Chancellor’s Open House

City News.

Professor Paul Curran is to lead work on the strategy to take City to the next stage in its development as a truly world class University. A focus on quality, the requirement for a clear Vision of where we want to be in five or six years time and a robust strategy to get us there formed the basis of our new Vice-Chancellor’s presentation to staff at the Open House in the Oliver Thompson Lecture Theatre on 28th October.

Now approaching the halfway point of his symbolic first 100 days in post, Professor Curran told staff that between now and Easter he will lead work to develop both a better understanding of City today and a collective Vision of where we will aspire to be in 2016.  Referring to university league tables, he said: “Given the calibre of our academic staff, the strength of our Professional Services and our great location there is no reason why we shouldn’t be much closer to 20th in the country and 200th in the world”.

After Easter, the next step will be to challenge individual Schools and Professional Services to develop their plans in order to realise City’s Vision.  The overarching Strategic Plan for City will follow.  Professor Curran describes it as “nothing more than the route map of how we will get to where we want to be in five years time”.

The Vice-Chancellor has already addressed the issue of whether City should compete on the basis of price or quality.  Everyone he has spoken to around the University agrees – “obviously, it’s quality”.
The ‘outside world’ has had a major impact on higher education during the short time that Professor Curran has been at City.  The Browne Review and the Comprehensive Spending Review will affect City considerably but to a lesser extent than most UK universities.  “We are in a good position structurally”, he said.  “The Higher Education White Paper to be published in September 2011 will give us far more detail”.

You can watch a video of this event online. 

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.

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