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The magazine for Friends of Coventry University
Product Design graduate Fergus Feeney is coining Olympic success
Coventry graduates celebrate on campus and around the world
How our alumni’s generosity creates global opportunities for students
ry a Covent y Universit Hoodie!
This summer has seen some of the hottest days in years and amidst the summer fun, we have received the news that the ViceChancellor of Coventry University, Professor Madeleine Atkins CBE, has been appointed Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). Professor Atkins has made an outstanding contribution to the University, the city and the region and I am sure you will join me in congratulating her on her new role and wish her all the best for the future. In this issue, we have Fergus Feeney, the man behind the design and production of last year’s Olympic medals, Jess Golding’s race to represent Australia in Skeleton Racing at the Winter Olympics 2018 and brother duo Rinat and Rahul Malik, who launched the new E&C alumni group this April. I would also like to draw your attention to our ‘evolve around the world’ photo competition – we want to see where you receive or take your copy of evolve, the alumni magazine! You can find all the details on page 38. This issue is of course also packed with your updates, letters, reunions and events – so sit back for a good catch-up with your University.
Keep in touch Kristina
The alumni team
Head of Fundraising and Alumni Services Michael Mogan Alumni Relations Manager Kristina Anders Annual Fund Officer Brian Wilson Development Manager Chris Smith
Telephone: +44 (0) 24 7688 8589 Email: email@example.com Post: FOCUS, The Development Office, Alan Berry Building, Room 120, Coventry University, Priory Street, Coventry, CV1 5FB Website: www.coventry.ac.uk/alumni E-News: Subscribe to a free monthly alumni e-newsletter by emailing SUBSCRIBE to firstname.lastname@example.org Social Networking: Become a Fan and join the Friends of Coventry University group on Facebook, link up with the University and other professionals on the Linkedin website
This magazine is written and edited by Kristina Anders and Katie Southwell, designed by Martin Sully for Coventry University, photography by Graham Harwood and printed by Emmersons Press. Special thanks to everyone who contributed to this issue of evolve. Please keep sending in your stories.
This magazine is published twice a year for alumni of Coventry University. All letters, photos and news are welcomed but we reserve the right to edit any contributions. The opinions expressed in evolve are those of the contributors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Alumni Relations Office or Coventry University.
Vice-Chancellor Madeleine Atkins offers a warm welcome
For some of you this will be your first look at our alumni magazine; for me, it will be my final chance to welcome you as Vice-Chancellor. After nine enjoyable years I have decided it’s time to move on. I have been offered, and accepted, the role of Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). It has not been an easy decision to make. Over the past few years the University has achieved many successes and developed strategies and plans to take us into a more demanding environment. The future looks bright for Coventry University and I’m certain the institution will continue to flourish. I will continue in my role as ViceChancellor until early next calendar year and I’m delighted that I will be able to preside over one more week of graduation ceremonies in November. I’ll also look forward to receiving my copy of Evolve and keeping up to date with the latest alumni news.
10 Get Connected Find out what old friends are doing now 22 Letters Your views and opinions about Coventry University 30 Lecturer in Focus Bob Bird shines a spotlight on ethical hacking 34 Events Sports Day, reunions and more 8 Olympic dreams for speedy graduate Jess Golding fulfils her need for speed through skeleton racing 14 Putting drivers back in control Working with Nissan to put high performance driving at people’s fingertips 16 Changing lives Follow a group of students who embarked on the adventure of a lifetime in Jordan 18 Forging links through football Sharing University expertise in developing countries 20 Winning design How one graduate is coining Olympic success 24 A family affair Two brothers building alumni bridges 26 Passport to success High-flying career for graduate in Spain 32 Be part of something big The latest way to fund education
competitions and offers
38 Benefits and Services Some of the perks of being a member of FOCUS
Professor Madeleine Atkins CBE Vice-Chancellor
This magazine is available in alternative formats on request. Call +44 (0)24 7688 8589 or email email@example.com
utomotive and Transport Design graduate Christopher Kvilums has been selected as the winner of the Lanchester Trust Student Prize for his design of an energy efficient 35m luxury catamaran. Chris, from Birmingham, was presented with a cash prize of £250 and a certificate in honour of the achievement during his graduation ceremony in November 2012. The brief for the annual prize is set by the Lanchester Trustees, Chris Clark, Malcolm Whitehouse and Eric Baptiste, as a way of formally recognising the enterprise, initiative, creativity and invention demonstrated by Coventry University students. Chris found out about the Lanchester Student Prize in his final year. He said: “The Lanchester history has inspired many generations of designers and is particularly relevant to the city of Coventry. I was keen to be a part of this prestigious prize.” Chris was eager to use his design to change perceptions that green design is expensive and unreliable. He designed a
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Inspiring a generation of energy efficient designers
35m catamaran which harvests natural solar and wind energy to provide ventilation and cooling. “The design takes on board a holistic design approach that manages to combat issues within the marine industry and in a global context.” He continued: “When I heard I had won the prize I felt amazing! I never thought that I would get it. It seemed a bit unreal. However it is an honour to receive it, and I am very appreciative.” Chris is currently studying for a PhD and will use the prize money to buy books. He plans to create a design tool that other yacht designers can use to implement technologies to calculate how much energy and money they are saving. Chris said: “I would like to say thank you
very much to all of those at the Lanchester Trust for this prestigious Student Prize, which I am honoured and very grateful to receive. I hope that many others like myself will be inspired by the works of Dr. Frederick, George and Frank Lanchester, to produce innovative solutions to today’s modern problems.”
John Devane’s work selected for National Portrait Gallery
John Devane, head of the University’s Department of Design and Visual Arts, has been shortlisted for the 2013 BP Portrait Award. His oil painting ‘The Uncertain Time’ – which depicts his three children Lucy, Laura and Louis – will be exhibited in the National Gallery until mid-September. It will be the second time John’s work has featured in the National Portrait Gallery; his painting entitled ‘In the House of The Cellist’ was selected for an exhibition in 1995. Painted over three years, ‘The Uncertain Time’ sets out to show how children emerge from childhood and begin to assert their independence, revealing something of their adult selves. The BP Portrait Award, described as the most prestigious portrait painting competition in the world, is in its 34th year at the National Portrait Gallery and has a cash prize of £30,000 for the winner. John Devane said: “I am greatly appreciative of the opportunity to show work for a second time in the National Portrait Gallery, and to have been shortlisted for this award.”
Engineering bright sparks launch electric drag race world record attempt
Motorsport Engineering graduate and competitive racer Rob Moon is working towards breaking the record for the world’s quickest electric motorcycle with Phil Edwards, head of Sussex based high-powered, low carbon vehicle specialists Weald Technology Ltd (Weald EVT). Rob, who graduated with first class honours, currently works as a consulting engineer in speed work development and he has joined forces with Phil and the team at Weald EVT to launch the EV1000 challenge. A crowd funding campaign is now open to raise money for the initial stage of the project. The crowd funding target is £7,000 which will go towards the construction of the bike. Donations, large and small can be pledged online at www.igg.me/ at/ev1000 which also includes further information and a video about the project. Funds raised will help the team build the rolling chassis, buy the rear wheel and drive package, and mould the body panels. Their goal is to build an electric motorcycle with 1,000 horsepower of clean energy that can accelerate to 60mph in under one second, 200mph in just four seconds, and then on to 225mph in just a quarter of a mile. Lead Chassis Designer Rob Moon won the Baroness Platt of Writtle Award for outstanding engineering student as an undergraduate at Coventry University and he has a successful track record in motorcycle racing. Bernard Porter, Director of Low Carbon Vehicle Programmes at Coventry University said: “Projects such as this demonstrate the way in which new vehicle technologies can be harnessed to deliver any combination of power, performance and efficiency, and we are delighted to be working with Weald Technology Ltd.”
Pinball wizards launch
oventry School of Art and Design kick started its annual Degree Show at the end of March with a game of human pinball in the city centre’s Broadgate Square. Students and staff from the University surprised onlookers in the city centre with a giant inflatable pinball which formed part of a special musical performance by the city’s all female roller derby team, the Coventry City Derby Dolls. Unsuspecting Saturday shoppers enjoyed impromptu dance routines by the Dolls who skated to the sounds of Elton John’s version of ‘Pinball Wizard’ from the 1975 hit rock opera ‘Tommy’. The Dolls also gave roller derby demos and Free Radio’s Street Stars provided the music, which all made for a great party atmosphere. A special app in the form of a pinball game has also been created to celebrate the launch of the Degree Show and is available to download from the App Store. The celebration marked the launch of art and design students’ Degree Show 2013. For more information about this year’s Degree Show visit http://www.covdegreeshow.org.uk. Impressions of the events and work of the students can be found at http://www.covdegreeshow.org.uk/ gallery.php
SGI leads in £1.5m
oventry University’s Serious Games Institute is set to play a leading role in a £1.5 million research project which aims to help manufacturing firms transform their business models using games technology. The project, announced by Universities and Science Minister David Willetts shortly after he visited the University’s campus, is part of a wider £45 million funding package from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) designed to improve manufacturing competitiveness in the UK. Coventry’s Serious Games Institute (SGI) will work with Aston University and the University of Sheffield on the gaming technology initiative, whose goal will be to encourage UK firms to use ‘gamification’ to sell services as well as products. The research team will create serious games using three dimensional virtual worlds which can represent and handle the complex data systems of companies looking to adopt product service systems. A host of industry partners – including Ford Motor Company, MAN Truck & Bus and Birmingham Science Park – will test out the games as part of the project. Mr Willetts visited Coventry University to meet with Vice-Chancellor Professor Madeleine Atkins and see the latest technologies available to staff and students in the new £55m engineering and computing facility. Speaking before the government’s Manufacturing Summit, Mr Willetts said: “The UK has a proud history of manufacturing, but to build on this success industry needs access to the very latest science and technology. This £45 million package of investment will see our world-class research base investigating innovative new manufacturing equipment and techniques. This will support our industrial strategy in a range of important sectors, driving growth and keeping the UK ahead in the global race.” Professor Sara de Freitas, Director of the Serious Games and Virtual Worlds Applied Research Group at the University, said: “To be chosen to lead this project in partnership with Aston University and the University of Sheffield represents an excellent opportunity, particularly for the West Midlands region which is now positioned very much as a global leader in the serious games industry.”
Below, Left to right – Universities and Science Minister David Willetts meets third year aerospace student Winnie Draper as he is shown the latest technology in Coventry University’s new £55m engineering and computing building; Professor Sara De Freitas.
Graduates remember their favourite lecturer
Geography, 2008 Phil Dunham, his passion for his subjects was endearing and motivating. P.S: I love my job.
boost to manufacturing
Business Studies, 1976 Keith Redhead, he turned economics from my least favourite subject to my favourite. Every lecture was an inspiration – delivered off the cuff.
Business Management, 2010 My favourite teacher was Paul Massiah, offering a great sense of humour and effective teaching style.
Social and Therapeutic Horticulture, 2010 Bob Heath, I always found him knowledgeable, compassionate and inspirational.
Occupational Therapy, 2012 Firstly I would like to say a massive thank you to all tutors who taught me at Cov Uni. I have three favourites: Mike Morgan, Julie Booth and Sue O’neil. All three are fantastic in their own way. I’ll never forget any of them.
European Construction, 2004 Mr. Keith Chapman, because of his open mind, knowledge and the experience he shared with us.
Biomedical Science, 2012 Dr Martin Cox. Passionate about what he does and his subject area. He guided, supported and encouraged me through my 4 years at Coventry University. P.S. The best personal tutor!!!
Olympic dreams for
Coventry University Sports Marketing graduate Jess Golding’s need for speed has driven her from karting to one of the world’s fastest winter sports – skeleton racing.
keleton is a fast winter sport where athletes travel head first down a frozen bobsleigh track on a sled. Athletes can experience up to 5gs and reach speeds over 135 km/ph with their chin only millimeters off the ice. Jess, who is originally from Sydney and now living in Brisbane, competed in her first skeleton race after only two weeks of intense track training in Calgary. She then went on to compete in the last round of the North American Cup in Lake Placid, New York, and finished in a credible 12th place amongst seasoned sliders. She has since been accepted on a partial scholarship and will represent Australia in the North American Cup 2013/14 season with her ultimate aim to represent Australia at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. Jess began studying a Sports Management degree in Queensland at Bond University and the marketing
elements of the course really appealed to her, so she started searching for a course on Sports Marketing. “I wanted to go overseas to study and Coventry University was (at the time) the most highly ranked university in the UK for Sports Marketing. I started the course in 2008 and graduated in 2011 with first class honours.” Despite missing her family in Australia, Jess enjoyed her time in Coventry and was offered some amazing opportunities. “My lecturers were really supportive and flexible. I was paying for my degree out of my own pocket, so I didn’t really have time for socialising, although I was also lucky enough to receive one of the University’s Sporting Excellence Scholarships for my results in karting.” Jess has been kart racing for 14 years and was crowned Australian Karting champion in 2005. She has also tested Formula BMW in the UK and Asia and raced three rounds of the Australian Formula Ford championship in 2007. Jess was introduced to the sport of skeleton racing by her physiotherapist Chris Brady from the Queensland Sport Medicine Centre. Chris has worked for many years with high profile athletes in motorsport and Winter Olympic teams and suggested Jess should try out skeleton racing, due to the synergy between the sport and motor racing. Jess contacted the Australian skeleton team and the opportunity to get involved arose earlier this year. “I was invited to try out for the Australian Skeleton programme. We had a secret visit to Calgary, home of the 1988 Winter Olympics and set to the cult film ‘Cool Runnings’, where I was put through an intensive on-track testing phase.” Jess has fallen in love with her new sport. “The speed, race lines and everything about the sport really appeals to me. Believe it or not, I feel really calm when I race. I really love it.” In her first year as a development slider, Jess will only be partially funded. She needs to cover half of her racing season herself, which includes flights, ground transport, food and general living expenses. She has a full schedule of races lined up in her bid to be selected for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea. Jess is currently ranked 84th in the world and finished 28th in the North American Cup 2012/13 season. Alongside her full-time job and skeleton training commitments, she is also kart racing and will compete in two rounds of the Rotax Pro Tour and the Rotax Nationals in 2013. If you’d like to support Jess in raising the additional funds she needs to continue competing, then please visit: www.gofundme.com/ jessgolding
The low down on skeleton racing
• There are only 14 skeleton circuits worldwide, with one new track created once every four years at new Winter Olympic sites • Men and Women compete in separate disciplines • Athletes run over 2–4 heats, depending on the championship circuit they compete in • The athlete with the lowest combined time in all heats is the winner • There are four different championship circuits: 1. World Cup 2. Intercontinental Cup 3. Europe Cup 4. North American Cup • To be a competitive skeleton slider, an athlete must have a combination of attributes: • A quick start time • A smooth load onto their sled • The ability to steer through twisting, high speed turns • To steer a sled athletes use their shoulders, legs and toes and must have a comprehensive understanding of sled feedback and feel
Get back in touch with old friends. Coventry graduates reveal where they are now
Modern Studies (1988)
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Applied Chemistry (1978)
Following graduation, I worked as an analytical chemist, supporting research into explosives, propellants and rocket motors for seven years at the Ministry of Defence. Whilst there, I went on to take a MSc in Chemical Analysis. I then transferred to the Forensic Science Service (FSS), working as a Senior Forensic Scientist, giving evidence in courts of law for 16 years. Following other managerial roles, I became the Quality Assurance Manager, gaining qualifications as a Lead Quality Auditor for ISO 9001 and a UKAS Assessor for ISO 17025. Following the closure of the FSS I moved to AlphaBiolabs as their Quality, Health, Safety and Environmental Systems Manager, maintaining accreditations for ISO 17025, 9001 and 14001. My LinkedIn profile can be viewed at uk.linkedin.com/pub/allan-ball/2a/436/8a1
After 18 years working in private industry and ending up as UK Operations Manager for a large multinational corporation, I got fed up of working for idiots! Time to give something back, so I retrained to be a teacher (and also obtained my Masters degree). The salary went from six figures to (barely) five overnight! The hours are just as long; conditions poor but what a fulfilling job. Hard work but so rewarding.
Business Administration (2008)
I went to Australia in 2012 for a year on a Working Holiday Visa and I am now working in Amsterdam as an accountant.
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Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (2009)
Continued Studying with Masters ‘Contempory Arts Practice’ at
Coventry University and I am also a 2012 graduate of BA Fine Art 2.1 with Honors in between studying for Foundation and then going on to present studies of Masters.
Emergency and Disaster Management (2009)
My degree has given me skills which I use daily within my career and has also provided me with opportunities to develop further. As Disaster Management students we were lucky to have additional support from Hazel Swift who looked after us on a personal level as well as academically.
Mahmood Al Zaghal
Aerospace Technology (2010)
First of all I would like to thank Coventry University for keeping in touch with me. I was quite happy to see something from where I studied and where I spent unforgettable moments. I do really miss those days a lot, miss Coventry town, miss the uni and the weather. Miss my accommodation and friends... Miss the UK and I wish I could come back and live in the UK. It’s a great country indeed.
Motorsport Engineering (2010)
I left my position at TRW in December to set up my own limited company after securing a contract with JLR for 2013.
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Rosie Kemp Theatre and Professional Practice (2011)
I’m currently working for the bookshop and enjoying it. I’m happy to say I secured a place on a course at the University of Worcester.
Unlike many students who study to further career prospects, I took this course for the sheer joy of learning, and the learning did indeed bring me great pleasure. Due to long term illness I cannot work at present, however the career support given by this university is immense and carefully tailored to the individual, as was the excellent disability support I received throughout my time at the university. The course is a balance between the academic, the pragmatic and the inspirational. All the tutors I studied with were dedicated, supportive and enthusiastic. How could I pick just one who had the greatest effect on me? They all did in their own ways. In my time at the university I learned and grew. For that I thank all concerned.
Human Resource Management (2011)
Through hard work I managed to get promoted twice in 6 months. My advice to students is to accept the job regardless of the initial salary and work your way up. The rewards are 10 times better.
evolve get connected Madeeha Bakali
I am not currently working as I got married straight after my undergraduate Psychology Degree. So I would consider myself as a housewife for now, but working towards and planning for getting selected on a PhD Clinical Psychology course in the next academic year or so.
General Management (2012)
I did enjoy my MBA. The lecturer and the students were wonderful. I have made so many friends from different countries and professional background. Overall the MBA was worthwhile. Dr Steve Jewell and Suresh George are the best lecturers ever! The amount of knowledge they hold is immeasurable, they are absolutely a solid asset to the MBA Team. Marie Hardie was very helpful, she will turn any negative situation into a positive one. The leadership module is the one I enjoyed the most. The knowledge I have acquired has helped me to differentiate a Leader from a Manager and I’m looking forward to put all that into action in my future career.
I invented a board game during my university times which has now been made by a company to marketable standard and I hope in the next few years it will be out in the shops to buy.
Computer & Control Systems
I’m still just a dyslexic as ever. I do wish I could find my old friends who I did my degree with and I completed my PhD recently. Successfully patented a new way of doing full text search which is particularly good at detecting plagiarism in real time as tutors mark the work on MS Word. So in the future - plagiarisers watch out.
Email you r updates for the ne xt issue o f evolv alumni@c e to oventry.a c.uk
Putting drivers back
Coventry University excels at creating partnerships and building strong relationships with iconic companies. A recent collaboration with Nissan places Coventry University’s expertise at drivers’ fingertips.
rends in the automotive industry have followed a similar pattern over the last few years; whilst promoting safety and reducing carbon footprints have been prominent in manufacturers’ minds, performance still reigns supreme. Auto companies are still acutely aware that they must inject excitement into every vehicle they build. Leading the way is Nissan, and its Nismo brand. Abbreviated from Nissan Motorsport International Limited, Nismo is hugely successful in the virtual world, as well as capturing the imagination of high performance drivers in the real world. Nismo cars have long been a fixture in gaming. In 2012, over 500 million virtual miles were driven in Nissan vehicles in the Gran Turismo 5 game and the Juke Nismo debuted in the Asphalt 7: Heat game. In a drive to push the boundaries of game technology and driving performance, Nissan have been working closely with Coventry University’s Serious Games International to develop an iPad app inspired by the Nissan GTR. The Nissan Nismo Statbox allows the Juke Nismo drivers to link their iPad with the car via Bluetooth and, if they mount the tablet on the dashboard, view an extra range of gauges as they drive. These gauges display data including exhaust and
water temperature, oil pressure, G-Force, and Turbo boost. There’s also a lap-timer function if the driver wants to take their Juke on the track. The app stores all the driving data, including lap times, on the device. The app positions the Juke Nismo right where Nissan wants it - aimed squarely at the Playstation generation. Further updates could include gamification techniques which will introduce a virtual element to the real world with direct links to social media. Nissan envisages a potential online community of Nismo owners swapping lap times and statistics via Facebook and Twitter. Nissan approached Serious Games International (SGIL) for support with the development of the app because of SGIL’s reputation for applying games technology to create engaging business solutions. Felix Bradshaw, Business Development Director at SGIL, explained: “At SGIL we have a unique approach to solving problems and have the advantage of a huge pool of expertise at the University that we can tap into. We worked with Nissan very closely, listening to their brief, developing the concept and continually talking with them on a step by step process to deliver the final product. Our pedigree in video games, including Formula 1 and V-Rally, enabled us to understand the psyche of the modern Nissan owner.”
SGIL collaborated with Nissan to build the bespoke iPad app for their Nismo range which could revolutionise the way customers interact with their vehicles. SGIL worked on this initial stage prototype to provide a demonstration of the Nismo Statbox application at the launch event of the Nissan Juke Nismo. Nissan has been at the forefront of cutting edge technology in this sector and Richard Candler, Nissan International SA thinks the development of the app showcases a lot of opportunity to the automotive IT area. Richard said: “The Nismo Statbox app is a working prototype that previews Nissan’s vision of a connected community of Nismo fans. With this approach, we can add the innovative technology from the Nissan GTR to more accessible products like the Nissan Juke Nismo and excite more customers.” Tim Luft, Managing Director, Serious Games International adds: “Utilising this technology has enabled us to create an app which gives Nissan consumers the exact statistics and key information they need from their vehicle on demand.” “The benefits for consumers are countless and with the potential to develop this technology further, SGIL is looking forward to developing further opportunities that will add real value to Nissan’s product portfolio.”
Felix Bradshaw, Business Development Director SGIL
Felix has more than 16 years’ experience in working within emerging and interactive technology for companies such as Gartner, Insight and F1™. He has run a $5m office for SouthPeak & 7Sixty games leading their digital game strategy and managing traditional sales in every territory outside of North and South America. Felix is confident that his skills, expertise and passion will contribute to SGIL’s major success. He is passionate about making an impact on people’s lives using games technology and believes that SGIL is positioned to be the knowledge base and industry leader to service the Google Specs’ generation.
evolve development Jordan
s e v i l g n Changi
Jordan and the understanding of in Lives Programme g gin an st. Ch Ea i le ad AlS Midd d adi from Birmingham, Working in deprive hen Dr Majid AlS Anwar Meah, 20, Amman, Jordan. ty rsi ir ive the Un d y an ntr en ve ildr ch left Co BA Media schools with local is a second year in d to lpe he nts in the 1980s, after de nt who took part stu de teachers, the Production stu ical ch an tea ch s, Me ng in ildi D bu id: Ph hool He sa studying for a rejuvenate the sc the programme. coordinate trepreneurial t attracted by the the children and firs to s h Engineering, his en wa glis “I En und the world arts activities. A abroad and be talent took him aro music, sports and opportunity to go place impressive k an too ild trip bu l help children less sfu to him es w ort and sa second succ part of an eff al t ay tot tod is the t ing tha ng lio bri self, but it’s all pu business portfo in March this year, fortunate than my g. There who lly ldin nts tua Ho ac de u rn stu yo y ste en ntr Ea ve wh as known number of Co in perspective y ver, when participate to nearl become a part came a time, howe have been able to meet the kids and y hip ntr ers ve rtn Co pa to in urn rks ek. They were ret wo t we to a d jec for he wante thirty. The pro of their lives ck. ive ba iat ng init thi n’s me rda so Jo e of d glad to see us, University to giv with Queen Rania so enthusiastic an supporting that aims ) sly ol’ rou ho ne . The best part Sc ge y ng mi as (‘M ’ ll As we ‘Madrasati and so welco the s nt de ros ac stu al ols on ho sc one kid came to over fifty internati to improve public for me was when e Majid Changing i Th ad gh AlS ou and said he jid thr ng Ma rni ips e sh mo scholar kingdom. Th school one and n tio its da in d un de Fo ip fun is to say something AlSadi Scholarsh Lives Programme had dreamt how ht simulators flig o i. tw at alone made ad of e Th AlS as h. Dr the purch entirety by to us in Englis d ty an rsi g ive rin Un ee y gin ntr En ve for the Faculty of All students at Co it worthwhile!” me global adi wanted to ies would couraged to beco en Computing, Dr AlS These opportunit are the skills and ject has not only the Jordanian pro for is Th ible s. ss po ate du find a way of using be t gra no ventry students h an international dents without enthusiasm of Co provided them wit children or our stu me ho his led in ab ce en s d vision of Dr to make a differen experience, but ha the generosity an ence to fer dif l n. h his desire to rea rda wit a Jo ke led of country them to ma AlSadi, coup group t en firs ildr the ch , n 12 nia 20 rda . In September less privileged Jo make a difference ty ing their across the universi dition to broaden ad of students from in inaugural Majid embarked on the
evolve development Jordan
evolve development india
Forging links through
uilding international bridges with children and young people in developing countries also motivates fellow philanthropists and entrepreneurs Jas Sandhu (Electrical and Electronic Engineering, 1974) and Alan Malik. 10 years ago, Jas founded a football academy in the village of Rurka Kalan (near Jalandhar in India) to provide the children of his hometown with a positive outlet to divert them from drugs to a more active, productive and healthy lifestyle. YFC Rurka Kalan has developed substantially over the last
decade and now works in 9 separate villages. It has broadened its work to support education, health and the environment and annually benefits more than two thousand children between the ages of 4 and 16. As an alumnus of Coventry University, Jas was keen to develop links between YFC Rurka Kalan and his alma mater to provide current students with an opportunity to visit the academy and utilise the skills they have developed on their courses. Thanks to the vision of both Jas and Alan (CEO of leading IT firms ‘Exasoft plc’ and ‘Bit10 Ltd’), the first
group of Sports Science students visited the Punjab in March 2012 and another three students followed six months later. The students have been working with the Football Academy to provide some basic sports science education to the children and coaches of the club. This involved various training sessions with the group in addition to undertaking preliminary research on how the University can assist the charity in its advancement in the long-term. In March 2013, the project was expanded to provide English
evolve development india
Language students from the University with the opportunity to visit the Godiva Lions Coventry Public School in Nurpur and teach English as a foreign language. Sami Bryant, a second year English and TEFL student who took part in the latest programme said: “Being given the opportunity to go out to India and teach in the school with the wonderful children has been a major life changing experience for me both personally and professionally. Teaching ‘in country’ is totally different from teaching in the UK and this amazing chance has
opened my eyes to the path I want to take as an EFL teacher in the long term. Witnessing first-hand the great things that are being done out there to give the kids a fighting chance of a better life is a totally inspiring and humbling experience. The rewards and positives from the trip are far too many to list and the experience will stay with me for the rest of my life.” Thanks to the generosity of Coventry benefactors, there are plans to send another six students out to India in September to further develop the relationships between the University and the region.
By supporting Coventry University students to gain valuable global experiences alongside developing long-term initiatives in communities in Jordan and India, our alumni are providing life-changing opportunities in more ways than one. For further information on these projects or to learn more about how you could support the development of the University, please contact Chris Smith on 024 7688 8311 or email C.firstname.lastname@example.org
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he London 2012 Olympics was a landmark event in British history. Thousands of athletes achieved their lifetime ambition and millions of people around the world watched as they were presented with their winners’ medals. For one Coventry graduate this was an extra special time. Fergus Feeney, who graduated from Industrial Product Design in 1996, is now Programme Director at The Royal Mint. Fergus had the enviable task of managing the design, creation and production of all the victory medals for the 2012 Olympics. Fergus was born in 1972 in Dublin. With his mother a teacher and his father working as an engineer at the Guinness brewery, Fergus believes it was his father who ignited his interest in engineering, which ultimately led to his choice to study Product Design. Having completed a HND in Industrial Design at Carlow Institute of Technology, Fergus started looking at universities. “I already had connections with Coventry. My two uncles worked at Standard Triumph and I knew of the Midland’s reputation for engineering, so it was an obvious choice for me. I had signed up for the rugby team and Gaelic football team before I’d even arrived in the city.” Fergus moved to Coventry in 1994 and headed straight for the Students’ Union. “I knew the SU was the heart of campus and that it would be a great place to make new
myself attractive to employers. The lecturers I remember most fondly are Dave Edge and Roger Perks; they were inspirational and very supportive. Even then, Coventry University was very tuned into industry. They showed us how to make the transition from study to work and I felt very lucky to have that guidance.” Whilst all his fellow graduates on the course were looking for jobs in the automotive industry, Fergus decided to follow his own path. “Telecoms was a growing industry so that’s where I focused my energy. I was invited to a selection week with Ericsson and Nokia and at the end of the week was offered a place on the Nokia Graduate Scheme. I started working at Nokia in 1997.” Fergus was in at the deep end. Working on billion dollar projects and swiftly realising the difference between student life and professional life, he adapted quickly and moved up the career ladder into project management. He worked in Helsinki at Head Office for a year as a Programme Manager before moving on to Panasonic in 2003. When he joined Panasonic at the age of 30, Fergus was the youngest R&D manager worldwide. Based in Cardiff, he headed up consumer appliances and regularly travelled back and forth to China and Japan. Fergus’ passion for golf led to his next career move. After a chance meeting on the fairway with some of Terry Matthew’s team (owner of the
friends. I got a job as a Bar Steward-come-Doorman to help pay the bills. I quickly made lots of new friends. I think you’d say I managed to work hard and play hard.” Fergus spent his first year in Priory Hall, before moving to Radford, where he shared a house with four of his friends. “We all studied Product or Transport Design and we all worked at the SU, so we had lots in common and lots of laughs. We’re still in touch now and have regular catch-ups on campus.” There was an option to take a placement year part way through his degree course, but Fergus decided he wanted to get out into the workplace straight away. After finishing his degree with a 2:1, Fergus started his job search in the Midlands whilst updating his skills with some computer aided design modules. “In the time I was studying, the design industry had moved from 2D sketches to CAD/CAM work, so I knew I needed these skills to make
COINING OLYMPIC SUCCESS
Celtic Manor and IT and telecoms company MITEL), Fergus was recruited as Head of Project Management for Europe, Middle East and Asia and during his three years there was responsible for all the IT and telephones required to support the Ryder Cup. Fergus was headhunted for his current role at The Royal Mint. The Mint was looking for a Director of the Olympic Programme, overseeing the production of medals and delivering commemorative coins for the international market. Fergus believes his rounded experience and knowledge of product design, life cycle and delivery helped secure the role. Having been at The Royal Mint for three years, he is still relishing the challenges. “My role generally relates to the delivery of coin and medal projects. I’ve recently delivered the Diamond Jubilee programme which reached £20 million international sales and the Olympic programme which reached more than
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£100 million sales. The Olympic Medals were designed by artists selected by LOCOG and my role on behalf of The Royal Mint was to provide consultancy advice; tell the artists what was possible in terms of manufacturing and influencing the design within the realms of the Mint.” When the first medals were presented, Fergus felt immensely proud and a little nervous. “Delivering the medals was a very pressurised time. It is the most high profile project I’ve ever worked on and it couldn’t possibly fail. It was quite overwhelming to see the first one placed around an Olympians neck. I was part of a wider team of tool makers, engravers, marketers, but we all played our part. We produced 5000 medals; 4700 went to Olympians and Paralympians and 300 were sent back to The Royal Mint to be melted down. There are only 4 other sets in the world now.” Fergus continues to work on various projects for The
Royal Mint, including developing medals for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, coins for the international market and working with the Treasury on themes for new coins. World War One is a huge project coming up and The Royal Mint are also looking to establish a visitors’ centre at their base in South Wales, which Fergus will oversee. Fergus considers himself lucky to have been part of these high profile projects. “Nothing will compare to being part of the production of the Olympic Medals. Although, my twin daughters were born around the start of the Olympics, so it was special for more than one reason.” “I have three daughters now and I’ve revisited Coventry with my wife. The city and the University have a special place in my heart and I enjoy returning to campus to see how things have changed. Maybe one day I’ll be commissioned to make a Coventry coin?”
Thank you for a wonderful afternoon in April when I attended the E&C Alumni and Student Event. I thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon (as did my Mum and our friend) and I was so impressed by the new building. It seemed to me to be a wonderful environment for students to be in and I am really pleased, based on what I saw, to know that they have access to some of the very latest facilities to help them in their studies. It almost made me wish I could do my degree all over again! Please would you pass on my thanks to Joshua Holmes for giving me a personal tour of the building. It was really touching to hear Joshua put into words what I feel about Coventry and Coventry University and to speak of the pride that he feels for having been a student at Coventry – feelings that match 100% with my own. Based on my own experiences and those of people I met at Coventry, I have always felt that the Coventry graduates are people who are fully prepared to go into their chosen professions and build solid careers based on the application of the skills they acquired whilst at the university and not being afraid to work hard in order to achieve. I like to think that my own career is based on this and listening to Joshua last week makes me think that this will be true for him too. I always claim that I had the best 4 years of my life when I was in Coventry and at the Polytechnic (as it was then). I am certain that there were times that were not completely happy – when I was worried about completing coursework or whatever – but overall it was a good time in my life and one which I always look back upon with fondness and pride.
ews Share your vi ds of n e ri F r with othe iversity and Coventry Un in a £25 you could w cher. Amazon vou
Seeing the new building made me think how much better facilities are now for disabled students. When I was a student, facilities were not always ideal but I got through by sheer determination and with a lot of support and goodwill from staff and fellow students for which I will always be truly grateful. There were times though when it was not always clear how I would overcome a particular situation (although things usually turned out ok) and this sometimes diverted my attention away from what I was at Coventry principally to do i.e. to study. If facilities are now significantly improved for disabled students, as it seemed to me that they are when I saw the new building, then it makes me happy to think that they can devote more attention to their studies without needing to be so concerned about other aspects of their time at university. I wish all staff and students of the Engineering and Computing Faculty all the very best. I will remember my visit for a very long time to come and I thank you again for inviting me to attend. Brian Davies (Computer Science, 1989)
Please send letters to:
Letters, Development and Alumni Office, Coventry University, Priory Street, Coventry, CV1 5FB, or email email@example.com
In September 1963, twelve students from a variety of engineering companies met to commence a 3-year Higher National Diploma in Metallurgy at the then Lanchester College of Technology. This course enabled full time study from September to March and then industrial placements for the summer months. The College department was a combined Chemistry and Metallurgy unit, based in what was then D Block, now the James Starley Building, under the leadership of Dr Maurice Foss. At the time the course started, it was still being built, and was the longest structure of its kind in the UK. It was also known at the time that it was sinking at either end and reinforcements had to be put in place to support it. It was also not unknown for students to ‘walk the planks’ to get to the necessary lecture rooms because all the flooring had not been completed. There was no completed Students Union Building and the Golden Cross was the local students’ hostelry. (It is unfortunate that it has been spoilt with an open plan interior). There were also no Halls of Residence at the time and ‘student digs’ were all over the city. All of us obtained their HNDs and stayed on for a further year to obtain a Diploma in Metallurgy, which at the time was a recognised qualification for professional membership of the then Institution of Metallurgists, of which many of us became members. Following our departure in the summer of 1967, we have met every 3-5 years at various places in the UK to rekindle old friendships. With two members resident in Tasmania and Australia, whenever they visited the UK it was an excuse for another reunion weekend! When it was possible, a past lecturer of the Lanchester College, Ronald Blackwell, also joined us. He became effectively a ‘father figure’ to us all from the first Friday when we met him in September 1963. This friendship has happily lasted, and in June 2013, ten of the original twelve celebrated the 50th anniversary reunion in Coventry. Through the good offices of one of our members, Dr Tony Scanlon, a visit to the University was arranged for Wednesday 26th June.
This proved most enjoyable and informative and we had the opportunity to see how the Lanchester College as we knew it, had in 50 years become one of the new and established Universities in the UK. A visit to The Engineering and Computing Building clearly demonstrated that Coventry University is at the forefront of new technology. A visit to the old D Block (James Starley Building) was naturally undertaken, and brought back many memories. The photo shows us on the steps under the porch of D Block, which is obviously a new addition. We all feel extremely proud that we had an excellent higher education at the Lanchester College which is rapidly becoming a very established University. The city of Coventry can only be proud of its achievement. Barry Leat (Metallurgy 1967)
Names of past students in the photo left to right; Back row: David Roberts, Geoffrey Hinson. Middle row: Barry Leat, Martin Collige, Alan Jenkins, Tony Scanlon. Front row: David Oddy, John Ross, Michael Collins, Garth Perry. Unable to attend: Jim Williams, Gordon Whitmore and Ronald Blackwell (Lecturer)
A family affair
wo brothers from Bangladesh recently organised a special alumni event to celebrate the exciting work being carried out in the new Engineering and Computing Faculty building. Rinat and Rahul Malik both came to Coventry University to study Mechanical Engineering. Rinat graduated in 2011 and is now working as a Design Engineer and Rahul is about to complete his final year. The event, held on Saturday 27 April, brought together alumni and students. It was an opportunity for alumni to see the new Faculty building and find out about current students’ work, meet up with their former classmates and lecturers. It was also a chance for the students to network with alumni, benefit from their experience and knowledge of the world of work and learn more about the benefits of the alumni programme at Coventry University that awaits them after graduation. Rinat said: “I graduated from the university in July 2011 and the new Engineering Building was opened in September 2011, so I narrowly missed out on being part of this exciting change. I’ve been able to visit the new building for various seminars and workshops and think it is stunning. Even though part of me felt sad that I’d missed out on being a student in the building,
it also made me feel very proud of the University. I felt strongly that other alumni would feel the same way, so I started working on this event to share the building with other graduates just like me.” Rahul has been able to enjoy the new building during his final year. He said: “We all have been waiting for the new building for a while, but it was worth waiting for. The facilities are very impressive. There is plenty of space for students to have group meetings or just socialise and having everything in one place makes life really easy.” During his studies Rinat worked alongside staff in the University’s alumni office and was able to see first-hand how many successful, professionals have graduated from the University. Rinat was keen to learn from these people and knew that his fellow students would also benefit from sharing experiences about securing a successful career on graduation. Rinat continued: “As an alumnus myself now, I was keen to know what my other fellow alumni are doing and I wanted to share this with others. I formed a new group through the University’s Alumni association, FOCUS on Engineering and Computing. The idea behind creating the group is to offer a forum where everyone can share their experiences. The event also marked the launch of this group.” More than a hundred visitors attend the event; a mix of alumni, current students and staff. The alumni enjoyed seeing how the faculty has evolved, network with fellow alumni as well as current students. It helped them continue to feel part of the University.
Guests were welcomed to the event by Associate Dean, Dr Mike Blundell. This was followed by a talk from Mr Ian Dunn, Pro-ViceChancellor, Bill Dunn, Associate Head Mechanical Engineering, and Josh Holmes, a current student in the Faculty. Everyone was very nostalgic over lunch and enjoyed exploring the new building, networking and socialising. Rinat continued: “The vibe from all the visitors was that the event was hugely popular. I am planning to make events like this a regular occurrence and maybe in future, as well as having bigger event for the whole faculty, I am thinking about more specific course based reunions and events as well!” The new EC faculty alumni group is now on LinkedIn. Anyone interested in joining the group is welcome to do so at this link http://www.linkedin. com/groups/FOCUSon-EngineeringComputing-4906825. If you’re not on LinkedIn email alumni@coventry. ac.uk or contact Rinat directly at rinat.malik@live. co.uk. Rinat concluded: “The event was a success because it was a collaborative social and networking event with everyone working together to create a great event. The day was a journey from past to present, it was about building lasting relationships where we all had our parts to play.”
Passport to success
At the tender age of 25, Steven Bryan has worked hard to secure a successful career as Financial Controller for an automotive company based in Spain.
“I remember some wise words said at my graduation ceremony in Coventry Cathedral, ‘you have earned the ticket that can open doors, but it is not the passport to success; that depends on you.’ Those words really stuck with me and have become a bit of a mantra.” Internationalisation lies at the heart of the story of Steven’s success. He was born in England and raised in Mexico, before returning to England to prepare for university. He chose Coventry University because of the high ranking of Business Studies courses in various league tables as well as the position of the campus in the city. He studied International Business Management and graduated in 2011. During his first year, Steven lived in Priory Hall. He has mixed feelings about his first year but during his second year, he discovered the University’s Erasmus programme which offered him the opportunity to study at a Spanish university and live five minutes from the beach in Valencia. Steven says: “Erasmus is an amazing opportunity to live in a foreign country and be away from family and friends for the first time. The fact that you are in a strange environment in a different culture automatically creates the need to build relationships and cultural awareness by accepting differences in the ways people and countries think and work. I had a taste of real life pressure during my Erasmus year. I had to deal with a new culture and system, and I needed to take 20+ modules just to get enough credits.” In his final year Steven returned to Coventry and rented a 2-bedroom flat in the city centre which allowed him to focus on his dissertation. “I loved being a student because you don’t have many responsibilities. Completing my dissertation was a real test for me though. It consumed my life. Every waking moment, and even every sleeping moment, you are constantly thinking about this one topic. The best part about a dissertation is when you actually finish it. So much of your hard work and time went into it that you actually feel proud of what you have researched and amazed how a simple idea can grow into interesting research.” Steven’s free time at Coventry University was spent as a member of the American Football team. “In my first year, it was a joint team with Warwick University. By the time I came back from my Erasmus year, the CU Jets were about to start their first official season. I loved being part of a team and successfully working together. I even got the nickname ‘Velcro,’ hopefully I might still be remembered!” Steven and his team mates spent their time away from the pitch in Riley’s and organised a few events in 54 to raise money for the team. As graduation was looming, Steven thought it was time to start looking for an internship or
a graduate job. He went to the International Mobility Office and heard about a brand new opening that required a fluent Spanish speaker. “I like to think I was in the right place at the right moment,” laughs Steven. “At first I saw it as a paid summer in Spain, but after a week in the company, I knew this was my future and I realised which path I needed to take to achieve my goal.” Steven’s internship took place at MAHLE, a German company in the automotive industry that has a production plant on the outskirts of Barcelona, Spain. Six months later, Steven was offered a three month extension and the role of Logistics and Finance Junior Controller – a moment he considers pivotal to his career. As Financial Controller, Steven is now responsible for the most basic expenses to the operating result. This includes budgeting and planning, using information from the sales forecast, as well as developing tools to simplify financial
processes whilst ensuring control integrity. Steven is accountable for ensuring that the data he manages is accurate and supports business requirements and decisions to enable the success of the company. In the short-term Steven is keen to build on his experience within the company but he’d like to combine
I knew this was my future and I realised which path I needed to take to achieve my goal.
that with a Masters course. For now though, Steven is enjoying the benefits of living in Spain. “It is quite easy to live overseas when the weather is perfect 9 months a year, but every country has its problems. The Spanish Government seem to have more bureaucracy than most but speaking the language is a
definite advantage.” While most people living in the UK would consider a siesta to be a great way to break up the day, for Steven it’s a source of frustration. “During Siesta time everything is closed and you cannot go anywhere. Most banks and other governmental institutions work from 9am to 2pm, making it tricky for full-time workers to find the time to visit.” Steven keeps in contact with the International Office at the University and is still in close contact with friends from his course and his American Football team mates. “Looking back on my time at Coventry University, I can easily say the best thing I did was taking an internship in an international company. It’s the only way to see the business on a global scale. With hard work, dedication and determination you could be offered a position within the company.”
T H G I L T O P S E T A U D A R Alumni G T S O P
There’s always something interesting going on with postgraduates on campus. Find out more, right here.
discount worth £500*
An exciting year for the Global Leaders Programme – an exclusive extra curricular programme for Postgrads The Global Leaders Programme (GLP) offers a successful and inspirational experience for more than 600 members involved. Over the past year, students have taken part in a range of interactive workshops to engage their minds, adapt their thinking processes and bring out their inner leader. Members have gained exposure to internationally renowned speakers, visited global organisations within the UK and abroad, and experienced new cultures. Highlight:s • Special guest speaker Justin King CBE, CEO of Sainsbury¹s, delivering an inspirational talk to GLP members on his career to date, experiences and top 10 tips to succeed as a business leader • Business Leader Talk series with more than 40 guest speakers from a range of
global organisations including Microsoft, MasterCard Europe, Caterpillar, Jaguar Land Rover, Standard Chartered Bank, IBM and many more • International visit to India in March 2013, visiting cultural landmarks including the Golden Temple, engaging in insightful talks on Indian culture and business, and undertaking visits to Indian industry including Dell Computers and InfoSys • Visit to Hong Kong in April 2013, experiencing Chinese culture and gaining exposure of how organisations operate across the globe, with visits to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and Tamar Government Headquarters The year is not over yet though. Between July and September GLP members will have the
opportunity to travel worldwide including Bremen and Frankfurt, Belgium, Bangalore and New Delhi, China and Malaysia. These trips will include insights into global organisations like Mercedes, Frankfurt Stock Exchange and the European Central Bank.
“[The GLP] has given me more confidence to use new communication skills and explore these through my art practice, developing these into a performance piece and using them in a place where viewers can access these newly learnt processes.” Ruth Hamblett, Contemporary Art Practice MA
For more information on the Global Leaders Programme visit www.coventry.ac.uk/glp Email firstname.lastname@example.org or Like us on www.facebook.com/cuglp
*£500 discount off any full-time postgraduate course,
whenever you graduated
evolve postgraduate Student designs logo for ‘One Big Thing’
MA Graphic Design students of Coventry School of Art and Design were recently invited to submit logo and branding proposals for a joint project between Coventry University, UK Active and nine other universities across the UK to promote participation in physical activity by staff and students in a fun, informal way, The project, titled One Big Thing, was launched on 17 May with the aim of raising funds for charity. Each University will donate the funds raised to a charity of their choice. It is expected that up to 30 other UK universities will be involved by 2014. The winning design was produced by Paul Owen. Kukri Sports Limited, a leading sportswear supplier, generously donated 2000 t-shirts printed with the One Big Thing logo. Deputy Director of Student Health and Well Being, Vince Mayne said: ‘‘The quality of the designs, in particular the understanding of the market and the interpretation of the brief were all of the highest order. I circulated the designs around the national group and received a number of excellent comments back from the group. We felt the ‘winning’ design embodied the campaign and appeared across the UK at ten Universities this year, and hopefully at many more next year!’
Physiotherapist scoops award for academic excellence
Postgraduate student Julie Clayton has been awarded the University’s Waterstones Bookshop prize for academic excellence. Julie, who lives in Leicester, has recently completed an MSc in Physiotherapy. She was put forward for the award by Course Director Julie Sellars for her excellent academic results and her contribution to the course. Julie chose to study the course on a parttime basis as a way of challenging herself, keeping up to date and increasing her learning. Julie is now working to get her dissertation published in an academic journal and keeping busy at home with her husband, Alex, and two children, Harry, aged 11, and Robert, aged 9.
Fully prepared for the challenges of your role in the community?
The new intake of Coventry University’s highly regarded MA in Community Cohesion Management qualification for professional and practitioners working on community relations and cohesion commences on 29th September 2013.
There are still places and it’s not too late to join! Interested?
Please contact Paul Rouse for further details. Drop us an email to register your interest without any further obligation.
Paul Rouse, Senior Lecturer tel +44 (0) 24 7765 5752 mob +44 (0) 75 9531 3506 email@example.com www.socialrelations.org.uk www.coventry.ac.uk
Masters student balances costs while developing his passion for sport
Ben Pollard is now coming towards the end of a Masters in Sports Marketing. While for some, financing a postgraduate course can be difficult, Ben found a solution that is working well for him. “I looked at universities in London which had similar courses, but some were charging around £12,000 fees – and then I’d have to pay for accommodation and food,” he explains. “The Coventry fees were £4,800. I can live at home and continue with the parttime weekend job I had when I was an undergraduate.” Like many graduates, despite achieving a 2:1, Ben struggled to make a breakthrough in the job market after graduation – so his intention was to develop his interest in Sports Marketing and that the Masters will give him the edge when he’s back in the job market this September. “I decided to do a Masters, hoping that the extra qualification would help me get a job in 12 months’ time.” Come September, Ben knows he’ll have to face the job market again. “At the end of the day it’s about finding that first job,” he says. “That’s when you can start to build experience, and I’m hoping that getting a Masters will help me take that step.”
If you’d like further information on any of our Postgraduate courses, visit www.coventry.ac.uk/postgraduate, email UKPostgraduate@coventry.ac.uk or call our postgraduate team on 024 7765 4321.
Where did your career begin?
My academic career began as a part time Hourly Paid Lecturer in 2007 in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences on the Forensic Investigations Course.
Lecturer in Digital Forensics & Ethical Hacking
espite being relatively new to the education sector, forensics expert Bob Bird brings more than 30 years experience as a Senior Police Officer to his role in Digital Forensics at Coventry University.
I’d recently retired as a police officer and wanted to find something new that would keep my interest. I was asked to provide consultancy support for the new BSc in Forensic Investigations. I advised on curriculum content and was subsequently invited to become a lecturer on the course. Whilst I was working as an Hourly Paid Lecturer, I qualified with a Masters in Forensic Computing and decided to apply for a full time role in the Engineering and Computing Faculty which I joined in March 2013. They liked me that much they built a new faculty building! I am now Programme Leader for the MTech (Infosys India), Programme Director for the Masters in Forensic Computing and Module Leader on other Digital Forensics modules. My career with the police provided me with a range of skills and experiences to become an effective teacher. I was involved for many years with traditional forensic science at crime scenes. I was a Detective Chief Inspector performing the role of Senior Investigating Officer at murder scenes. I was on the Major Investigation Unit investigating murders across the West Midlands. I also established the High Tech Crime Unit for Coventry and the Child Protection Unit responsible for offences against children. This was brought about by Operation Ore, at the time the largest investigation into offences involving child pornography and was the birth of Digital Forensic Units (DFUs) as they are known now. I’d always had connections with the University, and even used to play cricket for Coventry Police against the Lanchester Poly Cricket Team. I’d also had professional dealings with the University in the late 70s and early 80s when student political activism was more apparent. I was deployed on public order duties during demonstrations.
I do enjoy my job, not least because I have a dedicated digital forensics facility that is enabling me to teach a new generation of investigators the joys of digital forensics. I teach undergraduate and postgraduate students and continue to find that our Laboratory sessions are the thing that students enjoy the most. Digital Forensics remains a fascinating, engaging subject which is a joy to teach. I introduced AccessData Forensic Investigator ACE (Accredited Certified Examiner) certification opportunities for students enabling them to gain ‘real world’ qualifications in preparation for their future careers. The facilities in the new Engineering and Computing building are the envy of many peers, inside and outside the University. I am young enough to enjoy a second career and am fortunate to find one that gives me a buzz. It is very different to my experiences as a police officer and in some cases every bit as frustrating, but ultimately rewarding.
Do you enjoy your job?
I’m still relatively new to the world of higher education so I’m hoping the highlights are yet to come. However, I’m very proud to have achieved the level I am currently enjoying in teaching. I thought I would only work part-time following my retirement but that plan hasn’t quite worked out. I’m excited to progress further in my academic career. The next step for me would be to become a Senior Lecturer and then who knows what’s next?
What is the highlight of your career?
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The facilities in the new Engineering and Computing building are the envy of many peers, inside and outside the University.
Be part of something
Coventry University is part of an exciting new initiative to change the way students fund their education
t is believed that every year thousands of people miss out on UK further and higher education for lack of funds. StudentFunder is a social enterprise working to change this. Coventry is the first academic institution to formally partner with StudentFunder to pilot crowdfunding for students. Crowdfunding involves individuals collectively pooling their money, usually via the internet, to support an initiative. StudentFunder is applying this concept to education and helps students to crowdfund the cost of their university tuition fees or accommodation. Funders that contribute to the students’ campaigns are assured that funds raised are paid directly to the university. If a campaign does not reach its funding target by a specific date, all funds are returned to the funders. Crowdfunding is all about giving people the opportunity to be part of something really exciting, in this case, students’ life stories and careers. Students can offer attractive
and innovative rewards in exchange for contributions and pledge to support other students in the future, continuing the education cycle. StudentFunder’s founder, Juan Guerra, grew up in Mexico and was accepted at a German university, but did not have the funds to take up the offer. As a last resort, he sent out an email to everyone he knew selling insurance and pets and asking for help. Even though no one bought insurance or pets, the response was overwhelming and people helped him in all sorts of ways. In 2004, he was pioneering crowdfunding for education before the term ‘crowdfunding’ even existed. Through that process Juan found mentors, and eventually landed his first job through one of them. Today, StudentFunder is helping others do the same. Juan explains: “With crowdfunding, the initial 30% is critical. Only after a campaign has reached 30% of its target does it become really appealing to other
potential funders to participate. People want to back winners! Crowdfunding is hard work, but StudentFunder provides admitted students with the support of a personal coach and the information and advice they need to crowdfund successfully.” To help kick start the new initiative, Coventry University is offering a £1,000 top up to the first 15 students who can raise £1,000 from 10 people in the shape of donations and/or loans. This flexibility helps students appeal to a wider audience of funders: from friends and family to university alumni and organisations that commission research or consulting work from them. By crowdfunding, students raise funds, but also build relationships with mentors, potential employers and the community. On StudentFunder, small contributions stack up to a big difference and the company seeks to make it easier and safer for people to invest in each other, so everyone can benefit.
Crowdfunding in action at CU
Charles, a Peace and Reconciliation Studies student at Coventry University, was struggling to fund his PhD during his second year. The benefactor who had supported him through his first year passed away, leaving Charles in desparate need of funding. He ran a moderately successful crowdfunding campaign, raising £411, but used StudentFunder’s templates to reach out to his network. Through this, he was able to mobilise support and secure £10,000 in sponsorship. Guelord is also studying a Masters in Peace and Reconciliation. He studies remotely and is based in Goma, in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was struggling to get onto his course in the first place. With the help of StudentFunder Guelord has already raised just under £2k online and secured some scholarship funding. Often students do not voice the fact that they are struggling financially. StudentFunder gives them the confidence to communicate with the university and find out whether there are any forms of support available to them. Luckily, this was the case for Guelord and Charles. StudentFunder helps crowdfund student’s education while building their networks and honing their skills. Visit www.studentfunder. com for more information.
ver 200 alumni and students took on the challenge at the annual Alumni vs. Students Sports Day this April in Coventry. For the second year running, the alumni emerged as the overall winners, having beaten the student teams at Hockey, Tennis, Rugby and Netball. Congratulations! After a day of matches in the sunshine, the teams congregated in Square 1 for food and the official awards ceremony. The next Alumni vs Students Sports Day will take place in April/May 2014. To register your interest, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOCUS on Law
ver 30 alumni and staff attended this year’s FOCUS on Law get-together in early June. The FOCUS on Law group brings together Coventry Law alumni from all years to network and socialise with fellow professionals. This year, the group met in the lovely surroundings of Coombe Abbey in Coventry and the afternoon commenced with welcome drinks in the High Court. Steve Foster, Principal Lecturer in Law, delivered the keynote speech, highlighting the Law department’s history, as well as the latest developments at the University, followed by a traditional Afternoon Tea.
If you would like to join the group, visit http://alumni.coventry.ac.uk/page.aspx?pid=1667 or email email@example.com
Reunited in Coventry
April, a group from the Mechanical Engineering class of 1960/1963, the first on the site, came back to campus to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their graduation! Five of the original class and their wives assembled for a walk down memory lane and a tour of the new buildings on campus and what is now the George Eliot building, to them just B block, their home for three years. Following this, they celebrated and reminisced over tea and cake. Another four, including two in Australia, were kept informed of the visit, making nine of the nineteen in the 1963 photo, and they’re hot on the tracks of the others.
John Andrews remembers the early days of the then brand new Lanchester College well: “From our windows in the block facing the cathedral we saw most of the structure above ground being built, including the hanging of St Michael and the Devil, which caused quite a stir!”
s an alumnus of this institution, our very own Michael Mogan, Head of Fundraising and Alumni Services, invited his fellow alumni from the Business Studies class of 1991 for a reunion in early May. The group got together on campus to catch-up, reminisce and hear about the latest developments at Coventry, before heading on a tour of campus and the new Engineering and Computing building. The afternoon concluded at the Riley Lounge with a celebration and walk down memory lane – much aided by the 1991 yearbook – and a good time was had by all.
evolve international events
Shanghai event breaks alumni records
he Alumni Team, Academic Partnership Unit and International Office recently held the biggest overseas alumni event in Shanghai, China involving more than 125 graduates, VIPs and guests. Graduates from the past thirty years attended the event in April and recalled their favourite memories of their time at Coventry University. The University was well represented in Shanghai, with colleagues from each of the four faculties as well as the Graduate Centre, Academic Partnership Unit and the International Office. The aim of the event was to celebrate the successes of our former students and to learn about their career progress and future plans. The
event was also used as a platform to showcase the ‘best’ of the University, not just to graduates but also to invited guests from the fields of education, commerce and the arts. Representatives from both Chinese and British educational organisations, senior industrialists and government officials also joined in with the celebrations. President Zhao from Shandong Normal University, who received his PhD in 1993, joined a whole host of alumni to celebrate their connections with Coventry University. The event was divided into two sessions. The first session was an informal networking event which started with High Tea and was followed by a series of speeches. The speakers included Dr David Pilsbury, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for International Development, Coventry University, Daphne Zhou, Director of Exams, British
Council Shanghai and representatives of the Coventry University Alumni Community in China. The second session was an evening meal served on the 52nd Floor of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. The panoramic views over the Shanghai skyline were a talking point at the event and reminiscences of Coventry University continued long into the night. Academic Partnership Manager, Judy Finlay said: “Attendance at this event was the highest we’ve ever seen for an overseas alumni event. There was a great mix of people and there was so much fondness and happy memories of Coventry University. It was also great to hear how many of our alumni have secured high level careers following their graduation.” To join FOCUS on China, visit http://weibo.com/coventryalumni. The next Alumni Event will be held in Beijing in late 2013/early 2014. To register your interest, email firstname.lastname@example.org
evolve international events
President Zhao, Shangdong Normal University, speaking at the Shanghai Alumni Event
New alumni president welcomed in Hong Kong
lumni in Hong Kong gathered together recently over cocktails to celebrate the appointment of a new Alumni Association President, Peter Wong. The event was held at Red Bar in Central, Hong Kong and was attended by 30 alumni and guests. The event was hosted by Director of International Development Rob Atkinson, Senior Development Manager, Chris Smith, Regional Manager (East Asia) Sarah Jephcott and International Officer, Rob Wilson.
The event was organised by the Alumni Relations Office and the International Office and was designed to engage more widely with our alumni and network with some of our most high achieving alumni in Hong Kong. Sarah Jephcott said: “As well as being a fun social event we wanted to give alumni the opportunity to share memories of Coventry and network with other professionals in Hong Kong. The atmosphere was very lively and alumni had the opportunity to
speak with others who had studied in Coventry over several decades.” The new Alumni Association President plans to organise a calendar of similar events and smaller informal events to maintain connections between alumni in Hong Kong. To join the Hong Kong Alumni Society, visit https://www. facebook.com/groups/ cualumnihongkong/.
Make the most of your FOCUS membership by attending events, getting third party discounts and entering exclusive competitions. Visit www.coventry.ac.uk/alumni for more Events
To register or for more information on any of the events, email email@example.com
FOCUS has arranged for all members to get discounts on useful services and fun days out with leading companies. A full list of discounts is below. Just visit www.coventry. ac.uk/alumni/benefits to find out how to redeem your discounts.
20 September Putting the ‘local’ back into house building
• Discounted library membership • Discounted Sports Centre membership • Associate membership of the Students’ Union • Careers advice and graduate vacancies
The role of the local builders in delivering new homes is vital to our economic growth, the creation of jobs and the sourcing of local materials. Place: Coventry University, Engineering and Computing Building, EC1.30 Time: 09.00 – 17.00
16 October Two day Workshop on Passivhaus Principles and Methods
Place: Sustainable Building Futures, Engineering and Computing Building Time: 9.30 – 17.00
• Up to 50% off top attractions such as Alton Towers resort, Chessington World Adventures Resort, LEGOLAND®Windsor, Madame Tussauds London, the Dungeons, SEA LIFE centres & Sanctuaries, THORPE PARK and Warwick Castle • Up to 50% off green fees at Open Fairways • Discounted membership to the Gourmet Society
Evolve around the World
Want to be in with a chance to win a Coventry University hoody? Then take part in our evolve around the world photo competition! Coventry University alumni live all over the world – and we want to see where you receive or take your copy of evolve, the alumni magazine! To enter the competition, all you need to do is to send a picture of yourself with your copy of evolve and a local landmark or something iconic from your country or area you live in. If you wish, tell us where the photo was taken and what makes the location special. We really hope you join in – all alumni are welcome.
Send your entry to Alumni@coventry.ac.uk with your current contact details (and a message if you wish). The competition is open until 1st December 2013.
Rules & Information Entrants must be CU Alumni. Enter before 1/12/2013. Enter your current contact details (message optional). Entries may be used for print and digital publications. Contest will be judged by CU senior staff. Judges’ decision is final. No cash alternative will be offered.
29 October Occupational Therapy Information Day
An introduction to Occupational Therapy: an opportunity to gain an overview of the profession. Place: The Opal Assessment and Demonstration Centre, Coventry, CV1 4NA Time: 12.30 – 16.30
• Savings on car and van hire with Europcar • Savings on membership with the AA and RAC • Discounts on airport parking with Parking4Less
16 November Open Day for Postgraduate and Part-time
Place: Coventry University Time: 10.00 – 14.00
• Discounted rates at the Ramada Hotel Coventry • Savings on holidays with cottages4you
18-22 November Graduation Week
Place: Coventry University
COVENTRY UNIVERSITY GRADUATES WHO CHOOSE FULL TIME POSTGRADUATE STUDY ARE ENTITLED TO A DISCOUNT OF £500 OFF THE COST OF THEIR COURSE. THERE ARE ALSO A NUMBER OF SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE.
Postgraduate study can open doors, whether you’re looking to improve your career prospects, develop transferable skills, gain that vital competitive edge, pursue an academic career or explore your strengths, interests or aspirations. To find out more about Postgraduate study at Coventry University including our MBA programmes, get in touch today.
MBA Programmes new and improved for 2013
Coventry Business School has made a number of changes to its suite of MBA courses starting in September 2013: MBA Finance MBA Management MBA Global Development and Comparative Law MBA International Business MBA International Sport Management MBA Marketing The programmes have a prestigious lecture series, and these have included Julie White (Business Woman of the Year) and Dean Walton (Maskarade – appeared on Dragons Den), increased opportunities for internships, more field trips (previously including Manchester United FC, BMW Mini and JLR), new industry devised course structure and a professional mentor scheme, which will include managers from industry, entrepreneurs and Faculty Professors.
For further information contact 024 7765 4321 or firstname.lastname@example.org www.coventry.ac.uk/postgraduate Or visit one of our open days www.coventry.ac.uk/pgopendays
Round Crystal Paperweight Graduation Bear Cuff Links Mini Cut Vase
Satin Notepad and Mirror Tankard
Business Card Case
Remember your student days with pride and buy special souvenirs branded with the University name or logo.
It’s now even easier to choose from our selection of high quality goods by shopping online:
If you wish to make purchases by mail order please contact Jackie Walsh, Alan Berry Reception, Coventry University, Priory Street, Coventry CV1 5FB. Telephone 024 7688 8774 or e-mail email@example.com for further details.
Please note: refunds are only available where goods are faulty, statutory legal rights are not affected. Goods will be delivered within 21 days of receipt of order. If you are not fully satisfied, goods may be returned within seven days for a full refund. Prices are valid until March 2013.
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