Maree and I got to pose with the Rugby World Cup when it visited the University of Bath this week at the start of its tour of the west country.
Behind the fun, however, we are actually busy working with rugby researchers Grant Trewartha and Keith Stokes as they prepare to host a major World Rugby conference in advance of this autumn's world cup.
The two-day event - which takes place over Tuesday 15 - Wednesday 16 September, two days before England kick off their campaign against Fiji at Twickenham - will bring together world experts with coaching staff and players, to look at how research can be applied to improve player safety and performance in the sport.
Find out more about the conference, or explore Bath's research which resulted in the 'crouch, bind, set' scrum laws now in place for all international games.
I just wanted to add a quick post about an event we ran this week - the Three Minute Thesis, or 3MT.
You might have already heard of the event. Its been going for some years, born out of the University of Queensland in Australia, and replicated by institutions around the world. This was our first year of running the competition here at Bath, and I really didn't know what to expect.
Billboards that produce clean drinking water, leaflets with chips in which interact with posters, interactive games which compare you to the rest of the country, and video selfies are just some of the creative ideas which came out of the 'Giving Higher Education the Digital Edge' event held by VeInteractive in London earlier this month.
The Research Rocket has landed in the Lime Tree and has been orbiting over the past month, bringing our amazing research right to the heart of the student body.
Kicked off with a session by the CREATE Lab, students and staff were treated to a brilliant variety of demonstrations. They saw how Nao (the group's robot-human interaction research associate) learned to blink with the help of Google Glass, how a simple off-the-shelf coding kit could create a challenging psychological game and took a quiz on decision-making.
In April we marked a year since the University developed a dedicated research marketing team, so we did a review of our activity and want to share some of the highlights with you here.
We have a great portfolio of research to work with, further proven by our fantastic REF score in December. We've also had a huge amount of support from our academic colleagues for which we're extremely grateful.
If you've walked through campus in the last week you will have spotted a few changes. The first of our new research adverts have gone up on the library, on 8 West and around the 4 West cafe area.
This is all part of a programme of activity currently underway to promote the University’s research to visitors, staff and students via an ‘advertising’ campaign on campus. This activity has been implemented in discussion with the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and has had input from all of the Associate Deans for Research and Deans.
The University is fast approaching its 50th anniversary, and as such a large number of events and a fundraising campaign are being planned.
Our team has been working with the University's Department for Development and Alumni Relations over the last few weeks to help build up a portfolio of marketing materials to support the team in its fundraising activities during the 50th year.
We've been working with some great research-related gadgets over the past few weeks and what better way to share them than setting up some stands after Let's Talk this week. Staff were delighted with a 'cuddly blinking robot', astounded with rainbows and intrigued by their 'superidentity'. Sounds light-hearted but there is some extraordinary research going on here.
In keeping with the International Year of Light, our Department of Physics demonstrated the spectroscope and how a simple ‘make your own’ version will allow you to see separate light wavelengths resulting in a beautiful rainbow, as well as their always fascinating optical fibre research.
The research marketing team has created a flyer that can be used by Bath staff to explain the University's REF results in a straight-forward way to collaborators, partners and funders.
The University has widely publicised its excellent REF2014 outcomes, and continues to do so. Please do continue to use every opportunity to share our success with those you work with outside the University. Our REF results are an excellent independent acknowledgement of the high quality research we carry out here at Bath, across every discipline.
Did you manage to see the eclipse today? Our Physics department were out in force to capture the partial eclipse. This beautiful image taken by William Wadsworth is very atmospheric.