Weekly update from the Vice-Chancellor - 03/07/2020

Posted in: Weekly Update

Dear colleague,

I am truly sorry to have to begin this message with some deeply sad news. Rob Tyrrell, The SU’s incoming Activities Officer and a student on our MEng (Hons) Integrated Mechanical and Electrical Engineering programme, died earlier this week. We are in touch with his family, and colleagues in his Department, Student Services, HR and The SU have made every effort to reach out to those staff members and students closest to him, to offer support at this very difficult time. Further information is available in our joint statement and The SU has started a very moving memorial page, so that students and staff who would like to contribute their thoughts and memories can do so together.

Plans for the summer and the 2020/21 academic year

You should by now have received the first operational update, starting to map out more detailed plans for this summer and the next academic year. Highlights from recent work include:

Promoting our work externally and the ‘WeAreTogether’ initiative

Universities UK this week launched ‘Proud to help’, the next phase of their #WeAreTogether campaign, which aims to shine a spotlight on individual staff and students who have gone the extra mile to help others while the country is facing immense challenges. Will be sharing some stories from our own community, such as the extraordinary volunteer work of one of our PhD students who has been volunteering to test Covid-19 swab samples.

Of course, we continue to work with staff and students to promote their excellent work externally, both about important research related to Covid-19 and valued local initiatives. In these uncertain times, demand for expert knowledge and advice has been heightened and I am so grateful to academic colleagues for making the time to engage with the public and through the media. Since February of this year, mentions of University research, initiatives, and comment from academic colleagues in relation to Covid-19 have appeared more than 4,200 times in the media. Contributing to the public debate in this way is an important part of disseminating our research and expertise. You can see updates on many of these initiatives through our news pages.

Finally, we usually try to hold small events throughout the year in order to congratulate colleagues on achievements and awards won. Like many of you, I certainly miss being able to meet colleagues in person at events such as these to pay tribute to these successes. However, in the meantime, I would like to congratulate Dr Andrew Wilson for being named the winner of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Dalton Emerging Researcher Award, Olivia Bailey for winning the 2020 Godfrey and Sue Hall Postgraduate Research Student Prize and four of our PhD students from Mathematical Sciences who have won the first in a series of NERC hackathons addressing the impact of Covid-19 on the environment. I know these are only a handful of examples of our recent successes, but they underline to me what a remarkable community we have at Bath, and I continue to be so grateful to be part of it.

With warm good wishes,

Professor Ian White
Vice-Chancellor and President

Posted in: Weekly Update


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