Review of the Year 2018

As we head towards the New Year, we look back at some of our highlights from across University News over the past twelve months…

Professor Dame Janet Beer received her Damehood at an Investiture held at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Dame Janet was recognised in the New Year’s Honours for her services to higher education and equality and diversity.

Professor Dame Janet Beer

The famous  Meroë Head of Augustus discovered in 1910 by Liverpool Archaeologist, Professor John Garstang, returned to Liverpool this year. Attracting a record number of visitors to the Victoria Gallery & Museum, this was the first time the remarkable bronze object, which dates back to c. 27-25 B.C.E, had been displayed in the city since its re-discovery over one hundred years ago.

The University achieved the highest graduate employability rate of any university in the Russell Group. According to the latest Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 96.9% of the University’s UK full-time first degree graduates were either in work or further study six months after graduating in July 2017, up from 94.7% the previous year.

Liverpool-born comic book writer and artist John Higgins and Tate director Maria Balshaw were among eight esteemed figures to receive honorary degrees during a week of ceremonies at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall in July, which saw more than 6,000 students graduate.

John Higgins and Maria Balshaw

The University received approval from the Department of Education to establish a specialist maths school. One of only three such schools in the country, it will provide world-leading maths education for young people from all backgrounds who have a passion for mathematics.

The Liverpool City Region announced £5 million support for a new centre of excellence in digital technologies. Located on Dover Street, the Digital Innovation Facility will bring together University expertise in computer science, robotics and engineering to enable collaborative research & development, support business engagement and promote innovation.

A major study showed that rotavirus vaccination cut infant diarrhoea deaths by almost a third in rural Malawi. The University has led a collaborative programme of rotavirus research for the past 20 years, which was recognised as a top UK breakthrough in the recent #MadeatUni campaign.

The University’s Velocipede Team returned home from the World Human Powered Speed Challenge in Nevada with two hand cycle land speed world records.  Paralympian, Karen Darke MBE, and hand cyclist, Ken Talbot, both broke the existing female and male world hand cycling records on ARION4, the recumbent hand cycle designed and built by Engineering students.

Former Liverpool Football Club manager Gérard Houllier helped to launch a new research initiative to improve the heart health of the Liverpool City Region. The Liverpool Centre for Cardiovascular Science (LCCS) is a partnership between University, the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital and Liverpool John Moores University.

President of the Royal Society, Sir Venki Ramakrishnan officially opened the Materials Innovation Factory.  A collaboration withUnilever, the £81 million facility is dedicated to the research and development of advanced materials.

Hundreds of literature lovers attended our Liverpool Literary Festival 2018 in October. Crime writer Val McDermid, Booker Prize longlist nominee, Sally Rooney and author and actor Tony Robinson were all part of a fantastic line up of speakers at the festival, which also formed part of the city’s 2018 European Capital of Culture anniversary celebrations.

Researchers from the Department of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology working with the French Institute for Oriental Archaeology in Cairo uncovered one of the secrets behind the construction of Egypt’s Great Pyramids. They discovered the remains of a 4,500 year old ramp system which could have been used to pull huge alabaster blocks of stone up the Pyramids using a two-way pulley system.

Pep Guardiola, manager of current Premier League Champions, Manchester City discussed football, identity, culture and politics as the keynote speaker for this year’s Edgar Allison Peers Symposium. The sold-out event attracted significant media attention with Pep offering a fascinating insight into his life.

University research is set to be rocketed into space to help tackle the effects of ageing. Scientists at the Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease received £1.1 million from the UK Space Agency to send a muscle cell experiment up to the International Space Station in 2021 to help improve our understanding of muscle loss in space and in elderly people on Earth.

Best wishes everyone for the festive break! Don’t forget to contact us here in the University News team with your stories for 2019.

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