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Sunderland Airshow 2018

Friday 27 to Sunday 29 July - Sunderland Seafront

We're looking forward to Sunderland Airshow 2018, our 30th anniversary is set to be spectacular!

Join us from 27-29 July 2018 to see the return of some of our favourite aircrafts, plus some exciting new additions for 2018. With a whole host of activity on the ground, and plenty of space to sit down and enjoy the spectacle, the 30th airshow is not to be missed.

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The Call of the Sea

Friday 3 August - Saturday 1 September - Washington Arts Centre

A celebration of the Tall Ships race which Sunderland hosted this summer with the launch of an illustrated book by former Tall Ships sail trainee Naomi Austin, who is Senior Lecturer in Fashion Promotion at the University.

The exhibition will feature Naomi’s own digital illustrations depicting 3 different areas Sunderland’s shipbuilding past; the history of the Tall Ships Race and the experiences of past and present sail trainees.

As well as Naomi’s illustrations it will include her own photographs of past Tall Ships Races right up to the Race finale which she attended in Poland in August 2017 as well as drawings produced by local schoolchildren.

Naomi will be talking about her drawings, processes, ideas and experiences in a special talk at 1.30pm on 29 August. Click here for more information.

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Wednesday 8 August, 2.30pm - Sir Tom Cowie Lecture Theatre

Many thousands of Royal Navy logbooks have survived, some from as early as the late 17th century. This presentation includes a discussion of the history and content of logbooks and demonstrates how they can provide an insight into our understanding of climate change.

The University of Sunderland’s Community Lectures are open to all. Each entertaining lecture is given by authoritative speakers between May and August.

Lectures start at 2.30pm and last about one hour. There is no need to book but those attending are asked to arrive at the Prospect Building between 2pm and 2.30pm to register before the lecture begins.

There is (pay) parking in the grounds of the campus and St Peter’s Metro Station is within a few minutes walking distance. Alternatively the regular 700 bus service runs from the Park Lane Bus Station to St. Peter’s Campus itself.

For more information about the 2018 Community Lectures Series contact Paul Haustead on (0191) 515 3265, or email events@sunderland.ac.uk

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Wednesday 222 August, 2.30pm - Sir Tom Cowie Lecture Theatre

The clipper ship Torrens was one of the most famous clippers and recognized by Joseph Conrad, who served on her, and many others as also one of the finest ships ever built. This talk will review the story of the Torrens in the context of the world of clippers.

The University of Sunderland’s Community Lectures are open to all. Each entertaining lecture is given by authoritative speakers between May and August.

Lectures start at 2.30pm and last about one hour. There is no need to book but those attending are asked to arrive at the Prospect Building between 2pm and 2.30pm to register before the lecture begins.

There is (pay) parking in the grounds of the campus and St Peter’s Metro Station is within a few minutes walking distance. Alternatively the regular 700 bus service runs from the Park Lane Bus Station to St. Peter’s Campus itself.

For more information about the 2018 Community Lectures Series contact Paul Haustead on (0191) 515 3265, or email events@sunderland.ac.uk

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A world-leading health expert returned to the region where his family’s roots are firmly embedded in the well-being of the community, to share his expertise with researchers at our University… and pick up an honorary award.

Professor Ian Fraser, an authority in the field of Reproductive Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, based at the University of New South Wales, Australia, received an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of Sunderland during the recent Summer Graduation Ceremonies. He has also been appointed a Visiting Professor to the Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing, linking up with the University’s established research areas in bariatric surgery and women’s health.

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The appointment reinforces Professor Fraser’s personal connection to the area he grew up in, thanks to his parents lasting legacy when they moved to the region in 1956. His father, Dr Stewart Fraser, was Senior Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the former Harton General Hospital in South Shields for many years. His mother, Dr Ellis Fraser, was a GP in South Shields and Sunderland, with expertise in the illnesses of disadvantaged children and victims of sexual assault. The Ellis Fraser Rape and Sexual Assault Centre was established in her name upon her retirement in 1991 and is now incorporated into the REACH Ellis Fraser Suite in the Children’s Centre in Durham Road, Sunderland. The couple retired to Whitburn.

Dr Ellis Fraser and Dr Stewart Fraser in 1990 being presented with their Rotary medals, “the Paul Harris” awards, which were presented by Mr David Robinson of the Rotary International Committee (centre)

Professor Fraser explained: “To receive an Honorary Doctorate in Science from the University in the city where you did some important growing up is an honour which you would never contemplate! In reality it is an award to a whole team of colleagues, trainees and challenging scientific competitors who stimulate you to think differently and look deeper!

“I have worked in a number of different Universities – Edinburgh,  Oxford,  Sydney,  New South Wales and now Sunderland – and none is more exciting at this point in time than Sunderland with its famous pharmacy and nursing schools and the novel directions occasioned by the start of a new medical school – a rare situation indeed!”

He added: “This area is very much one of my ‘homes’, I visit at least once a year and take the time to visit old haunts. I do enjoy driving past the ‘old Harton Hospital’ where my father worked. I learned a great deal from him, he was an outstanding ‘bedside doctor’ with a keen interest in the personal disease issues of all his patients. There is presently a major modern move towards ‘personalised medicine’ – my father was doing this more than 60 years ago!” 

The first visit to the University provided Professor Fraser an opportunity to share his expertise, and discuss collaborative research with Sunderland academic Dr Yitka Graham, whose core interests are bariatric surgery, sexual and reproductive health and health services research. Also attending were Professor Tony Alabaster (Academic Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing) and Professor of Public Health Jonathan Ling. The collaboration also included City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust Consultant Bariatric Surgeon, Professor Peter Small and Bariatric Pharmacist Lindes Callejas-Diaz, and Dr Diana Mansour, Consultant in Community Gynaecology and Reproductive Healthcare at Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals.

Professor Fraser said: “Yitka and I have had substantial careers in aspects of women’s health and she has an ongoing passion for improving the sexual and reproductive health of women, currently through combining it with her established research in bariatric surgery. I have been fortunate enough to have pursued a broad clinical and research career with particular interests in understanding, and treating, the very common disturbances of menstruation, menstrual pain, menopause and endometriosis. I would hope that linking all these interests will allow some novel approaches to ongoing research into women’s health, obesity and bariatric surgery.”

Asked why he has chosen to collaborate alongside the University and City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, Professor Fraser explained: “Obesity can have a detrimental effect on sexual and reproductive health. There is evidence to suggest that bariatric surgery has potential to play a significant role in improving the sexual and reproductive health of women with obesity and this is an area ripe for research. 

“There is currently only a small body of research into the effects of bariatric surgery and women's health.  Yitka, along with her bariatric surgical colleagues, Peter Small, Kamal Mahawar and Lindes Callejas-Diaz, with colleagues in sexual and reproductive health, including Diana Mansour, Ian Aird and Henk-Jan Out have already established themselves in the field of what the group has coined 'Bariatric Gynaecology', publishing about contraception and infertility.” 

Dr Yitka Graham, who published the findings of her three-year PhD study exploring patients’ experiences after weight-loss surgery at the UK’s largest NHS bariatric surgical unit, commented: “As nearly two thirds of women undergoing bariatric surgery in the UK are in their reproductive years, we need to know more about the impact of bariatric surgery on sexual and reproductive health. Our collaboration draws upon a wide range of expertise which we will bring together to develop research with potential to make a real difference to the lives of our patients.”

Consultant Bariatric Surgeon, Mr Peter Small, also a Visiting Professor at Sunderland, added: “It is a real privilege to be able to work with Professor Fraser. His extensive knowledge and research activities in reproduction and infertility will greatly benefit our bariatric gynaecology team in Sunderland.”

About Professor Ian Fraser

Professor Fraser is currently the Conjoint Professor (Reproductive Medicine) at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, and Honorary Sub-Specialist in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney. He held a Personal Chair (Professorship in Reproductive Medicine) from 1993 to 2014 at the University of Sydney.   He was Foundation President of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in 1998-2000, and Past-Honorary Secretary of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO; 2006-2012). 

He is Past-Chair of the FIGO Menstrual Disorders Committee.  He is an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO; in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2002) and has a Doctorate of Science from Edinburgh University. He is the only gynaecologist in Australia who has a Doctorate of Science.

He has held high scientific advisory positions on contraception, abnormal uterine bleeding and endometriosis with the World Health Organization (WHO), the Population Council, New York and several other international organisations. He has over 450 peer-reviewed publications in the scientific and medical literature, and has continuing research interests in menstrual disorders, endometriosis and contraception.

He trained in Medicine and in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Oxford before moving to the University of Sydney in Australia in 1975. 

About Dr Ellis Fraser and Dr Stewart Fraser

Born in Edinburgh in 1917 into a medical family, Dr Ellis Fraser went on to study the profession at the city's university where she met her husband-to-be Stewart. He later became a consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at South Tyneside General Hospital.

The pair were married soon after she graduated in 1941, but with the outbreak of war, Mr Fraser, who died 22 years ago, was posted abroad. His wife went to work with her father in general practice in Carlisle. After the war, the couple set up home in Grosvenor Road, South Shields, before moving to Nicholas Avenue, Whitburn. They also had three sons, Ian and Malcolm, from Morpeth, Northumberland; and Colin, who died at the age of 40 in 1997.

Alongside her working life as a GP, Dr Fraser was also a Justice of the Peace. Dr Fraser spent more than 40 years as a Red Cross medical officer, first aid trainer, lecturer and examiner, and was a divisional director for many years – she enjoyed a trip to Buckingham Palace in 1970 in recognition of this. She also worked in family planning for more than 35 years, and was the local medical officer for Marks & Spencer for more than 18 years. In 1983, after retiring from General Practice, Dr Fraser responded to a request from Northumbria Police for women doctors to join the Police Doctors Scheme.

The next eight years saw her involved in services to help child abuse and rape victims in Sunderland, where she pioneered a then-new and more sympathetic approach to examining and helping victims of sexual assault. This culminated in a purpose-built women's rape victim support centre being named in her honour in 1991.

Her initial work as a police surgeon led to her examining 520 victims of alleged sexual abuse, 80 per cent of whom were children under 15. Mr Fraser gave her huge support, particularly towards the end of her career, in this field – recording statistics on his computer, helping her write papers, giving television interviews and providing moral support – especially when she was called upon to give evidence in the high profile cases.

Dr Ellis Fraser eventually retired in 1989 at the age of 71, she passed away in 2010.

A Sunderland artist has hit the heights of upcycling with a beautiful chandelier made almost entirely of discarded pieces of glass.

'Adorn', created by Helen Pailing, who is studying for her PhD Recrafting Waste in Glass and Ceramics at the University of Sunderland, is currently on display at National Glass Centre.

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Adorn was made using almost 1,000 pieces of salvaged glass from Wearside Glass Sculptures.  To the glass makers these pieces are the 'remnants' – rejected pieces of all different sizes. Helen is interested in re-using materials that have been cast aside and considered as valueless. She takes these items and reworks them, transforming waste material into art works.


Helen says: “I loved the organic shape and form of this glass, created as a result of the making process. Building on my background in textiles a glass hook was added and then, with help from volunteers, each piece was wrapped it in copper foil. This changes the way we perceive the waste glass and the result is intended as a form of gentle activism.”

Adorn is a semi-permanent installation that will change over time as the environment affects the finish of the copper. Helen added: “It hangs like a giant pendant, an adornment for the building.”

In February this year as part of the Creative Dimension Trust programme, Helen worked with local teenagers to make their own chandelier out of 'recrafted' waste glass, inspired by Adorn. Their work was displayed in National Glass Centre’s  Learning Gallery in June and July.

Julia Stephenson, Head of Arts at National Glass Centre said: “National Glass Centre commissioned Helen Pailing to create a new work to be displayed in the building’s double height foyer space. The space is a prominent location within a busy public building dedicated to the presentation of the highest international standards in contemporary glass.

“The name of the piece is highly appropriate as the building now wears its own contemporary jewellery.  Everything about the piece has relevance to our time, our priorities and our location.  The hanging system suggests a nod to the nautical significance of the area. The structure reflects the design of the building’s lighting system.  The glass elements are made from the waste created by the lamp workers resident in the building.  They draw our attention to both environmental issues and the exceptional skills of the makers and their direct link to Sunderland’s long-term connection with glass. The copper foil alters and enriches the quality of the glass.”

She added: “‘Up-cycling’ is fast becoming an established and even a standard approach within the crafts. There is, however, nothing standard about Helen Pailing’s practice.  Her approach is utterly uninhibited, fresh and original.”

The Spirit of the North

Until 9 September - Bessie Surtees House, Newcastle Quayside

To celebrate the North of England’s people and places Historic England has commissioned celebrated photographer, and University Emeritus Professor, John Kippin to explore the ‘Spirit of the North’ with a new series of images.

Capturing a selection of the North’s most historically and architecturally significant places, from Liverpool Docks and Durham Cathedral to Orgreave and Salford Lads Club, ‘Spirit of the North’ explores the North of England’s rich history and gets to the heart of “northernness” itself.

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Using his unique style and inquisitive approach, Kippin shows how the North’s extraordinary history of creativity, innovation and cultural influence continues to shape northern identity today. The images celebrate places that have shaped the entire world, but are still uniquely northern.

“Perhaps this special quality of otherness, when laid alongside our history and achievements is what shapes and defines us and makes the North a truly special place.” John Kippin.

Catherine Dewar, Historic England’s Planning Director for the North East & North West, said: “We all build really strong relationships with places and they play a key role in shaping our identity – whether it’s where we grew up, holidayed by or worked in. Northern England is full of fascinating places rich in history, and I hope ‘Spirit of the North’ will open up the discussion of what makes the North so special and how, and if, we can ever define ‘Northernness’.”


The ‘Spirit of the North’ series will be on display at Bessie Surtees House on Newcastle Quayside until 9 September 2018 as part of the Great Exhibition of the North’s ‘Inspired by’ programme.

Great Exhibition of the North is a free, summer-long celebration of the North of England’s pioneering spirit.


A new six-episode podcast series from Historic England will delve into the history of landmark buildings and sites across the North.

Hear photographer John Kippin reveal the inspiration behind his photographs and discover more about the places he chose to capture from the people that know and love them best.

Touching on music, industry, nature and transport, the ‘Spirit of the North’ podcast offers a light exploration into Northern identity through people and places with local voices exploring whether there truly is a ‘Spirit of the North’.

The first episode discusses the extraordinary impact of coal and collieries on people and their environment: From Ashington to Orgreave, coal was once the backbone of industry and a crucial aspect of Northern life. Hear from the Newcastle artist inspired by the ‘Pitmen Painters’ – an amateur art group of miners – and stories behind Woodhorn Colliery and Jarrow Town Hall, from where protesters were willing to march hundreds of miles to London to have their voices heard.

Find the ‘Spirit of the North’ podcast on the Historic England website, on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud and Spotify, or by searching Spirit of the North on your usual podcast app.


About Historic England

We are Historic England the public body that helps people care for, enjoy and celebrate England’s spectacular historic environment, from beaches and battlefields to parks and pie shops.

We protect, champion and save the places that define who we are where we’ve come from as a nation. We care passionately about the stories they tell, the ideas they represent and the people who live, work and play among them.

Working with communities and specialists we share our passion, knowledge and skills to inspire interest, care and conservation, so everyone can keep enjoying and looking after the history that surrounds us all.

John Kippin (b. 1950)

John Kippin is a photographer based in Newcastle upon Tyne. His work has been widely exhibited abroad and in the UK including the BALTIC and the Imperial War Museum. He is an Emeritus Professor in Photography at the University of Sunderland.

‘Spirit of the North’ exhibition

Friday 22 June - Sunday 9 September 2018

Free entry

Bessie Surtees House
41-44 Sandhill,
Newcastle upon Tyne

Monday - Friday: 10am - 4pm. Saturday and Sunday: closed

Locations featured

  • Bessemer Converter, Kelham Island Museum, Sheffield (Grade II Listed)
  • Castlerigg Stone Circle, Keswick, Cumbria (Scheduled monument)
  • Concrete Workshop at De Smet Rosedowns Ltd. Caroline St, Kingston upon Hull (Grade II Listed)
  • Crucible Theatre, Sheffield (Grade II listed)
  • Durham Cathedral, County Durham (Grade I Listed)
  • Fulwell Acoustic Mirror, Fulwell, Sunderland (Scheduled monument)
  • Jarrow Town Hall, Jarrow, Tyne and Wear (Grade II Listed)
  • Liverpool Docks. Liverpool, Merseyside
  • Midland Hotel, Morecambe, Cumbria (Grade II* Listed)
  • Old Flamborough Head Lighthouse, (Scheduled monument) Flamborough Head, East Riding of Yorkshire
  • Orgreave, Site of the Battle of Orgreave, South Yorkshire
  • Salford Lads Club, Salford (Grade II Listed)
  • Saltaire Mill, Saltaire, Bradford (Grade II* Listed)
  • The Casbah, Liverpool (Grade II Listed)
  • Tyne Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne (Grade II Listed)
  • Tees Transporter Bridge, Middlesbrough, Stockton-upon-Tees (Grade II* Listed)
  • Victoria Quarter, Briggate, Leeds (Grade II* Listed)
  • Woodhorn Colliery, Ashington  (Scheduled Monument)
  • Victorian Steam Gondola at Brantwood Pier, Brantwood Estate, Cumbria

Sunderland graduate Fern Snailham has been named a Duke of York Young Entrepreneur of the Year after transforming her promotional staffing agency into a flourishing business.

Within a year, the 24-year-old has grown her business UNEEK Staffing significantly, now supplying a pool of more than 500 promotional and events staff in a variety of contracts to a range of clients across the UK. Fern has also opened up a hospitality division set to increase to over 1,000 staff.

Fern’s lightbulb moment to launch UNEEK Staffing came after she spent a year freelancing across the UK promoting new products and raising brand awareness in everything from supermarket products to cars.

The work offered her the freedom and flexibility of being her own boss but she decided she needed the business qualifications to support those ambitions.

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Fast forward three years later and within days of graduating with a first-class Business Management degree at the University Sunderland, Fern began setting up UNEEK Staffing in 2017 after securing membership with the Enterprise Place, a business support facility which gave her access to their co-working office space in Hope Street Xchange, the University’s new centre for enterprise and innovation.

Now the success of UNEEK Staffing has been recognised after Fern was one of 17 businesses to receive the Duke of York’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the scheme recognises students who have shown “remarkable entrepreneurship” while at university. Launched in 2013, the awards are given to students or recent graduates selected by universities across the North of England.

The Duke met representatives from each of the businesses before presenting the awards in Huddersfield.

Fern, from Stanley, County Durham, said: "I am so thankful for all of the support I have received. It has been great to gain recognition and receive this award from Prince Andrew for something I am so passionate about. It was an amazing day and a truly great opportunity to showcase my business and meet other leading businesses and people."

Explaining how Uneek Staffing developed, Fern said: “After college I decided to take some time to work freelance within promotions nationally, that’s when I decided I wanted to start my own agency and applied to study Business Management at Sunderland, to develop my knowledge base and experience, supported by the qualifications. I loved the course and embraced every opportunity that came my way, I had a goal in mind when I started and I never veered away from what I wanted to achieve.”

She said: “I have no doubts about my decision, I just feel motivated and excited by this opportunity. I’m also very grateful for all the advice and support I’ve been given through the Enterprise Place, I couldn’t ask for a better location.”

Since Uneek Staffing’s launch, Fern has built up an in-house database of hand-picked, reliable promotional staff, covering the UK. She matches personalities to brands to convey key messages, and deliver a positive, memorable brand experience.

She says: “All our staff are vetted, and we hold audition days up and down the country. When I worked in this industry, I came across situations in which some agencies would send anyone to promote the products, but who weren’t necessarily right for the role, the personality and the brand were just completely off. We want to make sure we match people’s personalities to the correct brand, to make sure it’s the correct fit for the campaign.”

Laura Foster, Enterprise Place Manager, said: “Since joining the Enterprise Place last June, we’ve seen Fern go from strength-to-strength. She has shown determination and passion and is an inspirational example of a graduate entrepreneur. She fully deserves this accolade and have every confidence her business will continue to flourish.

“This is the third year that the University has been invited to take part in the Duke of York’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards event celebrating businesses coming out of Northern Universities.”

For more information on UNEEK Staffing, go to: https://www.uneekstaffing.co.uk/

The Internships and Enterprise project is receiving up to £2,207,656 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. ‌The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. ‌Established by the European Union, European Regional Development Fund funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding (link is external)

The Enterprise Place offers students and graduates the opportunity of up to 12-months free membership and access to:

  • Professional, co-working office space in Hope Street Xchange
  • Expert one-to-one business advice
  • A place on our Start-Up-Skills course
  • Workshops, events and networking
  • Commercial editing software
  • Dedicated business development support team
  • The opportunity to join a community of entrepreneurs

For more information about the Enterprise Place, go to: https://www.sunderland.ac.uk/more/services-for-business/start-a-business/ (link is external)

Hope Street Xchange

Launched last year, Hope Street Xchange was developed by the University with £4.9m investment support from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP’s) Local Growth Fund and £2.23 million from the European Regional Development Fund.

Based on the City Campus it links the University to the region’s small business community by supporting fledgling start-ups and offering space for existing businesses to develop and grow. From here businesses can access students and graduates with the skills they need - through a range of options including placements, internships and knowledge transfer partnerships – as well as connecting them with the University’s world-leading research base, sector expertise and specialised hi-tech equipment.

The centre was initiated by Sunderland Business Group, which aims to support entrepreneurship and increase the number of business start-ups with support from the North East LEP.

North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)

The North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is a public, private, and education sector partnership that covers Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland local authority areas.

Its aim is to create 100,000 more jobs for the North East economy and to ensure that 70% of these jobs are better jobs.

A better job is defined as being in the top three Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) categories, which are: managers and directors; professional occupations; and associate professional and technical occupations. Measuring this means LEP can demonstrate higher skilled and more productive roles in our economy.

LEP develop and lead the delivery of the Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) which details how they will achieve this plan for growth for the North East.

For more information go to: http://www.nelep.co.uk/

The French Connection

From Bordeaux to Sunderland, these French students have travelled hundreds of miles to be at the cutting edge of technology.

The group of six, from the IUT University of Bordeaux, have been at the University of Sunderland working on some unique tech projects.

From examining artwork in a 3D version of the Sistine Chapel, to an app which promotes and predicts positive emotions, the students have travelled to the University to develop pioneering software technology in the Faculty of Computer Science.

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And in between their work, the group have had the chance to explore the North East which has been their home for six weeks.

Gabriel Benit, 20, and Nicolas Deguillaume, 19, have created a 3D Sistine Chapel which people will be able to explore.

Gabriel, from Bordeaux, said: “The idea is that people can interact with what is inside the chapel. We have been working on the Michaelangelo ceiling within the 3D image.”

Nicolas added: “It has been good fun working on the different artworks within the chapel as we bring this to life.”

Julien Andral, 19, is developing a mobile affective technology to help promote individual happiness through smiling, with the ultimate aim of enhancing people’s well being.  This project constitutes a cross-faculty endeavour between the Faculty of Computer Science and the Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing.

Julien said: “I’ve liked staying in Sunderland, the facilities that have been available to us at the University are the reason why we have come over here to work.”

While Julien Trijean, 20, has been working on an “extra-smart” Sat Nav system which helps people get where they’re going in a quicker, and more intelligent way.

He said: “While we’ve been staying in Sunderland, we’ve visited Newcastle, Edinburgh, Durham and we’re hoping to go to York.”

The University has been working with the French students as part of a programme which has seen Dr Kathy Clawson, Senior Lecturer for Software Development, visit Bordeaux to teach for a week.

Dr Clawson said the Faculty’s relationship with IUT Bordeaux has been going from strength to strength since it was first established in 2016.

She said: “As part of this, we have seen groups of students visit Sunderland and, more recently, had opportunities for staff to participate in teaching and learning sessions at IUT.

“This year our exchange students have been outstanding, having immersed themselves in their projects with enthusiasm and commitment.”

Another of the students, Aurelien Satger, 20, said: “I have been working on a physical activity app and the mobile technology that is available here at the University has really helped a lot.”

Nathan Precigout, 19, added: “Sunderland has been great fun and we’ve enjoyed every minute. It’s also given us a chance to see other parts of the North East which has been great. I really liked Edinburgh.”

Ian Moody, Deputy Director of International at the University of Sunderland said: “Our collaboration with IUT has provided a number of unique opportunities in terms of developing technology and promoting Sunderland as a destination that is at the forefront of making technological advancements.”

Talent for all to see

Gary Dowell, Chair of the Tyne & Wear Branch of IOSH (Institution of Occupational Safety & Health) presented the best poster prize to Deborah Maddison, MSc Environment Health & Safety. The event provides an opportunity for the MSc teaching team to thank local employers for their participation in the placement scheme.

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The prize is sponsored by the IOSH Tyne & Wear branch and is given to the student who submits the poster that gains the highest marks in the placement module. Students who study the MSc Environment Health & Safety have the opportunity to complete an 8 week placement, with a local employer, whereby they put into the practice the knowledge gained during the taught modules of the programme. The MSc is accredited by IOSH and completion of the taught elements of the programme enables students to join IOSH as graduate members.

Deborah spent her 8 week placement with Liebherr a global business who manufacture a range of maritime cranes and cargo handling equipment at their site in Sunderland.

Deborah said: "My placement enhanced the knowledge and skills that I learnt during the taught modules. The IOSH accreditation of the programme was important in my choice of the MSc Environment Health & Safety."

The MSc Environment Health & Safety together with the MSc Health Safety & Wellbeing (which is also IOSH accredited) are offered both on-campus and on-line.

A new video wall at Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's has given local children the opportunity to share their feelings about Tall Ships Sunderland - in verse.

When Roger Thomas, Programme Leader for BA Games and App Design, was approached to create a short animation to celebrate the Tall Ships, he turned to local children for inspiration.

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"My partner. Rebecca Newsome, is a Primary teacher at JFK Primary in Washington and they, like most of the schools in the Sunderland area are studying the "Tall Ships” as topic.

"I took some photo’s along the river, put together a Powerpoint, Rebecca showed them to her class (Year 4) and they wrote poems in response.  We went through them together and picked out the best lines/quotes, I subsequently included as many of these as possible in the motion graphic - Brass Tacks."

Brass Tacks

In the cold, dark sky

Only the stars could help him

Find his way home

Steadily the vessel sailed

Out onto the smooth sea

While a luminous moon shone brightly 

John F. Kennedy Primary.  Washington.  Year 4 Class.  Teacher, Rebecca Newsome.


Lois Prest entered the care system as a teenager, and, suffering from severe dyslexia, in her early years had virtually no education. But despite this Lois, from Hartlepool, graduated with a 2.1 degree in Business and Applied Human Resource Management this week – and is now going on to study for a Masters degree at the University of Sunderland.

Lois, 28, studied for an apprenticeship when she left school, but admits she struggled – and never really considered university.

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“I started work as an apprentice and went on to complete my NVQ in Business Administration,” says Lois. “I suffer from dyslexia and found it difficult to complete the written work.”

Completing her NVQ was a huge boost for Lois’s confidence, but taking that next step into university was a real challenge. “I started looking into studying at university, and received a lot of support and encouragement from the team at the University of Sunderland.”

Wendy Price, Access to Higher Education and Scholarships Manager at the University of Sunderland, heads up the Care Leaver Student Support Team. She says this year marks a watershed moment for the team, and for students like Lois.

“Lois is one of 14 care experienced or estranged students who is graduating this summer – our highest number yet.

“We provide a We Care scholarships and bespoke support package to 40 care experienced students and 27 estranged students at the University of Sunderland.”

The team meet with each of the University’s care experienced and estranged students to produce a bespoke support plan. This is based on the student’s individual needs and can include help with finding accommodation 52 weeks a year, wellbeing support, additional financial support and finding part time work. One of the things that our students value most is always having someone looking out for them on campus, whether this is to help with academic support or just for a coffee and a chat.

But even with this support on offer Lois was convinced that she would never be able to graduate after a series of problems knocked her confidence.

“I had my daughter on 31 July last year, and I had a very bad pregnancy. Then in January my house burnt down due to an electrical fault. I was left without a home for myself and my kids – but my tutors and my partner helped me get through it.”

Lois admits her time at university has been challenging, but extremely rewarding.

“I went into the care system when I was a teenager, and that was difficult – but nothing will stop me achieving my goals. My partner Dean, and the Care Leaving Team at Sunderland has been so supportive, and I know they will continue to support me throughout my Masters degree in Human Resources Management.”

Alex claims her future

A young student has won a prize for her work putting people at the heart of business – and landed a job even before she has graduated.

Alex McRae, 23, Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland, will join over 3,000 young students this summer when she graduates from the University of Sunderland. Alex, who graduates with a First Class degree in BA Business and Applied Management, is the first Sunderland student to win the DC Reclamation Prize.

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The DC Reclamation Prize is awarded for excellence achieved in practice, particularly in placement.

During her time at Sunderland Alex completed a placement at Newcastle Gateshead Marriott Hotel as an Operations Intern, completing a management course there.

Now, Alex has landed a job at BrightHR as Customer Service Representative is Manchester – a city she has dreamt of living and working in all her life.

“My placement really helped me come out of my comfort zone, and my confidence and interpersonal skills have come along leaps and bounds,” says Alex.

“I am really interested in managing people. I believe people are at the heart of any business and should be acknowledged for all the great things they do.”

Joel Arnott, Leader on Business Placement at the University, added: “Hospitality is a highly competitive and demanding sector, and Alex encountered and overcame many challenges.

“The experience developed Alex significantly, both personally and professionally; and improved her understanding of business management and operation in practice.”

Honour for trail-blazer

A North East businesswoman who rose to the top of her field has been honoured by the University of Sunderland.

Businesswoman Lorna Moran who founded Northern Recruitment Group (NRG), the largest privately owned recruitment company in the North, has been made an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration by the University.

She received her award at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday.

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Lorna said: “I hope that ultimately I have helped make a difference – that I have created something that has longevity.”

Newcastle-based Lorna began her career in her teens, working in telesales at the city’s Thomson’s newspaper group.

When a customer placed a job advert looking for people to work in, what was then, the fledgling recruitment industry, Lorna knew immediately this was an environment she could thrive in.

In 1976 Lorna launched Geordie Job Finders, a company that would ultimately evolve into Northern Recruitment Group (NRG). In 1997, the company was listed on the London Stock Exchange before being brought back under private ownership in 2008.

Today, with offices in Newcastle, the business continues to thrive, Three years ago, Lorna stepped down as Chief Executive but continues on as Chairman. With an over-arching national business development remit, and extensive experience at executive and board level, her expertise remains in huge demand.

In 2000, Lorna co-founded the Entrepreneur’s Forum - alongside fellow Sunderland honorary graduate Sir Peter Vardy - to provide a nurturing environment for North East entrepreneurs.

Step away from business and Lorna’s passion to give back still burns bright. While her philanthropy has taken many forms over the years, it is with Maggie’s Cancer Care Centres that her heart belongs. She played a key role in establishing a centre at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.

Lorna’s many other accolades and achievements include North East Businesswoman of the Year in 1997; an MBE for services to Employment Creation in 2000; OBE for services to Enterprise Promotion in 2014; trustee of the International Centre for Life; and board member of Tees Valley Regeneration.

On Tuesday, Lorna joined hundreds of students for the final day of graduations from the University.

A young Sunderland student’s efforts have been recognised as the best in the business – after she was named the top student across of the University of Sunderland’s business programmes.

Emily Wilson graduates this week from the University of Sunderland alongside over 3,000 other students. Emily, who will receive her degree BA Business Management has managed the remarkable feat of being named the top student across all of the university’s business courses for 2018.

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Emily, 21, will graduate with First Class Honours and will be awarded the Ede and Ravenscroft prize for achievement across Undergraduate business programmes.

She said: “I was really pleased to achieve the highest grades across the business faculty throughout the year, but the prize has come as a complete surprise to me and I am thrilled to have been nominated.”

Emily’s achievement is all the remarkable as she worked throughout her time studying at Sunderland, as a skin therapist in a local salon.

Emily added: “I am hoping to build on the various skills I’ve developed whilst studying, all of which will hopefully lead to a successful career in business and management in the future.”