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Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival double funding success


Thu, 28 Jul 2016 10:47:00 BST

Professor Richard Steinitz Over the course of two days, the HCMF secures two funding awards from Arts Council England totalling £274,000

‌A MAJOR music festival that puts Huddersfield on the world map and which has close links to the town’s university is celebrating a £274,000 funding boost.

Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (HCMF) – which reaches its 40th anniversary in 2017 – is established as one of the globe’s leading showcases for new and experimental music, attracting leading international composers and performers.  It was founded in 1978 by University of Huddersfield composition lecturer Professor Richard Steinitz (pictured right), and he was its artistic director for 23 years.

Now, Arts Council England has announced two new funding awards for the Festival, which takes place over ten days every November.

First came an announcement that HCMF will receive £160,000 from the Council’s England International Showcasing Fund.  This cash will assist the production of British contemporary, new and experimental music across the closing weekends of both the 2016 and 2017 Festivals.

Next came news that the Festival had also been awarded £114,000 through Arts Council England’s Catalyst Evolve funding stream, which will support further development of its philanthropic fundraising capacity and activity over the next three years.


The HCMF’s Artistic Director, Graham McKenzie, welcomed the news:

“To say that we’re delighted to receive such fantastic news two days in a row would be something of an understatement!  We are immensely proud of this achievement and extremely grateful to have received such significant support from Arts Council England.

‌“The awards are a real vote of confidence in the on-going development of Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival as a forward-looking arts organisation as well as recognising its importance in the national and international landscape of contemporary and experimental music.  Given that both funding streams will continue through into 2017, when we will be celebrating the 40th year of the Festival.  The news is a great boost for the Festival and for British new music.”

Graham McKenzie and Professor Bob Cryan The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield, Professor Bob Cryan, is also delighted by the funding boost.

“New music is one of our most important areas of teaching and research – so much so that at the start of 2016 it earned us a Queen’s Anniversary Prize, one of the most prestigious awards in the Higher Education Sector,” he said.

“We have some brilliant composers and performers on our teaching staff and they attract many outstanding students from around the world, so contemporary music is a subject area that raises our international profile.  As a University we are proud of our long association with the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and share its excitement at the new of the latest Arts Council England funding awards.”

► The University received the Queen's Anniversary Prize for “world-leading work to promote, produce and present contemporary music to an international audience”.  Pictured with the Prize are HCMF’s Artistic Director, Graham McKenzie (left), and the University's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bob Cryan.


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University seals China partnerships in construction technology

Tsinghua University

Tue, 26 Jul 2016 14:17:00 BST

Memorandum of Understanding signed with Beijing’s Tsinghua University‌ and with the Yunnan Arts University

Tsinghua University ► Pictured at the Tsinghua University are (l-r) Professor Zhiliang Ma and Dean Professor Yongjiu Shi, with Huddersfield professors Patricia Tzortzopoulos, Dean Mike Kagioglou and Song Wu

NEW UK-China research collaborations in advanced construction technology will flow from an official partnership between the University of Huddersfield and the School of Civil Engineering at Tsinghua University, in Beijing.

The role of information technology in construction and healthcare infrastructure management will be a principal focus of the collaboration, which will see the development of a global research forum concentrating on these topics.

The University of Huddersfield is rapidly establishing itself as a major centre for the study and research of architecture and the built environment, and it has academics who are global experts in cutting-edge techniques and technologies such as Building Information Modelling and Lean Construction.

Professor Song Wu Tsinghua University is ranked as one of the leading institutions in China and the world and it has a particularly high reputation for technology, engineering and construction.

‌Now a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) – initially scheduled to run for five years – has been signed between the University of Huddersfield’s School of Art, Design and Architecture (ADA) and Tsinghua’s School of Civil Engineering.

Professor Mike Kagioglou – Huddersfield’s Dean of School – travelled to Tsinghua to sign the MoU.  He did so alongside Professor Yongjiu Shi, who is Dean of the School of Civil Engineering.

‌A key figure in the research link is Dr Song Wu (pictured left), who is the University of Huddersfield’s Professor of Surveying and IT.  He was present at the MoU signing ceremony.  In 2010, was awarded a UK-China Fellowship for Excellence and worked closely with Tsinghua University’s Professor Zhiliang Ma, who paid a visit to Huddersfield at the start of 2016, attending an international workshop.

The full extent of the collaboration will be settled when an official kick-off meeting is held, probably in Huddersfield.  But the MoU lays down the main areas of co-operation:

  • Development of a global research forum for IT in construction and healthcare infrastructure management.
  • Joint research proposals to relevant funding bodies in both countries and internationally.
  • Academic staff co-operation on collaborative research, exchange, publication and conferences in areas of common interest.
  • Identification of special short-term projects of mutual benefit to both institutions.
  • Any other collaborative efforts that both parties may mutually agree.

Yunnan Arts University Yunnan Arts University

 Pictured is Yunnan Arts University's Dean, Professor Jinsong Chen, with Huddersfield's Mike Kagioglou

In addition to the new link with Tsinghua University, Huddersfield’s School of Art, Design and Architecture has renewed a well-established MoU with Yunnan Arts University.  It is a link that has provided architecture students at Huddersfield with some highly stimulating opportunities on research visits to Yunnan province.

Located in south west China and with a population of 45 million, belonging to 26 ethnic groups, Yunnan has offered the Huddersfield students a fascinating variety of landscapes, buildings and cultures, including ancient terraced paddy fields that have been declared a World Heritage Site.  On their return to the UK they have been able to work on architectural projects designed to improve life in Yunnan. 

Dr Yun Gao The link with Yunnan Arts University has been fostered by Dr Yun Gao (pictured right), who is a Senior Lecturer in Architecture at Huddersfield.  She is a native of Yunnan province and a Visiting Professor at its Arts University.  

The renewed MoU states that the aim is to explore collaborative research projects; arrange exchanges of students and research staff; organise joint academic activities such as seminars and conferences; and exchange academic materials.

On his trip to China, Professor Kagioglou also visited Yunnan to sign the new Memorandum.

He said: “I am delighted and proud that our School has MoUs with these two fine Chinese universities.  From Huddersfield’s perspective, our staff and students in architecture, built environment and art and design will be presented with some additional superb opportunities for research collaborations.

“Also, the new partnerships add to the growing international profile of our School of Art, Design and Architecture as a global player.  Our strong delegation in China, which included Professor Patricia Tzortzopoulos – Head of Department of Architecture and 3D Design – and Professor Wu, also attended the Global Leadership Forum for Construction Engineering and Management, of which I am an Executive Committee member, hosted by Tsinghua University.”

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Historian’s Digital Victorians project links with Canadians

Digital Victorians

Tue, 26 Jul 2016 10:42:00 BST

Using the latest digital technology to understand the past leads to transatlantic collaboration with Huron University College in Canada

Professor Paul Ward HISTORY is being brought up-to-date by an innovative course at the University of Huddersfield that trains students to use the latest digital technology and social media to investigate and understand the past.  Now it has led to a transatlantic collaboration that will see UK and Canadian undergraduates working together via Skype to create an online exhibition.

Among the technologies to be used are 3D scanning and printing, meaning that selected museum artefacts can be displayed and explained on screen in immense detail, and it will also be possible to produce physical facsimiles of some of the most interesting objects.

The University of Huddersfield’s History department has developed a second-year module named Digital Victorians.  Its co-creator was Professor Paul Ward (pictured left), and the aim is for students of nineteenth-century history to make full use of a new collaborative learning suite, equipped with screens, PCs and cables to link tablets, smart phones and laptops.  A 3D scanner and printer will now be added to the facilities.

Huron University College Digital Victorians wasn’t intended solely to develop digital skills.  We wanted the students to think like historians.  We wanted them to undertake research and make historical interpretations,” said Professor Ward, who has penned an online article about the origin of the innovative module.

Now its scope is massively expanded after Professor Ward – who is Head of History, English, Languages and Media – recently visited several Canadian universities, holding talks about research collaborations and presenting papers.  One destination was Huron University College in London, Ontario.

Working with Huron’s Professor Amy Bell, Professor Ward devised a plan to link Canadian history students taking part in a community-based learning module with Huddersfield counterparts on the Digital Victorians course.

Skelmanthorpe Textile Heritage Centre “It involves Huddersfield and Huron students working together via Skype, Facebook and other forms of social media,” said Professor Ward.  “They will be visiting partner museums – one in each country – and carrying out 3D scanning of objects, researching them and then jointly presenting a digital exhibition online.”

The Huddersfield historians will link up with the tiny, but fascinating Skelmanthorpe Textile Heritage Centre (pictured left), a former weaver’s cottage preserved as it would have been in c.1900.  It includes a working handloom among the exhibits.  In Ontario, the Huron students will work at Eldon House.  Now a museum, it was home to four generations of a wealthy family and is filled with the objects they collected on worldwide travels.

The two museums are very different, but are linked by their essentially Victorian character, said Professor Ward.  Another important historical angle is that of the “British World”, which resulted from the spread of Empire.

“Britain extended from the heart of England, from Yorkshire, across the Atlantic and beyond,” said Professor Ward, whose specialities include the study of British identities.

The Huddersfield and Huron students will begin their researches and their transatlantic collaboration when the new university term gets underway in autumn 2016.  The aim is that the online exhibition will be ready for launch in December.

There are further plans for links between the two universities, including staff and student exchanges, said Professor Ward, who is keen to encourage history students to experience academic life overseas.

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New balls! Entrepreneurial spirit sets tone for tennis resurgence

Peter Emsell

Mon, 25 Jul 2016 15:49:00 BST

Lecturer Peter Emsell and director of Huddersfield Lawn Tennis and Squash Club puts the case for survival of the UK’s amateur sporting clubs

logo TENNIS is one of the great global games and Wimbledon grabs the headlines every summer… ‌but many local clubs face an uncertain future because they experience increasing difficulty persuading people to pick up a racket and play the sport.

‌Now, a University of Huddersfield lecturer has investigated the problems confronting sports clubs and how they must be creative and entrepreneurial in order to survive.  He has used one of the Huddersfield’s longest-established institutions in order to prepare an innovative case study that has now been included in a major repository that reaches a worldwide audience.

Huddersfield Lawn Tennis and Squash Club was formed 135 years ago.  It has diversified and innovated and is financially sound, but still suffers from the common problem of falling participation rates.

tennis balls Business lecturer Peter Emsell has been a playing member of the club for 30 years and a director for the past eight, giving him special insights into the challenges it faces.  The result is a 2,000-word case study that is now available online via The Case Centre, which holds the world’s largest and most diverse collection of management cases, articles, book chapters and teaching materials.

Mr Emsell – who worked in operations management, logistics and human resources before switching to lecturing in people, management and organisations at the University of Huddersfield’s Business School – writes that the Huddersfield Lawn Tennis and Squash Club “has faced and overcome many challenges in its history, but none as great as those faced today.  The surrounding political, cultural and socio-economic environment has seen huge shifts in emphasis”.

‌“These pressures have driven sports-based members clubs to be more innovative and take risks in order to find new ways for financial sustainability and survival,” he continues.

“Those that fail to make this shift, ultimately go out of existence.  Yet have these types of clubs the resources, capabilities and vision to achieve the dual mission of financial sustainability and participation in sport?”

Huddersfield Lawn Tennis and Squash Club has a good set of directors with a range of business skills, said Mr Emsell.  Initiatives have been tried to boost participation and links with the local community, in an attempt to overcome lingering elitist associations with tennis.

“I am optimistic but wary about the longer-term future,” he said.  There had been no sign of an Olympics legacy nor a “trickledown effect” from Andy Murray’s success and popularity.  But innovations such as a keep-fit routine known as “cardio-tennis” had proved popular.

Mr Emsell’s research is innovative because it applies well-established methods of research into social enterprises to an investigation of a sports club.  “Surprisingly, very little academic inquiry and research has been carried out in this field at the theoretical level,” he writes.

His research continues and as part of an investigation into community-based racket sports clubs he is currently conducting an online survey – open to all – that will help provide data for his own doctoral project.  Also, links with the management of the tennis club are providing opportunities for research and analysis by business studies students.

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