Wins The Turner Prize

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The Magazine for aluMni and friends of The University of Ulster

WinTer 2010

issue 33

CoVer sTorysusan Philipsz, Mfa (1994) wins the Turner Prize with her sound installation lowlands

also inside your ulsTer graduaTe

University newsevents and reunionsPeoplesport

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Contentsnews featured Article

A word from the editor...



Development news

Alumni events

feature story





The Main event

Turner Prize winner susan Philipsz

Class notes

honorary graduates

Boxing Clever eamonn oKane

4 university news

Kris, Co-director of life Photography in Coleraine, has been awarded the coveted title of uK Creative Wedding Photographer 2010....

Cover photographsound artist susan Philipsz, winner of this years Turner Prize.

Published byThe alumni relations office, university of ulster,newtownabbey, Co antrim, BT37 0QB.

Tel: 028 7012 3456 (switchboard), or028 9036 8350 (direct line) fax: 028 9036 6085email:

randox fellowship in Personalised Medicine

development news



editor: sue rees, alumni relations ManagerProduction editor: Peter hough, Corporate Communicationsdesign: Mammoth.tvPrint: W & g Baird ltd Photo credits: John harrison, istockphoto, nigel Mcdowell, Martin McKeown, alastair nevin, susan Philipsz, Maurice Thompson and Taavetti alin. Thanks to all contributors who submitted photographs.

Views expressed are those of the contributors and not necessarily of the university. The university of ulster regrets that it cannot accept responsibility for any claim whatsoever which may arise out of advertisements carried in good faith.

Past events

Pathfinders in intelligent Worlds

events 2011




Boxing Clever35 Commonwealth games boxing star

eamonn oKane explains how a sports scholarship was the key to his success

Welcome to issue 33 of The Ulster Graduate. We hope that you like the new style, in which we have incorporated many of your suggestions to ensure we produce a magazine that is interesting, informative, and an attractive and enjoyable read.

as always we include a roundup of university news, information on past and forthcoming events, and stories about many of our graduates and staff. our research showed that you wanted some longer feature pieces, and the theme of this edition is The future with a focus on our intelligent systems research Centre at Magee a world-leading centre for excellence.

in these pages, you can also read about ways in which donors to the university have helped to enhance our teaching, research, and the student

experience. This includes the new Centre for advanced Cardiovascular research (page 9), the randox fellowship in Personalised Medicine (page 10), and the work of the alumni fund (page 12). at a time of reduced public funding, donations to the university will play an increasingly important role and we hope that our alumni and friends will play their part in supporting us. ulster has many strengths, not least in sport and the visual arts and we celebrate graduate eamonn oKane who won a gold Medal at the Commonwealth games in delhi on page 35, and Mfa graduate susan Philipsz, the winner of this years Turner Prize. Two alumni from Ba hons fine and applied arts are also featured on page 34 for their achievements.

We do hope that you enjoy reading this issue, and look forward to receiving your feedback. dont forget to keep us updated with your contact details, especially your email address, so we can keep you informed of news and events. you can use the carrier sheet or go online at

Kris & emma dickson, Class notes Pg26


space Age

Personal experiences at sea

researching research

Roy Sterritt, computer scientist and sometime Star Wars fan, has had research adopted by NASA.

ulster researchers are working with colleagues in dublin and edinburgh on a unique project digitising the records of the experiences and traditions of gaelic-speaking fishing communities.

lecturer roy sterritt, after receiving a nasa Patent application award and a Patent plaque at the nasa goddard space flight Centers new Technology report Program ceremony in Mitchellville, Maryland.

Whether youre interested in the evolution of soccer in africa, the biometry of the iris, new directions in transitional justice or developments in carbon nanotube technology, theres a new way to find out about the latest university of ulster research.

The ulster institutional repository (uir) was launched via the website in august 2010. This open access digital archive contains details of research produced by university staff and researchers in the arts, humanities and sciences, and it is freely accessible to the research community and the public. The uir has proved to be a big success with almost all researchers having deposited details of their research outputs. To date our researchers have deposited details of almost 10,000 research outputs ranging from journal articles, to authored books and artefacts, with more being uploaded every day.

The uir forms the official record of the universitys research publications and outputs and will be a valuable resource for researchers internationally.

for more information:

The us space agency has been granted a patent on work by the Jordanstown-based informatics lecturer and is using his autonomic software engineering methods in its ground-control systems. Current thinking among space scientists foresees a future in which swarms of small craft will replace single-craft missions.

roy collaborated with nasa scientist Mike hinchey to devise programs that could make small robotic craft self-directing and self-controlling, and also self-destructing if their autonomous behaviour were

to threaten the safety or technical aims of the mission.

he uses principles of autonomic and apoptotic computing. roy explains:

autonomic computing is based on the idea of the autonomic nervous system in the human body and apoptotic computing on how multi-cellular organisms function. it is biologically inspired computing and an approach to computer development that aims to create reliable systems modelled on self-managing biological systems like the human body.


The two-year study aims to reveal more about the daily lives and customs of irish and scottish gaelic speaking coastal communities, and make the information available online.

dr Maxim fomin and Professor samus Mac Mathna from the research institute for irish and Celtic studies are examining maritime memorates personal accounts of experiences at sea by fishermen, boatmen, foreshore gatherers and beachcombers that were collected from the end of the 19th century to the present and are now stored in the school of scottish studies archives (edinburgh) and national folklore Collection (dublin).

funded by the arts and humanities research Council, the 200,000 study also involves university College, dublin and the university of edinburgh.

for more

Hewitt online HotlineWork is well advanced on the creation of a digital archive of works by John hewitt, one of ulsters most influential 20th century poets. The first phase of the John hewitt online Collection has been completed and is accessible, along with details of the associated ulster Poetry Project, at

The collection comprises a personal archive that was bequeathed to the university following hewitts death in 1987. it is housed at the universitys library in Coleraine.

hewitt influenced a generation of poets who followed in his footsteps, including seamus heaney, derek Mahon and Michael longley.

his keen observation of ulster life and landscape and his work as a literary critic and book collector made him a leading figure in northern irish writing.

as a champion of the vernacular poetry of ulster, he was a literary pioneer who preserved and celebrated dozens of poets and texts.

The collection contains more than 5,000 books and journals, including rare volumes, poetry notebooks, a copy of hewitts unpublished autobiography, radio scripts and first editions of virtually every collection of irish poetry since the 1950s.

Project leader dr frank ferguson says it is one of the most significant collections in the uK and ireland of modern and contemporary irish literature. he says:

The digital online archive will provide a unique resource for anyone interested in Irish poetry, modern Irish culture, history and folklore.

reseArCH roUnD-UP

Ulster researchers have been making the news since The Ulster Graduate 32. Here is a selection of some key stories. For more information on research, see



Collaborative research at ulster is set on a fresh course as a result of high-profile trans-atlantic support.

The influential us-ireland research and development Partnership has given its approval to two major nanotechnology projects.

it marks a new departure for the university as these are the first projects to be funded under the recently established organisation, which is guided by a steering group comprised of senior representatives from northern ireland, the republic of ireland and the united


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