Business leaders, community figures join staff and students at UCLan Kaleidoscope
Wearable robotics, a virtual reality universe and the first graphene coated unmanned aerial vehicle wing were among a range of exhibits on display to highlight the very best of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).
The event, entitled UCLan Kaleidoscope, saw more than 300 people from across the North West descend on the Preston Campus to see a range of research, business and community engagement projects in action. The audience included UCLan honorary fellows, civic dignitaries, representatives from business and the community, as well as University students and staff.
Other exhibits included UCLan’s research into antimicrobial resistances and new antibiotics, bringing the dead back to life through forensic anthropology, and the development of a lightweight and portable ECG machine.
The construction phase of the University’s £200 million Masterplan, which aims to bring the University and city centre closer together, also attracted attention from a wide variety of stakeholders.
David Taylor, Chair of the University Board, said: “The fantastic work on view was just a glimpse of an incredibly exciting future for the University. Our £200 million Masterplan is moving from the planning to the construction phase and we are very keen to work with local employers on new and emerging educational models such as degree apprenticeships, two year degrees and earn-as-you-learn programmes. We’re a leader in field of entrepreneurship and have great international links.”
Vice-Chancellor Professor Mike Thomas added: “The changing world is not only about making discoveries and creating new technologies. We are also in the business of moulding informed leaders, creative thinkers and bold business minds. We are a University where committed people are inspired to develop their ideas and dreams.
“Realising the potential of a civic University to ‘reach out’ to the community will not only depend on what the University does but also on the capacity of our local and regional partners to work together and ‘reach into’ the University.”
Among the guests was Darrin Robinson, Chief Executive at BeaconFell, a cycle company based near Clitheroe. He and his team have been working with the University’s Innovation Clinic to design and create new carbon fibre frames. They have also helped develop new products which meet the strict European design criteria for bikes.
Darrin said: “It’s been great working with the University this year and we’re looking at future projects together. The team at the Innovation Clinic has helped us enormously, bringing design expertise to create our new carbon fibre bikes. They’ve also helped us gain international approval for our bikes. We needed very specific technical CAD drawings creating and the University was able to do that very quickly. Having UCLan so closely based to our business and so eager to help is fantastic.”
See our Flickr gallery to view images from throughout the night.