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Posted Wednesday 12 August 2015
Kingston University's sports science and nutrition degrees have taken top spots on the podium in the latest National Student Survey, with third year undergraduates the most satisfied in England and Wales. Both subjects carried off the highest honours in their respective fields, with 100 per cent student satisfaction ratings in the annual survey. That score was matched by a trio of other high performers - computer science (games programming), geography and mechanical engineering - which also received a maximum 100 per cent satisfaction rating.
Sports science degree courses at Kingston University received a 100 per cent student satisfaction rating in this year's National Student Survey.Acting Dean Dr Lucy Jones said the results were a ringing endorsement of the quality of the courses based in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing. "Our students have access to a wide range of specialist facilities and top quality teaching," Dr Jones said. "One of the highlights for our nutrition and sports science students is the chance to use state-of-the-art equipment in our high specification body composition suite. Our computer gaming students, meanwhile, enjoy the opportunity to create commercially-viable games in the University's games laboratory, regularly working with illustrators, developers and experts from the field. Elsewhere, our geographers are given the chance to broaden their horizons through a programme of international field trips, exploring regions of such far flung countries as South Africa and Malta."...
Posted Wednesday 5 August 2015
Have you ever wanted to live the life of a famous pop star? Or learn more about an artist's state of mind while they were in the process of creating a career-defining piece of work?
That's exactly what an academic from Kingston University is doing as part of a year-long research project. Film and cultural studies expert Professor Will Brooker will cover 40 years of music legend David Bowie's career during a year-long study, spending a few months at a time experiencing specific moments in the star's life.
"The idea is to inhabit Bowie's head space at points in his life and career to understand his work from an original angle, while retaining a critical and objective perspective at the same time - a kind of split persona perhaps," Professor Brooker explained.
Professor Brooker discussed the project with Australian network ABC while he was in Melbourne to speak at the David Bowie symposium taking place as part of the David Bowie Is exhibition at the Australian Centre for the Moving image.
Part of the process of the research involves only consuming the cultural content Bowie would have encountered during each period. For example, Professor Brooker is currently only listening to music, watching films and reading books produced before 1974 to get a deeper insight into Bowie's creative thought process. It was during this period that the star became interested in Philadelphia soul, leading to the production of the Young Americans album and the creation of the Thin White Duke character. "If you're reading some strange science fiction and books about magic, you can kind of get into Bowie's head. It's sometimes quite a strange place, a dangerous place, a place you wouldn't want to live for too long," Professor Brooker said.
He has also been dressing as Bowie, wearing the same make-up, experimenting with sleep deprivation, attempting to follow Bowie's dubious diet of milk and red peppers and has even started to take singing lessons. However, some aspects of the icon's life are more difficult recreate. "His mansion in Beckenham has been demolished, for instance, and I'm unlikely to have a fling with Mick Jagger," Professor Brooker said. "However it is possible to engage with and get a feel for his experiences without immersing oneself to a dangerous extent."
It was during his teenage years that Professor Brooker first came into contact with Bowie, repeatedly listening to a cassette of the Let's Dance album on his Walkman. Looking back, he believes he felt an affinity to Bowie because he achieved a 'balance between success and strangeness, between a necessary commercial pragmatism and a core of personal authenticity'.
Professor Brooker is not sure how Bowie would feel about his latest project: "I hope he would be interested in and amused by my research," he said. "I do feel, though, that everything he says and does in public is performance, so if he did hear about it, we would be unlikely to know what he genuinely thought."
Posted Wednesday 8 July 2015
The Women's Institute has joined forces with leading fashion educator Kingston University London to weave together a century of knitting know-how with the vision of some of fashion's future trail blazers. Twenty one members of the WI, all keen knitters or crafters, cast off the organisation's more conventional image to work with 11 up-and-coming designers from the University's fashion department in a cutting edge collaboration unveiled in a catwalk show at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the voluntary organisation's centenary celebrations.
The project was the brainchild of Kingston University knitwear specialist Associate Professor Samantha Elliott and the National Federation of Women's Institutes' Craft Council. "I have long been an admirer of the Women's Institute and Kingston University's fashion department has a strong tradition of collaborative working," Ms Elliott said. "So when I met the institution's craft adviser at industry showcase the Knitting and Stitching Show, I seized the opportunity to talk about how we could bring the two organisations together. It made perfect sense to me to blend the craft skills and heritage of the WI with the design expertise and cutting edge technology we have at Kingston University." The young designers and their Women's Institute volunteers created an eclectic range of eye-catching knitwear which included sophisticated sportswear and an androgynous trouser suit and jumper. Institute members with craft experience were invited to volunteer for the project through the organisation's magazine and website. Ms Elliot matched the 21 women chosen with the cream of Kingston University's final year knitwear students - with two WI ‘makers' assigned to each student. The teams first met at the institute's craft headquarters Denman College in Oxfordshire last September to learn a little about each other's experience and expertise. A former Vogue knitwear designer, 87 year-old Shelagh Hollingworth from Powys and Radnor Federation, and wool mill owner Karen Griffiths from Derbyshire Federation, an expert in processing specialist fleece such as Alpaca, were among the members who took part in the project....
Posted Thursday 25 June 2015
A keen conservationist and up-coming-designer has turned her talents to devising a shelter for one of the United Kingdom's most treasured garden inhabitants - the hedgehog. Wildlife enthusiast Antigone Frichot, who has just completed a BA(Hons) in Product and Furniture Design at Kingston University, has come up with the concept for a garden haven light enough for human handling but robust enough to withstand the dogs, badgers and foxes who prey upon the spiny mammals and their young.
Dubbed Hoglodge, Antigone's creation is made of terracotta, which she chose for its insulating properties, and consists of a raised hollow base topped with a floor, a wall and a dome cover. The base has been designed to keep hibernating residents off the cold ground, while the wall deflects wind and blocks predators from gaining entry....
Posted Friday 29 May 2015
Graduating students from Kingston University's Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture have showcased their final projects in a major exhibition at the Knights Park campus.
The Kingston University undergraduate degree show has become a must-see fixture in the calendar for design aficionados and this year was no exception, providing industry experts and recruiters with an opportunity to get up close and personal with emerging creative talent. ‘Thinking Through Making' unveiled the work of students completing degree courses in architecture, design, film-making, fine art, landscape architecture, graphic design, illustration and animation, interior design, photography and product and furniture design....
Posted Wednesday 13 May 2015
Project SAFE YOU will educate young people about the perils of performance-enhancing drugs. Image: DreamstimeKingston University is playing a key role in a major European initiative to educate young fitness and sports enthusiasts about the dangers of doping and ways to avoid falling victim to the perils of performance and image-enhancing substances. Project SAFE YOU (Strengthening the Anti-doping Fight in Fitness and Exercise in Youth) is being launched with more than €400,000 backing from the European Commission. It will lead to the development of an online tool that will also serve as a comprehensive source of support for teachers, coaches and instructors responsible for anti-doping education.
Headed by Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Greece, the project will draw on the knowledge of a consortium of global experts, including senior academics from Kingston University, the University of Rome Foro Italico and the University of Potsdam in Germany. They will work alongside the German Anti-Doping Agency, the Cyprus Sport Organisation and Greece's Ministry of Culture, Education and Religious Affairs....
Posted Friday 24 April 2015
The Kingston University Sport Science Consultancy Team has assisted in the training of athletes preparing to compete in the 2015 Marathon des Sables. The race, which celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, is a six-day, 251km (156m) ultramarathon, the equivalent of six regular marathons, which is held each year in the Sahara Desert in temperatures of up to 50°C.
This year, Kingston University provided heat acclimation support to around 25 athletes racing in the desert, including the winner of the women's race, Elisabet Barnes, who won all five stages outright, finishing 19th overall. Elisabet has had a great year of ultra-running, already winning numerous UK races and is planning on going back to the Sahara next year to defend her title. Fellow Brit Gemma Game finished fourth in the women's field and 87th overall.
Danny Kendall, a regular user of the facilities at Kingston University, was looking to improve on his 2014 position of fourth. However, increased competition saw him finish in eighth position overall, the highest-placed British athlete in a world-class field.
Kingston University also helped explorer and adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes prepare to be the oldest Briton to complete the event in aid of Marie Curie. Senior lecturer in Health and Exercise Dr Hannah Moir and physiology technician Chris Howe also provided day-by-day analysis of Sir Ranulph's progress throughout the event.
There were many more competitors that were supported by the Kingston University team this year. Two of the athletes, Susie and Shaun, who used the heat chamber and completed the MDS 2015, have further reason to celebrate following their engagement after Shaun battled through sickness during the race to propose on the finish line.
Find out more about heat acclimatisation training at Kingston University
Posted Friday 17 April 2015
Professor Andrew Self was instrumental in building Kingston University's industry-wide reputation for engineering.Messages of condolence have been pouring in to Kingston University following the death of Professor Andrew Self who has died after a long battle with cancer. Professor Self was the University's Pro Vice-Chancellor for Enterprise and Innovation until his retirement in 2006.
He joined Kingston University in 1994 as a professor of engineering and soon became the Head of the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Production Engineering. Engineering expert Dr Akbar Aboutorabi, who worked alongside Professor Self for many years, said it had been his vision, determination and hard work that had made the school the top provider of engineering teaching in the country. "Andrew was an entrepreneurial and unconventional leader who was passionate about his work and the welfare of his colleagues," he recalled. "Through his visionary foresight and extraordinary zest for innovation, Andrew led the development of Kingston's aircraft maintenance programme in collaboration with City of Bristol College, KLM and others."...