Great Future

94.6% of our undergraduate students go on to work and/or further study within six months of graduating

(Destinations of Leavers Survey 2013/14)

£286,000 project unveils the history the viol

Early English Viols

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 11:11:00 GMT

Professor John Bryan and Dr Michael Fleming published their findings in a newly-published book Early English Viols: Instruments, Makers and Music

John Byran IN Tudor England, the viol was one of the most prized of instruments, heard in the greatest consort music of the age.  In recent decades, it has gained new enthusiasts among musicians and audiences.  But now a University of Huddersfield professor – a leading exponent of the viol – has called for a fresh appraisal of the sheer variety of instruments used 500-400 years ago and what they can reveal about music and performance of the period.

Dr Michael Fleming Professor John Bryan, (pictured left) who has made many recordings with the internationally-known Rose Consort of Viols, is co-author of a new book that examines the viol and its makers in sixteenth and seventeenth-century England.  It is the product of a £286,596 project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.  The research fellow was Dr Michael Fleming (pictured right), a former viol maker himself, who investigated many aspects of how the instrument was made and sold, examining surviving viols and uncovering documentary evidence buried deep in archives.

The result is the newly-published Early English Viols: Instruments, Makers and Music.  It describes the discoveries made by Dr Fleming and Professor Bryan and provides food for thought to modern makers and players.

‌“The main finding from the whole project is that our conception of a viol is much too stereotypical,” said Professor Bryan.  “If we go to buy a viol nowadays, they are basically all the same model.  There are one or two originals that have been repeatedly copied.

“But pictures, surviving instruments and descriptions show that there was a huge number of different shapes and sizes and different ways of constructing the viol,” he continued.  Now Professor Bryan hopes that the new book will stimulate interest among makers and their customers to produce and commission experimental instruments based on different principles.

Book cover - Early English Viols: Instruments, Makers and Music Gut feel

The book has eight chapters, covering topics that include surviving instruments and the difficulties in interpreting them, because they have often been altered and adapted from their original state.

There is a chapter on the substantial number of images of viols – pictures, sculptures and carvings.  There are many more of these than people generally imagine, said Professor Bryan.  There is also an investigation into how a craftsman became a maker of viols in early modern England,

‌“Michael and I have come to conclusion that there was no such job description as ‘viol maker’,” said Professor Bryan.  “Many of the instruments seem to have been made by general joiners and carpenters – they would make you a wardrobe one day and a viol the next!”

The book uncovers evidence about materials, including woods and strings that were available to the makers of five centuries ago.  This is invaluable for modern makers who want to produce accurate reproductions, said Professor Bryan, whose own Rose Consort has adopted a policy of using only plain gut strings.

This helps with issues such as the relationships between instruments and the voices they accompanied or imitated.  “Gut strings help you with consonants and add clarity to the sound,” said Professor Bryan, who has contributed a chapter on what music for viols reveals about the instruments it was written for.

  • Early English Viols: Instruments, Makers and Music, by Michael Fleming and John Bryan, is published by Routledge.
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University secures new £30 million Future Metrology Research Hub


Mon, 05 Dec 2016 11:29:00 GMT

‌The new Research Hub is one of six created by funding from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Professor Jane Jiang THE University of Huddersfield is to lead a new £30 million research centre to help transform UK manufacturing. 

The Future Metrology Hub will be based in the University’s Centre for Precision Technologies, home to a team of world-renowned researchers in precision engineering and metrology.

Researchers at the universities of Sheffield, Loughborough and Bath will provide complementary expertise and support, as will the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) from its bases at Teddington and Huddersfield.  Building upon these groups’ existing track-record and achievements, the Hub will address major, long-term challenges facing UK manufacturing industries.

A large team of industrial partners – including famous companies from a wide variety of industrial sectors – will also provide funding and support to the Hub.  More than £30 million has so far been pledged across the consortium, and new partners will be sought as the research progresses.‌

As part of the Government’s commitment to supporting world-leading manufacturing research in the UK, the Huddersfield research centre will receive a major investment of £10 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and be one of six new Future Manufacturing Research Hubs.

The Huddersfield-led Hub will be headed by Professor Jane Jiang, (pictured left) whose distinctions include the award earlier this year of the Renishaw/Royal Academy Chair in Precision Metrology.

Researcher “Our vision is to develop new technologies and universal methods that will integrate measurement science with design and production processes to improve control, quality and productivity.  These will become part of the critical infrastructure for a new generation of digital, high value manufacturing, the so called 4th industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0.” said Professor Jiang. 

The term ‘Industry 4.0’ has been coined to describe the digitisation and automation of manufacturing, using the power of modern computers and technology such as networks of sensors and the massive amounts of data they can collect.  These technologies are acknowledged by government as being critical to the future success and economic prosperity of manufacturing in the UK, in the face of low-cost overseas competition.

‌“We’ve built a really strong consortium of researchers, technology developers, service providers and manufacturing end-users to deliver our Hub vision.” said Simon McKenna, who is the Hub’s Director of Operations.  “Having this extended team in place will ensure outputs from the research programme are fully exploited to deliver real and lasting impact for the UK economy.”

The Hub, which will come into existence in early 2017, builds directly upon the existing EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Advanced Metrology, also hosted at Huddersfield.  This Centre has developed award-winning new technologies over the past five years for in-process measurement and control.  The Future Metrology Hub will enable this existing research to be taken to the next level to support a UK manufacturing transformation.  

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University celebrates 100th KTP

KTP innovate UK

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 11:00:00 GMT

The latest Knowledge Transfer Partnership is with flow measurement company, Mainstream Measurements

Mainstreams measurement Ltd THE University of Huddersfield has reached the key milestone of being awarded its 100th Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP).

The centenary project will be supervised by Dr Simon Parkinson (pictured below right) from the School of Computing and Engineering and will be in collaboration with flow-meter measurement company Mainstream Measurements who are leaders in open channel flow measurement, using ultrasonic technology.

Simon Parkinson The long-established Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme is part-funded by the Government via Innovate UK – the UK’s Innovation Agency (formally known as the Technology Strategy Board).  It enables firms that seek to innovate, or to investigate ways of improving their products or processes, to tap into the scientific and technical expertise of universities. 

A KTP Associate is due to be recruited for the current KTP soon and will work closely with the Ilkley-based firm and supervisor Dr Parkinson.  Together all of their expertise will aim ‘to develop and embed a multi-platform software solution to enable distributors and their customer’s secure, remote access to visualise, manipulate, retrieve and transmit measurement data resulting in state-of-the-art flow meters with enhanced GPRS capabilities’.

Laura Forester-Green The idea for the project came as a direct result of Professor Rakesh Mishra and Dr Taimoor Asim, also from the School of Computing and Engineering, who worked with the company to test the accuracy of their flow-meters.  Realising how valuable a KTP could be to the company, Professor Mishra introduced them to Dr Parkinson’s work.

“Having maintained our presence as one of the top 10 universities for KTP, we now have aspirations to make it into the top five,” said Laura Forester-Green (pictured left), who is the University’s co-ordinator of knowledge transfer research and enterprise activities.  

“KTP is a strategic focus for us and the University’s 100th KTP is testament to the expertise and strengths we can offer.  Across the University, we are taking steps to increase our portfolio and pipeline of opportunities throughout all of our schools of study,” she added

Dr Andrew Kenney, who manages the KTP/University relationship for Innovate UK, said: “The University of Huddersfield has an excellent track record of delivering KTP projects that have a transformative effect on businesses and bring tangible benefits including new products to market, increased productivity and substantial cost savings.”

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Professor’s None-in-Three project wins national award


Fri, 02 Dec 2016 15:40:00 GMT

Professor Adele Jones’s domestic violence project takes the Health and Wellbeing award in the NCCPE’s Engage competition

Professor Adele Jones A PROJECT which aims to prevent domestic violence in the Caribbean has won a national award for public engagement. 

The EU funded None-in-Three project, directed by the University of Huddersfield’s Professor Adele Jones (pictured), was one of three projects shortlisted for the Health & Wellbeing award, in the Engage Competition run by the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE).  

The project’s name is derived from the finding that one-in-three women and girls experience violence in their lives.

NCCPE “That’s a fairly global statistic, but the problem of domestic violence is identified as being particularly acute in Latin America and the Caribbean,” said Professor Jones, who has carried out extensive, impact-based research in those regions.

The University of Huddersfield has implemented the project in partnership with the Grenada-based Sweet Water Foundation, which campaigns on child sexual abuse.  Supported by national and regional agencies, the project has been designed to complement existing domestic violence programmes in the region and also to contribute to change at the international level.

One such development in the project has been an interactive, role-playing computer game, designed to educate school children on domestic violence and be shown in the East Caribbean and in the UK.

Caribbean girls Finalists in the NCCPE’s Engage Competition were selected from over 180 entries with each demonstrating a broad range of high quality activities to inspire and involve public audiences with their research.

The finalists ranged from digitally reconstructing city histories to protecting endangered species; from working with older people as researchers to delivering hyper-local science festivals; from young children conducting their own research to influence the United Nations, to using theatre to improve oral health outcomes.

The competition had six categories and the winner of each received a prize of £1,500 to go towards further public engagement work.

  • A video with Professor Adele Jones talking about the None-in-Three project can be seen here.
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