University of Stirling

Development and External Affairs

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News Archive

February 2007

Sports Scholarship to Unite Kenya and Stirling

Scientists' Sensational Crime-Fighting Exhibit

Stirling Golfers Travel the Globe

Dying to Build: Canadian Study Indicates Increased Risk of Head and Neck Cancer Among Construction Workers

Blanchflower to give Professorial Lecture at Stirling

The Myth of Partnership and the High Performance Workplace

Shirts, Suits and Statistics and the Beautiful Game

Study to Look at Impact of Alcohol Marketing on Teens

Sports Scholarship to Unite Kenya and Stirling

Kip KeinoDate released: Wednesday 7 February 2007

Scotland’s leading University for sport has launched an international sports scholarship with legendary Kenyan runner and humanitarian Kip Keino (pictured right) which will benefit both Kenyan and Scottish athletes. The Olympic and Commonwealth gold medallist visited the University of Stirling on Monday 5 February to finalise the agreement which will give talented Kenyan sportsmen and women access to Stirling’s sport science expertise. Stirling students will also travel to Kenya on athletics and development projects.

During his visit Kip, who is involved in a number of entrepreneurial and humanitarian efforts in Kenya (including funding an AIDS programme and running an orphanage), heard how the University of Stirling is already helping children in Africa through its teaching and research. The University is involved in a number of international development projects which are helping to improve health and fitness as well as raise HIV/AIDS awareness. For example, Sports Studies students are currently undertaking development work in Zambia, teaching young people in Lusaka various sports and giving them information about HIV/AIDS, and Professor Fred Coalter has recently returned from Tanzania as part of a three year scholarship from UK Sport for development work through sport in Africa and other countries. Deputy Principal, Professor Grant Jarvie has also recently completed a study of how sport and education have provided African runners the chance to escape poverty.

Professor Jarvie said: “Kip Keino helped to put Kenyan running on the world stage. He has been a role model and an inspiration for a generation of athletes, but even more than this he has shown us all that sport can have a humanitarian value that extends way beyond the running track. We are delighted to have Kip recognise our development work in Africa.”

Now president of Kenya’s Olympic Association, Kip also visited the Commonwealth Games Council for Scotland who are based on the University campus and are extremely supportive of the new scholarship.

Lesley Wilkinson (nee Pollock)
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058

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Professor Grant Jarvie

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

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Tel: +44 (0)1786 467013


Scientists' Sensational Crime-Fighting Exhibit

Date released: Thursday 15 February 2007

Visitors to Sensation Dundee during February will be among the first to witness the latest crime-fighting technology, as a new face perception exhibit is unveiled later this week.

EvoFIT, a revolutionary new system designed by the University of Stirling to help crime witnesses to construct a facial composite of a suspect, is set to revolutionise criminal visualisation systems such as the use of police artists.

Sensation has teamed up with the system’s creators Dr Charlie Frowd and Dr Peter Hancock, from the Face Perception Lab at the University of Stirling, to develop a version of EvoFIT suitable for an exhibit, allowing visitors to try their hand at facial reconstruction. The exhibit also challenges the visitor to recognise celebrities from their EvoFIT facial reconstructions, as well as learn more about the science behind EvoFIT. The system is now being introduced to police forces in the UK.

Sensation’s marketing manager, Alan Martin commented, “With the mid-term holidays fast approaching, the new face perception exhibit will be an added attraction for visitors to the centre. The arrival of EvoFIT coincides with our Easter workshop on forensics and is sure to be popular with visitors”.

Dr Peter Hancock said, “This is an opportunity for visitors to Sensation to learn about the latest facial composite technology and the science behind it. The project has been funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council through a Partnership for Public Engagement grant.”

www.evofit.co.uk

Lesley Wilkinson (née Pollock)
Media Relations Manager
(01786) 467058


Stirling Golfers Travel the Globe

Date released: Friday 16 February 2007

The University of Stirling's men's and women's golf teams have recently completed competitive golf tours around the world as part of the institution's highly successful International Sports Scholarships programme.

The University of Stirling's men's golf team has just returned from an 11-day winter training camp in South Africa that included a 2-day match against South African Universities' champions, Tshwane University.

The trip, scheduled as part of the team's preparations for the forthcoming 2007 season, included practice and play opportunities at different venues throughout Pretoria, including the fabulous Sun City resort, home to the famous Million Dollar Classic Professional Golf event.

The match had all the makings of a classic as British champions, Stirling, faced their South African counterparts over 54-holes played at Wingate and Silver Lake resorts. The match was played in great spirit and went to the final game before Tshwane ended victorious 13.5-12.5. Despite the loss, Head Coach, Gordon Niven seemed happy with his team's efforts:

"The Stirling team performed well considering this is an out of season period for the players. The trip allowed the players to work hard on technical aspects of their game in excellent conditions. I'm sure it will benefit us greatly in our quest to retain the British Universities' title for the 3rd year in succession."

Raleigh Gowrie, the University's Sports Performance Manager, also expressed his thoughts on the journey to the southern hemisphere:

"The trip was also beneficial for the University of Stirling in terms of international profile. Tshwane University has similar academic arrangements for sports degree programmes as Stirling and, hopefully, we can nurture some excellent links with this progressive institution."

The women's team completed a 24-day trip to the USA, where it competed in 3 events on the Women's Orange Blossom Tour throughout Florida. The trip's highlights included 3rd year Sports Studies student, Emma Tipping's top-10 finish in the South Atlantic Championship and 3rd year Sports Studies student, Clare-Marie Carlton's quarter-final appearance in the Doherty/Jones Championship.

Lesley Wilkinson (née Pollock)
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Raleigh Gowrie

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
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UK

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Tel: +44 (0)1786 466906


Dying to Build: Canadian Study Indicates Increased Risk of Head and Neck Cancer Among Construction Workers

 

Date released: Friday 23 February 2007

Findings from a Canadian-based research project involving the University of Stirling’s Occupational and Environmental Health Research Group, published in the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health today (Friday 23 February), raise important questions about a possible link between exposures in the construction industry and the risk of developing head and neck cancer.

From 2000 to 2002 all male patients at the Windsor Regional Cancer Centre (WRCC) in Ontario with new incident head-and-neck or esophageal cancers were invited to participate in a population-based case-control study. A comprehensive lifetime history questionnaire was administered by interview.  The study population included 87 head-and-neck cancer or esophageal cancer cases and 172 community controls. The goal of the study was to determine whether specific occupations might be linked to an increased head and neck cancer risk.

Research data indicate that men who had been diagnosed with head and neck cancer were twice as likely to have worked in construction as participants in the control group. This finding was statistically significant. The participants’ employment, age, smoking and alcohol use history, education, and income were all included in determining the potential risk since these are known or suspected risk factors for head and neck cancer.

Study co-principal investigators, Dr James Brophy and Dr Margaret Keith, believe that there are potential carcinogenic exposures faced by construction workers and that they need to be better controlled. Dr Brophy, who is executive director of the Occupational Health Clinic for Ontario Workers, said: “Some building trade workers have had significant exposures to asbestos, silica and other toxic dusts during the course of their work.”

The study found that other workers in occupations, such as agriculture and machining, had increased risks but the findings were not statistically significant likely due to small sample size. Dr Keith said: “Further research is necessary in order to pinpoint the agents to which workers have been exposed and to determine whether there are specific building trades that face an increased risk for head and neck cancer.”

Speaking of the global significance of the findings, Professor Andrew Watterson of the University of Stirling’s Occupational and Environmental Health Research Group said: “Construction accounts for approximately 10% of the world’s gross domestic product and employs 180 million people globally, 7% of world employment. Yet, according to the International Labour Organisation, construction workers make up 30-40% of the world’s fatal injuries. This means around 100,000 construction workers are killed at work each year. Furthermore, approximately 100,000 construction workers die globally each year just from asbestos-related diseases. Also hundreds of thousands of construction workers across the world each year will contract diseases due to other dusts, fibres and minerals, chemicals and carcinogens that they are exposed to. Addressing the neglected health and safety of construction workers at an international level and the enormous toll that this takes on individuals and their families will be a major way of improving health outcomes globally.”

Lesley Wilkinson (née Pollock)

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Andrew Watterson

University of Stirling

Stirling

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Tel: +44 (0)1786 466283 or 07887 795400


Blanchflower to give Professorial Lecture at Stirling

Date released: Friday 23 February 2007

Leading economist and member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), Professor David Blanchflower is to give a lecture at the University of Stirling to mark his appointment as a part-time Professor within the Department of Economics.

The free public lecture will be held on Monday 26 February in Logie Lecture Theatre at 5.30-6.30pm. The topic of the lecture will be Recent developments in the UK labour market.

Professor Blanchflower said: "I am looking forward to joining Scotland's leading Economics Department and becoming a regular visitor to the campus. Developments in the UK labour market have been of particular interest to the MPC in recent meetings, and in this speech I aim to catalogue the most recent trends and explain how they fit into our thinking regarding monetary policy."

Professor Blanchflower is a labour economist who has published widely on wage determination, youth labour markets, entrepreneurship, trade unions and happiness. He obtained his BA in Economics from the University of Leicester (1973), his Master's in Economics from the University of Wales (1983) and his PhD in Economics from the University of London (Queen Mary and Westfield - 1985) as well as an honorary Master’s degree from Dartmouth (1993).

 

Lesley Wilkinson (née Pollock)

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Professor David Bell

University of Stirling

Stirling

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Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0)1786 467486 or

07720 440835


The Myth of Partnership and the High Performance Workplace

Date released: Monday 26 February 2007

Professor Paul Stewart of the University of Stirling’s Department of Management and Organization will give his inaugural public lecture on Wednesday 28 February at the Logie Lecture Theatre.The topic of his speech will be The Myth of Partnership and the High Performance Workplace.

Speaking ahead of the lecture, Professor Stewart said: “In the 1980s a range of new management strategies were trumpeted as offering a way out of the malaise afflicting UK manufacturing. At first the panacea for management woes was seemingly provided by so-called Japanese management strategies, swiftly followed by Lean Production. The latest piece of management wisdom on offer is the US inspired High Performance Workplace. Cross national research from the aerospace and automotive industries in Britain and Italy highlights the continuing gap between rhetoric and reality. Management failure to address the concerns of employees is hardly new. Not only does the High Performance Workplace overlook quality of working life issues, but it fails to address the democratic deficit in the workplace."

Professor Stewart joins the University of Stirling from the University of the West of England and is a specialist in work and employment.

The free public lecture will take place at 4-5pm and will be followed by a reception in the Logie Lecture Theatre foyer.

 

Lesley Wilkinson (née Pollock)

Media Relations Manager

(01786) 467058

 

 
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Professor Paul Stewart

University of Stirling

Stirling

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Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0)1786 467312


Shirts, Suits and Statistics and the Beautiful Game

Date released: Monday 26 February 2007

The University of Stirling’s Department of Sports Studies will hold a free public seminar on Thursday 1 March at 6.30pm in the Tennis Centre Meeting Room, Gannochy Sports Centre, University of Stirling. The talk entitled Shirts, Suits and Statistics: Applying Moneyball to the Beautiful Game will be given by Dr Bill Gerrard of Leeds University Business School.

The bestseller, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis (Norton, 2003), tells the story of how the Oakland As in Major League Baseball have been able to be highly competitive over the last nine seasons, regularly qualifying for the post-season playoffs, despite having one of the lowest salary budgets in the league. The central character of the Moneyball story is the General Manager of the As, Billy Beane, a former player who has developed the successful “David” strategy to take on the big spending goliaths such as the New York Yankees. Beane’s approach has involved the extensive use of player performance analysis to inform recruitment, remuneration and tactical decisions.

In this seminar the results of a detailed benchmarking analysis will be presented to show the scale of the team's achievement over the last nine seasons. There will be a particular focus on how the Oakland As were able to exploit market inefficiency in the pricing of hitters to effectively buy wins much more cheaply than other teams. The extent to which the Moneyball phenomenon is sport-specific will be addressed. Is the knowledge transferable to more complex team games such as (association) football? There will be a discussion of the player performance data now available to elite football teams using player tracking technology such as the ProZone system used by several English Premiership clubs. Examples will be given of the practical application of statistical trend analysis in football and rugby league.


The seminar will aim to provide an alternative argument to the conventional wisdom that pro sports leagues are increasingly threatened by financial determinism. The Moneyball story is a timely reminder that small market teams can still try to compete with cash-rich goliaths by trying to be more coach-clever (i.e. developing knowledge-based competitive advantages). It is always easy to spend money in pro team sports. What is much more difficult is to spend money well.

 

Lesley Wilkinson (née Pollock)

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Dr Paul Dimeo

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0)1786 466499


Study to Look at Impact of Alcohol Marketing on Teens

Date released: Wednesday 28 February 2007

Second year school pupils in North and South Lanarkshire are to be invited to participate, with their parent’s permission, in a groundbreaking survey about alcohol being conducted by researchers at the University of Stirling’s Institute for Social Marketing.

The study looks into the effects of alcohol marketing on young people and is funded as part of the prestigious National Prevention Research Initiative (NPRI). The NPRI is led by a group of charities and research bodies in the UK, including the Medical Research Council, The British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK, as well as the Scottish Executive Health Department.

Professor Gerard Hastings, Director of the Institute for Social Marketing, said: “The last decade has seen a significant increase in alcohol consumption in the UK and a growth in binge drinking amongst young people. These trends have been responsible for raising particular health concerns as there is now clear evidence of a link between regular recreational alcohol use in adolescence and alcohol dependence in early adulthood”.

The study will examine the marketing communication techniques used by the UK alcohol industry to assess their impact on youth drinking. It is the first research of its kind in the UK. Pupils in second year of all secondary schools in both North and South Lanarkshire will shortly be given an envelope to bring home during registration class at school, which contains an invite for them to participate in the completion of an interviewer led questionnaire, carried out in the young person’s home. Young people will then be randomly selected for interview and those who take part are given a £10 High Street Gift Voucher to thank them for their participation in the study.

Professor Hastings stated: “We hope that as many parents as possible will consider allowing their child to participate in this extremely important research. The results of the survey will not be used for any commercial purposes and they will help to develop future policy with regard to alcohol marketing and public health”.

Lesley Wilkinson (née Pollock)

Media Relations Manager

(01786) 467058

 

 
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Professor Gerard Hastings

University of Stirling

Stirling

FK9 4LA
Scotland

UK

telephone

Tel: +44 (0)1786 467393