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Adam Smith College students show model behaviour in Malta

July 23 2011

Adam Smith College's hair and beauty students' latest catwalk extravaganza featured on Maltese TV at the behest of the country's president. Students and staff from the Fife college's hair and beauty department travelled to Malta as part of the Leonardo Project, an EU initiative giving students the chance to gain industry experience at the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technologies, and Arhus Tech in Denmark. The fashion show held at the college was even broadcast on national TV. The president of Malta, Dr George Abela, marked the 10th anniversary of the show by inaugurating the proceedings. Christina Laing, hair and beauty manager, said, "This project has seen our students learn the many skills required to work on live projects at an international level. "The students have been challenged with delivering events which have included live hair and fashion shows and a location photoshoot." She added, "This type of experiential learning offers added value to our students who have all benefited immensely from being involved with the Leonardo Project." The event was part of the final cultural visit of the two-year creative exchange project, where students and staff from colleges in Malta, Scotland and Denmark designed garments, dressed hair and applied make-up for the models.


Delving into Dundee’s archives

March 11 2017

Art and design lie at the heart of the creative industries in Dundee, industries which have often been inspired by the leisure pursuits and interests of Dundee’s population. These interconnections are clearly shown in the Archives of the University of Dundee; art and design is woven through many of the collections. This article features a few items which highlight the diversity of design related material held in the Archives. Dundee Art Society started out as the Graphic Arts Association in 1890, changing its name in 1904.  From the outset the group welcomed both professional and amateur artists as well as art patrons and lovers. As the Art College in Dundee grew, many of the staff joined the Society and used its platform to exhibit their art and network with other artists. The striking design for the cover of the centennial exhibition catalogue produced in 1990 echoes to the artistic trends of the early twentieth century. The longevity of the society reflects the continuing desire of artists within the community to join together, curate exhibitions and share their passion for art. Many of these artists had connections with the Dundee Institute of Art and Technology which was dissolved in 1975 to create Dundee College of Technology and Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art. The Art College remained independent until 1994 when it became a full part of the University of Dundee. All of these bodies are represented in the exhibition material, posters, photographs and student guides in the Archives.  Furthermore, alumnus of the College have contributed to our on-going Oral History Project. Former textile students, Pauline Hann and Sheila Mortlock, were interviewed to capture the personal stories of their time at the College, their career paths and interests. Hann and Mortlock were founding members of Embryo – Dundee Creative Embroiderers, formed in 1980, which developed from the frustration felt by numerous students at the lack of opportunities to exhibit contemporary embroidery within Scotland. The remit of the group was to promote the highest standards of workmanship, achieving this by restricting membership to graduates and undergraduates of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art. Embryo actively promoted their work through various exhibitions not only in Scotland but across the UK, eventually joining forces with two other textile groups to form Edge – Textile Artists Scotland. Edge is still going strong and attracting new members from a broader background albeit with a recognised education in textiles. The Archive’s Embryo collection includes exhibition publicity material, photographs and correspondence. Textile samples can be found in other collections, such as The Wilson Bros Ltd collection who were taken over by Pringle of Inverness. The pattern books of the woollen and cloth products they manufactured from 1927 to 1967 are fascinating. They show the changing trends in pattern and colour combinations and how design comes in and out of fashion over the decades. Other samples in the Archives show how design blended with the mass production of durable textiles as seen in the printed designs on linen which form part of the D. J. MacDonald collection. Using only two colours, the rising sun motif for the MacDonald company is bold and graphic whereas the design for Louise, seller of lingerie and hosiery has a more delicate touch with the female form and the name of the brand printed in signature style picked out in red. Jute and linen bags adorned with colourful printed designs are still popular today. Textile design in the city is thriving. Local fashion designer, Hayley Scanlan, studied textile design at DJCAD. Her oral history recording in the Archives tells of her desire to remain rooted in the city despite her burgeoning international career. Proud of her Dundonian heritage, Hayley’s designs are influenced by the changing city and she will soon open her first shop a stones throw from DJCAD where her talents were honed. Records held in the Archive are accessible to everyone. For further information about the Archives and its collections see www.dundee.ac.uk/archives   Sharon Kelly is assistant archivist at Dundee University's Archives Services 

Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...


Kezia Dugdale wants gender equality drive

July 2 2015

Scotland still has a mountain to climb to tackle gender inequality, despite having a female First Minister, Labour leadership contender Kezia Dugdale has said. Ms Dugdale spoke out as she visited a chemistry laboratory in Edinburgh to find out more about the shortage of women working in science and technology. Across the UK just 16% of professors in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects are female. Meanwhile in Scotland women account for only 5% of engineering students at colleges, and 14% at universities. Ms Dugdale said: "The fact that we have a female First Minister is a great thing. It fills me with pride that young girls in Scotland are growing up in a world where we have a woman in Bute House. "But a female First Minister isn't enough. Margaret Thatcher proved that having a woman in the top job doesn't make a blind bit of difference if her priorities are all wrong. "Only when it's not considered newsworthy to have a female Chief Constable or a Lady President of the Court of Session will we have achieved lasting change. "Progress has been made, but let's not kid ourselves about the mountain we still have to climb." Ms Dugdale, the favourite to be the next Scottish Labour leader, stated: "We need to help women reach the top in every walk of life. In education and the arts; science and business; politics and the law. "Let's be ambitious for Scotland's women, not settle for second best. "Too many young women are put off studying science and maths, engineering and technology subjects at college or university. "Even today in the 21st century these are viewed by some as subjects only for men. That locks half the population out of so many key jobs of the future. That's bad for women but it's also bad for our economy. "We need a culture change in our education system. It has to become the norm for girls and young women to study science and maths. "We need the schoolgirls of the future to see engineers and technicians on their TV screens and for at least some of them to be women." Ms Dugdale is standing against Eastwood MSP Ken Macintosh to become the next Scottish Labour leader. The contest was sparked after Jim Murphy stood down in the wake of the party's disastrous general election result, which saw Labour lose all but one of its Scottish MPs.

Angus & The Mearns

New imaging unit at Dundee University will aid research into life sciences

January 24 2015

An £8 million imaging unit has officially opened at Dundee University’s College of Life Sciences. The Dundee Imaging Facility, in the Discovery Centre, is a technology resource that will be used for microscopy, taking and analysing pictures and the preparation of samples. University chiefs yesterday hailed the impact the facility will have on research in physical, life and medical sciences. It will be used to support individual research projects from a broad range of disciplines and help create workflows between existing technologies. Professor Pete Downes, principal and vice- chancellor, cut a cake designed to look like a cell dividing at the launch event. He said: “Officially the University of Dundee is the leading centre for biological science research in the UK. “We are ahead of Oxford, Cambridge and all universities in Britain and for years we have been leading scientific work in Europe. “Today we understand why. It is about great science in a fantastic centre located in a beautiful part of the world, but the real attraction is the infrastructure here to perform top-class research in a unique environment.” Facility director Dr Sam Swift, who has driven the integration and management of the new imaging centre, said: “The university’s objectives are to develop transformational research areas, at the interface of the physical and engineering sciences with the life and medical sciences. “These offer the biggest scientific challenges of our times.”


Graduates from Robert Gordon

December 8 2012

COURIER COUNTRY students who are graduating from Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, this week: Aberdeen Business School Master of science agribusiness management Stead John Nicolle, Arbroath. Master of science international tourism and hospitality management Kirsty Lynn West, Forfar. Postgraduate diploma human resource management Kim Rix Henderson, Aberdeen. Postgraduate diploma information and library studies Kathryn Rachel Lewis, Cupar. Bachelor of arts fashion management (honours) Aimee Cooper, Montrose. Bachelor of Arts law and management George Bell, Arbroath; Rachel Laura Evans, Inverbervie. Bachelor of arts management with human resource management Lisa Joanne Smith, Inverbervie. Diploma of higher education fashion management Bethany Maria Elliott King, Edinburgh. Certificate of higher education communication with public relations Katie Lindsay, Perth. Faculty of Design and Technology Gray’s School Of Art Bachelor of arts design and creativity Paul Mervyn Cooper, Blairgowrie; Andrew David Gavine, Dundee; Gail Melville, Forfar; Daniel Robbins, Dundee; Victoria Webb, Dundee. Bachelor of design product design Ritchie Findlay Smith, Brechin. School of engineering Master of science drilling and well engineering Scott PaulKennedy, Benholm. Master of engineering electronic and electrical engineering Adam Rodger, Montrose. Scott Sutherland School of Architecure and Built Environment Bachelor of science architectural technology (honours) LindaJennifer Nelson, Glamis; Gregor Alexander Renton, Falkirk. Bachelor of science architectural technology Shona ElizabethClunie, Glamis. Bachelor of Science architecture (with exemption from Riba/Arb Part 1) Cheryl Gillespie, Kirkcaldy. Faculty of health and social care School of applied social studies Bachelor of arts applied social sciences (honours) Rachael Ann Knight, Inverbervie. Bachelor of arts social work (residential child care) (honours) Shirley Ann Bottom, Dunfermline; Stephen Clark, Dundee; Caroline Fraser, Blairgowrie; Gavin Leitch, Glenrothes; Joanne Lisa Mcfarlane, Montrose; Morag Kerr Ritchie, Perth. Bachelor of arts social work (honours) Tamara Denise Chalmers Greenhalgh, Kirkcaldy; Karen Nisbet, Buckhaven; Mike Sanderson, Fort William; Kelly Weatherhead, Dundee; Lorraine Wood, Dunfermline. Bachelor of arts social pedagogy Francis Margaret Davidson, Perth. School of health sciences Master of science health improvement and health promotion Irene Jennifer Miller, Aberdour. Master of science professional studies Dawn Mitchell, Forfar. Bachelor of Science Physiotherapy (Honours) Sarah-Jane Margaret Woodall, Dunfermline. School of nursing and midwifery Bachelor of nursing community health (honours) Jodeen Gunn, Perth; Janet Helen Kane, Dundee; Karen Shaw, Kingussie; Virette Elizabeth Swift, Kinross; Joanne Tindal, Arbroath. Bachelor of arts occupational health practice Kirsten Patterson, Dundee. Bachelor of midwifery Debi Cargill, Arbroath; Lynsey Jane Smith, Aberdeen. Bachelor of nursing (adult nursing) Lisa Jamieson, Brechin;Elizabeth Catherine Stewart, Montrose; Chelsea Taylor, Dunfermline. Bachelor of nursing (children and young people’s nursing) Lynsey Claire Braid, Burntisland; Kelsey Jane Mcdonald, Brechin; Kayleigh Thomson, Dundee. Bachelor of nursing (mental health nursing) Chelsea Dawn Knight, Inverbervie; Amelie Isabelle Rachel Malcolm, Dunfermline. Certificate of Higher Education Maternity Care Assistant Jamie Kennan, Dundee; Sarah Margaret Semple, Montrose; Anna Lyn Wilson, Dundee. School of pharmacy and life sciences Postgraduate diploma clinical pharmacy Michelle Anne Mcburney, Dunfermline; Fraser Thomas Notman, Kinross. Department for the enhancement of learning, teaching and assessment Postgraduate certificate higher education learning and teaching Deirdre Barnetson Wilson, Crieff.

UK & World

Charles warns school system at risk of forgetting value of creative arts

March 7 2018

The Prince of Wales has warned the “creative arts” are in danger of being “forgotten and left out” within the school system as he celebrated the achievements of businesses encouraging young people into engineering and sciences.Charles highlighted the importance of subjects like music and drama to the nation’s economy but lamented how they were being undervalued by the education sector as he presented the Industrial Cadets Awards 2018.His comments were welcomed by Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, who said his members were having to cut back on curriculum options because of “government under-funding”.The prince was supporting the Industrial Cadets initiative which offers accredited programmes aimed at inspiring young people into science, maths, engineering and technology careers, including apprenticeships, with businesses mentoring students.But speaking during the ceremony staged at the Institution of Engineeringand Technology in central London, Charles said: “It is clear to me that the rapid pace of change in the way that our industries operate is bringing a host of new challenges and opportunities, not only in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, but also of course in the creative arts.“A sector that contributes enormously to this nation’s GDP but which is in danger of being forgotten and left out within the school system.”Charles has a deep interest in the arts from his love of watercolour painting to opera and this year the prince will celebrate 25 years as president of the Royal College of Music.The coalition government, during Michael Gove’s tenure as Education Secretary, introduced the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) which measures the numbers of pupils achieving a grade C – or grade 5 under the new grading system – at GCSE in English, maths, science, history or geography and a language.There were concerns at the time the focus on these core subjects, would squeeze out others, such as art and drama.Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “The Prince of Wales has highlighted an issue which is of enormous concern to our members.“The problem is two-fold. Schools are judged on the basis of performance tables which heavily prioritise the English Baccalaureate subjects – English, maths, science, languages, history and geography – and marginalise other important subjects such as the creative arts.“They are also under severe financial pressure because of government under-funding of the education system which leaves them with no option other than to cut back on curriculum options.“Our members are doing their utmost to protect the place of the creative arts in our schools but they are faced with this double-whammy of pressures which are working in the opposite direction. “Schools need sufficient funding and an accountability system which is less draconian. A spokesperson for the Department of Education said: “Academic standards are rising with 1.9 million more children in good or outstanding schools than in 2010, and arts subjects are an important part of our broad and balanced curriculum. “Since 2011, we’ve seen an increase in the proportion of pupils in state funded schools taking at least one arts subject at GCSE. “This is backed by our £400 million investment in music and arts education programmes, such as the 120 music education hubs across the country which give every child the opportunity to play an instrument.”


Engineer, lecturer and college governor Charlie Donaldson

January 15 2011

Charlie Donaldson the Dundee shipyard engineer who became a teacher, lecturer and ultimately college governor has died at the age of 84. Educated at Glebelands and Stobswell schools, Mr Donaldson began his career in the Caledon Shipyard as an office boy. He then undertook an engineering apprenticeship, before becoming a draughtsman and rising to the position of chief estimator. At the same time, he started a distance learning course with the National Council of Harbour Colleges and Ruskin College, Oxford, along with evening classes at Dundee College of Technology, and gained a large number of professional and educational qualifications. The crowning glory of his engineering career was the opportunity to serve as president of the Dundee Institute of Engineers. He wrote numerous articles for professional magazines and also published the first book on "Nuclear Propulsion for Merchant Ships" in 1962. In 1963, Mr Donaldson followed his love of learning and became a teacher. He taught at Linlathen School until 1970 when he began lecturing in business studies at Dundee College of Commerce until he retired in 1991. He was a governor of Dundee College of Technology and the Dundee Institute of Art and Technology. In his retirement, Mr Donaldson found a new lease of life and was well known as a speaker on a local lecture circuit. He is survived by his wife Sheenagh, a former Dundee solicitor, daughter Cherie, now a minister's wife in Clackmannan, son Charles in Australia, and two grandchildren.


New campus to transform education in Levenmouth

August 24 2016

Thousands of youngsters are set to take advantage of Fife College's new state-of-the-art campus in Leven. Integrated as part of the £44 million Levenmouth Academy school, which opened its doors to pupils last week, the new campus is a first for Scotland, aimed at training teenagers with work-ready skills, whilst also acting as a hub for the wider community. Ahead of welcoming students later this month, Janet McCauslin, director of projects at Fife College, said that developing science, technology, engineering and mathematical skills, so-called STEM subjects, would provide young people with the abilities that employers desperately sought in potential employees. Having nurtured the project from its inception, she added that she was incredibly excited about the possibilities the new campus presented. “STEM subjects underpin everything here,” she said. “We didn’t want to make it feel like a school because that is not the purpose. “We wanted the building to be something different. “We want students to be training and learning for real work experiences.” As many as 500 students a week will use the campus when classes begin. Along with community computer facilities, a maths lab, and hair and beauty salon, catering students will be learning in fully-equipped training kitchens, preparing food for the campus bistro. A large emphasis is focused on engineering, with state-of-the-art machinery, some even more advanced than in many workplaces, in the process of being unwrapped ahead of the arrival of students. Iain Dewar, project leader, said: “More employers are wanting to recruit people with ability instead of just academic knowledge. “This campus is taking that further and giving young people the opportunity to be far more work ready than ever before.” Mrs McCauslin said that the new campus would provide a clearer link between higher education and the workplace than ever seen before in Scotland, adding: “We just want to attract as many people here as possible. “I was there when we started our campus in Rosyth 16 years ago. “We had a lot of students but employers just didn’t go there, but now we have employers going there to meet with apprentices.”

Business news

Dundee software firm Waracle links success to airport route to London

April 8 2013

A Dundee software development company has won a major contract to create a medical testing app for one of the country’s leading universities and praised the invaluable business links offered by the city’s airport. Imperial College London has one of the largest medical faculties in the UK, and has now hired Waracle to create a mobile app that will revolutionise its medical testing programme. The app will match testing programmes with people based on their individual medical conditions, saving time and money and allowing those on the programmes to submit their responses electronically. Waracle already has a strong track record developing apps websites for leading companies and organisations, including NHS Scotland, the SFA and Sony Music. But the South Tay Street firm said the Riverside airport was crucial when it came to allowing Dundee companies to compete. Business development director David Romilly said: “We’re delighted to have been selected to work with Imperial College London, one of the world’s most prestigious universities, on a ground-breaking project which sees Waracle’s mobile and web technology deployed in the university’s Bioresource programme. “Having fended off competition from nine developers across the UK, including some of London’s biggest app development agencies, ICL chose to work with Waracle based on our significant track record and technical expertise. “Our approach differs to other developers in that we’re focused on the science of app development, using cutting-edge technology to constantly refine and optimise software based on hard data and user behaviour an approach favoured by ICL.” Mr Romilly added: “The Bioresource programme is a pioneering new project being spearheaded by Imperial College London that provides an extensive sampling framework for medical testing. “The programme invites participants to undergo a baseline medical test, and the participants are then matched with specific testing-programmes based upon their individual medical conditions. “Administering a programme of this scale via traditional, paper-based processes can be costly and time-consuming, which is why ICL have chosen to deploy mobile and web technology developed by Waracle to increase speed, efficiency and data security. “Imperial College London were extremely impressed with our track record in delivering mobile and web solutions to the NHS. Last year we developed a tablet survey application that saves the NHS time and money and is currently being used at NHS sites across Scotland. “The tablet app replaced an existing paper-based process with mobile, web and back-end technology designed and developed by Waracle right here in Dundee.” Mr Romilly added that despite the falling passenger numbers at Dundee Airport, its direct services to London City have been invaluable for Waracle. He said: “We often joke when pitching to clients down south that we can be in central London quicker than they can using the Dundee to London City flight. “It’s a real asset to our business and enables us, and other Dundee companies, to compete on a national level, bring in high-profile clients and expand our workforce in Dundee.”