Professorial Inaugural Lecture Series

Prof Martin Schroder, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering

"The inaugural lecture is a centuries-old tradition, a transition point in the career of an academic, recognizing leadership in their chosen field. I am proud to welcome such exceptional leaders to Manchester."
Professor Martin Schröder, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

Upcoming inaugural lectures:

Professor Philip MartinSchool of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science

TitlePlasmas: from physical science to chemical engineering

DateFriday 15 June 2018, 15:00-17:30

LocationLecture Theatre C53, Sackville Street Building


To book:

Plasmas are all around us, from the sun to lightning and flames as well as technologically in neon signs and televisions. They contain an exotic mix of electrons and ions, excited atoms and molecules and we will explore how new techniques enable us to characterise these species. Low temperature plasmas, where the gas can be close to room temperature yet the electrons are very energetic with corresponding temperatures of a few thousand degrees Centigrade, enable many engineering applications that would otherwise only be possible at high temperatures. Examples from recent work are carbon dioxide utilization, pollutant remediation, thin film coatings and plasma catalysis. We will conclude with an outlook for plasmas in science and engineering: how can they be engineered for our benefit?

Previous inaugural lectures:

Professor Gavin BrownProfessor of Machine Learning in the School of Computer Science

TitleFinding new ways to Think : Twenty Years in Machine Learning

DateWednesday 21st March, 17:30

LocationKilburn Building Lecture Theatre 1.1, University of Manchester


To book:

Machine Learning is changing the world. But it's still a young field, compared to the classical science and engineering disciplines. The exciting potential for the field has created a veritable sandstorm of new ideas and papers, increasing all the time.

Since I started my PhD in 1998, my time has focused on finding new ways to think, to see a clear path through that sandstorm. My team has found connections and built bridges that unify seemingly disparate parts of the literature - we've created principles, theories, and frameworks that simplify the field. This has enabled new directions, from stronger foundations. This lecture will review some highlights, where we've built bridges from deep learning to statistical feature selection, from there to computer architectures and reproducible research, and from medical drug trials to domestic violence.

Professor Konstantinos Theodoropoulos in the School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science

Professor Konstantinos Theodoropoulos, School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science

Title: Integrated systems approaches for the sustainable bioproduction of fuels and added-value chemicals

Date: 4th May 2017, 15:00 - 17:30

Location: Room J17, Reynolds building. 

CEAS Blog post by Professor Konstantinos Theodoropoulos

Professor David Johnson, N8 Chair in Microbial Ecology School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Title: Life in Earth: Why soil biodiversity matters for ecosystem functioning

Date: Weds 15th Nov, 13:00

Location: Theatre D, Simon Building

Abstract: Soils are repositories for a huge abundance and vast diversity of organisms, which drive processes that sustain all other life on Earth. The last two decades have seen considerable advances in our understanding of the crucial functions played by soil organisms. Soils provide fascinating examples of how evolution has overcome the need for organisms to acquire energy and nutrients; provide protection from natural enemies; form intimate symbioses with other organisms; and resist human-driven perturbations.

In this lecture, I will provide some examples of the critical roles soil organisms play in regulating life-sustaining ecosystem processes, and illustrate how soil organisms are the ideal model systems to test ecological theory. Finally, I will argue that we must better understand 'Life in Earth' if we are to manage ecosystems, both to mitigate predicted changes in global climate and feed a rapidly increasing human population. 

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