Sir Roger Deakins CBE speaking at Graduation 2023

Celebrating success at graduation week

The cinematographer behind some of the most acclaimed movies of all time and the Master of the King’s Music were celebrated alongside the achievements of more than 6,600 graduates at the University 2023 graduation ceremonies in September. 
Sir Roger Deakins CBE – best known for films including The Shawshank Redemption, A Beautiful Mind, No Country for Old Men and Skyfall – was presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Arts in recognition of his outstanding contribution to film. Dame Judith Weir CBE – who has written music for national occasions including the Platinum Jubilee and the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla – also received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts, acknowledging her outstanding contribution to music. Graduation Week featured a total of 15 ceremonies as well as a range of other events. These included the annual Civic Dinner in The Box, which gave the University an opportunity to celebrate its achievements over the past year with leading figures and partners from across the South West and beyond. 
An alumni reunion event also took place in the Graduation Marquee, providing former students with the chance to catch up with old friends.
Honorary Doctorates 2023 - Sir Roger Deakins
Sir Roger Deakins CBE
Honorary Doctorates 2023 - Judith Weir CBE
Dame Judith Weir CBE

Engaging with world leaders at COP28

A team from the University attended the 28th United Nations Climate Conference – better known as COP28 – in Dubai. Politicians and scientists from all over the world had the opportunity to meet leading researchers and experts in the fields of offshore renewable energy, ocean science, plastics and more.
The University worked with Plymouth Marine Laboratory and Partnership for Observation of the Global Ocean to host a stand in the Education, Science and Technology Zone at Expo City. The team shared the latest developments in climate challenges, impacts and options towards sustainable ocean development. The aim was to connect science, industry, policy and society for the purposes of ocean action in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) processes and strengthening Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). The centrepiece of the University’s presence at COP28 was a side event focused on scaling up community knowledge within a whole-system approach for climate-smart solutions in energy and land transitions.
Professor Deborah Greaves, panel member for the Renewable Energy Association COP28 Side Event, co-chaired by the University of Plymouth
Professor Deborah Greaves, panel member for the Renewable Energy Association COP28 Side Event, co-chaired by the University of Plymouth

Highlighting the climate challenges facing coastal communities

The University hosted the UK’s first Coastal Research Conference.
The three-day event, organised by the Coastal Processes Research Group (CPRG), highlighted many of the challenges facing coastal communities as a result of the changing climate. It was attended by more than 130 researchers, practitioners and representatives from bodies including the Environmental Agency and Natural England.
Developed in partnership with the National Network of Regional Coastal Monitoring Programmes, the event included 58 presentations, 15 research posters, two keynote addresses and a panel debate. The conference reinforced the University’s position at the forefront of coastal research in the UK and internationally. Almost a third of the delegates at the UK Coastal Research Conference were University graduates, testifying to its significant contribution to the coastal research workforce.
Coastal Research Conference 2023

Hosting an international dementia conference

Experts in dementia care from the UK and Europe were brought together for a conference at the University.
Chaired by David Fitzgerald from the BBC and Angela Rippon CBE, the aim was to share international, national, and regional thoughts on dementia care and research which have the potential to open up new ways of developing fresh perspectives and groundbreaking solutions that help overcome the challenges faced by people with dementia and carers every day.
The agenda included speakers from the World Health Organization, Alzheimer’s Europe, Dementia in the Fishing Communities, Blind Veterans UK and USA, and the UK Dementia Research Institute. Among the highlights of the day was a presentation on ‘Dementia Support in the Russia–Ukraine War’ by Irina Shevchenko, founder and director of the Nezabutni Charitable Foundation in Kyiv.
Angela Rippon at Dementia Conference
Angela Rippon CBE

Welcoming the Chief Nursing Officer

The University hosted a conference focused on the wellbeing of students who will become future nurses, midwives and nursing associates.
Dame Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England, and Jess Read, Deputy Chief Midwifery Officer, NHS England, were the keynote speakers at the event. The University has around 1,500 nursing and midwifery students in Plymouth, Exeter and Cornwall. 
The conference featured breakout workshops covering areas that affect wellbeing: music, movement, exploration and creation. Exhibitions stands representing sources of wellbeing strategies, including Thornbury Nursing Services, the Cavell Nurses Trust and the Laura Hyde Foundation, were also present, as well as regional wellbeing activities.
Dame Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for NHS England
Dame Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England

Showcasing expertise at London International Shipping Week

London International Shipping Week is one of the most important international shipping and maritime events in the world.
It has grown consistently – and rapidly – since its inception in September 2013, and creates a space where the varied elements from the shipping world can meet to discuss the range of challenges and opportunities it faces. The University has had an increasingly prominent presence at the event in recent years, showcasing its expertise in fields including clean maritime, maritime cyber security and maritime logistics to a global audience. In 2023, that included helping to launch the Global Maritime Trends 2050 report and participating in the Maritime UK AI Summit.
Kevin Forshaw at AI summit

Staging a symposium with the International Maritime Organization 

Almost 300 of the world’s leading global figures in maritime cyber security attended an annual symposium to discuss some of the key cyber challenges facing the global shipping industry. 
The two-day symposium on maritime cyber security and resilience was jointly organised by the University’s Cyber-SHIP Lab and the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Experts from across the world shared details of the latest international maritime cyber risk evaluation and mitigation research. They also explored how governments, industry, researchers and NGOs can collaborate across fields including maritime autonomy, insurance, skills and training. 
Symposium with the International Maritime Organization 2023

Talking plastics and cyber security in Parliament 

Academics from the International Marine Litter Research Unit and the Maritime Cyber Threats Research Group took part in Parliament’s Evidence Week, organised by Sense About Science. 
They met with a number of MPs and peers to make them aware of recent research carried out by the two research groups and its potential impact at a national level. This included providing insights into the current challenges posed by plastic pollution, and some of the solutions they are developing to address them. Researchers also spoke about pioneering work to understand and address the threats posed by maritime cyber-attacks, including research being carried out in the University’s world-leading Cyber-SHIP Lab. 
Baroness Bennett with Prof Richard Thompson Plymouth Plastic at Evidence Week 2023
Professor Richard Thompson,  International Marine Litter Research Unit 

Strictly star opens InterCity Place 

In November, the University was delighted to welcome broadcasting legend, Angela Rippon CBE to open our new healthcare training facility, InterCity Place. 
Fresh from her appearance as a contestant in Strictly Come Dancing, the TV presenter, proud Plymothian and recipient of an honorary doctorate from our University was guest of honour at the formal launch event. 
After unveiling a plaque to mark the occasion, Angela took a tour of the iconic tower block, adjacent to Plymouth railway station – including a virtual dissection table and care home simulation suite – and described it as “one of the finest healthcare training centres in the country.” 
InterCity Place was originally built for British Railways in 1962 and, following years of disuse, has now been redeveloped as a new home for student nurses, midwives and allied health professionals. 
The University’s £33 million investment contains state-of-the-art clinical skills facilities to prepare them for careers in healthcare. Crucially, students are working alongside other practitioners, just as they will in the world beyond education. 

I have huge respect for healthcare professionals, and all the students being trained here will be making a major contribution to the health of the nation, and indeed the health of the NHS. All the roles here are professions of which future students can be hugely proud and from which they will get enormous personal satisfaction. This is one of the finest training centres in the country – all power to Plymouth for being in a position to train the next generation of healthcare professionals.

Angela Rippon CBE 
Angela Rippon CBE at the opening of InterCity Place
Angela Rippon CBE at the opening of InterCity Place
Exterior view of Intercity place