Technology and culture combine to celebrate Universities Week 2014

Just days before England play their first match in Brazil, Plymouth University’s robot footballers will be showing their skills to shoppers and families in Drake Circus.

They will form part of a week-long showcase of the University’s exciting research, being held at venues across Plymouth and at the Natural History Museum in London.

Universities Week 2014, coordinated by Universities UK and running until Sunday 15 June, features a range of events with the centrepiece being a public showcase of world class research at the Natural History Museum in London.

Plymouth is the only South West higher education institution to successfully bid to attend that event, joining teams from 44 other UK universities to showcase research which has the potential to transform lives across a range of disciplines.

Tracy Wilson, External Relations Manager at Plymouth University, said: “We have a global reputation for our world class research, and Universities Week is all about giving the public the chance to see the potentially life-changing benefits of our work for themselves. Through our events in London and Plymouth, thousands of people will get access to our expertise in robotics, dentistry, e-health and mathematics and much more. They will also be able to see how our students and staff are working to impact on the local community and further afield.”

As well as the robot footballers, the activities in Drake Circus – running from Wednesday 11 to Sunday 15 June – will include the chance for people to try their hand at dentistry thanks to the ‘Bob in the Box’ simulated head, and the opportunity to immerse yourself in a giant bubble with academics from the School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics.

Greg Lumley, Drake Circus Centre Director, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Plymouth University to celebrate Universities Week. Plymouth is a higher education rich city and we are delighted to be able to work with Plymouth University and bring their passion and expertise to the heart of our City in Drake Circus.”

From Saturday 14 June, people will also be able to visit HOT ’14 – a showcase of some of the top graduate artists at the University – and walk around the restored Drake’s Place Gardens and Reservoir. 

The Universities Week celebrations coincide with the Lord Mayor’s Parade and Community Open House, also being held on Saturday 14 June, with a range of colourful activities starting from the Drake’s Place Gardens.

Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive of Universities UK, said: “The aim of Universities Week is to inspire the public about the world-leading research taking place in our universities. Led by some of the top researchers in the UK, the event at the Natural History Museum will be a fantastic showcase event for UK higher education. By hosting this free-to-attend and high-profile event, we hope that members of the public will be inspired and will leave having learned something new about how universities are helping to solve some of the UK’s, and world’s biggest challenges.” 

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