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University of Wolverhampton Lecture Series

2017/18 Lecture Series

The University of Wolverhampton Lecture Series offers the opportunity to hear from expert researchers sharing their knowledge and expertise on a variety of subjects. Open the headings below to find out more about each lecture in our 2017/18 series.

For further information about all of the events The Doctoral College runs, and to book onto any of our lectures, visit our Doctoral College Eventbrite page.

Upcoming lectures

Homelessness: The Hidden Female Crisis

Speaker: Professor Kate Moss 

Date: 22nd March 2018

Time: 5-7pm

Location: Chancellor's Hall 

Rough sleeping is on the rise, and yet for women, homelessness continues to be seen through a male lens. It is homeless men we usually see on the streets, rarely women. But just because we don’t often see women down and out, this doesn’t mean that homelessness simply doesn’t exist for them – far from it, homelessness is an issue that affects women too. Professor Kate Moss of the University of Wolverhampton is an expert of the experiences of female rough sleepers and takes a closer look at homelessness as a hidden female crisis.

For more information about Professor Moss's book on this topic:

Moss, K. & Singh, P. (2015) Women Rough Sleepers in Europe: Homelessness and Victims of Domestic Abuse, Bristol: Policy Press.  

"This compelling review of women's homelessness in Europe provides fresh insights into an enduring problem. The book reveals the challenges homeless women face in a world where liberalist housing market principles prevail." Angela Maye-Banbury, Sheffield Hallam University. 

Speaker biography

Professor Moss was educated at Manchester Metropolitan University (LLB Hons), the University of Cambridge (M.Phil.) and Manchester University where she gained a PhD in social policy in 1997. She has written five books/monographs and over 60 journal articles. She has carried out research for the European Commission, the UK Home Office, Government Office East Midlands, Centrex, and numerous police forces and Local Authorities throughout England. Over the last five years at the University of Wolverhampton, with her colleague Paramjit Singh, she has secured in excess of 2.6 million Euros of research funding to support research into women who sleep rough as a result of domestic violence and also children rough sleepers. Kate has presented her research findings to the European Parliament in Brussels on three occasions. "Homelessness: The Hidden Female Crisis"

Professor Moss’s main research interest is the policy surrounding women’s homelessness and rough sleeping which her research has found to be a major issue across Europe especially within the current economic climate. Her research has focused on provision for this vulnerable and hard to reach group in an effort to increase the knowledge base; to equip organisations to set up or adopt effective policy, strategies and services to meet their needs, and to challenge current policy, practice and thinking about the problem of women rough sleepers – particularly those who are the victims of domestic abuse.

Her other research interest is the balance between the right to security and the right to liberty, with special emphasis on torture and detention without trial and the questions facing contemporary society in the areas of political theory and practice, law, philosophy and human rights about striking an acceptable balance between national security needs and the protection of civil liberties. Kate is particularly interested in ideas about the creeping powers of the executive, fear-driven law and practice, the use of legislation to facilitate crime control and the criminalisation of behaviour.





Lecture Title TBC


Speaker: Danielle Brown 

Date: 12th June 2018

Time: 5-7pm

Location: Chancellor's Hall 

Mobiles and Modernity – how digital technology changes everything


Speaker: Professor John Traxler 

Date: 17th October 2018 

Time: 5-7pm

Location: Chancellor's Hall 

Since the turn of the century, we have seen mobile technologies evolve from being expensive, fragile, scarce, puny and difficult to being powerful, ubiquitous, pervasive, easy, cheap and robust. In this time and in every part of the world, they have changed the nature of the commodities, assets, transactions and organisation that constitute our economic lives; have challenged the certainties of political issues, affiliations and processes.

In languages, we have seen the emergence of new vocabularies, genres and dialects and the transformation of marginal and nomadic languages and their cultures, often in the face in the face of the dominance of global Anglophone corporations; they have fuelled moral panics and catalysed new forms of harm, affront and misdemeanour; they have transformed though not removed digital divides around the world.

Furthermore, they have given individuals and communities the means and opportunities to generate, share, transform, discuss and access ideas, images, identities and information and in doing so have the potential to threaten the established professions, institutions and forms of education.

There are clearly different interpretations of their impact from merely a technical aspect of the otherwise unchanged realities of the modern world to a symptom of a slide into the fragmented, subjective, suspicious and transient world of post-modernity. We hope to explore these perspectives.

Speaker Biography 

John Traxler is Professor of Digital Learning in the Institute of Education at the University of Wolverhampton. He is one of the pioneers of mobile learning, associated with projects since m-learning in 2001, the first major EU project. He is Founding Director of the International Association for Mobile Learning, responsible for the annual international mLearn research conference running since 2002. He is co-editor of the definitive book, Mobile Learning: A Handbook for Educators and Trainers, and four others, plus papers, articles and chapters on all aspects of learning with mobiles and their wider impact on society. He has supported and advised UNESCO, UNRWA, USAID and ITU, and worked on projects funded by LSC, JISC, British Council, EU, IDRC and DFID in Europe, the Middle East, Sub Saharan Africa, Latin America and South Asia.

Lecture Series archive

Inaugural Lecture: Research in UK Higher Education: The Challenges and Opportunities

Professor John Darling, Dean of Research, and Dr Benjamin Halligan, Director of The Doctoral College, welcomed over 80 people to the inaugural lecture of The University of Wolverhampton Lecture Series on Thursday 10 November 2016.

Professor Geoff Layer, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton, spoke about Research in UK Higher Education: The Challenges and Opportunities. screenshot of inaugural lecture series presentation‌‌ Watch Geoff's presentation on The Doctoral College’s channel and download the PowerPoint Presentation from the lecture: Lecture Series Prof Geoff Layer (Powerpoint 862k).


Photos of the event

Inaugural lecture series, Professor Geoff Layer, Dr Benjamin Halligan Professor John Darling speaking with guest Inaugural lecture series audience

Have a look at The Doctoral College’s Facebook page for more photos from the lecture.

Guest Lecture: The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815-1914

Professor Sir Richard J Evans held a guest lecture hosted by the Faculty of Social Sciences on Tuesday 15 November 2016:

The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815-1914

Richard Evans explored the revolutions, empire-building and wars that marked the nineteenth century. It was a time where what was seen as modern with amazing speed appeared old-fashioned, where huge cities sprang up in a generation, new European countries were created and where, for the first time, humans could communicate almost instantly over thousands of miles.

Richard Evans’s lecture drew on a lifetime of thinking about 19th century Europe and recreated a rich and entertaining exploration of a continent undergoing drastic transformation.

The author also signed copies of his book following his talk.

About the Author

  • President of Wolfson College, Cambridge and Provost of Gresham College
  • Until 2014, the Regius Professor of History at Cambridge University
  • Fellow of the British Academy, the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Historical Society, and an Honorary Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and Birkbeck College, London
  • Knighted in 2012

Faster, stronger, smarter, more productive – how sport psychology can help you achieve your goals

Book your place online

Professor Andrew Lane

‌‌‌Speaker: Professor Andy Lane

Date: 6 February 2017

Sport psychology is focused on helping athletes perform better in competition. Human competition is an integral part of many areas of endeavour, ranging from taking an examination, giving a presentation, and having a job interview. In this talk, Professor Andy Lane will examine strategies than might help people perform better. He will draw on a wealth of research and practice including the largest study ever study conducted on the effects of interventions to change emotions to perform faster, a project run with the BBC narrated by Olympian Michael Johnson.

When giving advice to someone striving for an important goal, the advice needs to work. Sport psychology is a science and Andy will discuss how we can conduct research that has real-world value. Using the BBC project as an example, he will talk about working on a project that size, working with Michael Johnson, working with the media, and the stresses and strains that launching your research on The One Show brings about. The talk will be relevant to anyone who wishes to improve her or his mental game and interested in being able to develop and evaluate how effective strategies are.


The Politics of Higher Education Reform in England


Speaker: Professor Andy Westwood

Date: 15 March, 2017

This lecture will describe the higher education reforms in England introduced in this Parliament, consider how they have evolved and the politics that surrounds them. Particular attention will be given to the White Paper: 'Success in a Knowledge Economy' and to the subsequent HE & Research Bill as it continues through both Houses of Parliament towards legislation. What will it mean for universities, students, graduates and research in England?

At the Mercy of Fate? - Shaping the Soldier’s Experience of War


Gary Sheffield

Speaker: Professor Gary Sheffield

Date: 25 April 2017

In war, different soldiers can have radically different experiences. A soldier in a trench or in a tank will have a very different view of a battle from someone in a supply depot, and a campaign in the desert will produce very different challenges from one fought in a temperate land. Some factors that shape experience of war are within the control of the individual, but many are not.

In this lecture, Professor Gary Sheffield examines these various factors and asks how much, or how little, control soldiers have over their own fate, and whether things have changed much over the centuries.



October 2017 - Professor Marek Kowalczuk and Dr Iza Radecka

Speakers: Professor Marek Kowalczuk and Dr Iza Radecka

Speaker biographies

Dr Iza Radecka is a Reader in Biotechnology and has an MSc in Biological Sciences from the University of Silesia, Poland completed in 1990. Within biosciences, she first specialised in anatomy and histology (interactions between heavy metals and enzymatic activity in brain tissue). In 1991, she took a position as a junior research worker in the Institute of Polymer Chemistry at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Zabrze, Silesia, with a special interest in the biodegradability of different synthetic polymer blends. After one year there, she decided to take a PhD researcher/lecturer post at the University of Silesia, Katowice, with a special interest in microbial biotechnology concerning the production of biodegradable polymers by bacteria under different environmental conditions. Iza completed her PhD in the Department of Biochemistry, University of Silesia, Katowice.

Iza joined the School of Applied Sciences at the University of Wolverhampton in September 2000. Since then, she has continued her research into the production of biodegradable plastics from bacteria. Her research is focused on the cost-effective production of novel bio-based polymeric from waste. Iza has published numerous research papers in highly ranked scientific journals, and authored several chapters in biotechnological books. Iza has also given a broad number of invited lectures at international conferences.

She was awarded a Mercia Spinner Pathfinder concept grant and Enterprise Fellowship Scheme to develop new biopolymer extraction methods from bacteria grown in large fermenters.

Professor Marek Kowalczuk graduated from the Chemistry Department at the Silesian University of Technology, Gliwice, Poland. He received his Ph.D. degree in Chemical Science (1984) and his ‘Habilitation’ in Technical Science (1994) from the same University. Since 2010, he has been a Professor of Chemistry, nominated by the President of Poland. In 1973, he joined the Centre of Polymer Chemistry at the Polish Academy of Science in Zabrze, Poland (currently: the Centre of Polymer and Carbon Materials, Polish Academy of Science) and focused on anionic ring opening polymerization of β-lactones, especially β-butylolactone. Marek joined the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Wolverhampton in 2013.

His main scientific interests are: biodegradable and functional polymers; novel initiators and mechanisms of anionic polymerization related to the synthesis of biodegradable polymers possessing desired architecture; biodegradation of synthetic and natural polymers; and novel mass spectrometry techniques for analysis of biodegradable polymers at the molecular level.

His current research involves structural studies of biocompatible copolymers and blends of controlled biodegradability containing synthetic analogues of natural polyhydroxyalkanoates and copolymerisation reactions to novel polymeric materials with “made-to-order” structure and properties, with variety of catalysts, including metal free anionic initiators.

Putting Science into Policy Lecture 1st February, 2018


The University was delighted to stage a lecture by Prof Peter Churchill, the Adviser on Scientific Development to the Director General of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, as part of the University of Wolverhampton Lecture Series.

Prof Churchill spoke about the increasingly complex challenges facing society. Issues such as climate change, food securityenergy security, and economic development comprise multidisciplinary approaches. To address them properly requires clear, unbiased evidence toward informing local, regional, national and multi-national policy. The lecture explored the issues and the role of scientific support in informing policy through some examples from a European Union perspective.   


        Churchill Lecture Doctoral College‌   

Click on picture for video of Prof Churchill's 1st February, 2018 lecture.                        

Peter Churchill                                                                                                                                

Peter Churchill is an environmental scientist. He started work in 1979 as an academic at Cranfield University UK, researching forest applications of remote sensing. He then became a consultant for a UK based company undertaking natural resources surveys in Africa, South East Asia and Europe. In 1988 he joined the European Commission's Joint Research Centre as a scientist, becoming head of a series of earth observation, environmental science and administrative units from 1996. In 2010 he joined the JRC's headquarters staff, where he is currently the Adviser on Scientific Development to the Director General.

Doctoral College Peter Churchill Welcome

l-r Dr Ben Halligan, Prof Silke Machold and Prof Churchill.‌



A STEAMed Christmas Lecture 6th February, 2018

Due to inclement weather in December the University's much anticipated Christmas Lecture  in the Arena Theatre finally took place on 6th February. The delay only served to heighten expectations that were duly met, if not exceeded, at  matinee and evening performances. The Christmas-themed lecture explored the areeas where you least expect science and the arts to merge in a performance aimed at 11- 18 year olds, their teachers, parents and anyone young at heart. The result was an hilarious journey into the world of science, music and performance with the mildest touch of education thrown in for good measure!

The 2018 Lecture featurted a cross-University collaboration between the Faculty of Science and Engineering, the Music Department, the Institute of Sport, and the Doctoral College.