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Annual Fund awards

14 June 2006

Projects across the University are steaming ahead thanks to grants recently announced by the 2006 Annual Fund Awards Panel.

Annual Fund logoProjects across the University are steaming ahead thanks to grants recently announced by the 2006 Annual Fund Awards Panel.

The Department of Mathematics will transform the Royal Fort Gatehouse and its garden into a dynamic space for student interaction and self-directed learning. Coffee will meet Calculus at The Maths Café, which will be a social space for undergraduates, postgraduates and staff as well as a learning centre equipped with Apple Mac computers, WiFi access and a wide range of relevant textbooks. There will also be staff and graduate students on hand to run a ‘Maths Helpdesk’ in the venue.

A grant of £12,580 will enable the Faculty of Engineering to develop a novel bio-electronic interface to allow living cells and computer chips to communicate, while the Department of History has received a grant of £10,000 to enable the purchase of books and journals to support the teaching of and research into visual culture, which offers great potential for future development as a Faculty of Arts Research Theme.

A student team will be travelling to Australia to take part in the 2007 World Solar Cycle Challenge – a unique biennial race which spans 1500 kilometres from Ceduna to Adelaide in South Australia, providing the ultimate test in endurance and stamina for competitors from around the world. Faculty of engineering students have spent the last three years working on the concept development, detailed design and build of a hybrid vehicle suitable for the race. The grant will allow a team of six to transport the vehicle to Australia for the race and to display the vehicle in the faculty on their return.

The pastoral welfare of students has also been considered, with money allocated to improve the University’s personal tutoring system and to implement a University Internship Programme that will allow students to gain high quality relevant work experience and skills whilst studying. Additional awards will fund the redesign of the popular University of Bristol Union website, the redevelopment of the Avon Gorge room in the Union, and funding for a Hodgkin Scholar in the coming academic year.

The Annual Fund consists of donations from graduates and friends of the University. Each year in May the Annual Fund panel meet to decide how unrestricted gifts are distributed throughout the University.