Derby’s Vice-Chancellor strengthens Swiss partnerships on two-day visit

6 July 2016

Professor Kathryn Mitchell, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Derby, visited two of the institution’s international partners last week to further enhance research collaborations between Derby and Switzerland.

On Thursday (June 30), Professor Mitchell, along with Hari Punchihewa, Deputy Chief Executive and Finance Director, and Professor Nick Antonopoulos, Dean of the College of Engineering and Technology, met with representatives from F. Hoffmann-La Roche, AG (Roche), a leading Pharmaceutical and Diagnostics Company.

The University of Derby is collaborating with two teams at the firm; one based in Basel, Switzerland and the other at their technology office in San Francisco, USA. 

Via a research collaboration set up with Roche in 2012, the University of Derby is responsible for investigating and delivering better clinical intelligence and integration to benefit patient’s needs.

The University’s College of Engineering and Technology currently has five Roche funded PhD studentship and post-doctorate positions within the Department of Computing and Mathematics, and this team provides research and development support in the areas of medical and scientific systems. 

On Friday (July 1), the Derby delegates visited CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research and one of the world's largest and most respected centres for scientific research.

The University’s College of Engineering and Technology has expertise in data science; cloud computing and electronic engineering which has led to two agreements; one as an associate member of ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment) and one with the wider CERN community. 

Swiss partners visiting and greeted by Vice Chancellor

These have created opportunities for the University’s staff and students to develop cutting edge research activities in the field of high-volume streaming data analytics, as well as enabling the University to co-ordinate significant Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) outreach projects with secondary schools.

Dr Rachel Avramidou, a Project Associate for ALICE, is a Visiting Professor to the University and has collaborated on the College’s new Computational Physics programme.

The University signed a Memorandum of Understanding with delegates from the ALICE experiment at CERN last November.

During the visit to CERN last week, staff from Derby saw the CERN control centre and Antiproton Decelerator facility.

Professor Nick Antonopoulos, Dean of the College of Engineering and Technology at the University, said: “The visits to Roche and CERN were extremely important. We have strategic partnerships with these two firms, allowing the University of Derby to showcase and apply the expertise of its staff and students to ground-breaking real-world challenges.

“We hope to strengthen the partnerships we have in Switzerland with Derby in the future and help develop vital research.”

More information about the University of Derby’s partnerships