Over a decade of distinguished lectures

Guest lectures have been one of the key features of university life for centuries. They offer the chance to listen to some of the world’s greatest minds discuss issues of common interest in the finest detail.

Nottingham Trent University has had the privilege of hosting a number of distinguished speakers on a broad array of stimulating subject areas since 2006. The lectures are free, open to all, and are based on our City Campus.

Here you’ll find details of upcoming lectures and a brief outline of lecturers who have graced us with their presence in the past.

Selected lectures are filmed and put online approximately one week after the event. To view lecture videos, choose the relevant event from our Past Distinguished Lectures page and play the video.

For any other queries, or if you experience any difficulties with the online booking process, please email the Events Team.

November 2018

  • Wednesday 7 November 2018 - Professor Carole Perry, Multidisciplinary Studies at the Biomolecule-Mineral Interface

    Professor Carole Perry is Distinguished Professor of Bioinorganic and Materials Chemistry and a fellow of both the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Royal Microscopical Society.

    Carole is an international leader in the study of (bio)silica and the study of abiotic-biotic interactions. She has held fellowships or visiting professor positions in Israel (Weizmann Institute of Science), France (Universite Pierre et Marie Curie and College de France), Germany (KIT) and the US (Harvard, MIT, University of Buffalo and Scripps Institute of Oceanography).

    At NTU, Carole teaches on the undergraduate and graduate chemistry programmes. Her teaching and research interests lie where biology, chemistry and physics intersect and are directed in particular toward understanding how biomolecules and inorganic materials interact in aqueous media. An understanding of these interactions is crucial for the design of novel materials and processing technologies with applications in fields as diverse as biological imaging, implant integration, food and drug processing, and functional composite materials.

    Carole is an established writer and has published circa. 200 research papers and book chapters. She has featured on radio and local TV discussing topics as diverse as: women in chemistry; increasing the life of antibiotics; sol-gel materials; spider silk; generating high value products from food waste; and most recently was a Sunday morning guest of John Holmes (BBC Radio Nottingham).

    Carole is a leader in her field winning numerous awards and funding. This includes more than £6m of funding from government and industrial sponsors, including overseas funding agencies, competitive personal fellowships from the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology and the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study at Harvard University and most recently a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award. She was also instrumental in securing two awards from The Higher Education Council for England and Wales - namely Chemistry: The Next Generation and Chemistry For Our Future. The legacy of these two projects continues to inspire students across the country to consider a career in the science.

    Lecture synopsis

    This lecture will show how fundamental research using experimental and computational tools has increased our understanding of the interface between these two different types of materials, and how we are transitioning this knowledge towards materials particularly for the biomedical market.

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  • Wednesday 21 November 2018 - Professor Paul Evans, Securing our Skies: The Science of Security X-ray Imaging

    Paul is Distinguished Professor of Applied Imaging Science and Head of the Imaging Science Group at NTU. He is a Chartered Engineer and has a Doctorate in 3D X-ray Imaging.

    His research has pioneered technological advances into material specific, 3D X-ray imaging and its exploitation in security screening, which has substantially increased the safety of the travelling public. The high impact of Paul’s work is characterised by a series of innovative solutions to hitherto intractable X-ray imaging problems, usually in the domain of luggage screening for explosives and contraband detection. He invented and led work in the early 2000s, funded by the UK Home Office and the US Government, for the development of a new compact and cost effective form of 3D X-ray imaging. His work on multi-beam scanners became a de facto standard for the Advanced Technology class of security X-ray scanner, with an installed global base of around 4,300 machines.

    Paul was awarded the highly prestigious Institute of Physics (IOP) Dennis Gabor Medal and Prize for the Industrial Application of Physics in 2017, which places him amongst a list of world-renowned inventors, scientists and engineers. He was also the winner of the Times Higher Education (THE) prize for Outstanding Contribution to Innovation and Technology in 2016.  The impact of his research group spearheaded The Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher Education, entitled ‘Safety and Security of Citizens’, awarded to NTU in 2015 for world class research.

    He was personally invited to serve as a Member of a National Panel of Experts: Government Office for Science by the Government Chief Scientific Adviser (GCSA).

    Paul is currently the Principal Investigator of a $5m research contract to NTU to develop a radical new type of X-ray scanner that can identify materials from their molecular fingerprint in 3D scans. He is the founding Director of HALO X-ray Technologies Ltd created to commercialise this technology.

    Lecture synopsis

    What has 3D X-ray imaging research ever done for you? This lecture explores how X-ray imaging science can reveal the true nature of materials buried in 3D images.

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February 2019

  • Wednesday 6 February 2019 - Lord Victor Adebowale CBE, Inequality, Fairness and Power

    Victor is the CEO of Turning Point, a social enterprise providing health and social care interventions to approximately 77,000 people on an annual basis.

    Victor sits as a Non-Executive Director on the boards of NHS England, the Co-Operative Group, Collaborate CIC, IOCOM and Leadership in Mind. He is also the Chair of Social Enterprise UK. Victor has chaired a number of commission reports into: policing; employment; mental health; housing and fairness for The London Fairness Commission; the Met Police; and for central and local government. He was awarded a CBE for services to the unemployed and homeless people, and became a crossbench peer in 2001.

    Victor is a visiting Professor and Chancellor at the University of Lincoln; an honorary member of the Institute of Psychiatry; President of The International Association of Philosophy and Psychiatry and a Governor at The London School of Economics.

    Victor has an MA in Advanced Organisational Consulting from Tavistock Institute and City University.

    Lecture synopsis

    The inverse care law describes the fact that the people with greatest need for health care are least likely to receive it. This goes against most people's views about fairness - a view which forms the basis for the existence of the NHS. In this lecture, Victor will consider the relationship between social-economic inequalities, health and power what this all means for the future of the NHS.

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  • Wednesday 20 February 2019 - Val McDermid FRSE FRSL, The Irresistible Rise of Murder and Mayhem

    Dubbed the ‘Queen of Crime’, Val McDermid has sold over 15 million books to date across the globe and is translated into over 30 languages. She is perhaps best-known for her Wire in the Blood series, featuring clinical psychologist Dr Tony Hill and DCI Carol Jordan, which was adapted for television starring Robson Green. She has written three other series: private detective Kate Brannigan, journalist Lindsay Gordon and, most recently, cold case detective Karen Pirie. She has also published  several award-winning standalone novels, two books of non-fiction, two short story collections and a children’s picture book - My Granny is a Pirate.

    A regular broadcaster with BBC Radio, Val has written dramas and presented programmes on Radio 4 and was also a huge success on the evergreen Desert Island Discs.  In early 2017 Val’s latest BBC Radio 4 drama series, Resistance, aired to great acclaim. It was produced as part of the Wellcome Trust’s Experimental Stories project and is currently being developed as a graphic novel. Val has fronted features for BBC Two’s The Culture Show and appeared several times as a panellist on BBC Question Time. She further added to her broadcasting credentials in late 2016 by captaining the winning University Challenge alumnae team!

    She has won many awards internationally, including the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year, the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger, the Grand Prix des Romans D’Aventure, the Lambda Literary Foundation Pioneer Award in 2011, the Stonewall Writer of the Year, and the LA Times Book of the Year Award. In 2012 she became a Celebrity Mastermind champion. In 2016 she received the Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction award at the Theakston’s Old Peculiar Harrogate Crime Festival and in 2017 she was elected a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Val has previously served as a judge for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and was Chair of the Wellcome Book Prize in 2017. Her story Resurrection: Message from the Skies will be a landmark conceptual installation in Edinburgh in January 2018. 2018 also sees her return to writing for the theatre after more than thirty years with Margaret Saves Scotland, a play for the popular A Play, A Pie and A Pint series.

    Val was born in Kirkcaldy, a coastal town in the heart of the Scottish mining community. She graduated in English at St Hilda’s College, Oxford - the first from a Scottish state school to do so - before going on to be an award winning journalist for sixteen years. Her first novel was published in 1987.  She is a lifelong Raith Rovers Football Club supporter and served for six years as a board director. She is the current home shirt sponsor, and also sponsors the U10 girls’ team shirts. Val’s other loves in life include walking, music, gaming and cooking. She writes full time and divides her time between Edinburgh and Cheshire.

    Lecture synopsis

    In this lecture Val offers her take on the inexorable rise of the popularity of crime fiction.

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March 2019

  • Wednesday 20 March 2019 - Jenny Sealey MBE, Great Expectations – The Journey of a Deaf Artist in the World of Disability Arts

    Jenny Sealey has been Artistic Director of Graeae Theatre Company since 1997.  She has pioneered a theatrical language experimenting with British Sign Language and English, creative captioning and audio description methods. This has become known as the aesthetics of access. It began with her production of Two and The Fall of the House of Usher and was developed through productions of Peeling, Bent, Blasted and recently The House of Bernarda Alba (co-production with Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester), and Reasons to be Cheerful which has now toured nationally and internationally.

    Jenny works locally, nationally and internationally and her work has recently been seen in Japan (Blood Wedding); Bangladesh (Romeo and Juliet); and Brazil (Belonging). She frequently works in Nottingham and productions such as The Threepenny Opera and Reasons to be Cheerful have been seen on the main stage of Nottingham Playhouse. Graeae’s ‘Iron Man’ could be seen walking the streets of Nottingham City Centre earlier in 2018.

    Jenny is a known and respected voice, nationally and internationally, in the promotion of accessible performances and in advocating for the rights of D/deaf and disabled people. Graeae is a global cohort of D/deaf and disabled artists that challenges perceptions and pushes for a cultural shift and an equal playing field.

    In 2009, she was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Honours list. Jenny co-directed the London 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony alongside Bradley Hemmings (GDIF). She also won the Liberty Human Rights Arts Award.

    Lecture synopsis

    Whose theatre is it anyway? A look at the diversity and politics of the work Graeae Theatre Company has created - challenging artistic forms, developing talent and unearthing the authentic voices of those who might never call themselves artists.

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