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Chancellor James Nesbitt Begins Tour of University Campuses

The University of Ulster's Chancellor Dr James Nesbitt today focused on the groundbreaking scientific research taking place in the Universityat the start of a two day tour of its campuses.

During a visit to the Jordanstown campus, Dr Nesbitt was briefed on the pioneering work the University has been involved in the field of Connected Health and also visited the Centre for Sustainable Technologies.

The Chancellor visited two purpose built terraced houses constructed on the campus for research aimed atimproving energy efficiency and reducing fuel poverty.

Dr Nesbitt said: "It's great to be back in Jordanstown, where I was a student, and to see at first hand the incredible scientific research our academics are involved in.

"The work the University has been engaged in the area of Connected Health is inspirational - whether it is the electronic sensors the Nanotechnology and Integrated Bioengineering Centre has developed to remotely monitor patients' health or the use of computer technology by the School of Computing and Mathematics to aid home rehabilitation and independent livingfor stroke patients.

"The Centre for Sustainable Technologies recently achieved national recognition when its low cost solar water heating system, Solacatcher, was shortlisted in the 'Make it in Great Britain' competition and was showcased in the Science Museum during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"But the Centre is also doing important research in its two specially constructed retrofit houses, aimed at improving energy efficiency and reducing fuel poverty.

"All of these projects demonstratehow the University of Ulster's world class science and technology research institutes are making a real difference to people's lives in Northern Ireland and around the world, particularly in the areas of health and wellbeing."

Following his tour of Jordanstown, Dr Nesbitt will travel to the Belfast campus where he will meet students and staff in the School of Art and Design's digital animation studio and in the School of Architecture.

The Chancellor will be updated on the University's ambitious plan to relocate the bulk of its activity in Jordanstown to a new £250 million state of the art campus in the heart of Belfast city centre.

He will then travel to Magee to take part in a question and answer session with Drama and Media Studies students in the Foyle Arts Centre before heading to the Coleraine campus to help mark the 35th anniversary of the Riverside Theatre with an 'In Conversation' event.

Dr Nesbitt will tomorrow visit the University’s Centre for Molecular Biomedical Sciences in Coleraine and attend a nursing awards ceremony on the campus.

Notes to Editors

1. Dr James Nesbitt was installed as the Chancellor of the University of Ulster at a ceremony in June 2010.

2. In July 2003, he was awarded a DLitt Honorary Doctorate for services to drama by the University.

3. The Chancellor has an important role within the University, acting as a figurehead and a role model for the various constituencies the University serves.

4. The Chancellor presides over meetings of the University Court and can preside over meetings of Council.

5. Under the University’s Charter, the Chancellor has the power to confer Degrees, Diplomas, Certificates and other academic distinctions at graduation ceremonies.

6. Dr Nesbitt has followed in the footsteps of four Chancellors of the University – the Duke of Abercorn, Lord Grey of Naunton, the Baroness Rabbi Julia Neuberger and former City of London Lord Mayor, Sir Richard Nichols.

7. He is the first Chancellor of the University to have been born in Northern Ireland and to have studied at Ulster.

8. Dr James Nesbitt has carved out a successful movie and television career, appearing in the hit TV shows ‘Monroe’ and ‘Cold Feet’ for ITV, ‘Murphy’s Law’, ‘Occupation’ and ‘Jekyll’ for the BBC. He has also appeared on the big screen in Paul Greengrass’s ‘Bloody Sunday’, Ralph Fiennes’ ‘Coriolanus’ Peter Chelsom’s ‘Hear My Song’, Woody Allen’s ‘Match Point’, Oliver Hirschbiegel’s ‘Five Minutes of Heaven’, Emilio Estevez’s ‘The Way’ and Peter Jackson’s upcoming movie adapation of ‘The Hobbit’.

9. Photographs from the University Chancellor’s visit can be accessed at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/universityofulster/

10. Rolling coverage of the University Chancellor’s tour of the four campuses will be on Twitter at #nesbitt.