Category / conferences

ORI presentation at RCN Society of Orthopaedic and Trauma Nursing International Conference and Exhibition

RCN Society of Orthopaedic and Trauma Nursing International Conference and Exhibition, 8-9th  September 2016, Cardiff

Nice poster, but can't say the same thing for the poster board...

Nice poster, but can’t say the same thing for the poster board…

The theme for this conference was ‘Valuing the past, embracing the future‘ and it was great to be able to represent BU’s Orthopaedic Research Institute (ORI) whose work is firmly on the ’embracing the future’ side of the theme. I was there to deliver a poster presentation entitled:

A review of the literature related to the role of nutritional supplementation for an enhanced recovery pathway for hip and knee replacement’

This was produced through work with Associate Professor Tom Wainwright (Deputy Head) and Professor Rob Middleton (Head) of ORI, and Dr Simon Dyall of the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences. There was good interest in the poster from orthopaedic nurses and fellow academics, and I had a great chat about nutrition with the one medical doctor in attendance – the first time I’ve heard of an orthogeriatrician!

Headline? At present, the evidence base does not support the use of nutritional supplementation in enhanced recovery after surgery pathways for hip/knee replacement. However, that’s not to say that nutrition does not play a role. More high quality research is required particularly to explore the role of zinc, vitamin D and omega fatty acids, and possibly other nutrients that have been overlooked too. If you’d like to find out more you can get a full size version of the poster here. Any comments on this most welcome.

For those interested in orthopaedics in general, the opening presentation included learning about Norman, aged 90, who can apparently lay claim to having had the longest lasting hip replacement. He had his first replacement in 1948 and it only needed revising this year! (if I remember correctly)! Far, far longer than most hip replacements last.

Norman, 90 years young, had first hip replacement in 1948!

Norman, 90 years young, had first hip replacement in 1948!

 Other presentations included work on fracture prevention (increasingly important for our aging and increasingly frail population), developing post-graduate education in orthopaedic nursing, recognition of delirium, and the latest on the timely identification of compartment syndrome (a life-threatening complication).

Having a couple of hours to spare before returning to Bournemouth I took a look at some of the beautiful architecture in Cardiff. It had the feeling of a city that values its past:

The clock tower of Cardiff Castle

The clock tower of Cardiff Castle

but is also embracing the future…

Wales Millenium Centre

Wales Millenium Centre

Many thanks to the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences for supporting my attendance.


Call for abstracts – Marine Protected Areas: Science, Policy & Management

Climate change, policy developments such as Brexit and progress in marine science all contribute to a fast changing context for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). This conference aims to examine the current issues from a variety of perspectives at a time when questions on the future approaches to MPA’s are the subject of policy development. Contributions are welcome from individual practitioners, NGOs, statutory and governmental organisations as well as from academia.

Abstracts of papers and posters are invited ranging from original scientific research reports through reviews to policy analyses, critiques and management practice innovations. Both UK and comparative international perspectives are welcome on all forms of Marine Protected Area.

While abstracts may focus on specific MPAs, especially when the subject matter is of wider relevance, submissions which examine or exemplify general issues such as the relationship between scientific evidence, policy and management, or the balance between conservation and socio-economics are also encouraged. The conference will result in a published proceedings volume with the prospect also of themed journal publication for suitable peer reviewed papers.

The Estuarine & Coastal Sciences Association and Poole Harbour Study Group are jointly organising the conference on ‘Marine Protected Areas: Science, Policy & Management’ from Monday 15th – Wednesday 17th May 2017 in Poole. This will also coincide with a week of European Maritime Port festivities and culminate in Poole Boat Show.

Full details about abstract submission can be found here.

Conference themes

  • The science of Marine Protected Areas
  • MPA’s and fisheries: Policy & practice
  • Climate change, non-indigenous species and marine conservation
  • Post Brexit UK policy and European Marine Sites
  • Recreational & commercial pressures: Impacts & solutions
  • Water quality, nutrients, and eutrophication

For more details, contact Dr Roger Herbert.

Alternative paths to access finance for small and medium scale enterprises in the UK

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) form a crucial part of United Kingdom’s (UK) economy. However, limited/or lack of access to finance continue to hinder the growth of SMEs in the country. This situation has been the compelling factor behind Bournemouth University’s seminars series on “Access to Finance for SMEs”, of which the last was held at Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, London on 13 September, 2016. This final part of the seminar series was aimed at identifying alternative sources of finance for SMEs in the UK.


Professor Stella Fearnley (first from left) with the keynote speaker Sir John Bourn (middle) and the Principal Investigator professor Jens Hӧlscher (first from right)

Experts at the seminar identified the following as the reasons why there is limited/or lack of access to finance for SMEs in the UK:

  • Lenders face difficulties in accurately assessing the viability of SMEs with limited track records because of information asymmetries between borrowers and lenders. This makes it difficult for lenders to secure the appropriate information they require to make an informed decisions on SME loan applications,
  • New SMEs often end up defaulting in debt repayment,
  • There is regional bias when it comes to SME access to finance in the country. For instance, London and the South-East often obtain disproportionately more funding than SMEs in other parts of the UK.

Are there alternative sources of funding for SMEs?

Consensus was broad-based among participants that alternative sources of finance for SMEs is growing in the UK —it grew by 75% to £1.26bn in 2015—despite the fact that only 3% of SMEs are aware of these other sources. Some of the alternative funding sources that were suggested include:

  • Equity finance

This is a method of raising capital through the sale of shares in an enterprise. A presenter at the seminar showed that equity funding has improved significantly in the UK, with seed stage flows growing 48% p.a. since 2012. Other participants also observed that SMEs are often skeptical of equity finance for fear of loss of control. But the fact remains that most of them use equity finance without even realising it. For instance, SMEs often rely on angels and venture capital to raise funds for their businesses.

  • Angels and venture capital

This form of equity finance may be undertaken directly by individuals or industrial companies; and indirectly through financial institutions or government agencies. Venture capitalists on the other hand usually invest in SMEs with high return prospects. Though SMEs’ awareness about venture capital in the UK continue to increase, only 22% of them know of a specific fund to approach.

  • Business Angels

They are private individuals who invest in new SMEs with good growth prospects, in exchange for a share of the company’s equity. Business angels often invest in business start-ups and also provide assistance in the form of consultancy (sometimes free) to the SMEs.

  • Family and friends

This source of finance has long been an important route for start-ups. However, there is always the need to maintain professionalism and a formal environment for business growth which may stand against the business owner’s informal relationship with the financiers. The big mistake many companies make is that they fail to formalise the funding arrangement with friends and family.

  • Crowdfunding

This is a method of raising finance by asking a large number of people to individually contribute a small amount of money to fund a project or venture, typically via the Internet. Though it is becoming the new ‘buzz’ going around in the investment game, existing SMEs, individuals, and startups are increasingly looking to raise funds through this method. One of the participants indicated that it is cheaper, faster and easier to access finance through this source. Another participant at the seminar showed that crowdfunding in 2015 amounted to 2.5 billion pounds in the UK.

Road map to SME access to finance

On the various alternative sources of SME funding identified, seminar participants were of the view that there is the need to critically examine each of them since it will unpack their appropriateness to different economies.

Apart from individual publications, there were also proposal for pathways to impact which will include one or two edited books and potentially a Special Issue of the International Small Business Journal, the leading UK and European Entrepreneurship journal, as deliverables.

Reading Communities: Past and Present – AHRC conference, Senate House, London

Simon Frost and I recently took part in this event organised by an AHRC project based at The Open University which follows on from previous research leading to the establishment of The Reading Experience Database (RED). The event brought together book historians, literary scholars and researchers working on the borders between literature and media and cultural studies to explore a variety of examples of reading communities from Quaker reading groups and records of readers in the borrowing records of national libraries, to online book clubs and LARPs (Live Action Role Playing events). img_0020


This was a good opportunity for us to promote the work of the BU based Digital Reading Network, and CsJCC, based in the Faculty of Media and Communication. Simon’s paper reported on the findings of his BU Fusion funded project looking at contemporary book retailing, which was conducted in collaboration with the university bookseller John Smith’s.  Simon’s paper provided a fascinating comparison of the retail landscape using past and present photographs of the same Southampton street where Gilbert’s bookshop is based.  He boldly proposed replacing the term literary work with ‘Net Work’ to capture the idea of the work as an event which consists of people, places and bibliographic objects. The proposal plays into wider global HE strategies to study English for its social impact.





My paper provided a comparison of two online reading communities.  The first, a Jane Austen community called The Republic of Pemberley, brings together devotees of the writer who engage in scheduled Group Reads of her work, using the website to report back and share their reading with other community members.  I also discussed how readers use social media platforms such as Twitter to share their reading, for example using the hashtag #mytolstory as they embarked on reading Tolstoy’s epic novel inspired by the recent BBC adaptation.  My paper drew on an article Julia Round and I recently published in the journal Language and Literature on online moderators, which was one of the outputs from our AHRC funded projects, Researching Readers Online and the Digital Reading Network.


The day provided an excellent opportunity for us to expand our networks, and establish new contacts. In particular, we were very excited to connect with researchers from the University of Malmo in Sweden whose research and philosophy for teaching English in a media context is closely aligned to our work here at BU.

BU at ATLAS annual conference

BU had a strong presence at the ATLAS (Association for Tourism apic1nd Leisure Education and Research) annual conference which took place in the historic town of Canterbury, between 13-16 September, on “Tourism, Lifestyles and Locations”.

BU has been a member of the ATLAS network for many years and Dr Lenia Marques was one of the founders of the Special Interest Group on Events back in 2010. The group is very active and has several ongoing projects and collaborations amongst its members.

Several BU academics presented and discussed their research in Canterbury. Dr Hanaa Osman and Dr Lorraine Brown presented a piece of research which touches upon the status of women in tourism and which provoked debate on intercultural issues. Dr Anya Chapman presented her work on piers, which are so important for UK coastal destinations, such as Bournemouth. Dr Jaeyeon Choe presented her research on tourism and quality of life in Macao and we should congratulate her on her first attendance as the ATLAS Asia representative on the board.

Dr Lenia Marques presented her research on events and communities and practice among expats in a panel organised together with the Department of Events and Leisure and the Department of Tourism and Hospitality dedicated to “Lifestyle and communities: sharing in the digital era”. The panel, put together by Dr. Lenia Marques, Juliette Hecquet and Prof. Dimitrios Buhalis, aimed at discussing new trends in the fields of leisure and tourism connected to lifestyle and the sharing economy.

Overall, the discussions at the conference were animated and friendly, raising some of the big issues of our time. Collaborations, projects and further developments will surely continue in the run-up to the next ATLAS annual conference to be held in Viana do Castelo, Portugal (12-16 September 2017) under the theme “Destinations past, present and future”.

pic3 pic2

The Sensors and Their Applications 2016 conference


The Sensors and Their Applications XVIII (2016) conference will be held on 12th-14th September in London. The Sensors & Applications series of conferences provides an excellent opportunity to bring together scientists and engineers from academia, research institutes and industrial establishments to present and discuss the latest results in the field of sensors, instrumentation and measurement.

ensors and Their Applications XVIII (2016) conference wiill be held on 12th -14th September in London.  The conference is orgnasied by the Institute of Physics Instrument Science and Technology Group. In this year, the Sensors and their Applications conference will also feature an industry session to enable the conference partcipants to showcase the industry and technology transfer activities in sensor related areas.

Invited speakers will give lectures on important recent advances within the symposium, in addition to contributed talks and poster sessions.

Conference Themes

• Optical sensors
• Chemical and gas sensors
• Sensors in biology and medicine
• Advances in sensing materials
• Nanotechnology for sensors and actuators
• Smart sensors and interface electronics
• MEMS and silicon fabrication techniques
• Imaging: integrated actuators
• Thick and thin film sensors
• Sensor modelling
• Sensor packaging and assemblies

For further details on the conference and to register, please go to the event website.



I was delighted to present this month at a large international conference, IFOMPT 2016, in Glasgow. The International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapists (IFOMPT) is an international body composed of many national groups specialising in post-graduate musculoskeletal physiotherapy. This is the first time the IFOMPT Conference, which is held every four years, has been hosted in the UK since 1988. This conference presented an ideal opportunity to promote the reputation of BU, the new Orthopaedic Research Institute, and AECC (where the research was undertaken).
I gave a poster presentation on work related to my PhD research into the mechanism of spinal manipulation in the treatment of neck pain. I was really pleased that there was a good bit of interest in the poster and I made useful contacts in Japan, China, USA – and Bournemouth! I was able to tempt some people I admire to my poster by posting the picture below on Twitter and sending to the Twitterati I knew were at the conference – social media works (I was not begging for attention, honest).

Come and see my poster!

Come and see my poster!

The other cool bit of technology I used for the first time at this conference was the conference app – no conference abstract booklet to have to carry around in a tacky conference bag for a couple of days.

Is a paper copy of conference proceedings now a thing of the past?

Is a paper copy of conference proceedings now a thing of the past?

The app had everything – the full itinerary, abstracts (including those of the 190 posters), and there were biographies and contact details for all the speakers and most of the delegates too. Networking can be exhausting and intimidating – this enabled me to contact people directly whom I wanted to discuss my research with and contributed to an excellent conference experience.
If you’d like to know more about the conference, or my research into the mechanism of spinal manipulation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. (You can get a copy of my poster by clicking here).

Dr Jonny Branney
Faculty of Health and Social Sciences

BU’s Dr Inventor team to present their research at SIGGRAPH

Dr I A5_Flyer

A team of researchers from BU’s National Centre for Computer Animation will soon be presenting ‘Dr Inventor’ at SIGGRAPH in California.  Dr Inventor is the first web-based system that supports the development of scientific creativity via a computational approach.

The project stemmed from the idea that new technologies have real potential to increase scientific creativity and to overcome some human limitations.  When considering ways around an issue, we often get stuck on the problem rather than solution and tend to be limited by our own perceptions, biases and memories.  By harnessing the power of technology and existing research information available on the web, Dr Inventor overcomes some of these issues by acting as a personal research assistant.

Dr Inventor can provide researchers with a report of a variety of relevant concepts and approaches by drawing on information from web resources, allowing a researcher to take into account a much wider range of perspectives.  The programme can even assess the quality and novelty of these resources by analysing these against recognised research approaches and established quality metrics.

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of Dr Inventor is its ability to replicate human creativity – to a degree – and suggest new research ideas.  By trawling through huge amounts of resources and ideas, Dr Inventor can generate new concepts and angles for research.

The project was funded by the European Commission and has seen the team work with partners from all over Europe to develop the concept. For more information about the project, please visit project website (​)

Dr Inventor Exhibition at SIGGRAPH 2016  ( 26th – 28th July) Booth 255Dr I logo
Dr Inventor Tech Talk – (Wednesday, 27 July 2016; Time: 10:30am to 11:30am)
Dr Inventor Fast Forward – (Monday 25th July) Ballroom B, 3:45-5:15 pm