Chancellor visits University of Bath to mark Founders Day

The University of Bath marked its Founders Day on Tuesday 6 March with a lecture by Professor Sheila Rowan on gravitational waves, followed by a reception hosted by the Chancellor HRH The Earl of Wessex.

The University has held an annual Founders Day since 2010 to mark the founding of the University in 1966. The Chancellor met with local dignitaries and a group of international students and staff from the School of Management ahead of the annual lecture.

Professor Sheila Rowan talked about her work on gravitational waves

His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex said: “It was wonderful to visit the University this week, and I enjoyed meeting with students to discuss their fascinating research. I was struck by the breadth, depth and relevance of research and teaching conducted in the Faculty of Science and the School of Management.”

The Founders Day lecture was given by Professor Rowan MBE, Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland and Director of the Institute for Gravitational Research at the University of Glasgow. The research of her Institute contributed to one of the most significant scientific breakthroughs of this century: the first detection of gravitational waves, announced in February 2016 in the 100th anniversary year of their prediction by Albert Einstein.

This discovery has opened up an entirely new field of physical science – that of ‘gravitational astronomy’ – enabling the study of black holes and other exotic phenomena far out in our Universe.

Around 240 people attended the public lecture, in which Professor Rowan spoke about the astrophysical events that produce gravitational waves, the technology used to observe them and the meaning of the new research findings that led to the award of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2017.

The Chancellor visited the motion capture studio at CAMERA

The Chancellor visited the motion capture studio at CAMERA

The following day, the Chancellor visited the University’s Faculty of Science, touring the Pharmacy practice suite where students use an interactive robotic patient to practise diagnosis and treatment.

His Royal Highness met with students from Computer Science, Physics and the University’s Centre for Doctoral Training in Statistical Applied Mathematics (SAMBa) who demonstrated their projects and talked about their research.

The Chancellor talking with Computer Science students

The Chancellor spoke with students from the Faculty of Science

The Chancellor also toured the studios at CAMERA, the University’s motion capture research facility, where he learned how researchers are developing motion capture technology that collects movement data of athlete sprint starts without the need for athletes to wear special suits.

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