|Drill Hall Library|
In April we organised a meeting of academics and researchers working at the three universities that share the Medway Campus. For those of you unfamiliar with this, it's the site of the old naval base and dockyard in Chatham. It was in a fairly parlous state when the Universities of Greenwich, Kent and Christ Church moved in, but now they've redeveloped the fabulous old Edwardian buildings (including the Drill Hall Library, the longest library in Europe), as well as building some from scratch.
Having three universities sharing the same territory is fairly unique, but with increased concentration and a push for universities to collaborate and share resources, it will become increasingly commonplace.
The Campus is coming up for its tenth anniversary. It's been a busy decade, and it has taken time for research to develop a critical mass there. Common problems faced by most big institutions (such as a lack of awareness of what is going on elsewhere) are exacerbated here by having three big institutions involved, and the need to develop an infrastructure from scratch. The meeting in April was an opportunity for us to talk to staff at Medway about what would help them in doing so.
It was clear that one of the biggest issues for all was communication. Both staff and students wanted a way to share information about what research was being carried out on the Campus,and to hear about what seminars, talks and other events were happening. As a result, we've put in place two initiatives:
- Started to organise a Medway Research Festival on 10 Sept (Pilkington Building).This will be a chance to hear about the research going on across the campus, to foster collaborations within and between the universities, and to further develop the research culture on the site. The Festival will be based around a series of short presentations, discussions and demonstrations, followed by a reception at 5pm. Do add the date to your diary, and watch out for further details of the programme;
- Set up a Facebook page to share details of events, seminars and talks taking place on the Medway campus. ‘Like’ this to keep up to date with upcoming events as they are added. The page is here, with a chronological list of the events here. If you want to add any events, do let me know the details and I'll do so.
In the meantime if you want to find out more about what research is happening at Medway, do get in touch.