Leicester goes the distance for Hong Kong alumni

Posted by ap507 at Mar 22, 2018 09:49 AM |
Aspiring astronaut joins University delegation on 6,000 mile journey for the GREAT Festival

Issued by University of Leicester on 22 March 2018

There may be nearly 6,000 miles between the University of Leicester and Hong Kong, but that will seem like nothing at all when over 140 alumni gather to hear a space scientist speak about her journey so far towards becoming an astronaut.

The University will launch its new Hong Kong Alumni Community on 23 March during the four-day GREAT Festival of Innovation organised by the UK’s Department for International Trade. Among the representatives of the University present will be space scientist and alumna Dr Suzie Imber, the winner of 2017’s Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes? TV series on the UK’s BBC2 and a Co-Investigator on the MIXS instrument on board ESA's BepiColombo mission to Mercury.

Established to showcase the UK’s creativity and leadership across a host of industry and education sectors, the Festival, taking place 21-24 March 2018, focuses on how innovation, technology and creativity will change the way we work, live, learn and play in the years to come.

Internationally renowned for its world-leading research in space science, technology, engineering and Earth observation, Leicester will join other UK universities in showcasing how leading sectors are collaborating with these unique engines of innovation to gain a competitive edge, strategically linking higher education, research and business to help create tomorrow.

Over 1400 Leicester alumni in Hong Kong and another 1700 alumni in surrounding countries, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan, have been invited to an Alumni Drinks Reception to meet new friends, renew old acquaintances and hear the latest news from the University.

The evening will see the launch of the Hong Kong Alumni Community, laying the foundations for continuing and developing the University’s relationships with its graduates in the region. Guests will hear from aspiring astronaut Dr Suzie Imber, Associate Professor of Planetary Science, and Professor Paul Monks, Head of the College of Science and Engineering and a leading air pollution expert.

Bill Friar, Group Director of Philanthropy, Alumni and Community Engagement, will give a glimpse into the University’s future by reflecting upon nearly a hundred years of its history that forms ambitious plans to commemorate the University’s centenary from 2018 to 2021.  He will outline the celebrations of a landmark one hundred years in which it has made world-changing discoveries, including the invention of DNA fingerprinting and the discovery of King Richard III.

The event will also see the launch of the University’s new MSc Entrepreneurship and MSc Innovation Management in Organisations, and the re-launch of our MBAs in partnership with HKU Space. Guests will also hear a message from the President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Boyle CBE.

It will all take place in the glamorous surroundings of The Excelsior, one of the most famous hotels in Hong Kong.

President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, Professor Paul Boyle CBE, said: “A graduate of the University of Leicester is part of a global community of alumni representing our institution. Their achievements reflect upon us and so it is only fitting that we celebrate them and support them in their ambitions.

“As our Centenary approaches we will be taking the opportunity to celebrate our past while looking to the future. Our history is every graduate's story. They have all played roles in our success over our first century and we expect them to be vital in shaping the next 100 years of our university.”

The University’s Philanthropy, Alumni and Community Engagement team first visited Hong Kong in July 2017, hosting a Reception at the Ladies Recreation Club (LRC). The trip was received extremely positively and encouraged the formation of a Hong Kong Alumni Community, as well as establishing relationships that have been beneficial for this coming trip.

The University of Leicester will bring the wonders of the Universe to Hong Kong for day four of the GREAT Festival of Innovation.

The University of Leicester has a 50-year-plus record of delivering the science and engineering which has enabled exploration of space to Jupiter and beyond. In 2017, the University received funding to kick start the development of Space Park Leicester to drive innovation in its world-class strengths in space and Earth observation science and provide a new anchor for a vital British industry.  The University of Leicester’s vision is that Space Park Leicester will be recognised internationally as the world-leading hub for space and space-enabled data industries.

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