Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A new position

As of this month, I'm working part-time at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, with the grand title of European Communications Manager. I'll be working across the centre's European research projects, helping write funding proposals and manage the various international academic and industrial partners, through to disseminating and publicising the research once it's done.

I've been involved with the centre since its founding in 2001 - first writing about what they do for Yorkshire Business Insider and other publications, and more recently working on a few projects with them on a freelance basis. The centre's grown hugely over that time, and is now recognised as a world leader in its field of very clever metal-bashing (and, increasingly, composite-bashing). Of course, that's carrying on a long and noble tradition for Sheffield (even though the centre itself is located just over the border in Rotherham). I'm very happy to be helping, in some small way, to secure a high-tech future for my native city.

It's probably a good sign, then, that the AMRC appeared very briefly on BBC4's excellent Synth Britannia programme last week - to the unmistakable soundtrack of '4JG' (yes, a tribute to JG Ballard) by The Future (a short-lived early incarnation of The Human League).

Given that the main building here is called 'The Factory of the Future', it's a great visual/musical pun - I wonder if the production team actually realised that?

Anyway, it's a part-time position, and I'll still be writing and working freelance for the rest of the time - and, from a financial point of view, a monthly income will be a welcome stabiliser to the rock'n'roll revenues of a freelance life, particularly in the current media market. I'm currently deep in a lengthy feature for Corporate Financier on that perennial topic of finance for innovative start-up businesses and university spin-outs. My Clean Ventures site will also continue and, of course, I'll still be adding pics and ponderings here as and when. Stay tuned.

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