University of Sussex Media Release.
. University Prepares for Royal Visit

15 March 2001
For immediate release

His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh will be given the chance to see some of the University of Sussex's most interesting and unique facets when he makes an official visit to the Falmer campus on March 29th, 2001.

Accompanied by the Vice Lord Lieutenant for East Sussex, Peter Field, and the University's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alasdair Smith, the Duke's visit will begin with a tour of the Sussex Innovation Centre by its award-winning director, Mike Herd. The centre provides support for the creation and growth of new technology companies and the Duke will visit some of its outstanding successes, including Proneta Ltd, which specialises in the design of electronic systems and sensors, Viking Media Ltd, which offers multimedia marketing solutions to blue-chip clients, and Critical Path Engineering, a mechanical product design consultancy.

His Royal Highness will then hear a presentation by Dr Adrian Thompson, lecturer in artificial intelligence at the University's School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences, on the latest advances in AI and see a demonstration of the new breed of biologically inspired robots.

Finally, the Duke will be taken to the Meeting House, where he will view the extraordinary, circular architecture and stunning, multi-coloured glass panels of this listed building. There he will meet the University's chaplain, the Rev Gavin Ashenden, who will explain the multi-faith nature of the Meeting House and the role it plays in the spiritual health of the University.

In addition, His Royal Highness will have the opportunity to talk to staff and students about the various ways the University supports the physical and emotional needs of its students. Among those he will meet are: Dr Mary Stuart, Pro-Vice-Chancellor; Dr Michael Burton, head of psychological and counselling services; Susan Yates, deputy director of student services; Emmeline Draffan, manager of the Assistive Technology Centre.

Professor Alasdair Smith, Vice-Chancellor of the University, says: "We see it as an honour that His Royal Highness has taken such an interest in the work that is going on here at the University of Sussex".

Later the same day, the Duke and the Queen are due to meet Sussex students on a web design course that the Centre for Continuing Education (CCE) runs in partnership with Lighthouse Arts and Training in Brighton.

CCE has been successful in funding the course (over three years) from the European Social Fund to provide a high level of educational opportunity and to equip people who have been out of work for six months or more with new skills learnt in a conceptually rigorous environment.

"The project has been very successful; nearly all of the students who have been through the courses have found related employment almost immediately afterwards," said Nannette Aldred, from CCE.

Notes for editors

The Duke's visit to the University is part of the Royal Visit to Brighton and Hove by the Queen and the Duke on March 29th, 2001. The visitors are on Royal Rota and Press passes should be applied for in the normal way. For further information, please contact Jacqui Bealing or Alison Field, University of Sussex, Tel. 01273 678888, Fax 01273 877456, email or

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