Go ‘Behind the Scenes’ with the University of Birmingham’s inspirational experts

A competition has been announced by the University of Birmingham today to give people the chance to go ‘behind the scenes’ with some of its most inspirational academic experts.

Behind the ScenesBehind the Scenes offers members of the public, students, alumni and staff the chance to spend a day with an inspirational academic and join in with their exciting work.

People can vote for which one of five experts they would most like to spend the day with and will be automatically entered into a draw to go behind the scenes with their chosen academic.  Prizes include: create your own interactive robot demonstration; be an orangutan for the day with free-running athletes; and improvise your own music with the Birmingham Electroacoustic Ensemble.

One winner will be chosen at random per expert and they will gain an exclusive opportunity to experience at first-hand some of the most exciting research taking place at the University.

Alistair Jarvis, Director of Communications and Marketing at the University of Birmingham, said: “The University of Birmingham is at the forefront of cutting edge international research, developments and discoveries, and now you can join us for the day. Behind the Scenes will enable five lucky people, be they students, alumni, staff, members of the local community or from further afield, to find out more about the inspirational work at Birmingham, and take part in some exciting ‘once in a lifetime’ activities.”

The Behind the Scenes competition opens today (Tuesday 24th April) and closes on Monday 11th June 2012.

To find out more and vote to enter, visit: www.birmingham.ac.uk/behindthescenes

Dr Susannah Thorpe – teaches Biosciences and works with free-runners
Prize: Dr Susannah Thorpe is offering the chance to ‘be an orangutan for the day’. As a Senior Lecturer in the School of Biosciences, Susannah’s research focuses on the association between animal form function and performance. The lucky winner can explore this with Susannah by navigating an arboreal assault course (with the help of a parkour free-runner), moving through the trees like an orangutan.

Dr Scott Wilson – teaches Music and leads an electroacoustic laptop ensemble
Prize: Dr Scott Wilson is offering the chance to you to improvise your own music with Birmingham Ensemble for Electroacoustic Research, a laptop ensemble that makes music using live computer coding. A Senior Lecturer in the Department of Music, Scott’s research interests include electronic sounds.

Professor Bill Chaplin – teaches Astrophysics and listens to the sound of the stars
Prize: Go behind the scenes with Bill in the University’s astronomy facilities where you will get the chance to discover the latest findings from the NASA Kepler Mission including new and exciting new on stars and exoplanets and of course view the universe through the solar and stellar observatories. A Professor of Astrophysics in the School of Physics and Astronomy, Professor Chaplin is an avid listener to the music of the stars.

Dr Nick Hawes – teaches Computer Science and plays with robots
Prize: Dr Nick Hawes is inviting you to create your own interactive demonstration with Dora the Explorer (Nick’s robot and media star). This could be anything from programming a dance routine to completing a yoga session with Dora which you will then be able to demo to the public. A lecturer in Computer Science, Nick creates complex intelligent systems (robots).

Dr Matt Bridge -teaches Coaching and Sports Science and can perfect your golf swing
Prize: Matt is offering you the chance to perfect your golf swing (no previous experience necessary). His research uses high-speed 3D motion analysis to explore what makes the perfect golf swing. He has also been selected to carry the Olympic flame when the torch relay passes through the West Midlands. He lectures on both the Applied Golf Management Studies and the Sport, Physical Education and Community Studies undergraduate degrees and teaches the popular MPhil in Sports Coaching and will analyse the impact your body movement has on your game.