The recent Nobel Prize winning Physicist Andre Geim has been speaking about his pioneering work with the super material Graphene with colleagues at Manchester University. The Educational institution has a long history of being at the forefront of British innovation, which began with John Dalton over 200 years ago and was continued Ernest Rutherford, Alan Turing and others .
Manchester’s educational institutions are a proud part of the city’s past and present, benefitting the economy of the region, not to mention the mid-week night-life.
Last summer, Manchester University and its Metropolitan neighbour embarked on an impressive upgrade of surrounding areas at a time when the city council was frantically re-jigging the formulas on its own metaphorical blackboard to address a budget shortfall. The renovation work included considerable investment in the road layout, cycle-ways and pedestrian routes around the main University buildings, hall of residence and city campuses. The improvement works don’t just benefit staff and students but can be felt by the whole city, and the Educational establishments of Manchester must be applauded in this instance for realising that their sphere of influence extends beyond staff and students.
Staff, students, city commuters and tourist will all benefit from the improvements to the transport infrastructure and improved aesthetics of the pedestrian routes that have come about as a result of the Universities investment.
Which is just as well, as in response to a question about his return to work on Monday morning, Geim’s quipped that what he really wanted was ‘a parking space closer to his work.’ I’m not sure if Geims’ would consider that a greater reward than the Nobel Prize he received but with a waiting list of up to 12 months for Manchester University staff and Postgraduate students to get a parking space, it’s possible that for some, a Nobel Prize might come along quicker than a spot in the multi-storey.
The positive press associated with a Nobel Prize winner is great for the University and the city, and a result of Geims’ recognition, Manchester University has more Nobel Prize Winners in its employment than any other British University. If it wants it to stay that way, perhaps the University should consider another round of investment and increase the available parking in its vicinity and simultaneously help to relieve another headache of the city council.