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Swansea University
News Release
Sunday, October 19, 2014

Poetry, nanoparticles and the world’s fastest car: 
Houston launch for Showcase visit by top researchers from Swansea, Wales

It may be nearly 5000 miles from Houston, but Wales will be strengthening its close links with Texas over the coming days, as more than 20 top researchers from Swansea University will be visiting the Lone Star State, from 26th - 31st October, showcasing Swansea’s research excellence at a series of events in Houston, College Station and Austin.  

The Research Showcase gets under way on Sunday October 26th, with a launch event at the University of Houston, featuring a lecture on the work of Dylan Thomas by Professor John Goodby, a world authority on the Swansea-born poet.

Swansea University has been building partnerships with Texas universities over the last decade, including the University of Houston, Houston Methodist Research Institute, Texas A&M and University of Texas at Austin.   This is delivering real benefits, from exchange schemes for students to research collaborations.

The Showcase is timed to coincide with what would have been the 100th birthday of Dylan Thomas.  However, it will feature world-leading researchers from across all Swansea subject areas, including:

  • Up to Speed’ : The 1000mph World Land Speed Record: Swansea University and the Bloodhound Project: Dr Ben Evans, College of Engineering, 
  • Barcoding cells with nanoparticles, to improve drug effectiveness, Prof Paul Rees, College of Engineering 
  • Federalism, Decentralisation and the implications of the Scottish Referendum: Rt. Hon. Rhodri Morgan, former First Minister of Wales, now Chancellor of Swansea University
  • Where has all the Antimatter gone? Swansea University and the ALPHA Experiment at CERN: Prof. Niels Madsen, College of Science, Swansea.
  • Buildings as Power stations: Delivering Clean Renewable Energy from the Built Environment: Prof. David Worsley, College of Engineering, Swansea.

See and download pictures: 
Texas Research Showcase – speakers and topics
Swansea University in pictures – and our Texas links

Swansea University Vice Chancellor, Professor Richard Davies, said:

I am delighted to be, once more, in the Lone Star State to reinforce and develop further the special relationship between Swansea and Texan universities.

No university can expect to tackle the big research challenges in isolation. There is a dawning realisation that working with others elsewhere in the world not only creates larger research teams with better access to the necessary range of world-class research facilities, but also creates a more innovative dynamic.   Swansea and our Texan partners are at the forefront of making this work in practice.

George Abbey, former Director of NASA Johnson Space Center, said:

I am delighted, as a proud American and as the son of a Welsh-speaking mother from Laugharne in west Wales, where the poet Dylan Thomas lived and wrote for several years, to see my friends from Swansea University hit these shores once more.

I have watched as their original participation in the Texas-UK Collaborative has developed into a strong collaboration between Texas and Swansea University. May it continue and prosper!

Professor John Goodby of Swansea University, a world authority on Swansea poet Dylan Thomas, who will be giving the formal lecture opening the Showcase at the University of Houston, said:

I'll be explaining the advantages of presenting a warts-and-all version of the poetry, and discussing some of the challenges - and exciting discoveries - involved in editing the poems.

Above all, I'll be trying to show the need to look beyond the legend of Dylan to appreciate the major achievement of Thomas the serious poet - something which US critics and poets were notably better at than Dylan Thomas's own English and Welsh contemporaries.

The fact that the bulk of Thomas's manuscripts are preserved in the USA is an enduring tribute to this understanding, as well as reflecting the role he played in revitalising US poetry culture in the 1950s, and his own debt to American authors such as Walt Whitman, Edgar Lee Masters and Djuna Barnes.

Remembering Jim Guidry

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