The University of Ulster’s Chancellor Dr James Nesbitt was in the borough this week to sample the scientific research at the university’s Jordanstown campus.
Dr Nesbitt was briefed on the pioneering work the University has been involved in the field of connected health and also visited the Centre for Sustainable Technologies.
The Chancellor visited two purpose built terraced houses constructed on the campus for research aimed at improving energy efficiency and reducing fuel poverty.
He was also updated on the University’s ambitious plan to relocate the bulk of its activity in Jordanstown to a new £250 million state of the art campus in Belfast.
Dr Nesbitt said: “It’s great to be back in Jordanstown, where I was a student, and to see at first hand the incredible scientific research our academics are involved in.
“The work the university has been engaged in the area of connected health is inspirational - whether it is the electronic sensors the nanotechnology and integrated bioengineering centre has developed to remotely monitor patients’ health or the use of computer technology by the School of Computing and Mathematics to aid home rehabilitation and independent living for stroke patients.
“The Centre for Sustainable Technologies recently achieved national recognition when its low cost solar water heating system, Solacatcher, was shortlisted in the ‘Make it in Great Britain’ competition and was showcased in the Science Museum during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“But the centre is also doing important research in its two specially constructed retrofit houses, aimed at improving energy efficiency and reducing fuel poverty.
“All of these projects demonstrate how the University of Ulster’s world class science and technology research institutes are making a real difference to people’s lives in Northern Ireland and around the world, particularly in the areas of health and wellbeing.”
The Ballymena-born actor was appointed chancellor in 2010. As chancellor he has an important role within the university, acting as a figurehead and a role model for the various constituencies the university serves.
The Chancellor also presides over meetings of the University Court and can preside over meetings of its council.
Under the university’s charter, the chancellor has the power to confer degrees, diplomas, certificates and other academic distinctions at graduation ceremonies.
In 2003, the university also awarded the actor an honorary doctorate for his services to drama.