September 2020

Times Higher Education Advert

Welcome to September's edition of Communitay.

Did you hear?

Abertay has been named UK University of the Year for Teaching Quality by The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021, in addition to being ranked top in Scotland for social inclusion. 

It’s a wonderful achievement which reflects the outstanding contributions made by all Abertay staff to teaching and supporting our students. 

We're just bursting with positive news from our community this month. Take a look at what some of our alumni, students and staff have been getting up to.

Class of 2020 - Welcome to your Alumni Network!

Following July's Virtual Graduation Celebration, we're welcoming a new wave of graduates into the Abertay Alumni Network. Before the celebration took place, we caught up with a few of them (virtually) to reflect on their time at Abertay and hear about their long-term ambitions. 

Read more about our new graduates.

So We Glow

Rutendo Mhonda has recently launched a new social media campaign aimed at promoting greater awareness of mental health issues specific to the Black community. So We Glow provides information on a variety of subjects, such as dealing with conversations about race, and coping with the impact of negative perceptions and racism. Rutendo recently graduated with first class honours in Psychology and Councelling, and created So We Glow in a bid to open up and normalise the conversation surrounding Black mental health.

Read more about Rutendo's campaign.


Smiling female standing in front of a wall

Double success for Konglomerate Games

Konglomerate Games, a start-up company consisting of recent graduates, has been named as a semi-finalist in the Startup Summit 2020 competition, and and has made it through to the final of the Santander Universities Emerging Entrepreneur Programme. The team, led by Jamie Bankhead, has used gamification techniques to help children with cystic fibrosis do their breathing exercises.

Follow Konglomerate Games on Twitter.

The Labyrinth of Flegg

Helen Welsh has followed up the release of memoir A Life in Mouthfuls: Scottish Food and Drink Memories with her first published novel The Labyrinth of Flegg. The book features two parallel stories situated in the same small town in North Fife – one from the sixteenth century, and one from the twenty-first. The main characters from each period ‘meet’ through leaving messages under a stone in a labyrinth built in the Abbey ruins. Both have significant problems to overcome and are able to inspire each other to keep on trying.

Helen's books are available via Amazon - as paperback or eBook.

A historic appointment

Dr. Alison Morrison-Shetlar has become the first woman and first person born outside the United States to be named president of the University of Lynchburg, Virginia. Alison graduated with a PhD in Biomedical Sciences in 1984, while Abertay was still known as Dundee College of Technology. She officially began her post on the 1st August after several months as president-elect.

Read more about Alison's historic appointment.

A picture of Alison Morrison-Shetlar smiling and holding a cup

Down the Tunnel

Kean Barclay successfully launched his football-focused podcast Down the Tunnel back in April. Discussions cover a range of topics from coaching education and development to mental health among sportsmen and women. Now 24 episodes strong, guest speakers have featured Abertay Alumni Kyle Farningham (General Manager of Haba Idrettslag), Gavin Levey (Head of Academy Coaching at Aberdeen Football Club) as well as our very own Professor David Lavallee (Professor of Duty of Care in Sport). 

Listen to Down the Tunnel for free on Spotify and Anchor.

The Rise of the Cyber Women

Cheryl Torano has written a powerful and inspiring account of her journey to becoming a cybersecurity professional within newly published book The Rise of the Cyber Women, a collection of real life stories compiled by Lisa Ventura from the UK Cyber Association. The book which has been receiving great coverage and incredible reviews, contains the stories of women who are pioneers in the industry, and have overcome adversity or taken non-linear paths to where they are today.

Read more about Cheyl's incredible journey. 

Female Ethical Hacking student Cheryl Torano

Lowdown from the Campus 


Abertay University ranked top 3 in Scotland for student satisfaction
Abertay University has been ranked as one of the top three universities in Scotland for overall student satisfaction in this year’s National Student Survey, with more than 89% of students responding positively about their experience.

E-cigarette liquid breakthrough set to reduce toxic health impact
Scientists at Abertay University have developed an e-cigarette liquid with the potential to significantly reduce one of the most toxic groups of harmful vaping emissions. 

International Project to explore using VR, apps and videogames to tackle loneliness
Abertay University has been awarded £276,000 as part of a ground-breaking international project aimed at using new technologies such as virtual reality, apps and videogames to tackle loneliness and social isolation. 

Student film project enjoys international award success
A student film project that premiered at the 2020 online Abertay Digital Graduate Show has enjoyed award success at two international film festivals. 

Sports science testing for Carnoustie Golf Links youth project
Abertay University and Carnoustie Golf Links launched a Golf Collaboration Project which set out to test the effects of golf on young people.

Abertay receives share of £100,000 grant from StoryFutures Academy
Abertay University is one of seven universities to receive a share of a £100,000 grant, awarded by StoryFutures Academy, the UK’s National Centre for Immersive Storytelling. 

InGAME announces new videogames research and development projects
The Dundee-based Innovation for Games and Media Enterprise (InGAME) has announced the next wave of funded R&D collaborations aimed at increasing the scale and value of the Dundee videogames cluster. 

Unique videogame aims to improve speech therapy for elderly
An award winning games developer from Abertay University has designed a unique videogame aimed at improving speech therapy for the elderly. 

Playscape for V&A Dundee as designers respond to pandemic
The area outside V&A Dundee has been transformed into a giant interactive painted playground, as part of a collaboration with Abertay University. The colourful chalk playscape aims to show the importance of playing together, even when you can’t be physically close. 

Study finding link between kissing and income inequality wins global prize
An Abertay researcher who led a study that discovered a link between income inequality and how often people French kiss has won a global award.

Plans could see 4,000 seat arena and esports academy at Dundee Waterfront
An exciting new development involving Abertay University could bring a revolutionary new digital arena that could be used for esports to Dundee’s billion-pound waterfront.

Second climate-positive spirit launched with pea-based vodka
Five years of extensive research at Abertay University and the James Hutton Institute, in collaboration with Arbikie Distillery, has led to the development of Nàdar Vodka in time for World Sustainable Spirits Day.

National Cyber Security Centre certification for Ethical Hacking degree
A postgraduate degree at Abertay University that helps students develop the necessary skills to combat computer hackers has been awarded full certification by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) - a part of GCHQ.

Blogs from staff and students

Hospital environment - patient lying in bed and 4 Nursing staff standing around the bed

BLOG: Abertay and nursing

Archivist Ruaraidh Wishart looks back at Abertay's impact in the world of nursing

Find out more

A photo of Annie Keir Lamont from 1905

BLOG: Annie Keir Lamont and Emergence

Archivist Ruaraidh Wishart blogs about influential alum Annie Keir Lamont

Find out more

BLOG: International Women in Engineering Day 2020

Dr Rebecca Wade blogs on work to get more women into engineering

Find out more

Virtually mentor one of our fantastic students

If you're interested in becoming a virtual mentor to one of our students, we'd love to hear from you!

The Abertay Career Mentoring Scheme aims to support and inspire students to develop their employability. Students are matched with professionals in industry who, through a mentoring relationship, will share their knowledge and experience to enable students to develop their own career goals. This opportunity is open to all. If you interested in taking part or learning more, please do get in touchClosing date for enquiries is this Friday 2nd October. 

3 people working using paper and a laptop

Visit our online Game Dev Masters Show

The Abertay Game Dev Masters Show 2020 has now launched online, giving you the opportunity to play games developed by our talented Masters students.

Visit the show to experience their work, and to hear about how they collaborated to create their interactive projects... it's completely free!

Take part in our Memories Preservation Project

Abertay University Archives is making a call for people’s memories of the university and its predecessor institutions as part of its new project “Memories Re-Animated”.

It is collecting memories of the history of the institution through a newly designed portal that will allow members of the public to submit video or audio recordings of their stories about the university, and anything else they might have relating to it such as images of photographs. Their memories will become part of a project to expand historical knowledge about the university through the voices of the people that were part of it, and provide the community that it has served with an opportunity to add to its archive collections.

Read more about how to get involved in the project. 


We're teaming up with the Royal Academy of Engineering to support their global campaign #bethedifference and change the perceptions of young people around the world as to what engineering is and what engineers do. 

'This is Engineering Day' is taking place on 4th November this year, and we'd love to share the career stories of our graduates who are currently working in ANY engineering discipline. That's right - whether you're an on-site construction manager or an audio engineer, we would absolutely love your support with this. 

Get in touch to learn more about taking part.




Competitions and Funding


The Study UK Alumni Awards

The Study UK Alumni Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of alumni who are living outside the UK, are leaders in their fields and are using their experience of studying at a UK university to make a positive contribution to their communities, professions and countries.

With many of graduates achieving exceptional things abroad, we're encouraging that eligible Alumni consider submitting an application. 

There are 3 award categories this year:

  • Professional Achievement Award
  • Entrepreneurial Award
  • Social Impact Award

Entering the awards would provide you the opportunity to raise your international profile and build your professional networks and business connections. 

The closing date for applications is 30th October. Visit the Study UK website to find out more. 


Until next time,


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