Free events set to inspire and intrigue this autumn

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Staffordshire University is inviting the public to hear from inspirational figures and cutting-edge collaborators as part of its free public events series this autumn.  

Roland Orlando Butcher, the first black player to play international cricket for England, will deliver a public lecture on Wednesday 19 October to mark Black History Month.

After making his England debut in 1980, Butcher played for Middlesex for 16 years and has worked in multiple countries around the world. A passionate football player, he also worked as an academy coach for Arsenal and Reading football clubs. In this special event, Butcher will share what he has learnt about diversity, inclusivity and equity through the course of his career.

This autumn also sees the launch of a new series which celebrates exciting research and collaborations between Staffordshire University’s best minds and colleagues across the world. ‘Catalyst Collaborations’ invites the guests into the £43m Catalyst building where they will be treated to complimentary hot food and drink as well as food for thought.

The series kicks off on Monday 7 November with a talk which delves into UK gun crime and the threat of DIY firearms. The explosive topic is tackled by Dr Helen Poole, Executive Dean of the School of Crime, Security and Sustainability and co-editor of the textbook Firearms: Global Perspectives on Consequences Crime and Control alongside leading firearms expert and Associate Professor of Forensic Science Dr Rachel Bolton-King.

Next up is Head of Games Development Professor Chris Headleand who invites you on a journey into the metaverse on Monday 5 December. In this talk, Professor Headleand will be joined by an industry colleague to discuss what the metaverse is, what it isn't and how it may impact our lives in years to come.

During Disability History Month, guests can hear Martine Wright’s compelling story of survival to sporting success in her talk ‘The Power of 7’ on Wednesday 30 November.

Martine is a survivor of the never to be forgotten day in 2005 when terror hit the streets of London. As 52 people lost their lives in a series of terrorist attacks across the city, she was the last survivor pulled from the train in Aldgate, losing her legs, and very nearly her life. The events of 7/7 are one bookend of her life in which her remarkable fight for recovery and rehabilitation culminated in becoming a Team GB Paralympian, appearing at London 2012.

University Events Manager Klaudia Tomkowiak said: “We are excited to be bringing this series of free events to our community in Stoke-on-Trent. There is a fantastic line-up of speakers with incredible stories to tell and research to share.

“Members of the public, students and staff are all invited and will receive a warm welcome in our Catalyst building at the heart of our Stoke-on-Trent campus. For those who can’t make it person, our public lectures and Catalyst Collaborations will be live streamed on YouTube and available to watch on demand afterwards.”

Staffordshire University’s Centre for Crime Justice and Security is also hosting a public seminar series, showcasing cutting edge research to tackle current challenges from mass shootings to wildlife crime. On 16 November it will also host its first symPUBsium with a range of expert talks in The Glebe pub in Stoke.

Visit for full event information and booking details:

Amy Platts

Media Communications Officer

t: 01782 292702

07799 341911


Staffordshire University is a Civic University which plays a leading role in improving the regional economy and enhancing quality of life in local communities. We pride ourselves on being connected to the needs of students, academic partners, business and society.

We ranked 6th for social inclusion in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022 and were in the top 15 for Student Satisfaction in the Complete University Guide 2022.

Our main city campus in Stoke-on-Trent features excellent learning and teaching facilities and good transport links. We have a Centre for Health Innovation in Stafford and our Staffordshire University London campus is committed to preparing students for careers in new and emerging tech industries.