University of Huddersfield hosts The Duchess of Edinburgh

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Edinburgh visited the university’s new science facilities and took a tour of the optometry department

Optometry students and head of the department for optometry, Professor John Siderov, with Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Edinburgh during a visit to the University of Huddersfield
University of Huddersfield

The University of Huddersfield welcomed Her Royal Highness, Sophie, The Duchess of Edinburgh for the unveiling of a commemorative plaque recognising the official opening of the new facilities in the Joseph Priestley Building, which houses the optometry department.

Following a £18.2 million redevelopment project, the Joseph Priestley Building has opened state-of-the-art facilities for students and researchers.

The optometry department takes up the whole ground floor of the Joseph Priestley (East) Building and also includes the University Valli Opticians clinic, created in collaboration with the independent optical group.

Her Royal Highness visited the University’s refurbished science facilities, taking a tour of the optometry department and unveiling a commemorative plaque in the atrium of the building.

Professor Bob Cryan, vice-chancellor of the University of Huddersfield, commented: “It was an honour to welcome The Duchess of Edinburgh to the University of Huddersfield and to show her some of the many exciting developments on campus, including the optometry department and the public-facing University Valli Opticians, a valuable collaboration which provides our students with real-life experience in a public clinic.”

Four people standing in front of a plaque at the University of Huddersfield.
University of Huddersfield
Pictured L-R: Dean of the School of Applied Sciences, Professor Michael Ginger; University of Huddersfield vice-chancellor, Professor Bob Cryan, with Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Edinburgh, and CMI chief executive Ann Francke, at the unveiling of a plaque at the Joseph Priestley Building

During the tour of the optometry department, Professor of functional heterocyclic materials chemistry, Mark Heron, discussed research within the School of Applied Sciences, and Professor John Siderov, head of department for optometry, provided an introduction to optometry and the university’s clinical teaching facilities.

A series of demonstrations were held, including of photochromic dyes changing colour under bright light irradiation, light refraction, and the principles in correcting sight.

Her Royal Highness received a tour of the optometry clinic, with an explanation of the assessments taking place for third-year students, and had the opportunity to speak directly with a group of students to discuss the course and their careers following graduation.

The Duchess of Edinburgh observed the use of an optical coherence tomography device and had the chance to take measurements with an autorefractor.

Her Royal Highness spoke to director of Valli Opticians, Moin Valli, as well as Professor Michael Ginger, Dean of the School of Applied Sciences.

The new facilities in the Joseph Priestley Building enable multi-disciplinary working and encourage knowledge-sharing, the university said.

Siderov commented: “We were extremely honoured and proud to welcome The Duchess of Edinburgh to spend time with some of our science students and to see the optometry department. We’re very proud of our optometry facilities, which provide our students with an unparalleled learning experience.”

In her role as patron of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), Her Royal Highness also visited the University’s Jo Cox More in Common Centre, where she met with staff who had completed their CMI qualifications. The university has a commitment to ensuring its managers and leaders achieve Chartered Manager status.