Great past - greater future: a collection of facts about the University

Academic staff photoAcademic staff photo
When University College Bristol, the precursor to the University, opened in 1876, it was the first higher education institution in England to admit women on an equal footing with men.
Winifred ShaplandWinifred Shapland
Bristol was the first university to select a woman as Registrar. Winifred Shapland was appointed in 1931.
Professor Dorothy HodgkinProfessor Dorothy Hodgkin
Bristol was the first university to appoint a woman (excluding royalty) as Chancellor. Professor Dorothy Hodgkin took up the role in 1970.
 Professor Alfred Marshall Professor Alfred Marshall
Professor Alfred Marshall, who became the first Principal of University College Bristol in 1877, was the founder of economics as an academic discipline.
Conwy Lloyd MorganConwy Lloyd Morgan
Conwy Lloyd Morgan, who became Professor of Psychology and Education at University College Bristol in 1901, was the founding father of experimental psychology.
Great George bellGreat George bell
Great George, the nine-and-a-half ton bell at the Wills Memorial Building, was cast in 1924 and remains one of the world’s finest and deepest-toned bells.
 Bouncing bomb  Bouncing bomb
Arthur Roderick Collar, the University’s first Professor of Aeronautics, solved the problem of vibration in Barnes Wallis’s famous ‘bouncing bomb’.
 Hurricane plane  Hurricane plane
Sir Alfred Pugsley, a professor of civil engineering at Bristol, overcame the problem of vibration in the wings of Hurricane fighters in the Second World War.
Sir William RamsaySir William Ramsay
Sir William Ramsay, Principal and Professor of Chemistry at University College Bristol from 1880 to 1887, received the Nobel Prize 1904 for his work on the inert gaseous elements in air.
Professor Paul DiracProfessor Paul Dirac
Bristol-born Professor Paul Dirac, who studied electrical engineering and then mathematics at the University, shared the 1933 Nobel Prize in Physics with Erwin Schrödinger.
Professor Cecil Frank PowellProfessor Cecil Frank Powell
Professor Cecil Frank Powell, who joined the University in 1927, received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1950.
 Professor Hans Albrecht Bethe Professor Hans Albrecht Bethe
Professor Hans Albrecht Bethe, who held a fellowship at the University in 1934, won the Nobel Prize in Physics 1967.
Sir Nevill Francis Mott Sir Nevill Francis Mott
Sir Nevill Francis Mott, a professor at the University between 1933 and 1954, shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1977.
Production photograph from the 1957 performance of The RoomProduction photograph from the 1957 performance of The Room
The 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature went to honorary graduate, Harold Pinter, whose first play, The Room, had its first production at the University (1957).
Jean-Marie Gustave Le ClézioJean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio
The 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature was won by Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, who studied English at the University in 1958-59.
female dressed in theatrical costumefemale dressed in theatrical costume
In 1946, Bristol established the first university Department of Drama in the country. It was the first such department to introduce the practical and theoretical study of film and television.
Theatre collection logoTheatre collection logo
The University of Bristol Theatre Collection, founded in 1951, was the country’s first theatrical heritage museum.
Isambard Kingdom BrunelIsambard Kingdom Brunel
Among the archives and rare books looked after by the University of Bristol Library, Special Collections, is the most complete collection relating to the great Victorian engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
the Epstein-Barr virusthe Epstein-Barr virus
In 1964, Sir Anthony Epstein, Emeritus Professor of Pathology at the University, discovered the first virus proved to cause cancer (the Epstein-Barr virus).
Centre for Deaf Studies logoCentre for Deaf Studies logo
Bristol’s Centre for Deaf Studies opened in 1978 and was Europe’s first academic body to concentrate solely on research and education that aims to benefit the Deaf community."
Professor Dame Carol BlackProfessor Dame Carol Black
England’s Chief Medical Officer and the UK’s Chief Medical Adviser, Professor Sir Liam Donaldson, the UK’s former Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Debby Reynolds, and the National Director for Health and Work, Professor Dame Carol Black, are all graduates of the University.
Kyran BrackenKyran Bracken
The University is the alma mater of many distinguished people from the world of sport, including Iain Percy, the double Olympic gold medallist in sailing; Kyran Bracken, a member of the victorious England Rugby World Cup squad of 2003; and Jayne Pearce, head of the media operation for the 2012 London Olympics.
A group of studentsA group of students
Bristol students raise £100,000-plus for local charities every year, and contribute more than 90,000 hours of volunteering in the community.
Illustration of a heartIllustration of a heart
The technique of ‘beating-heart’ surgery, which can avoid the need for artificial pumps during certain types of heart surgery and has significant benefits for patients, was pioneered at Bristol in 1995.
Children of the 90's logoChildren of the 90's logo
The Children of the ’90s study has followed the health and development of 14,000 children, making it one of the most comprehensive studies of pregnancy, infancy and childhood ever undertaken.
The Bristol Laboratory for Advanced Dynamics EngineeringThe Bristol Laboratory for Advanced Dynamics Engineering
The Bristol Laboratory for Advanced Dynamics Engineering (BLADE), which opened at the University in 2005, is the most advanced of its kind in Europe.
 Pete Dickens with Stan, the human patient simulator  Pete Dickens with Stan, the human patient simulator
The teaching of medical sciences at Bristol was enhanced in 2005 by the arrival of Stan D Ardman (standard man), one of the world’s most sophisticated human patient simulators.
Cover of The Scientist magazineCover of The Scientist magazine
A survey in 2005 of 3,500 researchers worldwide by The Scientist magazine rated Bristol as the best research institution to work at in the UK.
Professor Terence Cosgrove with a sample of Clean Gum Professor Terence Cosgrove with a sample of Clean Gum
Revolymer Ltd, a University of Bristol spin-out company dedicated to polymer research, has developed a non-stick chewing gum that could reduce annual street-cleaning costs by millions.
The Royal SocietyThe Royal Society
Bristol has 31 Fellows of the Royal Society and nine Fellows of the British Academy on its active and emeritus staff. That is impressive by any standards; in relation to the University’s modest size, it is remarkable.
 close up of Bluecrystal supercomputer close up of Bluecrystal supercomputer
In May 2008, the University launched BlueCrystal, its £7 million supercomputer facility that can carry out 37 trillion calculations per second and supports high-level research across a range of disciplines.
Professor David MayProfessor David May
David May, Professor of Computer Science at the University and Chief Technology Officer at spin-out company XMOS Semiconductor, was named by EE Times in 2008 as one of 35 people, places and things that will have the greatest influence on how this century develops.
cover image of the University of Bristol's Undergraduate prospectuscover image of the University of Bristol's Undergraduate prospectus
Bristol gets an average of about 11 home/EU applications for every undergraduate place, making it more popular than almost any other UK university.
Artist’s impression of University buildingArtist’s impression of University building
The University is planning to invest some £350 million in buildings and facilities over the next few years to ensure that it remains at the forefront of learning, discovery and enterprise.