Discovery Days 2021

Attached pic is of the Fare Well drone show that Professor Head helped create

Vacuum cleaners that unblock brain vessels, super normal design for extraordinary bodies, and the ways in which our medical data can aid the COVID-19 fight are just some of the topics to be explored at the University of Dundee next week.

Discovery Days 2021 takes place from Wednesday 13 to Friday 15 January. Fourteen recently appointed Professors will each talk for up to 15 minutes about their area of research, as will award-winning teachers, students and other members of staff.

The short presentations showcase the leading-edge work at the University helping to transform lives around the world. Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, this year’s event will take place online, giving members of the public the opportunity to hear about innovative and impactful research in areas as diverse as art and design and life sciences.

Two of the sessions will be chaired by Professor Iain Gillespie, who took up his new role as Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University this week.

Professor Gillespie said, “I am really looking forward to hearing from some of our brightest minds, explaining what drives their cutting-edge research and the impact it is having. The line-up of speakers for Discovery Days 2021 shows the incredible research strengths there are in our University, across a range of disciplines.”

Professor Anthony Head, from the University’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, is one this year’s speakers. He was part of the team which created the Fare Well swarm drone show for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay’s celebrations and will discuss his latest research into these animated light shows, which see hundreds of quadcopters in the sky simultaneously controlled to provide a modern alternative to firework displays.

Other speakers include:


Members of the public are invited to attend as many or as few sessions as they wish, and will have the opportunity to ask the speakers’ questions about their work.

As well as showcasing the talents of Dundee’s academics, Discovery Days 2021 will also provide the public with the opportunity to witness the University Court at work. The institution’s governing body will host a public session on Wednesday 13 January, allowing interested parties to hear from and pose questions to leading figures from the University.

The full programme of Discovery Days speakers is available from