Research and Innovation Awards 2016 - The Winners

2016 Research and Innovation Award winners announced!

Shortlisting award entries and selecting winners across all categories was made extremely challenging by the high quality of applications received.  These have been reviewed and scored by a panel of Swansea University peers and esteemed sponsors.  Our sincere thanks to all those that have participated, and congratulations to all shortlisted entries.        

Below are links to download our brochure, which includes information on shortlisted entries, the winners, sponsors and guest speakers:

Winners Booklet

Winner Booklet - Welsh

Outstanding Research Collaboration

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Professor Stuart Macdonald, Lella Nouri-Bennett, David Mair, Amy- Louise Watkin, Joseph Whittaker

Cyber terrosim project

College of Law & Criminology

The Cyberterrorism Project is a global network of researchers, policy-makers and practitioners, centred around a core team based at Swansea University, that collaborate to advance understanding of terrorists’ use of the internet.  The project achieves impact at an international level via support provided to military, law enforcement and intelligence personnel by the provision of Advanced Training Courses organized by NATO’s Centre of Excellence on Defence Against Terrorism (COEDAT) and Masterclasses organised by the United Nations’ Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI).  The project has also forged strong links with overseas HEIs, including joint PhDs with Grenoble and

Leiden Universities, joint research internship schemes with the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, and Dublin City University and a joint research project with the Universities Police Science Institute at Cardiff University.  At the national and local levels, the project has been invited to participate in Home Offi ce reviews of the UK Government’s counterterrorism strategy, provided expert evidence to a Ministry of Defence commissioned report on terrorists’ use of the internet, and been invited to present its work to Parliament’s Intelligence & Security Committee.

Research with Outstanding Global Reach

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In Vitro Toxicology Group (Professor Shareen Doak, Professor Gareth Jenkins, Dr Martin Clift)

"Developing the global regulatory policy for nanosafety"

Swansea University Medical School

The In Vitro Toxicology Group has been pivotal in developing safety tests to facilitate nanomaterial risk assessment. This work has been crucial to the international discussions on the appropriate regulatory testing approach for safety evaluation of nanomaterials.

The research impact has been a global infl uence on defi ning regulatory policy for safety testing of nanomaterials. Benefi ciaries of this research include regulators and policy-makers who are using the information to formulate the nanomaterials regulatory framework; the nanotechnology-industries who need to protect their workforces and develop safe nano-products; and the general public who represent the consumer body directly exposed to nanomaterials in commercial products.

The research has built strong partnerships with international regulators, which is refl ected by the invitations to sit on national and international committees that infl uence regulatory policy. The research impact has resulted in strong partnerships with several multi-national organisations (e.g. AstraZeneca, Unilever, Proctor and Gamble). The groups work led to a 11.3 million Euro INTERREG award that Swansea University is leading with a consortium of 5 other academic partners (located in Ireland and Wales), Unilever and GE Healthcare.

Outstanding Contribution to Public Engagement

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Evelien Bracke: Literacy through Classics: between pupil and policy, College of Arts & Humanities

Dr Bracke’s research explores the impact of studying ancient languages and cultures on school pupils, particularly the impact of different pedagogic approaches, including the work and support of student volunteer teachers on pupil learning and development. The Literacy through Classics project continues to grow and expand, reaching more than 1,200 pupils, and in turn a diverse range of local communities supported by the work of 180 student teachers.

The impact of the project on pupils is clear; access to Classics is increasing nationally, e.g. in Bristol and Scotland, in Wales the crisis in the provision of Classics is being halted, as teachers use Dr Bracke’s research fi ndings to demonstrate the value of Classics to head teachers (e.g. in Cardiff) and in Belgium, Dr Bracke’s project has been embraced and recognised by national government and policy makers. She has become a consultant for the Welsh Government and is consulted by educational organisations nationally and internationally. She represents Wales on the UK Classics Development Committee and Classics in the All-Parliamentary MFL group.

Outstanding Impact on Industry, Commerce and Innovation

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Professor S C Bain, Professor S D Luzio, Professor J W Stephens

“Diabetes Research and Industrial Collaboration Initiatives”

Swansea University Medical School

Since being established the Diabetes Research Group at Swansea University have contributed investigators at a local, national and international level to numerous clinical trials relating to diabetes therapies in collaboration with major diabetes pharmaceutical companies and SME’s.

These therapies have been translated to routine clinical use within the UK and worldwide and are now part of the standard treatment guidelines within diabetes (e.g. NICE guidance). The work has been published in the highest ranked medical journals and resulted in improved patient care and therapy options for patients with diabetes. During the past 10 years Swansea University, in collaboration with ABMU Health Board, has become a leading centre for collaborative clinical trials with industry.

Strong partnerships exist with major diabetes related pharmaceutical companies such as Astra Zeneca, Boehringer-Ingelheim, BMS, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, Pfi zer, Sanofi -Aventis and Takeda. The Group has excelled in participant recruitment and passed inspections by the regulatory authorities (e.g. Medicines Health Regulatory Authority) confi rming compliance with national governance. This has led to the Group being recognised as a centre of excellence and becoming preferred partners for a number of companies.

Outstanding Contribution to the Arts, Culture and Society

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Prof David Turner, Dr Kirsti Bohata, Dr Alexandra Jones, Dr Mike Mantin, Dr Daniel Blackie, Dr Steven Thompson, Dr Ben Curtis

“From Pithead to Sickbed and Beyond: the Buried History of  Disability in the Coal Industry before the NHS”

College of Arts and Humanities

Led by Professor Turner, A Cultural History of British Coalfi elds 1780-1948 is a major Wellcome Trust funded project at Swansea University. It tells for the fi rst time the story of disabled people during the Industrial Revolution, focusing on the experiences of those disabled in Britain’s coalmines. The research has uncovered and shared the hidden history of disability in the Welsh coal industry, using it to create a major cultural product, an exhibition ‘From Pithead to Sickbed and Beyond’, and an educational resource. The project has empowered disabled users, showing how their experiences have a history, and by enabling them to shape presentation of disability in museums and to a broad range of  audiences. 

Via local, national and international media, the project team has extended the reach of the research within and beyond Wales. The research had a signifi cant impact in creating a new cultural product intended to enrich and expand the lives, imaginations and sensibilities of groups, including members of the public, families of former miners and disabled people’s organisations.

Outstanding Impact on Health and Wellbeing

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Professor Helen Snooks & Dr Clive Weston’s research used the national heart attack registry of  289,000 patients to examine the effects of performing a 12-lead ECG before arrival at hospital (PHECG) on processes of care and mortality in acute coronary syndrome. The study demonstrated, for the fi rst time, a survival advantage of PHECG in both STEMI and non-STEMI. As well as advancing the science of pre-hospital emergency care, fi ndings from the study have directly informed guidelines including the European Resuscitation Council Guidelines 2015 – which provide specifi c instructions on how resuscitation should be practiced – and the European Cardiac Society’s quality indicators for heart attack care.

Aside from the reach and clinical impact of their fi ndings, this research is a perfect example of a positive refl ection of the relationship between healthcare providers and universities in formulating and delivering evidence-based practice. Professor Helen Snooks & Dr Clive Weston’s research findings inform international guidelines on which emergency services will base their approach to STEMI and non-STEMI MI.

Outstanding Contribution to Shaping the University's Research Community

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Dr Mel McNarry & Dr Kelly Mackintosh

“Shaping A-STEM’s Research Community”

College of Engineering

Since joining A-STEM in 2012, Dr McNarry and Dr Mackintosh have made a signifi cant impact on the research environment, substantially increasing the number of successful grant applications (over £10million) and infl uencing government policies, businesses and charities. Working closely together, they have integrated change and enhanced the postgraduate environment. From an initial hub being set up outside their offi ces, the provision of the Bay Campus has enabled a large over-subscribed postgraduate research hub, with students from a variety of disciplines. As part of the wider research environment, they have built strong working relationships with UK-wide NHS clinicians and practitioners, the Department for Education, governmental initiatives such as Sport Wales, over 10 companies and in excess of 200 schools. 

Furthermore, they have recently been contacted to build a partnership with Crucial Crews, which is a group of organisations consisting of members such as the British Transport Police, British Red Cross and Fire and Rescue Services. Despite their early career stage, both academics contribute to shaping the University’s Research Community through the supervision of 19 postgraduate students, including a joint PhD with Grenoble, and an additional 5 successful completions.

Outstanding Research Supervision

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Professor Gareth Jenkins, Swansea University Medical School

Professor Jenkins was nominated by his research students for being a “universally excellent, talented supervisor, who never fails to support and nurture his students to create confi dent, independent researchers. Over his years of postgraduate supervision, he has been there for his students, regardless of the scale of their problems, from putting research on hold to allow the prioritisation of family health, to hearing tales of exploding tubes. Gareth invariably remains calm and approachable, maintaining an upbeat, friendly attitude. He is also incredibly knowledgeable; together, these qualities have ensured that he has been able to establish and maintain countless successful collaborations and generate publicity for the College.”

Professor Stuart MacDonald, College of Law and Criminology

Professor Macdonald has been nominated by his research students to recognise the outstanding effort and impact that he made in supporting and supervising the postgraduate research environment in the College of Law and Criminology. Professor Macdonald’s students expressed that his one-on-one advice and support goes far beyond the duties of a research supervisor, providing opportunities for research students to develop their expertise and employability skills.

His approach has been highlighted as having a tremendous effect on his student’s progress and he has positively enhanced the postgraduate student research community in Swansea, encouraging and promoting further engagement with the college. Professor Macdonald’s student’s feel that he deserves this award for his unconditional, relentless support and development of the University’s research student environment.

Rising Star - Early Career Researcher

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Dr Kelly Mackintosh: A star in the making

3D printing children’s physical activity levels as a star

College of Engineering

Following her PhD completion in 2012, Dr Mackintosh immersed herself with Commando Joe’s Ltd., delivering school-based physical activity interventions, receiving £1million government funding. Incorporating signifi cant mixed-methodological evidence from teachers and children from challenging circumstances, Dr Mackintosh produced three government reports, securing an additional £2.6 million and delivery in over 150 schools. Moreover, such reports led to implementing policies ensuring all companies receiving such funding integrated similar evaluation. Subsequently, Dr Mackintosh developed ‘Mission Possible’, a novel and innovative way to visualise children’s physical activity levels utilising LED light-strips, leading to personalised 3D-printed models.

Dr Mackintosh has been involved in generating over £10million of grant income and over £80,000 has been generated for the University through a variety of consultancy projects for Sport Wales and UK based companies to evaluate and develop current physical activity programmes. Dr Mackintosh won the Young Investigator Award for her Oral Presentation at the pre-Olympic conference (International Convention on Science, Education and Medicine in Sport) in 2012.

Rising Star - Postgraduate Researcher

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David Mair: “Recognising and responding to terrorist use of psychological warfare techniques”:

College of Law and Criminology

David Mair is a third year, ESRC-funded PhD student in the College of Law & Criminology. The aim of his research is to develop a toolkit for recognising and responding to terrorists’ use of psychological warfare techniques. Using case studies, David has already identifi ed strategies for distinguishing real threats from fi ctitious ones, for assessing the credibility of threats and for infl uencing terrorist groups from the outside. The signifi cance of his work has been widely recognised, from the local, in assisting the University to develop Prevent training for staff, to the international in delivering training to the military, law enforcement and intelligence personnel via NATO Advanced Training Courses. In the past three years David has contributed to a total of fi ve Advanced Training Courses organised by NATO’s Centre of Excellence on Defence Against Terrorism (COEDAT), thereby contributing to the training of 344 military, law enforcement and intelligence personnel from 31 countries.

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