Celebrating research impact: Swansea University Impact Awards 2015

Swansea University has recognised the impact of some of its most outstanding research projects, from the Connected Communities initiative that celebrates the history of the Swansea Valley and beyond, to the development of novel light therapies used to treat a range of skin conditions.

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‌The 2015 Swansea University Impact Awards were held on Thursday 18 June 2015 at the Marriott Hotel, Swansea, and attracted 165 guests from academia, industry and the public sector.

Impact – the contribution that the university makes to the economy and society - is something Swansea has been doing well since the University was established to meet the needs of the region’s industry in 1920. The results of the recent Research Excellence Framework 2014 revealed that Swansea is ranked 22nd in the UK for the quality of its research impact.

The evening was hosted by broadcaster - and Swansea University graduate – Jason Mohammad, and featured a presentation from the 65 Degrees North team, who achieved the world’s first unsupported crossing by an amputee of the Greenland Ice Cap, a challenge which was aided by the University’s researchers.

‌The event’s headline sponsor was Geldards Law, with individual awards sponsored by Age UK, TATA Steel, Parthian Books and Library of Wales, BBC Research and Development, and the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement. The event itself is part of a programme of activities supported by the University’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funded Impact Acceleration Account.

Swansea University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Richard B Davies, said:  'The recent Research Excellence Framework showed that Swansea is amongst the best performing universities in the UK for the impact that its research has on wider society. Looking at the talent put forward for this year’s Impact Awards it is clear why this is the case.  The winners tonight come from across all academic disciplines. The ways in which they have made a difference include protecting culture in war torn countries, the empowerment of rural communities across the globe through the deployment of digital technologies, and the advancement of light therapy to fight skin conditions.  We thank our sponsoring organisations who have made possible these awards, and congratulate our winners and nominees for their remarkable and diverse impact on society.'

Nigel Pollard impact award

Arts and Humanities did extremely well at the awards, with two winners and four shortlisted entries.  

These were:  

‌‌Dr Nigel Pollard (pictured, centre), ‘Learning ‌from the past to protect the past’ -  winner of the Geldards LLP award for outstanding impact in Law and Public Policy.



 Kate -impact awardKate Spiller (pictured, centre), ‘Connected Communities’ – winner of the Parthian and Library of Wales award for outstanding impact in Culture and the Arts.


Shortliested entries:

Dr Evelien Bracke and Ceri Bradshaw, ‘The impact of learning about Greek and Roman cultures and languages on Welsh communities’.

Dr Katharina Hall, ‘Mrs Peabody investigates: enhancing public understanding of German, European and International Crime Fiction’.

Dr Francesca Rhydderch, ‘Award-winning new writing: from Wales to the world’.

Prof Daniel Williams, Prof David Britton, Prof Tudur Hallam and Elizabeth Wride,  ‘Dylan Live: Rediscovering Dylan’.

Dr Elaine Canning (Head, Research Institute for Arts and Humanities) said:  'We are extremely proud of the fact that Arts and Humanities had the largest number of shortlisted projects at last night’s ceremony. Many thanks to all colleagues involved.'

See full winners list below:

Swansea University Impact Awards 2015