Swansea named University of the Year for business partnership

Swansea University has been named ‘University of the Year’, and won an additional award for ‘Best Partnership’, at the Insider Business and Education Partnership awards ceremony at Cardiff’s City Hall.

Swansea University’s Colleges and Business engagement teams were representing the University at the event, which brought together universities and colleges across Wales as well as a number of global business giants, including GE Aviation, Airbus, Cassidian and rising technology stars such as Swansea’s Marine Power Systems Limited. 

400 x 158The ‘University of the Year’ award was presented in recognition of Swansea University’s approach to building long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with partners. 

In turn these relationships deliver research that can lead to all kinds of economic and social benefits. 

Professor Iwan Davies, Pro Vice Chancellor for internationalisation and external affairs, who accepted the award on behalf of Swansea University, said:  

“Swansea University’s visionary £450m programme of campus development and expansion, which includes the opening of the Bay Campus in September 2015, will allow the University to create additional space to foster increased collaboration with industry through mutually productive relationships with multinational companies.   These partnerships are founded on trust, bilateral information exchange, and sharing facilities and strengths.”

BEPA award presentation 2014Picture:  Professor Iwan Davies, pro-vice-chancellor for internationalisation and external affairs, receiving the “University of the Year” award from Emma Burns, head of employment and HR services group, at Hugh James, who sponsored the award.

The award for Best Partnership between academia and industry took into account the scope, extent of collaboration, systems for engagement and outcomes achieved.   

The award went to Swansea University’s College of Engineering and Centre for NanoHealth and their partners at SPTS Technologies, who have been working  together to develop micro-needles for bio-medical applications.

Funded through the Technology Strategy Board under the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), this project has supported a post-doctoral researcher, Dr. Yufei Liu, at Swansea University, who has also spent a significant amount of time working at SPTS’ factory in Newport, within the company’s in-house R&D Department. 

The award was received by Greg Burwell from the College of Engineering and Huma Ashraf from SPTS Technologies

Dr Owen Guy, associate professor at the College of Engineering at Swansea University, said: 

“Swansea has benefitted hugely from the KTP in terms of access to SPTS’ state-of-the-art etch and deposition tools and the expertise of SPTS’ technical teams. This has led to novel developments of BioMEMS devices with enhanced functionality. 

The capability of these devices has been instrumental in forging links for future commercial development of BioMEMS products.”

Paul Rich, SPTS’ vice president of etch & deposition product engineering, added: 

“While MEMS is an extremely important served market for SPTS, accounting for approximately 30% of our equipment sales, the company’s experience is mainly in the manufacture of established high volume MEMS products like silicon gyroscopes and accelerometers for automotive or smartphone applications.  

This project gave us extra resources to investigate and demonstrate results within the emerging BioMEMS market which is forecast to become a key driver of MEMS industry growth over the next decade.”