Dr Naeem Anwar, Dr Mark Kingston, Dr Julie Peconi & Dr Owen Pickrell from Swansea University have been selected for this year’s Welsh Crucible.

Dr Naeem Anwar, Dr Mark Kingston, Dr Julie Peconi & Dr Owen Pickrell from Swansea University have been selected for this year’s Welsh Crucible.

Four researchers from Swansea University have been selected to join the 2024 Welsh Crucible, an award-winning programme designed to foster personal, professional, and leadership development among future research leaders in Wales.

Annually, 30 outstanding researchers based in Wales are chosen to participate in a series of immersive residential workshops, known as skills labs. These workshops provide a platform for interdisciplinary collaboration and aim to enhance the impact of their research while promoting the development of international research careers within Wales.

The researchers selected for the Welsh Crucible 2024 are:

  • Dr Naeem Anwar is a Royal Society-Newton International Fellow at Swansea University's Department of Physics and a founding member of the UK Young Academy. Passionate about science communication, his research explores the strong nuclear force binding quarks and gluons into hadrons, with a particular interest in exotic, elusive, and unstable particles that likely existed in the early Universe.
  • Dr Mark Kingston is a senior trial and project manager for collaborative interdisciplinary research studies in primary and emergency care, a co-applicant and operational group member of the Wales Centre for Primary and Emergency Care Research and board member of the 999 Emergency Medical Services Research Forum. His research focuses on applied mixed methods approaches in ambulance services and unscheduled care. He is dedicated to broadening the understanding of diverse research disciplines and fostering research expertise and collaboration across Wales.
  • Dr Julie Peconi is focused on preventing ill health and ensuring equal access to healthcare, with a particular focus on skin and skin cancer prevention. She recently completed the Health and Care Research Wales-funded Sunproofed study on sun safety in Welsh primary schools and is now driving benefits from this research in her present role as an Impact Fellow at Swansea University. Julie also volunteers with Skin Care Cymru and is a Trustee of the Pachyonychia Congenita Project Europe.
  • Dr Owen Pickrell is a clinical academic and consultant neurologist at Morriston Hospital, is also an honorary associate professor at Swansea University Medical School. His research focuses on clinical neurology, epilepsy, health inequalities, epilepsy genetics, and the application of big data and natural language processing to improve the lives of people with epilepsy.

Professor Helen Griffiths, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation said:  

"We are very proud of our research community here at Swansea, and it is wonderful to see our researchers in this year’s Welsh Crucible programme. Our researchers’ inclusion reflects our commitment to interdisciplinary, collaborative research, and highlights the breadth and depth of our research expertise. Involvement in the Welsh Crucible programme will provide them all with a unique opportunity to progress their talents and enhance their skills and enrich their research opportunities—something that can only benefit our efforts to address both local and global challenges."

The Welsh Crucible is a collaborative initiative funded by a consortium of Welsh higher education institutions and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales. 

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