December 12th, 2013 | Category: Miscellany | Leave a comment

We won an award…!

…and very nice it is too.

We were delighted to be shortlisted for one of the University of Exeter’s Impact Awards in the Outstanding Impact in Technology section for our work developing industry-friendly biofuel molecules.

Fig. 1. Our very heavy award – in safe hands?

The event itself was fascinating to be at. Its not very often you get to see what is happening across the institution where you work, and the quality of research was quite eye-opening. One of the other winners – in the Regional Partnership category – have helped deliver a four-fold increase in the number of stroke patients treated – and have halved the time taken to deliver thrombolysis – at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. This has been achieved by using modelling and statistics to guide the intervention. Impressive stuff and lessons for the rest of us there too.

Also memorable, Tapas Mallick and Hasan Baig, double winners in the Sustainable Futures section for work on new, smaller, and more efficient solar PV cells that can provide effective, off-grid power sources to areas with poor access to traditional energy systems.

And what with a keynote speech from the rather amazing Dame ‘Steve’ Shirley – who arrived in the UK as a child refugee prior to the outbreak of WWII, went on to establish a freelance software development company that, amongst other clients, supplied Concorde’s Black Box software with part-time, all-female staff working primarily from home!, and has funded a vast amount of Autism research – it was quite a humbling event.

Which probably explains why, when it came to our category, to be seeing this (Fig. 2), was quite a surprise:

Fig. 2. John Love – I believe he dresses this well for his lectures too.

Its not often that you get to step back and see how your work is perceived by those outside your immediate field. Peer-review is (mostly) constructive, but nonetheless can be hard going. Events like this are certainly a nice change.

Importantly, for any Exeter students interested in pursuing a career in research of whatever hue, there are some fantastic opportunities out there for you to experience some really cutting-edge science up-close. Now is the time to get involved. Maybe you’ll be up there on the podium in a few years time.

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