Knowledge exchange activity celebrated at new BCU awards ceremony

University staff engaging in knowledge exchange activity were celebrating after picking up awards for their work at the University’s inaugural Knowledge Exchange Awards.

Posted 11 July 2022

Strong entries from multiple disciplines

Staff across all four faculties were recognised in seven different award categories, all focusing on the impactful work that has been conducted around the field of knowledge exchange.

The awards were created following consultation with over 80 academic and professional staff, who highlighted an opportunity for increased recognition for their work against this agenda.

With strong entries from multiple projects and disciplines, choosing the winners at the first ever Knowledge Exchange Awards was always going to be difficult but the judging panel were able to select winners from a range of disciplines.

Prevailing in the Role Model award category was Professor David Edwards for his team’s work in driving safety on highways construction and maintenance, delivered in partnership with Highways England.

David and his team’s research has driven a significant growth of grants and consultancy income, partnership working, and helped significantly to minimise safety risk when working on highways.

Also highly commended in this category was Ian Williams, Associate Professor in Digital Media Technology, for his contribution to delivering impactful knowledge exchange activities.

Leading the way in knowledge exchange

Sam Coley, Associate Professor in Media Production, then clinched the Best Public and Community Engagement award.

Sam proved victorious in this category thanks to his work leading the Cities of Sound radio documentary series, which worked with BCU staff, students and graduates to create 12 one-hour shows on life in lockdown during Covid-19.

With collaborations with businesses forming such a vital part of knowledge exchange, there were two separate award categories reflecting this activity – Best Research with Business and Best Consultancy Project with Business, respectively.

The former went to David Lee, a Reader in Molecular Microbiology, for BCU’s collaborative project on designing, producing and testing a hard-wearing antimicrobial surface coating that aims to prevent the growth of bacteria on the Chinese Space Station.

Meanwhile, the latter category saw two projects commended:

  • Associate Professor in Internet of Things Adel Aneiba’s consultancy project with the River Severn Partnership, in which the latter were provided with a unique, AI-powered data business intelligence system.
  • The Commonwealth Games medal design, conducted by a student team at the School of Jewellery and overseen by Dauvit Alexander, HND Jewellery and Silversmithing Course Director.

Making a difference to businesses, charities and organisations

The work of Taufiq Asyhari (Associate Professor in Networks and Communications) and his team on the 5G Connected Forest project saw them pick up the Best Research with Public and Third Sector accolade, Most Impactful Continuing Professional Development going to the PERSEUS project.

The final award, Best Knowledge Exchange Project with Public and Third Sector, saw three projects highlighted for their great work.

Senior Lecturer Chris Carter and Joy Notter, Professor of Community Health Care Studies, were ultimately crowned as winners for their work in knowledge sharing, exchange and transfer between nurses in the UK and Zambia to advance the international nursing community.

Two further projects were also commended in this category:

  • Kusminder Chahal, Senior Research Fellow, for the partnership between BCU and Stop Hate UK to develop evidence-informed training and an evidence-based toolkit.
  • The UPR Project, based in School of Law, which has been engaging with the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) to meet the challenges facing the safeguarding of human rights around the world.

A night to remember

The event, hosted by Heart FM’s Ed James, proved to be a huge success, with attending staff getting the opportunity to showcase the breadth and impact of their collaborative work.

Over 70 award entries were received and the awards organisers are thrilled to have seen so many projects and staff celebrated.

“It’s so important that we recognise the amazing academics who make this possible, and I’m excited to see so many individuals be celebrated for the incredible work that they do,” says Joanna Birch, Director of Research, Innovation, Enterprise and Employability at BCU.

“Knowledge exchange is at the heart of what makes us an anchor institution. I really hope that next year we see even more applications come in!”

Relive our first ever Knowledge Exchange Awards by taking a peek through the event's photos.