Shortlisted for two Times Higher Education Awards 2012

We are pleased to announce that the University has been shortlisted for two Times Higher Education (THE)  Awards 2012.

The categories we have been shortlisted in are Outstanding Contribution to Leadership Development and Research Project of the Year.

The shortlists were announced in the THE and the winners of this year’s awards will be announced at a gala ceremony on 29 November in London.

Outstanding Contribution to Leadership Development

The ‘leadership@lunchtime’ programme, organised by Tracey Stead and Jeanette Müller, was a series of eight short sessions, each focussing on a specific aspect of leadership in the context of HE, open to researchers at any stage of their career. Speakers included the VC, PVCs, Associate Deans and Heads of professional services.

The sessions included a facilitated discussion of the issues raised, and an introduction to a relevant theory; participants reflected on their own experience and considered what they may do differently in future. An online ‘course’ was made available on our Virtual Learning Environment, which provided presentations and links to other resources, theories and discussions.

Tracey said: "What was unique and engaging about the programme was participants heard real examples of personal experiences and often very frank and honest accounts of the reality of being in a leadership position. It allowed early career researchers and professional staff an opportunity to be exposed to the thoughts and experiences of very senior managers who they would not normally be in direct contact with and researchers and staff from all levels got to interact and learn from each other."

Jeanette added: "An unexpected positive outcome was the invited speakers, through preparing for their session, found the time reflecting on their own leadership practice very valuable.

"Over the course of the programme, we had 117 people attendees. The programme has inspired further programmes to be designed, and in 2012/13 a lunchtime series focussing on issues relating to internationalisation will run."

Research Project of the Year

Dr Adrian Bowyer, recently retired from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, together with his research team have been shortlisted for their project RepRap.

Rep-rap is a desktop 3D printer capable of printing plastic objects. Instead of printing on paper, RepRap creates three-dimensional plastic replicas of designs fed into a computer. The machine has already made objects ranging from a child's sandals to watertight flasks and can even produce new versions of itself.

Adrian said: "Our aim was to create and give away a machine that makes useful stuff, thus enabling its owner to easily and cheaply make another one for someone else.

"This is particularly useful where capital investment has to be low. It makes manufacturing similar to agriculture."

While the project began with a simple machine known as the Darwin RepRap, Adrian and his international team have since created new models including travel-sized and faster-to-build versions. 

The project has led to five companies being created and an estimated 2,500 RepRap machines being used across the world.

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