Research & Innovation Services

EPSRC-funded Global Challenge Research Fund awards announced

This week saw six research teams at the University successful in securing EPSRC funding, under the Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF).

Academics across the three faculties and the School have brought their research skills together with the aim of solving issues directly relevant to the developing world. The following Principal Investigators (PIs) have been awarded: 

  • Dr Mirella Di Lorenzo, Chemical Engineering 

A team of chemists (Dr Scott, Dr Kasprzyk-Horden, Dr Cruz-Isquierdo) and chemical and mechanical engineers (Dr Iravani, Mr Rymansaib, Mr Chouler), led by Dr. Mirella Di Lorenzo, will develop a paper-based microbial sensor for pollutants in water, directly addressing the sustainable development goal of clean water and sanitation. The sensor will use inexpensive and recyclable materials and won't require input energy to function - a potentially very attractive technology for poorer countries without the financial and technological resources to accurately monitor safe drinking water.

  • Dr Emma Emanuelsson, Chemical Engineering 

Providing safe drinking water, in remote rural areas suffering from microbial contaminated water and man-made or natural disaster zones, is the focus of another project which is aiming to create efficient, reliable and low cost household water treatment units. Dr Emma Emanuelsson will lead the work of a team of chemical and civil engineers (Dr Shepherd), mathematicians (Dr Murphy, Dr Evans) and social scientists (Dr Charles) to produce prototype units generated through 3D printing, each providing sufficient drinking water for one household.

  • Professor David Coley, Architecture and Civil Engineering  

A large team from Architecture and Civil Engineering (Prof Heath, Dr Ball, Dr Holley, Dr Orr, Dr Adeyeye, Dr Sharma, Miss Albadra, Mr Fosas), led by Professor David Coley, has teamed up with Dr Jason Hart from the Centre for Development Studies to try to improve living conditions in refugee-camps. Their objective is to create low-cost, easy to construct housing that moderates extremes of temperature, whilst providing space that enables dignified living and normal domestic, intra-community relations. Through fieldwork in two refugee camps in Jordan, this inter-disciplinary team aims to understand the thermal and social conditions in the camps’ shelters and produce possible design solutions.

  • Dr Christopher Pudney, Biology and Biochemistry 

Access to safe, effective and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all is another key sustainable development goal. A multidisciplinary team from biology, management (Dr Battarra), chemistry (Dr Sartbaeva), pharmacology (Dr Watts) and physics (Dr Valev), led by Dr Christopher Pudney, hopes to utilise two technologies already developed at Bath to address this goal. This research aims to tackle the distribution of biopharmaceutical drugs (vaccines or drugs used to treat for example HIV/AIDS and cancer) to the world’s poorest and to people fleeing conflicts. The funding will allow the testing of a logistical model and the integration of the two technologies in a real world mock scenario, by delivering a biopharmaceutical to the Turkish Red Crescent in Turkey and demonstrating the safety of the drug on delivery.

  • Dr Chris Chuck, Chemical Engineering 

Reducing climate change impact whilst delivering economic prosperity in South East Asia is the focus of a team of chemists (Dr Buchard), chemical and mechanical engineers (Dr McManus, Dr Bannister), and economists (Dr Hunt) led by Dr Chris Chuck, with the support of Vietnamese partner Universities. The project will tackle the huge presence of seaweeds in Vietnamese water streams, by converting them at low-cost into products such as fuels, chemicals, fertilisers and captured carbon.

  • Professor Chick Wilson, Chemistry

The challenge to deliver inexpensive, readily deployable, and reliable energy sources in development environments is being addressed by an interdisciplinary team. Led by Professor Chick Wilson, and including members from the Institute for Policy Research (IPR) (Prof Pearce), and the Faculties of Science (Dr Cameron); Engineering (Prof Bowen, Prof Wilson); and Humanities and Social Sciences (Dr Devine, Dr Maconachie), the team will work to develop a methodology for assessing future technical developments in relevant development policy contexts. This will also operate as a case study and reference point for partnerships between technical and non-technical researchers in the field of sustainable energy.

These projects, based on our University research strengths in water, built environment, sustainability and health, and coupled with our international development expertise, undoubtedly have the potential to contribute towards the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.