Research & Innovation Services

University Hosts Annual Dinner to Celebrate Research Partnerships

The University’s annual dinner with research partners has taken place, to celebrate the impact of our research.

The dinner, supported by Research and Innovation Services (RIS), was attended by multi-sector collaborators including Lotus, GKN Aerospace, Glysure and Airbus, and took place at the Assembly Rooms in September.

The event acknowledged the collaborative work supported by the Impact Acceleration Account (IAA), which promotes innovation and knowledge exchange.

Professor Bernie Morley, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost, welcomed attendees and later announced the two Impact Award winners during the dinner.

An award was presented to Wessex Water who is currently funding five research projects supported by the EPSRC’s IAA. The projects tackle some of the company’s high priority challenges, including developing more sustainable methods for treating sewage and the detection of pharmaceutical compounds in wastewater.

Dr Tom Arnot, Chemical Engineering, who is leading a successful research project with the water company, accepted the award with his fellow industry collaborators.

Dan Green, Wessex Water, noted the outcome of Dr Arnot’s project, involving anaerobic digesters at Bristol sewage treatment works, run by the company’s subsidiary GENeco. This resulted in a new approach to decrease the downtime of the digesters while they were being maintained, from six months to six weeks. This reduces operational risk and represents a significant benefit by bringing biogas production back online more quickly.

Dan Green, Wessex Water, says: “With the University researchers developing a model of the digesters’ chemical and biological processes, we were able to run scenarios and make better predictions of what would happen during and after maintenance work.

“This was a real team effort combining academic knowledge, the expertise of our process scientists and operators, and those carrying out the refurbishment. It’s emblematic of our partnership with the University of Bath - applying research to some of our critical business activities.”

Western Power Distribution (WPD) and the Welsh Government were also awarded for a project with Professor Furlong Li, Electronic and Electrical Engineering, and Dr Gavin Shaddick, Mathematical Sciences. This resulted in an innovative new method that supports planning for integrating low carbon technologies into low voltage networks.

Also during the dinner the new Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, Professor Jonathan Knight, introduced the Planning for Impact film screening. The evening concluded with networking in the Card Room, providing an opportunity for future engagement.

Professor Jonathan Knight says: “This was an opportunity for us to reflect on and celebrate some of our successful collaborations with external partners. It also allowed us to think about our strategies for ensuring that our outstanding researchers have the impact that their research deserves.”

The Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) is a £2 million grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) that enables EPSRC award holders to engage in Pathways to Impact activities.

For further information on the Impact Acceleration Account please contact:
Saskia Walcott
Research Impact Manager
Tel: +44 (0)1225 3255

Impact Celebration 1Impact Celebration 2

Left to right: Professor Jonathan Knight, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), with Dan Green from Wessex Water, collaborator Dr Tom Arnot and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Bernie Morley. Also, Professor Knight and Dr Gavin Shaddick with Western Power Distribution, and Professor Furlong Li, with Professor Morley.