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Vertically Integrated Projects - Current VIPs

The VIPs currently running

In 2020/21, we ran nine VIPs, led by 12 academic members of staff working alongside 150 students. For 2021/22, we are delighted to offer eight new VIPs. We have a total of 11 projects currently running.

Creating carbon neutral communities - The case of Farrington Gurney village

The VIP focuses on a local community - Farrington Gurney and aims to find ways for mitigating the community’s carbon emissions. The intention is to find solutions that will allow the local community to make its infrastructure (e.g., buildings, power supply, transport) and local citizens’ lifestyle patterns more environmentally sustainable.

In the first year, we surveyed the village, created groups around topics of interest (food, transport, energy, and housing.) A campaign to get a cycle path built is now underway; sessions on home insulation are being planned; a plan to reduce almost all of the energy emissions from the village hall (the largest building in the village) is now underway, there is a plan to plant 100 trees and an intent to organise educational sessions on the nature of the climate crisis. There is also a monthly online newsletter (www.farringtongreen.com) to keep the community abreast of developments.

In the 2nd year, the hope is to continue that work on the cycle path, home insulation, newsletter, and tree planting. Fundraising help for the village hall solar installation will be needed as well as a strategic plan for the hall itself; it will need to generate more income to help pay for the solar PV. In addition, this year we want to target the many businesses that are based in the village and see whether they are aware of their climate responsibilities and whether they have plans in place to address these (or are interested in developing such plans). A team from the first year is also working on a public event to advise residents about heating and insulation (a combination of talks, demonstrations, and discussions);this will take place in October.

SDGs: 7, 9, 11, 13 & 15 Academic Directors: Prof Margaret Heffernan, School of Management and Dr Steve Cayzer, Mechanical Engineering

Who can apply in 2022/23? This VIP welcomes applications from all University of Bath students.

TBB: Bath biodevices without borders

Like Bath Engineering without Borders (BEwoB), this VIP team joins driven students and dedicated staff with problems that many people are currently facing throughout the world. However, unlike BEwoB, the focus of TBB: Bath Biodevices without Borders is on the development of practical, biodevice-implemented projects that can, and hopefully, will help many people throughout the world, whilst at the same time providing the involved students with practical employability skills. To this end, we intend, as soon as it is once again possible, to travel to areas of the world where we have identified a real need that we can devise a solution to, properly identify the need in that area, then develop a system/design that can help solve this problem. 

This VIP team aims to integrate all student years into not just our design and development process, but also into our assessing and implementation processes. This means that even if you are a first year, with no more engineering experience than your first semester modules, you will still have the opportunity to travel to new regions of the world and provide aid to people living there. On the same note, it is possible to join us at any point in your studies, even if this is your final year and you haven’t been a part of any societies or student teams to date. 

All skills are welcome and no need for any specific background knowledge required.

TBB is scientifically supported by Electronic and Electrical Engineering C3Bio academics (academic lead: Dr Despina Moschou, further academic support: Dr Pedro Estrela, Dr Ben Metcalfe); they will be providing initial project ideas in line with ongoing research projects and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (https://unfoundation.org/what-we-do/issues/sustainable-development-goals ), technical training, dedicated lab space and resources within the Faculty of Engineering and international network contacts. 

SDGs: 3, 6 & 9

Academic Directors: Dr Despina Moschou, Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering ; Dr Mirella Di Lorenzo (Department of Chemical Engineering); Dr Pedro Estrela (Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering); Dr Ben Metcalfe (Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering)

Who can apply in 2022/23? This VIP welcomes applications from all University of Bath students.

InterPromoting an age-friendly community

This VIP explores how the University can work with BANES and local older adults to help to create a more age-friendly and inclusive local environment. The project could help to inform research and teaching, and has the potential to contribute to local policy making.

In the first year of the VIP students explored what older adults are looking for to help them keep active in their local community, and where they may be interested in doing more with younger adults, including our students. Their work resulted in an event fair for older adults along the same lines as freshers fair. We will build on that experience this year, and explore expanding this or trying out other ways to promote greater links between the University and local older adults in ways that interest them.

Students may investigate questions such as; How can older people’s voices be heard in relation to the research which impacts them across all disciplines? For example, in the design of retirement homes; the use of digital technology to minimise social isolation; the policies around pensions, rural facilities and health inequalities; designing inclusive communities; the use of remote consultations by hospital staff. How can students - the decision-makers of tomorrow - understand the needs, concerns and priorities of people as they get older and how can these be considered in their academic studies? And importantly, how can we help to challenge the negative stereotypes of ageing and older adults through how we teach and learn?

The VIP forms part of the Healthy Later Living Network – a multidisciplinary research network at the University of Bath which brings together leading academics, students, and stakeholders to support the UK government’s Grand Challenge of an Ageing Society. The University is working with business, charities, care providers, research funders, and the community to support generations to remain active, productive, independent, and social connected for as long as possible.

SDG: 3 Good Health & Wellbeing

Academic Director: Professor Fiona Gillison, Department of Health - Healthy Later Living network

Who can apply in 2022/23? This VIP welcomes applications from all University of Bath students.

Creating immersive training experiences in virtual reality

New for Semester 2 2021/22

Virtual Reality provides an immersive environment that can feel so real to the user that the experience they gain within it can be applied to the real world. It also allows users to practice tasks that would be too complex, expensive, or dangerous in real-life. It is rapidly becoming a popular tool for providing training in all manner of activities, from using a point-of-sale system to performing surgery. This VIP aims to identify, develop, and deploy VR training activities both within the University and with external partners and in the process develop a best practice guide for the creation and use of VR training tools.

SDG: 9 Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure

Academic Director: Ken Cameron (Department of Computer Science)

Who can apply in 2022/23? This VIP welcomes applications from all University of Bath students.

Decarbonising heating

Running since 2020/21 In this VIP, team members will work with staff, peers and local stakeholders to inform the debate and provide solutions

Heating forms a large part of our energy use and GHG emissions (cooling will feature increasingly). Changing how we heat buildings is challenging as existing infrastructure and convenience makes the incumbent technology and difficult to change. In Bath we have the additional issues associated with historic buildings and the need to preserve these, whilst providing liveable home standards. Critical issues and reason for change in the Bath and North East Somerset area include:

65,000 homes need to be retrofitted by 2030 66% of the area’s GHG emissions are related to buildings much of this in heating· One of the priorities for the local authority is energy efficiency improvement of the majority of existing buildings (domestic and non-domestic) and zero carbon new build. The University and the Local Authority are looking to work more closely together to solve some of the biggest GHG issues facing the area. Changing the way we heat our buildings cannot be solved by one discipline alone. We need to understand the building physics, the economics, the embodied and lifetime greenhouse gas emissions, user behaviour and how to finance change. We can only do that if we have interdisciplinary teams working on this. This VIP will pull together students and staff across campus to work to identify the key challenges and how to solve them.

SDGs: 7, 9 & 11

Academic Director: Prof Marcelle McManus (Professor of Energy and Environmental Engineering, Co-Director, Centre for Sustainable and Circular Technologies, Department of Mechanical Engineering)

Who can apply in 2022/23? This VIP welcomes applications from all University of Bath students.

Students for Sustainable Food

Having ran since 2020/21, In 2021/22, this VIP project will build on initial work carried out by two VIPs in the previous year to further help develop and deliver a sustainable food policy for the University of Bath.

This VIP team will be involved with the testing of interventions to change dietary choices amongst students and staff to be healthier and greener, through ideas like food labelling, carbon tax, or nudges to change behaviour.

SDG: 12 Responsible consumption and Reduction Academic Director:

Prof Lorraine Whitmarsh (Director - Centre for Climate Change & Social Transformations (CAST) and Dept of Psychology)

Who can apply in 2022/23? This VIP welcomes applications from all University of Bath students.

Community consultation for sustainability

Having ran since 2020/21, This VIP project examines and critique the environmental impact of a major naval facility and dockyard within the UK. The team will work with major agencies to create and evaluate interventions that enhance the ways in which the facility engages with its locale, region and the wider world.

SDG: 11 & 12

Academic Director: Brian Rutter (Department of Mechanical Engineering)

Who can apply in 2022/23? This VIP welcomes applications from all University of Bath students.

CHi2PS

NEW FOR 2022/23

Physical activity and sport can make a major contribution to peoples’ health and wellbeing. However, there is always a risk of injury and this can have consequences that include dropping out of sport, reduced physical activity and longer-term health issues. There is substantial evidence that regularly completing exercises that focus on strengthening the muscles around certain joints, improving balance and improving general control of movement can reduce the chances of getting injured. A large number of studies have been carried out across a wide variety of sports to show that the chances of injury can be reduced by 40% if youth sports participants complete these exercise as part of an Injury Prevention Exercise Programme before training and competition. Essentially, these programmes are an alternative to traditional warm-ups and the stretching element is replaced by slightly different exercises that help to prepare participants for exercise whilst also having a training effect in their own right. This project will use the evidence available in the literature and through various governing bodies that promote these exercise programmes to develop and pilot the implementation of an Injury Prevention Exercise Programme in a range of youth sport settings in B&NES.

SDG: 3 Good Health and Well-Being

Academic Director: Keith Stokes, Simon Roberts, Carly McKay, Dario Cazzola and Sheree Bekker (Department for Health)

Who can apply in 2022/23? This VIP welcomes applications from all University of Bath students.

Student Wellbeing

Started in 2019/20, Concerns about student wellbeing and mental health continue to dominate national debate. This VIP addresses the issues at the local level, evaluating interventions and stimulating debate over how best to tackle these challenges in the future. Working with experts from the academic and professional realms, the VIP team will have an opportunity to make a difference to policy and practice at the University and beyond.

SDG: 3 Good Health & Wellbeing

Academic Director: Professor Richard Joiner

Who can apply in 2022/23? This VIP welcomes applications from all University of Bath students.

Climate Action - Net Zero Transformation

NEW FOR 2022/23

Attaining the university’s ambitious net zero targets in a just and inclusive manner will require transformative ways of working, applied interdisciplinary research, new and equitable skills training for net zero, and engaging all internal (students, academics, operational staff) and external stakeholders. In support of this ambition the GW4 Climate Alliance “Living Labs for Net Zero Transformation” network aims to accelerate this process.

The greatest challenge to our universities and our regions reaching net zero lies in cutting Scope 3 emissions, which comprise around 80% of total emissions. Scope 3 includes travel and all procurement. As a university, we have an invaluable opportunity to use our research on campuses, and with wider communities, to co-create, explore, test, evaluate and implement net zero solutions.

The VIP team will explore opportunities, with institutional behaviour change, and propose solutions to reduce Scope 3 emissions as part of transition to net zero. The VIP has the opportunity to work with similar student groups from GW4 (Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter) universities, and representatives from local ‘anchor’ institutions (Bath and North East Somerset Council, Bath Spa University, Royal United Hospital). Funds will be available to support relevant actions, including practical solutions as well as skills development and study activities. Initial findings from the VIP will be presented at a GW4 Climate Alliance workshop in late November 2022.

SDG: TBC

Academic Director: Pete Walker, Climate Action Chair and Dept. Architecture & Civil Engineering.

Who can apply in 2022/23? This VIP welcomes applications from all University of Bath students.

Technology for social care

As one of our first projects in 2019/20, This VIP aims to use expertise in robotics, electrical and electronic engineering in order to develop technologies and interventions that support and enhance the lives of those in social care settings. This VIP relies on disciplinary expertise from engineers, but also from social and management scientists who can investigate, analyse and relate the needs and experiences of different communities - from disabled people and families to those in care establishments. This VIP team will be involved in the design, testing and evaluation of cutting-edge technologies for social good.

SDGs: 3 & 9

Academic Director: Mr Brian Rutter

Who can apply in 2022/23? This VIP welcomes applications from all University of Bath students.

Get in touch

If you have any questions about Vertically Integrated Projects at the University of Bath, please contact the VIP Team by email.