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Vertically Integrated Projects - Previous VIPs

Information on the previous Vertically Integrated Projects ran by our Team.

Community Engagement

This VIP aims to create a better understanding of the social and economic inequalities that blight the City of Bath. The VIP team will work with local stakeholders, including Bath City Football Club, to explore interventions that can build communities, inspire learners, develop opportunities and engage students in volunteering and enterprise.

Academic Directors: Dr Haydn Morgan, with Dr Lana Evans

Who can apply? This VIP is not currently running.

Sustainable Transport

In this VIP, team members will work with staff, peers and local stakeholders to inform the debate and provide solutions for the transport challenges that affect the environment, communities and organisations in the City of Bath. Issues addressed will include pollution, congestion, active commuting, parking and traffic safety.

Academic Director: Professor Ian Walker, Department of Psychology (no longer at the University of Bath)

Sustainable Transport_E-Scooter Impact Report

E-Scooter Impact Report Poster

Who can apply? This VIP is not currently running.

Decolonising Bath: Create a Community-driven Walking Tour addressing the Legacies of Slavery in the City

This VIP project started in 2020-21. The students have designed a first walking tour and related map that engages with Bath' involvement in the transatlantic trade and plantation slavery. In 2021-22, we would like to develop and run a walking tour, design a guidebook for individual walkers, and work in collaboration with the city of Bath and an app designer to create a walking app. We would also like to work with minority ethnic communities to gather their feedback on our walk, create a debate about places and historical figures who should be included and use these contributions to finalise and improve our walk.

Looking for contributors who would like to: - learn to guide a walking tour - work with communities and NGOs like BLM - contribute to the app design - contribute to themed creative and arts-based activities and the promotion of the walk

Skills we are looking for include: - design skills - computing - understanding of urban and architectural development - experience working with NGOs, BLM or minority ethnic communities - experience with tourist walks - an interest in these areas and desire to develop such skills

Academic Director: Dr Christina Horvath, with Dr Andres Sandoval, Dr Irene Macias, in collaboration with PhD candidates Ben van Praag, Eliana Osorio Saez and Vandana Singh.

Who can apply? This VIP is no longer running

Plastic It's Fantastic

This VIP project will look at how plastics are recycled and used. We will aim to investigate how much single use plastic the University uses in a semester and what this plastic is. Are all plastics the same or are some more impactful than others? We will investigate different alternatives and try to understand reasons why these materials are not more widely used. As this project develops, we will write a briefing document for the University and the SU detailing recommendations on how to make the campus less reliant on single use plastic.

Academic Director: Prof Matthew Jones (Professor of Inorganic Chemistry)

This project was due to start in Semester 2 2021/22, unfortunately this project was unable to get started, but if the projects interests you please look out for future rounds of applications.

Microscopy for Everyone with the OpenFlexure Microscope

The OpenFlexure Microscope is a fully computerized microscope, where all the designs are available to use freely as open-source hardware and software. One goal of the project is to show the important role that physics and engineering play in life science and medicine, by taking schoolchildren through the process of building, programming, and using an automated microscope. Beginning with 3D printed parts and Raspberry Pi-based electronics, some light mechanical assembly and simple programming, enables students to bring the power of an automated research microscope to school science lessons.

This VIP will see the project team get involved in preparing and delivering a series of sessions where school pupils will build an OpenFlexure Microscope, write simple code to control it, and use it to observe different microscopic samples.

The OpenFlexure Microscope is used around the world, and that means we have an opportunity both to communicate the global nature of science and technology, and to share educational materials that have the potential to achieve a worldwide “reach”.

Academic Director: Dr Emma Osborne and Dr Richard Bowman (Department of Physics).

This project was due to start in Semester 2 2021/22, unfortunately the project was unable to get started, but if it interests you please look out for future rounds of applications.

Green Equity

This VIP will aim to work with B&NES to give local people a bigger say in the way their new green space is shaped, while simultaneously helping to address the climate and ecological emergency. 

Access to green spaces is essential to human well-being. The quality and quantity of green spaces near a population has been found to have far-reaching impacts, from effecting the physical and mental health of the population to the market value of homes and the levels of crime experienced. However, access to green space is far from equal.  

Bath and North East Somerset Council is in the process of creating a new linear park for Bath. The Bath River Line (BRL) will follow the River Avon from Batheaston to Newbridge. Covering 10km, the BRL will connect beautiful green spaces and city landmarks, tempting pubs and peaceful water meadows. 

Academic Directors: Dr Dima Albadra (Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering) and Dr Sophia Hatzisavvidou (Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies

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 Good Health & Wellbeing & 9 Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure

Academic Director: Mr Brian Rutter

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's: 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities & 12 Responsible Consumption and Production

Academic Director: Brian Rutter (Department of Mechanical Engineering)


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)

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 ( to keep the community abreast of developments.

In the 2nd year, We will offer a choice of 3 possible projects:

  • Organising and installing a sustainable community fridge
  • Producing a plan and project plan for increasing the biodiversity of the community
  • Designing and carrying out a consultation with one of 2 businesses in the village, which needs to feature pragmatic, affordable but ambitious plans for carbon reduction.

Applicants should specify which project they are interested in and should be able to detail how they will integrate the learning from their current academic studies. What existing and developing expertise will they bring to the project? What expertise do they expect to develop by doing the project? What synergies are there between their academic curriculum and the VIP?

Applicants should also be prepared to spend some time in the community (approx. 13 miles from Bath, by bus) and building support for their work from within the community. Interpersonal skills and self management are needed but will also be enhanced by self-motivated students for whom this is an opportunity to take the lead.

The team produced a poster for end of Semester 1 AY2223

SDGs: 7, 9, 11, 13 & 15

Academic Directors: Prof Margaret Heffernan, School of Management and Dr Steve Cayzer, Mechanical Engineering

Project not currently active

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.

The team produced a poster for end of Semester 1 AY2223

SDGs: 7 Affordable and Clean energy, 9 Industry Innovation and Infrastructure & 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities

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

Currently closed.

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.

Please note the scope of this project may change slightly before Sem 1 AY2324

The team produced a poster for end of Semester 1 AY2223

SDG: 3 Good Health & Wellbeing

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

Understanding the challenge of solving Mathematical Olympiad problems with AI

The development of AI problem solving strategies is a key step on the path from generative AI to general AI. This project will give insight into the challenges inherent in that step and so a better understanding of the current state of the art in AI problem solving, how that is likely to develop in the next few years.

Read papers on AI models which can reason mathematically, discuss potential new approaches from a theoretical perspective, demo some scaled-down versions of code.

Reach a better understanding of the current state of the art in AI for mathematical and logical reasoning. Understand how to represent scientific questions in meaningful ways which can be tackled by AI methods. Look at datasets which can be used for training/verification of models regarding logical/ mathematical reasoning.

SDGs: 9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Academic Director: Ben Adams, Department of Mathematical Sciences

Get in touch

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

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