Celebrating research impact: Swansea University Impact Awards 2015

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Swansea University has recognised the impact of some of its most outstanding research projects, from the Connected Communities initiative that celebrates the history of the Swansea Valley and beyond, to the development of novel light therapies used to treat a range of skin conditions.

The 2015 Swansea University Impact Awards were held last night (Thursday, June 18) at the Marriott Hotel, Swansea, and attracted 165 guests from academia, industry and the public sector.

Impact – the contribution that the university makes to the economy and society - is something Swansea has been doing well since the University was established to meet the needs of the region’s industry in 1920. The results of the recent Research Excellence Framework 2014 revealed that Swansea is ranked 22nd in the UK for the quality of its research impact.

Impact Awards The evening was hosted by broadcaster - and Swansea University graduate – Jason Mohammad, and featured a presentation from the 65 Degrees North team, who achieved the world’s first unsupported crossing by an amputee of the Greenland Ice Cap, a challenge which was aided by the University’s researchers.

Pictured left - from left to right: Professor Richard B Davies, Swansea University Vice-Chancellor, Professor James Goodwin from Age UK, and host Jason Mohammad. 

‌The event’s headline sponsor was Geldards Law, with individual awards sponsored by Age UK, TATA Steel, Parthian Books and Library of Wales, BBC Research and Development, and the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement. The event itself is part of a programme of activities supported by the University’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funded Impact Acceleration Account.

Swansea University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Richard B Davies, said: “The recent Research Excellence Framework showed that Swansea is amongst the best performing universities in the UK for the impact that its research has on wider society. Looking at the talent put forward for this year’s Impact Awards it is clear why this is the case.

"The winners tonight come from across all academic disciplines. The ways in which they have made a difference include protecting culture in war torn countries, the empowerment of rural communities across the globe through the deployment of digital technologies, and the advancement of light therapy to fight skin conditions.

"We thank our sponsoring organisations who have made possible these awards, and congratulate our winners and nominees for their remarkable and diverse impact on society."

See full winners list below:

Swansea University Impact Awards 2015

  • The Geldards LLP Award for Outstanding Impact in Law and Public Policy

Winner: “Learning from the Past to Protect the Past” - Dr Nigel Pollard. History and Classics, College of Arts and Humanities

  • The Parthian and Library of Wales Award for Outstanding Impact in Culture and the Arts

Winner: “Connected Communities” - Kate Spiller, College of Arts and Humanities

  • The Age UK Award for Outstanding Impact in Health and Wellbeing

Winner: “Finding the Cause for Paediatric Neurological Disease: Hyperekplexia” - Prof. Mark Rees and Dr Seo-Kyung Chung and the Neurology Research Team, College of Medicine

  • The National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement Award for Outstanding Impact in Public Engagement

Dr Amy Brown - Impact Awards 

Winner:  “Nobody puts baby in the corner” - Dr Amy Brown, with Dr Michelle Lee, Dr Jaynie Rance, Dr Ruth Davies and Dr Sue Jordan, College of Human and Health Sciences.

Pictured left - from left to right: Jason Mohammad, Dr Michelle lee, Dr Amy Brown, Kirsty Ward, Fiona Burlingham,  Dr Jaynie Rance, Dr Claire Wood, National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE)


  • The BBC Research and Development Award for Outstanding Impact on Professions, Practices and Services

Winner: “Empowering rural digital communities” - Prof. Matt Jones, Dr Jennifer Pearson and Dr Simon Robinson, College of Science.

  • The TATA Steel Award for Outstanding Impact in Commerce, Industry and Enterprise

Winner: “Novel light therapies for the treatment of skin conditions” - Prof. Marc Clement and the Enterprise and Innovation Team, College of Medicine