The sound of success at Swansea University

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Swansea University’s College of Engineering has had a large bell installed to celebrate new achievements in the college.

The former buoy bell weighs about 3 cwt, and was one of 26 cast in 1940 by the John Taylor Bellfoundry of Loughborough, which started casting buoy bells in 1898, and is still in operation today.

The bell spent many years keeping sea lanes safe before being loaned to the University by The Corporation of Trinity House of Deptford Strond, from their workshop in Swansea docks. It is mounted on a sea defence boulder provided by Swansea University partner and master developer of the new Bay Campus, St. Modwen.

Engineering Bell

Group shot, ‌Left to right: Dr. Shirin Alexander, Jonathan McIver-Janes, Amber Furmage, Dr. Peter Martin, Dr. Matthew Davies, Dr. Trystan Watson, Prof. Steve Brown, Dr. Nicholas Lavery, Dr. Chedly Tizaoui, Dr. Vincent Teng, Dr. Wei Zhang and Julie Griffiths.

The first official ringing of the bell took place on Tuesday 14 November 2017, and was made to celebrate new engineering research grant awards totalling over £2.8M. The bell was struck once for each £100,000 by successful researchers, including:

Funder: Innovate UK.

Project: “A new automatic process for composite strip conversion and end bonding for diverse high security applications.”

Funder: Salts Healthcare.

Project: “Low surface energy materials for health care.”

Funder: European Commission.

Project: “Electrochemical sensors as early alert tools for algal toxin detection in water.”

Funder: Engineering and Physical Science Research Council.

Project: “SUNRISE - Strategic University Network to Revolutionise Indian Solar Energy.”

Professor Steve Brown, Head of the College of Engineering at Swansea University, said: “Celebrating grant awards with the ringing of this bell is a great way to broadcast good news across the Bay Campus, it injects some fun and enjoyment at the end of a usually difficult application process and I am hopeful that we will ring it so much it will crack!”

Professor Steve Brown








Professor Steve Brown, Head of the College of Engineering at Swansea University.

For the first ringing, the researchers were accompanied by staff from the Bay Campus Research Hub, including

  • Dr Peter Martin
  • Amber Furmage
  • Rebecca Kelleher
  • Oliver Williams
  • Julie Griffiths
  • Jonathan McIver-Janes.

College hubs are located at College level to provide support, and are managed by a knowledgeable team who understand the purpose and strategic aims of the University and College. The Bay Campus Research Hub team helps support the researchers in whichever way necessary, and have a wealth of knowledge and experience of working in collaboration with business partners and research sponsors.

Research & Innovation Hub Manager, Dr Peter Martin, said: “Researchers work hard to prepare and submit grant proposals against stiff competition – on average they have to submit three proposals to win one. It is therefore really important that we celebrate when they are successful, and the bell gives us a fun way to share their good news”.