The annual MPLS Impact Awards aim to foster and raise awareness of impact by rewarding it at a local level, preparing the ground for the impact case studies that will be needed for REF2021, and future similar exercises. Awards comprise a pay award of £1,000 (minus taxes) made to the individual.
Nominations were invited under four categories:
Category 1: To recognise researchers at any career stage for research that has had significant commercial (economic) impact since 1 August 2013.
Category 2: To recognise researchers at any career stage for research that has had significant non-commercial impact since 1 August 2013.
Category 3: To recognise Early Career Researchers’ independent engagement with external organisations or end-users, as laying the foundations for future impactful research.
Category 4: To recognise researchers at any career stage who have achieved significant impact since 1 August 2013 through high-quality public engagement with research activities.
A significant number of nominations were received, and a cross-departmental judging panel was convened to consider the nominations. The panel were impressed with the quality of the nominations that were received and decided to honour 11 researchers and academics with awards, across the four categories.
1. Commercial Impact
Blanca Rodriguez, Department of Computer Science: awarded for Blanca’s contribution towards the reduction of the number of animal experiments in the pharmaceutical industry through the development of computational methods.
Armin Reichold, Department of Physics: awarded for the contribution made by Armin to the industrial application of fundamental physics instrumentation.
Konrad Krawczyk, Department of Statistics: awarded for the contribution made by Konrad to the establishment of an innovative model to implement open-source software to encourage engagement with industry.
2. Non-Commercial Impact
Mike Osborne, Department of Engineering Science: awarded for the contribution made by Mike to the political and social understanding and debate of how computerisation might affect jobs in the future.
Ian Griffiths, Mathematical Institute: awarded for the contribution made by Ian to the development of a maintenance protocol for water filters, enabling cost-effective deployment in India.
Katherine Blundell, Department of Physics: awarded for the contribution made by Katherine to the engagement of schoolchildren, especially girls, with physics.
3. Early Career Researchers
Michael Booth, Department of Chemistry: awarded for the contribution made by Michael to the development of techniques to enable epigenetic DNA sequencing.
Jena Meinecke, Department of Physics: awarded for the contribution made by Jena to the promotion of women in physics.
4. Public Engagement with Research
David Pyle, Department of Earth Sciences: awarded for the contribution made by David to the engagement of locally-affected communities in volcano research and the dissemination of those research outputs to a diverse range of publics.
Ursula Martin, Mathematical Institute: awarded for the contribution made by Ursula to the engagement of non-specialists, particularly women, with mathematics and computer science through new research on Ada Lovelace’s science.
Jennifer Rogers, Department of Statistics: awarded for the contribution made by Jennifer to the engagement of young people and non-statisticians with the application of statistics.