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MPLS Impact Awards aim to recognise and reward researchers at all career stages, for research that has had, or will have significant social or economic impact.

Volunteers cleaning up the Aldabra beach. Photo credit: Seychelles Islands Foundation © Seychelles Islands Foundation

There are four award categories: Commercial, Social, Early Career, and Public Engagement with Research Impact, and each award winner receives a pay award of £1,000 (minus taxes). More information about the MPLS Impact Awards can be found here.

A cross-departmental judging panel reviewed nominations and decided on MPLS Impact Awards winners: five researchers received impact awards and two researchers received commendation certificates. Professor Dermot O’Hare, Associate Head, Industrial Liaison and Innovation, presented awards and commendation certificates at the MPLS Winter reception on 11th February.

MPLS Impact Award Winners 2020

Left to right: Professor Philipp Kukura and Professor Justin Benesch (Commercial Impact Award winners); Professor Lindsay Turnbull (Social Impact Award winner) with Professor Dermot O’Hare (Associate Head, Industrial Liaison and Innovation); Dr Cedric Tan (Public Engagement with Research Impact Award winner).

Commercial Impact Award winners

Professor Justin Benesch and Professor Philipp Kukura, Department of Chemistry: awarded for contributions made by Justin and Philipp to the development of technology for a new way of measuring mass: mass photometry.

Social Impact Award winner

Professor Lindsay Turnbull, Department of Plant Sciences: awarded for the contribution made by Lindsay to the Aldabra Clean-Up Project: tackling the problem of marine plastic pollution through action, education and research.

Early Career Impact Award winner

Dr Doireann O’Kiely, Mathematical Institute: awarded for the contribution made by Doireann to improvements in the manufacture process for thin glass sheets.

Public Engagement with Research Impact Award winner

Dr Cedric Kai Wei Tan, Department of Zoology: awarded for the contribution made by Cedric to using serious games to create positive changes to public conservation actions.

Commendation Certificates

Joseph Poore, Department of Zoology: commended for the contribution made by Joseph to changing the discourse on the environmental impact of food.

Ulrik Lyngs, Department of Computer Science: commended for the contribution made by Ulrik for interventions through Reducing Digital Distraction workshops.

The Winter Reception

In addition to the presentation of the Impact Awards, the Winter Reception heard showcase presentations from two MPLS academics. Professor Sarah Knowles (Department of Zoology) shared her work on mammalian microbiomes ("Our inner ecosytems: what shapes the mammalian microbiome?") and Professor Robert Davies (Department of Statistics) discussed his research at the interface of statistics and medicine ("Statistical genomics towards precision medicine") . Professor Sam Howison, Head of MPLS Division, also gave a presentation, which included recognition of some of the many achievements made by MPLS researchers this year, and an update on the development of new buildings around the University.