Wed 5 Jun 19
Essex research which is having a positive impact on people's everyday lives, both in this country and abroad, was celebrated at our annual Research Impact Awards.
From helping to shape the UK’s immigration policy after Brexit to defending the human rights of residents in war-torn Syria, Essex academics are influencing public policy and helping to improve people’s lives.
The annual awards are open to all academics, researchers and PhD students and this year 19 projects were short-listed in six categories. Professor Christine Raines, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), said: “This year’s entries clearly demonstrate the incredible breadth of our work and the impact we are having.”
Will Moy, Director of Full Fact, the independent website which provides information and advice to allow anyone to check the claims made by politicians and the media, addressed the audience and challenged them to be bold, challenging and inquisitive.
This year’s event also included awards to the authors of Essex’s best-read articles in The Conversation – the news-based website, written by academics.
Research Impact Awards - winners and runners-up:
Best International Research Impact
Winner: Dr Tara Van Ho, School of Law, for work ensuring reconstruction efforts in Syria comply with human rights laws.
Runners-up: Dr Pawan Adhikari, Essex Business School, for his work on improving public sector accounting practices in emerging economies; Dr Sandya Hewamanne, Department of Sociology, for work improving working conditions on global assembly lines.
Best UK Public Policy Impact
Winner: Professor Peter Fussey, Department of Sociology and Dr Daragh Murray, School of Law for work on advising on the proper use of mass surveillance technology.
Runners-up: Dr Alita Nandi, Institute for Social and Economic Research and Dr Rennee Luthra, Department of Sociology, on work to help the police combat ethnic and racial harassment; Dr Malcolm Brynin, Institute for Social and Economic Research, who has produced recommendations for the Equality and Human Rights Commission on closing pay gaps.
Best Local or Regional Impact
Winner: Dr Mary Mazzilli and Professor Sanja Bahun, Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, for work presenting the human side of migration through a stage play and a pack for schools.
Runners-up: Dr Maria Hudson, Essex Business School, who has produced a toolkit for employers on the best ways of handling mental health in the workplace; Dr Gina Yannitell Reinhardt, Dr Kakia Chatsiou and Ruth Weir, Department of Governement for their work, as part of the Catalyst Project, on improving fire safety programmes in Essex.
Best Impact in Enterprise and Innovation
Winner: Professor Klaus McDonald-Maier, School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, for designing world-leading technology which makes it easier to debug microchips, leading to safer and more reliable products, from smart phones to driverless cars.
Runners-up: Professor Suma Athreye, Essex Business School who reviewed patent use for the UK’s Intellectual Property Office; Dr Alix Green, Department of History, for work demonstrating how a company’s historical documents can be used to solve today’s business problems.
Best Creative and Cultural Impact
Winner: Professor Maria Cristina Fumagalli, Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies whose book has helped unite human rights, cultural, artistic and literary organisations across the Caribbean.
Runners-up: Dr Loes Van Dam, Department of Psychology and Dr Liam Jarvis, Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies for a project which explores the use of virtual reality apps as a way of enhancing the audience’s enjoyment of a production. Professor Matthias Rȍhrig Assunção, Department of History, for work tracing the roots of the martial art, Capoeira,
Early Career - Humanities
Winner: Dr Alix Green, Department of History, for work demonstrating how a company’s historical documents can be used to solve today’s business problems.
Runner-up: Dr Tara Van Ho, School of Law, for work ensuring reconstruction efforts in Syria comply with human rights laws.
Early Career – Social Sciences
Winner: Julian Costas-Fernandez, Department of Government, whose work will help shape the UK immigration policy after Brexit.
Runner-up: Dr Florian Kern, Department of Government, for work helping women out of poverty in Uganda.
Early Career – Science and Health
Winner: Alice Lown, School of Biological Sciences, for work protecting the European native oyster.
Runner-up Dr Serafeim Perdikis, School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, for work developing Brain Computer Interface technology to allow paralysed people to control equipment through the power of thought.
The Conversation Awards – winners:
Faculty of Humanities: Dr Carlo Petrucci, School of Law – ‘Article 50 can be revoked: here’s what it means for Brexit’ – Over 44,000 reads.
Faculty of Social Sciences: Professor Sonia Bhalotra, Institute for Social and Economic Research - ‘When gold prices go up, so does the cost of a dowry, and baby girl survival rates in India fall’ - Over 45,000 reads.
Faculty of Science and Health: Peter Gooding, Department of Psychology - ‘The psychology of believing in free will’ - Over 56,000 reads.