Loughborough University
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12 February 2008 PR 08/15

Royal recognition for Loughborough University research

Loughborough University’s world-leading research into road traffic accident investigation and driver sleepiness is to be recognised with one of the country’s most prestigious educational awards.

Her Majesty The Queen will present Loughborough with the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education on 14 February at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. It is the sixth time the award will have been bestowed on Loughborough – an achievement unbeaten by any other university.

The University’s Vehicle Safety Research Centre is the largest crash investigation research group in the world. Using real-world crash research it examines the causes of accidents and injuries and has made major contributions to European road and vehicle safety.

The Driver Sleepiness Research Group was the first UK research organisation to recognise the real problem of driver sleepiness and bring it to public attention. Its research and application of sleep science has led to widely adopted guidelines for the identification of sleep-related road crashes and to practical countermeasures, including the ‘Tiredness can kill – Take a break’ signs on motorways, changes to the Highway Code, and the setting of legal precedents concerning driver liability.

Professor Shirley Pearce, Loughborough University’s Vice Chancellor, said: “We are delighted to be receiving this prestigious honour, which recognises Loughborough’s world-leading role in road traffic death reduction.”

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Notes to editors:

  1. A photograph of the University’s work in road safety research is attached (print media only).

  2. The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes are awarded biennially in recognition of outstanding educational achievement in areas of service and benefit to the nation. Loughborough’s previous awards were presented:

    – For its partnerships with the aerospace industry, particularly Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems (1994)
    – In recognition of the Institute of Development Engineering’s unique service to developing countries, providing and managing sustainable infrastructure (1998)
    – In recognition of the Optical Engineering Group’s pioneering role in developing applications of modern optics and laser technologies to find practical solutions to real-world problems (2000)
    – In recognition of the University’s position as the country’s premier institution for sports development, and its world leading role in sports research and education (2002)
    – For its outstanding and widely-respected work in evaluating and helping develop social policy-related programmes (2005)

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