On 26th November 2019, the Doctoral College hosted the 11th Annual Loughborough University Research Conference (#LboroResConf19) for Doctoral Researchers and Research Staff.
This extremely popular, multi-disciplinary and celebratory event provided all attendees with an excellent opportunity to network with one another whilst learning more about the extensive range of research conducted across the University.
The theme of this year’s University Research Conference was ‘Visibility and Impact’ through which we explored throughout the day how researchers can and should seek out opportunities to showcase their work and engage with others, including the public.
At the start of the conference, Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Doctoral College), Professor Elizabeth Peel, provided a warm welcome to all attendees and then provided context to the conference by defining what ‘impact’ is and how it is planned through the University’s Collective Ambition at Loughborough for Building Research Excellence (CALIBRE) framework. Professor Peel, emphasised that ‘impact’ does not (normally) just happen on its own. Rather, the best impact is planned form with engagement with others from the very start. Attendees were encouraged to ask themselves the questions “What could my research change?”, “Who could benefit from my research?”, “Who can I work with to develop this idea further?”. In addition, attendees were made aware of the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement.
Our morning keynote speaker was Professor Elizabeth Stokoe from the School of Social Sciences and Humanities. Elizabeth's research interests are in social interaction and conversation analysis in a variety of contexts, including healthcare settings, police interviews and hostage negotiation. During her keynote, Elizabeth shared how she has made her research impactful and visible through different channels including high profile talks and radio appearances. In an engaging and personal talk she drew on her research findings to share tips and tricks on how to be an effective and persuasive communicator.
Our afternoon keynote speaker was Dr Hamid Khan, public engagement coordinator for the charity Sense about Science, an independent campaigning charity that challenges the misrepresentation of research and evidence in public life. Hamid discussed Sense about Science’s history of effective public and policy engagement over 17 years. He focused on how the Voices of the Young Science network of 4,000 early career researchers around the UK and EU is changing the way the public and the media view science and scientists. Using exercises from the charity’s workshops, Hamid encouraged the audience to have the confidence and skills to start responding to public misconceptions about science and evidence.
A large proportion of the conference was focused on shining the spotlight on the work of our current doctoral researchers and research staff. To this end, 31 researchers were selected to present a five-minute snapshot of their research, and 75 researchers displayed poster presentations (our largest conference poster display yet!).
To mark the end of the conference, the winners of the oral and poster presentations were announced (details are provided below – well done all!) by the Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Doctoral College), Professor Elizabeth Peel. Professor Peel then reflected on the success of event and shared how impressed she was with the amount of high-quality research conducted across the University.
Finally, Professor Peel thanked everyone for attending and gave special appreciation to all contributors, particularly the conference organising committee, presenters, exhibitors (Research Office, Enterprise Office, Pilkington Library, Loughborough Student’s Union, Careers Network, PGR Programme President Team, Centre of Faith and Spirituality, Energy Research Accelerator, Student Services) and the Doctoral College team for organising the event.
Oral Presentation Winners
Communication & Culture Beacon (£50): Lexy Martin – ‘Why there’s nothing native about Digital Natives’- School of Design & Creative Arts
Sport & Exercise Beacon (£50): Amber Guest - ‘Cardiometric risk factors and mental health status among truck drivers: A systematic review’ – School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences
Global Challenges - Physical (£50): Meena Tamilarasan - ‘Self-healing concrete’ – School of Architecture, Building and Civil Building Engineering
Global Challenges - Societal (£50): Jedidah Tettah – ‘The relationship between maternal income-generating activities, infant feeding practices and nutritional status in urban Ghana’ – School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences
Posters Presentation Winners
Best poster (£100): Laura Hubbard – ‘Conductive/electroactive hybrid dressings to promote chronic wound rehabilitation and in situ tissue regeneration, re-innervation and maturation’ - School of Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemicals and Materials Engineering
Runner-up (£75): Rania Harastani – ‘Tackling Obesity by Creating a Knowledge-base on Food Reformulation for Industrial Application’ - School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering
Highly Commended (£50): Cheuk Ki Man – ‘Predicting the Unpredictable – Using A.I. to Predict Crashes in Real-Time’ - School of Architecture, Building and Civil Building Engineering
Delegates Choice (£75): Sui Liu ‘Art and Technology’ – Loughborough University London