Loughborough University Research Conference 2022
Enhanced Academic Practice (Organisational Development) and the Doctoral College were delighted to host Loughborough University’s Annual Research Conference 2022 on 06 December 2022!
Aligned to the University's bold and ambitious strategy, the theme of the conference was 'Creating better research. Together' to emphasise that we can achieve greater influence and impact when we work in partnership.
As you will see from this electronic programme (please scroll down to see all features), a large part of the conference was dedicated to the voice of researchers at all levels and in all disciplines. The conference also featured talks from academics and professional service staff from across the University, a poster competition, exhibitions from those who specialise in researcher support, and three keynote speakers.
We hope all those who attended in-person and online had fantastic day. To follow the Twitter chatter please use #LboroResConf22
09:00 – 09:30
Registration & Refreshments
09:30 – 09:40
Welcome: Dr Katryna Kalawsky
(Programme Director Researcher Development Pathways)
Online: MS Teams link (now inactive)
09:40 – 10:20
Keynote: Professor Dan Parsons
(Pro Vice-Chancellor - Research and Innovation)
“Loughborough University’s research vision”
Online: MS Teams link (now inactive)
10:20 – 10:40
Keynote: Professor Steve Christie (Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor - Doctoral College)
“Loughborough University’s 2030 strategy: What does it mean for researchers?”
Online: MS Teams link (now inactive)
10:40 – 11:00
Break & Refreshments
11:00 – 12:00
Parallel Session 1
See details below
12:00 – 13:15
Networking Lunch and Poster Session
13:15 – 14:15
Parallel Session 2
See details below
14:20 – 15:20
Parallel Session 3
See details below
15:20 – 15:35
Break & Refreshments
15:35 – 16:10
Keynote: Professor Charlotte Croffie
(Pro Vice-Chancellor - Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion)
“Why equity, diversity and inclusion matters in research”
Online: MS Teams link (now inactive)
16:10 – 16:30
Closing Address and Prize Presentations:
Professor Steve Christie
Online: MS Teams link (now inactive)
Professor Dan Parsons
Professor Dan Parsons, the University’s recently appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor of Research and Innovation, shared experiences of being collaborative researcher and Loughborough University’s research vision.
Prior to the event, Professor Parsons commented: “I am very much looking forward to attending the Annual Research Conference and engaging with researchers from the across the University without whom our strong reputation and capability would not be as it is.
“I would encourage as many doctoral researchers and research staff as possible to take advantage of this excellent multi-disciplinary event since connecting and networking with others, expanding knowledge beyond your field, and presenting ideas to others is central to our aspirations at Loughborough.”
Professor Steve Christie
Professor Steve Christie, the Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Doctoral College), unpacked Loughborough University's 2030 Strategy with a focus on what it means for researchers.
Prior to the event, Professor Christie commented: “The Annual Research Conference is a highlight in the University’s event calendar and offers a brilliant opportunity for researchers at all levels and in all disciplines to connect; something essential to establishing and maintaining a creative and collaborative research community.”
Professor Charlotte Croffie
Professor Charlotte Croffie, the University’s first Pro Vice-Chancellor of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI), shared experiences of being a collaborative researcher and why EDI matters in research.
Prior to the event, Professor Croffie said “Research and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) are not mutually exclusive. The Annual Research Conference provides an excellent opportunity for the diverse research community at Loughborough University to come together, share cutting-edge work, and importantly learn from each other. During my keynote I will discuss why initiating and embedding EDI practices is crucial to conducting meaningful and impactful research and creating inclusive and collaborative communities in all disciplines".
Parallel Session 1 (11:00 – 12:00)
A. Pushing the boundaries of traditional research with open practices
Presented by the Open Research Collective (a grassroots initiative to promote open research practices and policies at Loughborough University and beyond) presenters shared how they have pushed the boundaries of traditional research with open practices. Delegates were encourgaed to join the session to discuss how to make research better, together.
Session Chairs: Michael Bukur (Doctoral Researcher) and Inka Kosonen (Doctoral Researcher)
In-person: Stephenson Lecture Theatre
Online: MS Teams link (now inactive)
Lars Claussen - ‘Embedding openness into researchers’ practices: Why the diversity of perspective is so important’ (Design and Creative Arts)
Serena Rossi - ‘Open science practice through a PhD journey’ (Science)
In a time of Reproducibility crisis, making our own research available to everyone is a fundamental practice to follow. In this talk, I will share my Open Science experience during my PhD at Loughborough. Specifically, I will tell you all the practices I adhere to in my research, such as preregistering all the studies, and sharing and making public materials (i.e., research tools, data analysis scripts, and dataset) in the Open Science Framework (OSF) platform. I will also mention the difficulties I encountered in doing it, and the solutions I found to overcome them (e.g., the use of a synthetic dataset if sharing the real dataset was not possible due to ethical issues). Finally, I will share with you a few reflections about how following Open Science practices has positively impacted my research and my PhD experience.
Petra Salaric - ‘Gram your research’ (Design and Creative Arts)
Science for the sake of society. Innovation that stays in the repositories. Do our findings on how to improve society actually reach the society? In my short talk I will discuss how and why to make research and data accessible through social media; how to create content that is engaging, valuable and relatable; and how performance art can be a source for sharing research
Bethany Woollacott - ‘Research to practice: Can we do it?’ (Science)
I spent weeks on the internet aiming to find a new bed for my dog, Ella. Two weeks after I find her the best dog bed ever? She chews it to pieces. If I had communicated with Ella, I might have realised that the bed needed to be tough – chew-resistant! – not just cosy. Perhaps I might have even realised that Ella actually wanted a new toy, not a bed. Now, imagine that I am an education researcher and Ella is a teacher: I research a new method for Ella to teach fractions, but Ella’s class is stuck with division. Her class need to conquer division before my research becomes useful. Unlike Ella (my dog), I can communicate to Ella (the teacher) to help inform my research, so why did I not? This question is pertinent when reviewing much of education research: the gap between researchers and teachers is wide. There is a tendency for education researchers to disregard the potential value of teaching experience, and educational research is often not effectively disseminated. On a large scale, these problems appear insurmountable, with numerous barriers on both sides. On a smaller scale, there are ways to address the gap between research and practice, in all fields. In this short talk, I discuss some of the approaches that I use throughout my research. They are not perfect, but they helped me shift some research into the real-world and, more importantly, encouraged me to consider the real-world application of my research too.
B. Doctoral Prize Fellowship showcase
Each year the University seeks outstanding early career researchers who have recently completed their PhD to apply to become Doctoral Prize Fellows. These prestigious, highly competitive 2-year Research Fellowships offer a rare opportunity for outstanding postdoctoral scholars to establish their own ambitious research agenda, develop their skills as independent researchers, and position themselves as future research leaders. During this session, current Doctoral Prize Fellows shared their current research and collaborative experiences.
Online: MS Teams link (now inactive)
Session Chair: Samantha Chester – Lead Academic Projects and Development Adviser (Enhanced Academic Practice)
Dr Laura Jenkins - ‘Improving children’s engagement in youth justice’ (Social Sciences and Humanities)
A child who breaks the law in England and Wales enters the Youth Justice System, whose principal aim is to prevent offending. Historically, this involved practitioners working with children to assess and address issues surrounding the offence and the child’s risk. More recently, the Youth Justice System has adopted a “Child First” strategy, promoting meaningful engagement to support children to become the best versions of themselves and make positive contributions to society. However, justice-experienced children have frequently experienced multiple vulnerabilities and challenges, not least trauma, exclusion, and communication needs; establishing trust is complex. Little research exists on effective strategies for building positive relationships. Consequently, there is a gap in our understanding of how meaningful connections are built, and an absence of resources for sharing good practice within and across Youth Offending Teams who represent the Youth Justice Service at local levels. In my research I work alongside children, young people, and youth justice practitioners, recording and analysing real conversations between children and youth justice practitioners as they work to build relationships, assess the child’s needs, and build an intervention plan. Deploying the established scientific communication techniques of conversation analysis, my project will identify tangible communication practices around facilitating meaningful engagement and transform them into evidence-based interactive training for staff and children in youth justice settings. In this talk, I explore the challenges I have encountered working on sensitive topics with vulnerable participants and share the rewards of conducting applied research which deploys cutting-edge methods to offer real-time improvements for organisations and for society.
Dr Ronan Lee - ‘How the Rohingya characterise social vitality: The personal, professional, and political aspirations of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslim refugees in Bangladesh’ (Loughborough University London)
Victims of genocidal practices within Myanmar, a 2017 forced migration to Bangladesh brought Rohingya Muslims to global attention. UN investigators have indicated return to Myanmar remains unsafe. If loss of social vitality or social death is the distinct harm of genocide, then understanding victim groups’ characterisations of social vitality must be central to protection approaches, and understandings of how social relations can be reconstituted. Beyond reluctance to return to an unsafe Myanmar, little is known about the Rohingya’s long-term aspirations. This research aims to address this knowledge gap by examining the personal, professional, and political aspirations of Rohingya refugees, asking: what characterises social vitality for the Rohingya? Multi-sited research within Rohingya refugee camps will utilize a mixed methods approach to data collection involving participant observation, in-depth interviews, and focus groups. The project aims for high policy impact with findings of interest to the UN, Myanmar’s civilian National Unity Government administration, and governments including those of Bangladesh and the UK.
Dr Chris McLeod - ‘Are vegetables acceptable to children at breakfast time in a nursery setting?’ (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)
In many Westernised countries, children do not eat enough vegetables for optimal health and development. Child-feeding guidelines have been produced to tackle this issue but often constrain the opportunities for offering vegetables to midday/evening meals and snack times. With guidance having limited success to date in increasing children’s vegetable intake, a novel approach must be considered. In this regard, offering vegetables to children at breakfast time, alongside their main breakfast food, at nursery has the potential to be an effective public health intervention as children typically attend nursery and eat breakfast there. However, the feasibility and acceptability of this intervention to children and nursery staff has not been explored. Methods: A feasibility and acceptability cluster randomised controlled trial was undertaken in nurseries in the East Midlands. Nurseries were allocated to either an intervention or a control group. Staff in intervention nurseries offered three raw carrot batons and three cucumber sticks alongside children’s main breakfast food each day for three weeks. Control-group nurseries facilitated usual care (i.e., not offering vegetables at breakfast) for three weeks. Results: Both the nursery staff and children (n=351, across eight nurseries) found the intervention acceptable, with children eating some part of the vegetables in 63.2% of all instances (n=1178) where vegetables were offered. Conclusions: Offering vegetables to children for breakfast at nursery is a feasible and acceptable intervention to nursery staff and children. A full evaluation of this intervention should now be undertaken to understand the extent to which the intervention increases children’s daily vegetable intake.
Dr Thomas Stanton - ‘Unnatural ‘naturals’ – the society and science of microfibre pollution’ (Social Sciences and Humanities)
Microplastic particles (pieces of plastic smaller than 5 mm, or about the size of a circle on top of a Lego brick) are a pervasive form of pollution that have been found in aquatic and terrestrial environments, as well as the atmosphere, all over the world – including the poles. They can be ingested by even the smallest organisms, causing internal blockages, and can be a source, and vector, of chemical pollutants in the environment. Concern for microplastic pollution has led to environmental action from members of the public, politicians, and industry. But not all this action is well informed. Plastic textile fibres, such as polyester and nylon, are the most frequently reported microplastic particle type. These particles primarily enter the environment because of laundering practices. To reduce microplastic fibre pollution, there has been a shift to the purchasing and promotion of clothing made from natural fibres such as cotton and wool, however, the environmental impacts and biodegradability of these fibres are poorly understood. Moreover, recent work has found that natural fibres far outnumber their plastic alternatives in the environment, and their chemistries mean that their biodegradation is unlikely to be as assumed. This presentation will introduce my AXA Research Fund fellowship documenting the shedding, transport, preservation, and chemistry of these unnatural ‘natural’ textile fibres. It will then reflect on the importance of getting sustainability discourses in fashion right to make a difference far beyond this industry.
Dr Mats Vermeeren - ‘Four different dynamical systems’ (Science)
In mathematics, a dynamical system something that moves or changes, following fixed rules. In this talk I will show the motion of dynamical systems of four different types. This will highlight the difference between chaotic (unpredictable) and integrable (predictable) dynamical systems; and the difference between continuous dynamical systems (where time progresses smoothly) and discrete dynamical systems (which evolve in steps). Once we have a feeling for these types of dynamical systems, I will say a few words about my research topic, which involves connections between discrete and continuous integrable systems.
C. Career pathways for researchers in Higher Education
Within all Universities there are several people with doctorates who work in roles that deviate from ‘traditional’ academic positions (i.e., lecturer, senior lecturer, reader, and professor). During this session, presenters based in Professional Services from across Loughborough University shared their career pathway to date and how their doctorate has equipped them with invaluable transferable skills including the ability to connect and collaborate with others.
Online: MS Teams link (now inactive)
Session Chair: Dr Sarah Turner – Programme Director Professional Programmes & Pathways (Enhanced Academic Practice)
Dr Manuel Alonso - Associate Chief Operating Officer and Director of Student Services
Manuel has worked in support-related roles in Higher and Further Education for the last 17 years. He has worked at Loughborough University since 2009 originally leading Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity, which includes mental health, disability support, counselling support and welfare advice. In 2013 Manuel moved into the role of Director of Student Services at Loughborough. In November 2018 he moved into the role of Associate Chief Operating Officer with overall responsibility for Student Services, Library Services, and Legal Services. Since October 2022 Manuel has been Deputy Chief Operating Officer, adding responsibility for the Research & Innovation Office and Health Safety into his previous brief. Manuel also leads on several cross-institutional themes for professional services, including student experience, safeguarding, sexual violence and the Prevent agenda.
Dr Jenna Townend - Strategic Change Programme Manager
Jenna completed her PhD in English Literature in January 2018. After finishing, she worked as a Consultant within the Advice department of Loughborough Students’ Union. Prior to June 2019, she continued to pursue her research activity while exploring postdoctoral fellowship options, before making the decision not to pursue an academic career. Having made the decision to instead pursue a career within HE professional services, Jenna has since had a range of roles across Academic Registry, Organisational Development and Research and Innovation. She is currently a Strategic Change Programme Manager at Loughborough University where she has responsibility for projects linked to the University’s new Strategy.
Dr Kathryn North – Director of C-DICE, Head of ERA, and Head of HyDEX Skills
Kathryn’s interests lie in developing researchers at all career stages. Having supported researchers at Loughborough University since 2007, most recently as Head of Researcher Development, Kathryn has experience in creating innovative approaches to researcher development through the Doctoral College, leading the Research Leaders programme, and establishing the Institute of the Advanced Studies. She is also Head of Skills for the Energy Research Accelerator (ERA) which includes a Doctoral Training Partnership. Through C-DICE, Kathryn is driving a step-change in postdoctoral development, providing opportunities for researchers to develop their careers, for research and innovation to achieve net-zero, and for industry.
Parallel Session 2 (13:15 - 14:15)
A. Miscellaneous researcher talks
It is recognised that not all research will align to the themes within Loughborough University’s 2030 strategy. Therefore, this selection of short researcher talks showcased the breadth of work conducted across the University.
In-person: Stephenson Lecture Theatre
Online: MS Teams link (now inactive)
Session Chair: Dr Caroline Lowery - Academic Projects and Development Adviser (Enhanced Academic Practice)
Ezgi Aral - ‘Understanding news media representations of rape: An analysis of the England and Wales news media’ (Social Sciences and Humanities)
Rape is a topic that attracts the attention of the news media, and therefore, is widely featured. Yet, it has been argued that the framing of such news is usually problematic, the news media tends to sensationalize rape by emphasizing exceptional cases, perpetuate rape myths and spread misinformation about rape and other forms of sexual offences. It is, therefore, crucial to discover why rape cases receive more news media attention and to understand how these are presented because, above all, the news media has great power over social perceptions of social problems and people’s belief structures. Among other media, whether entertainment media or other media, news media's role is vital because it reflects real life, unlike entertainment media. This study, therefore, focuses on how the news media represent rape in England and Wales, and examines the nature and extent of such representations and potential reasons for these. As such, in this presentation, first, I will clarify why this topic is important, second, what I will do, and third, how this thesis will contribute to knowledge.
Fatih Aydogan – ‘The United States Foreign Policy on the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict, A study in realist politics’ (Social Sciences and Humanities)
This thesis will seek to explain the dispute in the Nagorno-Karabakh region between Armenia and Azerbaijan from the perspective of the United States which is one of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs with realist approach. The Nagorno-Karabakh issue is still ongoing ethnic and territorial conflict in the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh in southwestern Azerbaijan, between the majority ethnic Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh backed by Armenia, and the Republic of Azerbaijan. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict began in 1988. Twice, Armenia and Azerbaijan have gone to war over this territory. These armed conflicts were ended by ceasefire agreements in 1994 and 2020. Although the United States has not been party to the post-Cold War conflicts over Nagorno-Karabakh, it maintained close relationships in the Karabakh region to advance their national interests in the South Caucasus. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group was established in 1992 to encourage a peaceful, negotiated resolution of the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. As well as having the United States’s own interests in Nagorno-Karabakh, the United States has become co-chair of the Minsk Group. However, despite the negotiations that have been held under the auspices of the Minsk Group, a settlement that is acceptable to both Armenia and Azerbaijan have not been found. To establish whether the interests and actions of the United States prevent a peaceful resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, this study investigates the origins of the Minsk Group, its attempts at peace-making and the interests and activities of the United States on the region.
Alice Bishop – ‘Driverless vehicles and motorcyclists: How will they interact?’ (Design and Creative Arts)
Motorcyclists are a unique vulnerable road user, their speed and agility combined with shape and unique behaviours, makes them difficult to predict; especially when combined with breadth of experiences and motorcycle types present on the roads. This variability is a particular challenge to the rule-based programming of driverless vehicles and current and future driver assistance systems. Motorcyclists are also resistant to advanced systems on the road, meaning that integration and perceived safety is also vital area of research. Clear communication of intent to motorcyclists is vital to improve trust in automated and assistive technologies and to help normalise motorcyclists’ reactions to driverless vehicles. It is also import for the requirements of motorcyclists, motorcycle stakeholders and driverless vehicle stakeholders to align or consider each other. The first study in this research has determined the motorcyclists current gauge intent primarily through incidental signals from drivers in vehicles and that they feel most at risk in situation where they have right of way over vehicles. The second study assessed the themes around driverless vehicles in relation motorcyclists. This study confirmed a resistance to advanced technology by riders, while indicating an increased acceptance of advanced technology by motorcyclist stakeholders and reliance on this technology by CAV stakeholders. This study also identified several misalignments among the three groups. The third study used the results of the previous studies to develop three displays for driverless vehicles, results on this are pending.
Fay Claybrook – ‘Diabetes and digital fabrication’ (Design and Creative Arts)
Ever wondered how 3D printing can help with the use of medical aids? How we can further customise, adapt, and learn from the environment around us whilst designing for it? The use of digital fabrication has enhanced the manufacturing process for many medical applications where we can optimise designs for different needs. Diabetic foot is a complex chronic wound that has been suggested to create more cost than some cancers worldwide. The need to prescribe a pain relief to protect and promote a healthy environment is critical to the safety and reduction of amputations of patients. Insoles protect the foot; a material is matched to the foot to limit pressures exposed to the patients as their loss of sensory input means they cannot feel any damage to the skin. 3D printing can be engineered to create structures that replicate nature, where high strength-to-weight ratios found in insects can be exploited to the individual diabetic patient’s pressure ranges. The use of these structures being printed from flexible materials can mimic that of foams currently used in the medical sector. Therefore, the workflow of insole manufacturing can be digitised to the capturing of patient’s anatomy, customising the designed material, and creating a comfortable medical aid to increase conformity and reduce diabetic foot amongst patients using digital fabrication.
Dr Natalie Flint – ‘Learning through talk: Using conversation analysis to support early years mathematics learning?’ (Science)
We know that children’s experiences at home, and in Early Years settings, are associated with mathematics achievement. But to understand how these environments influence children’s mathematical learning, and provide information needed by Early Years practitioners and families, we need to identify the nuances of children’s interactions. There is compelling evidence that young children engage in mathematical thinking and learning in play, and that educators play a critical role in shaping their learning. However, we currently lack knowledge of the nature of these interactions and how they support children’s learning, so they can be reproduced by practitioners. To look at the nuances of how these interactions unfold, we will employ Conversation Analysis, a method used to explore the details of talk and interaction. Naturally occurring talk is transcribed in detail, taking note of phonetic details, gestures, facial expressions and more, to consider both what is being said, but also how it is being said. These interactional data will be analysed to explore how children learn and engage with mathematical thinking in their interactions with each other and with early years practitioners. The aim of this is to present the opportunities made available to us by Conversation Analysis and demonstrate how this methodology can be used for research within the Centre for Early Mathematics Learning.
Yiming Ma - ‘Emerging trend in the pharmaceutical industry: Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to develop crystallization process’ (Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering)
In 2022, the global pharmaceutical market will exceed 1.5 trillion us dollars. Since more than 70% of drugs are stored or sold in solid form, crystallization, as the most important solid-liquid separation unit operation, plays an increasingly important role. In recent years, we have continued to focus on the interdisciplinary research of machine learning and pharmaceutical crystallization and tried to use machine learning-based methods to carry out related work such as the prediction of fundamental properties of small molecule drugs, product quality design for batch crystallization processes, and process design development and optimization for the continuous and integrated pharmaceutical manufacturing. The research team for related topics is composed of Tianjin University (China), Loughborough University (UK) and Purdue University (US). Intending to develop the data-driven pharmaceutical industry further, the team members play their respective characteristics and propose new strategies for drug development from the perspectives of method development and experimental verification.
Robert Phillips – Fatigue in tunnel workers: Real world challenges (Design and Creative Arts)
Working conditions when constructing tunnels are physiological and psychologically demanding, characterised by including 24h operations covered by 14-hour rotating shifts which can lead to inconsistent sleep opportunities that frequently coinciding with peak natural alertness during the daytime. Additionally, tunnellers face a tough physical environment. In combination this puts tunnellers at high risk of fatigue, an occupational hazard associated with increased workplace incidents. This research aims to 1) Quantify environmental conditions within a working tunnel and 2) Identify physical and mental fatigue experienced by tunnellers. Over a 14-hour night shift the physical environment (humidity, temperature, heat stress, air flow and noise), was recorded at four locations of a tunnelling machine. Physical (grip strength and urine samples) and mental (subjective sleepiness and reaction time) fatigue indicators were recorded at the start and end of shift. Data was collected at a UK Polyhalite mine during October 2022.
The physical environment was consistent across the machine locations and the shift duration (mean temperature = 32oC, relative humidity mean = 31%). Physical condition was characterised by dehydrated Urine samples. Mental fatigue was apparent for some but not all workers. A key finding of this study was the challenge of applying qualified laboratory tests and techniques within a field setting. A significant variability in people, attitudes, cognitive ability, and researcher control was encountered thus providing new insights into the design of field research. Future research will consider how to manage fatigue of tunnel workers, typically through workwear design and shift timing.
Startseva Viktoriia – ‘The role of First Lady diplomacy in Ukrainian national branding over war times: 2014-2022’ (Loughborough University London)
This research analyses the role of First Lady diplomacy in shaping the image of Ukraine as a country during the war times with Russia (2014-2022). The country image directly depends on the image of the country leaders, as well as the representatives of elite, artists, sportsmen, and opinion influencers. The President’s wife as the First Lady plays a leading role in such regard: she may offer an example for imitation by other women and strengthen (or weaken) the reputation of the President. The research goes beyond the traditional ceremonial norms of the First Lady Institution (FLI) and its perception as presidential spouse or companion. It focuses on the innovative angle of the First Lady’s roles as goodwill ambassador acting on the international diplomatic stage, contributing to female leadership and women’s empowerment. We look at the key milestones of FLI development during civil revolutions in Ukraine, such as the Orange Revolution, Euromaidan protests, Revolution of Dignity, and the full war escalation with Russia and Belarus. We examine four stages of FLI evolution: post-Perestroika (FLI under Antonina Kravchuk, 1991-1994, and Ludmyla Kuchma, 1994-2005); pre-war and early-war (FLI under Kateryna Uschenko, 2005-2010, and Ludmyla Yanukovich, 2010-2014); first invasion of 2014 (FLI under Maryna Poroshenko, 2014-2019), and full-war escalation of 2022 (FLI under Olena Zelenska, 2019-2022). This review gives us an understanding of how gender policy development changed from pro-Russian to pro-Western and influenced the course of first lady diplomacy development in Ukraine. It shows that every crisis became a trigger to drift apart by breaking the political ties with former USSR states and build motivation to establish new partnerships with EU and G7 gender policy initiatives.
B. Establishing and promoting a collaborative research culture
Valuing our research communities is critical to delivering on our research and innovation endeavours at Loughborough. However, there are sector-wide concerns about poor research cultures in research performing institutions. Loughborough is planning a dedicated strand of work to ensure our research culture is the inclusive, creative, and supportive one we intend it to be. A discussion took place that used the Wellcome Trust’s Café Culture Toolkit to understand the research culture concerns of both research-active and research-enabling staff at Loughborough, and how we might make positive changes.” This session was facilitated by Dr Elizabeth Gadd and Richie Emerson-Wood.
Dr Elizabeth Gadd – Research Policy Manager (Research Innovation Office)
Elizabeth is a Research Policy Manager at Loughborough University who recently completed a secondment to the University of Glasgow, as the Acting Head of Research Culture & People. Elizabeth spent most of her career in academic libraries and researching issues relating to scholarly activities of UK Higher Education. These include the JISC-funded ACORN, Rights & Rewards, and RoMEO Projects, the latter of which gave rise to the SHERPA RoMEO service. Elizabeth has a PhD in copyright ownership and scholarly communication. She founded the Lis-Copyseek forum, the Lis-Bibliometrics forum and The Bibliomagician blog. Elizabeth is a Champion for the ARMA Research Evaluation Special Interest Group, chairs the International Network of Research Managers (INORMS) Research Evaluation Group and was the 2020 recipient of the INORMS Award for Excellence in Research Management Leadership.
Richie Emerson-Wood – Assistant Registrar, Quality & Experience (Doctoral College)
Richie is an Assistant Registrar in the Doctoral College Office at Loughborough University, responsible for the operations, policy and standards in Doctoral Researcher quality and experience. Richie works across the University to ensure the Doctoral College provides the wrap around training and support needs of our research populations.
Richie is also responsible for the delivery of key strategic initiatives from the Doctoral College which contribute to enhancing the experience of Doctoral Researchers; Overseeing the quality assurance and continuous improvement processes of research degree programmes across the institution.
C. Embracing opportunities to connect, collaborate and innovate
Being ‘collaborative’ and ‘creative’ are two of five core values that underpin Loughborough University’s 2030 strategy. During this session, several academics shared personal reflections of how they built several successful connections and collaborated with others to conduct innovative and impactful research.
Online: MS Teams link (now inactive)
Session Chair: James Moran - Academic Projects and Development Adviser (Enhanced Academic Practice)
Dr Ksenia Chmutina - Reader in Sustainable and Resilient Urbanism and Director of EDI (Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering)
Ksenia’s research focusses on the processes of urban disaster risk creation and systemic implications of sustainability and resilience in the context of neoliberalism. She uses her work to draw attention to the fact that disasters are not natural. Ksenia has conducted research in the UK, India, Indonesia, Japan, Nepal, China, and the Caribbean, working with policymakers, non-governmental organisations, industry, and marginalised communities. A core part of her activities is science communication: Ksenia is a co-host of a popular podcast ‘Disasters: Deconstructed’.
Dr Ishara Dharmasena – Lecturer and Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow (Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering)
Ishara received his B.Sc. (Engineering) degree from University of Moratuwa (2014) and PhD from University of Surrey specializing in triboelectric energy harvesting and wearable electronics (2019). He previously worked as a EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellow at the Wolfson School, Loughborough University (2019-2021) and as a Research Fellow on TENG Energy Harvesting at the University of Surrey (2019). Ishara has extensive experience in smart textiles and nanotechnology industries, working as a Research Scientist at Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology and working in several leading textiles companies in South Asia. He has received numerous awards and accolades including the ABTA Doctoral Researcher Award, UK (2018), MAS Award (Sri Lanka) and The Textile Institute Gold Medal (Sri Lanka). His current research interests include energy harvesting, triboelectric nanogenerators, wearable and flexible electronics.
Dr Dominic Willmott – Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Chartered Psychologist (Social Sciences and Humanities)
Dr Dom Willmott is a Chartered Psychologist and Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Loughborough University. His research examines bias within the Criminal Justice System and in particular, the role of rape myths upon jury and juror decision making. His research has led to his involvement with UK policy makers, contributing to discussions surrounding the need for jury reform and exploring effective solutions to reduce juror reliance on stereotypes and bias when reaching decisions at trial. Dom has published more than 50 academic outputs in the last five years, with collaborators from nine 10 different countries. Broadly he is interested and publishes around interventions designed to tackle gender-based violence (behaviour and supportive attitudes), including the role of technology in doing so, as well as research seeking to better understand offender pathways and motivations among incarcerated populations.
Parallel Session 3 (14:20 – 15:20)
A. Researcher talks: Sport, health, and wellbeing
This selection of short talks aligned to Loughborough University's 'Sport, health and wellbeing' Strategic Theme.
In-person: Stephenson Lecture Theatre
Online: MS Teams link (now inactive)
Session chair: Dr Jo Gilman - Academic Projects and Development Adviser (Enhanced Academic Practice)
Aycan Akoglu – ‘Why your workplace environment matters for your cognitive well-being’ (Business and Economics)
A substantial proportion of people globally spend most of their waking hours at work. Consequently, the quality of the workplace environment is important for employees’ well-being. In turn, high job satisfaction is significant for the success of an organisation and employee retention. Analyses of specific life domains like job satisfaction for individuals’ cognitive well-being are prevalent in literature, yet less is known regarding the influence of experienced workplace injustice. Research has found workplace discrimination and bullying, harassment, and abuse (BHA) have been linked to poorer physical and psychological health, increased sickness absence and low job satisfaction. It also has a financial burden to UK organisations of an estimated £13.75 billion annually. Using a nationally representative annual longitudinal survey, funded primarily by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the findings suggest on-going interventions are important to ensure inclusive cultures are maintained in UK workplaces.
Michael Bukur – ‘Parkrun: From start lines to finish tokens’ (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)
Health and wellbeing programmes serve a vital role in helping people live longer and happier lives. Although these types of initiatives can be beneficial for much of the population, oftentimes people from backgrounds of less financial, educational, or social opportunities have more to gain in terms of health and wellbeing outcomes than their more privileged counterparts. However, these individuals who face multiple barriers are the very populations which health practitioners struggle to engage. The non-profit parkrun which organises free, weekly community events around the world, is an example of a health and wellbeing programme which faces this challenge. Although there is no fee to sign up or participate, people from more deprived postcodes participate at lower rates than those who live in less deprived postcodes. Observations of three parkrun events in East London conducted alongside interviews with volunteers, staff, and local residents who have never participated in parkrun before demonstrated potential gaps in systems and processes meant to drive community engagement. From the perspective of local residents, there was an overwhelming lack of awareness of the event and those who were aware of the event were often deterred by the perceived lack of diversity of participants. Interviews with volunteers and staff, have revealed an organisation going through a transition driven by its health-centred and inclusive ethos. This kind of systems approach can offer a template for impact and organisational evaluation for health and wellbeing programmes. Further research can explore and test specific processes for continuous structural and impact evaluation.
Jonah Drake - ‘Demystifying function threshold power’ (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)
In all endurance sports coaches and athletes are always looking for ways to predict their performance. A runner may want to know how quickly they can run a marathon. A cyclist may want to know how much power they can sustain for an hour. Both questions can currently be answered using widely known performance predictors such as Jack Daniels’ “VDOT” calculator or Function Threshold Power (FTP). Most predictors often use a previous performance of shorter length to predict a performance over a longer length e.g., a half marathon to predict a marathon. In cycling, FTP is the power an athlete can sustain for an hour but the method to determine it is often criticised as it typically overestimates the potential performance of athletes. Our work combines statistics and sport to show why this method of determination does not work for most athletes, and we propose a more accurate method assuming access to a sufficient amount of data.
Henrietta Graham – ‘For the long haul, start small’ (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)
When it comes to weight management, most people start their journey by aiming to lose weight and try to do so by making large changes to their current dietary and/or physical activity behaviours. These large changes will generally lead to weight loss, but only in the short term, as most weight loss is regained over time. Weight regain following weight loss may occur because the large changes made to lose weight are difficult to incorporate into everyday life and maintain over time. A more suitable strategy to help people manage their weight may be to encourage them to focus firstly on preventing weight gain by using a strategy known as a “small change approach” i.e., by making small changes to their diet and/or physical activity. In making small changes, individuals may slowly but gradually develop a healthier lifestyle and this could lead to successful weight loss and weight loss maintenance in the future. In this presentation, I will explain more about what a small change approach is, how it could be used to help people manage their weight and the results of the studies that I have conducted so far within my PhD that have tested the merit of a small change approach for weight management.
Jiayin Guan – ‘Promoting physical activity to older adults using different ageing models’ (Design and Creative Arts)
Promoting physical activity (PA) to older adults is beneficial for healthy ageing and addresses challenges related to population ageing. The heterogeneity of older adults makes it difficult for stakeholders to understand and address their needs. This study aims to find out the advantages and disadvantages of current ageing models and ways to promote PA for all populations. Literature related to ageing models and PA were reviewed, and 40 older adults from different places in the UK were interviewed. The challenge of inclusivity in ageing and four common ageing models were discussed. Finally, the study presents four ageing models to propose ways of promoting PA for people. By increasing the inclusivity of ordinary communities, the naturally occurring retirement community (NORC) could be desirable for healthy ageing.
Naomi Harte – ‘Achieving positive outcomes from fitness testing in physical education’ (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)
Educating children about health is considered a priority given growing governmental concerns globally surrounding childhood inactivity and poor health (WHO, 2018). Schools, and physical education (PE), have been identified as having key roles to play in this regard. Fitness testing (FT) has been identified as the most common practice to teach about health within PE (Alfrey & Landi, 2023). Despite this, it is a fiercely debated topic within the field. Proponents advocate various educational purposes for FT, whilst others contest the practice can lack meaning and be a negative, embarrassing, demotivating experience for some pupils (Harris, 2020). Increasingly, there are calls to listen and act on pupils’ voices when shaping the school curriculum (Enright & O’Sullivan, 2010). This presentation will outline research which aimed to do this, and to achieve positive outcomes from FT within PE. The study involved working with pupils and their PE teachers at a secondary school in West England over an 8-month period. Initially, a focus group was conducted with 6 pupils, following a standard FT lesson which involved the completion of participatory arts-based tasks designed to encourage them to share their experiences, as well as future wishes with respect to FT in PE. The data were analysed, and the key findings were shared with the PE staff, and the researcher then worked with the teachers to act on the pupils’ voices. Positive outcomes from their subsequent experience of FT and the wider research process were reported by both the pupils and teachers 6 months later.
Dr Claire Madigan – ‘Helping people to manage their weight in the NHS’ (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)
There are many people that are living with obesity that want help to manage their weight. One place people go to for help is their doctors. We searched for all of the studies that have investigated weight management programmes delivered in general practice. we found 27 studies with data from 8,000 people. There was a lot of variation in the weight loss programmes offered by GPs. Some studies involved participants who only had one short advice session with a doctor, while others involved multiple visits with their GP. The length of the programmes also varied – from three months to three years. We found that, after a year, people who received help from their doctor lost an average of 3.7kg which was 2.3kg more than people who did not receive help from their GP. While this difference in weight loss may seem small, even losing 2%-5% of body weight can have a range of health benefits, such as improved blood sugar levels. We also showed that people who lost weight with help from their GP kept around 80% of it off when followed up two years later. Our findings indicate that having the right kind of help and advice can make it easier for people to stick with a weight loss programme – and keep this weight off long term. In the future we are going to look at whether these programmes are effective for different ethnic groups, genders and people that live in deprivation. Many studies don’t report some of these characteristics so we must make sure we are reducing inequalities by offering these programmes.
Rai Powell - 'I'm a gross red monster!" The monsterisation of Menarche and Neurodiversity (Social Sciences and Humanities)
People want to see themselves in the media they consume. We all want representation in television, books, and film, and to feel seen and valued. But what happens when that representation is inaccurate; based on stereotypes; depicts us as monsters? Menstruation is a normal, and often inevitable, bodily function, yet it is still considered taboo. Periods, and their associated bleeding, continue to be shrouded in guilt, shame, and mortification. Despite being a natural part of female adolescent life, we rarely see depictions of menstruation in YA literature. What if Bella Swan had to avoid her new vampire family during “that time of the month?” What if Katniss Everdeen had horrendous menstrual cramps on the day she volunteered as tribute, and did she take tampons into battle with her? Periods are suspiciously absent in these narratives, despite countless fan-fiction stories answering these very questions. However, menstruation appears more frequently in horror narratives; it is often depicted as the moment a female character comes into her powers. It is considered monstrous and dangerous. My research focuses on the way women are monsterised, with a particular focus on autism and menstruation. My research is practice-led, and I am writing a young-adult novel with an autistic protagonist who discovers she is a powerful witch after going through menarche. Through my research, I plan to discover whether it is possible to write about this character without turning her into a monstrous stereotype or perpetuating further stigma around these topics.
B. Researcher talks: Climate change and net zero
This selection of short talks aligned to Loughborough University's 'Climate change and net zero' Strategic Theme.
Online: MS Teams link (now inactive)
Session Chair: Dr Victoria Wright - Academic Projects and Development Adviser (Enhanced Academic Practice)
Jaydeep Bhadra – ‘Climate change and its impact on sleep quality and thermal comfort in UK homes’ (Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering)
Rising temperature and climate change would mean a higher mean and extreme temperatures across the UK, leading to adoption of active cooling measures such as air-conditioners. Increasing spells of heatwaves and hotter summers evidently causing overheating in homes that has serious health impacts especially due to discomfort and sleep disruption. Bedroom and bed-microclimate conditions affects sleep which vital for person’s health and wellbeing as well as daily working performance. The maximum temperature in bedrooms to avoid discomfort and sleep loss is a function of the bedroom environment (temperature and air movement) and the available adaptive opportunities including passive or mechanical heating or cooling, sleepwear, and bedding. Studies conducted in lab conditions have established that sleep quality is significantly influenced by the bed climate. Bed climate is an essential determinant in creating thermal comfort condition during sleep. However, there is a lack of field studies that investigates the association of sleep disorder and sleep quality with discomfort conditions in the bedroom and bedding. The purpose of this study was to understand the sleep quality of occupants in the UK homes and sleep disorder, if any, and its association with environmental discomfort caused by thermal comfort perception and sleep comfort perception in bedrooms. The presentation highlights empirical evidence about association of poor sleep quality and sleep disorder with bedroom environmental condition and bed-microclimate. It provides an extent of measure to which people’s sleep is disturbed due to bedroom air-temperature, bedding conditions, and bed-microclimate during summer in the UK.
George Dawes – ‘Making the UK's energy demand more flexible’ (Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering)
Using demand response (DR), a form of energy flexibility, can increase the utility of renewable energy within the UK’s energy mix. However, challenges exist in fully quantifying a houses DR potential. There are significant issues including a lack of standardisation amongst assessment methods and the accountability of diverse contributing factors to DR specific to the UK housing stock. This challenge was tackled by considering several factors, including occupant behaviour (heating patterns, indoor temperature set point, occupancy), technology operation (flow and return heating system temperatures, heat pump efficiency) and building characteristics (building material thermal properties, ventilation rates, house “leakiness”). The originality and relevance of this study arises from the comparison of several variables within each of the factors, within the context of DR. This is a new approach to exploring single building DR potential across the trio of factors by using various flexibility metrics (peak power shift, DR time duration and net energy reduction) for quantification. This work aims to better quantify the DR potential of UK dwellings by modelling major domestic energy contributing factors including occupancy, technology operation and building characteristics. To do this a dynamic building energy model was developed of a physical test house at Loughborough University (on Ashby Road) as a representative UK dwelling. The preliminary results show that occupant behaviour and building operation have a more substantial impact on DR metrics such as power and net energy reduction. However, the building characteristics significantly impact the total energy and operating costs aggregated across the entire heating season.
George Foden – ‘Sustainable and resilient housing in post-disaster contexts’ (Social Sciences and Humanities)
Humanitarian shelter and settlement programming is aimed at providing a living space for people affected by crises. In the immediate aftermath of a disaster, shelter actors often provide emergency shelter and non-food items for displaced people. However, often these temporary solutions (like refugee camps, or transitional shelters) become much longer-term homes for the people living in them. My research is focused on how shelter practitioners can best support long-term community development through their programming, from the immediate response phase through to long-term reconstruction and recovery. Using the framework of the QSAND shelter sustainability tool, which I manage (www.qsand.org), I will lay out ways in which shelter decision-makers can consider the long-term sustainability of their projects from the immediate disaster response. I will also explore the ways in which sustainable approaches to shelter response can support long-term community resilience, with reference to my recently published paper “What makes a house resilient in humanitarian shelter and settlement practice?” and the outcomes of a series of discussions on the topic of “community resilience”, which is being co-led by myself and another doctoral researcher, with support from the research culture and community fund. Both “sustainability” and “resilience” are concepts that focus on the long-term success of communities impacted by disasters. Understanding what is meant by them and how we can operationalise them in practice is key to ensuring that humanitarian response is appropriate for affected populations and helps to support vulnerable communities to break free from the disaster cycle.
Steyn Hoogakker – ‘The Ghana eCookbook: Creative dissemination for maximum impact’ (Social Sciences and Humanities)
This study (presented as an eCookbook for dissemination purposes) aims to shed light on three research questions: 1) can popular Ghanaian foods be cooked using modern energy efficient devices 2) On a dish-by-dish basis, how much electricity does it consume and how does it compare to primary cooking fuels in urban Ghana (charcoal and LPG)? 3) Is it convenient to use electricity for cooking and how does the taste compare? The main purpose of the eCookbook is to demonstrate from the real experiences of community members within an informal urban neighbourhood of Accra, the energy, time, and cost savings of cooking traditional dishes using energy efficient electric appliances. Currently, only 1 percent of Ghanaians use electricity as their primary cooking fuel. Few people have an idea of how much it costs to cook typical Ghanaian foods. Our preliminary findings indicate that it can be 2-4 times cheaper to cook using electricity than LPG or charcoal. By exploring the relationship between energy use and cooking we hope this eCookbook can inform cooks and policymakers on how best to take advantage of the opportunity to cook using electricity in Ghana. Moreover, since Ghana has a high rate of connectivity (87 percent), has entered a period of surplus capacity and has relatively stable provision of electricity in recent years. Furthermore, the talk will focus on the wider dissemination activities in Ghana, its related impact, and next steps.
Josh Thompson – ‘Climate gentrification: Valuing perceived climate risks in property prices’ (Social Sciences and Humanities)
There is growing evidence that physical climate hazards ‒ such as floods and wildfires ‒ affect property prices. Climate change scenarios suggest more frequent and severe physical climate hazards in the future, coinciding with greater exposure of populations to such threats. This is leading to a process of climate gentrification (CG), where there is greater demand for properties possessing climate resilient traits. An empirical case study of property data for a flood prone UK city demonstrates how CG depressed house price growth over the period 2005-2018 by up to 50% in flood exposed (relative to unexposed) locations. This raises concern because changes in property prices pose risks to homeowners’ financial status, as well as to the insurance and mortgage industries, bank portfolios, and thereby financial systems. Such price signals have potential ramifications for the long-term stability of real estate markets whilst raising policy implications for private and public sectors. CG research has the potential to help support a “just transition” towards a climate resilient future. Future research should prioritise existing information and data gaps and focus on ways in which CG research could contribute to improved resilience to climate change.
Dr Nicola York – ‘Perpetual Plastic for Food to Go (PPFTG) project: A multidisciplinary collaboration approach’ (Design and Creative Arts)
Plastic pollution is a global issue, and single-use plastic packaging is a large contributor to this problem, which includes the food-to-go industry. To lessen the plastic waste problem from the food-to-go industry, a promising solution would be to reuse plastic packaging. This concept of reusing plastic packaging is a focus of the Perpetual Plastic for Food to Go (PPFTG) project, aiming to unlock barriers to create fundamental changes within the UK packaging industry, reduce plastic waste and pollution, and to find solutions to existing issues with plastic packaging. Interdisciplinary collaboration is essential to finding the solutions to the issues surrounding this complex area, from the interdepartmental expertise across Loughborough University in the School of Design and Creative Arts, Sustainable Manufacturing, and Polymer Chemistry; to the industry partners across the food-to-go supply chain. This multidisciplinary collaboration is key to understanding the supply chain value, the technology for tracking and cleaning, and consumer behaviour. This collaborative approach facilitates discussion and identification of barriers to achieving a wide-scale implementation of reuse plastic packaging and encourages further problem-solving discussions and solutions. This collaboration, paired with a design-led approach, enables the development, prototyping, and evaluation of a novel circular business model that combines smart-technology enabled products and services to reduce the environmental, economic, and societal impact of food-to-go packaging. This 3-year project, in collaboration with industry partners from across the food-to-go supply chain, is led by Loughborough University, and funded by the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge (SSPP).
Herrick Man Hin Yu – ‘Mixing studies relating to process development for new generation automotive coating formulations’ (Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering)
The need for improved fuel efficiency to reduce environmental impacts has encouraged automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and designers to employ higher percentage of plastic components to reduce vehicle weight. To overcome the weakness of plastic surfaces being prone to damages than metals and glass, a newly formulated nanocomposite coating on a flexible plastic film has been developed. This is to meet the required high-performance surface for automotive Film-Insert-Moulding applications such as scratch resistance. The manufacturing process of the coated film is important to ensure a stable nanocomposite product is manufactured in large quantities that has properties consistent with those at formulation scale. There have been three strands of the project, product (new formulation coating) development, product performance assessment, process development. In this proposed presentation, an evaluation of the comparative performance of two mixing designs will be shown. The study has been performed in support of process development of the new coating formulation for automotive applications using simulant liquids to replicate the rheological properties of the formulation at different scales of operation. Final product performances have also been tested following the automotive industrial specifications.
Jinnuo Zhang – ‘4D printed self-forming intricate structures in material extrusion additive manufacturing’ (Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering)
4D printing is an emerging technology that has developed with the help of 3D printing platforms. 4D printing refers to the process of adding the dimension of time to conventional 3D printing so that the 3D printed object is transformed into other structure under external stimuli. Material Extrusion Additive Manufacturing (MEAM) makes it possible to program and print shape memory polymers so that the printed parts have a self-deforming function. Few studies focus on the impact of processing parameters on 4D printing deformation behaviour, and none have evaluated monofilament structures, in which the designed structure is formed of discrete filaments as opposed to raster-fill areas. It is necessary to use monofilament structures to obtain the most intricate geometries possible by MEAM, which is why they are used commonly for high-value applications including tissue engineering. This research focuses on the 4D deformation behaviour of monofilaments when they are activated by temperature after being printed. The influence of bed temperature, printing temperature, printing speed, extrusion width, extrusion thickness, and activation temperature are evaluated in terms of curvature of the deformed monofilament structure. The research findings will enable new types of structure to be achieved, that are not currently possible, since current 4D structures rely on multi-layer paths with multiple materials or multiple raster patterns. In contrast, here deformation of single extrudates can be controlled, with no changes in path orientation or material combinations, to achieve the most intricate 4D structures feasible by the MEAM process. After presenting results of the rigorous parametric characterisation study, a case study demonstrates 4D deformation of a monofilament path into a 3D spherical structure.
C. Researcher talks: Vibrant and inclusive communities
This selection of short talks aligned to Loughborough University's 'Sport, health and wellbeing' Strategic Theme.
Online: MS Teams link (now inactive)
Session Chair: Dr Sarah Bamforth - Academic Projects and Development Adviser (Enhanced Academic Practice)
Naomi Alormele – “I feel like a ballerina in a musical jewellery box” experiences of women of colour in UK universities (Social Sciences and Humanities)
Studies on experiences of racialised minority staff, identify participants progressively experiencing difficulties in discussing racism and racial inequalities within their institutions (Bhopal and Clare, 2020). Within a study on progression of women into leadership roles, racialised minority respondents were less likely to report within Higher Education Institution (HEI) promotions, in comparison to white British respondents (Arnold et al., 2019). This highlights the need for research on how intersectional identities impact an individual’s sense of belonging. Through mixed-method research, this study explores spaces of safety and fear within departments and the wider university campus. Data within this project is being collected using a combination of surveys, focus groups and journals. Factors impacting individual experiences of socio-cultural inclusion are discussed through an analysis of personal accounts of women from racialised minorities, working in professional service and academic roles. The study's objective is to make arguments about the subtle nature of oppression participants face. Where participants have survived and thrived within their institutions, it will be highlighted what departmental and/or institutional strategies supported this. Through secondary and primary data collection, experiences of systemic racism, marginalisation and socio-cultural inclusion will be explored. This project also aims to analyse how reflective institutional policies are of women from racialised minorities lived experiences. This research will make a significant contribution to literature, as there is limited research on the identified groups' experiences of inequalities and sense of belonging within higher education.
Megan Foulkes – ‘Using manipulatives in early years mathematics: The value of finding out what teachers think’ (Science)
Manipulatives are objects that children and practitioners can interact with to represent mathematical ideas and are commonplace in classroom environments (e.g., blocks, toy animals). Despite their popularity, there is conflicting evidence regarding the features associated with different manipulatives and whether they help or hinder children when learning mathematical concepts. Researchers often argue that the use of concrete manipulatives with extraneous features (e.g., bright colours, prior knowledge) should be minimised as they distract children. However, more concrete, interesting manipulatives have the potential to be useful in more naturalistic contexts, with teachers arguably best placed to comment on the influence of different features in classroom environments. Despite this, teacher views are often not directly considered when designing research, and differences between artificial research environments and more naturalistic classroom contexts are not explicitly acknowledged. By consulting teachers using semi-structured interviews and a subsequent online survey, I have been exposed to novel and valuable insights regarding how manipulatives with extraneous features are used in everyday practice. Working alongside teachers in this collaborative way and valuing their expertise has provided a well-informed foundation for my PhD, and I will outline how this has influenced the framing of my approach toward manipulative use, terminology, and perspectives on children’s performance, learning and behaviour in mathematics. I hope the collaborative viewpoint created by consulting teachers throughout my PhD will maximise the extent my research findings will be applicable to naturalistic contexts and have a positive influence on teachers involved by explicitly valuing their knowledge and views in research.
Rachel Gadsden-Hayton – ‘Disability Art: A catalyst for change’ (Design and Creative Arts)
My research investigates the extent to which the perception of mortality emerging directly from the “lived experience” may influence the process and intention of the disabled artist’s practice. I seek to consider, analyse, articulate, through practice-based research, how medical conditions, medical equipment, and visible and non-visible disability impacts art practice, and how “disability art” might be a defining tool in advocating for social and cultural empowerment and activism. I identify as a disabled artist. It is a political choice and relates to my complex lifelong medical disability and my role as a disabled artist, researcher, and activist. However, my disability is invisible, so why do I consider it necessary to identify as disabled? Advocating for disability serves as a critical catalyst in engaging conversation, debate, and wide-reaching vigorous, visionary research. The covid pandemic shifted personal and universal perceptions of human fragility and vulnerability; yet as we emerge from the forbidding pre-vaccination days of the pandemic, it remains the case that disabled people are no closer to accessing equal opportunity, support, and the services needed to be involved and contribute fully to society. Notions of equality, diversity and inclusion are fundamental principles at Loughborough, so I challenge DR researchers to ensure their research is underpinned by these principles. There remains the opportunity through our research to generate a catalyst that will affect a fully inclusive society. True passion breaks barriers. FIFA World Football Museum presented by Hyundai Rachel Gadsden and Football legend Mia Ham USA Rachel Gadsden website: www.rachelgadsden.com
Paulina Jara-Osorio - ‘Childhood participation: A challenge of design and implementation of public policies in Chile’ (Social Sciences and Humanities)
Chile has been facing a process of socio-political, economic, and cultural transformation. This has meant embarking on the path towards a constitutional change in which childhood is identified as an area of significant prominence in terms of social demands. Currently, there is a debate over the position that children and adolescents should have in Chilean society, especially around the idea of being protagonists of the processes in which they are subjects of intervention. This demand is fundamental, as serious violations of children's rights have been evidenced in the country, and the right to participation has been diagnosed as being among the most violated. Furthermore, the youth has been an engine of change in the country, leading demonstrations that have strengthened society's conviction regarding the necessity of a new constitution. Therefore, this research seeks to examine whether it is necessary to incorporate childhood participation in Public Policy Making in Chile and the possible consequences of this aim for childhood, policy making and social programs in which they are part. The reflection regards the pros and cons in the promotion of children’s and adolescent’s participation would enlighten what type of childhood participation should be promoted through a system that guarantees the protection of the exercise of children's rights in Chile. This research considers a qualitative approach and participative research methods such as the Mosaic Approach, which combines observation, interviewing and participatory tools, in which adolescents, and Chilean Childhood System’s professionals were the participants; and the open style of the semi-structured interviews allowed to explore different visions, opinions, and meanings of children, adolescents, experts and public policy makers.
Alison Roulstone – ‘Educators' awareness of developmental dyscalculia’ (Science)
Specific learning disorders in mathematics, also known as Developmental Dyscalculia (DD), are estimated to affect 1 in 20 children. This means that there is at least one child with DD in most classrooms. Consequently, educators need a good understanding of DD. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to examine educators’ awareness of DD. In addition, this study also investigated educators' access to training about DD, and how this compared to training about dyslexia. A final aim was to assess whether access to training was associated with fewer misconceptions and knowledge gaps about DD. Online survey data were collected from 582 UK educators employed in early years, primary, secondary, and further education settings. Educators responded to 24 statements about DD. Educators also indicated whether they had received any training in specific learning disorders. Overall, educators showed good levels of awareness of DD and did not display any significant misconceptions. Nevertheless, they still displayed some important knowledge gaps. This included uncertainty about the prevalence of DD, co-morbidity with other developmental disorders, gender differences, and how responsive dyscalculic learners were to intervention. Regarding training, findings indicated that a higher proportion of educators received in-service training in dyslexia (53%) than dyscalculia (21%). Educators receiving training in DD displayed significantly fewer knowledge gaps. This paper argues that strengthening the special educational needs element of initial teacher training programs is essential to support educators’ in meeting the needs of learners with DD.
Jennifer Stuttle – ‘Sustainable storytelling in schools’ (Design and Creative Arts)
There is research to show that using applied storytelling methods in school can impact on students’ academic attainment and wellbeing, but the sustainability of these methods is in question. In previous studies teachers have said that despite the positive impact they cannot continue with the methods either because they need to be delivered by a specialist, do not meet the school’s priority or curriculum, or there is no time. In my research I am collaborating with Loughborough based schools to maximise the influence and impact of applied storytelling methods by increasing the sustainability. So far this has involved collecting the voices of teachers about the constraints they work within and school and policy priorities. The next stage is to collect the voices of the students before codesigning materials using applied storytelling methods to fit the school constraints and that can be delivered long term by school staff. This research is also assessing the process of developing material using stories in order that this might be adapted in other schools so that they can use applied storytelling methods for their own unique priorities or student needs. I believe it important that, just as stories empower voices to be heard, schools are empowered to use stories themselves to maximise the impact in their own communities with the resources they have.
Dr Innocent K. Tumwebaze – ‘Urban slums, where universal access to safely managed drinking water and sanitation is a dream: Comparative realities from Sierra Leone and Uganda’ (Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering)
Access to safely managed water and sanitation services remains a barrier to making urban cities – home to a billion slum dwellers inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. The 2030 sustainable development goals (SDGs)’ agenda provides a criterion for global monitoring of water and sanitation progress by the United Nations. We share realities from two case studies from Freetown and Kampala cities in Sierra Leone and Uganda respectively. Quantitative and qualitative data collected through a cross-sectional design to ascertain the level of access to safely managed drinking water and sanitation services. Most slum residents (59%) in Freetown’s slum depended on limited drinking water services compared to Kampala’s majority that had access to basic services (75%). Main drinking water sources differed, with Freetown largely dependent on sachet water (84%) and piped water (87%) for Kampala. In both cities, the main water service influencing factor was the time spent on water collection – inclusive of waiting time. On the other hand, the level of sanitation services were mainly limited (Freetown, 49% and Kampala, 88%). In contrast to Kampala, Freetown had more unimproved sanitation facilities dominated by hanging toilets. The main influencing factor for sanitation services in the two cities was the shared nature of the sanitation facilities. Our study findings suggest that with drinking water and sanitation services far from being safely managed, efforts towards increasing the distribution of piped and regular water services closer to residents and improving the quality and management of shared sanitation for better hygiene are fundamental.
Jiahao Zhao - ‘Explore the impact of the three-child policy on China's women's careers advancement’ (Business and Economics)
Research has explored women’s career advancement in China but has hardly explored the impact of policy on women’s careers in the context of China’s family planning. Also, previous studies mostly focus on revealing the phenomenon of gender inequality in China, discussing the complicated impact on women’s careers from the one-child policy to the two-child policy. Therefore, this study will explore specifically the impact of the three-child policy on China’s women’s career advancement and propose some effective countermeasures for reference, taking the Chinese Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector in China as a typical case under the background of the Chinese three-child policy. This study not only aims at identifying whether the three-child policy sets obstacles to women’s career advancement or promotes their career journey, but also aims at understanding how China’s women perceive the new three-child policy.
In addition to physical posters that were displayed in the exhibition area (the 'Babbage' room') at the conference venue, an online gallery of posters was created for those attending the conference remotely.
Sport, health and wellbeing
Alaa Alqurafi - The effect of high cognitive training on balance stability during reaching activity (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)
David Bellini - Exploring racial differences in blood flow responses to hot water immersion (Design and Creative Arts)
Rameesh Lakshan Bulathsinghala - 'Super smart textiles': Electricity generating textiles for health sensing applications (Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering)
Buket Engin - Sedentary time is independently associated with adipose tissue insulin resistance in adults with or at high-risk of type 2 diabetes (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)
Ross Ensor - Sport for all? The representation of racialized minority groups in playing, coaching & governance across UK sport (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)
Kerry Glendon - The effect of early exercise Vs physical rest on Sports-Related Concussion (SRC) recovery; preliminary findings (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)
Iain Gowans - Classification in para-sport: Does stakeholder confidence in their understanding of classification match their ability to identify classification’s purpose? (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)
Henrietta Graham - For the long haul, start small (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)
James Haley - The behaviour change wheel and accessercise (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)
Yan Huang - Enhancement of emotional intelligence development of children aged 7-9 years old (Design and Creative Arts)
Manisha Jain -Predicting technology interest in older adults for memory (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)
Taoran Ji - Improving young adults' dietary behaviours: Design of a stage-based behaviour change intervention (Design and Creative Arts)
Alicia Keenan - Proteomic analysis of skeletal muscle extracellular vesicles at different differentiation timepoints (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)
Grainne Kelly - Influencing without authority (Design and Creative Arts)
Huyen Le - Watching paint dry - A way to make hospitals safer (Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Yanlin Li - The Chinese women’s volleyball ‘legend’ and its representation of the nation (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)
Bickram Ram - Football agent's role in commercial representation (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)
Yunuo Su - Gender differences in the physiological response and thermal perception to passive heat exposure (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)
Yvanna Todorova - The effect of walking in nature on mood and physiological stress (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)
William Tyne - An exploration of psychological capital development through a physical challenge event: A case study (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)
Zhe Wang - The institution and CSR in Chinese professional basketball (Loughborough University London)
Bingjie Wang - CSR model of Chinese football super league clubs (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)
Jike Yang - The influence of healthy lifestyle technologies on young people’s physical activity participation and health learning (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)
Kaixi Zhao - An examination of the identities of Chinese female athletes with physical impairments (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)
Quzihang Zhong - The significance of emotional design for older users (Design and Creative Arts)
Climate change and net zero
Jaydeep Bhadra - How cool are cool beds? (Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering)
Sarah Johnson - Global assessment of flood impacts on emergency service provision to vulnerable populations now and under climate change (Social Sciences and Humanities)
Mulako Mukelabai - Hydrogen technology analysis using a Doughnut-PESTLE hydrogen model (Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering)
Amy ODell - Observing distracted pedestrians at road crossings (Design and Creative Arts)
Chukwudi Ogunna - Scaling energy resilience (Social Sciences and Humanities)
Josh Thompson -Climate gentrification: Valuing perceived climate risks in property prices (Social Sciences and Humanities)
Zijie Wang - The scaling properties of UK precipitation extremes (Social Sciences and Humanities)
Dr Nicola York - Perpetual Plastic for Food to Go (PPFTG) project: A multidisciplinary collaboration approach (Design and Creative Arts)
Vibrant and inclusive communities
Dave Angel - Rebuilding a sense of home after flooding in the UK (Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering)
Sara Christou - Home is where the hope is: Women’s homelessness and pathways out (Design and Creative Arts)
Rachel Gadsden–Hayton - Disability Arts - a Stimulus for Change (Design and Creative Arts)
Rhianna Garrett - The future of academia: An examination of the underrepresentation of BAME staff in UK higher education (Social Sciences and Humanities)
Robert Gaukroger - Home in-between the real and the digital (Design and Creative Arts)
Emily Holmes - Digital geographies of mothering (Social Sciences and Humanities)
Alison Roulstone - Exploring educators' and experts' views about dyscalculia (Science)
Holly Turpin - Loss of home (Design and Creative Arts)
Reza Vedadi - Iranian identity in Hollywood films (Loughborough University London)
Valentina Volpi - Evaluating social innovations through an anarchist lens. Collective contentious action by communities of housing struggle and their contribution to radical social value (Design and Creative Arts)
Yuanyuan Wu - How visual quality of greenness on street influence our movement experience? (Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering)
Ridzuan A Rasid - Motion graphics VS conventional learning (Design and Creative Arts)
Eeman Al-Ameen - Ultra-high-performance lightweight cementitious sandwich panels for complex shaped structural applications (Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering)
Hind Alhumaihdi - Enhancing accessibility in museum and exhibition with graphics (A case study in The National Museum in Riyadh) (Design and Creative Arts)
Hend Althibiti - The representation of folk heritage located In Taif city and countryside in sequential graphics (Narratives of the Bedouin) (Design and Creative Arts)
Meltem Cakir - Numerical FSI analysis of flow around elastic structures (Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering)
Minghua Cao - Microstructure-based modelling of thermomechanical behaviour of cast irons (Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering)
Alejandra Castelar-Cerna - This is a case for the FEBI: Blockchain ethics in the art market (Business and Economics)
Ingrid Saiala Cavalcante de Souza Feitosa - How to know what problem to address to improve an organization? A Soft Systems Thinking approach (Business and Economics)
Yishi E - How Chinese contemporary animations can be understood, appreciated, and valued by audiences without eastern culture context (Design and Creative Arts)
Yuyang Gao - On phase at a resonance in slow-fast Hamiltonian systems (Science)
Yasasween Hewavidana - Structural Analysis and Benchmarking of Nonwovens with 3D Distribution of Fibres
Yajie Hu - Contemporary Jewellery: Non-invasive interventions in improving the well-being and the quality of life (Design and Creative Arts)
Katy Jacka - An exploration into the phenomenon of home attachment (Design and Creative Arts)
Zhichua Jin - Lysozyme Protein Crystallization with Graphite and Graphene Oxide Templates
Natasha Kitcher - The electrophone 1893–1938 (Social Sciences and Humanities)
Xingling Luo - Crack initiation and growth in compacted graphite iron: effect of graphite inclusions (Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering)
Maddison Onions - Saudi Arabia - A liberal and democratic future awaits (Social Sciences and Humanities)
Finlay Potter - Designing a quantum brain (Science)
Daniel Rukare - Beyond Survival: A rural community-based business model - A Ugandan case study (Loughborough University London)
Katie Smith - I've got nine-tens-nine problems, but number transparency ain't one (Science)
Kuldeep Singh Sodha - Modelling pedestrian road crossing behaviour in front of autonomous vehicles (Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering)
Tom Stevenson - Affecting an audience’s emotions with sound frequencies (Design and Creative Arts)
Renjie Yang - Developing culture heritage sustainability from the perspective of participatory sentimental souvenir design (Design and Creative Arts)
Poster Competition 2022
- Highly Commended - Tom Stevenson 'Affecting an audience’s emotions with sound frequencies' (Design and Creative Arts)
- Runner-up - Henrietta Graham 'For the long haul, start small' (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)
- Best Poster - Yishi E 'How Chinese contemporary animations can be understood, appreciated, and valued (Design and Creative Arts)
- Delegates Choice - Rhianna Garrett 'Mobility, space, and race' (Social Science and Humanities)
Researcher Talk Competition 2022
- Sport, health and wellbeing
- Highly Commended - Henrietta Graham 'For the long haul, start small’ (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)
- Best Talk - Jonah Drake ‘Demystifying function threshold power’ (Mathematical Sciences)
- Climate change and net zero
- Highly Commended - George Foden ‘Sustainable and resilient housing in post-disaster contexts’ (Social Science and Humanities)
- Best Talk - Dr Nicola York 'Perpetual Plastic for Food to Go (PPFTG) project: A multidisciplinary collaboration approach’ (Design and Creative Arts)
- Vibrant and inclusive communities
- Highly Commended - Megan Foulkes 'Using manipulatives in early years mathematics: The value of finding out what teachers think’ (Science)
- Best Talk - Alison Roulstone ‘Educators' awareness of developmental dyscalculia’( Science)
- Highly Commended - Alice Bishop 'Driverless vehicles and motorcyclists: How will they interact?’ (Design and Creative Arts)
- Best Talk - Fay Claybrook 'Diabetes and digital fabrication’ (Design and Creative Arts)
The Careers Network provides a range of careers support activities including 1:1 appointments, events, and online resources. Come and meet some of the team to find out how we can support your career journey, whether you are intending to stay within academia or spread your wings beyond. We are also running a competition ‘Taking control of your career’ with a prize draw from correct entries, and a small reward for entering!
Centre for Postdoctoral Development in Infrastructure Cities and Energy
C-DICE is a world-class postdoctoral development programme which leverages the capability of 18 leading research-intensive UK universities. We aim to build and sustain the advanced skills base required to create a pipeline of world-class talent for the Infrastructure, Cities and Energy (IC&E) sectors, and accelerate progress towards a net-zero society by 2050. Through C-DICE, postdocs can access funding, build new collaborations, acquire skills, share expertise and work with industry and academic partners to contribute towards net zero carbon. Visit the C-DICE website to find out more.
Energy Research Accelerator Skills Academy
The ERA Skills Academy provides a holistic energy-related skills provision to develop high quality energy workforce. We bring together doctoral researchers from across the Midlands Innovation group of universities (Aston University, University of Birmingham, Cranfield University, Keele University, University of Leicester, Loughborough University, University of Nottingham, and University of Warwick) to create a diverse talent pipeline to secure the UK’s position as a leader in energy research and innovation, and to develop, support, and maintain a dynamic multidisciplinary network of researchers supported by world class expertise and facilities to aid in tackling the huge societal challenges required to meet green growth and Net-Zero agendas. Visit the ERA website to find out more.
Institute of Advanced Studies
Come and meet the Institute of Advanced Studies and see how we can provide different mechanisms for enhancing research communities from researcher development opportunities through to bringing international networks together. We give colleagues an international experience, from our IAS Doctoral Leaders placement scheme through to the leadership of our interdisciplinary annual Themes which welcome international Fellows. One of our aims is to demonstrate how an IAS can offer researchers opportunities to develop leadership skills alongside creating tangible institutional benefits and benefiting the research culture and provides an example of good practice.
LGBT+ Staff Network
Come and speak to the LGBT+ Staff network to find out more about the work we are doing to support staff and students at Loughborough University. The LGBT+ Staff Network encompasses all staff that identify as lesbian, gay, bi, trans, and any other minoritised sexual or gender identity. We also welcome allies of the LGBT+ community. Together, the Network provides a space to ensure that LGBT+ staff are represented, supported, valued, and have a structure through which they can highlight where institutional change is needed.
Come and meet representatives from the Library’s Academic Services team and the Open Research Development and Discovery Team. We will happily tell you about Loughborough’s resources and answer any library-related questions. We will be running a competition at the conference ‘Where in the world…?’ to find out if you know where your School/division’s top collaborators are and demonstrate how you can also find potential collaborators. We will also showcase where items in Loughborough’s Research Repository from your School/division are accessed most. This may highlight where interest in partnerships or collaborations could lie in areas not typically served by traditional scholarly channels.
Loughborough Student’s Union
Come and speak to Loughborough Student’s Union (LSU) and your Doctoral Researchers representatives to find out more about how you can have your voice heard, how you can get involved with LSU, and what independent advice support is available to you during your doctorates.
Open Research Collective
The Loughborough Open Research Collective (or ORC) is a grassroots-initiative to promote open research practices and policy at Loughborough University and beyond. We host regular events and trainings, share opportunities in our newsletter and overall build a supportive community of open research enthusiasts. Over 100 doctoral researchers and staff are already part of our community. Drop by our stand and discover how to get involved!
PhD Social Support Network
The PhD SSN is a social support network which organises fun and engaging activities for doctoral researchers at Loughborough University. This is a space which welcomes people from different research disciplines, cultures, and identities to come together, socialise and unwind after busy days in the office! We organise lots of exciting activities from our weekly Tuesday Lunches to our monthly Cultural evenings; from our East Midlands explorations to our local pub trips - there are always opportunities to connect with like-minded people. We look forward to meeting our fellow researchers and growing as a community! See our social media for more details: @LboroPhdSSN
Research and Innovation Office
The Research and Innovation Office plays a leading role in shaping and delivering the University’s research and innovation activities. It provides a high quality, added value and seamless service to academics and researchers across the research development pipeline, and helps them take the next step to create impact through innovation. The Office incorporates several different teams that provide support for: developing partnerships and collaborations; identifying and applying for funding; managing projects and assuring compliance with policy; improving the visibility of research outputs; fostering the impact, intellectual property, and commercialisation of research; and the nurturing of research leadership skills through training and skills development programmes. The Office also works closely with other Professional Services across the University, notably Legal Services, Registry, Student Services, Finance, HR, and the Library.
The Annual Research Conference will be held at the conference centre at Holywell Park, Loughborough University.
During the conference, Loughborough University will have exclusive use of the venue. For a 360 tour, please visit this website.
In addition to presentation and exhibitions rooms, there will be a prayer room (Kelvin) and several quiet rooms (Marconi, Arkwright, Davy, Edison, and Pascal) should delegates wish to use.