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Spotlight on Success: October 2020

Spotlight on success

Each month we publish a selection of key Teaching & Learning and Research achievements and developments. See October's news below.

Awards & Prizes

  • Professor David Lane (Department of Business Informatics, Systems & Accounting, Henley Business School) and Visiting Fellow Elke Husemann won the System Dynamics Applications Award at the virtual 2020 International System Dynamics Conference for their study of Norovirus transmission in collaboration with the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA).
  • Professor Vitaliy Khutoryanskiy (Pharmacy) has been named PhD Supervisor of the Year in an award recognising the UK's most inspirational postgraduate students and educators. Read more in our news story.
  • Professor Emeritus Kevin Warwick (Cybernetics) was recently awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters by Galgotias University, India in recognition of his achievements and contribution to society. This is his tenth Honorary Doctorate.
  • Dr Yasmine Shamma (English Literature) has been awarded an Arts & Humanities Research Council Research Network Grant, as the co-investigator, with Dr Rona Cran (PI), from the University of Birmingham, for a project entitled 'Creating the Network for New York School Studies'. It's a £45k three-year project due to start in April.
  • Professor Hannah Cloke (Environmental Sciences) has been awarded a prestigious ECMWF Fellowship by the European Agency for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF).


  • Dr Allán Laville (Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences) has been named as a runner-up for the British Psychological Society and Oxford University Press (OUP) ‘Higher Education Psychology Teacher of the Year 2020'. Allán's case study, titled ‘Developing sexual diversity teaching for the psychological workforce', has been published by OUP and is available to view on this page.
  • Professor James Ferryman's work (Computer Science) to make border security checks quicker and safer has been shortlisted in the Times Higher Education Awards 2020 in the Research Project of the Year: STEM category, the third Reading research project to be shortlisted in the last two years. PROTECT is a €5m EU Horizon 2020 project, trialed in partnership with the UK Home Office and Border Force, using facial recognition technology to enable security checks to be completed on the move, without queues or contact with others.
  • Five research projects have been awarded EU and UK government funding to understand and provide solutions to the effects of the pandemic. Projects include studying mental health impacts, improving support for international students living in the UK, and reshaping the relationship between the public and private sector. Funding from a range of bodies was awarded to projects in Typography, Psychology, Economics & Marketing, Languages & Linguistics and Philosophy.
  • Personalised treatments for strokes and heart disease is closer thanks to £1.4m funding from the British Heart Foundation to the Institute for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research (ICMR) for 2020-2025. The money will help the team to continue their research on how individuals' platelets, which are responsible for blood clotting, act differently.
  • The UK Space Agency has announced funding for Reading-based researchers to support farmers in Ghana to protect their crops and to help relocate people displaced by natural disasters in Columbia. The Crop Yield Decision Support project in Ghana will use information on maize yields to inform markets, improve productivity and enhance long-term food security. The Re-settlement Information and Observing System (RIOS) project, led by the Institute for Environmental Analytics, will use satellites to provide a monitoring service to mitigate natural disasters and support the re-housing of displaced people from informal settlements in Colombia.
  • Claudina Romero Mayorga (Classics) has been successful in gaining two small grants: the first, from Reading UK, supported the production of short films on: Nine lives of the Ure Museum's mummified cat head. The second, from Reading Place of Culture, supports educational activities connected with the forthcoming exhibition ‘Troy: Beauty and Heroism', a spotlight loan from the British Museum (Feb-May 2021).
  • The Elizabeth Creak Charitable Trust have agreed to fund a joint centre for 'Effective Farm Innovation', shared and run by the 5 institutions funded by Elizabeth Creak. It will receive funding over 5 years. The aim is to help ensure agricultural and horticultural research supports practical innovation that is relevant to the future challenges faced in farming.
  • Mark Little, a Consultant Diagnostic & Interventional Radiologist at Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust and Visiting Professor at UoR has secured £435K to trial "Genicular artery embolization in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee". Funding, joint with UoR, will continue the work led by Professor Richard Harrison (Psychology & Clinical Language Sciences) on the neuropsychology of pain, using a range of cognitive tests and the MRI scanner to assess pain before and after intervention. This is a second recent successful award supported by our JAB collaboration following a Health Foundation grant to the RBFT informatics team with Dr Vicky Li (HBS)
  • Two Horizon 2020 grants involving Professor Simon Potts (Agriculture, Policy & Development) were recently awarded:
    • Showcase: Showcasing synergies between agriculture, biodiversity and ecosystem services to help farmers capitalising on native biodiversity
    • EuropaBON: Europa Biodiversity Observation Network - integrating data streams to support policy
  • Agriculture, Food & Health Theme members presented at the influential Westminster conferences:
    • Dr David Rose, (Elizabeth Creak Associate Professor of Agricultural Innovation and Extension), spoke about ‘The future for agricultural land use - productivity, environmental sustainability, and innovation'
    • Professor Carol Wagstaff, (Head of School for Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy, Co-Director of the BBSRC Horticulture Quality and Food Loss Network) presented ‘Next steps for reducing food waste and plastic packaging - innovation and latest initiatives, responsibility and accountability, and priorities for policy'.
  • Sally Lloyd-Evans (Global Development) has been appointed as the first holder of a University Public Engagement with Community Research Fellowship. The new role recognises the importance of working with members of the public in co-designing research to understand issues that matter to them, Dr Lloyd-Evans will be leading on the University of Reading's strategic commitment as a civic university, working for and alongside the town of Reading.
  • Professor Emeritus Kevin Warwick (Cybernetics) was recently awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters by Galgotias University, India in recognition of his achievements and contribution to society. This is his tenth Honorary Doctorate.

Click here to see all recent University of Reading research publications

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