University of Hertfordshire collaboration shortlisted for Royal Academy of Engineering Award

 1 January 2024 15 September 2023
15 September 2023

An industry-academia partnership between the University of Hertfordshire and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has been shortlisted for the prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering’s Bhattacharyya Award.

The two organisations have been working together on the development of next generation devices and systems for monitoring and identifying biological and chemical threats for more than 40 years. The partnership aligns with the University’s objectives to stimulate enterprise and innovation, taking a pioneering approach to the transfer of knowledge from academic research to business and government. For Dstl, the collaboration has been central to its mission to explore, sustain, grow and evaluate state-of-the-art technological capabilities to develop protective measures against hazardous biological materials.

Professor Ian Johnston, Director of the Centre for Research in Biodetection Technologies, said: “This award nomination is testament to our 40-year strategic collaboration, and to the dedication and enthusiasm of ours and Dstl’s researchers towards developing new detection technologies and processes to tackle real world biological challenges. We are committed to ensuring that the technologies developed for defence applications can be used to address the global societal need to monitor hazardous biological materials for protection of human, animal and plant health.”

The Royal Academy of Engineering has shortlisted six exceptional industry-academia partnerships from across the UK for this year’s Bhattacharyya Award. The Bhattacharyya Award 2023 and a cash prize of £25,000 will be presented on 24 October to the team who best demonstrate how industry and universities can work together.

This year’s shortlist illustrates the sheer diversity of challenges that can be successfully addressed through collaboration between universities and industry, including national defence against biological and chemical attack, the supply of drinking water, nuclear decommissioning, high-speed global communications, high-performance sportswear and equipment, as well as other challenges like decarbonisation that can be tackled through the power of process systems engineering.

Professor Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE FREng FRS, former President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Chair of the judging panel for the Bhattacharyya Award, said: “The six finalists for this year’s Award are inspiring and diverse examples of successful collaboration between academia and industry – it's terrific to be able to highlight and to celebrate their innovation and impact, and I hope they will provide inspiration for others. We know that there are other great partnerships like these between universities and colleges and industries across the UK in all sectors, but that we need many more if we are to fully reap the economic and societal benefit of our research investment and capability.”

The winner of the Bhattacharyya Award will be announced on the evening of 24 October at a ceremony at the Edgbaston Park Hotel in Birmingham that will showcase the shortlisted partnerships.

Find out more about the Bhattacharyya Award on the Royal Academy of Engineering website.


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