University of Hertfordshire is finalist in prestigious engineering collaboration awards

7 November 2019

The University of Hertfordshire in collaboration with the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) were finalists in The Engineer’s 2019 Collaborate to Innovate Awards, in the Aerospace, Defence & Security category.

Judged by a panel of leading UK engineers, the awards were announced at a special event last night (6th November) and sought to discover and celebrate great examples of technology-led engineering collaboration across a range of different disciplines and sectors.

The project, Worn BioDetector: Bio-Aerosol to Droplet Converter (Bio-A/D) for Biological Threat Detection, led to the ground-breaking development of two prototype portable systems for the Ministry of Defence which could rapidly detect the presence of intentionally released toxins, bacteria and viruses to protect British Armed Forces and the civilian population. This will enable hazards to be assessed and avoided, and to plan where decontamination procedures are needed.

Dr Ian Johnston, Associate Professor at the University of Hertfordshire, said: “The possibility of hostile militaries or terrorist groups developing and using biological weapons against UK forces is a real and persistent threat. We are therefore delighted that our collaboration with Dstl has been recognised. Our highly-skilled, multidisciplinary team of researchers work closely with Dstl to provide a pool of expertise in cutting-edge biodetection technologies to help inform policy decisions for the UK’s military and civil authorities. This significant knowledge base is now being used to support the training and development of the next generation of scientists and engineers.”

Tim Foat, Principal Engineer at Dstl, said: “This is a fantastic example of our collaboration with academia to produce proven results. We’re delighted to have been shortlisted for this award, which recognises the hard work which has been put in by the whole team.”


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