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31 Projects, page 1 of 4

  • Canada
  • UK Research and Innovation
  • 2018

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/H009612/1
    Funder Contribution: 5,814,410 GBP
    Partners: University of London, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, NEF, University of California, Berkeley, GT, EDF, Universitat Karlsruhe (TH), LBL, Buro Happold Limited, CIBSE...

    Reducing carbon emissions and securing energy supplies are crucial international goals to which energy demand reduction must make a major contribution. On a national level, demand reduction, deployment of new and renewable energy technologies, and decarbonisation of the energy supply are essential if the UK is to meet its legally binding carbon reduction targets. As a result, this area is an important theme within the EPSRC's strategic plan, but one that suffers from historical underinvestment and a serious shortage of appropriately skilled researchers. Major energy demand reductions are required within the working lifetime of Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) graduates, i.e. by 2050. Students will thus have to be capable of identifying and undertaking research that will have an impact within their 35 year post-doctoral career. The challenges will be exacerbated as our population ages, as climate change advances and as fuel prices rise: successful demand reduction requires both detailed technical knowledge and multi-disciplinary skills. The DTC will therefore span the interfaces between traditional disciplines to develop a training programme that teaches the context and process-bound problems of technology deployment, along with the communication and leadership skills needed to initiate real change within the tight time scale required. It will be jointly operated by University College London (UCL) and Loughborough University (LU); two world-class centres of energy research. Through the cross-faculty Energy Institute at UCL and Sustainability Research School at LU, over 80 academics have been identified who are able and willing to supervise DTC students. These experts span the full range of necessary disciplines from science and engineering to ergonomics and design, psychology and sociology through to economics and politics. The reputation of the universities will enable them to attract the very best students to this research area.The DTC will begin with a 1 year joint MRes programme followed by a 3 year PhD programme including a placement abroad and the opportunity for each DTC student to employ an undergraduate intern to assist them. Students will be trained in communication methods and alternative forms of public engagement. They will thus understand the energy challenges faced by the UK, appreciate the international energy landscape, develop people-management and communication skills, and so acquire the competence to make a tangible impact. An annual colloquium will be the focal point of the DTC year acting as a show-case and major mechanism for connection to the wider stakeholder community.The DTC will be led by internationally eminent academics (Prof Robert Lowe, Director, and Prof Kevin J Lomas, Deputy Director), together they have over 50 years of experience in this sector. They will be supported by a management structure headed by an Advisory Board chaired by Pascal Terrien, Director of the European Centre and Laboratories for Energy Efficiency Research and responsible for the Demand Reduction programme of the UK Energy Technology Institute. This will help secure the international, industrial and UK research linkages of the DTC.Students will receive a stipend that is competitive with other DTCs in the energy arena and, for work in certain areas, further enhancement from industrial sponsors. They will have a personal annual research allowance, an excellent research environment and access to resources. Both Universities are committed to energy research at the highest level, and each has invested over 3.2M in academic appointments, infrastructure development and other support, specifically to the energy demand reduction area. Each university will match the EPSRC funded studentships one-for-one, with funding from other sources. This DTC will therefore train at least 100 students over its 8 year life.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/G036950/1
    Funder Contribution: 6,371,160 GBP
    Partners: MEL Chemicals, Firth Rixson Limited, Tata Steel (United Kingdom), WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC COMPANY UK LIMITED, Capcis Ltd, Defence Science & Tech Lab DSTL, Alcoa Europe Flat Rolled Products, Novelis Global Technology Centre, Cummins Turbo Technologies (United Kingdom), University of Sheffield...

    This is an application for a Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) from the Universities of Sheffield and Manchester in Advanced Metallic Systems which will be directed by Prof Panos Tsakiropoulos and Prof Phil Prangnell. The proposed DTC is in response to recent reviews by the EPSRC and government/industrial bodies which have indentified the serious impact of an increasing shortage of personnel, with Doctorate level training in metallic materials, on the global competitiveness of the UK's manufacturing and defence capability. Furthermore, future applications of materials are increasingly being seen as systems that incorporate several material classes and engineered surfaces into single components, to increase performance.The primary goal of the DTC is to address these issues head on by supplying the next generation of metallics research specialists desperately needed by UK plc. We plan to attract talented students from a diverse range of physical science and engineering backgrounds and involve them with highly motivated academic staff in a variety of innovative teaching and industrial-based research activities. The programme aims to prepare graduates for global challenges in competitiveness, through an enhanced PhD programme that will:1. Challenge students and promote independent problem solving and interdiscpilnarity,2. Expose them to industrial innovation, exciting new science and the international research community, 3. Increase their fundamental skills, and broaden them as individuals in preparation for future management and leadership roles.The DTC will be aligned with major multidisciplinary research centres and with the strong involvement of NAMTEC (the National Metals Technology Centre) and over twenty companies across many sectors. Learning will be up to date and industrially relevant, as well as benefitting from access to 30M of state-of-the art research facilities.Research projects will be targeted at high value UK strategic technology sectors, such as aerospace, automotive, power generation, renewables, and defence and aim to:1. Provide a multidisciplinary approach to the whole product life cycle; from raw material, to semi finished products to forming, joining, surface engineering/coating, in service performance and recycling via the wide skill base of the combined academic team and industrial collaborators.2. Improve the basic understanding of how nano-, micro- and meso-scale physical processes control material microstructures and thereby properties, in order to radically improve industrial processes, and advance techniques of modelling and process simulation.3. Develop new innovative processes and processing routes, i.e. disruptive or transformative technologies.4. Address challenges in energy by the development of advanced metallic solutions and manufacturing technologies for nuclear power, reduced CO2 emissions, and renewable energy. 5. Study issues and develop techniques for interfacing metallic materials into advanced hybrid structures with polymers, laminates, foams and composites etc. 6. Develop novel coatings and surface treatments to protect new light alloys and hybrid structures, in hostile environments, reduce environmental impact of chemical treatments and add value and increase functionality. 7. Reduce environmental impact through reductions in process energy costs and concurrently develop new materials that address the environmental challenges in weight saving and recyclability technologies. This we believe will produce PhD graduates with a superior skills base enabling problem solving and leadership expertise well beyond a conventional PhD project, i.e. a DTC with a structured programme and stimulating methods of engagement, will produce internationally competitive doctoral graduates that can engage with today's diverse metallurgical issues and contribute to the development of a high level knowledge-based UK manufacturing sector.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/N018958/1
    Funder Contribution: 507,674 GBP
    Partners: University of Edinburgh, Wolfram Research Europe Ltd, University of Salford, The Mathworks Ltd, University of London, MICROSOFT RESEARCH LIMITED, 3DS, NAG, University of Sheffield, Maplesoft...

    "Software is the most prevalent of all the instruments used in modern science" [Goble 2014]. Scientific software is not just widely used [SSI 2014] but also widely developed. Yet much of it is developed by researchers who have little understanding of even the basics of modern software development with the knock-on effects to their productivity, and the reliability, readability and reproducibility of their software [Nature Biotechnology]. Many are long-tail researchers working in small groups - even Big Science operations like the SKA are operationally undertaken by individuals collectively. Technological development in software is more like a cliff-face than a ladder - there are many routes to the top, to a solution. Further, the cliff face is dynamic - constantly and quickly changing as new technologies emerge and decline. Determining which technologies to deploy and how best to deploy them is in itself a specialist domain, with many features of traditional research. Researchers need empowerment and training to give them confidence with the available equipment and the challenges they face. This role, akin to that of an Alpine guide, involves support, guidance, and load carrying. When optimally performed it results in a researcher who knows what challenges they can attack alone, and where they need appropriate support. Guides can help decide whether to exploit well-trodden paths or explore new possibilities as they navigate through this dynamic environment. These guides are highly trained, technology-centric, research-aware individuals who have a curiosity driven nature dedicated to supporting researchers by forging a research software support career. Such Research Software Engineers (RSEs) guide researchers through the technological landscape and form a human interface between scientist and computer. A well-functioning RSE group will not just add to an organisation's effectiveness, it will have a multiplicative effect since it will make every individual researcher more effective. It has the potential to improve the quality of research done across all University departments and faculties. My work plan provides a bottom-up approach to providing RSE services that is distinctive from yet complements the top-down approach provided by the EPRSC-funded Software Sustainability Institute. The outcomes of this fellowship will be: Local and National RSE Capability: A RSE Group at Sheffield as a credible roadmap for others pump-priming a UK national research software capability; and a national Continuing Professional Development programme for RSEs. Scalable software support methods: A scalable approach based on "nudging", to providing research software support for scientific software efficiency, sustainability and reproducibility, with quality-guidelines for research software and for researchers on how best to incorporate research software engineering support within their grant proposals. HPC for long-tail researchers: 'HPC-software ramps' and a pathway for standardised integration of HPC resources into Desktop Applications fit for modern scientific computing; a network of HPC-centric RSEs based around shared resources; and a portfolio of new research software courses developed with partners. Communication and public understanding: A communication campaign to raise the profile of research software exploiting high profile social media and online resources, establishing an informal forum for research software debate. References [Goble 2014] Goble, C. "Better Software, Better Research". IEEE Internet Computing 18(5): 4-8 (2014) [SSI 2014] Hettrick, S. "It's impossible to conduct research without software, say 7 out of 10 UK researchers" http://www.software.ac.uk/blog/2014-12-04-its-impossible-conduct-research-without-software-say-7-out-10-uk-researchers (2014) [Nature 2015] Editorial "Rule rewrite aims to clean up scientific software", Nature Biotechnology 520(7547) April 2015

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/K00008X/2
    Funder Contribution: 42,744 GBP
    Partners: INGV (Nat Inst Volcanology and Geophys), Durham University, HSL, University of Bergen, SFU, Willis Limited, Met Office, NOC, FLE, University of London...

    Submarine landslides can be far larger than terrestrial landslides, and many generate destructive tsunamis. The Storegga Slide offshore Norway covers an area larger than Scotland and contains enough sediment to cover all of Scotland to a depth of 80 m. This huge slide occurred 8,200 years ago and extends for 800 km down slope. It produced a tsunami with a run up >20 m around the Norwegian Sea and 3-8 m on the Scottish mainland. The UK faces few other natural hazards that could cause damage on the scale of a repeat of the Storegga Slide tsunami. The Storegga Slide is not the only huge submarine slide in the Norwegian Sea. Published data suggest that there have been at least six such slides in the last 20,000 years. For instance, the Traenadjupet Slide occurred 4,000 years ago and involved ~900 km3 of sediment. Based on a recurrence interval of 4,000 years (2 events in the last 8,000 years, or 6 events in 20,000 years), there is a 5% probability of a major submarine slide, and possible tsunami, occurring in the next 200 years. Sedimentary deposits in Shetland dated at 1500 and 5500 years, in addition to the 8200 year Storegga deposit, are thought to indicate tsunami impacts and provide evidence that the Arctic tsunami hazard is still poorly understood. Given the potential impact of tsunamis generated by Arctic landslides, we need a rigorous assessment of the hazard they pose to the UK over the next 100-200 years, their potential cost to society, degree to which existing sea defences protect the UK, and how tsunami hazards could be incorporated into multi-hazard flood risk management. This project is timely because rapid climatic change in the Arctic could increase the risk posed by landslide-tsunamis. Crustal rebound associated with future ice melting may produce larger and more frequent earthquakes, such as probably triggered the Storegga Slide 8200 years ago. The Arctic is also predicted to undergo particularly rapid warming in the next few decades that could lead to dissociation of gas hydrates (ice-like compounds of methane and water) in marine sediments, weakening the sediment and potentially increasing the landsliding risk. Our objectives will be achieved through an integrated series of work blocks that examine the frequency of landslides in the Norwegian Sea preserved in the recent geological record, associated tsunami deposits in Shetland, future trends in frequency and size of earthquakes due to ice melting, slope stability and tsunami generation by landslides, tsunami inundation of the UK and potential societal costs. This forms a work flow that starts with observations of past landslides and evolves through modelling of their consequences to predicting and costing the consequences of potential future landslides and associated tsunamis. Particular attention will be paid to societal impacts and mitigation strategies, including examination of the effectiveness of current sea defences. This will be achieved through engagement of stakeholders from the start of the project, including government agencies that manage UK flood risk, international bodies responsible for tsunami warning systems, and the re-insurance sector. The main deliverables will be: (i) better understanding of frequency of past Arctic landslides and resulting tsunami impact on the UK (ii) improved models for submarine landslides and associated tsunamis that help to understand why certain landslides cause tsunamis, and others don't. (iii) a single modelling strategy that starts with a coupled landslide-tsunami source, tracks propagation of the tsunami across the Norwegian Sea, and ends with inundation of the UK coast. Tsunami sources of various sizes and origins will be tested (iv) a detailed evaluation of the consequences and societal cost to the UK of tsunami flooding , including the effectiveness of existing flood defences (v) an assessment of how climate change may alter landslide frequency and thus tsunami risk to the UK.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: AH/K006029/1
    Funder Contribution: 914,212 GBP
    Partners: AVCP, MUN, Qanirtuuq Incorporated, UBC, University of Aberdeen, UAF, Trent University Canada

    Northern sea ice levels are at an historical and millennial low, and nowhere are the effects of contemporary climate change more pronounced and destructive than in the Arctic. The Western Arctic rim of North America is considered the climate change "miners canary", with temperatures increasing at twice the global average. In the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta (Y-K Delta), Western Alaska, the indigenous Yup'ik Eskimos are facing life-altering decisions in an uncertain future, as rising temperatures, melting permafrost and coastal erosion threaten traditional subsistence lifeways, livelihoods and settlements - the Yup'ik face becoming "the world's first climate change refugees" (The Guardian 2008). For the Yup'ik, however - whose relationship to the total environment is central to their worldview - coping with global climate change entails far more than adapting to new physical and ecological conditions. This is reflected in the holistic incorporation of both natural and social phenomena embodied in the use of the Yup'ik word ella, (variably translating as "weather", "world", "universe", "awareness"), which is understood in intensely social as well as physical terms. Ella reflects the relationship Yup'ik society has with the natural world. As changing environmental conditions jeopardise traditional subsistence practices in the Arctic, their deep-rooted dependency and social connection to the land is also threatened - further severing their ecological ties and compromising their cultural adaptive capacity that has defined Yup'ik community and identity for thousands of years. Rapid climatic change is by no means a uniquely modern phenomenon and the indigenous cultures of this region have faced such life-changing situations before. In fact, Western Alaska has experienced pronounced climatic variations within the last millennia, with the forebears of the Yup'ik being similarly challenged by regime shifts that would have influenced the availability of important subsistence resources, much the same as their descendants face today. The ELLA project will use both the products and processes of archaeological research to understand how Yup'ik Eskimos adapted to rapid climate change in the late prehistoric past (AD 1350-1700), and to inform and empower descendant Yup'ik communities struggling with contemporary global warming today. Taking full advantage of the spectacular but critically endangered archaeological resource now emerging from melting permafrost along the Bering Sea coast, this community-based project will illuminate the adaptive capacity of the precontact Yup'ik; build sustainable frameworks for the documenting of local sites under threat; and reinforce Yup'ik cultural resilience by providing new contexts for encountering and documenting their past.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/G036608/1
    Funder Contribution: 6,550,560 GBP
    Partners: AU, Highview Enterprises Ltd, Biffa Waste Services Ltd, RU, University of Leeds, TU Dortmund University, E.ON UK PLC, Yorkshire Forward, Harvard University, University of Waterloo (Canada)...

    There are major challenges inherent in meeting the goals of the UK national energy policy, including, climate change mitigation and adaption, security of supply, asset renewal, supply infrastructure etc. Additionally, there is a recognized shortage of high quality scientists and engineers with energy-related training to tackle these challenges, and to support the UK's future research and development and innovation performance as evidenced by several recent reports;Doosan Babcock (Energy Brief, Issue 3, June 2007, Doosan Babcock); UK Energy Institute (conducted by Deloitte/Norman Broadbent, 'Skills Needs in the Energy Industry' 2008); The Institution of Engineering and Technology, (evidence to the House of Commons, Select Committee on Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Fifth Report (19th June 2008); The Energy Research Partnership (Investigation into High-level Skills Shortages in the Energy Sector, March 2007). Here we present a proposal to host a Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) focusing on the development of technologies for a low carbon future, providing a challenging, exciting and inspiring research environment for the development of tomorrow's research leaders. This DTC will bring together a cohort of postgraduate research students and their supervisors to develop innovative technologies for a low carbon future based around the key interlinking themes: [1] Low Carbon Enabling Technologies; [2] Transport & Energy; [3] Carbon Storage, underpinned by [4] Climate Change & Energy Systems Research. Thereby each student will develop high level expertise in a particular topic but with excitement of working in a multidisciplinary environment. The DTC will be integrated within a campus wide Interdisciplinary Institute which coordinates energy research to tackle the 'Grand Challenge' of developing technologies for a low carbon future, our DTC students therefore working in a transformational research environment. The DTC will be housed in a NEW 14.8M Energy Research Building and administered by the established (2005) cross campus Earth, Energy & Environment (EEE) University Interdisciplinary Institute

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: AH/R001677/1
    Funder Contribution: 30,036 GBP
    Partners: University of Westminster, Université Concordia, University Health Network, Toronto

    Since the first successful operation in 1967, heart transplantation has become an almost routine form of surgery. Yet whilst significant bio-scientific research has been conducted into the procedure and its medical outcomes, there has been very little research into the emotional and psychological impact of transplantation on the families of deceased donors. On a broader level, organ transplantation signifies a shift in the way the body is viewed, raising questions around bodily boundaries, identity, and new non-biological kinship relationships. The Principal and Co-Investigators are part of a long term international, interdisciplinary research project based in Toronto, Canada looking at the psycho-social effects of heart transplantation. The study, which is currently focused on better understanding the experience of heart donor families, is unique in that it brings together medics, visual artists, a philosopher and social scientists to study transplantation from multiple, interwoven perspectives with the aim of understanding the procedure within a broad social and psychological context. The proposed Hybrid Bodies UK network will bring collaborators involved in this existing group into dialogue with relevant UK-based artists, scientists, theorists and medical professionals with the aim of involving some of these new partners in establishing an artist-led UK base for our project. In October 2017 we will hold a work in progress exhibition in London of artworks made by the three artists in the GOLA team. Each of these artists has extensive experience of making work that traverses the boundaries between art and science. They currently have access to the research findings of the scientific partners in Canada and to records of the personal experiences of donor family members there. Exploring issues of identity, embodiment, affect and kinship, they will continue to work closely with Dr. Ross and Dr. Shildrick to create work informed and inspired by this phenomenological research material. The exhibition and an accompanying half-day symposium will be for an invited audience of heart donor families, artists, medical scientists, and others with an interest in organ donation. The artists and (where possible) other members of the existing team will be present for the duration of the exhibition, where the artworks will act as a focal point for dialogue. While the artworks share a common starting point, each of the three artists will produce a separate work. They will liaise with Curator, Hannah Redler to ensure that relationships between the exhibited works are strong and the exhibition is cohesive, allowing space for the artworks to mutate and change in response to feedback. In March 2018 we will hold a two-day workshop at University of Southampton that brings together existing members of the group with new members recruited at the initial exhibition for a more in-depth practical exchange of experience, ideas and practices facilitated through activities such as small group work, structured interdisciplinary Q&A sessions, panel discussions and presentations from different disciplinary standpoints. This program of events will enable us to share both our existing innovative interdisciplinary working methods and our insight into some of the disruptive and emotionally disturbing aspects of heart transplantation with interdisciplinary researchers and practitioners in the UK. Channeled through visual and media arts, our ongoing research will explore the complexities of organ transplantation in a novel way. Using artworks in development as a focal point, we aim to entangle new research from the arts, biosciences and humanities without privileging any one discourse. Broadening the reach of our existing collaboration to facilitate exchange between researchers working in two different cultural contexts (Canada/UK) will lead to richer alternative avenues for new understandings, knowledge translation and outreach in both countries.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/M003159/1
    Funder Contribution: 508,163 GBP
    Partners: University of Cambridge, University of Toronto, Lehmann & Voss, Yunnan Institute of Building Materials, Federal University of Minas Gerais, China Three Gorges Corporation, CECEP DADI, NTU, Shell Global Solutions UK, Premier Magnesia...

    Material innovations focussing on delivery and sustainability are key as our global efforts intensify in the development of a secure and sustainable future energy landscape. Many infrastructure-related material challenges have emerged as a result of the need (i) to explore offshore marine environments for wind power generation, (ii) for deeper and more complex underground wellbore systems for new oil & gas explorations, (iii) for robust containment and shielding structures for new nuclear power plants and (iv) for larger dam structures for future hydropower generation. Our vision for this proposal is to build a world leading and long lasting partnership between academics in the UK and China, integrated with industrial partners and other world leading academic groups around the world, to collectively address some of those construction material challenges with a focus on sustainability. The commonality in the assembled group is our interest and expertise in exploring potentials for magnesia-bearing construction materials in solving some of those new challenges, by either providing completely new solutions or enhanced solutions to existing material systems. This is a unique area to China and the UK where there is significant complementary expertise in the different grades of and applications for magnesia. The project consortium from the University of Cambridge, University College London, Chongqing University and Nanjing Tech University has the required interdisciplinary mix of materials, structural and geotechnical engineers, with world leading unique expertise in magnesia-based construction materials. The intention is to share and advance our global understanding of the performance of those proposed materials, road map future research and commercial needs and identify the ideal applications in our future energy infrastructures where most performance impact and sustainability benefits can be achieved. The proposed focusses two main areas of research. The first is the technical advantages and benefits that magnesia can provide to existing cement systems. This includes (i) its use as an expansive additive for large mass concrete constructions e.g. dams and nuclear installations, (ii) its role in magnesium phosphate cements for the developing of low pH cements suitable for nuclear waste applications and (iii) its role in advancing the development of alkali activated cements by providing low shrinkage and corrosion resistance. The second is the delivery of sustainable MgO production processes that focus on the use of both mineral and reject brine resources. An integral part of this project will be the knowledge transfer activities and collaboration with industry and other relevant research centres around the world. An overarching aspect of the proposed research is the mapping out of the team's capabilities and the integration of expertise and personnel exchange to ensure maximum impact. This will ensure that the research is at the forefront of the global pursuit for a sustainable future energy infrastructure and will ensure that maximum impact is achieved. The consortium plans to act as a global hub to provide a national and international platform for facilitating dialogue and collaboration to enhance the global knowledge economy.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: AH/P008038/1
    Funder Contribution: 80,530 GBP
    Partners: Inst for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, University of Birmingham, Queen's University Canada, Inst of Social Work & Social Science

    As of April 2016, a total of 103,510 uniformed personnel from 123 countries were serving in 16 peacekeeping operations around the world. Where foreign soldiers - during war, occupation or peacekeeping operations - are on foreign soil, military-civilian relations develop, including those between soldiers and local women. Peacekeepers have increasingly been associated with sexual exploitation and abuse of the vulnerable populations they had been mandated to protect. Many of the intimate relations between peacekeeping personnel and local women, of both voluntary and exploitative nature, have led to pregnancies and to children being born. These so-called 'peace babies' and their mothers face particular challenges in volatile post-conflict communities, reportedly including childhood adversities as well as stigmatization, discrimination and disproportionate economic and social hardships. This project proposes an in-depth-study on the situation of 'peace babies' conceived by personnel from or associated with the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). MINUSTAH is among the missions associated with allegations of misconduct, not least related to sexual and gender-based violence and consequently the unintended legacy of children fathered by UN personnel. The UN has recently acknowledged that 'peacekeeper babies' exist. Yet, an evidence base relating to the welfare of children fathered by UN peacekeepers (globally or in Haiti) is virtually non-existent, and it is clear that the existing UN policies and support programs are inadequate. The proposed study addresses this critical knowledge gap through the following original contributions: - Theoretical contribution - analysing the lack of accountability of the UN and its personnel for children fathered by UN peacekeepers by introducing a victim-centred approach; - Empirical contributions: i) exploring the gender norms, and the socioeconomic, cultural and security circumstances that contribute to unequal power relations between UN personnel and local civilians; ii) mapping the whereabouts of 'peace babies' in Haiti through a situational analysis of the areas surrounding six UN bases and exploring the circumstances around their conceptions; and iii) investigating the life experiences of women raising children fathered by peacekeepers; and - Methodological contribution - using an innovative mixed quantitative/qualitative research tool, Cognitive Edge's SenseMaker, to provide a more nuanced understanding of these complex issues. The multidisciplinary collaboration between scholars from the University of Birmingham, Queen's University, Kingston, the Centre of International and Defence Policy, and Haitian-based Enstiti Travay Sosyal ak Syans Sosyal (ETS), along with civil society organisations, the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti and Haitian-based Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, will address this knowledge gap and enhance our understanding of the challenges faced by peace babies and their families as well as the obstacles to accessing support. Beyond the core UK-Canada-Haiti partnership, the project will include further ODA-recipient countries (among others Cambodia, Bosnia, Liberia and the DRC) and in a final project conference will apply insights from Haiti to Peace Support Operations (PSO) more generally in discourse with academic and non-academic participants from other countries with extensive PSO experience.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: AH/K003054/1
    Funder Contribution: 785,054 GBP
    Partners: Durham World Heritage Site, Durham Cathedral, University of Toronto, Durham University

    'Records of Early English Drama North-East' (REED-NE) is part of a massive international project to assemble a complete record of surviving sources for medieval and early modern performance in Britain. REED volumes are to scholars in literature and theatre what Pevsner is to architects and art historians. REED's main office at the University of Toronto coordinates a team of researchers who trawl Britain's archives by region and edit their findings to an internationally recognized scholarly standard. The volumes which have already appeared have revolutionized our understanding of British performance history, replacing a view based largely on conjecture with one derived from detailed factual information about performers and the social and financial organisation of performance. REED volumes have redressed the London-centric imbalance of research obsessed by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, and drawn attention to the many forms of anonymous performance in regions which have often been unjustly seen as 'marginal'. REED-NE, the latest stage in the series, will find and edit all records pertaining to drama, music and ceremonial in England's North-East, from the earliest sources (around 9th century) to 1642. REED-NE will cover Yorkshire (excluding the city of York, whose records have already appeared), Durham and Northumberland, in a collection of five or more volumes published by Boydell. To date, discoveries include: 1. A medieval sequence of liturgy and drama about the Sacrament which linked the lay community with their ecclesiastical city governors (Durham). 2. Child drama and misrule ceremonies (Boy Bishops and Lords of Misrule from Durham and West Yorkshire). 3. The earliest known evidence for three types of folk drama: the Stag Ceremony (before 1280, abolished 1315); the Plough Ceremony (from 1378); and the Man/Woman performer (1433-4) (all Durham). 4. New evidence relating to mystery cycles in at least four cities (Beverley, Doncaster, Durham and Newcastle). This will reduce the reliance of scholars on the probably untypical cycles from York and Chester. 5. A major stand-alone biblical play (Hull's 'Noah'). 6. Rare evidence for a Paternoster play (Beverley). 7. Performance traditions in noble households, including the Percies (Northumberland), the Ingrams, Talbots and Wentworths (West Yorkshire), and in the houses of lesser gentry in all North-Eastern counties. 8. An important body of information concerning illegal recusant drama in North Yorkshire. This will transform the historical understanding of the polemic use of drama by Catholics in provincial England. 9. A wealth of evidence about town waits, travelling performers, and patrons; we hope to discover and map performance circuits and locations from at least the later Middle Ages onwards. The REED-NE volumes will be accompanied by a Companion volume discussing the historical and cultural significance of our findings. Our findings will also be linked to an interactive map of provincial England on the REED Patrons and Performances website at Toronto. Geo-coding is only now being adopted for literary projects. Visualising research data with GIS mapping will offer a new perspective on historical performance in England and contribute to the advancement of the Spatial Humanities. A summer festival in Durham in 2016 will showcase our research to academics and the wider public with a conference and an exhibition of objects and manuscripts pertaining to religious and secular drama at Durham's World Heritage Site. Based on our collected records, we will stage medieval and Renaissance repertoire at Durham Castle and the Cathedral. For the first time since the 9th century, the Lindisfarne 'Harrowing of Hell' - probably Britain's oldest surviving drama - will be performed. All events will be freely accessible. We expect our work to have a major impact, on our discipline worldwide, and also on regional communities and their awareness of their heritage.

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31 Projects, page 1 of 4
  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/H009612/1
    Funder Contribution: 5,814,410 GBP
    Partners: University of London, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, NEF, University of California, Berkeley, GT, EDF, Universitat Karlsruhe (TH), LBL, Buro Happold Limited, CIBSE...

    Reducing carbon emissions and securing energy supplies are crucial international goals to which energy demand reduction must make a major contribution. On a national level, demand reduction, deployment of new and renewable energy technologies, and decarbonisation of the energy supply are essential if the UK is to meet its legally binding carbon reduction targets. As a result, this area is an important theme within the EPSRC's strategic plan, but one that suffers from historical underinvestment and a serious shortage of appropriately skilled researchers. Major energy demand reductions are required within the working lifetime of Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) graduates, i.e. by 2050. Students will thus have to be capable of identifying and undertaking research that will have an impact within their 35 year post-doctoral career. The challenges will be exacerbated as our population ages, as climate change advances and as fuel prices rise: successful demand reduction requires both detailed technical knowledge and multi-disciplinary skills. The DTC will therefore span the interfaces between traditional disciplines to develop a training programme that teaches the context and process-bound problems of technology deployment, along with the communication and leadership skills needed to initiate real change within the tight time scale required. It will be jointly operated by University College London (UCL) and Loughborough University (LU); two world-class centres of energy research. Through the cross-faculty Energy Institute at UCL and Sustainability Research School at LU, over 80 academics have been identified who are able and willing to supervise DTC students. These experts span the full range of necessary disciplines from science and engineering to ergonomics and design, psychology and sociology through to economics and politics. The reputation of the universities will enable them to attract the very best students to this research area.The DTC will begin with a 1 year joint MRes programme followed by a 3 year PhD programme including a placement abroad and the opportunity for each DTC student to employ an undergraduate intern to assist them. Students will be trained in communication methods and alternative forms of public engagement. They will thus understand the energy challenges faced by the UK, appreciate the international energy landscape, develop people-management and communication skills, and so acquire the competence to make a tangible impact. An annual colloquium will be the focal point of the DTC year acting as a show-case and major mechanism for connection to the wider stakeholder community.The DTC will be led by internationally eminent academics (Prof Robert Lowe, Director, and Prof Kevin J Lomas, Deputy Director), together they have over 50 years of experience in this sector. They will be supported by a management structure headed by an Advisory Board chaired by Pascal Terrien, Director of the European Centre and Laboratories for Energy Efficiency Research and responsible for the Demand Reduction programme of the UK Energy Technology Institute. This will help secure the international, industrial and UK research linkages of the DTC.Students will receive a stipend that is competitive with other DTCs in the energy arena and, for work in certain areas, further enhancement from industrial sponsors. They will have a personal annual research allowance, an excellent research environment and access to resources. Both Universities are committed to energy research at the highest level, and each has invested over 3.2M in academic appointments, infrastructure development and other support, specifically to the energy demand reduction area. Each university will match the EPSRC funded studentships one-for-one, with funding from other sources. This DTC will therefore train at least 100 students over its 8 year life.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/G036950/1
    Funder Contribution: 6,371,160 GBP
    Partners: MEL Chemicals, Firth Rixson Limited, Tata Steel (United Kingdom), WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC COMPANY UK LIMITED, Capcis Ltd, Defence Science & Tech Lab DSTL, Alcoa Europe Flat Rolled Products, Novelis Global Technology Centre, Cummins Turbo Technologies (United Kingdom), University of Sheffield...

    This is an application for a Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) from the Universities of Sheffield and Manchester in Advanced Metallic Systems which will be directed by Prof Panos Tsakiropoulos and Prof Phil Prangnell. The proposed DTC is in response to recent reviews by the EPSRC and government/industrial bodies which have indentified the serious impact of an increasing shortage of personnel, with Doctorate level training in metallic materials, on the global competitiveness of the UK's manufacturing and defence capability. Furthermore, future applications of materials are increasingly being seen as systems that incorporate several material classes and engineered surfaces into single components, to increase performance.The primary goal of the DTC is to address these issues head on by supplying the next generation of metallics research specialists desperately needed by UK plc. We plan to attract talented students from a diverse range of physical science and engineering backgrounds and involve them with highly motivated academic staff in a variety of innovative teaching and industrial-based research activities. The programme aims to prepare graduates for global challenges in competitiveness, through an enhanced PhD programme that will:1. Challenge students and promote independent problem solving and interdiscpilnarity,2. Expose them to industrial innovation, exciting new science and the international research community, 3. Increase their fundamental skills, and broaden them as individuals in preparation for future management and leadership roles.The DTC will be aligned with major multidisciplinary research centres and with the strong involvement of NAMTEC (the National Metals Technology Centre) and over twenty companies across many sectors. Learning will be up to date and industrially relevant, as well as benefitting from access to 30M of state-of-the art research facilities.Research projects will be targeted at high value UK strategic technology sectors, such as aerospace, automotive, power generation, renewables, and defence and aim to:1. Provide a multidisciplinary approach to the whole product life cycle; from raw material, to semi finished products to forming, joining, surface engineering/coating, in service performance and recycling via the wide skill base of the combined academic team and industrial collaborators.2. Improve the basic understanding of how nano-, micro- and meso-scale physical processes control material microstructures and thereby properties, in order to radically improve industrial processes, and advance techniques of modelling and process simulation.3. Develop new innovative processes and processing routes, i.e. disruptive or transformative technologies.4. Address challenges in energy by the development of advanced metallic solutions and manufacturing technologies for nuclear power, reduced CO2 emissions, and renewable energy. 5. Study issues and develop techniques for interfacing metallic materials into advanced hybrid structures with polymers, laminates, foams and composites etc. 6. Develop novel coatings and surface treatments to protect new light alloys and hybrid structures, in hostile environments, reduce environmental impact of chemical treatments and add value and increase functionality. 7. Reduce environmental impact through reductions in process energy costs and concurrently develop new materials that address the environmental challenges in weight saving and recyclability technologies. This we believe will produce PhD graduates with a superior skills base enabling problem solving and leadership expertise well beyond a conventional PhD project, i.e. a DTC with a structured programme and stimulating methods of engagement, will produce internationally competitive doctoral graduates that can engage with today's diverse metallurgical issues and contribute to the development of a high level knowledge-based UK manufacturing sector.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/N018958/1
    Funder Contribution: 507,674 GBP
    Partners: University of Edinburgh, Wolfram Research Europe Ltd, University of Salford, The Mathworks Ltd, University of London, MICROSOFT RESEARCH LIMITED, 3DS, NAG, University of Sheffield, Maplesoft...

    "Software is the most prevalent of all the instruments used in modern science" [Goble 2014]. Scientific software is not just widely used [SSI 2014] but also widely developed. Yet much of it is developed by researchers who have little understanding of even the basics of modern software development with the knock-on effects to their productivity, and the reliability, readability and reproducibility of their software [Nature Biotechnology]. Many are long-tail researchers working in small groups - even Big Science operations like the SKA are operationally undertaken by individuals collectively. Technological development in software is more like a cliff-face than a ladder - there are many routes to the top, to a solution. Further, the cliff face is dynamic - constantly and quickly changing as new technologies emerge and decline. Determining which technologies to deploy and how best to deploy them is in itself a specialist domain, with many features of traditional research. Researchers need empowerment and training to give them confidence with the available equipment and the challenges they face. This role, akin to that of an Alpine guide, involves support, guidance, and load carrying. When optimally performed it results in a researcher who knows what challenges they can attack alone, and where they need appropriate support. Guides can help decide whether to exploit well-trodden paths or explore new possibilities as they navigate through this dynamic environment. These guides are highly trained, technology-centric, research-aware individuals who have a curiosity driven nature dedicated to supporting researchers by forging a research software support career. Such Research Software Engineers (RSEs) guide researchers through the technological landscape and form a human interface between scientist and computer. A well-functioning RSE group will not just add to an organisation's effectiveness, it will have a multiplicative effect since it will make every individual researcher more effective. It has the potential to improve the quality of research done across all University departments and faculties. My work plan provides a bottom-up approach to providing RSE services that is distinctive from yet complements the top-down approach provided by the EPRSC-funded Software Sustainability Institute. The outcomes of this fellowship will be: Local and National RSE Capability: A RSE Group at Sheffield as a credible roadmap for others pump-priming a UK national research software capability; and a national Continuing Professional Development programme for RSEs. Scalable software support methods: A scalable approach based on "nudging", to providing research software support for scientific software efficiency, sustainability and reproducibility, with quality-guidelines for research software and for researchers on how best to incorporate research software engineering support within their grant proposals. HPC for long-tail researchers: 'HPC-software ramps' and a pathway for standardised integration of HPC resources into Desktop Applications fit for modern scientific computing; a network of HPC-centric RSEs based around shared resources; and a portfolio of new research software courses developed with partners. Communication and public understanding: A communication campaign to raise the profile of research software exploiting high profile social media and online resources, establishing an informal forum for research software debate. References [Goble 2014] Goble, C. "Better Software, Better Research". IEEE Internet Computing 18(5): 4-8 (2014) [SSI 2014] Hettrick, S. "It's impossible to conduct research without software, say 7 out of 10 UK researchers" http://www.software.ac.uk/blog/2014-12-04-its-impossible-conduct-research-without-software-say-7-out-10-uk-researchers (2014) [Nature 2015] Editorial "Rule rewrite aims to clean up scientific software", Nature Biotechnology 520(7547) April 2015

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/K00008X/2
    Funder Contribution: 42,744 GBP
    Partners: INGV (Nat Inst Volcanology and Geophys), Durham University, HSL, University of Bergen, SFU, Willis Limited, Met Office, NOC, FLE, University of London...

    Submarine landslides can be far larger than terrestrial landslides, and many generate destructive tsunamis. The Storegga Slide offshore Norway covers an area larger than Scotland and contains enough sediment to cover all of Scotland to a depth of 80 m. This huge slide occurred 8,200 years ago and extends for 800 km down slope. It produced a tsunami with a run up >20 m around the Norwegian Sea and 3-8 m on the Scottish mainland. The UK faces few other natural hazards that could cause damage on the scale of a repeat of the Storegga Slide tsunami. The Storegga Slide is not the only huge submarine slide in the Norwegian Sea. Published data suggest that there have been at least six such slides in the last 20,000 years. For instance, the Traenadjupet Slide occurred 4,000 years ago and involved ~900 km3 of sediment. Based on a recurrence interval of 4,000 years (2 events in the last 8,000 years, or 6 events in 20,000 years), there is a 5% probability of a major submarine slide, and possible tsunami, occurring in the next 200 years. Sedimentary deposits in Shetland dated at 1500 and 5500 years, in addition to the 8200 year Storegga deposit, are thought to indicate tsunami impacts and provide evidence that the Arctic tsunami hazard is still poorly understood. Given the potential impact of tsunamis generated by Arctic landslides, we need a rigorous assessment of the hazard they pose to the UK over the next 100-200 years, their potential cost to society, degree to which existing sea defences protect the UK, and how tsunami hazards could be incorporated into multi-hazard flood risk management. This project is timely because rapid climatic change in the Arctic could increase the risk posed by landslide-tsunamis. Crustal rebound associated with future ice melting may produce larger and more frequent earthquakes, such as probably triggered the Storegga Slide 8200 years ago. The Arctic is also predicted to undergo particularly rapid warming in the next few decades that could lead to dissociation of gas hydrates (ice-like compounds of methane and water) in marine sediments, weakening the sediment and potentially increasing the landsliding risk. Our objectives will be achieved through an integrated series of work blocks that examine the frequency of landslides in the Norwegian Sea preserved in the recent geological record, associated tsunami deposits in Shetland, future trends in frequency and size of earthquakes due to ice melting, slope stability and tsunami generation by landslides, tsunami inundation of the UK and potential societal costs. This forms a work flow that starts with observations of past landslides and evolves through modelling of their consequences to predicting and costing the consequences of potential future landslides and associated tsunamis. Particular attention will be paid to societal impacts and mitigation strategies, including examination of the effectiveness of current sea defences. This will be achieved through engagement of stakeholders from the start of the project, including government agencies that manage UK flood risk, international bodies responsible for tsunami warning systems, and the re-insurance sector. The main deliverables will be: (i) better understanding of frequency of past Arctic landslides and resulting tsunami impact on the UK (ii) improved models for submarine landslides and associated tsunamis that help to understand why certain landslides cause tsunamis, and others don't. (iii) a single modelling strategy that starts with a coupled landslide-tsunami source, tracks propagation of the tsunami across the Norwegian Sea, and ends with inundation of the UK coast. Tsunami sources of various sizes and origins will be tested (iv) a detailed evaluation of the consequences and societal cost to the UK of tsunami flooding , including the effectiveness of existing flood defences (v) an assessment of how climate change may alter landslide frequency and thus tsunami risk to the UK.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: AH/K006029/1
    Funder Contribution: 914,212 GBP
    Partners: AVCP, MUN, Qanirtuuq Incorporated, UBC, University of Aberdeen, UAF, Trent University Canada

    Northern sea ice levels are at an historical and millennial low, and nowhere are the effects of contemporary climate change more pronounced and destructive than in the Arctic. The Western Arctic rim of North America is considered the climate change "miners canary", with temperatures increasing at twice the global average. In the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta (Y-K Delta), Western Alaska, the indigenous Yup'ik Eskimos are facing life-altering decisions in an uncertain future, as rising temperatures, melting permafrost and coastal erosion threaten traditional subsistence lifeways, livelihoods and settlements - the Yup'ik face becoming "the world's first climate change refugees" (The Guardian 2008). For the Yup'ik, however - whose relationship to the total environment is central to their worldview - coping with global climate change entails far more than adapting to new physical and ecological conditions. This is reflected in the holistic incorporation of both natural and social phenomena embodied in the use of the Yup'ik word ella, (variably translating as "weather", "world", "universe", "awareness"), which is understood in intensely social as well as physical terms. Ella reflects the relationship Yup'ik society has with the natural world. As changing environmental conditions jeopardise traditional subsistence practices in the Arctic, their deep-rooted dependency and social connection to the land is also threatened - further severing their ecological ties and compromising their cultural adaptive capacity that has defined Yup'ik community and identity for thousands of years. Rapid climatic change is by no means a uniquely modern phenomenon and the indigenous cultures of this region have faced such life-changing situations before. In fact, Western Alaska has experienced pronounced climatic variations within the last millennia, with the forebears of the Yup'ik being similarly challenged by regime shifts that would have influenced the availability of important subsistence resources, much the same as their descendants face today. The ELLA project will use both the products and processes of archaeological research to understand how Yup'ik Eskimos adapted to rapid climate change in the late prehistoric past (AD 1350-1700), and to inform and empower descendant Yup'ik communities struggling with contemporary global warming today. Taking full advantage of the spectacular but critically endangered archaeological resource now emerging from melting permafrost along the Bering Sea coast, this community-based project will illuminate the adaptive capacity of the precontact Yup'ik; build sustainable frameworks for the documenting of local sites under threat; and reinforce Yup'ik cultural resilience by providing new contexts for encountering and documenting their past.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/G036608/1
    Funder Contribution: 6,550,560 GBP
    Partners: AU, Highview Enterprises Ltd, Biffa Waste Services Ltd, RU, University of Leeds, TU Dortmund University, E.ON UK PLC, Yorkshire Forward, Harvard University, University of Waterloo (Canada)...

    There are major challenges inherent in meeting the goals of the UK national energy policy, including, climate change mitigation and adaption, security of supply, asset renewal, supply infrastructure etc. Additionally, there is a recognized shortage of high quality scientists and engineers with energy-related training to tackle these challenges, and to support the UK's future research and development and innovation performance as evidenced by several recent reports;Doosan Babcock (Energy Brief, Issue 3, June 2007, Doosan Babcock); UK Energy Institute (conducted by Deloitte/Norman Broadbent, 'Skills Needs in the Energy Industry' 2008); The Institution of Engineering and Technology, (evidence to the House of Commons, Select Committee on Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Fifth Report (19th June 2008); The Energy Research Partnership (Investigation into High-level Skills Shortages in the Energy Sector, March 2007). Here we present a proposal to host a Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) focusing on the development of technologies for a low carbon future, providing a challenging, exciting and inspiring research environment for the development of tomorrow's research leaders. This DTC will bring together a cohort of postgraduate research students and their supervisors to develop innovative technologies for a low carbon future based around the key interlinking themes: [1] Low Carbon Enabling Technologies; [2] Transport & Energy; [3] Carbon Storage, underpinned by [4] Climate Change & Energy Systems Research. Thereby each student will develop high level expertise in a particular topic but with excitement of working in a multidisciplinary environment. The DTC will be integrated within a campus wide Interdisciplinary Institute which coordinates energy research to tackle the 'Grand Challenge' of developing technologies for a low carbon future, our DTC students therefore working in a transformational research environment. The DTC will be housed in a NEW 14.8M Energy Research Building and administered by the established (2005) cross campus Earth, Energy & Environment (EEE) University Interdisciplinary Institute

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: AH/R001677/1
    Funder Contribution: 30,036 GBP
    Partners: University of Westminster, Université Concordia, University Health Network, Toronto

    Since the first successful operation in 1967, heart transplantation has become an almost routine form of surgery. Yet whilst significant bio-scientific research has been conducted into the procedure and its medical outcomes, there has been very little research into the emotional and psychological impact of transplantation on the families of deceased donors. On a broader level, organ transplantation signifies a shift in the way the body is viewed, raising questions around bodily boundaries, identity, and new non-biological kinship relationships. The Principal and Co-Investigators are part of a long term international, interdisciplinary research project based in Toronto, Canada looking at the psycho-social effects of heart transplantation. The study, which is currently focused on better understanding the experience of heart donor families, is unique in that it brings together medics, visual artists, a philosopher and social scientists to study transplantation from multiple, interwoven perspectives with the aim of understanding the procedure within a broad social and psychological context. The proposed Hybrid Bodies UK network will bring collaborators involved in this existing group into dialogue with relevant UK-based artists, scientists, theorists and medical professionals with the aim of involving some of these new partners in establishing an artist-led UK base for our project. In October 2017 we will hold a work in progress exhibition in London of artworks made by the three artists in the GOLA team. Each of these artists has extensive experience of making work that traverses the boundaries between art and science. They currently have access to the research findings of the scientific partners in Canada and to records of the personal experiences of donor family members there. Exploring issues of identity, embodiment, affect and kinship, they will continue to work closely with Dr. Ross and Dr. Shildrick to create work informed and inspired by this phenomenological research material. The exhibition and an accompanying half-day symposium will be for an invited audience of heart donor families, artists, medical scientists, and others with an interest in organ donation. The artists and (where possible) other members of the existing team will be present for the duration of the exhibition, where the artworks will act as a focal point for dialogue. While the artworks share a common starting point, each of the three artists will produce a separate work. They will liaise with Curator, Hannah Redler to ensure that relationships between the exhibited works are strong and the exhibition is cohesive, allowing space for the artworks to mutate and change in response to feedback. In March 2018 we will hold a two-day workshop at University of Southampton that brings together existing members of the group with new members recruited at the initial exhibition for a more in-depth practical exchange of experience, ideas and practices facilitated through activities such as small group work, structured interdisciplinary Q&A sessions, panel discussions and presentations from different disciplinary standpoints. This program of events will enable us to share both our existing innovative interdisciplinary working methods and our insight into some of the disruptive and emotionally disturbing aspects of heart transplantation with interdisciplinary researchers and practitioners in the UK. Channeled through visual and media arts, our ongoing research will explore the complexities of organ transplantation in a novel way. Using artworks in development as a focal point, we aim to entangle new research from the arts, biosciences and humanities without privileging any one discourse. Broadening the reach of our existing collaboration to facilitate exchange between researchers working in two different cultural contexts (Canada/UK) will lead to richer alternative avenues for new understandings, knowledge translation and outreach in both countries.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/M003159/1
    Funder Contribution: 508,163 GBP
    Partners: University of Cambridge, University of Toronto, Lehmann & Voss, Yunnan Institute of Building Materials, Federal University of Minas Gerais, China Three Gorges Corporation, CECEP DADI, NTU, Shell Global Solutions UK, Premier Magnesia...

    Material innovations focussing on delivery and sustainability are key as our global efforts intensify in the development of a secure and sustainable future energy landscape. Many infrastructure-related material challenges have emerged as a result of the need (i) to explore offshore marine environments for wind power generation, (ii) for deeper and more complex underground wellbore systems for new oil & gas explorations, (iii) for robust containment and shielding structures for new nuclear power plants and (iv) for larger dam structures for future hydropower generation. Our vision for this proposal is to build a world leading and long lasting partnership between academics in the UK and China, integrated with industrial partners and other world leading academic groups around the world, to collectively address some of those construction material challenges with a focus on sustainability. The commonality in the assembled group is our interest and expertise in exploring potentials for magnesia-bearing construction materials in solving some of those new challenges, by either providing completely new solutions or enhanced solutions to existing material systems. This is a unique area to China and the UK where there is significant complementary expertise in the different grades of and applications for magnesia. The project consortium from the University of Cambridge, University College London, Chongqing University and Nanjing Tech University has the required interdisciplinary mix of materials, structural and geotechnical engineers, with world leading unique expertise in magnesia-based construction materials. The intention is to share and advance our global understanding of the performance of those proposed materials, road map future research and commercial needs and identify the ideal applications in our future energy infrastructures where most performance impact and sustainability benefits can be achieved. The proposed focusses two main areas of research. The first is the technical advantages and benefits that magnesia can provide to existing cement systems. This includes (i) its use as an expansive additive for large mass concrete constructions e.g. dams and nuclear installations, (ii) its role in magnesium phosphate cements for the developing of low pH cements suitable for nuclear waste applications and (iii) its role in advancing the development of alkali activated cements by providing low shrinkage and corrosion resistance. The second is the delivery of sustainable MgO production processes that focus on the use of both mineral and reject brine resources. An integral part of this project will be the knowledge transfer activities and collaboration with industry and other relevant research centres around the world. An overarching aspect of the proposed research is the mapping out of the team's capabilities and the integration of expertise and personnel exchange to ensure maximum impact. This will ensure that the research is at the forefront of the global pursuit for a sustainable future energy infrastructure and will ensure that maximum impact is achieved. The consortium plans to act as a global hub to provide a national and international platform for facilitating dialogue and collaboration to enhance the global knowledge economy.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: AH/P008038/1
    Funder Contribution: 80,530 GBP
    Partners: Inst for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, University of Birmingham, Queen's University Canada, Inst of Social Work & Social Science

    As of April 2016, a total of 103,510 uniformed personnel from 123 countries were serving in 16 peacekeeping operations around the world. Where foreign soldiers - during war, occupation or peacekeeping operations - are on foreign soil, military-civilian relations develop, including those between soldiers and local women. Peacekeepers have increasingly been associated with sexual exploitation and abuse of the vulnerable populations they had been mandated to protect. Many of the intimate relations between peacekeeping personnel and local women, of both voluntary and exploitative nature, have led to pregnancies and to children being born. These so-called 'peace babies' and their mothers face particular challenges in volatile post-conflict communities, reportedly including childhood adversities as well as stigmatization, discrimination and disproportionate economic and social hardships. This project proposes an in-depth-study on the situation of 'peace babies' conceived by personnel from or associated with the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). MINUSTAH is among the missions associated with allegations of misconduct, not least related to sexual and gender-based violence and consequently the unintended legacy of children fathered by UN personnel. The UN has recently acknowledged that 'peacekeeper babies' exist. Yet, an evidence base relating to the welfare of children fathered by UN peacekeepers (globally or in Haiti) is virtually non-existent, and it is clear that the existing UN policies and support programs are inadequate. The proposed study addresses this critical knowledge gap through the following original contributions: - Theoretical contribution - analysing the lack of accountability of the UN and its personnel for children fathered by UN peacekeepers by introducing a victim-centred approach; - Empirical contributions: i) exploring the gender norms, and the socioeconomic, cultural and security circumstances that contribute to unequal power relations between UN personnel and local civilians; ii) mapping the whereabouts of 'peace babies' in Haiti through a situational analysis of the areas surrounding six UN bases and exploring the circumstances around their conceptions; and iii) investigating the life experiences of women raising children fathered by peacekeepers; and - Methodological contribution - using an innovative mixed quantitative/qualitative research tool, Cognitive Edge's SenseMaker, to provide a more nuanced understanding of these complex issues. The multidisciplinary collaboration between scholars from the University of Birmingham, Queen's University, Kingston, the Centre of International and Defence Policy, and Haitian-based Enstiti Travay Sosyal ak Syans Sosyal (ETS), along with civil society organisations, the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti and Haitian-based Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, will address this knowledge gap and enhance our understanding of the challenges faced by peace babies and their families as well as the obstacles to accessing support. Beyond the core UK-Canada-Haiti partnership, the project will include further ODA-recipient countries (among others Cambodia, Bosnia, Liberia and the DRC) and in a final project conference will apply insights from Haiti to Peace Support Operations (PSO) more generally in discourse with academic and non-academic participants from other countries with extensive PSO experience.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: AH/K003054/1
    Funder Contribution: 785,054 GBP
    Partners: Durham World Heritage Site, Durham Cathedral, University of Toronto, Durham University

    'Records of Early English Drama North-East' (REED-NE) is part of a massive international project to assemble a complete record of surviving sources for medieval and early modern performance in Britain. REED volumes are to scholars in literature and theatre what Pevsner is to architects and art historians. REED's main office at the University of Toronto coordinates a team of researchers who trawl Britain's archives by region and edit their findings to an internationally recognized scholarly standard. The volumes which have already appeared have revolutionized our understanding of British performance history, replacing a view based largely on conjecture with one derived from detailed factual information about performers and the social and financial organisation of performance. REED volumes have redressed the London-centric imbalance of research obsessed by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, and drawn attention to the many forms of anonymous performance in regions which have often been unjustly seen as 'marginal'. REED-NE, the latest stage in the series, will find and edit all records pertaining to drama, music and ceremonial in England's North-East, from the earliest sources (around 9th century) to 1642. REED-NE will cover Yorkshire (excluding the city of York, whose records have already appeared), Durham and Northumberland, in a collection of five or more volumes published by Boydell. To date, discoveries include: 1. A medieval sequence of liturgy and drama about the Sacrament which linked the lay community with their ecclesiastical city governors (Durham). 2. Child drama and misrule ceremonies (Boy Bishops and Lords of Misrule from Durham and West Yorkshire). 3. The earliest known evidence for three types of folk drama: the Stag Ceremony (before 1280, abolished 1315); the Plough Ceremony (from 1378); and the Man/Woman performer (1433-4) (all Durham). 4. New evidence relating to mystery cycles in at least four cities (Beverley, Doncaster, Durham and Newcastle). This will reduce the reliance of scholars on the probably untypical cycles from York and Chester. 5. A major stand-alone biblical play (Hull's 'Noah'). 6. Rare evidence for a Paternoster play (Beverley). 7. Performance traditions in noble households, including the Percies (Northumberland), the Ingrams, Talbots and Wentworths (West Yorkshire), and in the houses of lesser gentry in all North-Eastern counties. 8. An important body of information concerning illegal recusant drama in North Yorkshire. This will transform the historical understanding of the polemic use of drama by Catholics in provincial England. 9. A wealth of evidence about town waits, travelling performers, and patrons; we hope to discover and map performance circuits and locations from at least the later Middle Ages onwards. The REED-NE volumes will be accompanied by a Companion volume discussing the historical and cultural significance of our findings. Our findings will also be linked to an interactive map of provincial England on the REED Patrons and Performances website at Toronto. Geo-coding is only now being adopted for literary projects. Visualising research data with GIS mapping will offer a new perspective on historical performance in England and contribute to the advancement of the Spatial Humanities. A summer festival in Durham in 2016 will showcase our research to academics and the wider public with a conference and an exhibition of objects and manuscripts pertaining to religious and secular drama at Durham's World Heritage Site. Based on our collected records, we will stage medieval and Renaissance repertoire at Durham Castle and the Cathedral. For the first time since the 9th century, the Lindisfarne 'Harrowing of Hell' - probably Britain's oldest surviving drama - will be performed. All events will be freely accessible. We expect our work to have a major impact, on our discipline worldwide, and also on regional communities and their awareness of their heritage.