Monthly Archives: October 2014

Undergraduate student researches into coronary stent fracture

Alice Clough

Alice Clough, an undergraduate Mechanical and Medical Engineering student, has completed an eight week research placement jointly funded by The Royal Academy of Engineering and the Nuffield Foundation.

Working under the supervision of Dr Catherine Dobson in the School of Engineering’s Medical and Biological Engineering (MBE) research group, the project contributed to a growing research area within MBE examining the mechanisms and effects of coronary stent fracture, which is a major issue in coronary medicine.

Alice’s work has resulted in an innovative rig that can test up to 24 stents simultaneously. The rig will be used to conduct testing on numerous stent designs deployed in silicon tubing at different angles to investigate the mechanism of fracture. Two PhD students funded by the Hull and East Riding Cardiac Trust will conduct the testing.

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Honorary Degree for GEES Geologist

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Professor Lynne Frostick (Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences) will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Royal Holloway, University of London, in July 2014 for services to research and leadership in British Geology.

Much of Lynne’s research sits at the intersection of physical geography and geology and her reputation in the latter field saw her elected as President of the Geological Society (2008-2011).

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‘Leafy greens’ may be the key to minimising damage caused during exercise

Spinach

The saying “no pain, no gain” holds a lot more credence than simply being an old motivational comment to encourage more effort when exercising.

Research by Dr Mark Fogarty has identified natural dietary sources as a potential alternative to nutritional supplements, to stimulate important repair processes. Dr Fogarty’s research highlighted that 85g of raw watercress two hours before an exhaustive bout of exercise helped reduce damage to cellular DNA.

Research suggests that the fibrous nature of this vegetable, and others such as broccoli, allows a much slower transit time during digestion compared with a vitamin supplement. It is, therefore, likely that the nutritional compounds are released at a lower and more steady rate during digestion, rather than flooding the blood stream with very high concentrations.

X-ray and neutron beam time awards

Diamond Light Source

Dr Jiawei Mi, Principal Investigator in the Advanced Materials research group, led the winning of the award of the X-ray and neutron beam time from the UK Diamond Light Source and the Swiss Light Source, Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI).

X-ray and neutron beam time is a highly sought after resource and the 12 days secured is equivalent to ~£144K. Awards to access to such facilities are counted as an in-kind research contribution in the REF.

3D cave brings virtual reality to offshore renewable training

3D oculus rift

The 3D cave prepares engineers for working in hazardous scenarios, such as working at the top of a 150m offshore wind turbine, or simulate the journey to an offshore platform via specialist vessel. This provides engineers working or training in the renewable energy industry the chance to experience hostile, dangerous and complex conditions, prior to leaving the shore.

Located in the Hull Immersive Visualization Environment (HIVE) in the Department of Computer Science, the cave is part of an investment in renewables led by CASS, the University’s business facing renewable energy and low-carbon hub.

As well as using a 3D cave, the project simulates (using a head mounted display) the winching experience to and from a turbine by helicopter.

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Agri-technology and Food Security

Corn field

A group of academics across Faculties are developing a new and distinctive inter-disciplinary theme to consolidate, promote and grow the University’s research expertise in food, forestry and biofuel production.

This will align with one of RCUK’s recently identified ‘eight great technologies for the future’: Agri-technology.

With a focus on future land-use technologies, our aim is to become a leader in both the development of new innovations and practices and policy research into agri-tech regulation and governance. The group now working on collaborative agreements and projects with FERA, hosting a high profile visit last earlier this month.

If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Lewis Holloway, GEES (l.holloway@hull.ac.uk), Ludivine Petetin, Law (l.petetin@hull.ac.uk) or Darren Evans, SBBES (d.evans@hull.ac.uk).

Renowned science broadcaster gives George de Boer Lecture

Professor Iain Stewart

Renowned geologist and science broadcaster, Professor Iain Stewart, MBE (pictured above), presented a public lecture on 29 October to celebrate the return of Geology as an undergraduate degree programme at the University of Hull.

Professor Iain Stewart is President of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society and currently holds the post of Professor of Geosciences Communication at Plymouth University. His research interests centre on tectonics (the processes that affect the structure of the Earth’s crust), Earth hazards and natural disasters; particularly in identifying major earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions in the geological past.

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