Liv Francis-Pape reports on Newcastle University's breakthough 3D printing of corneas.Written by Liv Francis-Pape on 18th June 2018
Birmingham’s Research Heroes
Sci & Tech editor, Rachel Taylor, explains the recently launched Birmingham Heroes campaign.
‘Birmingham Heroes’ is a massive campaign that was launched this semester by the University of Birmingham, nationwide!
What is it?
It’s a way to show the public the masses of research happening in our university and its importance to the world. The University of Birmingham is a worldwide leader in research and as a Russel Group university, and is committed to maintaining the best research in the world.
So is this important to me, as a student?
Yes, most definitely! It means that we are being taught the most recent discoveries and that the people teaching us are often involved in this latest research. Their collaborative research affects industries and the entire world, and it gives us a head start in our careers if we are taught by the best!
So, Birmingham Heroes, what exactly does that focus on? “
“'Whether it affects students and their families, or people across the globe, this research is deemed to be essential...'
It is all about the most recent advances in important research which impacts people’s lives. Whether it affects students and their families, or people across the globe, the research that is advertised by ‘Birmingham Heroes’ is what is deemed to be essential right now.
The research being used in the project has been gathered from departments all across campus. From the Medical School's innovations in early pregnancy and infertility research which aim to prevent miscarriage in the future, and which could save hundreds of lives by improving women’s health internationally, to research into stopping the global energy crisis, by storing used energy and then reusing it to heat buildings. This has the potential to have a massive impact on climate change and our lives in the future.
Oh ok, so the research only covers things that are already in the news?Well, yes and no. There is ongoing research in areas that we all know about through the news, like climate change. However, there are also many other ventures that plan to tackle some of the equally important but less well-understood problems, such as mental illness.
For example, A 5 year project called Project PERFECT has been funded by the European Research Council. It plans to promote a greater understanding and sympathy for people with mental illness through exploring how the mind works. This will enable research into all mental health, including those who are generally mentally well, but sometimes have irrational thoughts or feel stressed. This research is not highly reported on, but has a massive impact on everyone!
Are people outside of Birmingham noticing this research?
Yes, the funding from these projects comes from very reputable international bodies. In addition, the ‘Birmingham Heroes’ project is gathering a lot of attention. I was surprised when I was in London a few weeks ago and there were posters everywhere on the tube and beside the escalators in busy stations, illustrating the ‘Birmingham Heroes’ campaign!
Where can I find out more about this?
There is plenty of information across campus and you can always chat to your lecturers about that. I’m sure they’d be more than happy to let you know what important research in your subject is going on. However, there are plenty more stories online that can catch your attention. Find out more about the Birmingham Heroes project here.