50 Years of Research and Innovation
In the past 50 years, Brunel University London has grown from a humble technical college to a top 40 institution for research, producing solutions to some of society's biggest challenges across a range of academic fields â€“ from manufacturing and materials to environmental sciences. This book gives an insight into the wealth of innovative projects and areas of study born and developed on Brunel's West London campus, and celebrates the successes of just some of the academics who have made a lasting impression on the wider world.
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Foreword Research that addresses the challenges of society
Health Creating a buzz Cancer research Snail decoy targets disease Saving millions on drugs Innovating the way disease is treated Raising vital awareness of ageing disease Chemical research changes policy
16 18 22 25 26 28 31
Discovery Discovery of ancient city under the sea Giving athletes the power to breathe Maritime structures demonstrate best in mechanical engineering Space New horizons Energising the food chain The power of the pound Maths method makes history
78 80 87 88 91 92 94 96
Society Engineering Cutting-edge research Award-winning innovators Bridging the industry gap Engineering has the edge Fuel efficiency Plastic has a green future Design & Technology The birth of medical discovery Improving the management of environmental threats I Magic from invention Making the NHS healthy Convergence of broadcast and cellular networks
40 44 46 52 56 60
Music can help make us fitter World's first midlife crisis In the pursuit of happiness Courts keeps children safe Slow down! Speed cameras Lifting the lid on abuse
100 102 108 109 111 112
Afterword by Heinz Wolff
68 70 72 73 74
5 50 Years of Research and Innovation
Foreword Professor Julia Buckingham, Vice-Chancellor and President, Brunel University London
I am delighted to be able to introduce this book and to give Brunel's friends, colleagues and supporters an insight into some of the outstanding, and often extraordinary, research that has taken place on and off our fantastic campus in the past 50 years. Much of this far-reaching and worldchanging work took place before I arrived at the University, but its impact is clear for all to see. Not only has Brunel transformed itself from a burgeoning technical college in 1966 to the global institution we see today, the research to which our academics have dedicated themselves in these past five decades has truly made a difference to the world around us. Within these pages we have highlighted those early pioneers of university research who asked a question and strove to find the answer; we've picked out academics who have committed their careers to changing policies at home and
abroad; and we have looked to the future - shining the spotlight on the innovators, the collaborators, and the projects founded on supporting business and sharing knowledge on a global scale. Of course this book can only touch upon the great things that have been happening at Brunel in the past 50 years. Our triumphs are many and I can only apologise to those leading lights not included in what follows something dictated by space and time, not value of contribution. In these pieces of research we have tried to highlight the sheer diversity of success achieved here at Brunel, because since those early days this university has moved in many directions and developed in many ways. That fact is down to one very important resource that the University has in abundance - talented and hardworking staff. It takes particularly driven people to come up with the
questions and then find the answers to some of the most important issues of our time. I am fortunate enough to say I meet such people every day of my working week.
their work into the classroom with them, sharing their ideas and inviting a whole new audience of young minds to take the baton and make their mark like so many before them.
None of the stories you are about to read would have been possible without a tremendous amount of effort and consideration from some very committed people. Each of them is a pioneer in their field and will, hopefully in part due to this book, prove an inspiration to the innovators of the future.
Society's needs have certainly changed in the past 50 years and this book is indicative of the way in which university research has adapted to keep pace with the age. Recent successes have shown that collaboration is key to thorough research - whether that is collaboration with industry or with colleagues from other institutions. It is equally vital, therefore, that academics build lasting relationships in the areas in which they study.
Inspiring others is central to the research agenda at Brunel. Our academics are encouraged to take
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I hope at the very least that the timeline we highlight here demonstrates this development and illustrates a very significant focus on collaborative research for mutual benefit. Most importantly, I hope that this publication makes evident our very bright future. Brunel's reputation as a place of global research is now fully established and some of our brightest minds are just getting started. I am excited to see the continuation of the discoveries we catalogue in the following pages and eager to see the University go from strength to strength, recognising just how important research to a university. Finally, I would like to say thank you to you all, for supporting Brunel and its academics throughout the past 50 years. It is only with this support that the University is able to reach so high and achieve so much.
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Research that addresses the challenges of society Professor Geoff Rodgers, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Brunel University London
Since the launch of the University in 1966, research has been at the very heart of Brunel's academic activities. At the outset, senior researchers were appointed as founding chairs in each department to provide academic leadership in research and education within the fledgling institution. These founding chairs helped select and recruit new staff to build coherent research groups and research programmes to answer the pressing questions of the age - and this book details a collection of the research programmes conducted by those staff and their successors over the last 50 years. The process of creating this collection provides some insight into Brunel's research portfolio. Firstly, that a number of the research foci established at the outset of the institution have been sustained. In the past 50 years, Brunel has provided almost continuous intellectual
academic leadership in a range of research fields including, for instance, computational mathematics, health economics, materials, metallurgy and environmental sciences. Today, we have major groups in these areas that are world-leading, with highly cited papers, substantial grant income, established reputations for particular methodological approaches, and a community of PhD graduates pursuing successful careers in industry and academia. Secondly, the Brunel style of research is apparent. Established to address the technological challenges of the age, this was always a different type of institution in which, from the beginning, students and staff would understand the relevance of their academic activities to the wider world. Thus, in the last half-century our major research programmes have been developed in partnership with the
potential beneficiaries, and staff and students have grown accustomed to working in that way. This has placed Brunel at a competitive advantage in the last decade as what became known as the impact agenda unfolded, and more government funding was focused on research with explicit societal benefits and projects with industrial collaborators embedded as partners.
share of income from Innovate UK. We are, therefore, well-established as a top 40 institution for research, a remarkable achievement for such a young institution - and one that gives considerable cause for optimism as we embark on our next 50 years.
This convergence of government policy with our own mission has served us well. We have risen in the research league tables, with currently the 33rd largest share of HEFCE research funding, the 34th largest share of EPSRC income and the 13th largest
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06 JULY 1966 Brunel College of Advanced Technology is awarded a Royal Charter, allowing it to become Brunel University.
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Creating a buzz The Common African Mosquitoes and Their Medical Importance
Becoming the foremost expert on African mosquitoes and tropical diseases for half-a-century, Professor John David Gillett took up the post of Head of Biological Sciences at Brunel in 1962, later establishing his dream of an honours course combining biology and biochemistry. It was during his 16 years at the University that Prof Gillett published one of the most significant biology books of its time, Common African Mosquitoes and Their Medical Importance, a text that is still recognised by health workers in the field today. He didn't gain his knowledge of exotic wildlife overnight though.
Illustration from Common African Mosquitoes and their Medical Importance (1972), a tool still used to identify disease carrying mosquitoes
Tropical Medicine, where he published a number of significant papers. In 1936, he accompanied fellow entomologist Major HS Leeson to East Africa to study malaria mosquitoes. That is where Prof Gillett stayed for the next 26 years, taking up a field assistant position in Uganda's Medical Department. There he continued studying malaria, hoping to find means of controlling the illness, while also researching diseases such as yellow fever, sleeping sickness and the bubonic plague, determining genetic aspects of mosquito strands and examining the behaviours of viruses within each.
From a young age Prof Gillett was interested in natural history and music and, while excelling at these subjects, he showed little academic flair for most others. Leaving school in 1930, Prof Gillett started working in the medical entomology department at the London School of Hygiene and
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Cancer research Universities are at the forefront of solving global problems, and research into cancer couldn't be more crucial. In 2000, Brunel opened its Institute for Cancer Genetics and Pharmacogenomics (BICGP), with the primary aim of identifying new cancer-causing genes to develop treatments.
New genes discovered Professor Newbold from Brunel's Biosciences department located four new skin and breast cancer-causing genes. Working with the latest technologies and global drug companies such as XENOVA PLC, the critical genes are isolated to research their presence in at least six major human cancers, enabling the development of cancer fighting drugs and further understanding of the causes of prostate cancer.
Since 2002, BICGP has received more than ÂŁ5 million in grants for its activities from bodies such as Cancer Research UK, the European Commission, the Medical Research Council and the Department of Health. All have played a significant role in trying to eradicate the disease.
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Cervical cancer screening Brunel's Dr Sonia Jones collaborated with the US National Foundation for Cancer Research in 1993 to develop a new test for early detection of cervical cancer, improving the implementation of the papanicolaou, or PAP, test.
Starving cells of protein
Simple test predicts childhood cancer relapse Researchers at Brunel University London and colleagues at University College London have pinpointed a protein marker, which when absent, shows childhood when cancer neuroblastoma is almost certain to recur. This means children with low-risk neuroblastoma, who are currently left untreated, could be reclassified as being at high risk of relapse and have chemotherapy earlier.
Dr Concetta Bubici from the Department of Biosciences identified a protein which, if switched off, could stop the disease in its tracks. PARP 14 is a protein that is over-produced in cancer cells, causing uncontrolled growth. Finding a way to stop the burst of PARP 14 could one day result in a cure for cancer.
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Snail decoy targets disease Taking on parasites to reduce the risk of human infection
An artificial snail that could save up to 200,000 lives a year is the result of pioneering research by aquatic ecotoxicologist Dr Edwin Routledge and Professor in Exposome Science Rakesh Kanda. The decoy is an unconventional way of disturbing the lifecycle of the parasite that causes schistosomiasis - a disease which has the second largest impact on human health after malaria. To become infectious to humans, the parasite transforms within snails living in rivers and, after completing its life cycle within the snail, returns to the water to infect unwitting people by burrowing through their skin. Brunel was awarded $100,000 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help find a solution to the parasitic disease, which puts 243 million people worldwide at risk. Identifying the chemicals released by snails into the water that attract the parasites is a 30 year challenge, and is a crucial first step in the development of the artificial snail.
Indistinguishable from a real snail, Dr Routledge's decoy will draw parasites away from live hosts, and make it impossible for it to replicate later. The next interdisciplinary stage of the work will involve both design and material scientists to develop a decoy artificial snail prototype for testing in the laboratory and in field conditions. "I have always been motivated by research that will make a difference," said Dr Routledge, from the Department of Life Sciences at Brunel. "I see this as a great opportunity to use ecotoxicology approaches in a different way to help solve an important global human health issue."
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Saving millions on drugs Production speeds up at Brunel Building on 20 years' experience, Professor Ian Sutherland's team were the first to develop countercurrent chromatography (CCC) in the UK, a centrifugal liquid-liquid separation-extraction process for molecules. The research, undertaken within Brunel's Advanced Bioprocessing Centre (ABC), has sped up the world's drug production, resulting in millions of pounds saved. First used in the 1960s, Prof Sutherland reintroduced the method using newly available technologies, proving that CCC was scalable and faster in creating a reliable purification of a target drug compound. This has meant reducing the cost of bringing new drugs to market, increasing profit and minimising environmental impact of waste by 15 per cent.
A professor of Biomedical Engineering at Brunel, Sutherland and the ABC team recently helped Sichuan University in Chengdu win a ÂŁ1 million contract from the Chinese government for the continued development of the technology for extracting new drugs from Chinese herbal extracts. Sichuan have just received approval from the Chinese FDA for Phase 1 clinical trials of Honokiol, a new anticancer drug, extracted from the bark of magnolia trees using the Brunel technology. The challenge now is to scale up the technology even further for Phase 2 & 3 clinical trials over the next few years.
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into MS, around 1,500 participants with MS helped researchers expand their knowledge, raising global awareness of the disease. It soon came to be considered the leading MS research centre in the UK. Prof Robinson later established a similar research centre for motor neurone disease (MND) supported by the MND Association with colleagues at Charing Cross Hospital, now part of Imperial College London. Called the John Bevan MS Research Unit, the institute explored many crucial and innovative aspects of MND and their links to neurological disease.
anthropology, sociology, psychology and cultural studies, this prestigious degree was made possible. For his research, Prof Robinson was awarded both the Founder's Medal of the MS Society and the Salmon James Medal of Action for Research into MS.
Running test trials at Brunel help occupational therapists improve the lives of MS patients
Innovating the way disease is treated National registry of MS sufferers expands knowledge Although no cure is available for multiple sclerosis, developments in technology during the 20th century have enabled researchers to identify causes and advance treatments. Professor Emeritus Ian Robinson has been a leading light in the field. Joining Brunel in 1971 as a lecturer in Sociology, Prof Robinson ran Brunel
University London's Multiple Sclerosis Research Unit from 1981 to 2000. Describing his research interests as, "largely centred on understanding the social as well as other key aspects of health and illness," Prof Robinson developed Britain's first national registry of people suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS). Funded by the MS Society and Action for Research
As part of the search to understand - and to find causes and possible cures to global diseases - in 1989 Prof Robinson established Europe's first taught medical anthropology master's degree, alongside internationally known figures Ronnie Frankenberg and Cecil Helman, and Brunel's Department of Human Sciences. Graduating more than 200 students since its inception, the programme still runs today, as an established component of the University's contribution to the worldwide analysis of the cultural aspects of health. Due to the University's decision to merge its schools of social
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Raising vital awareness of ageing disease Families can make better informed decisions about illness Without leading research by academics at Brunel University London little would be known in the UK about the premature ageing syndrome progeria a disease that usually kills sufferers in their teenage years. Brunel's Progeria Research Team, led by bioscientists Dr Ian Kill and Dr Joanna Bridger, has researched the disease for more than 12 years. In that time, their findings have helped families make decisions about drug treatments available in clinical trials and furthered scientific understanding. "We study progeria to understand the biological basis of normal ageing," Dr Kill told BBC News Online in a 2004 interview, shortly after discovering how the gene that causes progeria works. "People with progeria die from diseases that old people suffer from, primarily heart disease and stroke."
biology of progeria, while testing treatment safety and effectiveness in order to work towards a cure. The team's work has led the way in promoting awareness of progeria for those affected in the UK and elsewhere. Findings were presented to families of progeria sufferers in the UK in 2011, at US Progeria Research Foundation workshops between 2008 and 2013, and at the Progeria Family Meeting in Italy in 2012. Dr Kill and Dr Bridger worked with the Okines family at Brunel in 2010 to film the Channel 5 documentary Extraordinary People: The 96 Year Old Schoolgirl, giving mainstream attention to the condition.
Dr Kill's extensive research also aims to help shed further light on the basic
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Chemical research changes policy Brunel's wide-ranging research into harmful chemical exposure has helped change government attitudes, earning the university the 2011 Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education. From revealing the link between chemicals in rivers and reproductive health, to identifying the potentially harmful cumulative effects of chemicals in food and water, Brunel has been seeking answers to some of the biggest questions in environmental
The cumulative cocktail effect of chemicals in food and water was formerly thought to be safe, but the research shows the potential for harm
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science since the 1980s. Key to the significant body of research that has followed was the very first question asked by Professor John Sumpter OBE, then Head of the Institute for the Environment at Brunel. Prof Sumpter found that a great deal of estrogen was making its way in effluent into British waterways and, following years of research, was able to identify the source of this estrogenic activity as common contraceptive pills. This work alone was instrumental in raising the issue of hormones making their way into the environment, and exploring just what impact this activity was having on fish, and human, life. There was no greater evidence of this impact than the fact that a 1995 BBC Horizon documentary featuring Prof Sumpter and his research went on to be shown worldwide, winning the BBC its first ever EMMY award for a documentary.
the impact of estrogen on the fertility of fish, identifying that this hormonal activity has a feminising effect with the potential to cause a decline in fertility. One element of these studies by Prof Jobling and her team tested the efficiency and safety of TAML activators - tiny man-made catalysts that once mixed with samples of the polluted waterways has the potential to completely remove estrogen and reverse any associated impact on male fish. The Institute's research has resulted in proposed European Union standards for sewage plants, which an estimated 1,360 UK facilities would fail to meet. Researchers believe TAML activators could be the solution - just a kilogram of catalyst could treat tens of thousands of tons of wastewater.
Prof Sumpter's work has continued to consider the impact of hormones in waterways and their potential impact - but with a focus on drugs used to treat depression.
Prof Jobling told Brunel: "Preliminary research suggests they would be equally effective against pollution caused by antimicrobials in personal care products and antibiotic pharmaceuticals. This is particularly relevant for halting the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria."
Building on the Institute's research, Professor Susan Jobling, now Director of the Institute of Environment, Health and Societies, has focused on
Meanwhile, more recent research at Brunel's Institute for the Environment, led by Professor in Human Toxicology Andreas
Kortenkamp, has shown that approximately 800 chemicals in modern commerce could be classed as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) - believed to interfere with the production or activity of hormones in the endocrine system - and therefore affect environmental and public health. This research has underpinned decision-making in the European Union, USA and United Nations, specifically the UN Environmental Programme. It has helped raise awareness of the existence of EDCs, demonstrated the strength of evidence for harmful effects - especially to unborn babies - and developed ways of handling the chemicals within the framework of EU regulations.
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Brunel's Science Building begins construction in October 1969. Today, it's known as the Heinz Wolff Building
Brunel's Science Building, 1969
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AUGUST 1969 The Communal Building, renamed the Refectory Building, is brought into use although it is not yet completed. It is renamed the Hamilton Centre in 2006
SEPTEMBER 1968 01 SEPTEMBER 1966
The Mathematics Building is Completed. It is renamed the John Crank Building in 2006
Dr James Topping, having been principal of Brunel College, becomes the University's first Vice-Chancellor
415 new students move to Uxbridge for Brunel's first semester
SEPTEMBER 1968 The number of undergraduate students at Brunel University reaches 1,336
SEPTEMBER 1967 The Engineering Complex is completed The Lecture Theatre is completed
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years by developing new technologies to extend the lifetime of structures. Industry applicable research is essential in an age of a global shortage of structural engineers and experts in fields such as materials, fractures, fatigue, inspection and corrosion.
Her Royal Highness Princess Anne is presented with a bouquet by TWI advanced engineering apprentice Mr Alex Russel. Photo: TWI
Cutting-edge research Collaboration with industry focuses on long-term challenges Leading the way in cutting-edge research focused on engineering and materials, Brunel secured funding in 2012 for the ÂŁ60 million Cambridgebased National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC) - one of the largest single research grants the University has received. Partnered with industry, and in collaboration with technology, engineering and research organisation
While these problems are rarely brought into the spotlight, the cost of corrosion alone is estimated at trillions of dollars internationally. At the same time, says Brunel's Deputy-ViceChancellor for Research Professor Geoff Rodgers, the results of structural integrity and management fails can be "catastrophic".
If simple joints belonging to a mechanism break down, an entire operation can collapse. By finding new materials to counteract damaging effects of conditions, such as natural erosion, researchers hope to secure economic growth for British businesses, creating job opportunities and the development of new products. "This award is a great opportunity for Brunel, with our partner TWI, to create and lead a national centre where universities and industry can carry out research, addressing the long-term challenges associated with making materials and structures safer," said Professor Rodgers.
"All types of products and plants are at risk if designers, manufacturers and users don't understand how to build safe structures," said Prof Rodgers.
TWI, NSIRC addresses challenges in structural safety, additionally providing more than 100 training places for Brunel's postgraduate students. It boasts one of the first PhD programmes in structural integrity, and the research undertaken focuses on a variety of sectors, from aerospace to energy. Aiming to mirror the needs of industry, NSIRC will engage with 500 students in its first 10
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Solveiga Pakstaite's bioreactive food label design, Bump Mark
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Award-winning innovators The prestigious James Dyson Award is an international design prize, recognising the best examples of invention among university students. Brunel's designers have dominated the award in recent times, twice winning and once being named runner-up.
Sam Etherington While studying Industrial Design at Brunel (2009-2011), Sam Etherington began working on the idea of a renewable wave power generator. Unlike current wave technologies, his product proved more efficient in turbulent seas, absorbing energy regardless of wave direction. He received ÂŁ2,000 from the James Dyson Foundation for further development.
Solveiga Pakstaite Solveiga Pakstaite's bioreactive food label design, Bump Mark, lets the consumer know exactly what condition food is in just by running a finger over the label. If food is past its expiry date, the label will become bumpy. Using gelatine to model the decaying process of food, the design provides a cheap solution to the - often inaccurate - printed labels found on everyday perishables.
James Seers Studying product design at Brunel, James Seers created a filter to repurpose domestic kitchen waste into biodiesel. With the original aim to limit any economic and environmental damages occurring when fats, oils and grease enter the sewage system, he used a passive hydrodynamic filter to separate substances, storing the waste for recycling.
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Bridging the industry gap Revolutionary metal casting techniques developed at Brunel Car manufacturers in Britain will be the first to benefit from revolutionary new metal casting techniques developed at Brunel University London, thanks to a governmentsupported programme taking laboratory discoveries and upscaling them for industry. The £14 million Advanced Metals Casting Centre (AMCC) looks to bridge the gap between fundamental research and full-scale industrial trials. 46
Aiming to create lasting partnerships with automotive and aeronautical sectors, the new facility draws on work by Professor Zhongyun Fan, from Brunel's Centre for Advanced Solidification Technology (BCAST). "Our long-term aim," he said, "Is to reduce the amount of new metal mined from the ground to a minimum, by finding ways to make high quality parts used at
least once." Improving the recyclability of metals is crucial for the UK and its approximate 300,000 tonnes of aluminium sent to landfill every year, equivalent to nearly £800 million in economic loss.
The traditional approach has been to look at the process of crystal growth as metal cools, but this has been replaced with a focus on nucleation, the effect that tiny impunities in the metal have on the process of solidification.
"Every failed casting represents a huge waste of energy, time and money," said Prof Fan. "We know that our new techniques can reliably create first-class components from recycled metal. Our challenge now is to scale these methods up for commercial use and to show that they can reduce cost, improve quality, and conserve natural resources."
The AMCC is housed in a purposebuilt laboratory on Brunel’s campus, with industrial partners including Constellium and Jaguar Land Rover to provide funding as well as sponsor research fellows and provide technical support. With a further £77 million of investment, a second phase of the upscaling facility, the Advanced Metals Processing Centre, is under construction and expected to be completed by March 2017.
With both environmental and economic benefits to be gained through the use of recycled materials, the AMCC is designed to replace the hundreds of registered aluminium alloys currently in commercial use with just over 10 highly versatile alloys that can be used again and again. Another objective is to develop a set of very efficient techniques for purifying and conditioning liquid metal into reliable industrial processes that can be used to make high quality castings for cars and other applications. The basis for these new techniques is a change in emphasis in the study of metal solidification.
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Brunel hosts the Computer Graphics 70 Symposium
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1971 1970 Brunel hosts the Computer Graphics 70 Symposium
Professor Stephen Bragg becomes the new Vice-Chancellor of Brunel University
01 APRIL 1971 1970 The Coat of Arms is received Brunel holds first 'MAFELAP' maths and engineering conference attracting experts from all around the world
Wilkinson Sword Limited presents a mace to the University at the Higher Degree Congregation to mark the granting of the Charter. The mace is used at all graduation ceremonies
The Sports Centre is completed and is formally opened by Dr Roger Bannister CBE, a year later
MAY 1973 The Library is completed and officially opened by Herr Heinrich Boll
New chemistry laboratories are opened
JANUARY 1972 New biological sciences laboratories are opened
MAY 1972 The Department of Polymer Science and Technology and new building for the Department of Physics are officially opened
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Engineering has the edge Brunel manufacturing enables UK and European businesses to compete internationally
The sharp and sleek beveled edges of Apple's iPhone 5s smartphone are created with precision surface finish and a manufacturing technique made possible by the Brunel-built UltraMill micro-milling machine and the associated tooling technology. Used to produce medical devices, watch parts and electronic components, the machine mills, drills and grinds a wide-range of miniature pieces and fine surface features, allowing for industrial-scale microproduction. Its unique construction - determined through the use of multiscale design modelling and analysis techniques means the UltraMill can achieve state-
of-the-art accuracy and finish. Developed by Professor Kai Cheng and Brunel's Advanced Manufacturing and Enterprise Engineering department one of the first innovative engineering disciplines in the UK UltraMill has demonstrated huge global impact; the Apple design alone helped sell nine million units in the first three days of its release. It is now being produced using parts provided by UK manufacturing companies. This work has led to further research to develop a new, smart cutting tool, which can monitor the micro-milling process by measuring cutting forces in real time.
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SEPTEMBER 1976 The total number of students at Brunel University is 3,574
Brunel merges with Shoreditch College of Education, one of the leading teacher training colleges in the field of craft, design and technology
SEPTEMBER 1982 The Social Sciences building is completed. It is renamed Marie Jahoda Building in 2006
1983 Brunel establishes a joint Postgraduate Research Centre with Hillingdon Hospital
1981 Professor Richard Bishop becomes the University's third Vice-Chancellor
The Brunel Institute for Bioengineering is established with Professor Heinz Wolff as director
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Fuel efficiency Energy demand and the need for highly qualified oil and gas engineers means that Brunel maintains a strong focus on fuel and engine innovation. The University's research into internal combustion engines goes back to the late 1960s, and continues meet the challenges of today. Brunel has collaborated with international companies such as Ford, Jaguar and BP, and worked on industry-led initiatives with organisations with expertise in the oil and gas sector, such as TWI.
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EU funding for environmental impact Professor Paul Sermon has investigated microemulsions to improve oil recovery and generate new green vehicle fuels and exhaust catalysts for pollution control. Given that more than a third of oil is lost during the production process, Prof Sermon's research looked for practical applications that would have environmental benefits. In 1985, along with Professors Bond and Singh, Prof Sermon received further funding from both The Wolfson Foundation and the Ministry of Defence for work on oil recovery.
Costs can be saved with a hiss Energy recovery systems for vehicles are a familiar theme in green technology, from Formula One cars to family saloons, but there are significant cost issues with storing that energy. Professor Hua Zhao and his team from the College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences looked at potential storage solutions that would be less expensive and easily retrofitted. Their solution was to use compressed air for energy storage, which meant that the technology could be fitted to new and existing engines. This has cut fuel consumption drastically in the UK and China.
Queen's award Brunel's Chemistry Department helped water engineering company BEWT win the 1993 Queen's Award for Environmental Achievement. Professor John Donaldson and Dr Sue Grimes worked with the company from the early 1980s, developing metal recovery systems for the control of industrial pollution.
For future fuels, it's no idle matter As diesel engines power more and more cars, the search to reduce one of the fuel's least desirable characteristics - noise and vibration when idling - has come under sharp focus. Brunel's Professor Joseph Giacomin developed a way to measure the relationship between the physical characteristics of an idle diesel engine and driver response. Using the idea to accurately measure steering wheel vibration, the test was rapidly adopted by petrochemical giant Shell.
Warming up The Brunel Engines Group identified a number of techniques demonstrating how cold engines are more adversely affected by problems of petrol and air mixture, rather than combustion. This paved the way for an exploration into the reduction of emission exhaust as an engine warms up, helping improve the fuel economy and reducing Britain's petrol use by 10 per cent.
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"I would think that over the years we have had about ÂŁ10 million of funding from different organisations and companies," said Prof Tarverdi, Director of Extrusion Technology at the Wolfson Centre for Materials Processing. Other endeavours to create greener food packaging have been developed on campus. In 2014, Materials Engineering Professor Jim Song created plastic from plants to limit practical problems for industries going green - employing a cross-disciplinary team of scientists from Brunel. Green plastic bag developed by Brunel team
Plastic has a green future Biodegradable bags were ahead of their time The world's first biodegradable plastic bag was designed and developed at the University shortly after its inception. Created by the world patent holder at the time, Gerald Griffin, the bag was designed to disintegrate when buried in the ground. Made from a material called Byoplastic, the bags and the science behind them were ahead of their time, with mass produced
Biodegradable carrier bags only becoming widespread due to a renewed 21st century focus on climate change and the environment. When Mr Griffin retired from Brunel, his research was taken forward by current Brunel academic Professor Karnik Tarverdi, who leads students in exploring different aspects of starch as packaging materials, mostly for sustainable and environmentallyfriendly packaging.
Prof Song recognised that, while switching from oil-based plastic food packaging to biodegradable plantbased alternatives is eco-friendly, there remain a number of practical problems in going green. He found that in factories, eco-friendly plastics behave very differently due to their starch base, which can be affected by moisture content.
containers for the supermarket shelf. Models were developed that could accurately predict the behaviour of the new materials. Tools like these are essential both in the design of moulds and in establishing raw material processing. Now packaging designers can confidently predict the wall thickness and the eventual stiffness and strength of green containers, which are produced in their millions. Working closely with the world's largest manufacturer of biodegradable plastics, Plantic PLC, has enabled Brunel's results to now be adopted as an industry-wide standard internationally.
After teasing out these parameters experimentally, Prof Song enlisted mathematicians Professor John Whiteman, Dr Simon Shaw and Dr Mike Warby, who used complex computer-based modelling tools to address how green plastics would perform compared to traditional plastics when being turned into food
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For 35 years, artist Alan Bennett's paintings have captured Brunel University
Central Concourse, Looking West, Twilight, 2007
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1995 Brunel University
adds new subject areas and innovative modes of study, now adding topics such as performing arts, humanities, geography, health, social work, sport sciences and business to its offering
1989 Professor Michael Sterling becomes Vice-Chancellor
DECEMBER 1986 The Science Park Buildings are formally opened by HRH Prince of Wales
The Wolfson Foundation selects
Brunel Design is launched to promote Brunel as a centre of design and engineering excellence
to launch a new specialist research centre
The South Middlesex Hospital School of Physiotherapy joins West London Institute of Higher Education
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03 Design & Technology
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The birth of medical discovery Detecting hearing impairments in newborn babies
Extensive work in the medical field at Brunel in the late 1970s led to a product designed to detect hearing impairments in babies just a few days after birth. Named the Auditory Response Cradle, or ARC, the device facilitated early diagnoses of deafness, which allows for remedial treatments to be applied before speech and social habits are affected. Consisting of a trolley-mounted unit containing a pressure sensitive mattress and head rest, the ARC tests levels of hearing based on head rotation, respiration changes and general body activity of the infant, such as startling. These observations all linked to deafness - were previously made by doctors subjectively, meaning that many babies were left undiagnosed. The ARC, however, was able to electronically monitor a baby's behavioural responses to sound, determining without bias whether a child needed a hearing aid.
was the first time a microprocessor was used in this field of medicine programming a machine to recognise the criteria related to hearing loss. Developed over an eight year period by Brunel's Dr M J Bennett, the ARC was first used at Nottingham City Hospital and eventually purchased by the Wellcome Collection for the History of Medicine - an archive that traced medical developments. Marketed to the US, Canada, Australasia and the UK, the ARC's pioneering technology has now been expanded, and is still used today in hospitals around the world, helping hearing impaired newborns reach their full potential. Nurses adjust the auditory response cradle, the ARC, which resulted from work at Brunel
Bringing computer engineering and health practice together, this
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Improving the management of environmental threats Government turns to Brunel for climate change mapping tool
Multi-disciplinary research themes have been present at Brunel since the 1980s and the benefits of collaboration between departments continue to be made today. Combining a knowledge of operations research and information systems with practical business models, university researchers were able to create a modelling framework for overseeing climate change, influencing British environmental policy. Brunel Professors Amir Sharif and Zahir Irani, who have combined expertise in operations management, sustainable business
operations and decisionmaking, utilised their expertise to apply an artificial intelligence technique to the work of the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), as part of its forecasting strategy related to the European Union's Common Agricultural Policy 2014-2020. Using causal modelling - via the Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping technique - Profs Sharif and Irani facilitated the creation of simulation scenarios so that Defra researchers and policymakers could explore how factors such as the effects of economic subsidies and greenhouse gas emissions
might impact upon the UK farming industry. Forecasting how climate change - and new Eurozone policies - would influence the UK farming industry and UK citizens, Defra was equipped with a new problem-solving approach that could help improve the management of such emerging risks and opportunities. In 2011 and 2012, Profs Sharif and Irani delivered three workshops to Defra, using the above technique, in order to help inform the development of agribusiness and UK climate change policy. Defra statisticians and economists have acknowledged the benefit of using this research to further explore the driving factors that could lead to the reduction of greenhouse gases from the farming sector.
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Magic from invention Artificial intelligence arrives at Brunel
Against a backdrop of cuts to government research grants in the early to mid-1980s, engineer Professor Igor Aleksander took great strides in developing artificial intelligence (AI), creating the world's first neural pattern recognition system.
Considered one of the founding fathers of AI technology, Prof Aleksander took up professorship at Brunel in 1974, taking on research interests such as artificial consciousness and digital neuromodelling, despite his electronic engineering background.
Facial recognition technology had previously been based on mathematic techniques, whereby a machine would be preprogrammed to recognise certain things, falling short of emotional characteristics. WISARD, on the other hand, was able to recognise human faces, registering their expressions by comparing them to a database of known football hooligans. Slowly learning the feelings associated with smiling or frowning, WISARD was able to build knowledge of basic emotions and apply it to any scenario - mimicking how the human brain functions.
Collaborating with psychologists and neurobiologists from both Brunel and Imperial College London, Prof Aleksander created WISARD - a facial recognition machine with the ability to work like a human brain.
While WISARD was initially designed for facial recognition purposes, it had numerous applications, from the rapid counting of banknotes to the verification of documents, alongside control of package labeling.
Built in 1981, at a time when machine learning still felt like something from science fiction, the WISARD system was - and still is - considered revolutionary.
Since Prof Aleksander's cutting-edge research at Brunel, AI technology has been adopted widely and is used across many sectors.
Modelling healthcare Collaboration develops efficient service
Projects aimed at developing radical solutions in healthcare began in the Department of Computer Sciences in 2001, and the use of health economics and technology have altered the way the health system operates. By 2004, Brunel University London's Terry Young, Professor of Healthcare Systems, published a co-authored paper on care delivery and industrial processes, promoting an engineering approach to service provision. Setting the tone for the coming decade, the paper illustrated how economic techniques could be applied in order to evaluate medical technology for different stakeholders. Moving from technology to service improvement, in 2007 Brunel led an EPSRC-funded project - alongside Cambridge, Cardiff, Southampton and Ulster universities - to research simulation and modelling for healthcare services, such as the NHS. By 2010, they had founded The Cumberland Initiative - a community of clinicians and healthcare managers
committed to transforming the quality and cost of care by improving the design of health system delivery. Offering healthcare providers a chance to model their services, The Cumberland Initiative uses computer models and larger scale simulations of waiting times in A&E, for example - to enable healthcare providers to utilise service design methods in their systems, improving cost and efficiency, as well as test out new ideas. The Cumberland Initiative is now undertaking projects to redesign patient flows and streamline service delivery. For his work, Prof Young has previously been named one of the 50 Top Innovators in the NHS by the Health Service Journal.
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international convergence broadcast and cellular systems through a series of research projects, by redesigning cellular networks which were originally designed for transporting audio services to be used effectively with video. "The challenge is that the cellular networks weren't designed for video," explains Prof Cosmas. "They were designed initially for speech. We're trying to evolve the existing cellular networks to allow for more efficient video streaming, for which the demand is increasing."
Convergence of broadcast and cellular networks
The technology, which is continuously in development, enables users to access mainstream TV channels in real time through various networks around the world, limiting issues of lost
connection and improving delivery of broadcasts. Working in collaboration with a large group of industrial partners, the team have also developed the DVBCBMS (Digital Video Broadcast Convergence of Broadcast and Mobile Services), allowing all mobile users, regardless of their choice of device, location or network, to watch TV programmes without interruption. Adapted to OMA-BCAST (Open Mobile Alliance - Broadcasting Services Enabler Suite), the technology has been successfully used in South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana since 2010, while DVB-CBMS services have been made available at various times in Italy, Austria and Germany.
Bringing mainstream channels to millions
Millions of people in Europe and Africa have benefited from complex software created by researchers at Brunel to stream television and video on mobile phones. Led by Professor John Cosmas, the technology was behind the BBC's large and varied multi-channel coverage of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
the form of TV or streaming from the internet," says Prof Cosmas, Brunel Professor of Multimedia Systems and Director of Broadcasting Networks at the University's Wireless Networks and Communications Centre. "In the future, more and more video will be streamed over mobile networks, as well as over television networks."
"Streaming video is still the most viewed media by people, whether in
Since 2000, Prof Cosmas and his team have also been furthering the
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Discovery of ancient city under the sea Researchers uncover truth behind the legend Finding a lost city under the sea may be the stuff of bedtime stories, but for Dr Iain Stewart and Professor Suzanne Leroy the story came true in the summer of 2001 when they helped uncover the Ancient Greek city of Helike. "What is pretty clear is that the city was struck by an earthquake," said Dr Stewart at the time, then working in Brunel's Department of Geography and Earth Sciences. "From an archaeological point of view it is most exciting. We had writings of it but now it is just starting to come to light." Helike's precise location had long been the subject of debate among archaeologists, undoubtedly its most popular aspect being its association with the Legend of Atlantis. Much like Atlantis, in the Golden Age of Ancient Greece, Helike was the centre for worshiping the sea god Poseidon. Found roughly 150km
west of present-day Athens, a violent earthquake was said to have destroyed the city in 373 BC and it disappeared beneath the ocean. The possibility of the existence of Helike was first announced by Dr Dora Katsonpoulou, a Greek archaeologist, and Dr Steven Soter, an astrophysicist from the American Museum of Natural History. In the early 1990s, Dr Stewart began his first trips to the Greek coastal plain, hoping to help resurrect the city and collect data on how often major earthquakes occur in the region. He returned with Prof Leroy and other scientists. "We could see some skeletons and an old dagger," said Prof Leroy. "And we found some earrings and bones. We did mostly shallow drilling and the archaeologists worked on trenches using a digger. At the end of the day we would compare results and decide where to dig and core the next day."
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Giving athletes the power to breathe Invention demonstrates translation from lab to real world Starting out its life as a device to help elite athletes improve performance, Professor Alison McConnell's ingenious POWERbreathe invention is equally effective in giving sufferers of lung disease a drug-free, medically proven treatment for their condition. Described as 'dumb-bells for the diaphragm', POWERbreathe improves respiratory muscles by strengthening both the diaphragm and chest, and
POWERbreathe has been widely adopted by elite - and not-so-elite athletes, from England's 2003 World Cup winning rugby squad to Olympic Champion rowing eights.
The product's development perfectly illustrates how academic research can successfully be translated from the laboratory to practical applications in the gym and the hospital ward.
"It didn't begin as an idea for product," Prof McConnell said. "It started as a research project. I started to think about the muscles that actually bring about breathing and that led me to recognise that older people get more breathless when they exercise because they have weaker inspiratory muscles. So I thought, 'well if they've got weak muscles and they're more breathless, then we will make those muscles stronger and that may reduce their breathlessness'."
POWERbreathe is now being used to improve the lives of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The results of a six-nation (Belgium, Holland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Canada) clinical trial are set to open the door to more widespread use.
Approved by the Prescription Pricing Authority for use by asthmatics on the NHS, POWERbreathe also has a number of other medical uses, treating illnesses such as emphysema and heart disease.
has the potential to propel an elite athlete from beaten finalist to podium winner. Discovering that the muscles used to breathe can be strengthened by applying resistance training, Prof McConnell and her team created the device that benefits athletes by allowing them to train longer and perform better - improving results by up to five per cent in some cases.
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In 2006, Made in Brunel - an annual showcase for the innovative, enterprising and creative work of Engineering and Design students - was launched
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1999 James Dyson is awarded an honourary degree from Brunel University. The James Dyson Foundation continues to award a scholarship annually to between four and five final year undergraduate design students
2002 Professor Steven Schwartz becomes Vice-Chancellor
Isambard Kingdom Brunel's birth and the 40th anniversary of the award of
The ÂŁ6 million Outdoor Athletics Centre is opened by David Moorcroft
Royal Charter is marked by a visit by Queen Elizabeth II
2000 The Gaskell Building is opened by the Rt Hon Chris Smith, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
Sport Sciences move from Osterley into the newly refurbished Science Building at Uxbridge
The Bannerman Centre, named after former Director of Services, Sheila Bannerman, is opened by Lord Melvyn Bragg
2006 Professor Chris Jenks becomes ViceChancellor
Made in Brunel - an
Brunel invests ÂŁ1 million in a new Advanced Bioprocessing Centre
annual showcase for the innovative, enterprising and creative work of engineering and design students was launched
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Maritime structures demonstrate best in mechanical engineering How the Derbyshire broke her back In 1988, Professor of Applied Mechanics Geraint Price joined a small number of engineers to be elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society, one of the oldest societies promoting the best and brightest in science. A clear endorsement of his work into the behaviour of maritime structures, mostly ships, Prof Price's selection was founded on the fortunes of the massive oil carrier MV Derbyshire, which was sunk south of Japan in 1980 while transporting ore from Canada. The British-built vessel was the largest of its kind to be lost at sea.
and naval engineering to prove that the Derbyshire had broken her back. Up until this time, the University had been strongly focused on theoretical research and mechanical engineering. It was more practical projects, like Price's, which moved Brunel towards multi-disciplinary research themes with real world applications.
Prof Price, a notable expert in the field, used ship dynamics
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Space Brunel's world-famous Institute for Bioengineering was established in 1983 with Professor Heinz Wolff at the helm - its mission to research how human beings could survive in hostile environments. Home to a multi-disciplinary research team, the Institute developed the concept for a general-purpose experimental facility known as the Glovebox (GBX), giving astronauts the ability to perform experiments safely in space. The GBX space laboratory enables scientists to perform fluid and material science tasks without contaminating the closed environment of Spacelab, a reusable laboratory used on a number of space flights and comprising components such as pressurised modules and related hardware. Although a feat of technology, if the Spacelab became contaminated, it would put a crew in great danger. Led by Professor Ian Sutherland, GBX was used at Soviet space station Mir, and on several United States Microgravity Laboratory (USML) missions, including the first, which flew on the STS-50 Space Shuttle Columbia in July 1992. It remains a key contributor to the European Space Agency and NASA space programmes.
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New horizons Helen Sharman selected to be first British astronaut in orbit A historic moment in British history, the extraordinary mission to place the first British astronaut Helen Sharman in space was managed by Brunel's Institute for Bioengineering. Named Juno, the 1989 project was a private, joint venture with a subsidiary of a large Soviet Union bank, to send a citizen of the UK to the Mir space station and boost relations between Russia and the UK. Responding to a radio announcement that simply stated, 'Astronaut wanted, no experience necessary', 12,000 people applied to be part of the project. Among them was Sharman, a 26-year-old food engineer at the Mars sweet factory in Slough.
Helen Sharman receiving her honourary degree of Doctor of Science from Brunel University London
Once the 12,000 applicants had been whittled down they were brought to Brunel for a series of grueling tests of physical and mental stamina, all designed to see if they were up to the demanding trip into orbit.
age, between 21 and 40 years old I thinkď‚źwith some sort of technical background in science, engineering or medicine. Applicants needed an ability to understand the logics of the spacecraft systems and to be able to do the experiments, because that would be their job if they were to be an astronaut." Finally selected to take part in the mission on 18 May 1991, the 27-yearold was launched into orbit with two Soviet cosmonauts aboard the Russian space station. Her eight-day voyage, consisting of medical and agriculture experiments, received little funding from Britain - the country remained focused on unmanned operations until 2012. Sharman returned safely to earth on 26 May, becoming a national hero and later receiving an honorary degree of Doctor of Science from Brunel University London.
In an interview, Sharman said, "They wanted people within a certain
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Energising the food chain Multidisciplinary research centre focuses on reducing environmental impact More than a decade of work focusing on energy efficiency in the UK's food retail chain resulted in the establishment of the National Centre for Sustainable Energy Use in Food Chains at Brunel in 2013. Led by the Director of the Institute of Energy Futures, Professor Savvas Tassou, the centre boasts a cross-disciplinary hub of engineers, scientists and industry experts, developing energy-efficient food manufacturing, distribution and retail systems to support a targeted 80 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050. "There is a global imperative to dramatically reduce carbon emissions across all heavy-use industries," said Prof Tassou, a well-known expert in refrigeration and energy research. "It's critical to start addressing energy efficiency in food chain systems now." The centre - one of six in the UK targeting end-use energy demand reduction - is placing emphasis on
reducing the environmental impacts of all stages of the food chain from food primary production, to manufacture, retail and consumption. The project also considers food waste, ways of reducing it, and best ways to utilise unavoidable waste in the form of useful byproducts or for energy generation. Alongside technological approaches, the project also aims to influence British and EU policies on food sustainability and peoples' behaviour towards more sustainable food production and consumption.
60. The breadth of the work has also expanded considerably with additional substantial funding from the EU, Innovate UK, the Research Councils and directly from industry. A number of technologies aimed at enhancing the energy efficiency and reducing the environmental impacts of food refrigeration and heating equipment have also been developed and licensed to industry partners. "The centre makes Brunel one of the key universities in the UK and internationally for energy and food sustainability related research," said Prof Tassou, who became interested in energy conservation in the late 1970s. "This is a significant achievement for Brunel and provides a platform for us to build further on our already strong food and industrial energy efficiency research."
The centre is funded by the Research Councils UK Energy and Manufacturing the Future Programmes, and involves UK higher education partners from Manchester and Birmingham. At its establishment in 2013, the centre received support from 33 industrial organisations but the number of stakeholders has since increased significantly to more than
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The power of the pound Research puts value on health For every pound the UK invests in cancer research, 40 pence is earned in benefit every year thereafter, Brunel's Health Economics Research Group (HERG) demonstrated in 2014. Presenting its findings at the AllParty Parliament Group for Medical Research, the study was the first of its kind to associate economic gains with publically-funded cancer research. For more than 25 years, HERG has built an international reputation in health economics, providing policyrelevant research nationally and internationally, on everything from tobacco control to child vaccination. Using evidence to alter government policy, HERG attempts to change attitudes in the health sector with a cross-disciplinary approach to health and finance. This means the group can give value to topics that are often excluded from 'standard' health technology assessments.
health-related technologies. One such project valued a screening programme for abdominal aortic aneurysms - a disease that kills 6,800 men each year. In 2008, HERG's work led to the introduction of the programme across England, reported to have offered 300,000 screenings to men over the age of 65. Following publication of the results in 2011, the Department of Health said, "This has made a significant contribution to strengthening the evidence-base for policymaking through a range of applied economic research." Since then, guidelines across Europe and North America have been altered, halving the number of deaths.
Another strand of the group's research is estimating the costeffectiveness of adopting new
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Maths method makes history John Crankâ€™s contribution to the study of heat conduction is still of profound importance today
In physics and engineering it is of central importance to understand how heat behaves, and Brunel University London's eponymous John Crank building has a strong connection to that very topic. Named after the University's first Head of Mathematics, Brunel's maths department is home to 550 students, along with more than 30 faculty members, many of whom are engaged in research that builds upon Professor Crank's achievements. An accomplished mathematician and physicist, Prof Crank was best-known for his work on the numerical solution of partial differential equations, an expertise developed ahead of his 1957 appointment as Head of Mathematics at Brunel - then known as Brunel College, in Acton. Developing the numerical solution of partial differential equations, Prof Crank worked alongside mathematician Phyllis Nicolson
to co-create the still relevant and important Crank-Nicholson method to computationally approximate and simulate solutions to the heat equation. "The heat equation is a prototype for the study of conduction," says Dr Simon Shaw, reader in mathematics at Brunel. "In its simplest form, it models how heat is conducted from one end of a hot poker to the other end and the hand that is holding it. It can model how the oven's heat spreads through the cooking turkey on Christmas morning, and it is at the heart of the Nobel prizewinning discovery of the famous BlackScholes option pricing formula." Previous attempts to computationally simulate solutions to the heat equation were prone to inaccuracy and numerical instability. These shortcomings were simultaneously solved by Crank and Nicolson's new 'Crank-Nicolson' method.
Professor John Crank
"In very simple cases mathematicians can solve the heat equation with a piece of paper and pen," says Dr Shaw. "But in the interesting, realworld cases, this is a formidable and usually impossible task. Instead computers are used to approximate and simulate the solutions, alongside algorithms from a special branch of maths called Numerical Analysis. This was John Crank's specialism and the Crank-Nicolson method was a very important breakthrough in this area."
influence on numerical schemes. Prof Crank was granted the title of Professor Emeritus in 1981 and died in 2006. His passing was marked at Brunel by a 2008 research conference honouring his legacy. He will be long remembered as a leading figure in computational mathematics and mathematical modelling.
The method allowed for reliable and accurate simulation of the heat equation over much longer time scales than had yet been possible and it is still in use today, having substantial
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Music can help make us fitter Brunel's Dr Costas Karageorghis proves that running to the beat brings benefits Listening to music while exercising is an essential pairing for many athletes and gym goers, but Brunel University London research has shown that carefully selected music can also significantly increase a person's endurance and even influence the electrical activity in their brain. Using knowledge from the fields of psychology, neuroscience, sport science and musicology, Brunel has presented strong evidence illustrating the benefits of exercising with musical accompaniment. For example, using the principles of entrainment wherein movements are synchronised with a musical beat, a well-selected song has the potential to increase an individual's endurance by up to 15 per cent. "There are a number of theoretical models that we have developed to help exercise and health practitioners in prescribing music for a range of physical activities," says Brunel's Dr Costas Karageorghis, who has led the research for two decades. "To select a piece of music that is
optimal, you need to take musical qualities and personal factors into consideration, as well as the type and intensity of the activity." Highlighting the psycho-physiological effects of listening to music, Dr Karageorghis confirms that a faster tempo works best with higher exercise intensities, explaining that there's a tempo 'sweet spot' of 120- 140 bpm that helps to enhance the exercise experience. Selecting a track, "with uplifting harmonies, that is rhythmically stable and performed by an artist that one can personally relate to," Dr Karageorghis says, is an additional consideration. While running to the selected beats of certain pop stars does not necessarily ensure steady improvement performance plateaus and dips will still occur - global attitudes towards how exercise is conducted have now changed markedly. "There were maybe 20 related studies when I started working in this field,"
Dr Karageorghis works with athletes at Brunel to see how music enhances their performance
says Dr Karageorghis. "Now there are about 200! From a young age I was fascinated by this topic and think that much of the related research from around the world has been inspired by the systematic programme of work that has taken place at Brunel." Dr Karageorghis' scientific work has been embraced by a diverse range of stakeholders, including in the period 2007-2010, when he was the lead consultant for Run to the Beat, a musical half-marathon in London that attracted in excess of 15,000 runners.
Formerly the deputy head of research at Brunel's School of Sport and Education, Dr Karageorghis is an avid music fan, believing that music can help improve people's lives in many different ways. "Two of the things that give people the most joy entail being physically active and listening to music," says Dr Karageorghis. "If you can mix them together in a systematic way, that is a potentially powerful combination."
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World's first midlife crisis Canadian psychoanalyst questions value of middle managers within the workplace
The concept of a midlife crisis was born at Brunel in 1965, as the founder of the School of Social Sciences Professor Elliott Jaques pursued formative ideas around using social systems as a defence against unconscious anxiety and, later, measuring how much responsibility an employee has. Applying theories of psychology to the structure of the workplace - a business's management, for instance - Prof Jaques maintained that an organisation's breakdown was more to do with the systems it functioned under, rather than its employees. Any declines in employee productivity, he found, was due to what he coined "timespan autonomy", in which an organisation's hierarchy
determined how much time an employee had to reach their full potential. Prof Jaques also used this "timespan" theory to measure employees' capabilities, matching the value of a job in order to set fair rates of pay. Prof Jaques challenged attitudes, believing that for organisations to succeed, only a few people should retain leadership roles. Undistracted by human resource fads or leadership gurus, he continued to develop his concepts in "real" organisations. His intention was to create structures that allowed employees to work together effectively. While he was aware that quantifying worker capabilities raised social and ethical questions, he
argued that his organisational structure made more sense than one layered with managers who had no real authority.
psychoanalytic study of organisations across the globe.
Although ignored by many academics, his ideas are widely used by consultancies and organisations across the world. A classic example is his introduction of the concept of Corporate Culture in his Harvard PhD paper. A later paper, Death and The Midlife Crisis, appeared in the International Journal of Psychoanalysis in 1965, and remains a standard psychology text today. In it, Prof Jaques examined the careers of creative geniuses, from composers to artists, concluding that each demonstrated an abrupt change in style or a decline in productivity at or close to the age of 35 years old. While his theories were often met with criticism, his early ideas are still considered highly influential in the
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Brunel put its world-class sports facilities and accommodation at the disposal of teams from around the world competing in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games
Team Jamaica's runners were among those who trained at the Indoor Athletics Centre in preparation for the event
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19 JULY 2006 The Department of Health Sciences and Social Care move into the ÂŁ10 million Mary Seacole Building, officially named by Queen Elizabeth II and, on the same day, The Duke of Edinburgh officially renames the Science Building as the Heinz Wolff Building
OCTOBER 2007 The Wilfred Brown Building is extended. The extension is later renamed the Michael Sterling Building
20 JULY 2012 JUNE 2009
The Antonin Artaud Building is opened by Steven Berkoff
hosts the Korean Olympic Team on campus
OCTOBER 2012 Professor Julia Buckingham becomes Brunel University's first female ViceChancellor
Isambard Complex, the new student residence, is completed
Institute for the Environment wins the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its research revealing the link between chemicals in rivers and reproductive health
The Eastern Gateway Building is completed
22 AUGUST 2012 Brunel hosts the Canadian Paralympic Team
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In the pursuit of happiness Marie Jahoda focuses on five criteria needed for mental health wellbeing
Austrian-born social psychologist Marie Jahoda made an efficient use of her seven years at Brunel - developing the influential theory of Ideal Mental Health and identifying five criteria she described as vital for feeling happy. The theory, evolved during her time at the then Brunel College from 1958 to 1965, considered time structure, social contact, collective effort, social identity and regular activity as the building blocks for wellbeing. The notion of ideal happiness was of interest to Professor Jahoda from a young age. As a little girl living in Vienna, in 1937 she fled her home due to increasing Nazi persecution. She would not return until 1945. In this time, she maintained that the poor and unemployed were deprived of all five aspects of happiness, which accounted for reports of mentalhealth suffered at the time. Taking these theories with her to Brunel, Prof Jahoda helped establish
psychology degree programmes, including a unique four-year 'thin sandwich' degree, which extended the University's strong engineering focus to social sciences. In 1979, Prof Jahoda received an award for distinguished contributions to the public interest from the American Psychological Association. The award read, "The inspiring model that Marie Jahoda has set for many - of socially concerned, empirically competent, responsible, and psychoanalytically enriched psychology brought to bear on the important issues of freedom, justice, and equality in the contemporary world, as they touch the lives of real people - continues to serve psychology and the public interest." In the 1980s, when unemployment levels were again high, her approach attracted renewed interest and her ideas were rediscovered throughout Europe.
Courts keeps children safe The Family Drug and Alcohol Court proves more effective than ordinary care proceedings
The UK's pilot Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC) was independently evaluated by Brunel's Professor Judith Harwin as a new approach to tackling substance misuse of parents. The project has since successfully reduced the number of children taken into care and gone some way to informing Government policy, and the programme is now set to be extended to other areas of the country.
care proceedings were more likely to stop misusing substances. Those who succeeded were more likely to be reunited with their children.
Following the report's release, Prof Harwin said, "Our findings show FDAC is effective in helping to break the cycle of harm caused by parental substance misuse. One of the main strengths of FDAC is its unique combination of a specialist team attached to the court and judges who stick with a case throughout, motivating parents and providing tight oversight."
One parent who participated told Harwin's research team, "FDAC has been of enormous benefit to us. I have been freed from addiction and my child has gained a father."
Furthermore, FDAC families who were reunited at the end of proceedings had lower rates of neglect or abuse in the first year following reunification than reunited families who had been through standard care proceedings.
The challenge now is to ensure that FDAC can fulfill its potential within the context of changes to the family justice system, such as the newly introduced Children and Families Act (2014).
Testing ran from January 2008 through to March 2012, finding that parents who had been through the FDAC process as opposed to standard
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Slow down! Speed cameras On-street cameras lead to significant reduction in speeding Rigorous research into the effects of the introduction of speed cameras has contributed to saving thousands of people from death or injury on Britain's roads since 2008. Quasi-experimental studies undertaken between 1993 and 1997 by Brunel's Department of Law surveyed 7,000 drivers on camera interventions and their impact, showing that the installation of cameras generally led to a lasting reduction in speed. Commissioned by the Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR), the university's findings have been a key factor in the subsequent decision to roll-out the system nationally. Speed cameras were introduced in 1992 under the Road Safety Act 1991, when their effectiveness in reducing road collision casualties and influencing driver behaviour was unknown. Recognising the benefits that technology can have in encouraging compliance with traffic laws, lead researcher Dr Claire Corbett
- specialising in road crime and traffic law enforcement - began to explore the cameras' deterrent effects. Further research from 2006 commissioned by the Department for Transport, with Dr Corbett working in tandem with behavioural scientists from the Transport Research Laboratory, helped deepen understanding of these impacts and of the motivations of repeat speed offenders. The research has confirmed the deterrent effect of cameras and that the threat of penalty points can and does have a positive impact on drivers' speeding behaviour. It has been a key tool in helping shape the government's policy development for improving compliance with road traffic laws. Much of the developing world has adopted this approach. While cameras are considered an important means to encourage compliance with speed limits, driver education to modify speed choice behaviour may be another useful strategy.
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Lifting the lid on abuse Protecting young athletes around the globe The result of many years of committed research and pioneering campaigning by Professor Celia Brackenridge OBE, the issue of abuse of child athletes has finally been brought into mainstream consciousness. Spending most of her career raising awareness of child protection, Prof Brackenridge's research helped revolutionise the way the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and UNICEF approached athlete welfare. Prof Brackenbridge has been advocating for greater safeguarding in children's sport since the 1980s. Prof Brackenridge's research and advocacy was instrumental in the establishment of the Child Protection in Sport Unit in 2001. Government funding to this area had previously been non-existent. Starting as director of Brunel's Centre for Youth Sport and Athlete Welfare in 2005, brought attention to the risk of abuse for young athletes competing at high levels, something she labels 'the stage of imminent achievement' the most vulnerable point for any child athlete.
In a 2012 interview, Prof Brackenridge told Brunel:, "It's difficult for an athlete to talk about their negative experiences. Every Olympics puts pressure on athletes to win medals, and the UK Government is hoping for great things from the UK teams. It's important that coaches treat the athletes as people first and foremost, and as potential medalwinners second." Statistics from 2011 showed that almost a fifth of child protection cases in sport concerned sexual abuse, with few leading to a criminal prosecution. Access to information in this area remains difficult, with sports bodies often citing data protection. While there is still much to be done, Prof Brackenbridge has helped the Football Association roll out its Respect Behaviour Management programme, which has seen a 15 per cent decrease in serious cases of assault throughout the UK. She has influenced policy around the globe, all Olympic competing countries are now required to have rules designed
to protect athletes and prevent harassment. The university continues to lead the way in protecting young athletes. Prof Brackenridge launched the Brunel International Research Network for Athlete Welfare (BIRNAW) to enable researchers worldwide to share their
knowledge and broaden the field of child welfare in sport. Dr Daniel Rhind is leading a project which builds on work to develop, implement and evaluate the International Safeguards for Children in Sport. This research will help to extend and embed the legacy of Prof Brackenridge's research.
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JULY 2016 2014 Brunel undergoes a major internal reorganistation becoming Brunel
Brunel marks the University's 50th Anniversary of the award of the University's original Charter in 1966
following Royal assent of its new Charter
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Afterword by Heinz Wolff
I am now 88 years old, the last 33 of which have been spent at Brunel University London. I keep on coming usually as many as five days a week. Why? Before I came to Brunel, I worked for nearly 30 years for the Medical Research Council, inventing the discipline of Bioengineering - though of course people had been doing that sort of work long before. I became Head of a Division of the National Institute of Medical Research and of the Clinical Research Centre at Northwick Park, and was responsible for the service and research activities of quite a large team. However, in 1983, I began to smell that something unfavourable was going to happen to the funding of civil science and began to seek opportunities to decouple myself from it. Friends advised me to make approaches to Brunel University, which then had not many more than 3,000 students under the redoubtable vice-chancellorship of Dick Bishop, a
no-nonsense engineer. I did so, having lectured at the university at times and, as seemed most important then, it was only 9 miles' distance from The Clinical Research Centre. The proposition I put to Dick was that I wanted to found a Brunel Institute for Bioengineering, which would be of no cost to the university and would raise its own funds, some of which had already been promised. It might, I said, also elevate the profile of the university, if only by my notoriety achieved by many years on television (about 20 at the time). The anticipated question was duly asked that morningď‚ź"and what made you choose Brunel?" In reality, at the time it was the nearest attractive university to Northwick Park Hospital and I thought that I could bring some members of my staff, without them having to move. Not an obvious reason to please a vice-chancellor, however I disentangled myself from this quandary, clinched the deal and
NEVER regretted the decision. The Brunel Institute for Bioengineering (BIB) was born. I loved the site. It wasn't the pinnacle of architecture, but the variety of people of different disciplines and the eddying of young students amounted to great things. What Brunel did for me was to allow me to be "of the university" while not being part of the academic system. And because I was self-financing I had a great deal of freedom. As Director of (BIB), I was employed for a long time in space activities, for which the Institute became well known. But even while it became a
contractor to the European Space Agency, for the design of equipment to perform biological experiment in space, the Institute was taking part in a number of more down to earth activities. Among these, for example, BIB was designing equipment for a number of charities like the Motor Neurone Association and Action Research, spinning off the term "Tools for Living" to describe devices to help. It is testament to Brunel's faith in its academics that, for the past four years the emphasis of my work has changed. Having spent more than 60 years in medical and technological
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research, design and invention, the Brunel environment has allowed me to change tack completely.
society in the 21st Century. All this happens at glorious Brunel!
I had come to the conclusion that the immense challenge posed by people living longer and the fast growing need for Care and Support, was not a problem that could be solved by technology, but that the word "care", more so in English than other languages, had the concept of "humanity" embedded in it. My Give & Take Care project is a new challenge for me, the idea being that any member of society could give a few hours of care per week to someone who really needs it, and in return earn a 'care credit' - an alternative currency which will ensure they receive the same level of care when they need it in their own old age. A company formed to run the scheme nationally has recently been awarded a contract for just over ÂŁ1 million to make it happen. We now have staff in place, a very fruitful contact with the Care Quality Commission, and a plan to start in a reginal manner at three foci by the middle of the summer. If we can pull this off, and mobilise society, as happened in war-time, this will mark a semicolon in the development of
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Editors Catherine Chapman, freelance journalist Keith Coles, Head of Media Relations, Brunel University London
Photography Sally Trussler, Media Production Manager, Brunel University London Archives Mandy Mordue, Head of Archives and Records Management, Brunel University London Book designed and compiled by Morrama, a London-based design consultancy
Copyright ÂŠ 2016 Brunel University London
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