Re:action Magazine Winter 2019

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Winter 2019 | Issue 13 Research and Enterprise Newsletter

Research for a sustainable future

Showcasing the breadth of our interdisciplinary and collaborative research contributing to the international Sustainable Development Goals FEATURE: Farming for the future by helping Asian fish farmers to prevent and control disease outbreaks

FEATURE: Giving children a better start in Sub-Saharan Africa through changing policies and practices

FEATURE: Sustainability reporting for Ugandan businesses aims to improve environmental, economic and social performance

FEATURE: Three projects all breaking ground and changing lives with the use of drones


WELCOME TO RE:ACTION In recent years the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have increasingly informed discussions on how to meet the big challenges faced by humankind and by the planet. The 17 SDGs are the cornerstones of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted by all Member States in 2015. They provide a blueprint for improving our future by addressing global issues such as poverty, health and education, inequality, peace, prosperity and environmental degradation. As a University with world-class research and a mission to change the world for the better, we recognise that we have our own important role to play in supporting the achievement of the SDGs. We are engaging with our partners overseas to co-create and co-design research programmes that will be transformational and bring measurable improvements to their communities, and that will enable us to extend our cutting-edge research capabilities into new areas. Our long-standing commitment to grow the research networks that support these collaborations is reflected by our ranking as 12th worldwide in the University Impact Rankings, compiled by Times Higher Education, which capture universities’ impact on society and success in delivering the SDGs. In passing, please look at the article on the QS rankings on page 25, as such rankings are increasingly being used as a proxy for our reputation internationally.

Our efforts that are inspired by the SDGs are gaining momentum, supported in large part by the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) that was set up in 2015 by the UK Government. In this issue of Re:action, the spotlight is on some of our world-leading collaborative interdisciplinary research that addresses the SDGs. The featured programmes cover a diverse range of activities, including health, nutrition, prosthetics, delivery of humanitarian aid, food security, as well as monitoring sustainability and developing new strategic relationships. The SDGs are now, and will remain, central to this University’s international research agenda, and I look forward to the exciting and transformative developments this focus will bring. In parallel to our international work we are developing a University-wide Environment and Sustainability Strategy. This leverages our research capabilities to inform and support changes to our estate. This includes the design and operation of new buildings and campus facilities, together with engagement with the wider civic community, bolstering our responsibilities as a Civic University. I hope that you enjoy this issue of Re:action. My thanks to everyone who has contributed or is featured. I very much encourage feedback and discussion on the featured areas.

Professor George Attard Pro-Vice Chancellor (Interdisciplinary Research)

PLEASE SEND US YOUR FEEDBACK We are keen to receive your feedback about Re:action. If you have any ideas, comments or suggestions, please send them to


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17 goals to transform our world


Farming for the future By helping Asian fish farmers to prevent and control disease outbreaks



One thousand days to prep for life

Linking up for limb loss


Health research in Sub-Saharan African countries which focuses on the first 1000 days of a child’s life


In countries with a landmine legacy, access to comfortable and effective prosthetic limbs is critical



Reporting for a brighter future

Drone research flies high


Sustainability reporting for Ugandan businesses aims to improve environmental, economic and social performance


Three separate projects all breaking ground and changing lives with the use of drones


Our Worldwide Universities Network membership Growing our Ghanaian links


Spotlight on: ORCID ID QS rankings


News in brief


Research award highlights 3


The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries 4

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17 GOALS TO TRANSFORM OUR WORLD – developed and developing. They recognise that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.

Interdisciplinary and collaborative research across different sectors is crucial for achieving sustainable development. Here are some examples of how University of Southampton researchers and their projects play an important role in contributing to the SDGs. 5




Dr Amos Channon Associate Professor in Demography Faculty of Social Sciences

Professor Andrew Tatem Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences

Urban poor adolescents often experience poor sexual and reproductive health. HIV prevalence is higher in some urban poor settings, and poverty in urban environments is more strongly associated with risky sexual behaviour than in rural areas. The aim of this project is to design and develop an innovative and exciting research programme that studies urban adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights in low and middle-income countries, with a focus on Malawi, Nepal and Zimbabwe. It has an intersectional approach, with a focus on very young adolescents (under the age of 15), those with disabilities and forced and unforced migrant adolescents. There exists a lack of consistent, global, open, age-structured and highresolution population count data – not only for the present day, but also for the past decades and future projections. This limits abilities to provide context to global disease prevalence mapping efforts and convert them to burden estimates. This project will construct consistent and comparable global maps of population distributions and demographics for the 1990–2020 period that will be made freely available to the global community.

Global population distribution in 2019 produced by WorldPop ( through the integration of census, satellite and geospatial datasets. Population numbers are estimated for each 100x100m grid cell across the World, with low population densities shown in yellow and high densities in dark blue.


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Professor Caroline Fall Professor of International Paediatric Epidemiology Faculty of Medicine

Professor David Sear Professor of Physical Geography Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences

This project seeks to address nutritional problems in a relatively neglected age group in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). With partners in Africa and India, research on adolescent nutrition carried out during a one-year Medical Research Council and Global Challenges Research Fund pump-priming award will be extended. The aims of the partnership are to: 1 Fill large knowledge gaps about diet and nutrition in LMIC adolescents 2 Listen to adolescents to understand the barriers to healthy diet and activity choices 3 Co-create, with adolescents, and evaluate interventions to improve adolescent diet and activity 4 Engage with stakeholders to stimulate policies for nutrition in this age group 5 Build capacity in UK and LMIC research teams.

In small islands of the Pacific data on climate and environmental change is often absent or only very short. Understanding how these systems change is vital to their future. Here Southampton staff are recovering swamp sediments in search of 4000 years of climate, ecosystem and landscape change, including evidence of the arrival of the first people on the island.

Current disaster risk management planning treats hazards in isolation, whereas in reality the landscape, human modifications and community livelihoods and activities interact to generate or mitigate the impacts of multiple hazards.

An engagement session with adolescent girls in Maharashtra, India

To better manage and mitigate the natural hazards on Vanuatu and other Small Island Developing States (SIDS), we need to understand these processes and pathways. These activities enable a clearer idea of the challenges posed by multi-hazards on SIDS, and work with project partners will co-design future scenarios that could be tested, with work aiming to increase resilience and support SDG progress in these nations. 7




Dr Heini Väisänen Lecturer in Social Statistics and Demography Faculty of Social Sciences

Professor James Batchelor Director, Clinical Informatics Research Unit Faculty of Medicine

Blast injuries caused by conflict, legacy landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) represent a global humanitarian challenge, posing a serious and ongoing threat to civilian populations. The threat of blast injuries affects millions globally, particularly vulnerable populations in low and middle income countries. Developing a Sub-Saharan Africa network with countries directly affected by blast injuries from landmines and ERW offers a unique insight into the associated political, clinical and policy-making challenges. Engagement with these countries will identify their research and health challenges and priorities, understand current blast injury clinical interventions and ascertain how blast injury research has potential to benefit vulnerable civilian populations.

A mural against plastic pollution in Jamestown, Accra

This research, led by researchers and the Department of Social Statistics and Demography in collaboration with the Ghana School of Public Health, seeks funding to provide a new set of priorities for intervention by quantifying the salient risk factors contributing to the burden of disease amongst women in the city of Accra. The findings will be communicated to relevant government departments through a Joint Steering Committee, and a detailed plan for training courses and seminars will be produced explaining how to use routine and survey data to estimate risk factors for infectious and non-communicable diseases in Ghana. 8

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Professor Paul Kemp Professor of Ecological Engineering Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Professor Philippa Reed Professor of Structural Materials Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Resilient infrastructure and adequate, affordable and decent housing in a sustainable environment is needed in Kenya and other developing countries. The institutional research links developed in this project will enable the development and sustainable production of appropriate low-cost construction materials and products. Promotion of location-specific low-cost and eco-friendly construction materials and enhancing efforts to design and implement low-cost construction technologies are the priorities.

The selection of fish for use in studies to develop acoustic deterrents at hydropower facilities in Brazil

Converting Waste into Resource Conference, Nairobi, Kenya

This project focuses on transferring experience gained at the University of Southampton to quantify the impacts of large fish mortality events at existing dams (e.g. barotrauma) and develop fishing engineering solutions to protect fisheries at both existing and planned sites. A series of workshops will transfer results across organisations and stimulate discussion aimed at improving and developing policies in Brazil to enhance sustainable resource development. 9


PARTNERING FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ACROSS THE GLOBE The geographic reach of our activity in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals is vast, and represents our major involvement in hundreds of projects around the world that aim to tackle development challenges. This capacity for working across a range of frontiers enables our researchers to build strong partnerships with many different kinds of organisations. Here are just a few highlights of the work carried out by the University of Southampton across different regions, and the networks that have been established through these efforts. 10

1 Latin America Professor Pia Riggirozzi, Professor of Global Politics ‘Redressing gendered health inequalities of displaced women and girls in contexts of protracted crisis in Central and South America – ReGHID’. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, with initial pump-priming support from the Strategic Development Fund. Includes the following partners: Partner Organisations University of York Federal University of Maranhão Oswaldo Cruz Foundation University of Los Andes Central American University Latin American Social Sciences Institute (FLACSO) Latin American Social Sciences Institute (FLACSO) Council of Ministries of Health for Central America United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Del Rosario University Medicos Sin Frontera (MSF) International Organization for Migration (IOM)

City Country York UK São Luís Brazil Rio de Janeiro Brazil Bogota Colombia San Salvador El Salvador Curridabat

Costa Rica

Tegucigalpa Honduras

Panama City Panama Bogota Colombia Mexico City Mexico San Marcos


For further information, visit:

2 Sub-Saharan/East Africa Professor Craig Hutton, Professor of Sustainability Science ‘Western Indian Ocean Deltas Exchange and Research Network (WIoDER)’. Funded by International Development Research Centre and includes the following partners:

3 Sub-Saharan/Southern Africa Dr Kate Ward, Associate Professor at MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology ‘Establishment of the Sub-Saharan Africa MuSculOskeletal Network (SAMSON).’ Funded by the Academy of Medical Sciences and includes the following partners:

Partner Organisations Research Institute for Development (IRD) National Museums of Kenya National Centre on Environmental Research (CNRE) Eduardo Mondlane University IHE Delft Institute for Water Education (UN-IHE) Kulima Integrated Development Solutions Ltd University of Dar es Salaam

Partner Organisations University of KwaZulu-Natal University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM Makerere University University of Bristol London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) University of Oxford The Biomedical Research and Training Institute



Marseille France Nairobi Kenya Antananarivo Madagascar Maputo Mozambique Delft Netherlands Pietermaritzburg South Africa Dar es Salaam Tanzania

City Durban

Country South Africa

Johannesburg South Africa Serrekunda The Gambia Kampala Uganda Bristol UK London UK Oxford UK Harare Zimbabwe

4 Oceania Professor David Sear, Professor of Physical Geography ‘Multi-Hazards in Small Islands.’ Funded by the Strategic Development Fund and includes the following partners:

5 Sub-Saharan/West Africa Dr Michael Head, Senior Research Fellow within Medicine ‘Research network for a new neglected tropical disease – shared experiences of scabies in Ghana and Ethiopia.’ Funded by the Strategic Development Fund and includes the following partners:

Partner Organisations Pacific Community Melanesian Mission Anglican Community of Melanesia C2O Pacific Ministry of Agriculture Vanuatu Cultural Centre Vanuatu Government

Partner Organisations Ministry of Health Ghana Dermatology Society Ghana Health Service Ministry of Health University of Ghana Brighton & Sussex Medical School

City Country Suva Fiji Feniton UK Port Vila Vanuatu Port Vila Vanuatu Port Vila Vanuatu Port Vila Vanuatu Port Vila Vanuatu

City Country Addis Ababa Ethiopia Accra Ghana Accra Ghana Accra Ghana Accra Ghana Brighton UK

6 Southern Asia/Sub-Saharan Africa Professor Caroline Fall, Professor of International Paediatric Epidemiology ‘UK/India/Africa Network for Adolescent Nutrition.’ Funded by the Medical Research Council and includes the following partners::

7 East & South-East Asia Professor Stephen Darby, Professor of Physical Geography ‘Sustainable Intensification of Rice Agriculture in Vulnerable MegaDeltas: A Global Challenge.’ Funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and includes the following partners:

Partner Organisations Jimma University BKL Walawalkar Rural Medical College and Hospital Centre for the Study of Social Change (CSSC) CSI Holdsworth Memorial Hospital King Edward Memorial Hospital Research Centre Programme for Research on HIV/AIDS and Associated Diseases of the Ivory Coast (PAC-CI) Africa Population and Health Research Centre University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) MRC Unit The Gambia at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Partner Organisations Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UNFAO) International Rice Research Institute Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agricultural and Rural Development (IPSARD)

City Country Jimma Ethiopia Dervan India Mumbai India Mysore India



Rome Italy Los Baños


Hanoi Vietnam

Pune India Abidjan

Ivory Coast

Nairobi Kenya Johannesburg

South Africa


The Gambia 11


FARMING FOR THE FUTURE Helping Asian fish and shrimp farmers to help themselves is the aim of critical research being led by scientists at the University of Southampton. Life is tough for fish and shrimp farmers in India and Bangladesh. Disease is a real and constant threat to their crops. And when it strikes it can be disastrous. A £2.1 million project led in the UK by Chris Hauton, Professor of Marine Ecophysiology at the National Oceanography Centre, is helping these farmers towards a brighter future through education about prevention and control of disease outbreaks.

farmers and launching a mobile phone app to help them. This disruptive technology is particularly appropriate for remote farmers in rural Bangladesh, where 97% of the population have and use mobile phones. Understanding diseases The current diseases farmers in India and Bangladesh battle are global diseases that are not infectious for humans.

The project, entitled Poverty Alleviation through Control of Disease in Asian Aquaculture, has seen socioeconomists, epidemiologists and specialists in immunology and disease pathology come together – and has resulted in some fantastic outputs to help towards food security and poverty alleviation. Outlining the big picture, Chris said: “There are worrying forecasts of how we are going to feed the planet in 2050 when the population is predicted to exceed nine billion. I have heard recent estimates that if we do nothing to combat disease in aquaculture, everything we currently grow, we will be losing through disease outbreaks by 2050.”

But he added: “The reality is that these are just two diseases of many. We actually believe that there is currently little point in trying to tackle one disease at a time – if we remove one, another will come along. So we have been trying to approach the problem differently – can we simply improve the health of the crop, so that it is less stressed and more able to fight infection?” Prevention through education To help farmers fight diseases, the Indian government has produced guidance on how to grow fish and shrimp.

Fish farming

But attempting to control disease in shrimp and fish farming is almost impossible. “They are farmed in open ponds,” explained Chris. “The ponds are open to birds, crustaceans and other animals which move between the ponds – it’s a very difficult system to control through biosecurity.”

Epizootic Ulcerative Syndrome, or EUS, is a common fish disease that causes lesions – but some species are resistant. “The common carp is resistant to EUS and can kill it off,” said Chris. “But the Asian species, the Rohu, is susceptible. So we have been comparing the immune systems of the two to see if we can understand mechanisms of resistance.”

Part of the research project has been studying common fish and shrimp diseases, while another part has involved educating the local

In shrimp, a major disease is caused by White Spot Syndrome Virus. In this case, the project has been comparing the immune response


of freshwater prawns, which seem robust to infection with the virus, and the Pacific white shrimp, which is very susceptible to infection. “Again, we have been trying to understand the different host pathogen interactions,” said Chris.

“It’s good advice,” said Chris, “but farmers do not always necessarily use it because following the best available practice has cost implications – it requires them to look after the animals in a particular way. We have worked with a group of farmers in Nellore village, Andhra Pradesh – the largest shrimp farming state in India. We were able to demonstrate that if they followed the advice, they got better crop returns. For three crops in a row working with us, they have doubled their production and have not had any disease outbreaks. That success has been seen by others and is spreading by word of mouth.” In Bangladesh, however, farmers have very little support or formal training.

For further information, visit:

Professor Chris Hauton talking to fish farmers

Shrimp farming in Bangladesh

“They are learning how to farm through hard won experience in many cases, learning from their neighbours, friends, and family,” said Chris. “So we have tried to take the advice from India into Bangladesh.” During the project, which started in 2016, the Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA) in India launched the Vanami Shrimp app. It contains advice, government guidance and regulations, images of what diseased shrimp look like, calculators to work out how much pond additives or food to use according to the size of the pond, stock density, and shrimp size. It also includes a tool so farmers can post questions that are answered by CIBA scientists. Chris said: “As part of our project, we launched a second app, a Bengali version of the CIBA Vanami Shrimp app, called Chingri. In April we held a workshop in Khulna in Bangladesh with shrimp farmers, where we launched the app. “Shrimp farming in Bangladesh is rapidly modernising, farmers are starting to be more successful. The difference in shrimp farming in southern Bangladesh between 2016, when I first went, and now is really encouraging. There are lots of successful modern farms now that are reporting less problems with disease.” Cultural challenges Swansea University’s Department of Geography is a partner for this project, and has worked with schoolchildren in Bangladesh to understand perceptions of poverty among farming communities.

The Vanami Shrimp app

“In Bangladesh there has been a very negative view of fish and shrimp farming – farmers often don’t want their children to follow in their footsteps, which poses a threat to the future of the industry,” outlined Chris. “Poverty to them is not necessarily about money, it’s about cultural status. Successful farmers with many ponds and employees have reported being stressed and do not see themselves as wealthy. They feel they have

“ I have heard recent estimates that if we do nothing to combat disease in aquaculture, everything we currently grow, we will be losing through disease outbreaks by 2050.” Chris Hauton Professor of Marine Ecophysiology

a responsibility to care for all their workers, even when crops fail; they see themselves as being quite poor.” The fear of losing a crop is also a constant challenge. It’s another area where Chris and his team have been working to change attitudes, particularly in India.

so worried that they might have an outbreak that they carry out an emergency harvest, harvesting a crop early rather than risk a disease outbreak in the future. We want to change these attitudes, help the farmers grow healthier crops, and give them more confidence.” The project, which has been funded by the Newton-Bhabha Fund, with UK Aid , the Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council (BBSRC and ESRC) and the Department of Biotechnology India, is due to come to an end at the end of this year. Chris and his team are hoping to secure further funding to continue the project and extend the work in Bangladesh and beyond: “We want to update the apps, and run workshops to create a network of trained farmers in Bangladesh to help raise the levels of practices, and share our knowledge with them on how crop diversity is really important.” Also involved in the project are the University of Aberdeen, the University of St Andrews, Swansea University, Queen’s University Belfast, and Liverpool University. The lead overseas organisations are the Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA), the National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources, C Abdul Hakeem College in Vellore, and Bangladesh Agricultural University.

“Farmers report being so worried about their reputation that if they have an outbreak, they don’t tell their neighbours, or they are 13


ONE THOUSAND DAYS TO PREP FOR LIFE One thousand days sounds like a long time. It’s a critical period in a child’s development, starting from the point of conception, that sets them up for life.

INPreP workshop in Southampton

It’s this critical 1,000 days that Southampton researchers are focusing on in their work with Sub-Saharan African countries. With £1.8 million from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Global Health Research Group, the three year project, which started in April 2018, is aiming to improve maternal and child nutrition, addressing both under and over-nutrition before, during and after pregnancy. The project is called INPreP (Improved Nutrition Pre, during and Post-Pregnancy) and is a collaboration with researchers from South Africa, Ghana and Burkina Faso, led by a team from Southampton with Marie-Louise Newell, Professor of Global Health, as Principal Investigator. Looking at the big picture, the team is investigating policy and medical interventions within the first 1,000 days to tackle problems including pre-term birth, low birthweight and child stunting, as well as increasing rates of mothers and children being overweight or obese.

INPreP qualitative workshop in Navrongo, Ghana

“South Africa, Ghana and Burkina Faso were selected to capture diversity in economic development and urbanisation, as well as variation in lifestyle around physical activity and eating habits. We still have anaemia in pregnancy, malnutrition and low birthweight babies in Ghana and Burkina Faso. And in South Africa, as well as other countries, we have the opposite – women who are overweight or obese, and that causes health problems such as gestational diabetes.” Shane Norris, Research Professor at the University of the Witwatersand in South Africa, is on secondment to Southampton as a Professorial Fellow at the School of Human Development and Health and as Coinvestigator for INPreP. He added: “It doesn’t matter where you live in the world – the work we are doing in Africa has real relevance in the UK and other higher income countries too.” INPreP’s approach is both top-down and bottom-up, to create and test interventions within the first 1000 DaysPlus period to optimise nutrition.

“The aim of the project is to think, with the focus on nutrition, how we might introduce interventions in existing systems to improve health,” explained Kate. “This could be things like ensuring people comply with existing available medical care, or at a much higher level we are building relationships with governments and policymakers to set policies and guidelines. There are lots of policies, but we don’t yet know what works on the ground and how practical or affordable policies might be to implement.” Work to date has involved running focus groups with people of reproductive age in the participating countries. “We have been struck by the fact that the concerns of the community are much more far reaching than nutrition as we would think about it,” said Kate. “It’s the whole structure of the family and the community that is a barrier to health in some cases. There are a lot of financial issues, for example.” Shane added: “Lives are complex and poorer communities might not prioritise nutrition. As scientists, we can’t have our own agendas – we must partner with the communities and find solutions together. “We are also focusing on partnering with those who make policies. We have to start that engagement very early on and we have to change our research to address what they need as policymakers. They need evidence to base their policies on.”

Kate Ward, Associate Professor at MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology and science lead on INPreP, said: “The concept is known as 1000 DaysPlus. It’s a critical window in the pre-conception, pregnancy and postpartum period that sets a child up for life. Stakeholder meeting in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso


INPreP workshop in Johannesburg, South Africa

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Phase one of INPreP is divided into six work packages. Policy: The team is talking to stakeholders and policymakers in each country to understand current and planned activities during the first 1000 DaysPlus, and reviewing World Health Organization guidelines. Global awareness: A Lancet series of three papers on preconception health and the 1000 DaysPlus period is underway. The aim is to bring together current knowledge and to set the scene for where the research and activity needs to go. Health economics: A research unit at the Witwatersrand University School of Public Health is preparing an economic case for investment in nutritional interventions. This includes classic interventions such as folate and vitamin D, but also improving overall nutrition. Data collection: Focus groups are taking place in each country with men and women of reproductive age, discussing what they perceive as the issues for them and the barriers to them understanding what makes them healthy. Data analysis: The team is pulling together relevant data from studies and surveys in all participating countries. Intervention development: A small set of studies around the types of interventions that could work in each country will take place from April 2020. The team will test the results of its research to date, in order to establish what might work in a larger study.



LINKING UP FOR LIMB LOSS In countries with a landmine legacy and consequently a high proportion of people with lower limb loss, access to comfortable and effective prosthetic limbs is critical.


But flying in scores of artificial legs for distribution isn’t the answer. A team from Southampton has taken a big step back and adopted a truly multidisciplinary approach to ensure success where it’s needed in Cambodia.

project to see the big picture and help local prosthetics and orthotics service providers to identify and develop practical, tangible solutions that will benefit Cambodian amputees for many years to come.

Combining Engineering and Computer Science with Health Sciences is enabling those working on the ‘LMIC Limbs’

Alex Dickinson, Associate Professor within Engineering and Physical Sciences, is leading the project. He

explained: “A multidisciplinary approach is essential in health technologies. The benefit of engineering is easy to see, but the most important thing when it comes to designing anything is asking users what they need. The challenge is in asking people what they want in such a way that you’re not encouraging them to give the answer you think they should give.”

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LMIC Limbs was a multidisciplinary project right from the start, established with Dr Maggie Donovan-Hall, Dr Cheryl Metcalf and Dr Peter Worsley in Health Sciences. When the team first went to Cambodia in 2015 to get the project underway, it became obvious how critical it was going to be to have different disciplines working closely together. “We spoke to amputees and clinicians in Cambodia and asked them if our thinking was along the lines of where their needs are and, in short, they turned around and said ‘no’,” said Cheryl, Principal Enterprise Fellow within Health Sciences, who is leading Sustainable Implementation on this project . “There was an opportunity to apply for some grant money at that time, but it quickly demonstrated that it would have been very opportunistic and ‘western’ for us to plough in and try to fix the problem we thought they had.” When the team asked the Cambodian partners what difficulties they were facing, rather than the anticipated answer of producing more and better prosthetics, the locals told them it was access to services that was a greater problem.

Cheryl. “There is a huge amount of stigma around disability. We’re hopeful that looking at health outcomes and how to present information to all stakeholders can start to make some headway in changing perceptions as well as changing national health systems.” Alex and his team have been trialling physical activity measurement devices to see how people use their prosthetic limb once they return home, and portable 3D scanners that could be used in people’s communities to scan the residual limb (or ‘stump’) where a prosthetic needs to be attached, therefore enabling the prosthesis to be designed without requiring them to take time away from work to visit a clinic.

to the clinicians who use the technologies, as well as the service users and their families. “We have started to look at which might be an appropriate scanner to use, and which physical activity measurement devices might work, as well as how best to present the data that they produce,” said Alex. To bring these technologies together, computer scientists Stefanie Wiegand and Dr Gary Wills are addressing the issues of how to collect and synchronise data between clinics where there isn’t necessarily good network coverage – and importantly, how to ensure that people can provide fully informed consent for the synchronisation and use of their data.

As part of this, Maggie Donovan-Hall has trained a social work lecturer and a community development visitor in Cambodia in qualitative research methods and they have carried out a series of interviews, speaking

The project is due to end in 2021, by which time Alex hopes the techniques and technologies they have refined will be able to be translated for use in other countries and cultures, beyond prosthetics and orthotics.

Above: Working with a prosthetic limb-user stakeholder in Cambodia

Opposite page: Improvised and self-repaired prostheses are sometimes used by people who cannot access health services

Off the back of that, the team shaped the project to be user-centred and address some of the issues around access, seeking to address challenges such as getting a service to patients in rural areas, understanding the societal and cultural challenges of disability and how to influence the wider government, healthcare policy and legislative agendas to make a lasting and meaningful change. Improving technology to boost access Now halfway through the project, work is well underway on how to improve the technology available in Cambodia to produce betterfitting prosthetics, as well as how to improve access to services for amputees, many of whom live in very remote areas. Alex said: “We’re working on technologies to address the issue of access. Firstly, we’re looking at whether we could make services more community-based. Many of the people needing prosthetics are subsistence farmers, who can’t take time off work to travel to the clinic in the city.” Amputees also face stigma because of their disability. “Cambodia is a Buddhist country and limb loss is considered contradictory to a wholebody principle of reincarnation,” explained



REPORTING FOR A BRIGHTER FUTURE Accountancy might not be the first thing that springs to mind when it comes to sustainability. But preparing a ‘sustainability report’ to put the spotlight on a company’s environmental, economic and social performance can reap huge benefits for the environment, and for the company’s influence in the local and international market. Ven Tauringana, Head of Department of Accounting and Professor of Accounting at Southampton Business School, has introduced sustainability reporting to Ugandan businesses with great success – so much so that he has recently achieved a change in policy by the Uganda Manufacturers’ Association, introducing a Sustainability Quality Mark. This certificate is awarded to a company producing a sustainability report. Ven Tauringana on UBC’s Business Today

So far, Ven has trained 60 manufacturing companies in Uganda and three academics from Makerere University on how to do sustainability reporting. And he has big plans for the future. What is sustainability reporting? Ven explained: “With sustainability reporting, you are looking at the whole picture. You assess a company’s environmental, economic and social impact. You look at things like child labour and human rights. You look at economic performance. And you look at your impact on the environment, including your greenhouse gas emissions. Sustainability reporting is a way of companies taking a look at themselves holistically and setting goals for the future, whilst making a commitment to a sustainable global economy.” Companies upload their sustainability reports to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) website.


Current target is for

manufacturing companies in Uganda

Ugandan companies to submit sustainability reports by 2020




Sustainability reporting is rooted in the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Goal 12 on Responsible Consumption and Production encourages companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle.

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Ven added: “There are huge business implications to sustainability reporting too. If a UK company, for example, wants to source materials or products from another company, the first thing they want to know is what the other company is doing about sustainability. Big companies will not want to work with anyone who isn’t reporting their sustainability.” Introducing sustainability reporting to Uganda Ven’s project began in 2016 when he was awarded a £2,500 Small Research Grant by Southampton Business School. “I wanted to do something that would make a difference, in terms of climate change,” he said. “I initially started to investigate addressing the issue of greenhouse gases but quickly that progressed to sustainability reporting, as that looks at the bigger picture.” Ven Tauringana (centre) with Martin Kyeyune (2nd right) and members of Makerere University Business School and the Uganda Manufacturers’ Association

“ Sustainability reporting is a way of companies taking a look at themselves holistically and setting goals for the future whilst making a commitment to a sustainable global economy.” Ven Tauringana Head of Department of Accounting and Professor of Accounting

A former PhD student of Ven’s, Dr Martin Kyeyune, now works for Roofings Ltd, a large manufacturing company in Uganda and a member of the Uganda Manufacturers’ Association. Ven approached Martin, and the work in Uganda grew from there. Ven visited Uganda in 2016 and ran workshops with 25 companies to show them how to do sustainability reporting. He then returned in 2018 and visited three companies who had begun their sustainability reporting journey. Ven visited again in July. “I wanted to speed up the process,” he said. “By chance, I met three academics from Makerere University who were interested in what I was doing. I was able to train them, and I now employ them to visit companies and help them get underway with their sustainability reports.” On this visit, Ven also appeared on the Business Today show on UBC (Uganda Broadcasting Corporation), where he spoke about sustainability reporting and how important it is for businesses. The Uganda Manufacturers’ Association has seen the success and impact of sustainability reporting, endorsing Ven’s work by introducing a Sustainability Quality Mark, which was launched in October. Ven said: “The quality mark demonstrates a company’s commitment to sustainability and, I believe, will become a necessity if a company wishes to export.” The future With 60 companies in Uganda trained in sustainability reporting already, Ven’s current target is for 100 Ugandan companies to have submitted sustainability reports to GRI by March 2020. Beyond that, Ven hopes the initiative will roll out to other African countries. He concluded: “In a few years’ time, my prediction is that it will be a win-win situation. Companies in the UK and other countries won’t have to physically go and see companies overseas – they will be able to see by searching on Global Reporting Initiative database which companies are producing sustainability reports. It will drastically cut advertising costs for companies overseas – this is effectively a free advertising platform for them.”



DRONE RESEARCH FLIES HIGH From safely dropping aid into remote villages, to monitoring the Amazon for devastating forest fires, to daily trips to an active volcano’s crater to assess the danger – drones are fast becoming lifesavers. Three exciting research projects are at the cusp of changing lives for the better by breaking new ground in the field of unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs. ULTRA ULTRA (Unmanned Low-cost TRAnsport) is a UAV, or drone, with a difference. Many differences, in fact. ULTRA is the UK’s heaviest non-military UAV, weighing in at 350 kilos. It’s powered by an industrial engine (and has two on board for reliability). It can fly for 1,000 kilometres at a time, at speeds of up to 100kph. It’s low cost to build and maintain. And it’s a humanitarian aid aircraft. Funded philanthropically through a charity called Windracers, a team of five postdoctoral engineering researchers, led by Professor Jim Scanlan, has been developing ULTRA. Jim, Professor of Aerospace Design, said: “Windracers approached us to see if we could develop something to help with delivering food aid in South Sudan. Huge bags of rice, corn and maize get to the country really efficiently, but once they arrive at a transport warehouse they have to be delivered to lots of tiny, remote villages. The aid can’t go by road as there is no infrastructure, so it has to go by air. The cheapest way to do that, currently, is using Russian ex-military aircraft, which fly at 5,000 feet and throw the aid out of the back. As a result, you either have to equip it with a parachute, which is expensive, or risk waste from bags splitting on impact. Either way it is still a very expensive way of distributing aid.”

ULTRA in flight

To address the problem, ULTRA has been designed. “It’s as easy to load as a hatchback car,” said Jim. “You don’t need any special skills to operate it – you basically load it up and press ‘go’.” ULTRA is capable of airdropping and landing on rough strips of land. “Because it’s unmanned, it can fly very low and very slow so bags of aid can be dropped without parachutes,” explained Jim. “It will be the lowest cost way of delivering food and other aid to remote communities where there isn’t a road network.” The team at Southampton has also developed the avionics – the brain on board. Jim said: “You upload a mission, giving instructions on where to fly, where to land, where to drop off aid, and what to do if there is a problem such as an engine failure or bad weather.”

Students with ULTRA


A prototype of ULTRA has been built and is currently undergoing an extensive programme of test flights. Once finalised, Windracers is planning to commission hundreds of ULTRA aircraft for use in countries where aid needs to be distributed.

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Students Rebecca Toomey and Jack Sivyer asking locals about the different types of trees

PROJECT IPANEMA Project IPANEMA is about empowering the local communities in the Brazilian Amazon. IPANEMA (Indigenous Production of robotic Aircraft using Natural and Environmentally-friendly Materials from and for the Amazon region) has two main aims. Firstly, to build a drone that can be used to monitor and spot forest fires, and secondly, to give local people the chance to make a living. This project came about through the Amazon Charitable Trust (ACT). Jim said: “The ACT wants to provide local people with a way of spotting fires early enough that they can do something about them. The trust also wants to make sure that local people can make a living without cutting down the rainforest, and has a vision that local people could sell environmental data from the Amazon to research organisations around the world.” An aircraft built out of local materials that can be operated and maintained by local people is in the early stages of design. “We could provide a sophisticated carbon fibre aircraft for them, but that’s not desirable for many reasons,” said Jim. “It wouldn’t be made of sustainable materials, it’s relatively expensive, and it couldn’t be maintained locally.” A group of four undergraduates travelled to the village of Xixuau in the Amazon for three weeks this summer to carry out research into local materials that could be used to make the aircraft. They travelled into the jungle and were guided by local people, and they are working closely with students at the Federal University of Amazonas in Manaus (UFAM). The design, manufacture and manual flight of the prototype is being done at Southampton, and the payload and autopilot work is being done at UFAM.

The group is also investigating fuel options. “Battery technology is a problem as the batteries don’t last long,” explained Jim. “Using alcohol from sugar cane to power small internal combustion engines could be a sustainable way of powering these aircraft. We haven’t got the solutions yet.” Rebecca Toomey, fourth year Mechanical Engineering with Aerospace student, was one of the team to visit Xixuau. She said: “I am excited to be working on this unique project that combines the technology of a drone with the natural environment of the Amazon rainforest. Going to Xixuau was an incredible opportunity to get to know the local people and understand how a drone can help them, particularly to protect the village from forest fires. This motivates us to create a successful prototype that can make a difference for the community.” The other students working on the project are Craig Thompson and Jack Sivyer, both studying Aerospace, Priscilla Ting and Alberto Bosco, both studying Mechanical Engineering with Aerospace, and Gaia Battezzati, studying Mechanical Engineering with Renewable Energies. By May 2020, the students’ goal is to have designed, built and testflown a prototype unmanned aircraft.

“ I am excited to be working on this unique project that combines the technology of a drone with the natural environment of the Amazon rainforest.” Rebecca Toomey Fourth year Mechanical Engineering with Aerospace student

Feature continued overleaf J



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PROJECT AVM The Guatemalan volcano Fuego has wreaked havoc and devastation on the small Central American country in recent years. In June 2018, several hundred people were killed and the village of San Miguel Los Lotes was destroyed when Fuego erupted. With almost continuous small eruptions and the occasional big eruption, local people are living in fear and uncertainty.

Mario is working in partnership with the University of Bristol, where volcanologists and engineers have been working with the National Institute of Volcanology in Guatemala for two decades. The Universities of Southampton and Bristol have already collaborated on a volcano monitoring project as part of the CASCADE project. The expertise at Southampton will help the team to develop a drone with remote sensing capabilities, and with greater range and endurance.

In addition, volcanic ash can damage aeroplane engines, so La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City is frequently forced to close.

“This project has the potential to fulfil several long-term ambitions for Guatemala and the surrounding regions,” added Mario. “It will help to inform the local community living in the shadow of Fuego. It will also help limit the economic impact of volcanic eruptions on aviation traffic. And it will provide an example for drones to be used for similar monitoring activities elsewhere.”

So how could a drone help? An automatic unmanned aircraft could regularly travel to the crater to monitor volcanic activity and provide a better understanding of the eruptions and ash clouds propagation – and therefore save lives. Project AVM (Autonomous Volcano Monitoring) kicked off earlier this year thanks to £50,000 worth of funding from the Global Challenges Research Fund and is working to develop a purpose-built drone that can be operated and maintained by the local people in Guatemala. Dr Mario Ferraro, Senior Enterprise Fellow within Engineering and Physical Sciences, is leading the project. He said: “Continuous monitoring of the volcano is extremely valuable, both for safety and scientific reasons. The use of unmanned aerial systems allows scientists to safely collect samples and make close-up observations. However, the nature of the terrain surrounding the volcano, the lack of infrastructures for take-off and landing, and the necessity to keep a safe distance from the crater represent a big challenge for the existing drone technology. “We are planning to develop a fully autonomous drone that takes off and lands vertically, has an adequate range and payload capacity, and can be operated locally in Guatemala.”

“ Continuous monitoring of the volcano is extremely valuable, both for safety and scientific reasons. The use of unmanned aerial systems allows scientists to safely collect samples and make close-up observations.” Dr Mario Ferraro Senior Enterprise Fellow within Engineering and Physical Sciences


The project is aiming to build a prototype and run a series of test flights in Guatemala by summer 2020, then spend the following two to four years refining the system and gathering data of the Fuego volcanic activity.

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“ WUN promotes international collaboration. The funding opportunities released by WUN enable face-to-face meetings, workshops and other initiatives to spark creativity and engagement in collaborative research.” Maria Norton Senior International Partnerships Manager

As part of our position as a global university, the University of Southampton is a founding member of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN).

The University has long-standing research links with Ghana in areas including infectious diseases, maternal health and health interventions – but this is fast growing into something bigger.

Now with 23 members on six continents, WUN members work in partnership to tackle four global challenges:

Our relationship with the University of Ghana, a fellow WUN member, is deepening and as a strategic partner we can develop closer ties.

• • • •

“The aim is to bring research and funding opportunities to both parties,” explained Maria Norton, Senior International Partnerships Manager.

Climate change Public health Understanding cultures Global higher education and research

WUN provides pump priming opportunities and builds academics’ profiles and networks internationally. Projects can bid for £10,000 from WUN, which is match-funded by the academics’ own universities. The University has been involved in more than 70 WUN projects since 2002.

Together, Southampton and Ghana are working on three key areas where collaboration opportunities have been identified: • Data science and Artificial Intelligence • Materials science • Research management and governance

Maria Norton, Senior International Partnerships Manager, said: “WUN promotes international collaboration. The funding opportunities released by WUN enable face-to-face meetings, workshops and other initiatives to spark creativity and engagement in collaborative research.”

A Vice Chancellor-led delegation from the University of Ghana visited Southampton in July. They toured the Zepler Institute and the Boldrewood Innovation Campus, and met academics to learn about the work Southampton is doing in the fields of AI, statistics, materials science and infrastructure.

WUN is run by a secretariat in Switzerland, which arranges the AGM and panels to review funding applications.

A return visit to Ghana is planned for a delegation from Southampton in December.

“ The aim is to bring research and funding opportunities to both parties.” Maria Norton Senior International Partnerships Manager


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Spotlight on…

SPOTLIGHT ON… ORCID ID ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher in the world. ORCID also supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities, ensuring that your work is recognised.

“ The maintenance of our scientific identity is important. For someone like me, with a relatively common name, the chances of confusion are non-trivial.” Professor James W Anderson Associate Dean Education in the Faculty of Social Sciences


An ORCID ID is a unique 16-digit identifier that you can use to clearly distinguish yourself from other researchers and reliably connect you with your own professional affiliations and contributions. It is free to register and ORCID IDs are now embedded in over 500 systems globally, spanning manuscript submission, grant application and research information management including Pure. Dr Steven Vidovic, Open Research Development Manager in the Library, explains some of the benefits of ORCID for Southampton staff and researchers: “ORCID is working with many system providers to deliver on its mission statement, “one entry, many uses” which is great! As a researcher, I have experienced the benefits of using an ORCID first-hand while compiling my CV and submitting manuscripts to journals. Also, as the manager of the University’s Institutional Repository team, I have seen many problems with individual research records that could be avoided by better author engagement with ORCID. It’s by no means just another system to log into because it can reduce the need to update some of the systems you’re already using, or given the right permissions, your favourite system can update ORCID!”.

Professor James W Anderson, Associate Dean Education in the Faculty of Social Sciences, is an advocate for ORCID. He said: “The maintenance ‘The maintenance of our scientific identity is important. For someone like me, with a relatively common name, the chances of confusion are non-trivial. While this isn’t an issue for me as a mathematician, a quick Google search for ‘James W Anderson papers’ picks up a medical researcher of diabetes and diet at the University of Kentucky; a computer scientist at the University of California, San Diego; and a clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioural sciences in the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern. And this isn’t taking into account the instances of James Anderson with a different middle initial or no middle initial. I’m glad that ORCID has come along to allow us to differentiate ourselves and perhaps to help ensure that we don’t get referee assignments intended for one of the others amongst us, as happened to me on one occasion.” For more information on ORCID or to sign up please visit

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QS RANKINGS What is QS and what are its rankings? Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) is a global higher education company which publishes the QS World University Rankings (QSWUR). QS uses its data and surveys to publish several different rankings. These rankings are very important to us at Southampton, particularly QS World University Rankings (QS-WUR), which ranks individual institutions, and QS-WUR by subject, which ranks institutions according to their performance in each subject, because both demonstrate our considerable strengths in these areas. Around the world the QS rankings are reviewed and appraised by potential students, academics, partner organisations and governmental funding agencies. Our performance in league tables such as the QS has a very significant impact on the University. This year, the University of Southampton performed well in QS World Rankings by Subject, with several subject areas placing in the top 50 globally. These included Nursing, Earth and Marine Sciences, Statistics and Operational Research and Archaeology. These results help to build on the University’s strong showing in the QS World University Rankings 2020 where Southampton maintained its place amongst the world’s top 100 institutions at 97th overall.

How does it work? The University’s performance to feature in the world’s top 100 is powered principally by its continued improvement in reputational rating amongst academic peers and employers around the world and good scores for research citations. Academic reputation This metric makes the largest contribution to the QS-WUR, at 40% (this percentage varies by subject in the QS-WUR by Subject). QS asks academic respondents to identify two subjects in which they consider themselves expert, followed by the institutions that they consider to be excellent within one of five subject areas. Employer reputation This is the other metric that involves QS survey results, contributing 10% to the QS-WUR (and a percentage varying from 10-30% in the QS-WUR by Subject). QS asks employer respondents (which can come from multiple people in any one employer) to identify universities that they consider to be excellent for the recruitment of graduates, as well as the disciplines from which they tend to recruit. As with the

academic survey, employers register then QS sends them a link to the survey once it is live. Why is it important? We strive to do well in the rankings for the benefit of the entire University environment. This includes: • Diversity of student cohort – globally, QS is one of the most highly consulted rankings • Increased institutional reputation and choice as a partner • Improved staff recruitment • Southampton is a student’s first choice for their destination • Can assist with grant funding or support from companies • Without a good ranking Southampton may lose students who are sponsored by their government to study overseas, as they are often restricted to only very highly ranked universities (e.g. top 100).


Top 100 University


News in brief




Pure, the University’s current research information system, has surpassed the landmark of 150,000 research outputs.

In 2019 the University of Southampton was ranked 12th in the world in the new Times Higher Education Impact rankings, which measure progress against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to rank institutions from across the globe.

Research and Innovation Services has recently introduced a role that places a focus on the University’s efforts to participate in the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and other overseas development research.

The University has now demonstrated its commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by signing the SDG Accord.

Dominic Mikulski has joined the RIS team as Research Funding Officer for GCRF.

In 2018, that was an average of 425 research outputs (including journal articles, conference proceedings, book chapters, working papers and theses) being uploaded every single month – a reflection of the amount of research being conducted across the University. Pure, which was adopted by the University in 2017, is connected to our public-facing institutional repository ePrints Soton. The ePrints software was created at Southampton in 2000 as one of the first open source digital repository platforms. There have been over 26 million downloads from ePrints Soton, with more than 210,000 downloads in October 2019. Steven Vidovic, Open Research Development Manager, said: “At Southampton, we have a long history of advocating open research practices and had a policy of open access ahead of when it became a requirement through REF in 2014. “Open access to research is now a requirement of REF because it’s beneficial to engage with open research policies. It increases the visibility of research, and boosts the potential for citations and collaborations. It also increases the chances of research being carried forward and developed further by other research groups. Also, if your research is funded by public money, the public should be able to benefit by having the most up-to-date research publically available. It’s also ethically correct that research is open access – for example, it can prevent the repetition of clinical trials.” More information about open access is available on the Library’s website. 26

The Accord is the university and college sector’s collective response to the global goals. Signing it means the University is showing a commitment to embedding the SDGs into our education, research, leadership, operations, administration and engagement activities. There are currently 1,045 signatories on the Accord, across 85 countries. This includes 110 institutions, 16 students’ unions, as well as individuals and endorsing partners.

His role is as a principal line of support on GCRF and other ODA (Official Development Assistance)-relevant activity through supporting proposal developments, liaising with funders, partners and other stakeholders, providing advice to academic and project staff, and promoting the University’s international research activity.

Professor Rachel Mills, Dean of the Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences, signed the Accord on behalf of the University.

“The GCRF and other ODA funding programmes provide a welcome opportunity to drive progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, although working towards development-oriented objectives presents a complex, multidimensional set of challenges,” said Dominic. “By supporting the implementation of the University’s ODA-GCRF strategy, my role is able to play a key part in helping to ensure these challenges are addressed accordingly.”

She said: “I signed the Accord on 19 September to mark the day that the University of Southampton community supported the global Climate Strike (pictured above). This huge day of globally coordinated action is a response to the requirement for urgent action for delivery of the SDGs. Signing the Accord is a measure of our commitment to this urgent action and will allow us to measure our progress.”

Dominic joined from the University of Bristol, where he completed an MSc in International Development and assisted in developing and implementing policies and procedures related to GCRF activities. Prior to that he was based in East Africa for four years, where he managed a research institute specialising in public health interventions.

As a signatory, the University will be asked to submit evidence of its work towards the SDGs every year.

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IN FOCUS: PUBLIC POLICY|SOUTHAMPTON PP|S manages the University’s affiliation with the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP) Fellowship Programme. CSaP Policy Fellows are senior policymakers invited to visit the University to discuss evidence needs in relation to their professional interests. PP|S organises meetings for researchers and policymakers to discuss policy issues, build networks and explore future collaboration opportunities. Evidence supply PP|S is recognised by UKRI as a research facility and can be costed into Pathways to Impact statements to design and deliver impact activities. Services include development of a policy engagement strategy, production of policy briefs, stakeholder analysis, organisation of policy event and targeted meetings with policymakers. It is also involved in the University’s preparation of impact case studies, including seeking additional opportunities to enhance policy impact to strengthen existing projects. Public Policy|Southampton (PP|S) and the Public Engagement with Research unit (PERu) joined Research and Innovation Services (RIS) this summer. This brings the ‘Impact’ teams together under the RIS umbrella, enabling better planning and results when it comes to boosting the impact of research at the University. Here, we put the spotlight on PP|S to find out what they do and how they can support your research. In the next edition we will take the spotlight over to PERu, so stay tuned! Public Policy|Southampton (PP|S) is the University of Southampton’s public policy PP|S was the founding Chair of the Universities Policy Engagement Network (UPEN) now comprising over 40 UK universities. UPEN supports members to work together to increase the public policy impact of their research.

research facility, established to enhance the policy impact of research conducted here with local, national and international policymakers. PP|S supports evidence supply from researchers to policymakers, evidence demand from policymakers to the research community, and enhances policy engagement capacity within the University. Evidence demand PP|S has extensive connections at Whitehall and Westminster and plays an important role in building networks between researchers and Government departments, agencies and Parliament. It supports researchers in identifying and responding to Government Consultations and Parliamentary Inquiries, including preparing colleagues for giving oral evidence and arranging one-to-one briefings for civil servants.

Gavin Costigan, former PP|S Director and 2018–2019 UPEN Chair, said: “Being in the centre of UPEN from the start contributed in showcasing Southampton as a university with a significant quantity of excellent policy-relevant research. Ultimately, this should lead to an increase in both income and reputation.”

PP|S works with local and central government to identify secondments for University staff and PhD students into Government departments and local governments to work on specific projects. Policy Engagement PP|S runs policy training sessions help engage policymakers with research. Delivered by external and internal experts, these sessions can be taken in isolation based on specific needs or as a series providing the opportunity to gain a rounded view of what policy impact is, how to measure it and the tools and techniques needed to achieve it. To become a member of PP|S and receive the monthly newsletter, contact

Find out more: Twitter: @PublicPolicyUoS LinkedIn: publicpolicyuos Email:

Events: publicpolicy/news/events/ Website: publicpolicy


Research award highlights

RESEARCH AWARD HIGHLIGHTS FACULTY OF ARTS AND HUMANITIES Prof Denis McManus; School of Humanities Heidegger’s Way to ‘Being and Time’ – The Centenary Project – Part One British Academy; £9,745 over 24 months Prof Fraser Sturt; School of Humanities Islands of Stone: Artificial Islets in the Outer Hebrides AHRC; £550,065 over 42 months Prof Fraser Sturt; School of Humanities Daphne Jackson Trust Fellowship – (Dr Alexandra Karamitrou) – Remote Sensing and Machine learning for wreck identification Natural Environment Research Council; £68,060 over 24 months Dr Thomas Irvine; School of Humanities Jazz as Social Machine Alan Turing Institute; £74,611 over 12 months Prof Roumyana Slabakova; School of Humanities Moving from adult to child L3 acquisition: a look at early foreign language grammars ESRC; £89,550 over 12 months FACULTY OF MEDICINE Prof Stephen Holgate; Clinical and Experimental Sciences Application for Strategic Priorities Fund: Clean Air Champion Natural Environment Research Council; £317,669 over 34 months Dr Stephen Wootton; Human Development and Health Metabolic Dysregulation in Skeletal muscle and Adipose Following allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplant in children, teenagers and young adults Wellcome Trust; £49,412 over 12 months Prof Myron Christodoulides; Clinical and Experimental Sciences VALIDATE – Immunogenicity and protective efficacy of conserved Leishmania hypothetical proteins against visceral leishmaniasis MRC; £9,685 over 12 months Prof Keith Godfrey; Human Development and Health Benevolent AI Senescence Project BenevolentAl Bio Ltd; £25,188 over 1 month Prof Keith Godfrey; Human Development and Health Generation of well annotated epigenomic and transcriptomic data sets with respect to the human ageing phenotype for machine learning utilisation BenevolentAl Bio Ltd; £16,042 over 1 month Prof David Baldwin; Clinical and Experimental Sciences Feasibility and Acceptability of Transcranial Stimulatin in Obessive Compulsive Symptoms (FEATSOCS) National Institute of Health Research; £68,716 over 21 months Prof David Baldwin; Clinical and Experimental Sciences Huneke MRC CRTF – Investigating the mechanisms of placebo anxiolysis – Jan 19 MRC; £251,153 over 36 months Prof Hazel Inskip; Human Development and Health Cohort and Longitudinal Studies Enhancement Resources (CLOSER) ESRC; £10,664 over 18 months Prof James Batchelor; Cancer Sciences MRC UKRI – CHArMING: Control of Hypertension and diAbetes in MINas Gerais (September 2018) MRC; £295,098 over 60 months Prof Mark Cragg; Cancer Sciences BI-1206: non-clinical models Cancer Research UK; £10,065 over 6 months


Prof Peter Johnson; Cancer Sciences Funding to support a lecturer bioinformatics Cancer Research UK; £171,360 over 48 months Prof Peter Johnson; Cancer Sciences Molecular Profiling for Lymphoma Study Bloodwise; £98,000 over 36 months Prof Sarah Ennis; Human Development and Health Genomics of Peritoneal Malignancy including rare forms of Mesothelioma Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; £30,000 over 18 months Prof Karen Walker-Bone; Human Development and Health MRC Versus Arthritis Centre for Musculoskeletal Health and Work Versus Arthritis; £1,075,188 over 60 months Prof Tim Elliott; Cancer Sciences Pepdide editing in the MHC antigen processing pathway and its relevance to cancer Cancer Research UK; £1,774,828 over 60 months Prof Richard Holt; Human Development and Health Developing and evaluating a diabetes self-management intervention for people with severe mental illness: The DIAMONDS programme (Diabetes and Mental Illness, Improving Outcomes and Self-management) National Institute of Health Research; £79,514 over 69 months Prof Rohan Lewis; Human Development and Health Comparative placentology using nanoscale and three-dimensional imaging Leverhulme Trust; £177,310 over 36 months Prof Jane Lucas; Clinical and Experimental Sciences Genotype of patients with primary ciliary dyskinesia in a Palestinian cohort AAIR Charity; £10,000 over 24 months Dr Hans Haitchi; Clinical and Experimental Sciences FlexiVent System Support for Lung Function Studies in Murine Asthma Models AAIR Charity; £4,812 over 12 months Dr Juliet Gray; Cancer Sciences Understanding and improving the mechanism of action of anti-GD2 monoclonal antibody therapy in neuroblastoma Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group; £111,236 over 36 months Prof Timothy Underwood; Cancer Sciences Predicting response to neoadjuvant therapy from pre-treatment biopsies in oesophageal adenocarcinoma Cancer Research UK; £24,000 over 9 months Prof Timothy Underwood; Cancer Sciences Advanced machine learning to predict outcomes after oesophageal surgery Royal College of Surgeons; £66,820 over 12 months Prof Timothy Underwood; Cancer Sciences Advanced machine learning to predict outcomes after oesophageal surgery Royal College of Surgeons; £68,065 over 12 months Prof Graham Roberts; Human Development and Health NIHR RfPB via UHS: Breathing REtraining for Asthma Trial of Home Exercises for Teenagers (BREATHE4T); repurposing, optimisation, acceptability and feasibility National Institute of Health Research; £60,836 over 24 months Dr Christopher McCormick; Clinical and Experimental Sciences Production of antibodies for immunological detection of human rhinovirus infected cells AAIR Charity; £8,014 over 12 months Judit Varkonyi-Sepp, Hazel Inskip and Mary Barker; MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit Support for LifeLab to underpin EACH-B: a programme of research to improve the diets and physical activity levels of teenagers Public Health England; £44,633 over 10 months

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Dr Stuart Clarke; Clinical and Experimental Sciences Burdett Trust – Developing a care bundle for the frail elderly at risk of pneumonia The Burdett Trust for Nursing; £32,745 over 24 months Dr Mark Jones; Clinical and Experimental Sciences Dissecting fibrotic lung sarcoidosis to enable effective targeted treatment British Lung Foundation; £119,694 over 24 months

FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND LIFE SCIENCES Prof Lindy Holden-Dye; School of Biological Sciences An integrated strategy for control of animal and plant parasitic nematodes through targeting MOD-1 BBSRC; £533,073 over 36 months

Prof Andrew Davies; Cancer Sciences TAP Centre within TAP Network Cure Leukaemia; £150,000 over 36 months

Prof David Sear; School of Geography & Environmental Science Chasing the Rain?: Tracking the changing climate during the colonisation of Eastern Polynesia National Geographic Society; £23,059 over 12 months

Dr Cornelia Blume; Clinical and Experimental Sciences An in vitro infection model of cystric fibrosis: Is the lipid membrane profile of the airway epithelium linked to biofilm formation? British Lung Foundation; £25,000 over 24 months

Dr Maria Baker; School of Ocean and Earth Science Interdisciplinary Research Hubs to Address Intractable Challenges Faced by Developing Countries – One Ocean Hub RCUK; £24,303 over 60 months

Dr Kalyanaraman Kumaran; Human Development and Health MRC Global Health Nutrition Developmental Stage Grant; Mechanisms of intergenerational nutritional programming of non-communicable diseases in three countries: a Healthy Life Trajectories Initiative study MRC; £34,802 over 10 months

Prof Mary Edwards; School of Geography & Environmental Science Edwards British Council researcher workshop – new approaches to studying environmental change in Siberia British Council; £45,420 over 1 month

Dr Matthew Blunt; Clinical and Experimental Sciences Leuka (John Goldman Fellowship) – Activating killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors in B-cell malignancies: a therapeutic target Leuka; £119,056 over 24 months Dr Corine Driessens; Clinical and Experimental Sciences Wellbeing of individuals diagnosed with primary ciliary dyskinesia AAIR Charity; £6,160 over 14 months Dr David Cleary; Clinical and Experimental Sciences and Southampton NIHR Biomedical Research Centre Transcriptomics of host-microbiota interactions using direct dual-RNA-seq Wessex Medical Research; £19,727 over 24 months Dr David Cleary; Clinical and Experimental Sciences and Southampton NIHR Biomedical Research Centre Impact of Bordetella pertusis colonisation on the upper respiratory tract microbiome Imperial College; £57,995 over 6 months Dr Michael Head; Clinical Informatics Research Unit, Cancer Sciences Bringing near real-time data solutions to Mass Drug Administration in Ghana – progress towards elimination of Onchocerciasis Task Force for Global Health; £85,619 over 12 months Prof Joanne Lord; Wessex Institute Production of Technology Appraisal Reviews (TARs) for the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) – one year extension 2021-2022 National Institute of Health Research; £746,875 over 12 months Prof Joanne Lord; Wessex Institute Flagellin aerosol therapy as an immunomodulatory adjunct to the antibiotic treatment of drug-resistant bacterial pneumonia (FAIR) European Commission; £293,750 over 60 months

Prof Mary Edwards; School of Geography & Environmental Science 10-day visit to UK for 10 Russian ECRs for DNA metabarcoding workshop Foreign & Commonwealth Office; £54,186 over 20 months Dr Hanna Kovshoff; School of Psychology ERUK Epilepsy Surgery Pathway: The Lived Experience of Children with Epilepsy, their Parents and Siblings Epilepsy Research UK; £30,000 over 24 months Prof Claire Foster; School of Health Sciences with Prof Diana Eccles; Faculty of Medicine Awarded funding to lead Workpackage 4 of £4.1 million Cancer Research UK Catalyst Award – CanGen CanVar Tischkowitz; £363,297 over 60 months Prof Alberto Naveira Garabato; School of Ocean and Earth Science Quantifying Human Influence on Ocean Melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet RCUK; £195,562 over 36 months Prof Alberto Naveira Garabato; School of Ocean and Earth Science SO-CHIC – Southern Ocean Carbon and Heat Impact on Climate – H2020 European Commission; £587,589 over 48 months Prof Alberto Naveira Garabato; School of Ocean and Earth Science H2020 MSCA IF 2018 – A. Naveira Garabato European Commission; £179,947 over 24 months Prof Alberto Naveira Garabato; School of Ocean and Earth Science H2020 MSCA IF 2018 Alberto C Naveira Garabato – SO-CUP European Commission; £179,947 over 24 months Dr Ivan Haigh; School of Ocean and Earth Science H2020 ERC starting grant European Commission; £36,599 over 60 months

Dr Michael Mahmoudi; Human Development and Health DNA Repair in Patients with Stable Angina (DECODE II) Wessex Heartbeat; £14,000

Prof Joerg Wiedenmann (PI), Dr Cecilia D’Angelo (Co-I), Prof Paul Wilson (Co-I); School of Ocean and Earth Science Defining nutritional bottlenecks of reef corals growth and stress tolerance Natural Environment Research Council; £543,978 over 36 months

Dr Rachel Horton; Cancer Sciences But what is my result? Bioethical and clinical perspectives on the navigation process from raw genomic data to genomic results Wellcome Trust; £216,077 over 36 months

Dr Peter Worsley; School of Health Sciences A Novel Evaluation of Radiotherapy Positioning Boards: Optimising Safety in Design NIHR Surgery MedTech Co-operative Funding National Institute of Health Research; £10,000 over 9 months


Research award highlights Prof Felix Eigenbrod; School of Geography & Environmental Science ADVANCES (ADVancing Analysis of Natural Capital in LandscapE DecisionS) Natural Environment Research Council; £51,913 over 24 months

Prof Neil Bressloff; School of Engineering Design and direct metal laser sintering of replacement heart valves EPSRC; £474,978 over 36 months

Dr Jasmin Godbold; School of Ocean and Earth Science Effects of environmental context on species trait expression in moderating projections of marine ecosystem futures Natural Environment Research Council; £431,622 over 36 months

Prof Periklis Petropoulos; Zepler Institute for Photonics and Nanoelectronics National Dark Fibre Infrastructure Facility EPSRC; £355,916 over 60 months

Prof Andrew Tatem; WorldPop, School of Geography & Environmental Science H2020 MOnitoring Outbreak events for Disease surveillance in a data science context (MOOD) European Commission; £279,711 over 48 months

Dr Stephen Phillips; School of Electronics and Computer Science Cyber security academic start-up accelerator programme (phase 2) DCMS; £59,342 over 5 months

Dr Marc Rius; School of Ocean and Earth Science MSP Research Initiative: Invasive Species European Maritime and Fisheries Fund grant; £54,611 over 24 months Dr Jessica Whiteside, Associate Professor of Organic Geochemistry, School of Ocean and Earth Science Destabilisation of the terrestrial biosphere during past warm climates Royal Society; £602,859 over 60 months. (This is a Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship for incoming PDRA Gordon Inglis) Dr Rachel Owen and Dr Hannah Siddle; School of Biological Sciences Exploiting MHC class I expression to develop peptide vaccination strategies against two independent contagious cancers in the Tasmanian devil Morris Animal Foundation; £38,425 over 12 months Prof Samuele Cortese; School of Psychology Gathering unpublished, individual patient data from RCTs of ADHD medications NIHR Research Capability Funding, Solent NHS Trust; £17,420 over 7 months FACULTY OF ENGINEERING AND PHYSICAL SCIENCES

Dr Stuart Middleton; School of Electronics and Computer Science Automated Multilingual Information Extraction for Online Cybercrime Sites (CYShadowWatch) Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL); £116,405 over 12 months Prof Malcolm Levitt; School of Chemistry Atomic and Molecular Endofullerenes: Spins in a box EPSRC; £1,179,732 over 42 months Dr Antonios Zervos; School of Engineering The Application of Micro-Mechanical Research on Coarse Grained Soils to Create an “Avatar” Railway Ballast EPSRC; £179,926 over 36 months Prof Simon Spearing; School of Engineering Read UKRI SEE-PER Extension Funding – Enhancing the take up of training and CPD for PER UK Research and Innovation; £44,056 over 6 months Prof Paul Kemp; School of Engineering H2020-ITN-RIBES European Commission; £421,400 over 48 months

Prof Dame Wendy Hall; School of Electronics and Computer Science PETRAS 2.0 EPSRC; £277,961 over 51 months

Prof Sarvapali Ramchurn; School of Electronics and Computer Science PowerTower: Optimising cell tower placement for rural communities using deep learning and remote sensing Research England; £86,769 over 12 months

Prof Jeremy Frey; School of Chemistry Local Treasures KTP Innovate UK; £121,605 over 24 months

Prof Geoff Merrett; School of Electronics and Computer Science International Centre for Spatial Computation EPSRC; £377,063 over 36 months

Prof Jeremy Frey; School of Chemistry Local Treasures UoS KTP Local Treasures Ltd; £65,895 over 24 months

Prof Liudi Jiang; School of Engineering Pocket CPR-intelligent-feedback-technology to improve delivery of chest compressions British Heart Foundation; £256.7K project total/£124,624 to Southampton over 24 months

Dr Imogen Gingell; School of Physics and Astronomy The impact of magnetic reconnection on the dynamics and energetics of collisionless shock waves Royal Society University Research Fellowship; £406,193 over 60 months Prof Sonia Heaven; School of Engineering Carbon Recycling: Converting Waste Derived GHG into Chemicals, Fuels and Animal Feed (CCnet) BBSRC; £28,106 over 60 months

Dr James Pilgrim; School of Electronics and Computer Science EAT – Economic Ageing of Transformers National Grid Company PLC; £446,814 over 18 months Dr Adam Sobey; School of Engineering Marine-Maritime Group Leadership Turing – Data-Centric Engineering Programme Lloyds Register Foundation; £138,378 over 15 months

Prof Thomas Cherrett; School of Engineering Flipping the gig-economy: transforming parcel workforces towards sustainable and inclusive futures EPSRC; £215,498 over 24 months

Prof Xunli Zhang; School of Engineering. Dr Eugen Stulz; School of Chemistry DSTL PhD on Novel materials Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL); £122,275 over 36 months

Prof Martin Browne; School of Engineering Anatomically Precise Revolutionary Implant for bone Conserving Osteoarthritis Treatment (APRICOT) European Commission; £552,741 over 48 months

Dr Vasileios Apostolopoulos; School of Physics and Astronomy Tantala Micro-ring Resonator Platform for Compact Femto-comb Generation – Supplement EPSRC; £6,744 over 4 months

Dr Gary Wills; School of Electronics and Computer Science UoS Execview KTP Innovate UK; £125,625 over 24 months

Dr Thanassis Tiropanis; School of Electronics and Computer Science NoBIAS: Artificial Intelligence without Bias European Commission; £606,692 over 48 months

Prof Andrew Keane; School of Engineering UTC for Computational Engineering Core Purchase Order Rolls Royce PLC; £208,064 over 36 months

Dr Daniel Whiter; School of Physics and Astronomy How does the aurora heat the upper atmosphere? Natural Environment Research Council; £529,819 over 60 months


For further information, visit:

Dr Long Tran-Thanh; School of Electronics and Computer Science GLASS – A SPRINT project application Research England; £28,451 over 4 months

Prof David White; School of Engineering Establishment of Cyprus Marine & Maritime Institute: Horizon 2020 Widening European Commission; £1,050,000 over 84 months

Dr Andrew Vowles; School of Engineering The medium term impact of Eurasian beaver activity on fish communities in Southern England Devon Wildlife Trust; £4,589 over 3 months

Dr Sheida Afshan; School of Engineering Transforming lives through low-cost housing – Case study of Uganda and Indonesia Royal Academy of Engineering, Frontiers of Development; £20,000 over 12 months

Dr Andrew Vowles; School of Engineering Impact of Artificial Light at Night (ALAN) on the fine-scale behaviour of downstream migrating European eel The Fisheries Society of the British Isles (FSBI); £4,619 over 6 months Dr Basel Halak; School of Electronics and Computer Science Securing Hardware Supply Chain With an Unforgeable Root of Trust Royal Academy of Engineering; £27,958 over 12 months Dr Frederic Gardes; Zepler Institute for Photonics and Nanoelectronics H2020 PlasmoniAC European Commission; €465,777 over 36 months Dr Mohammed El-Hajjar; School of Electronics and Computer Science Intelligent Holographic Massive MIMO Transceiver Design Royal Academy of Engineering; £20,969 over 12 months Prof Andrew Cruden; School of Engineering Supergen Storage Network Plus 2019 EPSRC; £17,592 over 48 months Prof Simone De Liberato; School of Physics and Astronomy Philip Leverhulme Prize Leverhulme Trust; £100,000 over 36 months Prof Simone De Liberato; School of Physics and Astronomy Mid-infrared phonon polariton light emitting devices Leverhulme Trust; £110,975 over 24 months Dr Jack Denny; School of Engineering Opportunities for improving preparedness and resilience to urban explosive violence Royal Academy of Engineering; £16,526 over 12 months Dr Simon Lane; School of Chemistry Surface enhanced Raman spectrospic Imaging for non-invasive real-time monitoring of embryonic metabolic rate in assisted reproduction Wessex Medical Trust; £19,185 over 4 months Dr Francesco Shankar; School of Physics and Astronomy A smart algorithm for optimising hypertension management strategies Alan Turing Institute; £87,817 over 12 months

FACULTY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES Mr Carmine Ornaghi; School of Economic, Social and Political Sciences Ornaghi – ESRC Mergers and Inventors Productivity in Pharma ESRC; £312,556 over 30 months Dr Elisabeth Schroeder-Butterfill; Faculty of Social Sciences Care networks in later life: A comparative study of five communities in Indonesia using ethnography and surveys Economic and Social Research Council; £644,496 over 30 months. Prof Joerg Fliege; School of Mathematical Sciences Mitigation of Cloud Shadows in Airborne Imagery Research England; £26,537 over 6 months Prof Jakub Bijak; School of Economic, Social and Political Sciences H2020 – RIA MIGRATION-01-2019 – Migration Scenarios – Quantifying Migration Scenarios for Better Policy European Commission; €3,174,860 over 36 months, of which £836,093 to Southampton. Dr Carmen Lopez; Southampton Business School Does an influencer have to exist to be authentic? British Academy; £9,300 over 24 months Dr Brendon Mcconnell; School of Economic, Social and Political Sciences A Unified Approach to Measuring the costs of Violent Crime Risk ESRC; £242,299 over 24 months Dr Bhakti Onggo; Southampton Business School Designing a resilient food supply network for natural disasters in West Java Indonesia using simulation optimisation method EPSRC; £251,844 over 24 months

This list encompasses a selection of awards logged with University of Southampton Finance from June to September 2019 that are not considered commercially sensitive.

Dr Alberto Politi; School of Physics and Astronomy Quantum Emitters for Telecommunication in the O-Band European Commission; £299,958 over 36 months Dr Caitriona Jackman; School of Physics and Astronomy Machine Learning For Space Physics Science And Technology Facilities Council; £89,888 over 12 months Dr Chaitanya Paruchuri; School of Engineering Characterisation and control of tip noise in ducted fans Royal Academy of Engineering; £499,969 over 60 months Dr Christina Vanderwel; School of Engineering Simulating urban air pollution in the lab UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship; £762,531 over 48 months Dr Mark Fletcher; School of Engineering Clinical and home assessment of spatial hearing using virtual acoustics The Oticon Foundation; £79,953 over 12 months Prof Susan Gourvenec; School of Engineering Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Technologies – Intelligent & Resilient Ocean Engineering Royal Academy of Engineering; £2,780,000 over 120 months


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