Case Studies: The Academic Perspective

A late career research student experience

ANDREW ROGERS A LATE CAREER RESEARCH STUDENT EXPERIENCE I took the long way around to get to my PhD research. The journey started with 25 years working in Public Health; a move into the private sector as a business consultant; the odd excursion to work with the WHO or UN in the Balkans, Central Europe… Read more »

Innovations in soil health analysis

Digging an experimental pit

ROB BROWN INNOVATIONS IN SOIL HEALTH ANALYSIS Soil is a finite and non-renewable resource. It is key to providing a wide range of goods and services such as sustainable food production for a growing population and resilience against climate change. However, increasing the intensity at which we are using soil resources is beginning to cause… Read more »

The geographies of place for tenant participation in the housing association sector: A case study of Merthyr Tydfil, Wales

Tom Lambourne

Tom Lambourne is currently in the final year of his ESF-funded KESS 2 PhD in Human Geography at the University of South Wales, and has been conducting research into tenant participation in the housing association sector in Wales. The partner organisation is Merthyr Tydfil Housing Association (MTHA), based in Merthyr Tydfil. The organisation is a… Read more »

Welsh scientists are helping to keep our food healthy, safe and sustainable

Kirstie Goggin in the lab

Much of our food in the UK is sourced via often-complex supply chains involving numerous producers and processors from around the world. Unfortunately this can lead to illicit and/or unethical practices as some food ingredients may be contaminated by adulterants or obtained from undesirable sources. Recent examples include the use or horsemeat instead of beef… Read more »

Novel Packaging Solutions for the Freeze-Drying of Specialist Pharmaceuticals (The Academic Perspective)

Cardiff Metropolitan University has recently had its first KESS PhD completion; the project developed novel packaging solutions for the freeze-drying of specialist pharmaceuticals. The KESS student, Dr Chris Cherry, was based at the host company, MicroPharm Ltd in West Wales. The academic supervision for the project was provided jointly by The National Centre for Product Design & Development Research (PDR) and The Cardiff School of Health Sciences (CSHS); both academic schools are based on Cardiff Met’s Llandaff Campus. The KESS project covered the science of mass and heat transfer characterisation through to the challenges of maintaining sterility and containment within a freeze dryer. This research project delivered a very successful PhD in just over three years. In addition, the collaborative nature of the project has derived a range of supplementary benefits for the student, company and university. This case study describes the chronology of the KESS project, and attempts to capture the tangible (and intangible) benefits to the three main parties.

Read more »

Novel Approaches to the treatment of Raynaud’s phenomenon (The Academic Perspective)

The KESS project essentially looked at the provision of a better glove; the problem with most gloves is that they tend to be randomly made up of the materials available at that time. There are some very good glove materials available on the market, but consideration needs to be taken when looking at the combinations and the creations of the gloves.

As part of the KESS project we looked to generate a test which is less destructive and better for the patient/subject, while at the same time giving us the same information so we have that aspect, which means that the people/the end user will be benefitting. The project has created a test bed that we can use, and created a good link with the Raynaud’s and Scleroderma association who are the main beneficiaries to some extent. It’s tested and produced a methodology to test gloves and from that we have managed to get the data in.

Read more »

Activity patterns in mammals: what are the costs of rehabilitation? (The Academic Perspective)

The impact for the RSPCA has been significant in that they have been able to review their rehabilitation and release strategies based on the work we have done together. This means more effective and successful care for Badgers in the future but also, the RSPCA (and other organisations) have a framework for best practise for the reintroduction of any rehabilitated animals.

As a result of the public engagement work we have undertaken, such as appearing on television and radio, the profiles of both the RSPCA and Swansea University have been raised. Improving public awareness of environmental issues is an important outcome of projects such as this, with not only societal impact, but future economic impact as it leads to improved student recruitment to the university.

Read more »

Influence of recovery modalities on Neuromuscular and Endocrine function in professional rugby players (The Academic Perspective)

Student: Marc Rhys Jones Company: Llanelli RFC Limited Academic Supervisor: Dr Liam Kilduff & N J Owen Characterising the Impact of Competition on Players Sleep and Recovery Profiles The Project Marc Rhys Jones’ PhD looked at characterising the impact of competition on players sleep and recovery profiles with his results allowing the Scarlets to have… Read more »

Mary Richards (Darowen) and the collection of traditional Welsh folk songs (The Academic Perspective)

The project provided the opportunity to reveal music from the past with great benefits for present day Welsh culture and music, highlighting aspects of Welsh music that has never been seen, heard or performed before in Wales.

The collection of 88 folk songs from the 19th Century had been archived in the National Library in Aberystwyth. Through Leila’s KESS PhD project in conjunction with Curiad Music this collection was published for the first time.

Read more »

Anaerobic Digestion: its potential to improve the economic and environmental performance of organic farming systems (The Academic Perspective)


What this project did that was different from other projects was that it placed an economic value on the environmental benefits that anaerobic digestion can offer over the short term. Over the long term, this type of work has the potential to offer wider societal benefits, for instance an improvement in water quality; this in turn can affect the tourism industry, water companies and so on. In addition to this is of course the fact that anaerobic digestion provides a source of renewable energy, reducing CO2 emissions.
There are many people who can benefit financially from the results of this research, the taxpayer benefits, as do large, medium and small private companies; so there are many economic and environmental advantages and I think that this is highlighted in the project.

Read more »