Monthly news bulletin - Issue 1/2014

Prof. Richard CleggWelcome everybody to our first monthly update from the Lloyd's Register Foundation. We hope you find it useful and would welcome your feedback as well as any suggestions for future news items. We're aiming at a broad audience including the Foundation's grant holders, our research community, and our colleagues in the Lloyd's Register group. 

In line with our charitable aims, the Foundation strives to maximise the impact and benefit from the work we fund, for the benefit of society. Communication plays a key role in this, so we hope you find this first newsletter helpful and inspiring.

In this our first edition, we want to get over the message that the Foundation has moved on from publishing its strategy and putting the necessary housekeeping in place, and has commenced major grant giving. We've got exciting activities under way aligned with the major themes in our strategy, which we look forward to sharing with you and receiving feedback.

Professor Richard Clegg, Managing Director, Lloyd’s Register Foundation

Developing new research directions

In September, grant holders from around the world came together at the Foundation’s Research Colloquium. The Foundation supports diverse research groups across a range of disciplines but our shared goal to enhance safety of life and property gave participants fresh insights and helped us all understand the impact of our research. Discussion sessions focused on the Foundation’s research priorities and strategic themes, with participants providing valuable inputs to our future plans. One outcome has been that we have allocated funding to ensure that capability built up in existing research teams can be focussed onto our new strategic priorities. Colloquium presentations can be found here on our website.

Looking ahead: Nanotechnology and big data

The Foundation will increasingly take a more directed approach to its research funding, placing open calls aligned to its funding priorities. An example of this was the our recent call for proposals in nanotechnology arising from the publication of the foresight report in nanotechnology. We expect to publish the next foresight report, on the subject of big data, in December. An update on this and on the outcome of the nanotechnology call will be given in future newsletters.

The future of structural integrity 

Structural Integrity Research Foundation (SIRF)
(L to R) Christoph Wiesner, Laura Vivar,  and Dr Jan Przydatek

In June the Foundation committed its first major investment under the new strategy - a £15m grant to the Structural Integrity Research Foundation (SIRF). This grant supports delivery of our structural integrity and systems performance funding priority. Over a 10-year period we will help set the strategic direction for SIRF and will fund at least 83 structural integrity PhD studentships. We are excited to announce that on 13 October we welcomed our first PhD student, Laura Vivar from Spain. Laura will be investigating the influence of nano-additives on corrosion resistance in smart wet film coatings for steel structures under the academic supervision of Prof Anne Neville from Leeds University in the UK, facilitation by TWI and industrial mentoring from  the Lloyd’s Register group. In the photograph Laura (centre) is welcomed by TWI CEO Dr Christoph Wiesner (left) and Dr Jan Przydatek of the Lloyd’s Register Foundation (right). Future newsletters will describe how you can participate in the SIRF programme. Further details on this grant can be found on our website.

International water security 

The Foundation is proud to support the International Water Security Network which includes Monash Universities South African Campus. Monash successfully co-organised the 2014 National Youth Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa in July 2014 in support of the Department of Water and Sanitation. The summit brought together over 1,000 learners and educators from different parts of the country to celebrate the involvement of young people in water conservation and management. The IWSN has released a video overview of its work on YouTube.

Year in Industry success

Jack Patterson, a Foundation placement student, was the overall winner of the Engineering Development Trust’s Year in Industry Contribution to the Business Award. Jack worked at Orwin in North-East England on the design of an assembly system for razor blades, and received the Foundation’s prize of £1000 see the Trust's website. Jack says “The Year in Industry and Orwin have provided me with the platform I needed to grow into a capable and confident engineer with an experience of contributing to a technically demanding business.” Lauren Johnston, the Scottish winner and representative at the national finals was also a Foundation-funded student, as was last year’s overall winner, Ciarán McEvoy. Congratulations!