Monthly news bulletin - Issue 2/2014

Prof. Richard CleggWelcome to our second monthly news bulletin. Its purpose is to give a flavour of the work we support along with examples of the benefits we’re adding to society in line with our strategy and charitable aims. We’ve chosen this month to say something in particular about the skills and education element of our grants portfolio. This is an area we are reviewing at the moment in order to maximise our impact in the skills and education area connected with our three strategic objectives of; (i) inspiring the next generation, (ii) enhancing the skills and knowledge of the workforce, and (iii) widening access to disadvantaged and under-represented communities. 

We’ve also included in this bulletin two other stories, one connected with the Library and Information Centre which the Foundation supports, showing the strides we are taking to digitise and make more openly available for public benefit the great heritage collection and archive we possess in Lloyd’s Register. The second story is connected with Foundation’s work looking into the public understanding and tolerance of risk. I hope you find this edition of the bulletin interesting and informative. As always, we’re happy to answer any questions and receive suggestions for future bulletins.  

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

Inspiring the next generation 

Inspiring the next generation

At the end of November Melanie Collins from the Foundation and Stuart Ainsworth from Lloyd's Register attended the prestigious Arkwright Awards in London, aimed at 16-18 year olds. The new Arkwright Engineering Scholars received their awards supported by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and the Lloyd’s Register Foundation. This year our Foundation scholars come from all educational backgrounds across England and Northern Ireland. Scholars are selected for their potential as future engineering leaders by assessing their academic, practical and leadership skills in STEM. 

The Foundation are pleased to welcome Mary Chapman (Westcliff High School for Girls), Joshua Gibson (Birkenhead School), Duncan Hamil (The Duston School), Benjamin Jones (Howell’s School Llandaff G.D.S.T), Orlaith O’Hare (Rathmore Grammar School) and Sophie Parsons (St Olave’s Grammar School) to the Lloyd's Register Foundation family. 

Enhancing skills and knowledge of the workforce 

Enhancing skills and knowledge of the workforce Our funding for higher apprenticeships in the UK marine engineering sector, through a programme agreed with The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights in June 2014, is already making a difference. Apprenticeships offer hands-on training in the workplace: working for a real employer, earning a salary and gaining a qualification. Apprentices learn practical skills that match industry needs and can be transferred to other industries. With the Foundation’s support, two companies taking on apprentices for the first time are receiving incentive grants for apprentice wages for the first year, and more applications are coming in. Companies who have experienced the benefits of having an apprentice are encouraged with a first-year loan to take on more. All applications are managed by the scheme’s administrator, with funding from the British Marine Federation. Together, we are building a sustainable scheme with long-term benefits for society, as apprentices develop skills tailored to our industries. 

Out of this world 

Congratulations to Sophie Damy on winning the ‘Space for Sustainability Award’, organised by the European Inter-parliamentary Space Conference and the European Space Agency for young professionals under 30. Sophie is a PhD researcher at the Foundation-funded Transport Risk Management Centre, Imperial College London. Her winning project: ‘A satellite-based optimisation of the European freight transport network’, presents a new sustainable approach to meet transport needs today while preserving air quality for the next generations. Astronaut Jean-François Clervoy, chair of the judges, presented Sophie with her prize, a visit to Europe’s Spaceport Kourou in French Guyana to attend a launch. www.eisc-europa.eu/eisc-award 

All three Foundation PhD candidates in rail safety at Imperial College have won international prizes, recognising the high quality of the research that we fund. 

The digital universe 

In the Foundation Information Centre (IC), our two new interns are working hard to support its activities, providing historic tours, helping with research and digitisation projects, and raising our social media profile. The Foundation archive contains many precious and unique items. To make the material more accessible and conserve it for the future, the Foundation IC is digitising a selection of key items and placing them online, encouraging more people to use the library and archive facilities by raising awareness of the type of material that we have in the collections. In addition we are working to digitise a selection of our unique Lloyd’s Register’s plans and survey reports for classed vessels dating c1834 to c1968 (on loan to the National Maritime Museum). There are in excess of 65,000 items, so the IC is starting with a pilot project that focuses on interesting ships while we assess the collections.  The Foundation IC also presented a paper at the Naval Maritime Libraries and Archives Group (NMLAG) seminar ‘Maritime archives – a voyage of discovery’ at the National Maritime Museum with particular focus on the unique aspects of our collections relevant to the First World War.  

Public perception of risk 

Our mission is to make the world a safer place, and one of our objectives is to enhance the public understanding of risk and safety. To inform our thinking, Richard Clegg, the Foundation’s Managing Director, has opened a dialogue with the University of Cambridge’s Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk, Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter. Initial discussions centred on the charitable purpose of the Foundation and why the public understanding of risk forms part of our strategy, and then went on to explore the three-way dynamics between the scientist (who calculates risk), the regulator (who sets standards) and the public with their perceptions, anxieties and tolerance of risk. We’re looking forward to working with Prof Spiegelhalter and other international experts in this important social science field in developing our research ideas further.