Monthly news bulletin 2/2015

Prof. Richard CleggWelcome everybody to this our second newsletter of the Foundation in 2015. The main news item is about the publication of our Annual Review which describes the great strides we have taken in essentially our first full year of operation. The newsletter also serves as a source for us to communicate about the up and coming grants and calls for proposals being issued by the Foundation. Additional information can also be found as always on our website. Looking ahead we have some exciting initiatives in the pipeline which we looking forward to sharing with our grants community and stakeholders in the near future.

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

Annual review 2014 highlights successful year for the Foundation

300-2014-review--fanOur 2014 Foundation Review has now been published. The highlights from our first full year of operation in 2013/14 illustrate the progress we have made in our ambition to become renowned as leading global engineering research and education charities.  

The Foundation’s income for the year was £12 million and we awarded grants totalling £17.2 million. Highlights from the year include the appointment of a Managing Director; the development and publication of a six-year strategy and commencement of major grant giving in key research and education areas under our strategy; and the publication of our first international foresight review exercise on nanotechnology. 

See more at: http://www.lrfoundation.org.uk/news/2015/review-2014.aspx

Developing our 'resilience engineering' funding priority

The Foundation's strategy has set out resilience engineering as one of its funding priorities, see http://www.lrfoundation.org.uk/Images/46949-.pdf. Given the vast scope of this domain, and the numerous activities in the area already planned or underway around the world, the Foundation wants to identify how it can best support research and education in resilience engineering to help it address its public benefit aims. In April 2015 the Stevens Institute, USA, will host an international workshop on behalf of the Foundation which will explore: 

  • The applications of resilience engineering to the Foundation’s safety-related aims and to the sectors and critical infrastructure of relevance to the Foundation 
  • The gaps in society’s ability to understand, communicate, and enhance resilience and thus safety in these sectors
  • How the Foundation’s funding can make a distinctive difference in this field.

As an output from the workshop, a document will be produced which will give an overview of the field of resilience engineering, analyse which research areas are most likely to support the Foundation’s goals, and make recommendations on actions and research areas that are most likely to impact the Foundation’s aims and the sectors it serves. We will consult on this document in the summer and will set out details on how to input in a future monthly bulletin. The document will guide the Foundation’s future research investments in this area and will be openly and freely published for wider public benefit and for others to build on.

Top science teacher in Foundation-funded network receives national award

Our funding for the National Space Academy helps expand their network of expert teachers. Delivering throughout the UK, they inspire greater achievement in maths and physics by supporting both teachers and school students. For the second year in a row, the network celebrates one of their lead experts winning the Royal Astronomical Society’s Patrick Moore Medal. Sarah Llewellyn-Davies from Castell Alun High School in Flintshire, aided by our funding, helps drive the development of the Academy’s activities in Wales. She joins last year’s winner, Hayley Flood.

Find out more about the award here: https://www.ras.org.uk/awards-and-grants/awards/2553-winners-of-the-2015-awards-medals-and-prizes#winton_g ). Congratulations to Sarah!

Digitisation update 

2/2105 survey reportOver the past month, the Information Centre hosting the Lloyd’s Register historical archive dating back over 250 years, has continued to discuss and develop a strategy for the Digitisation Project’s pilot year. The team began 2015 investigating various elements of the project, including both software and services that will be required to complete digitisation. Firstly, scanning and photography companies were interviewed to determine which company would be best suited to our collection and aims for the project, as well as the costs. This will be an integral stage of the digitisation process, allowing us to add high resolution images to our online catalogue and digitally conserve material for future generations. Cataloguing systems are also being investigated alongside these investigations to determine which would be the best choice for the documents to be digitised. To further understand the implications of creating a digitised library, the team also attended a conference at the British Library entitled Digital Preservation: What I Wish I knew Before I Started. The conference proved to be a massive success, highlighting a number of important subjects from Crowd Sourcing to Big Data and their relevance to the Information Centre’s project. 

2/2105 certificateThroughout, the project, the team have also been meeting with a number of unlikely interested parties. The most recent discovery was Professor Tony McEnery, a Linguistics and English Language specialist from Lancaster University in the UK. Tony brought to our attention the interest our digitised archive would garner from linguistic scholars and chartographers, who would be fascinated by the evolution of language and writing styles in our survey reports and correspondences. The possibility of Geoparsing of our ship surveys with geography researchers was also discussed, whereby our records could be analysed to investigate the changing trade of shipping between ports from the 19th to the 20th century.

The team has also made and organised several visits to other heritage institutions, such as the SS Great Britain in Bristol (also the Wellcome Collection, British Library, Bodleian Library, National Archives etc). Here, we met with Eleni Papavasileiou to talk about their own digitisation project, the lessons they learned and how these could be applied to our own venture. Eleni also gave us a tour of their archive and library, which included hundreds of ship plans and articles on the SS Great Britain and expressed interest in possibly linking historic collections to generate Big Data.

Finally, in January our digitisation survey, which was only posted on social media accounts, surpassed 50 signatures which generated helpful feedback regarding the online component of the project. The intention is to continue collecting this data and use it to inform website design to ensure that we create a resource for the intended audiences.

If you’d like to know more about the digitisation project then visit our blog: https://lrdigitisation.wordpress.com/ or follow us on Twitter @LR_InfoCentre