The Doctoral Academy’s first Images of Research competition received 25 eligible submissions for consideration by our expert panel. PGRs were asked to portray their research in a single image along with a 50 word description, providing a great way to showcase public engagement abilities, increase research profiles and get creative all at the same time.

Each entrant was asked to choose a research theme category that they feel matches their submission most closely. This year’s categories were based on our four interdisciplinary research themes:

  • Understanding and improving health and wellbeing
  • Life-enhancing creativity and design
  • Innovating technological solutions to tomorrow’s problems
  • Promoting social change to enhance diversity, justice and socio-economic prosperity

The Doctoral Academy has thoroughly enjoyed exploring the fantastic research being done by their PGRs through the images and short descriptions submitted, and the judges were very impressed with the quality of the entries and the variety of topics. In this blogpost, you’ll find all the entries submitted under the third theme of ‘Innovating technological solutions to tomorrow’s problems’.


Investigating transfer and persistence properties of fibres – Virginie Galais, School of Science and Engineering

Description: We are in constant contact with garment and surfaces containing fibres. Even though they are everywhere, textiles and fibres are often undervalued as forensic evidence. My research project focuses on understanding the chemical and physical properties of fibres to determine how they affect shedding, the transfer and the persistence.


Growing silver with light – Manuel Hoffmann, School of Science and Engineering

Description: This image shows our university logo containing millions of silver nanoparticles. The small particle size enables unique physical properties. These properties allow their use in ultrasensitive molecule detection for diagnostics. The particles are grown in patterns by converting the energy of light in a thin film which colours the background.


Investigating the properties of gunshot residue – Catarina Sobreira, School of Science and Engineering

Description: This research focuses on the characterisation of gunshot residues (composition and morphology) and how this affects their transfer and persistence on clothing. The aim is to see if forensic scientists can make a distinction between the person who has discharged a firearm and a bystander.


Development of a Low Cost Retroreflector for the LHC Particle Accelerator at CERN – Timothy Grant, School of Science and Engineering

Description: My research focusses on the development of precise and low cost laser tracker reflective targets for the surveyors at CERN. The spherically mounted existing targets are expensive and radiation sensitive, so cannot be permanently installed. Cheaper reflectors will be produced in larger numbers and permanently installed,allowing faster LHC surveys.


“An Archeological Fantasy” – Ari Brin, School of Humanities

DescriptionThe Scottish-American writer Robert Duncan Milne’s science fiction satirized the foibles of nineteenth century society. The attached picture is taken from a rare, illustrated story of Milne’s, uncovered just earlier this month in the San Francisco newspaper archives. How unusual to envision the far-future metropolitan centre of humanity located in the Congo!


Capturing, communicating and collaborating with VR in forensic science – Sang-hun Yu, School of Art & Design

Description: The research in collaboration with Danish and Swedish police, assesses the possibility of capturing and reconstructing complex crime scenes in 3D. By providing a rapid rendering solution, enabling remote assessment of complex scenes through virtual reality, thereby minimizing scene disturbances and allowing strategic policy decisions to be made more efficiently.


The dynamics in soil-bacterial, plant root and soil community – Yangminghao Liu, School of Science and Engineering

Description: The associations between soil bacteria and plant root are essential to crop productivity but yet to be fully understood. The figure is a time-lapse image of the early stage colonization (first 26 hours of establishment) of a lettuce root by Bacillus subtilis in transparent soil (Nafion) using custom-made light-sheet microscope

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