Celebrating the contribution USW research makes to society and the economy

SERC - Impact Awards 2019- Melissa Numan Photojournalism

Winners of the Best Impact on the Economy Award

The work of University of South Wales (USW) academics was celebrated at the USW Impact Awards last night.

The awards celebrate and showcase the impact that our research and engagement activity is having beyond the University, together with its wide range of economic and social benefits.

The third annual awards saw Pro Vice-Chancellor for Innovation, Professor Paul Harrison, welcome more than 120 guests, including shortlisted nominees and their collaborative partners.

Awards were presented in six categories, with a new category also added for Best Research Student Impact.

The award winners were:

Best Societal Impact, sponsored by Chwarae Teg

Dr Mike Chick was presented with the award for his work with the Welsh Refugee Council to improve refugees’ access to English Language provision, and help refugees who have settled in Wales to achieve their potential.


Best Impact on the Economy, sponsored by Capital Law

Professor Sandra Esteves from USW’s Sustainable Environment Research Centre (SERC) was recognised in this category. Professor Esteves has been developing innovative biotechnology to harness the economic benefits of clean energy: helping industry reduce their energy use, making them more sustainable economically and environmentally, and enabling greater deployment of renewable energy.


Best Impact on Culture, Heritage and the Arts, sponsored National Museum of Wales

This was awarded to Dr Emily Underwood-Lee, George Ewart Evans Centre for Story Telling, for the Forty Voices Forty Years project with Welsh Women’s Aid and transforming training, policy and service provision for women, children and families in Wales.


Best Environmental Impact, sponsored by Celsa Steel UK

RUMM Ltd, a spin-out company from the University, came out top in this category. The company has provided an energy management service that enabled its clients to reduce their energy use, equating to a reduction in carbon emissions of 300,000 tonnes and energy cost savings of £43 million pounds. The company was acquired by RWE npower Ltd in April 2015.


Best Future Impact, sponsored by Thermal Compaction Group Ltd 

Professor Gary Higgs, GIS Research Group, was presented with this award. Professor Higgs worked with Tenovus Cancer Care to optimise the location and delivery of mobile cancer services, improving access to services and helping to reduce patients’ stress, anxiety and fatigue. 


Best Research Student Impact, sponsored by USW Graduate School

This was jointly awarded to Wendy Booth for her work to promote ethnocultural empathy and racial tolerance in secondary schools in Wales, and Tom Owens for his work to understand the link between concussion and dementia.

USW’s Professor Paul Harrison, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Innovation, added: “The breadth and depth of these projects is testament to the space the University of South Wales occupies as a professionally-focussed, business-engaged university.  We understand the importance of knowledge exchange: translating research in to local businesses and industry to help them deliver new products and services and hence support economic growth within South Wales, the UK and beyond.”