Three USW academics selected for Welsh Crucible research programme

Dr Kang Li, Dr Ed Oloidi and Dr Rob Smith - USW academics selected for 2023 Welsh Crucible

Congratulations to Dr Edward Oloidi, Dr Kang Li and Dr Robert Smith on being selected for this year’s Welsh Crucible.

Now in its twelfth year, Welsh Crucible is an award-winning programme that offers early and mid-career researchers the opportunity to build their personal, professional and leadership skills to become the future research leaders of Wales.

Funded by a consortium of Welsh universities, in partnership with the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), there is a high demand for places on Welsh Crucible from researchers who are beginning to demonstrate excellence in their respective fields.

Each year thirty researchers are selected from the applicants to participate in the programme. These researchers attend three intensive two-day residential workshops, or ‘skills labs’, each compromising of inspiring guest speakers, interactive skills sessions and informal discussions. These workshops explore the benefit from working with researchers in other disciplines, how their research can have a greater impact, and how they can build international research careers in Wales.

Professor Martin Steggall, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), said: "USW’s focus and commitment to supporting high quality, impactful research continues, and we are delighted to congratulate Ed, Kang and Robert on earning their places among the top 30 applications that were submitted this year to the Welsh Crucible programme.

“On behalf of USW, I would like to wish them every success throughout the programme and beyond. We hope that they enjoy becoming a part of the Welsh Crucible alumni and that their participation will stand them in good stead to thrive as they continue their careers as researchers."

Dr Ed Oloidi is a postdoctoral researcher in the Unit for Development in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, part of the Health, Care and Wellbeing Research and Innovation Group, and he also currently leads the Ethnic Minority Research Advisory Group at USW. Dr Oloidi’s work largely centres on people with learning disabilities and research that can inform prevention of inequalities in health and social care. His most recent research includes the Once for Wales Health Profile and the UK-wide study of tthe experience of adults with learning disabilities during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr Kang Li is a Research Fellow In the Engineering Research and Innovation Group and a member of the Optical Society of America and MInstP. Dr Li has over 15 years of experience working in laser technology, optical design, nonlinear optics, fiber lasers, and UV laser lithography. He has an extensive publication and patent portfolio generated during his career working with interdisciplinary groups in biology, medicine, and environments worldwide, and he is currently a peer reviewer for publications in the optics field and for Innovate UK/EPSRC proposals.

Dr Robert Smith is a Senior Lecturer in Popular Music and teaches Performing Arts at the University of South Wales. Dr Smith is a composer, improvisor and a performer who has been active on the Cardiff music scene since 1983. He has performed throughout Europe and the USA and has worked collaboratively with musicians worldwide. With his band Wonderbrass he represented Wales in an international Jazz competition in Viennes, France 1996. Rob has written music for theatre, film, television and radio and his research interests include community music, music for media and carnival performance.