Back in August 2017 we shared our good news story about how the Systems and Engineering Building at University of Reading (the permanent home of the Knowledge Transfer Centre) was renamed in honour of the inspirational Polly Vacher MBE (you can still read the story here: https://goo.gl/4kjqVj).
On Monday 5th March 2018, Mrs Vacher provided staff and students with an incredible lecture at Whiteknights campus, where she was interviewed by the Vice-Chancellor, Sir David Bell. This special event was in memory of Edith Morley, the lecture itself taking place in the Edith Morley Building. Edith was believed to be the first woman to be awarded the title professor in an English university, and was an inspiring and motivating force for the young people around her. Over 100 years on, we were honoured to celebrate this extraordinary part of our heritage and welcome Polly to help inspire young women to achieve great things today.
Prior to her amazing talk, Mrs Vacher enjoyed a guided tour of the University campus, and we felt incredibly privileged for her to have visited the building named after her, and meet us all in the KTC!
Polly Vacher MBE is a true inspiration to the young women of University of Reading, and was the perfect person to have visited us on the week of International Women’s Day.
On November 9th, Innovate UK announced an additional £30million of funding for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs); a government backed scheme which connects businesses across the UK with an academic or research organisation (such as a university), along with a qualified graduate.
There are currently 630 graduates and post-doctoral researchers employed in KTPs branching across industrial research and development and entrepreneurial roles, and the additional funding means this will be able to expand significantly.
The announcement referenced the success story of Ella’s Kitchen; a multi-national baby food company who have had three projects with University of Reading, and maintain an ongoing relationship with the Knowledge Transfer Centre and UoR Academics.
The announcement of additional funding is an extremely exciting one, and even more so with a mention of the successful projects of University of Reading.
The full announcement can be read here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/30-million-for-business-and-graduate-partnerships
At the University of Reading, we’re always excited to work with local companies and to have the opportunity to apply our research in a way which adds real value to the world around us. Accordingly, we’re very pleased to announce our latest Knowledge Transfer Partnership with local energy monitoring company Optimal Monitoring. Optimal Monitoring work with small and medium-sized businesses and organisations to help them better understand their energy consumption and identify ways in which they could reduce their usage, thus reducing their environmental impact and costs.
Our new collaborative Knowledge Transfer Partnership will enable Optimal Monitoring to work with the University to develop an enhanced monitoring system, capable of better identifying unwanted utility usage as well as proposing solutions to exceptional consumption to help with further cost reductions. We’re very much looking forward to working with Optimal Monitoring on this project and are excited to see how the new system will help them add real value for their customers.
KTP or Knowledge Transfer Partnerships is Europe’s leading programme helping businesses to improve their competitiveness by enabling companies to work with higher education or research and technology organisations to obtain knowledge, technology or skills which they consider to be of strategic competitive importance. The UK-wide programme is overseen by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, and supported by 16 other public sector funding organisations.
We are happy to announce that we have welcomed yet another member to our KTC family!
Along with the new arrivals of Kimberley, Tom, and Vicki, we also welcome Dr Carol McAnally; Carol has a PhD in chemistry from Strathclyde University, and has worked largely in research funding. Most recently, Carol was a senior portfolio manager for EPSRC’s Engineering Theme, managing research infrastructure funding opportunities along with the sensors and instrumentation research portfolio.
Carol joins us as our newest Business Relationship Manager, where she will be jointly responsible for facilitating collaborations between companies and non-profit organisations interested in working with the University of Reading. Carol brings with her a wide-breadth of knowledge, and is the final piece to complete our impressive team, for now at least….
We are delighted to announce another new person to join the Knowledge Transfer Centre; Dr Vicki Aldmington. Vicki has a PhD in Fungal genetics and biochemistry from University of St Andrews, and has worked largely in education and outreach in the learned society sector. Most recently Vicki managed FoodWasteNet; a BBSRC Network in Biotechnology and Bioenergy.
Vicki is now our newest Business Relationship Manager and will be jointly responsible for facilitating collaborations between companies and non-profit organisations interested in working with the University of Reading.
We are very excited to experience the expertise Vicki will bring the team, and welcome her to the family!
We are very happy to announce that we have another new team member; Thomas Wildsmith!
Dr Wildsmith gained his Ph.D in materials and inorganic chemistry at the University of Bath, and has since worked for both a large research organisation and a small business where a key role was the development of collaborative research projects.
Thomas has now joined the Knowledge Transfer Centre as a Business Relationship Manager, where his responsibilities will include facilitating collaborations between businesses and organisations interested in working with the University of Reading.
We warmly welcome Thomas, and we’re very excited about the expertise he is bringing to the department!
Formerly known as Systems and Engineering, building 38 located on the University of Reading Whiteknights campus has now been renamed in honour of an aviation enthusiast.
Polly Vacher, a former Masters student in Music Education at Reading , attended the unveiling of the building’s new sign on Tuesday 15th August, accompanied by family members and Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading.
Mrs Vacher made several long-distance flights in a single-engine aircraft in aid of Flying Scholarships for Disabled People (a charity that allows people with disabilities to pilot aeroplanes themselves), and was an awarded an MBE by the Queen for her efforts. At the unveiling, Mrs Vacher said: “It’s a proud honour to have a building named after me, but very humbling. I’d like to think that everyone who walks through the door of the building will be inspired to believe that if you keep at it you can achieve your dreams.”
Mrs Vacher also supports University of Reading’s Institute of Education, establishing its Universal Voices community children’s choir for children aged 7-12 and giving children the opportunity to experience the joy of music regardless of their financial circumstances.
The Polly Vacher building is home to the Knowledge Transfer Centre, and it is a huge honour for us to get to work in a building named after such an prestigious woman. Mrs Vacher is an inspiration and we are very proud to be part of the recognition she deserves.
You can read more about the charity she works with,Flying Scholarships for Disabled People, on their website: http://www.fsdp.co.uk/
University of Reading held it’s graduation ceremony this month which was, as ever, a fantastic event.
This year our many graduates were celebrated, including an honorary doctorate in literature for London-based author, designer and illustrator, and UoR graduate; Coralie Bickford-Smith, and an honorary doctorate of science for Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of the Republic of Kenya; Professor Judi Wakhungu.
There was even a visit from Boris the dog! Boris is a four-year-old springer poodle who attended the ceremony to help one of the graduate’s sisters who suffers with anxiety, which eases in the presence of her beloved pooch.
July has brought with it a brand new team member; Dr Kimberley Steed German!
Dr Steed German gained her Ph.D. in solar and heliospheric physics at UCL where she also previously worked as the Faculty Research and Enterprise Manager for The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, and has now joined the Knowledge Transfer Centre as our newest Business Relationship Manager.
Dr Kimberley will be working in our business office, facilitating and managing collaborative relationships between academic and non-academic partners at the University, and we’re very happy to have her on board!