BRC 2017: News in brief

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New inaugural lecture series launches at Bournemouth University

Bournemouth University’s new inaugural lecture series provides an opportunity for newly appointed Professors to share their research and insights into their career and area of study.

Over the last year, audiences have heard from experts in the field of archaeology, disaster management, economics and exercise science, to name just a few.

The series kicked off at AFC Bournemouth with a lecture from Professor Alison McConnell, who discussed the translation of research with athletes into healthcare, using her research into breathing as an example.

More recently, Professor Kate Welham spoke about her international career in archaeology and the ways in which advances in science and technology have changed her subject. She explored the wide range of equipment that archaeologists now have access to, and how these have enabled new questions to be asked about the past.

The success of these lectures has demonstrated the excellent research and innovation taking place at Bournemouth University and has allowed researchers to share their work with the entire community, both inside and outside BU.

 

BU’s Orthopaedic Research Institute installs new state-of-the-art equipment

With the support of the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (DLEP), Bournemouth University’s Orthopaedic Research Institute (ORI) has recently invested in state-of-the-art equipment for their new gait and biomechanical analysis laboratory.

The ORI Gait Lab is a world class facility utilising the Motekforce Link GRAIL system. The GRAIL (Gait Realtime Analysis Interactive Lab) system is used to evaluate the gait of research participants and patients. The system enables researchers to monitor patient outcomes after surgery. The capability of this equipment makes gait analysis much faster than traditional systems and means that ORI has some of the best available equipment on the market, and one of only 23 GRAIL systems in the world.

Deputy Head of ORI, Associate Professor Tom Wainwright says, “We are extremely excited about our new gait lab which we hope will allow us to produce world class research and most importantly help us to improve patient care.”

 

Preventing financial scams

The National Centre for Post Qualifying Social Work and Professional Practice (NCPQSWPP) at Bournemouth University is working in partnership with the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, National Trading Standards Scams Team, North Yorkshire Trading Standards and City of London Trading Standards to lead national research on financial scamming and vulnerable people.

Financial scams most commonly take place through telephone, mail or doorstep targeting, and as well as resulting in individuals losing significant sums of money, can undermine the health and wellbeing of those that become victims of scams. The Centre’s work is helping different agencies to understand the scale and impact of these scams.

Professor Keith Brown recently spoke to politicians and policy makers about this research into preventing financial scams as part of an event at the House of Commons: “We are really concerned about the scale of the problem. We know that it predominantly affects older people and that people are losing £5 – 10 billion per year to scamming,” explains Professor Brown.

Bournemouth University‘s widely shared Financial Scamming Guide offers advice on how to avoid falling foul of scammers, and can be seen at www.ncpqsw.com/financial-scamming.

 

Newly awarded research grants

Over the last few months, BU researchers have been awarded a number of new and exciting research grants, enabling them to explore issues such as supporting older people, the effects of the Olympics and environmental change.

Improving nutrition in older people living in the community

Professor Jane Murphy is working in partnership with the Burdett Trust for Nursing to help improve nutrition in older people within the local and wider community. There are currently more than

3 million individuals within the ageing population who are at risk of malnutrition; about 93% of these cases live within the community. Professor Murphy will be working with the Wessex Academic Health Science Network (WAHSN) and Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.

“Working in partnership, the project will deliver a new procedure for good nutrition care in nursing practice and to influence local policy” explains Professor Murphy.

The project will help understand the barriers and enablers to implementing good nutritional care and evaluate how well new processes can be embedded, create a new toolkit for nurses for wider adoption and improve the care of older people at risk of malnutrition.

Dorset’s environment and economy

Professor Adrian Newton has been awarded a major new grant from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), under the Valuing Nature programme. Working in partnership with Dorset’s Local Enterprise Partnership (DLEP), the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Cambridge

University and Local Nature Partnership, ‘Mechanisms and consequences of tipping points in lowland agricultural landscapes’ will focus on assessing the value of natural capital assets and how these may be affected by environmental change.

The project will examine whether current trends in land-use lead to rapid environmental change and major socioeconomic impacts. This will be done by analysing the spatial dynamics of natural capital assets in Dorset, and how this influences the flow of ecosystem benefits to society.

The effects of mega-sporting events

Professor Michael Silk has recently been awarded funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to explore the relationship between sporting events and the informal economies that gain momentum around them.

With the Olympics taking place in Brazil, in August 2016, Professor Silk’s interest grew in how major sporting events can impact on informal economies and how this affects potentially vulnerable sex workers.

“Displacing sex workers can have all sorts of consequences for safety, criminal control and violence. Our study will be the first to explore the real impact of large scale sporting events on sex workers and informal economies” Professor Silk explains.

This story featured in the 2017 Bournemouth Research Chronicle, which can be read in full here.