‘Oscars of higher education’
7 September 2017
Cardiff University experts are in the running for three prestigious Times Higher Education Awards.
Professor Jon Anderson from the School of Geography and Planning has been shortlisted in the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards 2017 Outstanding Research Supervisor of the Year category, the CAER Heritage Project in the Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community category, and the Phoenix Project in the International Collaboration of the Year category.
The THE Awards are widely recognised as the Oscars of the higher education sector.
Talent, dedication and innovation
Each year they attract hundreds of entries from UK universities that recognise the talent, dedication and innovation of individuals and teams across all aspects of university life.
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan said: “May I offer my congratulations to Dr Anderson, all of the team at the CAER Heritage project, and the team involved with the Phoenix project for their shortlisting in the Times Higher Education Awards 2017.
“The THE Awards have become a permanent fixture in the higher education calendar and are widely respected for showcasing the best talent, dedication and innovation of individuals and teams across UK universities...”
Professor Anderson is a Reader in Human Geography and is an enthusiastic research supervisor. He has supervised students from many different backgrounds including many overseas students.
The diversity of topics researched by his students, from travellers’ accommodation, LGBT public policy in Brazil, super yacht use along the Cote D’Azur, environmentalism in UK students in compulsory education, young people’s spatial practices and the role of the gap year, has seen Professor Anderson evolve his own intellectual skills and co-author papers with his students.
Professor Anderson is also known for providing outstanding levels of pastoral care to his students. His care was recognised when he was named Outstanding Doctoral Supervisor at the University’s Enriching Student Life Awards. He was nominated by one of his students, who paid particular tribute to his support during the loss of her best friend.
The CAER Heritage is a collaborative partnership between Cardiff University, community development charity Action in Caerau and Ely (ACE), local schools, community groups and residents, and major heritage organisations in Wales.
The project focuses on one of the most impressive, but poorly understood heritage sites in Wales, Caerau Hillfort.
The site is surrounded by two of the most socially and economically challenging wards in Wales. The aim of the project is to use heritage research to create educational opportunities, break down barriers to educational progression, promote skills development and challenge negative perceptions of these communities.
The Phoenix Project was launched in 2014 with the aim of working with the University of Namibia (UNAM) to improve health and reduce poverty in Namibia.
Since the project’s launch, Cardiff University and UNAM staff and students have created over 30 major work packages, securing external funding of around £650,000.
Highlights include: Cardiff University-led training of UNAM medical students and Namibian medical officers in anaesthesia. Prior to the Phoenix Project, there were only two part-time state anaesthetists in Namibia. Now, over 100 people have been trained in anesthesia; a two-week long maths summer school for 70 students at UNAM; and an annual Python open-source software conference which encourages a new generation of software programmers in Africa.
THE Editor John Gill said: "Once again these awards have attracted hundreds of entries from the length and breadth of the nation, and from institutions of every hue.
“All those shortlisted can be immensely proud to have made it through this first phase, and we at Times Higher Education look forward to honouring the winners for their talent, creativity and commitment at a time for the academy when these qualities are increasingly essential.”
GW4 (a research and innovation alliance of the universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter) has also been shortlisted under the category of Technological Innovation of the Year for its world-first supercomputer, Isambard.
The EPSRC awarded the GW4 Alliance, together with Cray Inc. and the Met Office, £3m to deliver a new Tier 2 high performance computing service to benefit scientists across the UK.
This collaboration has produced the world’s first ARM-based production supercomputer, named ‘Isambard’ after the renowned Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Isambard will enable researchers to choose the best hardware system for their specific scientific problem, improving efficiency and cost-effectiveness. The supercomputer is able to provide system comparison at high speed as it includes over 10,000, high-performance 64-bit ARM cores, making it one of the largest machines of its kind anywhere in the world.
The Times Higher Education Awards 2017 gala ceremony takes place at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane in London on Thursday 30 November 2017.