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Engineering staff receive Excellence Awards

17 November 2015

The ASTUTE team at the Celebrating Excellence Awards

Two of the School’s technical staff, an academic member of staff, and the ASTUTE Technical and Professional Services Team, were all recognised for achieving excellence in the performance of their roles in the University, at the Celebrating Excellence Awards.

Steffan Jones and Jack Thomas, both members of our technical staff, received awards for excellence, along with the entire ASTUTE Project technical and professional services team which works across both Engineering and the Business School.

Steffan won the William O’Grady Prize for Trainee Technicians for his outstanding provision of technical support while working towards professional qualifications outside his normal working hours. Steffan has become the lead technician in the Geotechnical Engineering and Soil Mechanics Laboratories, catering for the needs of undergraduate, MSc and PhD students, as well as researchers and academic staff.

He is also providing support for the CLEER laboratories for both staff and students, and assists in a number of other laboratories when required. In addition to working full time in his technical role, he has developed knowledge and skills in his own time and is now working towards his Bachelor of Engineering degree with the Open University.

Jack has been working for the University for 3 years and will be finishing his apprenticeship in the near future. He received the Sir Herbert Duthie Prize for Staff Development.  As well as working for the Gas Turbine Research Centre, one of the School’s large-scale offsite engineering facilities, Jack has been completing his BTech and HNC qualifications at Bridgend College.  Not content with this, Jack is now aiming to continue his career development and complete an HND or degree in Mechanical Engineering.

The prize for Outstanding Contribution to Innovation and Engagement was awarded to the ASTUTE team. The Advanced Sustainable Manufacturing Technologies (ASTUTE) programme is a £27 million five year investment, funded through the Welsh European Funding Office, and the eight universities involved in the project.

It provides an opportunity for small to medium local businesses to work with world class university researchers and industry experts to help improve their manufacturing processes. In the last five years the ASTUTE team have provided considerable economic, social and environmental value to the Welsh community, working with over 90 different companies to create jobs, new businesses, new products, and to establish or improve management processes and systems. An independent evaluation of the project estimated that the ASTUTE project has produced a conservative return on investment in excess of £210 million.

Professor Tony Jefferson was also shortlisted for the Excellence in Research Award for his work as Co-ordinator of the Civil Engineering research unit of assessment for REF 2014. This was the only top rated unit in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) for Cardiff University. Not only was Cardiff University top for Civil Engineering research but it also achieved top position in the UK for the impact of its research. Tony has been a member of the School for 20 years and his own research activities have also been deemed to be world class.

In addition to the Excellence Awards, two staff member s within the School have been recognised for their long service to Cardiff University.  Technician Denley Slade and PA to the Director of the  School, Carol Docker, were recently recognised for 25 years of excellent service to the School and the University.

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