Once again, at the Innovate UK KTP Awards, we will be celebrating The Future Leaders Award, for selected Associates who have shown exceptional skills, above and beyond the normal expectations of a KTP Associate, in driving and delivering innovation strategy; demonstrating great teamwork and outstanding leadership potential.

In this first blog post, see who is in contention for this award at the Innovate UK KTP Awards, happening in Liverpool on 12th October (register here). Stay tuned for the second part of this blog to be posted tomorrow. 

Beth Wilson,
Harris Tweed Hebrides, Robert Gordon University

During Covid 19 lockdown, Beth Wilson moved to the isles of Lewis and Harris to embark on a KTP to explore new product developments and new international markets. The KTP’s aim was to provide year-round and sustainable business demand for Harris Tweed Hebrides and the home weaver industry.

In collaboration with Robert Gordon University, Beth developed a first-of-its-kind range of natural, undyed yarns within the Harris Tweed industry. Additionally, Beth identified a significant research gap in the global wool industry with regard to the composability of dyed wool.

Not only did Beth’s design skills significantly reduce design lead time and environmental impact, but her input as a sustainability champion also allowed the business to focus more on its sustainability plans with Beth leading a cross-department working group to implement changes at every stage of production. 

Beth’s extensive research into product development demonstrated the long-term benefits of reducing issues around seasonality, as well as benefits to rural communities’ economy through the numerous improvements instigated across the mill site.

Calum McCormack,
Aggreko, Glasgow Caledonian University

Calum’s KTP with Glasgow Caledonian University enabled the development of an Internet of Things (IoT) device and a strategy for deploying Aggreko‘s advanced analytics suite from the cloud to the Edge, allowing sites in remote locations to benefit from their robust machine learning analytics. 

Having undertaken the anticipated project activities, Calum exceeded expectations by taking a leading role in a number of aspects of the research and development during the KTP. Not only did Calum procure hardware for testing and evaluation, towards selecting a general Edge hardware specification, but he also built, managed and improved plans and system designs for software and hardware solutions. 

Calum successfully developed software infrastructure to allow integration with existing physical assets, monitoring and analysing capabilities whilst utilising proven Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) hardware and software as much as possible to reduce overhead costs.

Catherine Campbell,
Acheson and Glover, Queen’s University Belfast

Acheson and Glover Limited is a renowned and respected designer, developer, manufacturer and distributor of best-in-class walling, paving and facing brick. They operate in commercial and domestic markets across the UK and Ireland. 

Catherine joined a KTP between Acheson and Queen’s University Belfast which set out to develop a new range of concrete paving stones using surface treatments and additives to improve their performance. They aimed to reduce the tendency of these sites to become urban heat islands whilst also improving their appearance.

Catherine brought advanced technical knowledge to the project and showed her abilities in fostering collaboration across multiple stakeholders and leading the team to the successful design of innovative new products. This new product was brought to market ahead of schedule with the critical thinking behind it so successful that Catherine was invited to present at the “4th International Conference on Bio-Based Building Materials”, alongside her findings being published in the journal “Construction Technologies and Architecture.”

In addition to these achievements, Catherine leads the Environmental section of the team, coordinating waste reduction activity and developing and driving the use of the carbon footprint calculator.

Chuan Liu,
Motor Design Limited, University of Nottingham

Chuan Liu was the Associate on a KTP with Motor Design Limited and the University of Nottingham which aimed to develop a fast and accurate modelling capability to simulate and design oil spray cooling systems for the next generation of electric traction motors. 

The project sought to transfer knowledge from real-world testing and academic research to develop practical modelling capabilities for motor design engineers.

Chuan’s hard work on this KTP led to Motor Design’s Motor-CAD capabilities, which will make it a globally leading product. Additionally, the KTP generated a new understanding of spray cooling and directly contributed to the UK’s aerospace electrical machine technology roadmaps published by the University’s Aerospace Technologies Institute. Chuan presented this work at the Motor-CAD Global Summit in 2021 and also presented a paper at IEEE- Energy Conversion Congress and Expo (ECCE) 2021.

Edward Blissitt,
Motive Offshore Group, The University of Aberdeen

Edward embarked on a KTP with the University of Aberdeen to use new data capturing and analysis techniques to digitalise both processes and equipment currently used by Motive Offshore Group

Throughout his placement, Edward was responsible for the creation of a wire monitoring system in terms of its design, manufacture, coding, testing and production. This system is a non-intrusive data acquisition and monitoring device, designed to be retrofitted onto existing pieces of rental fleet equipment, transforming the previously inanimate machine into a form of a data stream.

Edward became the focal point for technology and new developments within the company,  which saw the development and deployment of a new route-to-market strategy whereby all pieces of Motive rental equipment are fitted with a new system. The leadership skills Edward showed in this role resulted in Motive offering him the role of R&D Lead once the KTP project concludes. Here, he will be responsible for developing and managing the company’s new R&D department, creating new technologies and further driving change within the business.

Emmanuel I. Epelle,
ACS Clothing Limited, University of the West of Scotland

Emmanuel worked on a KTP project with ACS Clothing and the University of the West of Scotland to develop an improved, scalable and environmentally friendly means of continuous garment sanitisation using ozone technology. 

The project aimed to increase the operational efficiency of the company by embedding chemical photochemistry, microbiology and automation expertise in the development of this sanitisation system.

The work from the KTP resulted in the successfully developed design of the novel automated system, a patent for the invention, a novel PhD research proposal, and the development of a new funding proposal to Scottish Enterprise. Emmanuel is also now a registered member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), and the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE). 

Harsh Shah,
East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire), De Montfort University

The East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) is a non-profit, leading business organisation representing more than 4,100 businesses – small to large, local to international.  The Chamber is renowned across the region for enhancing East Midlands businesses.

The aim of the project was to develop a Regional Business Research & Intelligence unit to address economic competitiveness. Harsh demonstrated great skill in designing and creating the business model and the operational tasks needed and went on to showcase his strong leadership skills. The result is a new service of great value to the Region and impact for both the Chamber and its members. 

Harsh has been recognised for both his technical and leadership abilities through awards. After a successful application, he took part in the Alan Turing Institute’s Data Study Group resolving challenges for Siemens and Rolls-Royce and won the “Data Driven Approach” award for his enthusiasm and determination; he has also been invited to join their Data Skills Taskforce. He has also been shortlisted as a finalist for the Excellence in Innovation and Technology Award at the Generation Next Awards. 

Jacob Mitchell,
SPTS Technologies Ltd, Swansea University

Jacob joined the KTP project between SPTS Technologies and Swansea University to develop new capabilities on a completely new tool platform (Molecular Deposition System). The aim was to create an exemplary process and application-driven innovation, develop a joint demo facility, showcase SPTS tools, and embed design, fabrication and systems knowledge within SPTS.

During the project, Jacob went above and beyond by highlighting new market areas and potential customers within the medical and energy storage sectors providing significant areas of growth for the company. He also supported the development of, and

lectured on, an MSc programme for compound semiconductor technology. 

With the success of his work, the project captured the attention of SPTS’ parent company – US-based KLA. As a result, KLA wants to encourage more collaboration with universities and support a continued focus on KTPs.

Joshua Green,
James Robinson Specialty Ingredients, University of Manchester

In collaboration with the University of Manchester, Joshua aimed to develop, embed and exploit expertise and capabilities in the synthesis and design of Thermally Activated Delayed Fluorescence materials in order to expand James Robinson‘s product portfolio in advanced materials chemistry.

Having conducted synthetic chemistry research into new materials for OLED applications, Joshua demonstrated excellent technical expertise which led him to successfully orchestrate the coordination of academic, industrial, and funding stakeholders under challenging circumstances.

Joshua’s work as a researcher led to the writing of a patent covering highly novel materials within an incredibly crowded intellectual property space. He helped install several crucial pieces of equipment for his project and others, in the absence of engineers due to the COVID pandemic.

Juliette Farrell,
Elite Bedding Company Ltd, University of Strathclyde

The aim of this KTP was to develop knowledge and capabilities in New Product Development in retail and eCommerce at Elite Bedding Company Ltd.  The KTP aimed to embed new technologies within the core business to increase operational productivity, whilst producing an alternative income stream.

During Juliette’s KTP, she worked on product development, website development, brand development, finance, production management and sales. Juliette has shown aptitude in many skills over the last 2 years. She kept the KTP progressing by managing the

communication and ongoing work between Strathclyde University and Elite during a pandemic which required her to keep motivated and showed real drive. 

Juliette successfully managed to sell Elite’s first-ever products online (under the Poco brand) and is now applying the knowledge she has to Elite Contract Furniture giving the business a new lease of life and bringing them into the 21st century.

Without Juliette, there would be no Poco Dog Beds. Juliette single-handedly designed and brought to life the brand and products, creating all the sales channels and marketing.

Kate Turley,
Chroma Lighting, Ulster University

In collaboration with Ulster University and Chroma Lighting, Kate helped develop a computing platform to support people with dementia. This platform has the goal to sense behavioural expressions and alter environmental factors in order to reduce stress and increase overall well-being.

Kate’s self-directed, professional, manner along with her effective approach, led to the timely development of the solution; notably incorporating effective management and mitigation of the slippages/issues which typically affect complex software and hardware development projects such as this one.

Crucially, Kate effectively navigated ethical and clinical processes related to operating a trial. This is a truly multidisciplinary project which required a deep understanding of a range of domains such as software development, systems architecture, clinical studies, research governance, ethics, product design and data science. 

In all these domains, Kate exceeded the needs of the project. This project would not have progressed as well as it has done without Kate driving this forward

Register for the KTP Awards 2022

The KTP Awards recognise the people and partnerships behind the UK’s most inspiring and successful KTP projects. Highlighting these outstanding partnerships is just the tip of the iceberg, with more than 800 inspiring collaborations currently happening across the country.

If you want to attend the awards virtually or apply to join us in person, you can register here.

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