Innovation and Research Round-Up

February Edition

In this month's Innovation and Research Round-Up, our researchers are working in America, driving forwards in biomedical sciences and considering the future of travel!

Professor Ang Bartram’s ‘How Far So Near’ exhibition in New Orleans, USA 

Professor Ang Bartram has an exhibition of new work with her collaborator in the USA Lee Deigaard at Carroll Gallery, New Orleans, from 17 January - 23 February 2023. 

The exhibition is called “How Far So Near” and within it Ang and Lee test the boundaries of collaboration and doubling in their artistic research. Brought together by a shared mentality regarding animal studies and of being and not being, recognizing and refusing to affirm the non-human animal other, they work sympathetically and empathetically, although geographically apart. 

This project expands their exploration of collaboration, of what it is to be effective in this interrogation, by taking the concept of the animal (human and non-human) and its shared habitats (land, water, air) into a dualistic practice beset by collaborative rules. 

Ang and Lee have filmed over land and water from their locations in the UK and the USA synchronistically - facing each other at the same time. Birds fly past, and humans walk in front of the camera, have picnics, insects accept their daily business. They focus on the horizon as a common marker and line between states, air and water. As a place that can never be reached. They take the concept of the animal to be subtle, an implied provocation, a gentle influx through the physical forms that interact with the activity.

Academic recognised as Honorary Professor for the Arts by Nevada State College

Dr Gemma Marmalade, Assistant Head of Discipline for Art and Photography, is proud and excited to have been recognised as Honorary Professor for the Arts by Nevada State College. 

Gemma is currently leading a group of students from the University of Derby’s School of Arts on a month-long visit to the College in Las Vegas. In addition to the accolade, the College have also planted a Tree of Friendship on their campus to symbolise the alliance between the two organisations. 

Work created during the visit will be on display at Markeaton Street during this year’s FORMAT Festival, from 17 March 2023. 

Find out more about the FORMAT Festival

A vision for a flying car

Company VRCO are looking to the future with a vision of a flying car! The University of Derby’s Institute for Innovation in Sustainable Engineering (IISE) undertook the concept’s feasibility and power optimisation study. 

Find out more about the vision of a flying car

Championing the value of nature for health and wellbeing 

Professor Miles Richardson has been working with The Wildlife Trust to measure participants' connection to nature, health, and happiness. As part of the Wildlife Trust’s 30 days Wild annual summer challenge, people were invited to do a nature-based activity every day for a month with the purpose of connecting us all to the natural world. Over 5 years, Professor Miles Richardson has surveyed 1,000 participants and found that daily activity in nature made people significantly happier.

Find out about the rest of the results from this survey

Aaisha Makkar’s trip to America 

Researcher and Lecturer in Computer Science, Dr Aaisha Makkar took an opportunity to travel to America at the end of November 2022. During her trip, she delivered a lecture towards Cyber Security students at the University of South Dakota. The lecture was titled ‘The Sea of Vulnerabilities and Threats’. With this, she presented her research skills in order to embrace the students with the techniques of cyber security. 

Following this, Dr Makkar attended a top-tier computer science conference at the University of Texas ‘5th International Conference on Recent Trends in Image Processing and Pattern Recognition (RTIP2R)’, as a devoted member of the committee.  

She says: “As the Program chair of the conference, I supported the conference activities such as handling sessions, expert talks, managing the online participants and many other activities”.  

The conference theme was image processing, biomedical engineering, data science techniques and cyber security. 

Although Dr Makkar was the only one to attend from the University of Derby, she was joined by many researchers from the University of South Dakota, the University of Texas and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

For the 2023 conference, Aaisha proposed that the conference could take place at the University of Derby. This was accepted by the conference steering committee and will be taking place on 7 and 8 December 2023.   

Aaisha Makkar stood next to the Texas University sign

Does contemplation have the power to transform self and society? 

Dr William Van Gordon and MSc student Simon Mitchell from the School of Psychology have been considering whether the increase in people taking part in contemplation suggests that there is a change in the Western value system. 

Contemplation is about an inner observation and with more people making time for themselves through activities such as meditation and the practice of mindfulness, this might alter the way we look at things. 

Discover more about the power of contemplation

Funding awarded for a new Biomedical Science Super Lab 

The University of Derby has been awarded £5.8 million from the Office for Students to develop a new Biomedical Science Super Lab. The Biomedical Lab will build on our OMICS Research in Metabolism (FORM) laboratory and will enable us to drive our research into biomedical and clinical sciences even further. 

Find out more about the new Biomedical Science Super Lab

We’re finalists!  

We’re finalists in the Medilink Midlands Business Awards 2023! Research from Dr Elizabeth Marsh, Dr Tom Illingworth and PGR student Rebecca Hanwell alongside HistologiX have been nominated in the ‘Partnership between academia and business' category of the awards.   

The University of Derby researchers and the independent laboratory HistologiX, have teamed up to learn more about how oropharyngeal carcinomas (OPCs) and the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) might be linked.

Read about the Medilink Midlands Business Awards

Find out more about our research collaboration with HistologiX

University research into colour-coded syringe trays published in the British Journal of Anaesthesia 

Research carried out by Dr Edward Stupple, Professor Frances Maratos and Andrew Baird, as well as David Hewson Honorary Consultant Anaesthetist (QMC), has been published in the British Journal of Anaesthesia. The British Journal of Anaesthesia is the highest-ranking journal in the field of anaesthesia in the world. The team – Dr Edward Stupple, Professor Frances Maratos, Andrew Baird and Dr Victoria Laxton – received funding from the government’s innovation and research agency, Innovate UK, to conduct trials for UVAMED, a healthcare innovation company based in Leicestershire.

Read more about the UVAMED research project


Discover our researcher’s publications released in January

Discover all of our publications


In January, many of our researchers were successful in receiving funding for a wide range of research projects.

  • 'Derby City Schools: Compassionate Mind Training', Professor Frances Maratos and Dr Caroline Harvey - £25,925.05 funded by Derby City Council
  • 'Validation of ageing biomarkers in multi-ethnic group', Dr Stella Ademowo - £11,376.10 funded by Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
  • 'KTP Capacity Building Fund', James Convery - £42,726.51 funded by Innovate UK
  • 'New waste heat from mine water project', Professor Christopher Sansom and Hirbod Varasteh - £16,650.00 funded by Bolsover District Council
  • 'Exploring Identity, Place and Worker Attraction and Retention in Rural Businesses', Professor Carley Foster - £4,802.00 funded by National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise (NICRE)
  • 'Effective targeting of under-reached groups in domestic abuse service provision', Dr Jamie Bird - £16,645.71 funded by Derbyshire County Council