Welcome to Ash Willmott who joins our sport and exercise science lecturing team for the next 6 months. As many will know, Ash has been with us for some years now, first as an undergraduate BSc Sport and Exercise Science Student (1st class), then as a PhD student (which he finished, successfully defended and will graduate on the 16th February 2018) and also as a Sport and Exercise Science Support Officer within the Sport and Exercise Science Consultancy Unit (SESCU, 2014-2017). During his time here, he has made a huge difference to so many parts of our environmental extremes provision. He was instrumental in the success of the CAERvest, while we worked with Bodychillz Ltd. and will keep working with them as we continue this relationship. He has also been involved in supporting a number of other industrial partners while working with SESCU testing their products (all legal!). On the research front allied to thermal physiology, he has been a key member of the team for several years and we are now reaping the rewards following all those hours in the labs, with several papers published recently and few more on the way around the theme of heat acclimation.
Ash is one week into his lecturing post and today I (Neil Maxwell) asked him how it was going. I think ‘calm before the storm’ describes his emotions as he does not start actual ‘front-of-house’ lecturing until Monday 19th February. He said he is, “enjoying it so far, but ask me again on the 9th March when I have done two weeks of full-on lecturing!”. We wish him well and once again, welcome him to the other side (some might say the dark side) of the fence as a member of staff.
Conference attendees (Ash, Emily & Kirsty circled, left picture)
Three of our members presented at the recent International Congress on Environmental Ergonomics (ICEE, http://www.environmental-ergonomics.org/) in Kobe, Japan. Emily Watkins (oral and poster presentation), Ash Willmott (oral presentation) and Kirsty Waldock (oral presentation).
It is with great pleasure that I can announce Ash Willmott successfully defended his PhD thesis on Friday 27th October 2017 entitled, ‘Optimising heat acclimation state and refining strategies for the acquisition of heat adaptations’. It has been a very emotional “journey” for Ash with many challenges that he has had to overcome, not least within his family. Therefore, seeing Ash perform as well as he did was immensely rewarding and Ash should be very proud of what he has accomplished. His external examiners [Dr Doug Thake (Coventry University) and Dr Jo Costello (University of Portsmouth)] were very impressed with his thesis, the volume of work and how prepared he was for the viva and as such, he has only very minor amendments to make.
Ash was supervised by Drs Neil Maxwell, Mark Hayes and Jeanne Dekerle and each of them were pivotal in his success. Alongside his supervisors, all the members of the Environmental Extremes Lab have been a wonderful support to him throughout it all and should receive recognition too. Ash’s PhD adds to a good number that have gone before him associated with evaluating heat alleviating strategies and is truly giving us an international reputation in the field.
Well done Ash!
Supervisors, Mark Hayes and Neil Maxwell, congratulating Ash for having submitted his PhD thesis (left) and then Ash taking a much-earned break post PhD viva in Seoul ahead of the Kobe ICEE Conference (right).
Dr. Neil Maxwell and Dr Oli Gibson (now Brunel University) were featured on the front page of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) autumn issue of the Sport and Exercise Scientist magazine for having contributed. Led by Dr Jo Corbett of Portsmouth University and working in a team with Professor Neil Walsh (Bangor University) and Dr Caroline Sunderland (Nottingham Trent University), EEL’s Dr Oli Gibson and Dr Neil Maxwell met the team at the University of Portsmouth to work on the expert statement.
Professor Nick Webborn OBE was elected chairperson of the British Paralympic Association on 28 February 2017. He takes on a 2 year tenure at the BPA which selects, prepares, enters and manages the Great Britain and Northern Ireland Team at the Paralympic Games. Nick has attended nine Paralympic Games in multiple roles including Chief Medical Officer for the Paralympics GB at the London 2012 Games.
Nick is involved in on-going research in injury and illness surveillance at each Paralympic games and recently presented at the International Olympic Committee World Conference on Prevention of Injury and Illness in Sport in Monaco to share his current project which is focussed on the prevention of injury through head collisions in Paralympic football 5-a-side.
Congratulations to Ben Duncan who passed his PhD defence on 20 January with only minor changes to complete the process.
Ben’s work was on the effects of low oxygen concentration, high altitude exposure, on metabolism of fuel in humans. He did a lot of work in the labs and also translat-ed this to field work during an educational and developmental trip by staff and stu-dents to Peru. A well rounded set of skills and experiences. Congratulations to Ben’s supervisors; Associate Professor Peter Watt and Dr Alan Richardson too!
Ben Duncan (right) with co-PhD graduates Gareth Turner and Jess Mee
Congratulations to Dr Jess Mee and Dr Oli Gibson (former Technical Instructors and PhD Students of SaSM and allied to SESAME) for separately being winners of the American Journal of Physiology–Regulatory, Integrated, and Comparative Physiology Poster Awards at the 6th International Conference on the Physiology and Pharmacology of Temperature Regulation, Slovenia. Congratulations should also be extended to Ash Willmott (Sport and Exercise Science Support Officer and PhD student) since he led the study and poster that Oli presented, but could not attend due to lab testing commitments. Both presenters won $265 to offset the cost of their meeting registration and have been strongly encouraged to submit the presented work to the journal that sponsored the awards.
Congratulations to Professor Nick Webborn OBE who for the second time has been named in the Shaw Trust Power 100 list. The list is a celebration of Britain’s most influential persons with a disability or impairment. The Chief Executive of the Shaw Trust, who sponsor the Power 100 list said ‘this list plays a vital role in providing much needed encouragement to the young and talented leaders of tomorrow, allowing them to see that aspirations and ambition can be fulfilled regardless of disability or impairment.
Congratulations to Associate Professor Peter Watt who was invited to be a keynote speaker at the UIPM (Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne) World Coaches Conference in Manchester on 11 November. The conference was a chance for international Olympic coaches involved in the modern pentathlon to get together and share information and updates. There were approximately 100 delegates from the president and organising committee, to coaches at different stages of their careers from all around the world.
Congratulations to Dr Rosie Twomey who successfully defended her PhD entitled “Neurophysiological Responses to Rest and Fatiguing Exercise in Severe Hypoxia in Healthy Humans” on 10 November 2016. The external examiners Dr Jamie McDonald of Bangor University and Dr Thomas Rupp of the University of Chambery (France) were very impressed with the quality of Rosie’s work, as well as the quality of her thesis. A clear illustration of this is the absence of any request for amendments to the thesis post-viva!
Rosie was supervised by Dr Emma Ross and Dr Jeanne Dekerle before Emma left for the English Institute of Sport. Jeanne officially became lead supervisor on Emma’s departure and was supported by Dr Neil Maxwell. Jeanne said “Rosie is a wonderful person, she must be proud of her achievement and totally deserves this success”.