Now in its fifth year, the Environmental Award aims to reward and showcase inspiring environmental projects at the university, and promote sustainability in the curriculum. The Award has been developed by the University’s Environment Team, with panel judges from 8 different academic schools and the Green Growth Platform. It is awarded twice in the academic year, at both the summer and winter graduation ceremonies.
The winner and two runners up have been chosen for summer 2019. Connor Panter, BSc Ecology School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, has been awarded the university’s Environmental Award for his project on open-source data in accelerating species conservation assessments, with support and data provided by the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.
Connor’s data cleaning process will greatly increase the reliability of conservation data and enable species to be prioritised for conservation action sooner. More time-efficient processes reduces research costs and additional funding can be directed towards ongoing conservation activities protecting threatened species. Connor was presented with his certificate during the graduation ceremony on August 1st and will receive a £200 cash prize.
Connor said “I am thrilled to be the winner of the University of Brighton’s Environmental Award! Plants are often underrepresented in conservation initiatives despite being the building blocks of many ecosystems. I hope the results from my dissertation project encourage further research focusing on novel methods to accelerate the rate of species conservation assessments using open-source biological data.”
The Highly Commended prize was shared by Andreas Asimwe Emeka Munube, BSc Chemisty, School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences and Jerome Bret, MEng, School of Environment and Technology. Andreas’s project focused on development of sensors to test trace amounts of heavy metals within marine environments to manage and prevent heavy metal pollution, particularly in developing countries. He said “It is a great honour and a privilege to be highly commended for this award. It acknowledges that people know there is a need for continual research on methods for detecting heavy metal pollution.”
Jerome’s project investigated screw pile vertical and lateral bearing capacity within construction and aimed to design a new form of temporary works which could be reused after the construction phases are completed, thus reducing the emissions from traditional temporary concrete works. Jerome said “As this was not an imposed topic, rather something I decided to tackle on my own, it was very rewarding to be highly commended for the research I had done. This recognition could help make the reduction in concrete use in heavy duty construction that I theorised become an industry standard and improve working conditions and environmental impact of the concerned projects.”