Heriot-Watt Crucible scores another success

Heriot-Watt Crucible II winning team

The second Heriot-Watt Crucible programme for 'research leaders of the future' concluded with a research collaboration event at the Dynamic Earth science centre, Edinburgh, chaired by BBC Radio 4 broadcaster, Quentin Cooper.

The Crucible programme demonstrates just how much potential we have to generate exciting new opportunities

Prof. David Lane, Heriot-Watt University

Alumni from the inaugural Heriot-Watt Crucible programme held in Spring 2011 joined current participants to formulate novel proposals for interdisciplinary projects which they went on to pitch to a panel led by the Principal, Professor Steve Chapman.

Panel member, Professor David Lane, Professor of Autonomous Systems Engineering at Heriot-Watt University said, "The Crucible programme demonstrates just how much potential we have to generate exciting new opportunities. The interdisciplinary nature of the group was a huge success for building links across the University, and for seeding ideas and collaborations that could well lead to fundable research in the future".

Winning team

The winning team of "Cruciblists" aimed to combine quantum physics, sign language and computing to create a generic tool for authoring serious games based on the concepts of verbs and actions. The winning team was:

  • Dr Sabrina Maniscalco, School of Engineering & Physical Sciences
  • Dr Svenja Wurm, School of Management & Languages
  • Dr Sandy Louchart, School of Mathematical & Computer Sciences

Dr Louchart described his experience throughout the programme as "really positive", commenting that Heriot-Watt Crucible offered "a real opportunity to explore interdisciplinary research and challenged my perception of other research areas within the University €¦It has connected me with like-minded colleagues with whom I now plan to collaborate in the immediate future".

Development programme for lecturers & research staff

The collaborative research event at Dynamic Earth was the culmination of the new Crucible leadership and development programme for lecturers and research staff at Heriot-Watt University and its research partners. The 28 specially nominated participants on Heriot-Watt Crucible II represented all of the academic Schools at Heriot-Watt University, with two places being taken by colleagues from the Moredun Research Institute and industry partner, SELEX Galileo. Both the Moredun and SELEX Galileo also hosted the group on one of programme workshops.

Dr Allan Colquhoun, University Liaison Manager and Emerging Technologies Manager, SELEX Galileo said: "It was fascinating to meet all the Heriot-Watt Cruciblists who come from such wide ranging disciplines; we were very pleased to host a workshop and a dinner for them at SELEX Galileo's Edinburgh facility. Heriot-Watt Crucible is an exciting programme that clearly helps build links both within the university, and between academics and many external organisations outside of Heriot-Watt - including industry. "

About Heriot-Watt Crucible

Heriot-Watt Crucible aims to help participants develop skills knowledge and connections to enhance their innovative research capacity and impact through interdisciplinary collaborations and knowledge transfer. Designed by Dr Ruth Neiland, Head of Research Futures and Prof. Alan Miller, Deputy Principal, Research and KT, Heriot-Watt University and based on their award-winning Scottish Crucible programme, Heriot-Watt Crucible is principally funded via Heriot-Watt's "Converge" initiative. A new, EPSRC-sponsored "Heriot-Watt Crucible Interdisciplinary Project Fund" has also been established by Professor Miller for participants of the programme. Its first awards are due to commence in March 2012.

For further details, please contact Research Futures.