In 2022, Heriot-Watt University launched its inaugural Celebrating our People Awads, bringing together awards from across the university to celebrate and showcase exemplars of research, teaching, citizenship and global engagement.
The awards recognise outstanding achievement, innovation and creativity in societal engagement; celebrating activities that engage broad publics, new stakeholders and/or underserved audiences.
Societal engagement encompasses public engagement with research, community engagement and school outreach, all of which align with our mission to create and share knowledge for the benefit of society. Societal engagement is about engaging and inspiring external stakeholders in our research and teaching, creating accessible and meaningful experiences and opportunities to share ideas, insights and skills.
Through engagement, HWU aims to create tangible benefits to society, such as inspiring the next generation of researchers, enhancing public trust in technology, and making research more transparent, interactive and responsive.
With nominations received from across the global campuses, a wide range of impactful engagement activities were recognised and shortlisted.
The team include Heriot-Watt colleagues: Camilla Irvine-Fortescue, Laura Wicks, Gavin Abercrombie, Angus Addlesee, Paul Dalgarno, Mauro Dragone, Myrto Efstathiou, Alan Gow, Joseph Milligan, Anna Sedda and Mary Stewart. The project was co-produced with our partners from West Lothian Libraries: Helene Rennie, Kay Ali, Matthew Swan and Anne-Marie Vance.
The Lothian Lugs project was part of the Engaging Libraries programme, and focused on listening to our local communities. By listening, they co-produced engagement opportunities with meaningful impact, responsive to the interests and needs of those they worked with. The project was entirely new: new partners, new opportunities and activities created, new and diverse communities engaged, leading to a new programme embedded in the University's engagement portfolio – and leading to new opportunities.
The team included students Jairis Alvarez- Trujillo (EGIS, Edinurgh), Alakbar Zeynalzade (MACS Edinburgh), Sonia Buzza (SOSS Edinburgh), Madihah Anaum (EPS Dubai), with support from Alex McLaren, and Fiona Duff (UK), Leanne Muldowney (UK), Hellen Manombe (Dubai).
Team ESTEEM started life in 2018 as the brainchild of around 15 students engaged in entering the 'Solar Decathlon Middle East' international competition to design a Solar-Powered house. Over the subsequent years, these students built a brand identity that achieved extraordinary profile and outreach across multiple forms of media, globally: social media, printed media, online activities and physical events. It is extraordinary to see how the team used social media to reach and engage new audiences in research.
A selection of projects and teams were highly commended at the awards, with further details available below
- Sam Clark and Alistair McConnell for the Inveralmond schools project
- Angela Cassidy, Marnie Collins, Fiona Pankhurst, and Magdalena Sobula from the School of Textiles and Design
- Alya Rizvi and Jude Cormack, also from School of Textiles and Design.
- Mary Stewart, Craig Woolf, Kate Sang, Ryan Woolrych, Alan Gow, Mauro Dragone, Karen Hiroz, Jane Dey, and Jurgen Munz, from schools across our Edinburgh campus
- Dr Claudia Aravena, Heritot-Watt's GCRF (Global Challenge Research Fund) Team