UEA Chemistry and Pharmacy Teaching Laboratory wins Gold
The Schools of Chemistry and Pharmacy Teaching laboratory received a Gold Labs Award at the Green Impact Awards ceremony on Friday 22nd April. The awards were presented by Pro-Vice Chancellor, Professor Neil Ward.
Matthew Bennett was also presented with a special award for innovation for leading a project to develop a new piece of apparatus in collaboration with chemistry equipment manufacturer, Radleys.
Innovation is at the heart of the ‘StarFin’ project that the UEA Chemistry and Pharmacy teaching laboratory has accomplished in partnership with chemistry equipment manufacturer Radleys this year.
The initiative developed a novel apparatus combining two of Radleys established energy and water saving products. Following a rigorous testing regime this apparatus was piloted in Chemistry and Pharmacy practical sessions giving 2nd year students the exciting opportunity to use the first apparatus of its kind and to feedback on its design and potential.
Matthew said "The StarFin project is an example of how innovation driven by sustainability can be achieved in a University environment. We have at our fingertips the expertise and partnerships to quickly put ideas into practice with remarkable potential. The work has given UEA students the opportunity to be the first to experience this new piece of apparatus. The StarFin has the potential to reduce energy and water consumption in labs worldwide and I am delighted to have been involved in the project and hope that we can build upon the existing relationships to further sustainability across laboratories at the UEA and beyond".
The project has been commended by the Director of Learning and Teaching for Chemistry, Professor Simon Lancaster who said “The sense that our students have gained: that sustainability is an economic as well as a social imperative, will be invaluable”.
During laboratory sessions students coupled the experience with another initiative to share laboratory learning on the social media sites. Students, academic staff, technical support staff and SustainableUEA shared images of the apparatus and comments on Twitter and Instagram. These extended the reach of the project to engage with other organisations and institutions whilst helping to promote the pioneering activities ongoing at UEA.
SustainableUEA has also helped to increase exposure to the project by publishing a blog and newsletter case study. The project engaged students, academics, technical support staff and commercial partner Radleys in the drive to reduce the impact of laboratory activities whilst creating a novel apparatus that has the potential to reduce energy and water consumption in labs worldwide.