17 June 2019

Thirst for innovation

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    Creative thinking by our technicians has saved us 60,000 litres of water a year.

    thirst for innovation

    How some creative thinking from our lab technicians saved us 60,000 litres of water a year!

    At UEA, we all believe in doing our bit to save the world and protect the planet’s vital resources. Our technicians are no exception.

    In our labs, we use lots of air condensers to cool and condense the vapours that are produced by our pioneering experiments. Our technicians spotted a way they could adapt these condensers to make our chemistry and pharmacy labs even more sustainable.

    With funding and support from SustainableUEA, a prototype was blown by our very own glassblower and tested by our technicians, before being rolled out and implemented in our labs. Our technicians didn’t stop there however. They collaborated with Asynt, the air condenser manufacturer who is now using our design to improve their products that will be used in university and commercial labs around the world. Just imagine the water that will save!

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    UEA perspectives

    “This is a momentous step. It allows us to fulfil our ambition of becoming completely water-free. With our continued innovation and dedication to sustainability, I believe we can really make headway in further minimising our impact on the environment.” - Matthew Bennett, Senior Technician

     

    “I’m really proud that the commitment and invention of our team has led to such a measurable impact across the University, which could also change the way other institutions deliver teaching. Teaching practical skills, and learning through experiments in our laboratories is integral to students seeing the theories and principles of their discipline really come to life. It’s where ideas flourish, inspiration is sought and passion for science is amplified.” - Prof Phillip Gilmartin, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Science

     

    “Our team is excited to see such benefits from the collaboration between UEA technicians and external industry. This is a fantastic example of the potential for innovation within our labs.” - Catrin Darsley, Sustainable Development Manager

     

    We’re proud to have signed the Technician Commitment. This reflects our support for our technicians, as we aim to provide them with greater visibility and recognition. Only by working together can we tackle the issues that matter.