All posts by Tanya Horan

Future Metrology Hub team leaders (l-r) Professor Paul Scott, Professor Liam Blunt, Director Professor Dame Xiangqian Jiang and Dr Andrew Longstaff

Future Metrology Hub

The Future Metrology Hub, funded by the EPSRC (Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council) and industry, is the only one of its kind in the UK. The rapid evolution of manufacturing makes the role of metrology – the science of measurement – more vital than ever, as firms demand greater accuracy and efficiency in their increasingly complex and automated production processes. A new £40 million research centre based at the University of Huddersfield will play a crucial role in what has been dubbed the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The Future Metrology Hub’s vision is to transform the UK’s manufacturing performance by delivering significant improvements in the speed, accuracy and cost of measurement. The Hub is aligned with the UK Government’s industrial strategy to ensure that the UK becomes more competitive and productive.

Launch event

Jane Jiang 1

The seven-year Future Metrology Hub, which receives £10 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), with extra funding from universities and business partners, was officially launched in September 2017 at an event attended by more than 130 scientists, engineers, academics and industrialists from around the UK.

They heard a sequence of talks from key figures, including the Hub’s Director, Professor Dame Xiangqian (Jane) Jiang, who provided an overview of its work. She said that metrology is critical to modern manufacturing and pledged that the technology she and her colleagues develop in the lab – such as sensors and artificial intelligence control systems – would be geared up for use in the real world of industry.

Inter-disciplinary collaboration

Professor Dame Xiangqian (Jane) Jiang
Professor Dame Xiangqian (Jane) Jiang

Professor Jiang stressed the need for inter-disciplinary collaboration across a wide range of sectors. “That is what the Hub is all about,” she said, and added that its goal was a transformation in UK manufacturing performance.

The University of Huddersfield – home to a world-renowned Centre for Precision Technologies – is at the centre of the Future Metrology Hub. Its “spokes” are at the universities of Sheffield, Bath and Loughborough, which will contribute research in specialised areas.

The National Physical Laboratory, which has its regional base at the University of Huddersfield, is also a collaborator, and there are 29 industrial partners, including leading firms such as Rolls-Royce, Jaguar Land Rover, GKN Aerospace, BAE Systems, Siemens, Reliance Precision and Carl Zeiss, all represented at the launch.

Another key partner is the UK-based multi-national Renishaw, which has collaborated with the University of Huddersfield for a quarter of a century. Its Group Engineering Director, Professor Geoff McFarland, gave the keynote address at the launch day.

Renishaw has more than 1,500 patents and patents pending, said Professor McFarland. “But we don’t have all the answers and there are more and more questions. And that is why we are involved with this wonderful Hub.”

However, the skillset required of modern metrologists was incredibly rare, and traditional learning on the job is no longer viable in complex modern factories. Therefore, the training of metrologists would be a vital role for the new Hub, said the Professor.


Helping to keep the railways on track

The railway network is always looking for ways to reduce costs and improve efficiency. This includes minimising the wear and tear to its trains and tracks, in particular reducing the forces generated between the train wheels and the track.

The Institute of Railway Research has carried out extensive research in this area working closely with the rail industry. Increasing asset life and reducing maintenance contributes to increased service availability and reliability for rail passengers. Selecting the right materials for wheels and rails is a complex task with many conflicting requirements, including a range of failure mechanisms, operating conditions and the associated financial implications.

Recent research has focused on investigating changes to vehicle-track characteristics, such as wheel profile design, suspension design and the way in which the vehicle responds to track conditions. However, there has been less research on increasing the resistance of the materials to the imposed forces.

EPSRC funded research

The EPSRC (Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council), in cooperation with RSSB (Rail Safety and Standards Board) and DfT (Department for Transport), have funded a research project led by the Institute of Railway Research at the University of Huddersfield in collaboration with the University of Cambridge, University of Leeds and Cranfield University. The industrial project stakeholders and members of the steering group included British Steel, Network Rail and RSSB.

Phase 1 of this research project aimed to establish a comprehensive scientific understanding of the metallurgical characteristics of rail steels. This will enable scientifically-informed choices, which take into account both the specific requirements arising from the peculiarities of railway wheel-rail contact and the economic trade-offs at a system-wide level.

The results of this research will help establish the future design rules to engineer steel microstructures that provide a step change in the resistance to key degradation mechanisms with greater predictability of the deterioration rates.

Historically the rail industry has relied upon the testing of properties such as hardness and tensile strength and to a limited extent comparative assessment of wear resistance under simplified contact conditions. However, there is a knowledge gap in the understanding of the influence of microstructural constituents of various steels on their ability to effectively resist other damage mechanisms such as rolling contact fatigue (RCF), plastic deformation and corrugation.

High performance rail steel

0013 © GJP

Recent developments of ‘High Performance’ (HP) rail steels have shown, through laboratory and on-track testing, that improvements in the resistance to both wear and RCF can be achieved through the right choice of alloying elements to alter the microstructural characteristic of the steel. This includes HP335 rail, developed in the UK by British Steel (formerly Tata Steel) and successfully deployed by National Rail, and carbide-free bainite steels deployed in Eurotunnel. However, the understanding of the reasons for the success of such steels requires further fundamental research.

Phase 1 of the research project has made some key breakthroughs in understanding the influence of alloying element and hardness on degradation of rail steel microstructures. In collaboration with Network Rail, the research is also supporting the development of guidelines to optimise the selection of rail steel grades taking into account damage susceptibility, vehicle-track characteristics, operational conditions and economic benefits.

Discussions are currently on going with the industrial project stakeholders in relation to funding Phase 2 of the research which proposes to extend the experimental testing and microstructural assessment to cover a wider range of rail steels.

The None in Three team at the University of Huddersfield

None in Three: A centre for the development, application, research and evaluation of pro-social games for the prevention of gender-based violence

One in three women will experience sexual or physical violence in their lifetime. The new £4.6 million None in Three (Ni3) research centre challenges the idea that violence to women is an inevitability.

The research centre may be the first in the world to explore the potential of computer games as an educational tool to reduce levels of violence against women and children, and has been established at the University of Huddersfield.

Ni3 was awarded £4.3 million from the UK Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund and the University of Huddersfield’s own research fund has contributed an extra £0.3 million.

Innovative approach

Professor Adele Jones attending a Ni3 training course in Barbados
Professor Adele Jones attending a Ni3 training course in Barbados

Working on a global scale, with close links with experts and campaigners in China, Jamaica, India and Uganda as well as the UK, Ni3 brings together specialists from a range of disciplines. These include the social sciences and computer technology and experts, who will collaborate on the research and development of a ‘pro-social’ computer game tailored to the priorities of the participating countries. For example the focus in the UK will be violence in adolescent relationships.

Colleagues from the School of Human and Health Sciences working on the project under Professor Adele Jones’ leadership include: Professor Daniel Boduszek (Co-Investigator), Gill Kirkman (Country Director), Dr Graham Gibbs, Dr Dominic Willmott, Dr Christopher Retzler, Vikki Hart, Paul Dagg, Jonathan Collett and Ramy Hammady. The Ni3 Centre is a cross-University collaboration with colleagues from the School of Education and Professional Development (Professor Paul Miller and Dr Eugenia Katartzi) and the School of Art, Design and Architecture (Dr Anna Powell and Professor Song Wu).

Alongside other centre partners in the UK and Barbados, there are also new posts being advertised for postgraduate researchers and games developers to join the Centre. The Ni3 collaborators in China, Jamaica, India and Uganda will recruit their own teams.

Ni3 launch

Mikael Barford
Mikael Barford

The official launch event for Ni3 in November 2017 featured a keynote address by the EU’s former ambassador to the Eastern Caribbean, Mikael Barford, who has taken a close interest in the issue of gender-based violence and the work of Professor Adele Jones at the Ni3 research centre at the University of Huddersfield. Dr Agata Debowska, a psychology lecturer at the University of Sheffield, also spoke. The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield, Professor Bob Cryan made closing remarks and declared the centre open.

Professor Adele Jones
Professor Adele Jones

The project will include both qualitative and quantitative research in each country in order to understand some of the social and cultural drivers of gender-based violence in the five countries. This research will then inform the development of a computer game for each country.

There will be a systematic review of studies into gender-based violence in each country and this will enable the development of a survey designed to assess the attitudes of children and young people to violence. It will also be used to measure the effectiveness of children’s exposure to computer game intervention.

“We have to make sure that each computer game is culturally and socially appropriate and that it addresses the range of issues that have been identified in our research,” said Professor Jones. “The project has been funded for its first four years, but the intention is that it will be a permanent research centre with overseas collaborations.”



New research from the University of Huddersfield Press

The University of Huddersfield Press was established in 2007 to provide an outlet for publication for University authors and to encourage new and aspiring authors to publish in their areas of subject expertise. Producing print books, open access eBooks and academic journals, the Press covers a wide range of subject areas providing a platform for innovative and interdisciplinary research at Huddersfield.

Keep up to date with new publications, plus events and competitions by following us on the University of Huddersfield Press blog, Facebook and Twitter.

Identity Papers: A Journal of British and Irish Studies


The University of Huddersfield’s Academy for British and Irish Studies was established in 2009, and Identity Papers develops out of its varied and interdisciplinary work. It seeks a wide and cross-disciplinary audience from inside and outside the university sector, and draws on robust research to communicate ideas connected with identities in Britain and Ireland, today and in the past, in a readable way. Centrally, it aims for ‘accessibility with rigour’.

This third issue of Identity Papers: A Journal of British and Irish Studies demonstrates some of the scholarly diversity for which we aim with this journal. Four longer articles take the reader from music of the medieval period, via nineteenth-century Bradford, to contemporary London and Brexit Britain. Via the disciplines of Politics, Music, History and Literature, readers of this issue experience four different, detailed and clearly explained insights into particular aspects of British life, culture and representation and the ways in which we try to understand them.

2017-2018 catalogue

UoH Press Catalogue Oct2017

The University Press now has a catalogue which covers all of its publications, including all books and journals. This can be accessed on its website.


Vice-Chancellor Professor Bob Cryan with John Parkinson, Angela Gallop and Mark Burns-Williamson (part of the advisory Group) at the Launch in March 2016

Inter-disciplinary approach to tackling global security challenges

Pictured above: (l-r) Vice-Chancellor Professor Bob Cryan with John Parkinson, Angela Gallop, Mark Burns-Williamson (part of the advisory Group) and Professor Rachel Armitage at the Launch in March 2016

Launched in March 2016, the Secure Societies Institute (SSI) represents a truly inter-disciplinary approach to addressing global security challenges including, but not limited to, terrorism, child sexual abuse and exploitation, cyber crime, modern slavery and human trafficking. The Institute has over 80 members. These are research active staff and postgraduate researchers from across each of the seven Schools at the University of Huddersfield who are conducting research that has some relevance to security. This includes topics as varied as ballistics, cyber crime, law forensic linguistics, criminology, policing, forensic podiatry and forensic science. The overall vision of the SSI is to be an innovative, internationally renowned institute dedicated to providing applied, practical evidence-based solutions to security challenges.

Advisory board of practitioners

The Institute is guided by an Advisory Board that includes practitioners with expertise in law, policing, youth crime and victimisation and forensic science; these include John Parkinson (OBE) – the former Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, Mark Burns-Williamson – the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, Angela Gallop – CEO Forensic Access and Axiom International, Nick Barker – Barrister, Sue Berelowitz – Former Deputy Children’s Commissioner and Professor Ton Broeders  – Leiden University. Working closely with end-users ensures that the SSI’s research and outputs are applied and directly implementable.

Professor Rachel Armitage
Professor Rachel Armitage opening the SSI launch in March 2016

The Institute is directed by Rachel Armitage (Professor of Criminology) with Deputy Directors Professor Liam Blunt and Dr Stefano Vanin. A cross-School Management Team ensures that the focus is multi-disciplinary. Four Assistant Directors lead on key research themes – these are: Dr Simon Parkinson (Cyber-Crime), Professor Paul Thomas (Terrorism and Violent Extremism), Dr Anna Williams (Forensic Science and the Criminal Justice System) and Dr Maria Ioannou (Modern Slavery and Child Sexual Exploitation/Abuse).

“The Institute is about working more effectively as a University, sharing the knowledge that we already have, but also adding value to produce something exciting, innovative and truly inter-disciplinary,” Professor Rachel Armitage, Director Secure Societies Institute

The Institute is based within the 3M Buckley Innovation Centre; this gives the Institute a physical space that is not linked to one School. Professor Armitage is based there with SSI Research Fellows – Dr Dagmar Heinrich (Forensic Anthropology) and Dr Iffat Gheyas (Cyber-Crime).

Knowledge sharing

Members of the Institute can expect many benefits in terms of progressing their research – primarily an opportunity to meet regularly with other researchers with a common interest in crime and security. SSI hosts bi-monthly members’ themed workshops at which external practitioners are invited to present a particular security challenge, with members asked to consider applied solutions to that problem. Workshops have been held on topics including: serious sexual offences, terrorism and violent extremism and modern slavery. Members can also expect support in writing inter-disciplinary papers and bids.

To find out more about the research in this article, please contact Professor Rachel Armitage: You can also watch their latest video: SSI


Researchers (l-r) Professor Paul Thomas, Professor Michele Grossman, Kris Christmann and Dr Shamim Miah

Community reporting of violent extremism

Pictured above (l-r): Professor Paul Thomas, Professor Michele Grossman, Kris Christmann and Dr Shamim Miah

The first people to suspect or know about someone becoming involved in planning acts of terrorism, including involvement in overseas conflicts, will often be those closest to them.

While these friends, family and community insiders offer a first line of defence, very little is known about what it means to them to report the potential involvement of an “intimate” in violent extremism. This means that ‘intimates’ reporting is currently a critical blind spot in international attempts to counter violent extremism.

Community reporting thresholds

Professor Paul Thomas
Professor Paul Thomas

Paul Thomas, who is Professor of Youth and Policy at the University of Huddersfield, has researched a wide range of community issues, including the Prevent programme that is designed to halt extremism. Now, he and Visiting Professor Michele Grossman (Deakin University , Melbourne, Australia) have together headed a major new research project titled Community Reporting Thresholds. The research was funded by the Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (CREST) and intended to develop an earlier Australian study by Professor Grossman.

Logo box CMYK

The research team, which also included University of Huddersfield researchers Dr Shamim Miah and Kris Christmann, carried out a national series of in-depth interviews where interviewees from communities were taken through a series of scenarios based on real-life cases. They were asked what their feelings would be, what dilemmas they would face and what course of action they would take if they had information about a relative or friend involved in terrorism. The researchers also interviewed professional practitioners, including counter-terrorism police officers, Prevent coordinators based in local authorities and key workers from Muslim community organisations.

Community response


One key conclusion arising from the research is that reporting to the police is such a grave step that most community respondents would only do so after a staged process. First, they would attempt to dissuade their ‘intimate’, and also take counsel and guidance from family members, friends and trusted community leaders. Some younger respondents would also share concerns with lecturers or teachers. If those concerns needed escalating, the research showed that people want to report to the local police, not counter-terrorism specialists. They also wish to do so in person, so that they could assess how seriously their report was being taken and to enable discussion. This suggests that training all police personnel to respond appropriately would be beneficial to effective reporting. Telephone hotlines were not seen as appropriate for non-emergency concerns.

Supporting those who come forward

The project report makes a sequence of recommendations, such as the localisation and personalising of the reporting process and the development of support mechanisms for people who make reports. “It is important there is a response that’s more about welfare, safeguarding and counselling for both the person and the people doing the reporting,” Professor Paul Thomas. Officials from national and local government and policing organisations attended the research findings launch events and the team is now in discussions about how the findings can support improved policy and practice.

Following the launch of the UK project findings, the international dimension of the work expanded further when Professors Thomas and Grossman visited Ottawa at the invitation of the Canadian government to hold talks with officials, senior police officers and academics to discuss carrying out a similar research project in Canada. Colleagues in the USA are also taking a key interest in the findings, in recognition of the international importance of this topic.

Professor Anne Gregory pictured in the powerhouse of the micro hydro plant in Kedungrong Village. Left to right: Dr Gregoria Yudarwati, Professor Anne Gregory, Village Leader Mrs Suprihatin and Universitas Atma Jaya's Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences Ibu Ninik Sri Rejeki.

Communication expertise helping isolated communities in Indonesia

Poor levels of communication can mean that isolated villages in Indonesia are failing to utilise sustainable technology such as micro hydro and solar power, installed by their government and designed to transform their economic fortunes.

Professor of Corporate Communications Anne Gregory is helping the Indonesian Government in its efforts to help rural villages to adopt and exploit renewable energy technology for the benefit of their communities. The task in hand is not just about technical solutions, but about communication.

The research, funded by the British Council, focusses on Indonesia, but the solutions that emerge will be relevant to all developing countries. The project is already being cited as a valuable case study in the field of science communication.

Professor Gregory holds the Chair of Corporate Communication at the University of Huddersfield Business School. For this project she is collaborating with a team headed by Dr Gregoria Yudarwati, who is Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences Universitas Atma Jaya, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The government in Indonesia has a policy of encouraging rural communities to use sustainable energy resources such as solar, micro hydro and biogas, rather than relying on centrally-generated electricity, which can be intermittent or not available at all.

A communication issue

Anne Gregory 2

Professor Gregory and her co-researchers are working with several Indonesian villages where the sustainable technology is now in place. Getting the communities to adopt and exploit the technology is the problem – and that’s a communication issue.

“A scientist can go in and say this is how the technology works and we’ll train you mechanically, but nobody talks to the people about the potential of it in a way that makes sense to the community,” said Professor Gregory.

Therefore, the British Council grant was awarded to help with the communication issues around the adoption of sustainable technology in rural Indonesia. Fieldwork and research are ongoing – Professor Gregory and her University of Huddersfield colleague Dr Johanna Fawkes have paid visits to Indonesia and met local communities and government officials – and the output will be a highly-practical communication blueprint.

Appreciative Inquiry

Professor Gregory and her collaborators are using an approach named “Appreciative Inquiry”. “It is about trying to get people to imagine the future. For example, what could happen in the community if the lights were on in the school after dark; if you had a workshop with reliable energy 24 hours a day or if the women, instead of having to wash clothes by hand, had a communal launderette. We can then work through what needs to happen to make those dreams a reality. By taking ownership of the potential of the technology we can encourage them to adopt and exploit it fully. From there we can identify who they need to talk to, when, on what and why and who needs to talk with them. So for example, they need to talk to local government about maintenance costs, to technical people about the electrical capacity they need, to village groups about development priorities and so on.”

The aim is to map what their communication needs are and create a blueprint, which, when it is finalised, can be piloted throughout Indonesia.  It should also have relevance to other parts of the developing world.

The British Council is impressed by the progress so far and when it recently held a science journalism workshop in Surabaya, Indonesia, the University of Huddersfield project was used as case study for one of the sessions. The event, intended to improve standards of science and technology communication, was a prestigious one, with participants who included selected journalists and ten researchers who had received coveted backing from the British Council’s Newton Fund.


Wildlife crimes on trial

One particular problem that is raised regularly by those working to stop the illegal trade in endangered species is sentencing. It is widely held that sentences for such offences in many countries, including the UK, are too lenient. The principles of deterrence require that sentences are certain, swiftly dispensed and severe (enough). Prosecutions for such offences remain rare, so deterrence is already difficult to achieve.

Sentencing illegal wildlife trade


In 2014, Melanie Flynn, Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Huddersfield, was commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund UK (WWF-UK) to undertake a research project looking at the state of sentencing for illegal wildlife trade (IWT) in England and Wales, with a particular focus on sentencing guidelines. The research, which was completed over 2014 and early 2015, involved a review of the literature, an analysis of data on wildlife trade prosecutions (provided by TRAFFIC), interviews with Crown Prosecution Service prosecutors (listed as wildlife and heritage crime specialists) and an ‘experts workshop’.

The research concluded that sentencing in England and Wales for IWT is inconsistent, lenient and dispensed within a system involving prosecutors and sentencers that have little (if any) experience of such crimes. As few cases appear before the courts, there is no opportunity to build up a body of knowledge and there is little precedent (previous decisions of higher courts) on which to draw. Unlike many other offences, IWT is not subject to sentencing guidelines. Given the findings of the research, Melanie strongly believes that such guidelines are necessary if sentencing IWT offences is to be improved, and have any deterrent effect.

Introducing sentencing guidelines


The research findings and subsequent report supported the view that WWF-UK should continue to advocate for the introduction of sentencing guidelines, and arguments were presented in support of this. In addition, drawing on existing guidelines and the experts’ workshop, Melanie highlighted the types of issues that should be considered in any future guidelines, including those relating to a more appropriate assessment of the harm caused by such offences.

Representatives of WWF-UK have met with the Sentencing Council, however at this time the Council still holds the view that IWT offences should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and confirmed they have no current plans to introduce guidelines.

Photo credit: WWF-Malaysia
Photo credit: WWF-Malaysia

However, as a result of this research, in May 2017 Melanie was invited by WWF-Malaysia to Kota Kinabalu (Malaysian Borneo) to attend a meeting of the Judiciary of Sabah and Sarawak as an expert advisor. Melanie was the lead presenter and also helped to facilitate a workshop and feedback session. The meeting concluded with a commitment from the judiciary that they would establish a committee to introduce sentencing guidelines for their environmental courts, in a form compatible with their legal system.

Melanie remains in contact with WWF-UK and WWF-Malaysia and has agreed to provide further expert input as the guidelines are developed. Next year she intends to produce a revised version of the research for academic publication, again highlighting the importance of appropriate sentencing and the benefits of sentencing guidelines.

The research report can be found here: Sentencing Wildlife Trade Offences in England and Wales: Consistency, Appropriateness and the Role of Sentencing Guidelines


Continuous Improvement in Industry

Organisations which prioritise the continual improvement and innovation of their existing practices often use Lean[1] processes such as Continuous Improvement (CI) cells[2].

Continuous Improvement cells are a work improvement technique, which originated from the concept of Quality Circles[3]. The main benefits of adopting this approach can include productivity improvement, cost savings, safety improvements, workforce engagement and work quality improvement, all of which can lead to significant benefits for industry.

Working with industry


The Innovative Design Lab Research Centre (IDL) at the University of Huddersfield focuses on solving real world problems by working with organisations to develop solutions to design challenges and project based problems.

In 2016 IDL researched the benefits and challenges of Continuous Improvement cells with four organisations: Highways England, a design service supplier, a construction service supplier from the highways supply chain and Network Rail. The research was funded by Highways England.

Impact of CI cells

The research identified many benefits of CI cells at Highways England, in the highways supply chain and at Network Rail. These include improvements in team and supply chain coordination; team building and coaching; and task and resource management.  Particularly significant statistics include 165% improvement in the mean staff engagement scores when comparing Highways England’s outstations which use CI cells with those that do not.  A 14% productivity increase in one team was estimated based on their planning reliability records after their CI cell implementation.

Buyuk takim celli 2

The research also revealed a number of challenges, in the area of systematic data recording prior to adoption of the technique, knowledge about what to measure, standardisation and implementing continuous improvement.

Improving CI cells in the Highways Supply Chain

The research team developed a series of suggestions based mainly on the challenges they identified with current practices:

CI cell training: basic Lean training was recommended in order to raise awareness as well as introducing standard terminology and practices.

CI cell execution: in order to improve this particular aspect a number of suggestions were made, including systematic problem solving and standardising CI cell board design and execution.

CI cell benefit recording: a set of measures can be introduced so that teams know exactly what to record and measure and a better comparison is made across the board

CI cell incentivisation: in order to keep teams’ focus on continuous improvement it was suggested that an incentivisation programme between and within teams could be introduced.

Future CI cell research

Continuous Improvement cells by their very nature are always looking for new ways to improve processes and remove constraints to delivery. As part of this research IDL recommended further research, which included identifying the critical success factors by investigating why some teams are successful and others are not. Further understanding of which factors lead to better job satisfaction and evaluating how the programme could be improved were also recommended. Comparison of the performance over a period of six months of at least two similar teams, one using CI cells and the other not and evaluating the impact on their KPIs (key performance indicators) and team engagement is a future research opportunity, along with investigating where teams are allocating their saved resources through their CI cell practices and how they are being used.

Lucia Fullalove, Lean Collaborative Research Manager at Highways England who funded the research, commented:

“It is important to ensure that results from the Lean Collaborative Research are tried and incorporated into the work practices so that benefits identified by the research work can be fully realised. This will reinforce the usefulness of the research in supporting delivery of the Lean contribution to the RIS (Roads Investment Savings) at Highways England.

“Indeed, it is my experience with work in the HE Supply Chain (e.g. Manchester Smart Motorway) that all areas where I witnessed CI cells deployment have demonstrated improvements in the areas identified in the research. In addition, team members felt empowered and as a result were more pro-active in taking necessary actions to remove constraints identified in their work activities to improve or allow timely work delivery.”

[1] Alarcón, L. (1997). Lean construction. CRC Press.

[2] Miron, Luciana, Talebi, Saeed, Koskela, Lauri and Tezel, Algan (2016) Evaluation of Continuous Improvement Programmes. In: 24th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction, 18th – 24th July 2016, Boston, USA. (


Mega construction projects of scales of this nature will undoubtedly benefit my mainstreaming DRR in their construction processes

Disaster Resilience in Construction Education and Research

The past decade has seen a concentration of disaster events causing major social, economic and financial impacts. In order to tackle these increasing losses, the Sendai framework for disaster risk reduction 2015–2030[1], endorsed by 187 UN states in 2015, promotes disaster risk reduction practices.

There has been growing recognition that the construction industry and associated built environment professions are a vital component of this capacity. The scale, size and impact of the built environment cannot be ignored. In the UK for example, construction is one of the largest sectors of the economy. It contributes almost £90 billion to the UK economy (or 6.7%) in value added, comprises over 280,000 businesses covering some 2.93 million jobs, which is equivalent to about 10% of total UK employment[2]. It generates about 9% of gross domestic product (GDP) in the European Union and provides 18 million direct jobs.

Mega construction projects of scales of this nature will undoubtedly benefit my mainstreaming DRR in their construction processes
Mega construction projects of scales of this nature will undoubtedly benefit my mainstreaming DRR in their construction processes

The United Nations has issued a stark warning to the world’s business community that economic losses linked to disasters are “out of control” and will continue to escalate unless disaster risk management becomes a core part of business investment strategies.


In recognition of these challenges, an EU funded project entitled CADRE (Collaborative Action towards Disaster Resilience Education), was launched in 2014 and was funded by the European Commission, to identify mechanisms to mainstream disaster resilience in the construction process.

CADRE has been successful in capturing labour market requirements for disaster resilience; its interface with the construction industry and its professionals and identifying stakeholder requirements helping to mainstream disaster resilience within the construction process and thereby to identify how to integrate disaster risk reduction in construction practices.

Words into action

From left Professor Dilanthi Amaratunga and Professor Richard Haigh
From left Professor Dilanthi Amaratunga and Professor Richard Haigh

Professor Dilanthi Amaratunga and Professor Richard Haigh have been appointed to Chair a ‘Words into Action’ working group who will develop a UN guidebook on Construction Policy and Practice targeting governments, construction industry bodies and construction firms around the world to help prevent and recover from natural and man-made disasters. The guidebook will incorporate the results of the CADRE study, including thirteen key knowledge gaps and key themes identified among construction professionals as part of CADRE, and a series of recommendations to key actors in the built environment on how to more effectively mainstream disaster resilience in the construction process.

The guide will be published in early 2018 and copies will be supplied to all 187 countries that were signatories to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.  The guide is being developed in conjunction with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and with input from other construction professional bodies.

In addition, CADRE is also providing the basis for an innovative professional doctoral programme (DProf) that integrates professional and academic knowledge in the construction industry to develop societal resilience to disasters.

[1] United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (2015). Sendai framework for disaster risk reduction 2015–2030. Geneva: UNISDR.

[2] Department for Business Innovation & Skills (2013) UK Construction: An economic analysis of the sector, July 2013.


MIAMI-2 – a leading centre for the study of radiation damage in materials

MIAMI-2 has established the University of Huddersfield as one of the world’s leading centres for the use of ion beams as a tool for the investigation of issues ranging from nuclear technology and nanoparticles to semiconductors and the effects of radiation exposure on materials in space.

Hitachi engineer assembling the MIAMI-2 microscope
Hitachi engineer assembling the MIAMI-2 microscope

Europe has three transmission electron microscopes with in-situ ion beam research facilities and two of them are in Huddersfield. The first of which was MIAMI-1 – standing for Microscope and Ion Accelerator for Materials Investigations – designed and built by Professor Steve Donnelly, Professor Jakob van den Berg and Dr Jonathan Hinks.

From left Dr Jonathan Hinks and Professor Steve Donnelly
From left Dr Jonathan Hinks and Professor Steve Donnelly
Professor Jakob Van den Berg
Professor Jakob Van den Berg

MIAMI-1 is a bespoke combination of a 100 keV ion accelerator with a 200 keV electron microscope enabling nanoscale investigation of radiation damage. Now it has now been joined by the more powerful, versatile and much larger MIAMI-2 which has dual ion-beams and greatly-enhanced analytical capabilities.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) awarded £3.5 million for the development and construction of MIAMI-2, which has required the construction of a new storey at the laboratory complex in which it is now housed on campus.

Designed and constructed in collaboration with major companies such as, Hitachi and National Electrostatics Corporation – which have contributed major components – MIAMI-2 is already operational and will have its official launch in 2018.

Demand is high to use MIAMI-2 and will increase even further now that the University of Huddersfield has become one of the three UK universities to form the UK National Ion Beam Centre (UKNIBC) funded to the tune of £8.8 million – again by EPSRC.

The MIAMI-2 team consists of six members of academic staff plus two PhD researchers – rising to four in September with more studentships being advertised – and is currently mastering the complex new facility and its exceptional potential.

MIAMI-1 allows researchers to observe radiation damage on the nanoscale as it is happening but now MIAMI-2 brings additional capabilities in terms of analytical techniques. This means that they can irradiate, observe and analyse all at the same time generating a huge volume of invaluable scientific data in a very efficient manner.

Although scientists from elsewhere in the UK and overseas are already making extensive use of MIAMI-2, the University of Huddersfield’s own researchers will also take full advantage of the facility.

Currently, the largest area of activity at Huddersfield is nuclear technology with projects and international collaborations on both structural materials for reactors and solutions for waste storage. However, this group of researchers have historically worked with semiconductors and among the range of projects in which they are currently engaged are two PhD students studying nanowires and other types of nanoparticles. A further area of research is materials that have been in space or which are going into space; the hope is to understand the impact of the radiation they are exposed to and to develop a greater understanding of the history of the cosmos.


Celebrating the Brontӫs

In Victorian Britain the writing of the Brontӫs was considered by some to be scandalous, uncouth and coarse. Over the years their writing has become sanitised and Dr Michael Stewart is re-engaging with their legacy in order to shed new light on their life and work. He is focussing on what is wild and savage about their writing and exploring the world outside of Wuthering Heights.

Ill Will

Ill Will book cover

Dr Michael Stewart’s creative writing has received many awards and accolades and his latest work is inspired by the Brontӫs. Wuthering Heights was originally published in 1848 and Dr Stewart’s latest novel Ill Will considers what happens when Heathcliff runs off in the storm. It explains the missing years and how he turned from an uncouth stable boy to a gentleman psychopath.

Dr Stewart’s research for Ill Will included consulting various archives, such as The Liverpool Maritime Museum and the slavery archives at Liverpool City Library, as well as speaking with historians from the Liverpool Record Office, the Peel Group and Chetham’s Library in Manchester.

During the writing of the book, Dr Stewart walked hundreds of miles across the Yorkshire Moors and from Top Withens, the inspiration for the location of Wuthering Heights, to Liverpool docks. He re-enacted the walk that Mr Earnshaw took in 1771, which resulted in him returning with Heathcliff.

As part of the book launch Dr Stewart shared proof copies at the Bradford Literature Festival on 8 July 2017. HarperCollins is publishing the hardback in early 2018 and the paperback later in the year and Dr Stewart is currently negotiating film and television rights.

The Brontӫ Stones

Funding has been secured from the Arts Council and Bradford Council for a trail of engraved stones commemorating the bicentenaries of the birth of the Brontӫs. Dr Stewart is leading on this project called the ‘Brontӫ Stones’, which will see a stone each for Charlotte, Emily, Anne and Branwell Brontӫ. The Charlotte Stone will be placed in the wall of the birthplace in Thornton; the Emily Stone will be placed in the middle of Thornton Moor overlooking Oxenhope; the Anne Stone will be placed in the meadow at the back of the Parsonage in Haworth and the fourth stone will be a hidden stone.

The stones will be carved with specially commissioned writing from some of the most prestigious writers in the country, including Carol Ann Duffy, Jackie Kay and Jeanette Winterson. The stones will be in place in 2018 and there will be a series of walks, events, and talks organised around the stones. These events will be aimed at readers, writers and walkers and there will be school and college projects to engage with young people.

The Brontӫ Stones and the book Ill Will, will both be part of a focussed marketing strategy by HarperCollins to coincide with the bicentenary of the birth of Emily Bronte in 2018.


New research from the University of Huddersfield Press

The University of Huddersfield Press was established in 2007 to provide an outlet for publication for University authors and to encourage new and aspiring authors to publish in their areas of subject expertise. Producing print books, open access eBooks and academic journals, the Press covers a wide range of subject areas providing a platform for innovative and interdisciplinary research at Huddersfield.

Keep up to date with new publications, plus events and competitions by following us on the University of Huddersfield Press blog, Facebook and Twitter.

New titles: 

Grist Anthology


The latest Grist Anthology is an innovative blend of some of the most exciting and freshest voices in prose and poetry today. It features five sections written from five distinct narrative viewpoints.

Grist offers a valuable platform for new writers. By publishing emerging writers alongside some of the more established names in literature. It offers an exciting opportunity for those starting out in their writing careers.

Have a look at the latest anthology I You He She It – Experiments in Viewpoint

Beerhouses, Brothels and Bobbies

David Taylor

Beerhouses, Brothels and Bobbies by David Taylor 2

Professor David Taylor has established a fine reputation for his books and articles on the history of policing in England. This new book on Huddersfield policing looks at the mid-nineteenth century and issues facing the local area in relation to policing a centre of West Riding textile production.

Details of how to purchase a copy and the open access version are available here: Beerhouses, Brothels and Bobbies

Fields: journal of Huddersfield student research


Fields: journal of Huddersfield student research is a peer reviewed, interdisciplinary and fully open access journal. The journal features primarily work by undergraduates. The journal is a showcase for student work that demonstrates the significance, rigour and high standards of research. Fields is designed to inspire our students to work to the very highest standards and to see the work they do, even as undergraduates, as having the potential for further impact in the wider world.

Read the latest issue here: Fields

Stonehenge app image

Bringing to life the sights and sounds of ancient world heritage sites

Dr Rupert Till and a team of technicians at the University of Huddersfield have launched an app which brings the sights and sounds of sites like Stonehenge back to life. Unlike other computer game-like walkarounds, the sonic dimension of the Huddersfield app enables the user to hear what an ancient site used to sound like, in addition to being able to see what it looked it. This has been achieved by integrating acoustic modelling and using recordings of relevant ancient musical instruments.

The app turns smartphones, tablets and computers into time travel devices, enabling users to see and to hear ancient and mysterious sites such as Stonehenge as they were in the distant past, before they fell into ruin.

Named the EMAP Soundgate, it is now available as a free download for iPhones and iPads, Android devices, for PC and Mac, and with a Mac only version at Apple’s App Store.

Exploring world heritage sites

In addition to Stonehenge, where Dr Till has conducted extensive research on the original acoustics, the first release of the app enables users to make visual and sonic virtual tours of two other World Heritage sites – Palaeolithic Age decorated caves near Altamira in Northern Spain, and the ancient Roman theatre at Paphos in Cyprus.  New sites could be added to future releases, and there are also plans to adapt it for virtual reality headsets.

Full physical access to the sites included on the first version of Dr Till’s app can be restricted. It is rare to be allowed to enter the centre of Stonehenge, for example and some of the caves are not open to the public.  Therefore the app, installed on a portable device, can enrich or even replace an actual visit. Stonehenge today is a remnant of what used to be there and this app enables visitors to see and hear what it was like at different periods, from the beginning of its development through to its completion about 4,000 years ago. App users will also have the choice of visualising the site in daylight, dusk or after dark, with appropriate natural sounds.

Ancient musical sound bank

Ancient musical instruments form part of the app’s sound bank, alongside environmental sounds such as bird song.  Dr Till’s recent activities have included the production of recordings for the European Musical Archaeology Project.  They have included an acclaimed disc of Viking age music and the sounds made by ancient bone flutes.

The app has been conceived, developed and produced in-house at the University of Huddersfield, with the expertise of its Computer Games department being crucial to the digital modelling, based on the acoustic data provided by Dr Till.