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Creating Sustainability Impact from Research

Virtual Discussion

Boots library roof garden
Networking | Seminars | Workshops

Find out how Nottingham Trent University (NTU) researchers and business can work together to create a more sustainable and productive future

Past event

Event details

About the event

The session will explore the benefits of collaborations between researchers and businesses and the essential role this relationship plays in progressing towards a more sustainable, and more productive, future. The session will begin with an introduction from the University’s Research Impact Manager on how research can make a positive impact on business, society, the economy, and the environment. Professor Anton Ianakiev and Professor Peter Williams will then provide examples of successful collaborative projects they have led alongside industry partners that, together, have contributed to a realising a greener world. Finally, Professor Emily Burton will highlight current activity taking place within NTU’s ‘Sustainable Futures’ Research Theme, as well as potential areas for new projects and partnerships.

Benefits of attending

The session will provide a space for businesses and NTU researchers working within Sustainable Futures to network and meet new potential partners. For businesses, the session will demonstrate how partnering with NTU researchers might benefit your business—from helping to embed innovation within your business and providing access to new funding opportunities to becoming greener and driving productivity and growth. For researchers within Sustainable Futures, the session will provide an opportunity to engage with stakeholders and potential partners who could co-produce highly impactful research and innovation. By working together, we have the potential to both maximise your business’s potential and make a meaningful difference in the world.


Chair: Dr Laurence Gardiner

*Dr Michelle Poland, ‘Introduction to Research Impact at Nottingham Trent University’

*Professor Anton Ianakiev, ‘Retrofitting Residential Homes and Introducing Sustainable Energy System’.

*Professor Peter Williams, ‘Ethanol’s Contribution to Lessening Europe’s Feed Protein Deficit…and Saving the Amazon!’.

*Professor Emily Burton, ‘The NTU Sustainable Futures Research Theme’.

*Q&A. Discussion, input, and ideas from attendees is very much encouraged—we want to hear from (and about) you!

Speaker abstracts and bios

Dr Michelle Poland

Title: ‘Introduction to Research Impact at Nottingham Trent University’

Abstract: ‘Research impact’ is simply research that makes a meaningful difference in the world and is increasingly on the agenda for academics. Michelle will outline what research impact is and why it is important, and highlight the central role partnerships, collaborations, and engagement with individuals, communities, and organisations beyond the University plays in developing research that matters to stakeholders. Michelle will explore the many benefits these collaborations can bring—to business, society, culture, the economy, and the environment—and how, by working together, we can progress towards a more sustainable future.

Bio: Dr Michelle Poland is the Research Impact Manager at Nottingham Trent University, a role which involves helping academics across the institution to identify meaningful ways to connect their research to the real world. Michelle is a passionate advocate for the role research plays in enhancing prosperity, health, and quality of life and is currently working towards developing impact from her own research related to ‘Gothic Animal Conservation’. She received her PhD in English from the University of Lincoln in 2019 and is Co-Editor of the open-access peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal Gothic Nature.

Professor Anton Ianakiev

Title: ‘Retrofitting residential homes and introducing sustainable energy system’.

Abstract: Working with industry partners, we have transformed more than 400 heard-to-heat council homes in Nottingham into energy efficient homes. We are the first in UK to introduce large scale Low Temperature District Heating (LTDH) to 94 flats, where the heat is taken from the return pipe of the existing district heating network, utilising the unused heat in the network. In the 2050 Homes scheme we applied state of the art retrofitting with communal / hybrid energy system aiming achieve 2050 standards of energy efficiency for 27 residential homes. The hybrid scheme provides sustainable energy for space heating, hot water, and electricity from ground source heat pump, integrating PV panels, thermal and electrical storages, replacing individual gas boilers and eliminating fossil fuel sources of energy.

Bio: Professor Anton Ianakiev is Professor in Sustainable Energy Systems at Civil Engineering Department, Nottingham Trent University. His research is focused on using numerical simulation in heat transfer, sustainable materials, structures and buildings, energy efficient buildings, low temperature district heating. He is developing research in Smart Heat Networks, where his interests are in the development of low temperature district heating system with distributed energy storage to reduce transmission heat loses and load variations, incorporate renewable sources and use smart metering systems to optimise the heating system and reduce the overall running cost. Anton has more than 54 publications in journals and conferences and he has 14 grants with industrial partners. He led NTU participation in the REMOURBAN H2020 Smart Cities and Communities project. The project aims at the development and validation in three lighthouse cities (Nottingham, Valladolid, Eskisehir) of a sustainable urban regeneration model that leverages the convergence area of the energy, mobility and ICT sectors in order to accelerate the deployment of innovative technologies to significantly increase energy efficiency, improve sustainability of urban transport and reduce gas emissions in urban areas.

Professor Peter Williams

Title: ‘Ethanol’s Contribution to Lessening Europe’s Feed Protein Deficit…and Saving the Amazon!’

Overview and bio: Peter has been working with the Professor Emily Burton and Nottingham Trent University for the past 14 years. He was invited to be an Emeritus Professor of the University in 2014 and has held the post for the past 7 years. Working with the students is his most rewarding pastime. Peter is currently senior Nutritionist with Green Plains Inc a major US ethanol producer that is converting the bioethanol process into a biorefinery which in addition to ethanol produces a high value protein concentrate for animal feed. With experience in animal nutrition in both academia and commerce he is past president of the British Society of Animal Science. Ex R&D Director of a leading international feed additive livestock nutrition-company, he is now CEO of AG_Bio Ltd, an animal nutrition consultancy, consulting in Agri Business and Science. Peter currently leads several current, high profile R&D projects focusing on alternative proteins for feed and food including a novel grain high protein product from the bioethanol industry. Peter considers his greatest success is enthusing students to consider a career in animal nutrition.

Professor Emily Burton

Title: ‘The NTU Sustainable Futures Research Theme’.

Abstract: Emily will explain the approach used by our researchers, highlight the breadth of our activity and share some examples of NTU projects working with industry to address some of the challenges laid out in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Bio: Emily is Professor of Sustainable Food Production and Research Theme Leader for Sustainable Futures. Emily represents the UK in the European Poultry Working Groups on Nutrition (WG2) and Education and Information (WG11). Alongside publications in her field, Emily undertakes multidisciplinary research with colleagues at NTU and externally spanning a range of life sciences.

Virtual Event

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