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Planned events
Event Date of event Venue details
Follow UP Grant Writing Wednesday 26 October 2011, 12-3pm TBA
Research Cafe Wednesday 26 October 2011, 4.30-6pm

Showroom Cinema, Paternoster Row (Further details click here)
Marianne Labet and Louise Freeman-Perry: CROWD

Hora Soltani: Using mobile technology in tackling maternal obesity

Research Cafe Wednesday 23 November 2011, 4.30-6pm Showroom Cinema, Paternoster Row
Speakers: Dr. Vesna Brujic-Okretic & Colleagues (City University London)
Research Cafe Tuesday 13 December 2011, 4.30-6pm Showroom Cinema, Paternoster Row
Research Cafe Wednesday 22 February 2012, 4.30-6pm

Showroom Cinema, Paternoster Row

Karen Vernon-Parry MERI SHU: Developing an intelligent mobile pressure cuff

David Smith BMRC SHU: Visualising the interaction of proteins in biological membranes

Research Cafe Wednesday 21 March 2012, 4.30-6pm Showroom Cinema, Paternoster Row
Research Cafe Wednesday 18 April 2012, 4.30-6pm Showroom Cinema, Paternoster Row
Speaker: Maria Hanson (What's in my Stuff?)
Final Exhibition 11th - 14th June 2012

A free exhibition at Sheffield Hallam University
Monday 11- Thursday 14 June 2012 at Hallam Hall, City Campus, Howard Street.
10am-6pm Monday and Wednesday; 10am-5pm Tuesday and Thursday
Showcasing cutting-edge research, Encompass has been developed by artists and scientists as part of the University's unique Engineering for Life project.
Whether your interests lie in the science of lower back pain therapies, the use of animation to bridge the generation gap or sport-inspired art, you will find an engaging exhibit.
Come and explore some of the exciting collaborative research taking place at the University.


For more information on each of the exhibiting projects please click here

Understanding Interdisciplinarity: Theory and Methods - An International Conference June 12th to June 14th 2012

Sheffield Hallam University Understanding Interdisciplinarity: Theory and Methods - An International Conference. For further information click here.


Past Events

Department Tour

Tuesday 5 July 2011

Following the department tour that was arranged on Tuesday 5 July. The EFL team would like to give you details of the equipment that was viewed and some contact details for the various areas should you want to get in touch. I have attached documents that list this information organised by research centre below. I am also happy to connect people if that is easier for you.

BMRC equipment list

CSER equipment list

MERI equipment list

The specialist equipment that can be found in ADRC and CCRC normally requires technicians support and has to be booked through different processes. Further information regarding this can be found at this link:


Research Cafe

Wednesday 15 June 2011
The Showroom Cinema, Paternoster Row

Speakers: Dr. Martyn Amos (MMU), Dr. Lindsey Munro (MMU)



Research Cafe

Dr John Hart & Dr Julie WestermanWednesday 11 May 2011
The Showroom Cinema, Paternoster Row

Speakers: Dr. Heidi Probst (CHSCR), Drs. Julie Westerman (ADRC) & John Hart (CSER)


Research Cafe

Wednesday 6 April 2011Prof Tony Ryan
The Showroom Cinema, Paternoster Row

Speaker: Professor Tony Ryan, University of Sheffield





Research Cafe

Wednesday 9 March 2011
The Showroom Cinema, Paternoster Row

Speakers: Dr. David Smith (BMRC), Mr. Heath Reed (ADRC), Dr. Christine le Maitre (BMRC)



Sustainability 'Jumpstart Event' 8 & 9 February 2011

The third ENGINEERING FOR LIFE  'Sandpit' or 'Jumpstart'  event was held on  8th  & 9th FEBRUARY 2011  facilitated by Tim Morley and Liz Ogilvie, from Know Innovation and supported by the EFL steering group. The attendees included staff from the five research centres at the heart of the programme – MERI, ADRC, CCRC, CSES, BMRC and other areas including D&S. EFL poster

Professor Chris Care (MERI) welcomed delegates and outlined the Engineering for Life programme, funded by EPSRC. He explained the main purpose of this project is to promote inter-disciplinary research with a view to Enhance People’s Lives. The aim for the third funding event, named Jumpstart, was to create new research projects with Sustainability as a theme understood in the broadest sense.

Key points were made by Prof Care including that this was a unique opportunity for different disciplines to work together; teams had 2-3 weeks to put together the proposals and submit the best possible bids; and EFL was able to allocate £80K funding for projects regarding Sustainability.

Research Ideas

Through this process thirteen ideas were generated and refined over the next three weeks with support of Dr Milanovic as coordinator and PIs as mentors. In a very competitive process the Engineering for Life award board was able to finally select six out of thirteen proposals- please read more on

Chris Care



More photos from the Sustainability Jumpstart Event




Annual Conference in January

We are pleased to invite you to the first Annual Conference for Engineering for Life.  Wednesday 12 January 2011, Sheffield Institute of Arts Gallery, Furnival Building. We will provide lunch whilst you explore our interactive exhibits in the gallery before hearing from our keynote speakers (see below) and from members of our team who have been funded by Engineering for Life. There will also be a networking opportunity after the talks where we will provide you with refreshments and there will be an opportunity to meet the team.

This is a major project funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to promote interdisciplinary research aAudiencet Sheffield Hallam University. Engineering for Life involves five of the leading research centres at the University and aims to develop new and exciting technologies to enhance people’s lives.  Themes addressed in the project include medicine, rehabilitation, assisted living, sport, physical activity, and sustainability.

At the conference, you will have the opportunity to explore our interactive exhibits, attend talks from keynote speakers and hear presentations from researchers with firsthand experience of working within Engineering for Life.  It will be a stimulating event with opportunities to network; we would welcome your contribution.

Professor Alan Read:

Alan Read (Professor of Theatre, English) is a writer and performance specialist. His interests lie in negotiating engagements between intellectual enterprise, innovative artistic practices and the public realm. He is currently developing an interdisciplinary research project, The Performance Foundation, exploring performance within the disciplines of law, war studies, medicine and the humanities.

For more information about Alan:

Dr. Mark Miodownik:

Mark Miodownik is an engineer and scientist. He founded and is research director of the Materials Library which actively researches the psychophysical properties of materials to understand why materials feel, smell and taste the way they do. This work has resulted in collaborations with designers, architects, artists, as well as many museums, such as the Tate Modern, the Hayward Gallery and the Wellcome Collection. Mark is a broadcaster and writer on science and engineering issues, and believes passionately that to engineer is human. He regularly gives popular talks on engineering and physics to tv, radio, festival, and school audiences and this year will be giving the 2010 Ri Christmas Lectures which will be broadcast on BBC Four.

For more information about Mark:



Here are some examples of the work that was exhibited:

Members of Hydro-Delivery for the Back Designs for Assistive Technologies Smartfloor


Visualising the Interaction of Proteins in Biological Membranes for the Diagnosis of Diseases (PDF 772KB)

Next Generation Smart Materials (PDF 6828 KB)

Hydro-Delivery for the Back and Joints for Life (PDF 29,450KB)






To view activities from our last Sand Pit with the theme of Sport, physical activity and medicine please watch this video taken at the event:


A video of activities from our last Sand Pit - click to view

A video of activities from our last Sand Pit with the
theme of Sport, physical activity and medicine.

Length: 1min 1sec


Research Cafe

Wednesday 10 November 2010, 4.30 - 6pm
The Showroom Cinema, Paternoster Row

Speakers: Alaster Yoxall, ADRC, Dr. Karen Vernon-Parry, MERI

Engaging Coping Strategies for Enhanced Use of Assistive Technologies


Research Cafe

Wednesday 13 October 2010, 4.30 - 6pm
The Showroom Cinema, Paternoster Row

Speakers: Prof. Steve Haake, CSER, John Kelley, CSER, Adam Sotheran, Diving Coach, Sheffield

Multidisciplinary Research in Sport

Prof Steve Haake

Director, The Centre for Sports Engineering Research (CSER)

Steve HaakeThe Centre for Sports Engineering Research has evolved over a period of 15 years into an internationally recognised centre of excellence in sports research.  It numbers around 35 with 15 staff, 9 PhD students, 8 MSc students and a number of short term internships.  The Centre has clients such as adidas, Reebok and Puma and draws research funds from UK Sport, the UK’s research Councils and the EU.  This presentation will give an overview of the work of CSER and highlight how success has only come about through collaborative research with multidisciplinary teams.  For the first time, some of CSER’s work for UK Sport and our Olympic teams will be presented; this includes the successful Gold Medal for Amy Williams at this year’s Winter Olympics as well as work for 13 other Olympic sports.

Applications of Image Processing in Sport John Kelley

John Kelley, Sports Engineering Researcher

John is currently funded by the Higher Education Innovation Fund to transfer expertise arising out of his PhD and CSER in general to external clients.  His PhD was on the application of image processing tools in tennis and was sponsored by the International Tennis Federation; the software tools he created are now being used at tournaments such as the Davis Cup and Wimbledon.  Similar tools are now being created for other external clients such as British Swimming, and his presentation will give a little detail of his work (confidentiality permitting!) and describe some of the issues around working with clients from the commercial world and the world of elite sport.



Technology for Olympic Divers

Adam Sotheran, Diving Coach, SheffieldAdam Sotheran

Adam has worked with elite diving for 19 years and is currently the Head Coach for the Sheffield High Performance Diving Programme. He has worked closely with CSER on the development of technologies to enhance the diving programme at Ponds Forge in Sheffield. He will describe how the technologies were developed, how they are used and how they will improve our chances of medals at London 2012 and beyond.







Research Cafe

Wednesday 15 September 2010, 4.30-6pm
The Showroom Cinema, Paternoster Row

Speakers: Heath Reed, ADRC, and Ben Heller, CSER

Our popular series of Research Cafes will be returning after a well-earned break on September 15 2010, we will be visiting some of our established projects and catching up with their progress. As usual our cafes will be held in The Showroom Cinema Cafe Bar just a stone's throw from the city campus and Sheffield train station.PrototypesSoftware

Touching Light: Seeing Sound: Supplementing Sensory Feedback

Second Lives for the Third Age



'Sand Pit' Event

Tuesday 15 June 2010, 6pm, Millennium Gallery
Wednesday 16 June 2010, 9 - 5pm, Kenwood Hall, Nether Edge

Following on from January's Ideas Generator, we are running another 'sand pit' event in order to fund new, interdisciplinary teams and projects. The theme for this time is: Sport, physical activity and medicine

Guest Speaker Dr Jeremy Wight, Director of Public Health

Click here for an example of Dr Wight's work.

Further information about Kenwood Hall, maps, and useful information including directions.

Please click here for a list of delegates attending with details of their research interests.

Anyone is able to attend, even those of you lucky enough to already be holding grants from EFL. However, only projects generated at the event will be eligible for funding.



Research Cafe

Wednesday 9 June 2010, 4.30 - 6pm
Showroom Cinema, Paternoster Row

Understanding Technology and People: Examples of Interdisciplinary Projects

Dr. Mark Blythe, Director of Computer Science, University of York
The scope of human-computer interaction design has widened to include concerns with fun, emotion, beauty, aesthetics and values. Computing technology is now so entwined with everyday life that enquiries into human computer interaction (HCI) are also studies of human culture. Cultural and Critical theory then is increasingly relevant to studies of Human Computer Interaction (HCI). An example of the work Mark is working on now is Net Neighbours. It is part befriending scheme and part shopping scheme. Volunteers are paired with an older person; they ring them up, have a general chat and then place their online shopping orders for them.

For more information about Dr Blythe;

man giving presentationman giving presentationman giving presentation

Dr. Nina Wakeford, Reader in Sociology, Goldsmith's College, University of London
Internet cafes, digital communities, mobile usage and the use of ethnography by new technology designers have all been a focus of her research. She is interested in the ways in which collaborations can be forged between ethnographers and those from other disciplines, such as engineering and computer science, and ways in which critical social and cultural theory can play a part in the design process.

Dr. Ann Light, Reader in Interaction, Media & Communication, C3RI, SHU
Citizen Innovation: Using Geezer Power to Create Sustainable Design
The story of the Geezers brings together art, design, engineering, education, small business and social change in a project that began as a research question in a university setting three years ago but took on a life of its own. This group of East End Londoners has been working to reclaim lost technologies which seem valuable with hindsight. Their main goal is to build water turbines in The Thames in a bid to generate electricity, combining old sustainable methods with new more efficient processes. What started as a co-design project to develop methods for engaging people marginalised by the digital tools in discussions about the future of networked technology has grown into a story of citizeninnovation, of people taking their ideas out of the speculative world of pub chat and into the minibus to do the research needed to make concepts a reality.

Women giving presentationPeople talkingPeople talking


Research Cafe

Monday 10 May 2010, 1 - 3pm
The Showroom Cinema, Sheffield

'Playing With Brains'

Professor Peter McOwan, Director of Outreach in the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science at Queen Mary, University of London

Professor McOwan's research interests are in visual perception, mathematical models for visual processing; in particular motion, cognitive science and biologically inspired hardware and software; and science outreach.
He is also a Bridging the Gap Investigator at Queen Mary.

One of the accepted Grand Challenges of science is to understand the workings of the human brain. This is a problem that has many aspects and many levels but one of the most promising is to study the brain as a computational system and in particular to study the lower level processing components such as early vision and sensory-motor integration which are both experimentally accessible and lend themselves to algorithmic description. The development of such biologically validated algorithms also allows their transfer to build functional computer artefacts mimicking natural behaviours and supporting new forms of human computer interactions.
For more details about Prof McOwan:

A women giving a presentation

"Measurements: From Networks to Medical Applications"

Dr. John Schormans, Bridging the Gap Principal Investigator and Senior Lecturer, School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, QMUL

A man giving a presentation

"Multidisciplinary in Practice: Lessons Learnt"

Dr. Tijana Timotijevic, Bridging the Gap Manager - Research (EECS) and Grant Writer (Centre for Sports and Exercise Medicine), QMUL 

Research cafe

Wednesday 14 April 2010, 4.30 - 6.00 pm
The Showroom Cinema, Sheffield

Professor Peter Stockley, University of Leeds
"Taming the Tower of Babel: Tales of Interdisciplinary Working"

It is the turn of the Biomedical scientists this month who will introduce us to Professor Peter Stockley who is Professor of Biological Chemistry in the Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds. Peter has vast experience in interdisciplinary working and will talk to the group about the issues involved and good practice.

Professor Stockley will talk about his research in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, particularly the use of biological molecules as scaffolds. The research brings together biology and electronics to create the world's first nanoscale electronic circuits built by harnessing naturally occurring virus structures. He will also discuss his experience of building interdisciplinary teams. For more details of Professor Stockley's work visit the following website:

People at the research cafePeople at the research cafe

Dr. Tom Smith (BMRC) will give a case study of interdisicplinary working between biomedical and material sciences and show the benefits that it can bring to research. A structured multidisciplinary discussion will then be lead by Drs David Smith and  Simona Francese (BMRC).

People sitting at the research cafe


Research Cafe

Thursday 11 March 2010, 4.30 - 6.00 pm
The Showroom Cinema, Sheffield 

Richard Liddle
British company Cohda Design Ltd was founded in 2006 by product designer Richard Liddle as an urban design brand with a mission: "to design, manufature and supply innovative contemporary products that break down the pre-conceptions of what sustainable, innovative designs should be.

Under Ron Arad in the RCA Design Products department Richard undertook a two-year research project into the development of 'Technical processes for the use of recycled plastics in design application'. The work evolved from researching the design restrictions imposed by pre-manufactured recycled plastic materials for the past fifteen years.

The URE process, (which is one of the main conclusions to the work), allows designs to break from the traditional flat pack aesthetic associated with recycled plastic designs and focus more on a metamorphic approach to domestic plastic waste. The URE proces incorporated various heat forming methods to re-shape plastic packaging waste quickly and effectively whilst eliminating sections of the recycling process and saving valuable energy in the recycled infrastructure. Designs from the research were highlighted and awarded at the Victoria and Albert (V&A) design awards 2007.

Christopher Breen
Chris has worked on clay-organic complexes for over thirty years. His interests include acid-treated clays as catalysts, clay-organic interactions, and, more recently, the production, characterisation and use of clay-based polymer nanocomposites. These materials offer significant enhancements in mechanical, barrier and fire resistant properties when compared with the virgin polymer and Chris is particularly involved in the study of these systems for the transport, construction and packaging sectors.

Chris became a Professor in 2002 and was appointed as Head of the Advanced Composites and Coatings Research Centre in the Materials and Engineering Research Institute at Sheffield Hallam University in 2004. He also leads the Polymers, Composites and Spectroscopy (PCAS group).

Richard Pearson
Richard is an Industrial Design student who will shortly be concluding his studies at SHU. His work is based on identifying value in waste objects and components and through a series of considered interventions aims to demonstrate and influence possible alternatives to material re-processing.


Ideas Generator

Wednesday 13 January 2010 Millennium Gallery, Arundel Gate, Sheffield
Thursday 14 January 2010 Interdisciplinary Centre of the Social Sciences, University of Sheffield

The Ideas Generator will identify a number of multi-disciplinary projects in the area of rehabilitation and assisted living, and also which of these will receive seed corn funding. The support will be awarded to allow proof of concept development of research ideas and will allow the researchers to generate cross disciplinary projects to apply for larger funding awards from prestigious funders.

Attendance at the Ideas Generator is by application only - Application form.

Ideas Generator eventIdeas Generator eventIdeas Generator event


Research cafe

Wednesday 2 December 2009, Hallam View, Sheffield Hallam University

This was the first of many Research Cafes that will invite guest speakers to cover topics from the areas of Art & Design, Communication & Computing, Biomedicine, Sports Sciences and Materials Engineering.

First was the turn of Dr. Scott Drawer, Head of Research and Innovation Programmes at UK Sport, the lead Government organisation that supports Great Britain’s leading sports at major European, World, Olympic and Paralympic Games. He has been in post since 2004 and has overseen the delivery of over 75 projects and programmes across many sports, which have supported the British success at Beijing. His role provides a diverse range of requirements but ultimately is focused on harnessing the very best academic and industrial expertise into a ‘high performing unit’ to deliver performance advantages for British athletes at major events.

He completed his undergraduate degree at Brunel University (BSC Hons: 1st class), and postgraduate degrees at Loughborough University (MSc; PhD) through the disciplines of sports science, sports medicine and sports management.

More information about Dr. Drawer

Dr. Scott Drawer gave a lively and humorous speech on the peaks and pitfalls of research in sports science. His talk from the perspective of interdisciplinary working helped give our eclectic audience further understanding into the type of research we are aiming towards in the Engineering for Life project. He also highlighted some of the possible end users of the research carried out in our theme of sport, physical activity and medicine.


Launch event

Wednesday 14 October 2009

Engineering for Life launch eventEngineering for Life launch eventEngineering for Life launch event

View a slideshow of photos from the launch event

Read further information about Engineering for Life and these events.


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