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2021 Postgraduate Research Poster Competition winners announced

Blocks of multicoloured glass windows

The Open University (OU) has announced the winners of this year’s Postgraduate Research Poster Competition, which recognises PhD and Professional Doctorate students’ academic excellence and contribution to the University’s research community.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Research, Enterprise and Scholarship (RES), Professor Kevin Shakesheff, awarded the prizes during a ceremony this morning (23 June).

Now in its 16th year, the annual competition empowers postgraduate research students to communicate their work in a poster or multimedia content, such as videos. More than 30 entered submissions this year on diverse topics, from reducing food and plastic waste to the experiences of adolescents who use wearable technologies to manage their diabetes.

A panel of OU academic and academic-related judges selected winners in two categories, while students and staff across the University voted for the winners of two People’s Choice awards.

Judges’ Choice

Joe McNeil from the School of Physical Sciences’ poster, The Lost Landscape: a Story of Deposition and Erosion in the ExoMars Rover Landing Site, secured the top prize. It explored how to use space technologies to achieve The Sustainable Development Goals.

People’s Choice (Multimedia)

Freya Wise from the School of Engineering & Innovation’s video Heritage buildings and carbon reduction: Some interim conclusions shared her work on reducing residential heritage building’s carbon emissions while retaining their historical value.

Judges’ Choice (Best Use of Imagery)

Vicky Bowskill from the School of Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences’ poster Hay Days: management of floodplain meadows for sustainable hay production investigated how well-timed haymaking can bring agriculture back into balance with biodiversity.

People’s Choice (Poster)

Vicky also secured the most public votes for her poster.

The judges also selected Sophie Alexander, James Cole, Simona Radu and Katy Woodason as ’highly commended’.

The OU’s Graduate School organised this year’s awards. Dr Lindsay O’Dell, Graduate School Director, said:

“Finding creative ways to engage new audiences in the value of research has never been more important.

“Through this competition, we allow our postgraduate researchers to hone these skills and recognise the achievements of these dedicated individuals who play a crucial role in the OU’s diverse and vibrant research community.

“The quality of entries this year was outstanding, and the judges had an especially challenging time selecting the winners. I congratulate everyone who took part.”

Winners collected vouchers between £50 and £100 to spend with online retailers.

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