Podcasts highlighting excellence in research at Middlesex University have been released as part of the Research Profiles series.
The 16 audio profiles, presented by Professor in Professional Practice Kurt Barling, give a snapshot into unique and ground-breaking research projects being undertaken at the university across a range of fields by some of the country’s brightest minds.
Dr Andy Bardill from the Middlesex University Design Engineering department tells of partnering with the Royal Air Force to raise and conserve the World War II fighter bomber the Dornier 17 from the English Channel:
“This aircraft, for all intents and purposes, only exists as a collection of nearly all scrap metal. It is being conserved and some very interesting artefacts are coming out of it, but until it is rebuilt, the public can’t see it,” he said.
Dr Bardill and his team have developed innovative and high-tech ways to recreate the aircraft during its physical reconstruction, adding: “We have developed augmented reality apps so that you hold your phone into the air and actually see a full 3D size model of the Dornier – walk around it, get up close to it. That’s now in various in various museum locations around the world and we’ve developed the technology to be able to place that large 3D object anywhere we want on the planet as long as we know the GPS co-ordinates.”
In another, Professor of International Law William Schabas reflects on the origins of universal human rights and the obstacles that still exist in ensuring their implementation across the world.
“Human rights are very important because it sets universal standards that we think should be applied in all countries, to all peoples around the world,” he said.
“There are many challenges to human rights at the current time. One of the major ones is to enhance the message of ‘universality’ – to tell people, to explain to people around the world that human rights represent shared values...and they are not simply a regional obsession of one part of the world trying to teach lessons to the other part of the world.”
With recent severe flooding across parts of the UK, there has been much attention on Middlesex University’s Flood Hazard Research Centre.
Head of the Centre Sue Tapsell discusses its research work, including a project to recruit locals from flood-risk areas to be ‘social sensors’ – teaching them to observe rivers and giving them a secure web portal to upload photos and data to inform decision makers in real time about potential flood risk.
“We are also monitoring social media like tweets and Facebook during flood events to see how people communicate about them and what we can learn from that, and how that may impact upon people’s behaviour,” she adds.
Other podcasts cover topics including sporting science, robotics and child exploitation and can be accessed through SoundCloud.