News

All the latest from LJMU

Safety First

A multi-disciplinary team from academia, industry, and the dental profession has collaborated in a LJMU project to look at the extent of the hazards of COVID-19 in dental settings and ways of eliminating it.

The team was led by Professor Ian Jenkinson with Dr Touraj Ehtezazi and Dr David Evans in collaboration with the University of Hertfordshire (Toxicology Research Group).  Reporting in the British Dental Journal, they found most aerosol particles were less than 0.3 microns (μm) in diameter, a size range which encompasses the SARS-CoV-2 virus (0.05–0.15 μm). They also discovered that, even in the presence of aerosol suppressing interventions, these particles were substantially elevated within half a metre of the patient’s mouth.

The team looked at how to remove aerosol particles and permit a quicker turnover of patients – reducing so-called fallow time. Using intraoral low and high-volume suction they found they could cut fallow time from the current recommended 30 minutes to less than 10 minutes, thus enabling more patients to access treatment safely.

Information is King

A team led by LJMU computer scientist Professor Thanh Nguyen is transforming the customer experience of Merseyrail passengers.

Trials of a new intelligent passenger information system are underway on the Northern Line between Liverpool Central and Liverpool South Parkway stations.

It will see platform staff provided with hand-held devices that pick-up alerts directly from a range of rail data sources.

“The idea is to make our staff the best informed in the country. That way they can provide information more quickly and accurately to our customers,” explained a spokesperson.

Named IRIS, the technology will serve not only Merseyrail passengers but also those travelling on national services from the city-south hub. IRIS will provide staff with a two-way communication channel, which harvests information from different sources into one single view.

The LJMU experts say the system will make information flow much more resilient in challenging times, for instance, when there is a major incident or flooding on the line.

A Greener Future

LJMU’s Faculty of Engineering and Technology played host to the major players in the housing and construction industry this January at the Low Carbon Homes Liverpool Conference, supported by MCS. 

The virtual conference comprised three days of knowledge-sharing to consider how Liverpool can rapidly scale up the retrofitting of housing across the city to meet its net-zero target. Liverpool City Council plans to make the city carbon neutral by 2030, creating more energy-efficient housing stock, increasing the amount of green space in the city area, and improving air quality.

The Council's vision includes: incentives for the private sector to build more energy-efficient housing; retrofitting 6,000 homes with energy-saving features such as triple glazing, heat pumps and solar panels; and financial incentives for homeowners, including discounted green mortgages.

LJMU plays an invaluable role in fusing industry and academia together, leading a range of business innovation programmes, including the Low Carbon Eco-Innovatory. 

Research by the Faculty’s School of Civil Engineering and Built Environment shows that the use of recycled steel, lightweight brick and other sustainable materials can cut Co₂ emissions in a house build by more than a fifth.

Low Carbon Homes Founder Graham Lock said: “We've been working with LJMU for over a year now to deliver this event. “We're taking a close look at the viability of retrofit in an area of the UK with relatively low property values and high levels of poverty and look forward to achieving positive outcomes that will enable the city to take bigger steps towards their bold net-zero vision."

Seminars for Success

As a research focused University, LJMU works hard with its postgraduate students to enhance research techniques and provide the researchers of the future with all the skills they need to make a real difference to the world. Here we meet Arron Peace who has recently taken part in LJMU’s Nursing and Allied Health (NAH) staff and student seminar series.

“My undergraduate degree was in Biomedical Science at the University of Hull. I then studied Molecular Medicine specialising in Cardiology at the University of Sheffield/Sheffield Medical School. 

When I was studying in Sheffield, as well as having a significant component in the molecular mechanisms of disease, there was also a focus on translation from basic science into improving patient outcomes. This really introduced me to translational research and clinical trials.

I knew I wanted to undertake a PhD focusing on translating basic science into improvements for clinical groups. Shortly after I completed my MSc, my LJMU PhD was advertised on Findaphd.com. It was focused research hoping to improve outcomes in clinical groups, so it was ideal.

I chose LJMU because the research seemed to be health-focused. The location was also a real benefit.

When I heard about the LJMU seminar series I was really keen to get involved. It is a great opportunity to foster and develop the research community within the Faculty of Health. Universities often risk becoming silos for research groups but this seminar series enables you to engage in group problem solving and identify areas for collaboration. It also offers the opportunity for researchers experienced in a specific area to share their expertise and early-career researchers like myself to develop skills, particularly in presenting research and engaging in discussions.”

The NAH seminar series is designed to prepare students to defend their thesis and enable them to develop the skills needed to engage with an academic audience. It takes place on the first and third Wednesday of the month with presentations focusing on research methods and current student projects. The sessions enable postgraduate researchers to present their work to peers and academic colleagues in a supportive but challenging environment.