Principal Richard Williams with this years prize winner
Left to right: Robert Collins, Mark Wilkinson, Professor Richard Williams, Heidi Burdett and Lindsey St. Mary

The 2018 winners of the Principal's Public Engagement Prizes were announced at the Awards and Showcase event on Tuesday 11th December 2018. 

The annual awards recognise the fantastic role played by those research staff and students at Heriot-Watt University who engage non-academic audiences with their research work.

For academics, discussing research with an audience of non-experts can bring a fresh perspective, or lead to a realisation of the true value or impact of a piece of work

Professor Richard William, Principal and Vice Chancellor

During his speech Professor Richard Williams, the Principal and Vice Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University, explained why public engagement activities are so important; "For academics, discussing research with an audience of non-experts can bring a fresh perspective, or lead to a realisation of the true value or impact of a piece of work. It can also provide an opportunity to communicate enthusiasm and fascination with a subject to an audience that may otherwise not have engaged with it".

Professor Williams announced the winners and presented the awards in 3 main categories: Impact, Partner and Pioneer, as well as a special award for those who made an outstanding contribution to the University's Year of the Sea.

Public Engagement Impact Award

Winner: Dr Heidi Burdett, Research Fellow in the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society

Commended: Dr Katrin Lohan, Associate Professor in the School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences

Public Engagement Partnership Award

Winner: Dr Robert Collins, Research Associate in the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Commended: Dr Alan Gow, Associate Professor in the School of Social Sciences

Public Engagement Pioneer Award

Joint Winner: Lindsey St. Mary, PhD student in the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society

Joint Winner: Dr Mark Wilkinson, Research Associate in the School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences

Commended: Dr Anna Sedda, Assistant Professor in the School of Social Sciences

Year of the Sea Award

This special award was presented to the International Centre for Island Technology (ICIT) team, based in our Orkney campus.