Faculty of Engineering & Design staff

Sharing experience and best practice across the Faculty of Engineering & Design

Tagged: research

An Apple a Day...

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📥  Staff experiences

I recently took part in an experiment here at Bath University for the BBC Two show, Trust Me I’m a Doctor, presented by Michael Mosley, Chris van Tulleken, Saleyha Ahsan and surgeon Gabriel Weston.

Taking part in a television show was a complete first for me, so I had really no idea what to expect.

As it was part of an experiment here at the university, that took some of the pressure off being filmed, as I had a very clear idea of what I (and the group) was supposed to be doing, and when.

The experiment itself was a study of dieting vs. exercise, and which activity can help you lose weight quicker. It was conducted for the Department of Health and lead by the university’s own Dr Javier Gonzalez. It took place over two days, and involved a series of blood tests, fasting periods, and some track running for the group that I was part of!

Day 1 saw the entire group consume a breakfast of around 750 calories (muesli), a blood test before and after, and a simple period of rest afterwards, followed by a further blood test.

On day 2, we were split into two groups: Diet and Exercise. The diet group’s day was exactly the same as day one, only this time their breakfast had 500 calories worth of muesli removed. My group, the exercise group, were instructed to run enough laps of the running track to burn 500 calories (that was the tough part!), followed by eating the same 750 kcal breakfast.

I won’t spoil the results, so you’ll have to tune in to see – Wednesday 1st February, BBC 2 at 8pm.

At first I thought it would be quite nerve-wracking to be on film, knowing that it’s going to be viewed by potentially thousands of people, but actually that aspect of it feels so far removed at the time that I didn’t even think about it! Being filmed as part of a group also helped, not to mention the fact that the film crew was made up of only two people for the majority of the time.

It gave me a new perspective on TV shows in general and has really lead me to question the way some of my other favourite shows are filmed.

Overall, being part of BBC Trust Me I’m A Doctor was a fantastic experience that I would do again in an instant (depending on how tough the experiment is!). I was quite interested in health and well-being before taking part, but it has given me a renewed outlook on exercise and food in relation to living a healthy lifestyle.

And of course, I couldn't resist getting a shot with the man himself:

MeandMichael

 

Imagining research to engage communities

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📥  Celebrating success, Staff experiences

Ammar Azzouz, PhD student in the Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering, talks about this year's Images of Research competition and the importance of communicating our research to the wider community:

Images of Research takes place every year at the University of Bath and across several universities in the UK. It aims to communicate complex research ideas to the public and reinvent dialogues between different departments across the University.

The 50 images submitted this year illustrate the extraordinarily varied research undertaken at our University and present these using novel techniques ranging from sketching and hand-drawing to collage and photographs. They individually and collectively present some of the critical issues we are facing in our modern society including Alzheimer’s, aging, building materials, 3D-printing, scams, asylum seekers and racism.

My entry Hand Versus Machine? has been awarded the highly commended best image award. I was also one of only three postgraduates to be shortlisted for the Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Public Engagement with Research. I am really honoured that my passion for sharing my research with the public has been acknowledged.

Engaging the public

I believe events like this are of vital importance in bridging the gap between researchers and the public. Academics have to be more engaged with the community and follow in the steps of artists. Henry Moore, one of the most influential British artists, for instance, pioneered the use of films and documentaries to share his art with the wider public through television. He created a new way of showing art and presented the uncertainty surrounding the process of creating sculptures in regards to form and material in his films. Researchers have to look for creative and innovative ways to empower people, by transferring their skills and knowledge to our community. By doing so, our research will not only be documented in conference and journal papers, but also be translated into engaging projects.

My 2015 Images of Research entry

Ammar's 2016 images of Research prize winning entry

Hand Versus Machine? - Ammar's 2016 Images of Research prize winning entry

My Hand Versus Machine? collage questions the tools and techniques that architects use to translate their ideas to real life. For most of our history architects have used traditional techniques to communicate their ideas such as, inking, hand-drawing and painting. These techniques are vanishing and being replaced by new emerging tools. Since the 1960s, architects have used computers to generate 2D drawings and 3D models to imagine the future of our built environment. These models are realistic, informative and engaging.

Nowadays digital models are becoming even more complex since they require 4D (time) and 5D (cost) to be attached to every element of the model. Despite these pioneering advances that technology has offered, we have to use it in a more efficient and intelligent way that will lead to a smarter built environment. So shall we use hands or machines to communicate ideas? Perhaps both at different stages of the project, but it is important to emphasise the way we use our hands and the way we use our machines.

Building the unbuildable, virtually - Ammar's 2015 Images of Research entry

Building the unbuildable, virtually - Ammar's 2015 Images of Research entry