Three of the shortlisted entries for this year’s St David Awards, the national awards of Wales, involve Swansea University.
The St David Awards recognise and celebrate the exceptional achievements of people from all walks of life in Wales and abroad.
Each year there are 9 St David Awards, the first 8 of which are nominated for by the public: The finalists and winners are decided upon by the First Minister of the Welsh Government and his advisers.
Two Swansea University teams feature in the shortlist for the Innovation, Science and Technology award, and a member of staff has been shortlisted for the Community Spirit category:
Nominated for Innovation, Science and Technology award
At the start of the Coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, there was a shortage of hand sanitiser. A small team of colleagues from different departments at Swansea University came together to produce World Health Organisation standard hand sanitiser and within 7 days, the first batch was delivered to a local hospital.
The project rapidly grew and required the support of 30 volunteers from across the university. This was on top of the volunteers’ day jobs. The team produced a total of 34,000 litres of hand sanitiser to distribute to the NHS, care homes and public sector organisations.
2 Speed-cleaning ambulances during COVID19
A Swansea University team from the College of Engineering is amongst the projects selected by the Welsh Ambulance Trust and Small Business Research Initiative to test out new ways of speed-cleaning ambulances. The Swansea team’s method involves using rapid-release gases.
The previous cleaning regime could take up to 2 hours and sometimes had to be undertaken at specialist cleaning centres, which could be some distance from the ambulance station or hospital. Funded by Welsh Government and working with the Small Business Research Initiative Centre of Excellence, a challenge was developed to work with industry, academia, the Ministry of Defence and Innovate UK to find new solutions to improve this process.
Nominated for Community Spirit award
Dr Mahaboob Basha works for the Energy Safety Research Institute at Swansea University. He has been a champion of community cohesion and the Muslim community in Swansea over many years and a passionate advocate for those in need – including refugees, asylum seekers, international students and other newcomers to Swansea.
He has organised CPR training for children and young people, collaborating with GPs and other medical staff. During the pandemic he has volunteered at local care and residential homes, delivering over 1400 prescriptions and groceries to people who were shielding.
The winners of the St David Awards will be announced on 24 March.