Thursday, 5 September 2019

SELA's industry-linked integrative projects shortlisted for National Enterprise Educator Award

SELA is delighted to have been shortlisted in this year’s prestigious National Enterprise Educator Awards in the Higher Education Team Category.

SELA has been shortlisted for its integrative projects, which use enterprise and entrepreneurship to connect students’ learning to real issues in our city, with national relevance. The year-long projects have stimulus briefs that provide wide scope for students to create, communicate and realise their own vision, whilst delivering real value to our University, businesses and wider stakeholders.

Over the last year, our students tackled four key issues: 

1. Promoting STEM to young people, linking engineering with the National Curriculum by creating an escape room-style lunar base, and an augmented-reality museum installation reaching 12,000+ people – the first ever undergraduate contribution to our University’s ‘Festival of the Mind’ city engagement programme. 

2. Industry 4.0 adoption, addressing the decline in manufacturing by creating an energy monitoring solution for an SME manufacturer, demonstrating efficiencies to initiate conversations with other manufacturers by establishing links through the Northern Crucible manufacturing network. As a result, manufacturers report no longer believing digital innovation is beyond their reach, and the project was shortlisted for Best Use of Technology in Industry, in the first ever Sheffield Digital Awards. 

3. Climate change and pollution, utilising urban sensing research to effect attitudinal change, establishing to connect stakeholders with live air quality data, and creating ‘Urban Champions’, a schools programme to deliver climate change lessons through a partnership with Richards’ Family Foundation to influence children and their caregivers.

4. Budget challenges in health and social care
, networking digital technologies to support independent living, whilst considering ethical issues. The team secured support from Barnsley Council, laying the groundwork for further collaborative projects, and recently presented their work at AATE 2019, the pre-eminent international conference on assistive technologies in healthcare.
The National Enterprise Educator Awards recognise excellence within enterprise and entrepreneurship education in UK higher and further education. They reward and celebrate individuals and teams who have demonstrated an exceptional and inspirational commitment to supporting student and graduate entrepreneurship.

On hearing that SELA is a finalist, Head of SELA, Dr Gary Wood, said: ‘We are proud to be shortlisted for our innovative approaches to inspiring student learning through building partnerships with industry and our local communities.

‘SELA’s integrative projects allow our students to truly take the lead, as they develop their leadership capabilities. They learn to inspire and influence others into action, recognising that leadership is not about a position, but about vision, determination, and inspiration – whilst discovering their agency in making ideas happen.’

The Awards ceremony takes place this evening, at a Gala Dinner in Oxford Town Hall.

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