The University of Central Lancashire was the big winner at the 2018 Higher Education Awards, where it collected three trophies, more than any other university.
UCLan won Most Innovative Contribution to Business-University Collaboration for its partnership with Preston-based Recycling Lives creative an innovative new way of turning waste into energy.
Chemical engineer Dr Ala Khodier has been working for Recycling Lives for two years on the project to reduce waste to landfill and increase recycle rates.
Recycling Lives recycles around 100,000 scrap cars annually through its industry-leading machinery at its Preston-based Recycling Park. Its processes allow for millions of tonnes of recycled metals and plastics to be returned to the market but also creates up to 1.2m tonnes of auto-shredder residue which could not previously be recycled or reused.
Now the study has developed a method of transforming the residue into a saleable product and electrical energy, to create a closed-loop recycling solution at the Recycling Park. Dr Khodier has also found metals retained in the residue that can be extracted and returned to the market, boosting recycling rates.
Once fully developed it is anticipated the solution will save Recycling Lives more than £1m annually while generating around 1,000 MW of energy.
UCLan also won the International Collaboration of the Year award for its efforts to relocate nearly 650 medical students and staff from the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine who were displaced after Hurricane Irma hit the Dutch-French island of Sint Maarten in September 2017.
The third award, for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts, related to UCLan Publishing, the only student-run, trade but not-for-profit publishing house in the world.
It is breaking the mould of how a publisher usually operates, empowering students to ‘learn on the job’. This year the team has enlisted big name authors such as Jaqueline Wilson, Jane Johnson and A J Hartley, to give the students experience of big trade, commercial publishing. A J Hartley’s book, Cold Bath Street, was promoted through UCLan Publishing PR and has become a national bestseller, with Waterstones taking it as a promotional title nationally.
Liz Bromley, joint institutional head, who collected the International Collaboration of the Year award from host Sandi Toksvig, said: “To walk away with more awards than any other university is absolutely outstanding, and I couldn’t be more proud.”
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