The Vice-Chancellor’s Innovation Awards seek to recognise and celebrate exceptional research-led innovations and products at all University levels that are having societal or economic impact.
The initiative attracted a total of 78 entries, from which four winners were chosen and a further 13 projects highly commended across four categories: team work, building capacity, inspiring leadership and early career success, before an overall winner was selected from the shortlist.
The overall winner was the Smart Handpumps initiative – an innovative technological response to water shortages and handpump service maintenance issues in Africa.
Led by Professor Robert Hope, Associate Professor at the School of Geography and the Environment, a multi-disciplinary team of academics created and installed an electronic device in the handpump’s handle, which automatically alerts maintenance providers when remote sites are damaged or broken.
During the first day of the 43rd IAH Congress in Montpellier, France the 2016 Awards of the International Association of Hydrogeologists were announced:
“At the Annual General Meeting in the evening, the new Applied Hydrogeology Award was presented to Dr Richard Carter (pictured) in recognition of his life time research in applied hydrogeology in Africa and elsewhere, his support for NGOs working in groundwater and his enthusiastic guidance and of students for many years at Cranfield University in the UK.
Finally, the 2016 President’s Award was given to John Chilton the current Executive Manager of IAH.” – source: https://iah.org/news/43rd-iah-congress-montpellier
Richard is a member of the UPGro Knowledge Broker Team, and both Richard and John are involved in the UPGro “Hidden Crisis” project.
We are delighted that Professor Carter, a member of the UPGro Knowledge Broker team and Hidden Crisis project, received the first ever “Applied Hydrogeology Award” from the International Association of Hydrogeologists:
‘for “a groundwater professional who has made an outstanding contribution to the application of hydrogeology, preferably in developing countries or in support of international development”. Seven nominations were received and we are grateful to the panel of Johannes Barth, Jane Dottridge and Callist Tindimugaya for their careful considerations.
The award to Richard Carter recognises that he has practiced, taught and championed applied hydrogeology in developing countries throughout his career and continues to do so with energy, passion and wisdom. He communicates sound hydrogeological science and knowledge to governments, NGOs, donors and communities, and inspires young hydrogeologists to develop practical solutions to groundwater and water supply problems.
Three specific areas that fit him for this award stand out. Firstly, his work on applied hydrogeological science in Africa, including the use of shallow groundwater for small scale irrigation and the development and testing of low cost drilling methods. Secondly, his lifelong support for NGOs, ensuring that good hydrogeological science and practice is made known and available to practioners and policy makers. Thirdly, at Cranfield Richard has been instrumental for more than 20 years in teaching and motivating students from around the world to appreciate and take up the same practical approaches to their work. In his reply, Richard urged those starting out on a career in hydrogeology to apply their expertise in an inter-disciplinary manner to the big problems of poverty and water and food insecurity as a highly worthwhile and fulfilling vocation. He remarked that he was humbled to receive the award, being aware just how many other African and international hydrogeologists are equally or more deserving than himself and finally thanked his unknown nominator and the panel of judges.’