GradEx 2015: Life-saving projects showcased in Stoke
Research into whether green tea can help slow down breast cancer and a new system to prevent plane crashes are two of the diverse projects being showcased at Staffordshire University’s GradEX 2015 next week.
Hundreds of Engineering and Sciences students will be exhibiting their final year assignments at the Stoke-on-Trent campus on Friday May 15 and industry professionals will award prizes to the best work.
On the day, BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science student Laura Scully will be presenting a science project that looks at whether green tea can help prevent breast cancer spreading.
“There is already research out there suggesting that green tea can slow down cancer growth and I wanted to put that to the test.” explained Laura.
For the experiment, Laura treated breast cancer cells with different concentrations of green tea and recorded the growth rate of the cells afterwards.
“I wasn’t expecting the results to be so significant. The growth of the cancer cells halved after being treated with the tea, I was amazed.” said.
“It just proves that green tea really can benefit cancer patients. I also believe that if people regularly drink green tea then it might reduce their chance of getting cancer in the first place.”
Meanwhile Jonathan Cobham, a Bsc (Hons) Aeronautical Technology student, has created a new system to monitor fatigue levels in commercial pilots.
“We took a crash investigation module in the second year and found that a lot of the time plane crashes are down to human error. Tiredness can have a massive effect on a pilot’s reactions so it’s really important to monitor this.” explained Jonathan.
Jonathan, who has ambition to become a pilot himself, has combined different elements of existing products to build a more reliable system.
“Most systems are designed to track how tired the pilot is but I’ve also factored in ways monitor how alert they are.” said Jonathan.
“I’ve included eye-tracking software which uses cameras to record how often the pilot blinks and how wide open their eyes are, then another piece of software monitors which buttons the pilot is using and how often. I’ve also combined this with a Neuron mask which tracks brain activity.”
The combination of data then determines when it is best for the pilot to sleep and sets an alarm, including a vibrating seat, to wake them up.
Also at the event is Stacey Hutchinson, a BSc (Hons) Environment and Sustainability student, who will be sharing the findings of an environmental audit conducted at the Britannia Stadium, the home of Stoke City Football Club.
Stacey has been looking at factors including how much energy is used by the stadium, how far fans and suppliers travel to the stadium and by what method, and how much waste is produced.
“The club has been fantastic. They’ve really helped me with the project and I’ve met with their energy consultant, grounds keeper and head of retail.”
“I think football clubs have a huge part to play in the community and should be environmentally responsible. Then that behaviour might encourage fans to be more aware of sustainability and do their bit. Hopefully the club will welcome my feedback.”
Students from Engineering and Sciences will showcase their work at the Stoke-on-Trent campus and Computing and Creative Technologies students will be at the Stafford campus, on Friday 15 May from 10am – 12pm.
NOTES TO EDITORS
You are invited to send a photographer or reporter to the GradEx 2015 exhibition at Staffordshire University’s Mellor Building at the Stoke-on-Trent campus on College Road.
Projects by students from Engineering and Sciences will be on display from 10am – 12pm on Friday 15 May.
For further information please contact the press office on 01782 292702.
Multimedia Press Officer
Staffordshire University is developing to meet the needs of modern day learners and current and emerging industries. Vocationally inspired, the University offers courses across a wide range of subject areas. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 determined that 78 per cent of the University’s research is world leading or of international importance.