COMMUNICATION WITH THE PUBLIC
Public engagement is an important and essential activity for our lab members. Sharing our research work with the public who fund it and the wider world is a crucial part of our mission. The lab members, and the PI, are very active participating in a variety of outreach & public engagement opportunities, such as School Visits, Café Scientifique, Pint of Science, Science Festivals, Researcher in Residence Programme, University Open Days, and by organising fundraising events, public lectures and workshops.
OUTREACH & PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT (EXAMPLES)
The Lamprou lab is actively involved in sharing new innovation and research with communities, support the work of charities, and sparking the spirit of scientific discovery in the youth. Examples include:
Science Festivals: We presented the concept of 3D printing and the applications in Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Science Summer Schools: Organising workshops in the area of 3D printing. These events are bringing world-leading STEM academic and industry leaders to inspire and activate the curiosity of the student attendees.
High School Café-Science Events: We presented different forms of hydrogels and we show examples of hydrogels in our everyday life and as drug delivery systems.
Public Lectures & Workshops: We presented to the elderly the preparation of tablets using traditional manufacturing methods and 3D Printing, and discussed the future.
Organising fundraising events: Examples of charities that we have supported so far with our fundraising events includes, Homeless Period Belfast, Friends of the Cancer Centre, Parenting NI, Prostate Cancer.
“Engage with University” programmes, which consists of over 50 different events yearly.
Visiting Schools: We are visiting local schools independently and under the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Ambassadors scheme.
Workshops: We are preparing workshops for Native Scientist (award-winning, non-profit network of international scientists).
GUIDANCE, IDEAS & FUNDING (EXAMPLES) FOR OUTREACH & PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT
RESPONDING TO THE NEED FOR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT & OTHER ITEMS
In March 2020, our lab quickly responded in the enormous shortage of Protective Equipment (PPE), by coming up with a pioneering programme. We used our 3D printing expertise/facility to manufacture different items (e.g., face-shields, "No-touch" hand tools, microplate holders, mask extenders) for the NHS and frontline professionals. This rapid response then encouraged other schools and institutions (nationally and internationally) to follow suit. With the sharing of design and production guidelines, the overall delivery of PPE can estimate in thousands. Moreover, our lab transferred the design knowledge to the School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, in order to be able to produce these items in continuous process. This generated a lot of positive reputational coverage (e.g., BBC Radio Ulster, Sky News, RTÉ News, Belfast Telegraph, Newspapers in Greece & Italy). The team was nominated for the Queen's University Belfast Staff Excellence Award in the "Community Impact" category & the PI has been nominated for the National Honour relating to COVID-19 support.