BU Shortlisted for Two THE Awards

Posted on Monday, September 10 2012

Bournemouth University is delighted to announce two nominations for this year’s prestigious Times Higher Education Awards 2012.

Bryce Dyer, Senior Lecturer in Product Design has been shortlisted in the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Innovation and Technology’ category, while Dr Simon Thompson, Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology & Neuropsychology was nominated and shortlisted in the category of ‘Outstanding Employer Engagement Initiative’.

During late 2011, Bournemouth University’s Bryce Dyer worked in conjunction with Pace Rehabilitation Ltd, to help develop a new cycling prosthetic leg design for an athlete who competed at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Attempting to create a solution that is comfortable yet competitive in an activity as dynamic as cycling was a challenging task.

“The design process had an open, blank sheet approach to the problem. The final solution neither looks like a leg nor resembles a traditional prosthesis,” said Bryce Dyer, from the School of Design, Engineering and Computing.

The leg was completed and tested in early 2012 and used by Irish cyclist Colin Lynch to great effect when he won a gold medal at the Para Cycling World Championship in February. Lynch also used the prosthetic limb in the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

He said earlier this year after his World Championship victory: “It was a privilege to work with Pace Rehabilitation and to have the expertise of Bryce Dyer in the design and production of this cycling leg. It was a massive leap forward from the first leg that Pace made for me last year. The final product shaved precious seconds off my previous personal best times and helped power me to my World Championship win.”

Dr Simon Thompson’s work focuses on the fact that only .03 per cent of the 18,000 students who graduate each year in psychology go on to become fully fledged clinical psychologists. This arises partly because of the high pre-requisites of training programmes. As well as 2:1 degree classification or higher, candidates need to demonstrate a good knowledge of clinical issues together with clinically relevant experience to be accepted into training. Some courses prefer additional postgraduate qualifications.

The Government has introduced “stepped care” which requires psychological therapists with more basic levels of training than clinical psychologists, including graduate mental health workers and cognitive behaviour therapists. This initiative is designed to overcome NHS waiting lists and offers a range of services from a short and simple appointment for therapy to more complex psychotherapy.

This climate of expanding roles in psychological therapy has led to Bournemouth University introducing a 10-month MSc Foundations of Clinical Psychology. This provides students with necessary knowledge and experience gained through an intensive placement and acts as a stepping stone for psychology graduates applying for clinical psychology training.

It also promotes generic level of understanding in psychological disorders benefit different roles for psychologists in health, graduate mental health workers, cognitive therapists, nurse therapists.

Unique to this programme, is that over 30 health experts from around Dorset and surrounding counties contribute to the programme. The NHS is one of the biggest employers; together with contributors from charity and private sector organisations, the programme engages students with these employers early on. They also provide the 15-day placement experience that allows students to tailor their direction of knowledge within clinical psychology enabling them to present a credible, valuable and impressive set of skills at interview for employment and further training.

The recently published shortlist from THE “singles out those who uphold, and exceed, the standard of excellence” and the winners will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony will be held on 29 November in Park Lane. To see the full list of nominations please go to the Times Higher Education Awards website.