Research impact




Saving lives on Europe’s roads 

Lorries are involved in around 4,200 fatal accidents in Europe every year. Almost 1,000 of these fatalities are vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians – in which blind spots can be a significant factor.

Using SAMMIE, a CAD Digital Human Modelling system that was developed at Loughborough, researchers created a unique 3D visualisation of what can be seen through the windows and mirrors of HGVs, passenger cars and vans.  This enabled them to identify a key blind spot in the lateral vision of drivers, which with the help of improved mirror design could save hundreds of lives.

Working with the Department for Transport the team were able to define a change to European legislation which removed the blind spot. This led to an amendment of UNECE Regulation 46 - a standard that regulates the area of coverage of vehicle mirrors - which came into play at the end of June 2015, and requires new HGVs Europe wide to be fitted with improved mirror designs.

Find out more about this project.

Improving the diagnosis of breast cancer

PERFORMS  is an online self-assessment and training resource for breast screening radiologists, developed by Loughborough’s Applied Vision Research Centre (AVRC) in collaboration with the NHS Breast Screening Programme, now part of Public Health England.

Over 21 million images of women aged 45-74 are screened for cancer by 700 UK radiologists every year using the software. This has led to more than 8/10 women in England diagnosed with breast cancer surviving for at least five years.

Find out more on the PERFORMS website.

Improving access to water in developing countries

Water Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC) is one of the world's leading education and research institutes for developing knowledge and capacity in water and sanitation for low and middle-income countries.

More than 1 million people in developing countries now have access to clean, piped water because of research from the WEDC experts at Loughborough University.

Find out more about this project and other work from this group on the WEDC website.

Creating a minimum socially acceptable level of income or living wage

Minimum Income Standard for the United Kingdom is a major programme of work, run by the Centre for Research in Social Policy (CRSP) at Loughborough University, which regularly reports on how much income households need to afford an acceptable standard of living.

As a result, thousands of UK workers receive £8.25 an hour Living wage.The Living Wage Campaign adopted a Living Wage level for outside London based explicitly on the Minimum Income Standard. By November 2012, 30,000 people outside London had received pay increases worth a total of £33m as a result.

To find out more visit the CRSP website.



Loughborough invention could prevent another Brussels style attack

In today’s society, sadly it seems inevitable that we are going to see more and more terrorist attacks like those witnessed in Brussels in 2016. A device created at Loughborough University could provide the answer to safeguarding the travelling public.

ExDtect – the brainchild of Loughborough professor John Tyrer – can identify tiny amounts of explosive particles invisible to the naked eye. Using complex laser technology it can remotely scan vehicles, cargo and crowded areas, such as airports, train stations and sports stadiums, automatically alerting an operator if it detects traces of explosives and accurately pinpointing its location.

The system is non-invasive, works in real time and causes no delays to the public or businesses.  It is fully automated, ruling out human error, and the images produced are no more controversial than those generated by CCTV.

Find out more about ExDtect.

Rapid detection tests for prostate cancer

A research team at the University have developed what is believed to be the first in a new generation of rapid detection tests for prostate cancer – with the help of smartphone technology. The technology uses a small sample of blood, a new affordable microfluidic test strip, and a smartphone camera, to monitor the levels of PSA (prostate specific antigen) in a blood sample. The test has the potential to revolutionise healthcare by making reliable lab and consumer test results accessible to everyone, even in remote areas of developing countries where laboratories are limited.

Find out more about this research project.

Boosting early detection rates of cancer in developing countries

The number of people dying from cancer in developing countries is on the increase, partly due to steadily ageing populations, but also due to limited access to proper diagnostic tools.

In response to this, Loughborough researchers have developed a portable lab in a briefcase that can measure cancer biomarkers, believed to be the first kit of its kind. The portable technology could provide a solution for diagnostic testing in remote areas of developing countries that lack adequate technology to support a full laboratory.

Find out more.

New device could give paralysis sufferers a voice

Billed as a tool to help bring back the art of conversation for sufferers of severe paralysis and loss of speech, the Augmentative and Alternate Communication (AAC) device analyses changes in breathing patterns and converts ‘breath signals’ into words using pattern recognition software and an analogue-to-digital converter. A speech synthesizer then reads the words aloud.

The prototype was designed for patients with complete or partial loss of voluntary muscle control. It learns from its user, building up its knowledge as it goes, ultimately enabling the user to create their own language by varying the speed of their breathing.

Find out more about Augmentative and Alternate Communication.





Revolutionary 3D printed fashion

Research at Loughborough could change the way we shop for clothes in the future, with personalised 3D printed fashion - manufactured in just 24 hours.

Working in partnership with global textile and garment manufacturer the Yeh Group, researchers at Loughborough are embarking on a landmark project to produce 3D wearable, full-size, Additive Manufacturing (AM) textile garments and footwear.

Advancements in AM textiles have made it possible to produce 3D printed garments directly from raw material, such as polymer, in a single manufacturing operation; reducing waste, labour costs and CO2e.

Find out more about 3D fashion at Loughborough.



Brought to you by