Innovative geochemical research led by Selby at Durham has permitted
savings of up to $70M in global mineral and petroleum exploration
programmes (e.g., Andes of S. America; West of Shetlands oilfields).
Selby's research has developed a unique geochemical toolbox using rhenium,
osmium, platinum and palladium that constrain more accurate geological
models leading to better reserve predictions. The toolbox provides
previously unavailable geological time constraints and source
identification of resources (e.g., copper, gold, crude oil) that
gives mineral and/or petroleum companies an enhanced economic advantage by
improving reserve estimates and/or reducing exploration budgets and/or
minimising the environmental impacts of exploration.
Semiconductor wafers are subject to damage from misaligned handling tools, leading to cracks.
Most of these are benign, but a few propagate to cause silicon wafer breakage during high
temperature processing, leading to losses in production time costing millions of dollars per year.
Research in Durham showed that X-ray Diffraction Imaging can be used to identify which cracks
will catastrophically fail. As a consequence, Jordan Valley UK Ltd has designed and already sold
over £M [text removed for publication] worth of X-ray imaging tools to the semiconductor industry.
The company identifies this product as being critical to its continuation, safeguarding more than 25
jobs, and growth over the past 2 years.
Durham University Business School (DUBS) research concerning the nature
of trust within organizations, along with research on the methods managers
can use to build trust and to repair it after major failures, has led to
significant impacts across a wide reach of organizations. Through a series
of professional training projects, practitioner-oriented reports and media
articles the research has led to: (i) investments in training — benefiting
both the organizations involved and the individual staff members who have
undergone the training; (ii) improved effectiveness of workplace practices
in organizations; and (iii) the use of research findings by professional
bodies to define best practice. Organizations involved include UBS,
Sunderland City Council; Richmond Housing Partnership; Lloyds Banking
Group; Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC); the Institute of Business Ethics
(IBE) and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
Collaborative research between Durham Physics and Industry showed that a
serendipitously discovered new material had unique, pressure sensitive
conduction properties which were derived from quantum tunnelling. This
research, published in 2005, is cited as one of the top 25 papers in that
Journal for that year. Peratech was set up to commercialise this material
for applications including switches and mobile phones as the pressure
sensitivity gives a new dimension to scale the response. This company now
employs 25 people, has an annual turnover of £3M and won the 2012 Queens
award for Enterprise in the innovation category.
Durham researcher, Prof Stewart Clark, is one of the six original
co-developers of the Castep software package which calculates the
electronic, physical and chemical properties of materials from first
principles. Castep was written to solve a variety of research problems
from semiconductor devices and liquid crystal displays, to the behaviour
of Earth minerals under very high pressure, molecular dynamics and
biological systems. The software package was commercialised for use in
industry under license by Accelrys Inc., where it is bought and used by
~1000 high-tech companies for development of new materials in chemical,
pharmaceutical, auto and jet engine manufacturing industries. Total sales
revenue for Accelerys from the Castep code is in excess of $30M.
ENABLE is a history matching and uncertainty assessment software system
for the oil industry, whose inference engine was produced by the Durham
Statistics group, based on their research on uncertainty quantification
for complex physical systems modelled by computer simulators. The system
optimizes asset management plans by careful uncertainty quantification and
reduces development costs by accelerating the history matching process for
oil reservoirs, resulting in more informed technical and economic
decision-making. ENABLE was acquired by Roxar ASA in 2006 and current
users include the multinational oil company Statoil. From January 2008 to
September 2012 (the most recent set of figures) the turnover attributed to
ENABLE was [text removed for publication].
Between 25% and 33% of all perpetrators of sexual abuse in the UK are
children or young people. Policy and practice in relation to this group
has been under-developed. The research detailed in this case study
constitutes a body of work that has identified gaps in service delivery
and has significantly advanced policy, training, treatment services, and
assessment and intervention practices for this group of children and their
families. The research findings have led to a shift across key service
providers, including Barnardo's and NSPCC, away from adult sex offender
approaches towards more child-centred and holistic interventions.
This study demonstrates how Bayes linear methodologies developed at
Durham University have impacted on industrial practice. Two examples are
given. The approach has been applied by London Underground Ltd. to the
management of bridges, stations and other civil engineering assets,
enabling a whole-life strategic approach to maintenance and renewal to
reduce costs and increase safety. The approach has won a major award for
innovation in engineering and technology. The methodology has also been
applied by Unilever and Fera to improve methods of assessing product
safety and in particular the risk of chemical ingredients in products
causing allergic skin reactions.
Research on vapour growth of semiconductor compounds led to a key
breakthrough in growing large crystals which form the basis for sensitive
X-and gamma-ray detectors. The process was commercialised by a Durham
University spin-out company, Kromek Ltd., which floated on AIM at £55M and
has over 100 employees in the UK and USA. The X-ray detectors are in use
in Kromek's security systems for screening liquids at airports,
significantly reducing restrictions on duty free goods. This application
won the $400,000 international prize in the 2009 Global Security
Challenge. The company also markets gamma-ray detectors for nuclear
isotope identification. These have won contracts totalling $7.5M from the
US Defense Threat Reduction Agency and are in use at Fukushima.
This case study focuses on the construct of mind-mindedness: parents' or
carers' ability to `tune in' to what their young children are thinking or
feeling. Durham-based research highlighted how parental mind-mindedness is
associated with a range of positive child and family outcomes, and has had
impact via two main routes: (a) advice and support offered to parents
(10,000 copies of the NSPCC's All Babies Count booklet and
associated social media sites reaching 800,000 parents), and (b)
interventions targeted to improve outcome in parents and families