WGU Living Lab
A research concept. Using the university as a Living Lab means using your own academic and student research facilities to solve social responsibility and sustainability issues relating to Wrexham Glyndwr University’s infrastructure and practices.
Do you want to use the University as a case study or ‘testing ground’ for your final year research, dissertation or thesis?
Do you have a sustainability idea or project that you want to start that will benefit the University and its students?
If the answer is yes then we would love to hear from you….
The Living Lab project fund provides WGU students with the opportunity to improve environmental sustainability on the University estates by offering funds up to £300. The money can be used to support topics such as waste, transport, biodiversity, food, culture, energy, behavioural change, wellbeing etc.
To apply, visit WgSU
Living Lab Case Studies:
2018-19 Student and Staff collaborate in energy use and management at the university
Loide da Silva, 3rd year student on the Renewable energy degree is currently working with WGU's Energy team regarding reducing carbon, energy usage and cost. Loide said,
"I am really interested in the way the university uses energy and can see positive ways to improve on the universities current operational uses of buildings”.
Loide will use the engineering block as an example in her research with a view to replicating across all university sites. Loide has access to the Universities energy monitoring systems and is investigating where there are spikes in energy data.
"Sustainability Action Working Group member said “Loide’s enthusiasm to use her skills and knowledge learnt on her degree to help benefit the university is infectious. I'm sure I will learn from her as much as she learns from us”.
WGU students from September 2019 who are completing dissertations will be able to access funding from the Sustainability Action Working Group. The funding will be provided to assist students with equipment or resources required to carry out their research. All applications will be considered by the Sustainability Action Working Group and the project must be of an environmental and sustainable benefit to the university.
To apply visit https://wgsu.typeform.com/to/DPrYzA
Dan Shutt, WGU Wildlife and Plant Biology, Living Lab Project 2018.
The Dissertation aims on surveying for a schedule 9 (Wildlife & Countryside Act, 1981) invasive plant species (Himalayan Balsam) across the full length of the River Clywedog, a River Dee tributary that flows from Minera - Wrexham. Soil samples were obtained from different habitats that had both present and absent sites of Himalayan Balsam to ascertain if soil variables could support the understanding and behaviour of this invasive species and if they were a key factor for its survival success, which would help recommend more efficient management techniques to control the invasion. Invaded sites were within, Woodland Trust, Wildlife Trust, National Trust and Wrexham Council owned lands, as well as local farmers. If further understanding can be identified this will support the local ecosystems, waterways and farmers. Who currently struggle with the management of many invasive non-native species such as Balsam, Knotweed and Water stonecrop. All data collected was donated to these non-governmental organisations as well as Cofnod, the local biodiversity information centre for public and private use. A large part of sustainability, is preserving the natural environment, local to that area. Managing invasive species is key to enhancing native wildlife such as wildflowers, insects and aquatic species. Himalayan Balsam is known to cause detrimental effects to bank sides during winter and the flooding season, by destabilising the soil structure, which erodes and widens river courses and reduces farmers land or damages the natural formation of an alluvial woodland. Furthermore, by carrying out this project it connects the University to the local community (organisations, farmers, general public) by engaging in current socio-enviro-economic situations that require scientific research and voluntary support.