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Making an Impact 2022: Sessions open to external audiences

Making an Impact 2022 (9 May – 10 June) is the University of Liverpool’s annual flagship programme of development opportunities for staff. Each year, various sessions are open to external audiences. See below for details of these events exploring knowledge exchange and research impact.

SessionDate & timeRegister

Informational interviews – discover what they are and their value

This session will go from the basics of what an informational interview is, to how you would arrange one and questions you could ask.

No idea what an informational interview is? Ever wondered what it might be like to work in a particular sector, organisation or role?

This is the session for you. Heard of an ‘informational interview’ but too nervous to arrange one? Come along! We’ll go from the basics of what an informational interview is (and isn’t), go step by step through how you’d arrange one and possible questions you may ask. Hear from real postdoc(s) who’ve held numerous informational interviews how they found the process and their top tips. There will also be time for a Q&A.

Mon 9 May: 13:30-14:30  Book here 

Employer panel session – hear directly what skills employers want

This interactive panel session is an opportunity to hear from a selection of employers about their professional experience with a Q&A.

Hear what it’s really like to work for their organisation on a day-to-day basis and the opportunities available for highly-skilled recruits.

After an introduction and Q&A chaired by the Prosper team, you’ll have the opportunity to ask the panel members any questions you have.

Wed 11 May: 13:00-14:30  Book here

From Liverpool to Impact - Notes from a patent attorney: IP and innovation careers for researchers

Speaker: Dr Andy Tranter, Managing Partner, Barker Brettell

Have you ever wondered how intellectual property is protected and enforced? Are you working in science, engineering, technical or a mathematics-based field and have considered becoming a patent attorney? Join two Liverpool alumni who went on to become patent attorneys and learn about the industry, what you need to know as a university researcher, and what it is like to be a patent attorney.

Fri 13 May: 10:00-11:00

Book here 

From Liverpool to Impact - Professional Insights from a career in Private Industry in Asia

Speaker: Dr Mark Begg, Former Global Operations Director – Asia, Air Products 

In an increasingly global world, there are opportunities to work in the public and private sector well beyond the UK. Join Liverpool alumnus Mark Begg, who will speak about his career and experiences working in Europe, the USA and Shanghai, China, where Mark was Operations Director for chemical industry company Air Products.

Tues 17 May: 09:30-10:30

Book here 

Keynote: Building a culture of innovation

Speaker: Dr Iain Hennessy, Clinical Director of Innovation and co-founder of Alder Hey Innovation

There are few more working environments with greater personal impact and pressure than paediatric surgery, but Alder Hey Clinical Director of Innovation Iain Hennessey uses that pressure to develop new treatments and drive innovation. He will deliver this keynote on building a culture of innovation using his personal experience, from starting a surgical simulation company as a trainee to forming partnerships with multinationals such as Sony and IBM. Join Iain to hear about his unique underground innovation facility for collaboration with the tech sector and how he developed a team of clinician entrepreneurs to drive change within the NHS.

Wed 18 May: 11:00-12:00

Book here 

Keynote: Impact Matters: Responding to COVID-19

Speaker: Prof Calum Semple

In a presentation about the impact of his work, Professor Semple will discuss his experiences and share his perspectives on informing the COVID-19 response.

Fri 20 May: 12:30-13:30

Book here 

Keynote: The road from COP26, how zero carbon innovation is leading the way 

Speaker: Steve Rotheram, Liverpool Metro Mayor 

In this critical moment of climate action, this event will showcase how innovation is leading the way in moving to a more sustainable, resilient and zero-carbon future. Featuring a keynote presentation from the Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, and a panel discussion from members of the Climate Futures Research Theme, this session will explore how the City Region is transitioning to a net zero carbon economy and how research at the University is leading the way on innovation in sustainability at a local, national and global scale.

Wed 23 May: 14:00-15:30  Book here 

Keynote: Knowledge exchange - a funders perspective

Speaker: Alice Frost, Director of Knowledge Exchange – Research England

This Keynote session will update on the latest state of play in terms of Government priorities and spending review decisions and funding allocations. Alice Frost will review the last years of KE policy and funding developments, including the impact of COVID 19, HEIF, the initiation of the Knowledge Exchange Framework and the Knowledge Exchange Concordat and the increased focus on commercialisation. As well as setting out Research England’s current intentions and plans for a fundamental review of its KE funding and policy approaches. 

Tues 24 May: 14:00-15:00 

Book here 

From Liverpool to Impact: Panel discussion on business development and collaboration

Speakers: Dr Bryan Bodek, Chair, Trenchard Aviation, Chair, Novabiotics; Peter Gallaher, R&D Consultan,; Former EVP Strategic Sciences, Unilever Investor; Mark Woodward, Director at Earthmills, Neal Jones Furniture, Carbon Reduction technology, Retrogenix, EWD

What is it like to work with researchers and universities from the perspective of a business? Join a panel of Liverpool alumni who will share lessons from their outstanding careers in business, including entrepreneurship, tech transfer, investment, research and innovation in a global business, board level conversations and consultancy.

Wed 25 May: 12:00-13:00 

Book here 

From Liverpool to Impact: Career from academia to industry

Speaker: Dr Lydia Brown MBE, Director at Strameno 

A career in research need not tie you down, as Liverpool alumni Lydia Brown can demonstrate. After completing a BVSc at Liverpool, Lydia went on to a PhD at Stirling and then held research, technical and commercial positions at universities, Contract Research Organisations and veterinary pharmaceutical companies. Join this session for advice on a varied and successful career, whatever your current area of research.

Fri 27 May: 14:00-15:00 

Book here 

Keynote: Climate Change and how Universities can make a difference

Speaker: Prof Judith Petts CBE, Vice Chancellor University of Plymouth 

Professor Judith Petts CBE has led the development of a new set of climate commitments endorsed by 140 universities which support government aims to cut carbon emissions by 78% by 2035.

In this keynote session, Prof Petts will discuss how Universities can make a difference to climate change by;

  • advancing knowledge and delivering climate and sustainable development literacy and culture change
  • managing their own operations and delivering institutional adaptation
  • driving climate and sustainable development science and innovation
  • contributing to international collaboration and essential interdisciplinary research
  • delivering and supporting local (including community), national, and international learning and action.

Mon 6 June: 11:00-12:00 

Book here 

Building a future proof and a resilient city


  • Andrew Borland (commercialisation manager at the Virtual engineering centre and Industrial Engagement Manager in the Faculty of science and engineering, UoL)
  • Prof Daniel Arribas-Bel (ESRC Fellow and Deputy Director, Urban Analytics@The Alan Turing Institute) and Llewelyn Morgan, Head of Innovation, Oxfordshire County Council

Many Cities around the world have been implementing plans for future proof cities using the smart-city approach. However, approaches for developing a future proof city varies. 

During this session we will explore how urban structures and digital innovation can work together through a system thinking approach, we will also explore:

  • Key challenges around the use of data for developing future proof infrastructure role Local Authorities (LAs) play to enable these transformation 
  • The important role university research and innovation plays 
  • How technological solutions developed by industry has radically changed our cities

Mon 6 June:

Book here 

Digital Inclusivity: Has COVID-19 changed the landscape of digital inclusion?

Speakers: Prof. Simeon Yates, Professor of Digital Culture and Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research Environment and Postgraduate Research, UoL; Emma Stone, Director of Evidence and Engagement, Good Things Foundation; Chris Ashworth, Head of Social Impact, Nominet; Jocelle Lovell, Programme Manager, Wales coop; Sally Dyson, Head of Digital and Development, SCVO

This session will explore whether having a national Digital living minimum acceptable standard can be the answer to reducing digital inclusion. The discussions will include;

  • Key challenges to increasing digital inclusion
  • How do we bring different sectors and groups together to meet the challenges?
  • The roles for different areas of research – social science, technology, education?
Wed 8 June: 14:00-15:00 Book here

From Liverpool to Impact: A Career in circular economy

Speaker: Dr Mervyn Jones

We all know that sustainability is more than just a buzzword: a successful and healthy future for all of us depends on sustainable stewardship of our planet’s resources, from the decisions made by local councils and governments to the actions of large corporations and individuals. Join this session to hear from Liverpool alumnus Mervyn Jones, who has worked in sustainability on strategy development, implementation and consultation for more than 20 years, advising on construction, procurement, recycling, and even the Olympic Games!

Thur 9 June: 11:30-12:30

Book here

The benefits and potential hazards of making a cultural impact online, and on how this might support our face-to-face activities

Speaker: Professor Dinah Birch, Pro Vice Chancellor for Cultural Engagement and Prof Georgina Endfield, APVC Research and Impact, Humanities and Social Sciences; Professor of Environmental History

This session will cover issues such as:

  • How to adjust the nature of events to support increased reach and broad demographic?
  • Inclusivity and exclusivity.
  • But this approach necessarily makes the events more passive, with less sense of real engagement. 
  • How to adjust approach to promote genuine involvement and active engagement?
  • How to tempt people to sign up for face-to-face events alongside increased virtual participation?
Thur 9 June: 14:30-15:30 Book here 

Joining a session

Joining details will be sent 2 days and also 2 hours before the session begins to the email address you registered with.


Many resources linked to the programme can be accessed in the Making an Impact Resources area.