The University of Bradford has been awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its work in developing archaeological technology and techniques and its influence on practice, policy, and society.
“We are extremely proud and honored to be awarded The Queen’s Anniversary Prize for our achievements in leading the development of archaeological practice, and delivering tangible scientific, economic, and societal impact. The University has an established record in carrying out truly great research that significantly impacts on the world. The Queen’s Anniversary Prize demonstrates the difference that the University of Bradford is making in influencing not only how archaeology is practiced but how, like all our research, it can be applied to benefit real lives now, in the UK and across the world,” said Shirley Congdon, vice-chancellor.
The award is the highest national recognition that U.K. higher education institutions can achieve. Among the projects included in the honor is Virtual Bradford, which creates a “brick for brick” high-resolution copy of the city center. The project is a collaboration between the University of Bradford and Bradford Council and is part of the EU-funded SCORE project, which aims to improve public service through smart open-data solutions.
Virtual Bradford changes how the council deals with planning, air pollution, and traffic management but will also enable myriad other potential uses, such as the creation of heritage trails and mapping cultural assets in 3D.
For more than 40 years, the University has been at the forefront of archaeological development, from the establishment of the world’s first course in archaeological science to the pioneering and development of geophysical prospection as a fundamental activity, and more recently the exploitation of digital technology and the online opportunities to reconstruct, visualize, and interpret heritage in new ways and to engage an ever-wider public, including as partner citizen scientists.
The University has trained undergraduate and postgraduate students who have gone on to be world-leading practitioners, informed and shaped the estate management of some of the largest custodians of heritage, influenced national and local government policy, and continues to be at the forefront of new discoveries and interpretations at Stonehenge.
Rebuilding lost heritage
It has developed the means to recreate and rebuild heritage lost to disaster, both natural and manmade. The University’s research focuses on a number of key themes within which projects are able to develop independently while benefiting from sharing and applying technology and techniques.
“The Queen’s Anniversary Prize is a tremendous honor for Bradford and a tribute to the way archaeology has always been conducted at the University. We work with leading national and international organizations, but our students are also fully involved, from first year students learning about these cutting-edge developments in classes, through undergraduate placement students working on projects in the U.K. and abroad, to postgraduate research contributing innovations. The prize is a true Team Bradford effort,” said Cathy Batt, head of the University’s School of Archaeological and Forensic Sciences.
The Prize consists of a Prize Medal naming the institution, a Prize Certificate signed by The Queen, and the entitlement to use the Prize scheme logo. The Prize Medal and Certificate will be presented at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in February 2022.