Prizewinner Liam Helps Inform Freight Policy post-Brexit

Advanced Medical Biomaterials student Liam Johnson recently completed a fellowship with the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, which culminated in a paper he authored being published in the House of Commons Library and distributed to the Government, Peers and MPs.

Liam’s fellowship was for three months and followed on from an earlier internship with the UK Health Security Agency, during which he shadowed the CEO, and supported a Government initiative to aid middle to low-income countries in assessing the risk of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.

Whilst at Westminster, Liam was attached to the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology (POST), where he worked on a project regarding the emergence of digital tools in freight, with a focus on automated vehicles, artificial intelligence, as well as distributed ledger technology - essentially studying how blockchain technology can be used to monitor trade and improve authenticity of goods.

The report Liam co-authored was published on Parliament’s website , and has been distributed to MPs and peers of all parties. The report has been read by Ministers in the Dept of Transport and members on the Select Committee for Transport, and Select Committee for Built Environment. The report has received positive feedback and its findings will be used to inform freight policy in a post-Brexit, and post-COVID, world.

Earlier this year, Liam also won the Eli Harari Award , with a first prize of £50,000, which he is using to help fund his new start-up MouseAble. The company is manufacturing the first on-skin device for wirelessly monitoring the cardiovascular activity of free-moving mice (using electrocardiography, or ECG). The device uses screen printable graphene inks to reduce animal burden and allow ECG acquisition immediately without need for recovery or invasive surgery. This faster, more humane method of collecting data a non-invasive system could offer researchers freedom to be more ambitious with their experimental plans.