Thursday 15th August marked a significant event in our re-engagement in the field of research for the benefit of people paralysed by Spinal Cord Injury and other disabilities. Aspire hosted some of the most senior academic staff from UCL (University College London) and the Chairman and Chief Executive of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) for the official signing ceremony of the agreement between us to appoint three new Aspire Lecturers/Senior Lecturers. The ceremony is an academic tradition and formally acknowledges the ten year agreement we have now entered.
When Aspire was first established as a charity in 1983 it was registered, and still is, with the official name of the Association of Spinal Injury Research, Rehabilitation and Reintegration. We established the first ever Professorial Chair in Disability and Technology in the Institute of Orthopaedics & Musculoskeletal Science, UCL, here in the grounds of the RNOH, in 1996. Our research was focused on finding cost effective technologies that can improve the independence and quality of life for spinal cord injured people and other disabled people. Our research capacity grew over the years and we set up the Aspire Centre for Disability Science in 2005.
We have recently been working with UCL and RNOH to create a new and innovative approach to attracting academic talent through the creation of three Lecturer/Senior Lecturer posts that will be encouraged to work cross-faculty (between the UCL School of Medical Sciences and UCL Engineering) to get the best out of the resources available at UCL.
Brian Carlin, Chief Executive of Aspire, said,
“These new Aspire Lecturers, who will be taking up their roles in Autumn this year, will be undertaking research in the areas of engineering rehabilitation and assistive technology with an added focus on investigating the effects of ageing with a spinal cord injury. We hope that our research will deliver practical outcomes for the benefit of spinal cord injured people in the not too distant future.”