Research Impact


Ep. 5: Where research transforms COVID-19 treatment

Hear how Professors Mervyn Singer and Becky Shipley got a mechanical breathing support machine from idea to reality in a month, and helped protect the NHS during the first COVID surge.

Host and Producer

  • Dr Rosie Anderson, Research Fellow, Public Health Policy team, UCL


Mervyn Singer, Professor of Intensive Care Medicine, UCL
Becky Shipley, Professor of Health Care Engineering, UCL
Dr Neil McGuire, former Director of Medical Devices, MHRA
Hiten “Rup” Ruparelia, COVID hospital patient who used UCL-Ventura CPAP


Rosie Anderson  0:04   

Hello and welcome or welcome back to the podcast where research transforms lives. I'm Dr. Rosie Anderson and every Thursday the summer, I'm inviting you to take a deep dive with me into the UCL research that has changed the world around you. Do you remember what you were doing the night before the first lockdown more than two years ago. Today's guests did not spend it panic buying loo roll or looking at banana bread recipes. They were having a pint and a chat, a chat about how to build a new breathing machine. A chat about how to keep the NHS from collapsing under the demand for ventilators and intensive care beds that in March 2020 did not exist. Because my guests this episode are a professor of Intensive Care Medicine, and a professor of Healthcare Engineering Mervyn Singer and Becky Shipley. The cheap, simple breathing machine they created, UCL Ventura, was designed and delivered to hospitals in just a few weeks. It not only helped save the lives of 1000s of COVID patients like Rupe who we will hear from too, but it also allowed hospitals to keep precious intensive care beds for the people who needed the most. Inventing a new breathing support machine was only the beginning though. Getting out to hospitals and patients would take the backing of the UK Government and the NHS. Normally that can take years. And our researchers only had a few days. And to Neil McGuire, at the time, the Clinical Director of medical devices at the MHRA, the UK medical devices regulator. Join us in a tale of trust risk, continuous positive airflow, and ill fated Christmas dinner. And the last point before lockdown. Welcome. Thank you for joining me. So yeah, thank you, Becky, Mervyn and Neil, when did you become aware? How did you become aware that there was this looming crisis at the beginning of the pandemic, about not just ventilators, but actually about capacity in the system and how that was a an engineering challenge as well as a healthcare systems or clinical challenge? 


Mervyn Singer  2:08   

Well, from my point of view, as a an intensive care clinician, I got my mates in China and Italy. And I was getting some feedback as to what was going on there. And I remember in early March, one of my Italian colleagues described his hospital to me as a warzone. And then sort of dismissed it as a bit of overkill, but at the same time, you know, a recognised it was serious and be subsequently recognised. He was right. So I think the penny started to drop dropping then for me, and, again, we started talking in the hospital, what if it got to Milan, and that region, Lombardy region, what happens when it migrates to the UK, which it will do, we weren't prepared as a nation. Unfortunately, compared to the rest of Western Europe, we've got not a huge number of intensive care beds per 100,000 of population. And so our ability to scale up would be limited. And clearly, many of these patients with a respiratory virus were getting severe respiratory failure and needing mechanical ventilation. And there were only three and a half 1000 ventilators, the government predictions in early March was that 30,000, if not more patients would need mechanical ventilation. And so the two sums did not add up, it struck me the more logical thing to do was keep people away from ventilators away from intensive care units. And certainly talking to my colleagues in China and Italy, they come to that conclusion the hard way. And they were trying to use non invasive support to try and keep people away from ventilators.  


Rosie Anderson  3:49   

At the time, there was a little bit of hesitancy about that wasn't about about non invasive. 


Mervyn Singer  3:54   

Yeah, no, very much. So there was, again, it was, in inverted commas, a new disease. And certainly we didn't know a lot of the detail about how infectious would it be. And so there was a lot of paranoia about how would the disease be spread from person to person? Clearly, healthcare workers are at increased risk. And the worry was that so called aerosol generating procedures, for example, types of ventilation, nebulizers, etc, would increase the risk to the healthcare worker. 


Rosie Anderson  4:29   

So Becky, how did you become aware as an engineer that there was this need? And how did you? How did you start thinking about it with your colleagues? 


Becky Shipley  4:38   

I think as engineers, we were very much aware that COVID had made it to the UK and the kind of stresses that would put on the NHS in the healthcare system. But for both myself and my colleague, Tim Baker, who's also an engineer and UCL mechanical engineering, the ventilator challenge kind of really provided a focus I think that was announced on this Sunday the 15th March, and was the government's attempt to corral the engineering and manufacturing community to mass manufacture Mechanical ventilators. But looking at it, it seemed really unrealistic for non medical companies to design highly sophisticated machines from scratch to the appropriate standards and mass manufacture them in time to meet the need of COVID patients. So we got chatting to Merv, we already knew Merv, through various kinds of connections and collaborations within UCL went for a drink one evening, and Merv laid down the gauntlet and made the case based on his experiences from talking to colleagues in Italy and China, for the use of non invasive ventilators, or CPAP machines. And he made a very compelling case, it seemed very logical and appeared and appeals to our kind of engineering mindset as well. And so we got stuck in 


Rosie Anderson  5:55   

and how big of a challenge is that? I mean, so I mean, both in terms of the timescales, because I know that this happened really quickly. But also, I mean, I'm not an engineer. I'm not a clinician. So I don't really know how big a challenge is it to try and create a machine like that. 


Becky Shipley  6:14   

You know, from a standing start, I think, you know, we first went for a drink, it was the 17th of March in the UCL Houseman rooms command room. And I think at that point, the peak of the first surge was due to hit London Easter weekend. So we knew we had weeks. And we also knew that anything that we made needed to meet the regulatory approval. And that's why Merv suggested from the beginning to start from a an existing machine, the Philips whisper flow, which is purely mechanical, it's very simple and was previously CE marked, which meant that it had met regulatory standards in the past. So we decided to start by reverse engineering or copying that, and then adapting it. So well, we actually made two versions of the venture machine, the mark one was an exact replica of the of the Whisper play the mark two, we essentially adapted to minimise how much oxygen it used, which was in response to real concerns about whether oxygen supply infrastructure in UK hospitals would hold up.  


Mervyn Singer  7:16   

We were entering lockdown. In fact, we met the day before lockdown. And so it was a case of what could be developed at pace in a lockdown, which didn't require sophisticated electronic circuitry, etc. And then could be mass manufactured, obviously gets regulated as well. So there were lots of all of these imperatives that had to be decided on quickly. And I think to be fair, we went in completely naive thinking, Okay, let's give this a trial. We had no immediate funding at the time from anywhere outside UCL, and but they were all these, we felt surmountable obstacles in the way. However, the imperative was to get it done quickly. And to engage people to try and obviously help because we couldn't do it alone. 


Rosie Anderson  8:10   

I mean, I've been around universities long enough now to know that that sounds really very intimidating. Like, would you have done this outside of a pandemic? Do you think 


Becky Shipley  8:24   

we were the kind of personalities that would probably give it a shot. But we were as, as most as we were probably quite naive going into it all. But I think we knew we had nothing to lose, there was a need that needed to be met. And, you know, we felt like we could contribute to it. But I don't think we really realised it, we just got stuck in and, you know, mapped out, not even formally, but mentally talking to each other all the different stages of the process. And just got on with it. And I think we were fortunate that as a team, we worked really well together and got on really well together and communicated well. But also that we had very good links into the kind of institutions and bodies that we needed to, in order to make it will happen. 


Mervyn Singer  9:08   

And the other crucial point was, at the time, we had a lot of goodwill. And there were no other distractions. So amazingly, all of the normal bureaucratic barriers that we have to cope with just disappeared. And obviously the whole country rallied behind the health service. And yet, what can we do and so we were able to call upon the might have, in this case, you know, the Mercedes Formula One, the HPP company, who make these miraculous wonderful engines for Formula One machines, and again, they immediately put their hands up and say, we'll help 


Unknown Speaker  9:48   

and I think that was a really nice example of an existing link. So Tim Baker, who's a professor in the mechanical engineering department had worked in the motorsports industry for many years and then had ongoing relationship with As Mercedes high performance power trains. So immediately after coming, you know, coming for a drink that evening reached out to them. And at that time, the Australian Grand Prix had just been stood down. All the engineers were there on the bench. So, Andy Carroll, who was the managing director there responded by saying, do not hesitate to call on full might of what we can do. And I think we took him up on it. So within within four weeks with, with basically designed, got through regulatory approval, and mass manufactured 10,000, non invasive ventilators that subsequently went out across the NHS, so they were good to their word, 


Rosie Anderson  10:41   

Neil, you have been waiting very patiently. I mean, you were working at the time for MHRA. Yes. How did you find out that this was in the works? And what did you think when you heard, 


Neil McGuire  10:57   

I found that very quickly, in as much as Becky and with all of their contacts had triggered the radar of the senior devices, person, but we were concentrating on strangely enough, not letting people do crazy things. Because as soon as something like this happens, there's a whole bunch of people who come out of the woodwork with great ideas, some of which need encouraging, some of whom need managing, and some of them need arresting and putting away somewhere. Because there are a lot of people who just want to make money, they're willing to cut any corner they can. And our job was trying to damp down the excitement. The ventilator challenge had been announced by the government. And we were trying to facilitate that process. But at the same time, we were thinking, This is madness. How are people who make cars and vacuum cleaners going to suddenly become ventilator manufacturers, when the ventilator manufacturers themselves can't produce enough ventilators. And they've been working at this for 10s of years. So we were deeply sceptical. But in a crisis, that's not the right approach. The approach is right. Let's oversee this properly, let's make sure that whatever comes out of the machine is safe, we will support anybody who comes up with an idea until it's obvious that it's not a good idea. The and the other slant on this, which made it all so much more straightforward was myself and my colleague, we're both anaesthetics. And I have a background in intensive care medicine. So as we all already understood the language, we understood what was needed, you can't afford to shut the door on something that is more straightforward. We knew there weren't enough machines available. So anything's worth the conversation. So while everybody else was tasked with sort out the ventilator challenge, and all of the complexities of that, including the politics and all of those sorts of things, and the pressure from government, the press interest, all of those things, I was given the job, you can do CPAP and any accessories to do with ventilation. So implicit in that was the ability to make decisions on my own. Yeah. And so that triggered the first conversation with these guys. Getting a medical device from the drawing board to Market is a two to three year process normally, and we managed through this particular exercise to do it in a fortnight. 


Mervyn Singer  13:56   

I'm going to contradict Neil Okay, in that it was actually 36 hours from when we sent the regulatory file in, for them to give what's called derogation in other words approval. So it's even better than two weeks and to give Neal his due, he was actually giving us the really good steer as to what we needed to have in that regulatory file. 


Becky Shipley  14:19   

I think that was what was really different to normal as well was that if we look back to we had the first drink where we decided to do CPAP on the 17th. I think it was within two days we'd started talking to Neil, but then it was it was a continuous conversation. So we were talking to Neil on a daily basis. And he was absolutely clear on exactly what standards and what information we needed to provide. 


Unknown Speaker  14:42   

Give some idea of the pace that people were working at so we had the meeting. Initially over a drink on the Tuesday where we hatched the idea. The Mercedes people came on board, we managed to source two old whisper float CPAP devices, one in the anaesthetic department Museum, and the other Mercedes found on ebay. And they basically just literally did a whole analysis on the flow rates, the metals, etc. So a perfect replica could be made of the original. And they made it so quickly that on the Sunday, myself, and they really tried on our selves, this working prototype, which was the perfect working prototype of the original. And then the following Wednesday evening, we did some trials on volunteers to just make sure it it did what it said on the tin, got the regulatory file together, manufacturing processes, etc, etc. The clinical or the volunteer data, and then got that to Neal by the Wednesday evening and by the Friday lunchtime, we got the rubber stamp. 


Becky Shipley  15:56   

And then on the Sunday, I think that the Sunday after that was the first day that you put one on a COVID patient in the ICU at UCLH. 


Mervyn Singer  16:05   

Neil quite rightly said, Okay, we'll give you the approval, but just show in a few hospitals that you know, it can work and do some limited trials just to make sure that users doctors, nurses who aren't familiar with the technology can use it safely. Because it's crucial. It's got to be used safely and effectively. 


Rosie Anderson  16:28   

The sense of adventure and excitement when Becky Merv and Neil talk about venture is palpable and their pride to but I hope I've managed to convey their profound sense of duty in the face of a new and terrifying disease. One that the most vulnerable of us knew we'd have serious consequences for them. Ventura was made for them. And Rupe was one of those vulnerable patients who found themselves struggling to breathe. 


Hiten “Rup” Ruparelia  16:52   

My name is Rup. I'm head of taxation at UCL, and I support all the departments across UCL for all kinds of taxation queries, predominantly VAT. I'm fully aware of the development process of the CPAP ventilator that UCL undertook right at the very beginning, I was a little bit involved in some of the tax advice in selling the equipment onto the NHS, just a small contribution. But all be I feel good that I was involved there. And then I became unwell, was admitted into hospital, my oxygen levels were very low. We knew what the problems were at the time. And on the first day. After using a nasal cannula using a mouth cannula, it became clearly evident that I was deteriorating quite rapidly. And they had one of these ventilators that hadn't seen in, in physical existence. And that was the ventilator that they put on to me. And immediately it just felt like I'm being driven up the M one motorway in a convertible car, the amount of air and oxygen that is being presented to me, it's just unbelievable. And you begin to feel that yes, I can breathe now I'm feeling a lot better now. And after one day, one night's use of that I felt had turned the corner. 


Rosie Anderson  18:32   

I'd like to talk a little bit about the lead up to that though the lead up to being admitted into hospital and what that felt like, because I think it's quite hard for people to imagine what it'd be like to struggle to breathe. With every breath. 


Hiten “Rup” Ruparelia  18:52   

The whole family became unwell family of four, on Christmas Eve. Christmas Day was a little bit difficult at home, we struggled through it. And on Christmas Day, we found out that we were all tested positive. Both my wife and I have various health symptoms. So we knew that we were in for a rough ride. Things started deteriorating, our oxygen levels were dropping, we had an oximeter at home, which clearly indicated that we were having difficulty. I think my levels dropped to 85 before we called an ambulance. And the ambulance obviously clearly saw what the situation they were presented with and immediately decided that I should be admitted and was taken into Epsom hospital. It just felt like having a nasty flu without having any strength whatsoever. And obviously if your oxygen levels are gradually going low, you realise you don't have much strength. So in a nutshell, that's exactly what's happened at that time. 


Rosie Anderson  19:59   

So what was going through your head as you were realising how ill you were, 


Hiten “Rup” Ruparelia  20:03   

My wife had already been admitted into Epsom hospital with COVID. And then I think two days later, I was admitted. So I'm thinking about myself and also family. And then their two children at home, albeit grown up adults. Going into hospital, I knew I'm in the right place, being at home wasn't the place to be you described 


Rosie Anderson  20:27   

this ventilator as like, being driven. What was it being driven down the one in a sports car? Yeah. Which is an apt comparison, considering how it was manufactured. What was it like to be able to breathe again, in that way? 


Hiten “Rup” Ruparelia  20:42   

Most welcoming, you are out of breath when you're even having the conversation. And breathing was very difficult. And here is an age that's now helping you along. Consider an eye to previous nasal cannula and mouth breathing aid presented to me, those didn't even make any difference whatsoever, whereas this one did. 


Rosie Anderson  21:09   

And so you say within 24 hours you had, quote unquote, turn the corner. Yes. So what happened? Following that, 


Hiten “Rup” Ruparelia  21:18   

there's no need for me to be in ICU. So the moved in me into a high dependency unit. This is an operating theatre that was repurposed into an HDU. So I was there for six days. And then I was reasonably fit enough to be moved into a ward. There. I just had the support of a simple nasal cannula to help me breathing along. Having been sent into the ward I thought, this is brilliant. I'm now on my way, home out of here. But when the doctor says to you that look, you're on the mend. You can only go home, when you can go to the bathroom, on your own foot here in the bathroom is just around the corner, to walk yourself to the bathroom, and come back, unaided. When I say unaided, I mean, breathing support, is a monumental achievement. Even now, I think about it, and I'm ever so grateful for the hospital doctors, nurses, cleaning staff, even because sometimes you create a mess there. And to get that kind of support. Is, is quite humbling, really is. And I wasn't the only one in there, there were 39,500 in hospital at that time. 


Rosie Anderson  22:41   

Obviously, that was not the end of the story, though, for you. That COVID continues to be something I mean, it's something that you live with COVID Really. 


Unknown Speaker  22:52   

So having been released to go back home, it took me eight weeks recovery time, at home, before I could even consider returning to work. Those eight weeks are not an easy time it is it's quite difficult. But we worked our way through it day by day to recover and I'm here now. And I still continue to thank the NHS staff for continuing to work in the difficult circumstances, people would never appreciate or understand any of that, unless they were in the ward, seeing it firsthand themselves. So I know what the working conditions were. So I never forget that either, and for that I say thank you to the NHS staff. And that's probably where I'd want to park my story. 


Rosie Anderson  23:49   

As Rup says he was only one of 1000s of patients in hospital with COVID that winter. And venture has been crucial to many of them, and then 1000s more in their treatment and recovery. In other words, Merv and Becky have been proved right. But in what's becoming a bit of a theme for this series, it's really not as simple as having a great idea and proving that it works, which is the research part of what we do. There's a world around the idea. And sometimes it's hard to make change happen for reasons that can be good or bad, or just bureaucratic. So what got Ventura over the line, and so quickly? 


Unknown Speaker  24:27   

So the real the real thing here was that in very short order, following the first conversation, is I felt I could trust what was being done. Yeah, but I had to make sure that I could justify it to other people. Because when the smoke clears, there's always somebody who wants to unpick the situation, look for who who did what, and who can we hold accountable for anything that's gone wrong. And I want to do Make sure for UCL and and Mervyn and Becky, and the rest of the team, that we had everything sorted out and all our ducks in a row. So it couldn't be unpicked in an unfavourable way. Because we were all very conscious that these patients were going to get very ill and some were going to die. What we didn't want to do was be contributors. And one of the the mentors we had at the beginning, the ventilator challenges better to do without a ventilator than have a bad ventilator, because a bad ventilator kills people. And, as Mervyn said, a tbeginning as well, if you don't have the beds, the staff the training, you are in a hiding to nothing no matter what fancy equipment you've got. So I make these guys go the extra mile in the short period of time, just so we had that additional information. So I could show anybody who asked, this was done in short order, but no corners were cut. And everybody did a fantastic outstanding job through collaboration based on trust and sound principles. 


Rosie Anderson  26:13   

It's really fascinating listening to you talk about this process, because in parallel to us stripping down a whisper flow and rebuilding it from scratch. That process was kind of happening with regulatory approval in a way, you know, you were sort of taking apart the principles and saying, what are the first principles of what we're trying to do here? And how can we, how can we build a system that will do the job, but maybe do it better or in more timely, more appropriate way? 


Neil McGuire  26:43   

Absolutely. And I think the telling thing was that they there was the, for the ventilator challenge, there was the rapidly manufactured specification document. And based on my experience with these guys, I reproduced one for the CPAP system that then was used by everybody and anybody who wanted to go through that process again. The other thing that was the challenge that the guys have haven't really explored is that we will flying in the face of all the guidelines that come to that point. Because all the guidance was being written on the hoof, according to whatever we was the state of the art knowledge. So things were changing overnight, except ventilation was the answer. That was the answer to all equations. When this started. And there were lots of back room background struggles to actually get the recognition that actually ventilation isn't the only answer. And thanks to Mervyn and his dogged determination when all everybody else was throwing rocks and cabbages and rotten tomatoes at in because the CPAP What do you know, when actually it turned out to be the answer? And as from a regulator perspective, was very difficult. Why are you helping these people, you should be doing something else, get involved in PPE or something that isn't your job. And see how you get on with that. It wasn't plain sailing, but it wasn't the time to mess around. So that's why giving the permission was the most important thing and supporting people doing the work. And that's what our team tried to do all the time, no matter who came to the front door, we would give them the opportunity. And then we'd weed them out as time went by. So we didn't have patients being treated with cone hats made out of foil. 


Unknown Speaker  28:56   

Expanding on that, but because it's interesting, it was the hospital UCH there was very much the let's go for it. And we were the first in the country to set up a sort of pop up respiratory high dependency unit. So in other words, the respiratory physicians could decrease the burden on intensive care. 


Becky Shipley  29:17   

I remember having conversations internationally as well. So for example, talking on a who call and some medic from Harvard Medical School popped up and and suggested that, you know, using CPAP located patients was like weaponizing COVID for the developing world. And that kind of summarises the strength of opinion I think at that point in time 


Rosie Anderson  29:39   

I'm listening to you all talk and something which I can't help but reflect on is how the cultures that we work in. So determined what other people around you say you can do is possible is desirable. I mean you having somebody say that in that who call That must have felt quite, quite difficult actually, for somebody to be telling you that that's what you could be doing to patients to staff in hospitals. How do we make it easier rather than harder to do the kind of work that you all three of you did? 


Mervyn Singer  30:17   

My quick responses, there's a lot of lip service played to Blue Sky approaches, but people play safe. You can see why it's easier to backer hopeful winner, but it doesn't necessarily mean that the blue sky idea may be crazy, may be a complete waste of time, but may have substance and if you look back at the history of invention, many of the things came out of the blue. 


Unknown Speaker  30:43   

I think, you know, looking back, there was a lot, a lot of support that we got within UCL, you know, we reached out to our line managers, to the dean of engineering, for example, they completely backed as they provided financial support up until the point at which we got government contracts. We reached out to David Lomas is the Vice Provost for health him, he joined the team and he was utterly instrumental. I mean, I think I emailed him on evening to, he replied within minutes, and he completely back to us, you know, he didn't, he understood the clinical need, because he's a respiratory physician. But, you know, immediately reached out to his contact book and leveraged all of those relationships and support it is utterly so I think there was there was a lot about the way that UCL operates and the support that we got, that meant that we could do what we did. 


Neil McGuire  31:36   

I think the other thing from a regulatory perspective, is that UCL has got such a fantastic reputation. And so that was an automatic door opener in some ways. So all of that networking and collaboration was built in. And that just increased the level of trust. And that that was the key thing was trust, professionalism, positive behaviours. So if I said, I want to see this, I saw it I didn't get no, we're not doing that. And so many people fell foul of the situation because they thought they knew better. But what they had to do was convince me. So answer my question, convinced me, and then I will, I will sign the piece of paper, 


Becky Shipley  32:25   

I think, you know, one of the thing we haven't perhaps covered is, you know, that transparency element was really important to us from the beginning. So we weren't doing any of this, there was no desire to make any money out of any of it. But as an example, we ultimately released all of our Blueprints, all of the designs and manufacturing instructions, for free through a zero cost licence so that anyone else in the world could download them and manufacture the devices locally should they want to. And as part of that, we released a full package of all of our data. So all of the healthy volunteer data, all of the bench testing data on how the device is performed, etc, etc, which was very much in the spirit of being utterly transparent about exactly how these devices worked, what the bounds were on them. And, you know, so that others could make them and use them in the most effective way. 


Mervyn Singer  33:14   

And to give MHRA in ill is due to, again, other countries had their regulatory agencies, who then asked Neil for input about what was being manufactured. And again, it was everyone helping each other. And, again, we forget that there's a world out there sometimes and, you know, every country was, I think the who actually recognise that 30 countries developed countries put to embargoes on exporting manufactured equipment, drugs, consumables, because of COVID, because they wanted to retain them for their own population, and the UK was one of them. And so we've got to remember, there's a world out there with a lot of people who unfortunately don't have the benefits we do in this country. 


Rosie Anderson  34:01   

What was the uptake, like when you release those blueprints?  


Unknown Speaker  34:04   

It was it was huge. So the blueprints have been downloaded over 2000 times across 105 countries. There's about 25 countries that have gone through the full process from download to manufacture to regulatory approval to deployment into their hospitals. And actually Neil and the MHRA talks to many of those regulators, and they're all other they're all lower middle income countries. And then on top of that, the UK Government and working with various charities, we've donated or supplied the devices, a nonprofit to low middle income countries as well, and it's ongoing. You know, we're still so tomorrow for example, we're meeting with a company called Alphonse, which are based in Pakistan, who became a manufacturing hub in Pakistan provided the devices across Pakistan but also donated them to neighbouring countries. So they are visiting the UK and we're meeting with them tomorrow. For example, there's a team in Paraguay who've just got their final approval for mass manufacture the devices and there'll be the first medical devices ever to be made in Paraguay. So the story continues. 


Rosie Anderson  35:13   

So if I was to ask each of you just as a parting question, if you could give one tip to, I don't know, your students or anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps, what would that want it be? 


Becky Shipley  35:28   

I think for me, one of the most important parts that really meant we could progress was the people. So everyone we reached out to, was really delighted to come aboard and help. But I think it's easy to underestimate how important getting on with people building really good relationships, communicating respecting people is, and I think a lot of other groups fell foul of that 


Neil McGuire  35:50   

I think the people dimension is vitally important. And everything starts with a conversation. Have a sensible conversation. only work with professional people who have integrity, how to find that out by working with them. And it's not all about money, but that all those things are impossible, because then you expose it to the real world. So I really can't say I just know that I've had the marvellous experience working in a small team of people who had one goal, and everybody was going in the same direction. And nobody had an ego at the table. Really important. 


Mervyn Singer  36:28   

I think my message well, to add to those which I completely agree with is a sort of Never Say Never attitude. You know, you'll get in any walk of life naysayers. And just because people don't necessarily agree with you doesn't mean they're right, and you're wrong. And so you have to have the courage of your convictions and follow things through, I think 


Rosie Anderson  36:48   

thank you. Thank you, all of you for telling your story. 


Mervyn Singer  36:54   

And neither of us have yet got our Mercedes. 


Rosie Anderson  36:59   

That's all for now. I hope to see you next time where I will be talking to Professor Paul Eikens of the Bartlett's Institute for Sustainable resources, about getting industry and governments to recognise the true costs of digging up fossil fuels to burn. If you can't wait until then and want to hear more about the impact of UCL research on society in the world, then why not take a listen to Made at UCL presented and produced by our students. Finally, I want to thank hidden Ripper raelia Professor Becky Shipley, Professor Mervyn singer, and Dr. Neil McGuire, our guests and of course you, our listeners. This podcast is brought to you by UCL minds, bringing together UCL knowledge, insight and expertise through events, digital content and activities that are open to everyone. 

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