The Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowships programme has announced ten new awardees and two Engineering for Development Research Fellowships.
The engineering research supported by the latest fellowships offers innovative engineering solutions to a wide range of societal challenges including the safe storage of long-lived radioactive nuclear waste, early detection and mitigation of Alzheimer’s disease, modernisation of industrial legacy code, and improved deep tissue imaging for more accurate breast cancer diagnosis. The latest fellowships also address the problem of intermittent water supply for communities in the Global South and the effects of climate change and increasing temperatures on road surfaces in the UK.
Professor Jonathan Cooper FREng FRSE, Chair of the Academy’s Research Fellowships Steering Group, said:
“Engineering touches many aspects of our daily lives and is central to tackling the challenges that we face in the UK and around the world, in healthcare, security, transport, infrastructure, energy and environmental change. I am delighted to see the range of backgrounds and experiences represented from within this cohort of Research Fellowships. This breadth and diversity of new thought, scholarship and training will help deliver innovative solutions to meet the needs of our global communities. I am excited to see how these amazing researchers, at the start of their careers, will help to change the world”.
The Research Fellowships programme supports outstanding early-career researchers to become future research leaders in engineering. The fellowships are designed to advance excellence in engineering by providing funding for five years to allow awardees the freedom to concentrate on basic research in any field of engineering. Up to £625,000 can be awarded over five years. One Research Fellowship award supporting cutting-edge medical research is also jointly funded by Rosetrees.
In addition to direct financial support, the scheme provides an opportunity to establish a research track record and, in turn, to be in a stronger position to apply for additional funding and grow a research team. Awardees also benefit from mentoring support from an Academy Fellow on research and career development as well as reduced teaching and administrative duties to allow time for research, training opportunities and networking with other Research Fellows and Academy Fellows.
The full list of Research Fellows and their projects is as follows:
Dr Abigail Ackerman, Imperial College London
Hydrogen and Seek: Understanding hydrogen in engineering alloys
Dr Lewis Blackburn, University of Sheffield
Materials engineering of plutonium ceramics: Transforming radioactive waste management policy
Dr Benyi Cao, University of Surrey
Climate resilience and energy harvesting of thermo-active roads
Dr Benoit Duchet, University of Oxford
Orchestrating neural rhythms for therapy and diagnosis of neurological disorders (co-funded by Rosetrees)
Dr Jennifer Hack, University of Sheffield
New electrolyser component designs for green hydrogen production
Dr Demetrios Lefas, University of Cambridge
Preventing aeroelastic instability to enable future net-zero carbon jet engines
Dr Geoffrey Neale, Cranfield University
Multifunctional z-direction hybridisation of composites
Dr Gabriella Pizzuto, University of Liverpool
Upskilling robotic scientists for long-term laboratory workflows
Dr Elizabeth Polgreen, University of Edinburgh
Automated and provably correct code modernization
Dr Tianrui Zhao, King’s College London
Ultra-deep tissue photoacoustic imaging with wavefront shaping-assisted illumination
Engineering for Development Research Fellowships
Dr Temitope Odedeyi, University College London
Agri-tech for sustainable development: crop yield prediction, evaluation and improvement
Dr Sally Weston, University of Bristol
Studying water intermittency in supply hydraulics