The Royal Academy of Engineering, with additional support from the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, has awarded eight Research Fellowships to some of the UK’s top engineering researchers working on projects from X-ray imaging to antibiotic resistance.

Tackling issues in medical science, computing and mechanical engineering, each of the funded projects has been selected to address a critical or unresolved issue in engineering. The projects will build on recent scientific developments to provide practical solutions that can be deployed in a lab, home, or factory.

As well as having the potential to make a significant impact on both industry and the research community, the Fellowships will help talented engineering academics establish their research careers by providing financial support and mentoring for the next five years.

The new Research Fellows are:

  • Dr Mark Batty, University of Kent – supported by Lloyd’s Register Foundation
    The project will develop new technology in computing languages similar to C, to remove bugs and improve the specifications in systems where computation is shared between a central processing unit and a graphics processing unit.
  • Dr Martynas Beresna, University of Southampton
    Dr Beresna will develop a manufacturing platform that uses laser-assisted engineering technology to restructure the glass in optical fibres. Combined with the flexibility of fibre optics, this will enable the production of new types of all-fibre optical devices for next generation of telecom networks, high power light sources, low cost sensors and high resolution imaging systems.
  • Dr Trung Duong, Queen’s University Belfast
    Dr Duong will bring together advances in signal processing to help develop a two-tier network system for wireless traffic. A two-tier system has been proposed to increase the capacity of the available wireless spectrum, as the number of wireless devices increases exponentially.
  • Dr Marco Endrizzi, University College London
    Dr Endrizzi will develop powerful new laboratory-based x-ray imaging tools for use in medicine, energy and materials science. The tools will specifically examine the phase as well as the amplitude of x-rays, which will provide three-dimensional information at the micron-scale and below.
  • Dr Amanda Foust, Imperial College London
    Dr Foust will develop solutions to problems such as hardware integration and image processing involved in using light to control neurons. The work builds on the recent development of tools to enable neuroscientists to control and monitor multiple neurons one at a time using optical technology.
  • Dr Luca Magri, University of Cambridge
    Dr Magri will use fluid dynamic simulations and mathematical modelling to help prevent and control instabilities in gas turbines. The instabilities are strong oscillations that can cause structural vibration, fatigue, and noise. By better understanding these factors, Dr Magri’s research will help engineers design quieter, safer aeronautical engines.
  • Dr Pola Goldberg Oppenheimer, University of Birmingham
    Dr Goldberg will develop reliable diagnostic technology to detect biomarkers at miniscule concentrations from blood or urine. Although the highly sensitive Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectroscopic technique to detect these markers has been established, there is currently no technology with sufficient sensitivity and speed to be used at the point of care.
  • Dr David Phillips, University of Glasgow
    Dr Phillips will develop new imaging, force measurement and manipulation techniques to explore forces in single-cell biological systems. This will be an important step towards new methods to understand and combat antibiotic-resistant pathogens such as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Professor Ric Parker CBE FREng, Chair of the Academy's Research and Secondments Committee, said: “Continued innovation is key to making the important steps from scientific ideas to fully functioning technology that we can see used in our homes, hospitals, laboratories, computers, and across our communication networks. The Academy has a great track record is selecting and supporting promising young researchers. These eight Research Fellowships will build on earlier research to take the important next steps to bring these products and projects to fruition.

“From our personal electronics to the latest medical diagnostic tools, we will feel the future direct benefit from the work of these researchers. Continued investment in their work and the work of other engineers like them is crucial for the UK to remain successful not just economically, but in improving our quality of all our lives.”

Notes for Editors

  1. The Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowships are designed to promote excellence in engineering. They provide support for high-quality engineers and encourage them to develop successful academic research careers. The scheme provides funding for five years to encourage the best researchers to remain in the academic engineering sector.In addition to direct financial support, the scheme offers:
    - Freedom to concentrate on basic research in any field of engineering
    - Time to establish a track record in the field
    - The services of a mentor (a Fellow of the Academy) to offer advice and to facilitate the formation of industrial links
    - Restriction of teaching and administrative duties, enabling more time for research
  2. Royal Academy of Engineering. As the UK’s national academy for engineering, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering. We provide analysis and policy support to promote the UK’s role as a great place to do business. We take a lead on engineering education and we invest in the UK’s world-class research base to underpin innovation. We work to improve public awareness and understanding of engineering. We are a national academy with a global outlook.

    We have four strategic challenges:
    - Make the UK the leading nation for engineering innovation
    - Address the engineering skills crisis
    - Position engineering at the heart of society
    - Lead the profession

For more information please contact:

Aaron Boardley at the Royal Academy of Engineering
T: 020 7766 0655
E: Aaron Boardley