Dr Wei He has been awarded a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowship for his work on affordable integrated electricity, cooling, and water systems for rural areas in developing countries. The engineered low-cost solutions will enable an affordable access to clean energy and clean water, increasing the availability of freshwater and energy services for more than 1.6 billion people in rural water-stressed areas without warming our planet.
The Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowship includes five years’ worth of funding and mentorship, which Dr Wei He will use to develop a SMASH (Smart Multi-Functional Affordable Solar Home) technology platform. The platform will enable scalable and modular design of the SMASH technology that are optimised for specific locations, weather patterns, and users' behaviours, allowing an unprecedented level of cost reductions and the potential to disrupt the emerging markets and future global low-carbon energy market.
“I am both proud and honoured to have received one of the prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowships. I had a wonderful research experiences at Warwick when I was a RA in participating the EPSRC grant challenge project IMAGES and the UK-China collaborative project NexGen-TEST about 2.5 years ago. I am very happy to rejoin the Warwick Engineering and contribute to tackling global challenges with experienced colleagues and talented students at Warwick.” said Dr Wei He. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to lead the project and collaborate with many top research groups from the US and India, and create the SMASH system for positively impacting people's lives.”
The Academy’s Research Fellowships are designed to advance excellence in engineering by enabling early-career researchers to concentrate on basic research in any field of engineering. Through mentoring from an experienced Academy Fellow, academics receive valuable advice and industry links to enable them to establish themselves as future leaders in their fields and build their independent research groups. Particularly, Dr Wei He's award belongs to the Academy’s Engineering for Development Research Fellowships. Funded through the government’s Global Challenges Research Fund, these fellowships are awarded to research projects that directly tackle the challenges faced by developing countries and highlight the vital role of engineering in achieving Sustainable Development Goals defined by UN.
Professor Philip Nelson CBE FREng, Chair of the Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowships Steering Group, said: “I am delighted to announce these five-year Research Fellowships to 18 of the most promising engineering academics working in the UK today.
“Engineering research plays a vital role in addressing societal and industrial challenges, both today and in the future, and the variety and impact of the research being done by these awardees demonstrates the depth and breadth of world-leading engineering expertise we have within our universities.”
“We have been able to appoint a record number of new engineering Research Fellowships this year, thanks to the government’s Investment in Research Talent initiative, which has provided the Academy with a significant increase in funding over the next few years to attract and retain the best research talent in the UK and support their work.”