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UKRI fellowships awarded to Seven University of Warwick Academics

· Seven Future Leadership Fellowships in both Social Sciences and Sciences faculties have been awarded to academics at the University of Warwick.

· The fellowship scheme is awarded to the best researchers in the UK, keeping research and innovation in the UK world class

· The academics selected cover everything from other life in the Universe to autonomous vehicles and from quantum verifiable computing to cyber security.

Several academics at the University of Warwick have been awarded a UKRI Future Leader Fellowship, providing world class research in topics including autonomous vehicles to life in outer space.

The UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellowships (FLF) scheme is designed to increase the supply of talented individuals needed to ensure that UK research and innovation continues to be world class.

The seven academics at Warwick have been awarded a future leader fellowship, which will help develop their careers as some of the best researchers and innovators from around the world in the UK.

The academics involved vary from Sciences and Social Science faculties. They are:

· Dr Matthew Spencer – Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies

· Dr Tom Gur – Computer Science

· Dr Benjamin Richards – Physics

· Dr Richard Moore – Philosophy

· Dr Angela Aristidou – Warwick Business School

· Mr Siddartha Khastgir – WMG

· Dr Heather Cegla – Physics

Responding to the success of University of Warwick academics securing Future Leadership Fellowships from UKRI, Professor Pam Thomas, the University of Warwick’s Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research said:

“I am delighted to see University of Warwick researchers being recognised by UKRI, and for them to receive support for their ground-breaking research. Drawn from across our University, the seven fellowships are welcome recognition of the depth, breadth and ingenuity of Warwick research. I wish our academics the very best as they continue their work and greatly look forward to following their progress.”

Universities Minister Chris Skidmore comments:

“Delivering on our research and innovation ambitions means putting people first, whether they are just starting out in their career or are leading major projects in academia or industry.

“These inspirational Future Leaders Fellows will generate the ideas of the future, helping to shape science and research for the 21st century. But to realise the full potential of these discoveries, their ideas need to be taken out of the lab and turned into real products and services, where they can actually change people’s lives for the better.

“That’s why we are creating 20 new University Enterprise Zones, helping local start-ups to co-locate in universities to build the businesses of the future – all inspired by university research.”

Professor Sir Mark Walport, UK Research and Innovation’s Chief Executive, said: “The Future Leaders Fellowships will enable the most promising researchers and innovators to become leaders in their fields, working on subjects as diverse as climate change, dementia and quantum computing.

“UKRI is committed to creating modern research and innovation careers and our Future Leaders Fellowships aim to support and retain the most talented people, including those with flexible career paths."

Dr Matthew Spencer, of the University of Warwick’s Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies will be researching Cybersecurity, will focus on producing new insights about cyber security practice through ethnographic analysis in Critical National Infrastructure organisations, closing the loop between cyber security policy and practice and develop new participative methods to improve cyber security practice.

Commenting on his research Dr Tom Gur, of the University of Warwick’s Department of Computer Science, said that it will be “focused on pushing the boundaries of classical and quantum verifiable computing and its real-world applications to delegation of computation to the cloud, as well as to blockchain technology. Its primary objective is to develop a wide arsenal of tools that would open new possibilities for meeting the challenges imposed by big data and the need for decentralised peer-to-peer systems.”

Dr Benjamin Richards, of the University of Warwick’s Department of Physics, says that he intends to “make a vital measurement of the rate and energy of neutrinos that arrive from distant supernovae throughout the galaxy. The properties of these neutrinos will tell us much about the wider composition of the universe as well as neutrinos themselves. This measurement will allow us to test the rate of black hole formation in the universe, test our models of supernova and tell us about the origin of heavy elements and metallicity of the galaxies.”

Dr Richard Moore, of the University of Warwick’s Department of Philosophy, will use the tools of philosophy, linguistics, and psychology to develop a new account of the developmental relationship between 'mindreading' and communication. Commenting, Dr Moore said: “Mindreading, involving the use of a 'theory of mind' (ToM) is the ability to attribute mental states to others to predict and explain their behaviour. Humans are better at this than other species, but the origins of uniquely human forms of ToM are disputed.”

Dr Angela Aristidou, of Warwick Business School, proposes to study the challenges of partnering across sectors, focusing on partnerships between the public sector and third sector, including charities, voluntary and community organizations. Commenting, Dr Aritidou seeks to examine these innovative partnerships, “This FLF award has provided unparalleled and sustained support for a seven-year research program on cross-sector innovation. I will examine innovative forms of partnerships that bring together government and third sector (e.g. charities, voluntary organisations). Such cross-sector partnerships are key to tackling challenges that neither sector would be able to do alone, and are of critical importance to future-proofing the public sector.

"Cross-sector partnerships are innovative as they mobilise new service delivery models and often engage new technologies. At the same time, they demand new modes of working and leading in the public and third sectors, which may be challenging.

"My research will shed light on the challenges and opportunities in cross-sector innovations both in the UK and the USA. Studying these innovative partnerships in the UK and the USA may highlight valuable lessons across the two countries. It is an exciting opportunity to shape the future of work in the public sector - not only in healthcare but also in community, education, and social services with findings also influencing future strategic priorities in the UK and US public sector."

The research by Mr Siddartha Khastgir of WMG at the Universitry of Warwick will focus on the global Connected & Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) industry, worth over £50billion (by 2035), with the UK CAV industry being projected over £3billion. Commenting, Mr Khastgir said that “the UK Government's Industrial Strategy aims to bring fully autonomous cars on the UK roads by 2021, one of the first countries in the world to achieve this. However, in order to realise this vision and the market potential, safe introduction of CAV is necessary, requiring significant research to overcome diverse barriers (technological, legislative and societal) associated with public deployment of CAV.”

Dr Heather Cegla of the University of Warwick’s department of Physics will use her research to help try and answer one of the biggest questions of all; Are we alone in the Universe? To understand the origins of life in the cosmos, we must also create a complete picture of planetary formation, evolution, and habitability. Commenting Dr Cegla said she aims to “understand and disentangle a fundamental barrier on the pathway to confirming other Earths: the stellar surface inhomogeneities from convection. Planet confirmation requires a mass measurement, which can be determined from the Doppler shift of the absorption lines in the stellar atmosphere.”

ENDS

20 SEPTEMBER 2019

NOTES TO EDITORS

For further information please contact:

Alice Scott
Media Relations Manager – Science
University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0) 2476 574 255 or +44 (0) 7920 531 221
E-mail: alice.j.scott@warwick.ac.uk

For further information please contact:

Alice Scott
Media Relations Manager – Science
University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0) 2476 574 255 or +44 (0) 7920 531 221
E-mail: alice.j.scott@warwick.ac.uk