«Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Report of the Board of Management and Summarised Financial Statements For the year ended 31 December 2015 ...»
Dr George Knee Subject: Foundations and implementations of quantum technology University of Warwick This project will employ a new application of advanced mathematical tools to the problem of experimentally realising several quantum technologies, including quantum simulation and quantum metrology, in the hope of bringing theory and experiment closer than before in order to establish working quantum devices.
Dr KC Sivaramakrishnan Subject: Rigorous functional engineering for loosely-coupled massively scalable systems University of Cambridge The ever-increasing scale and ubiquity of compute platforms such as multicore architectures, compute clouds and Internet-of-things devices accentuates non-traditional issues such as relaxed programmability of such platforms by developing rigorous, secure and flexible declarative and functional memory consistency, energy consumption and partial failures. This project aims to democratize programming abstractions.
Dr Dong Liu Subject: Multi-scale analysis and modelling of energy materials in extreme environments University of Oxford There is a pressing need to understand a class of advanced energy materials to ensure the safety, while maintaining high efficiency, of nuclear reactors, fuel cells and aero-engines. This project will use stateof-the-art experimental and modelling technologies to reveal unique insights into the deformation and fracture of these materials.
Dr Philipp Thomas This project will develop simulation and approximation methods for studying the interplay between the Subject: Stochastic reaction kinetics in growing cells Imperial College London randomness inherent in intracellular biochemistry and the ability of cells to grow and divide. These methods provide the quantitative understanding of experimental data that is crucial for biotechnology and explaining drug action at the single-cell level.
Mr Alex Ballisat Subject: Model assisted qualification of non-destructive testing methods Sponsor: DSTL Porton Down University of Bristol Assuring the reliability of non-destructive testing methods, such as ultrasonic inspections, for expensive, complex equipment such as aircraft is currently immensely time-consuming and expensive. This project aims to improve this through validated numerical models which demonstrate a technique’s capability, reducing cost and accelerating the introduction of novel technologies into industry.
Mr Philip Conti-Ramsden Subject: Rapid enzyme discovery and commercial manufacture using a novel Sponsor: Biocatalysts Ltd metagenomics approach University College London Enzymes are biological molecules that increase the efficiency of chemical reactions. This project aims to develop a process for acquiring novel enzymes with specific functions for use in industrial processes. The source of the enzymes will be DNA obtained directly from environmental samples – a metagenome.
Mr Harry Cronin Subject: Investigation of novel inorganic materials for printable photovoltaics
recent breakthroughs in Perovskite materials to produce and commercialise low cost, printed, flexible solar cells.
Ms Rachel Fort Subject: A molecular modelling tool for predicting hydrocarbon properties Sponsor: BP Technology Centre King’s College London This project aims to develop a specific atomistic forcefield for predicting the physical properties of complex hydrocarbon mixtures from component molecular structure and proportion. This forcefield will be used for screening molecules proposed as potential base oil components and for the design of novel base mixtures for engine lubricants.
Mr Pavel Guzanov Subject: Inhibitor development for ERAP1 for advanced research of Ankylosing Spondylitis Sponsor: Novartis AG University of Oxford The aim of this project is to create a potent and selective ERAPl inhibitor using a Fragment Based Drug Design approach, which will be used for a detailed investigation of ERAPl functions and its role in inducing Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). This information will be invaluable in creating a treatment for AS, which currently has no cure.
Ms Daniela Ledwoch Subject: New directions in electrode design for electrochemical energy storage Sponsor: Sharp Laboratories of Europe Ltd University College London The influence of electrode processing on internal reactions is neglected in the literature. This project aims to generate fundamental scientific understanding of processes and limitations within electrodes and link it to industrially focused electrode manufacture. This should enable the adoption of innovative approaches to fabricate optimized electrodes, which exceed current state-of-the-art ones.
Mr Devesh Mistry Subject: Liquid crystal based ophthalmic devices with switchable focusing for correction of the ageing eye Sponsor: Ultra Vision CLPL Universities of Leeds and Manchester Presbyopia and cataracts are diseases of the eye that affect every person should they live long enough.
Current treatments, such as reading spectacles and intra-ocular lenses, all involve visual compromises. This project aims to create accommodating intra-ocular lenses using new liquid crystalbased materials which have the potential to provide a compromise free synthetic solution.
Ms Fiona Muirhead Subject: Airborne radar signal processing for environmental monitoring Sponsor: Selex ES University of Edinburgh This project aims to produce high-resolution height maps of the Earth’s surface using data from airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar systems produced by Selex ES. Height information for objects under forest canopies will also be determined using techniques from the exciting new field of compressive sensing.
Mr Pratyay Poddar Subject: Low cost quantum information processing using Si based surface acoustic wave quantum computation Sponsor: Hitachi Cambridge Laboratory University of Cambridge This project aims to study quantum effects using surface acoustic waves on silicon devices for the very first time. Successful implementation of this project would give the advantage of a quantum computer with static voltages implementing both single and two-qubit operations with potential scalability to thousands of qubits.
Mr Adam Polak Subject: Intelligent mid-infrared active laser-based hyperspectral imaging Sponsor: Fraunhofer UK University of Strathclyde This project will enhance state-of-the-art mid-infrared laser-based stand-off hyperspectral imagers by integration with advanced signal processing through a highly complementary interdisciplinary collaboration. The resulting technology will automatically and reliably identify potentially hazardous in-scene molecules, compounds and contamination, thus widening the take-up of this potentially high-impact technology by non-specialist users.
Built Environment Fellow
Ellen Hadden, Thomas Greenall, Roberta Marcaccio, Astrid Bois d'Enghien, DSDHA Subject: Cycling and the Built Environment Mentor: Alan Baxter This project will focus on the notion of ‘The Beautiful Everyday Journey’ and making the act of cycling within our dense historic cities natural and pleasurable again. Building on existing networks, extensive academic research and the wealth of live projects within central London, it will analyse current regulations, best practice examples, precedents and technological advances, while putting to the fore issues pertaining to the personal psychological territory that underscore people’s
preconceptions and behaviours surrounding cycling. In so doing it will try to answer the question:
How can engagement in cycling by diverse audiences of all ages and abilities be encouraged at a time when apparent conflict and confusion abounds on London’s historic streets?
Special Awards Granted Royal Academy of Engineering – Made Here Now Architecture Centre – Touring exhibition on contemporary bridge design Society of Biology – Biology Olympiad British Postal Museum and Archive – Mail Rail Science Show C14 Robotics – First Lego League World Festival 2015 Armourers’ & Brasiers’ Company – Cambridge Forum Foundation for Science and Technology – Debate sponsorship ERA Foundation – ‘Born to Engineer’ videos Science Museum – Orrery for interactive galleries 1851 Trust – Visitor and education centre Exhibition Road Cultural Group – Exhibition Road art installation TeenTech CIC – City of Tomorrow Young Scientists Journal – Widening engagement from state schools Royal Horticultural Society – Lindley Library treasures Smallpeice Trust – Avionics and aircraft design course Engineering Development Trust – Engineering education scheme National Science Learning Centre – Project Enthuse BBC World Service – The Engineers Women’s Engineering Society – Sparxx initiative Salters’ Institute – New model chemistry festival
Dr Alex Bartel Project: Cohen-Lenstra heuristics for Galois modules University of Warwick The overarching goal of Alex’s research is to understand symmetries of algebraic objects. Much like for geometric objects, some algebraic objects have only finitely many symmetries (think of a square, with some rotational and some reflection symmetries), and others have infinitely many (think of a circle).
The so-called Cohen-Lenstra heuristics postulate, very vaguely speaking, that when an algebraic object has e.g. twice as many symmetries as another, we are two times less likely to see it ``in nature’’.
These heuristics seem to govern the behaviour of many objects in diverse areas of mathematics, ranging from number theory to differential geometry and graph theory. Moreover, they appear to hold even when there has been, so far, no rigorous way of making sense of “twice as many’’, namely when the objects in question have infinitely many symmetries. This is somewhat analogous to how there is no set theoretic sense in which there are twice as many integers as even numbers, even though it “feels’’ that way.
In joint work with Hendrik Lenstra, Alex has built an algebraic framework that allows one to compare the sizes of some symmetry groups, even when those are infinite. Alex is now applying this theory to number theoretic situations. The theory reinterprets the classical Cohen-Lenstra heuristics in a very conceptual way, and allows formulation of more general heuristics than hitherto possible.
In a separate project, jointly with Tim Dokchitser, Alex has settled several open problems regarding the comparison of symmetries of finite sets versus symmetries of vector spaces.
Both of these projects have opened up new avenues for investigation, and both, even though already very fruitful, feel more like beginnings than like ends of these particular lines of research.
Alex is Zeeman Lecturer in the Mathematics Department at the University of Warwick and has been awarded an EPSRC First Grant.
Dr John Biggins Project: Physical and statistical approaches to biological shape Harvard University / University of Cambridge John’s research has focused on how soft solids, such as rubber, gels and biological tissues, change shape when subject to forces, with a particular interest in dramatic elastic instabilities, such as buckling and wrinkling, during which a more complicated shape emerges from a simple one. An example that John studied extensively during his fellowship is the folding of a soft solid layer that grows whilst attached to a solid substrate. If the layer and substrate are both soft, the folding patterns that emerge strongly resemble the folds of the human brain, leading to the obvious hypothesis that the brain folds during development simply by the outer layers growing whilst adhered to soft brain tissues within. This idea explains why small brains are smooth but large brains are folded, why the outer layer of the brain is thick at the mountain ridges (gyri) and thin in the valleys (sulci), and has ramifications for the brain’s evolution and structure. Similar buckling mechanisms are now known to govern the formation of villi in the gut, and are sure to be found to explain other organs’ development in the future. John has also worked on soft elastic instabilities unrelated to developmental biology.
Most notably he has understood a new instability particular to soft-solids in which fingers of air penetrate the boundary of a soft elastic layer under tension. He has also worked on the classical Newtonian mechanics of chains and strings, gaining considerable press attention for his explanation of the telegenic chain-fountain.
John is now an early career lecturer at the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge.
Dr Alexander Dunhill Project: How does biogeography determine species extinction?
University of Bath / University of Leeds Geographically widespread animals are less likely to become extinct than animals with smaller geographic ranges. Ecological theory states that a large geographic range, spanning multiple ecosystems, offers insurance against regional environmental catastrophes. However, during mass extinctions when environmental catastrophes affect the entire globe, it is claimed that this insurance is likely to become ineffectual. Alex’s research shows that although large geographic ranges do offer insurance against extinction, this insurance disappeared across a mass extinction event that occurred around 200 million years ago. In the first study to analyse the relationship between geographic range and extinction in the terrestrial fossil record he found that organisms with larger geographic ranges were less likely to become extinct than those with smaller ranges during most of the Triassic-Jurassic.
However, this pattern disappears near the Triassic-Jurassic boundary (around 200 million years ago) when the world experienced a catastrophic mass extinction event associated with rapid climate change which caused the demise of around 80% of species on the planet. During the course of the fellowship Alex also developed a new method for quantifying biogeographic connectedness by adapting methods from Network Theory and applied new methods for analysing the relationship between rock and fossil record biases derived from Information Theory.
Alex has been awarded a 3-year Early-Career Research Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust to continue his work on ecological and geographical determinants of extinction in the fossil record, which he will hold at the University of Leeds.