Research Introductions Zoomposia

The College of Science & Engineering has grown significantly in recent years, but with the lockdown our new staff have had fewer opportunities to make new links and raise their profile. The Research Introductions Zoomposia was set up to help do just that.

Each Zoomposium presents 2-3 new researchers. Each presentation is five minutes and there may be questions after each session. Recordings last up to 40 minutes – if you haven’t joined in the Zoomposia so far, you can catch up with the presentations here.

To register for upcoming Zoomposia, please email


Zoomposium 12: Friday 27 November

Watch Zoomposium 12 (Passcode: 3Ree1cA.)


Dr Jeff Kettle, James Watt School of Engineering

" Improving the sustainability of electronic materials" 

I joined the University of Glasgow in 2020 and my new role is as a senior lecturer in ‘sustainable electronics.’ In this role, I will develop methods to reduce the environmental impact of electronic, optoelectronic and photovoltaic devices. This involves improving the long-term reliability of devices and their ability to operate in harsher environments, as well using materials that are less toxic. I also develop sensors systems that enhance sustainability; for example, agri-tech sensors, wearable sensors, and sensors that optimise manufacturing machine performance.  I am keen to work with engineers across the college as well as other disciplines such as environmental and bio-scientists, medical professionals and chemists.  


Dr Rair Macedo, James Watt School of Engineering

Putting a Spin on Electronics"

I am a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow/Lecturer in Electrodynamics and Spin Electronics and the Electronics and Nanoscale Division of the James Watt School of Engineering. I am mostly interested in how to modify materials properties—or build novel materials altogether—to manipulate electromagnetic waves. This is, in fact, the basis for how invisibility cloaks have been developed in the past few years! While this is a very whimsical application of novel materials, the same principles have also been used to enable technologies such as 5G, self-driving cars and even lenses with unlimited resolution.

In my research I have been particularly interested in manipulating electromagnetic waves with magnets, like those stuck to your fridge door but much, much smaller, and more recently I have been investigating how these can be used to aid information processing – either in our very own computers or even in the next generation i.e. quantum or neuromorphic computers.


Dr Alice Macente, School of Geographical & Earth Sciences

“To see or not to see: X-ray Imaging in Science”

My research focuses on using x-ray computed tomography to image and capture physical and chemical changes in geo-materials, at the micro-scale. This technique allows to capture any change in the microscale in 4D (3 spatial dimensions and time) without physically destroying the sample. In particular, I conduct 4D experiments, in which rocks are exposed to changes in stress or fluid content and look at the response of the internal microstructure over time. I will show you some case studies in which XCT proves to be a very powerful analysing tool, to demonstrate that it can be integrated in many other research fields.




Zoomposium 11: Tuesday 10 November

Watch Zoomposium 11 (Passcode: !aVf.J2U)


Dr Erifyli Tsagkari, James Watt School of Engineering

The interaction between biofilms and flow conditions in water systems

I am a PDRA in the Water and Environment research group in the School of Engineering at Glasgow University. I mainly investigate how flow conditions affect biofilms in water systems by using computer modelling, 3-D printing, and microscopy. This is important because biofilms play a key role in water quality, and the biofilms are inextricably linked to the hydrodynamics. Through my research, I anticipate that I will keep gaining experience that will help me become an academic with my own research portfolio. My vision is that the outcomes of my research will help support effective strategies to improve water quality. My plan is to build strong collaborations with experts in microbiology and in mathematical modelling.


Dr Enric Grustan Gutierrez, James Watt School of Engineering

Electrospray Atomisation for Space and beyond

Electrospray is an excellent method to atomise dielectric liquids into a beam of charged particles that can be accelerated up to tens of Km/s. These beams of particles (ions or droplets) have a wide range of applications, one of them is Space Propulsion. However, the output of a single electrospray source is insufficient for the current needs of the satellite industry.

At the Grustan group, we work on increasing the overall thrust by packing hundreds of sources operating using microfabrication techniques. This research has additional applications in surface engineering and microfabrication.


Dr Hubin Zhao, James Watt School of Engineering

Wearable Intelligent Neuroimaging for Health

My research vision is develop new-generation wearable medical imaging & health monitoring technologies with a miniaturized profile, a lightweight form factor, multi-modal functionality, and high imaging resolution. I will exploit advanced engineering approaches including optoelectronics, microchip design, signal/imaging processing (AI enabled), and wearable materials to realise a sophisticated platform that will enable the creation of a range of wearable imaging and sensing devices that will offer unprecedented spatial-temporal resolution and patient comfort.

My primary research interests including: 1) Optical Imaging & Health Monitoring, 2) Advanced Medical Electronics & Optoelectronics for Health, 3) Wearable & Non-Contact Imaging & Sensing Technologies, 4) AI Hardware for Medical Imaging & Healthcare, 5) Hardware Development for Brain-Computer Interface, Human-Robot Interaction. I am very keen to build collaborations with colleagues who have possible overlaps with my research interests.



Zoomposium 10: Wednesday 28 October


Watch Zoomposium 10 (password &^13w58E)


Dr Bernhard Schmidt, School of Chemistry

"Polymer Chemistry in Aqueous Environment and Polymer Hybrid Materials"

Polymers play an important role in everyday life with applications ranging from consumer plastics to biomedical technology. Research in polymer chemistry is relying increasingly on interdisciplinary collaborations to generate impact and address societal relevant applications. In the Schmidt group, various directions are investigated. On one hand, water-soluble polymers are investigated for phase separation behavior in aqueous environment with the target of biomedical applications. On the other hand, polymer hybrid materials are fabricated to combine the favorable processing properties of polymers with inorganic materials such as metal-organic frameworks and carbon nitride. These inorganic materials introduce new features like defined porosity or photocatalytic properties to polymers.

I am looking for collaborators, who are interested in polymer materials or need tailor made polymers for their applications.


Dr Miza Moreau, School of Geographical and Earth Sciences

"From particular to general: social and environmental prospects of small-scale appropriations of urban space"

Ambitious plans are being proposed to turn sidewalks into gardens and streets into bike highways to create more socially and environmentally just post-Covid cities.  These (and other) changes to the public realm should be made with a contextual understanding of physical space, activity patterns, and social implications. Studying urban form (morphology) in relation to how people appropriate space reveals unknown activities, needs, and possibilities for that space.  In my research on residential laneways, I have combined morphological analysis with ethnographic observations to examine under what conditions individual laneways were appropriated into valuable common spaces.  Identifying like conditions in other parts of the laneway network reveals possibilities for large scale changes. 


Dr Oana Andrei, School of Computing Science

"Temporal Usage Analytics for Interactive Systems"

I am a Lecturer in the School of Computing Science and the Centre for Computing Science Education. My research expertise is in modelling complex systems as abstract mathematical entities amenable to a rigorous analysis of their properties. Currently my work focusses on data-driven formal methods for interactive systems: I am developing temporal usage analytics based on inferring software usage models from user-generated time-series and then characterising these models using probabilistic temporal logic properties and behavioural distances.
I am looking to collaborate with mathematicians to identify different types of probabilistic models useful to model an interactive system’s usage and with people who are interested in characterising and predicting usage behaviours from data streams. I have developed a recent interest in computational social science, human-computer interactions, human-robot interactions, and sensor systems.










Zoomposium 9: Wednesday 7 October

Watch Zoomposia 9 (password: @siEo8ZE)


Dr John Moreau, School of Geographical & Earth Sciences
'Less mess, less stress: autotrophic design for gold mining waste water bioremediation' 

Historically, gold mines around the world have generated copious amounts of thiocyanate pollution as a byproduct of gold extraction from processed ore material. A few bioremediation systems adapted from municipal wastewater treatment technology have been developed to handle this pollution, but these incur high reagent and operational costs due to inefficiencies and over-engineering. Based on our work with environmental microorganisms capable of oxidising sulfur under sometimes extreme conditions, a novel and robust autotrophic microbial consortium was developed from contaminated mine tailings for use in a simplified and more efficient bioreactor system.


Dr Ciara Keating, James Watt School of Engineering
'Our focus determines our reality - fundamental microbiology is the missing link'

Anaerobic digestion (AD) biotechnologies produce renewable energy (methane gas) from waste using a complex microbial consortium. Innovations in AD are typically reactor or process driven. In fact, my previous research investigated the feasibility of a novel low-temperature anaerobic digestion (LtAD) hybrid bioreactor for sewage treatment and renewable energy production that was later translated to full-scale with industrial partner NVP Energy. In comparison, our investigations into the complex microbial community (typically snapshots through DNA sequencing) have not been translated to the field – the ability to control or bioaugment the microbial biomass remains elusive. We know that the methane-producing organisms are the most vulnerable to inhibition and ultimately can cause reactor acidification or poor methane yields. Yet we do not have a mechanistic insight into this response at the species level, hindered by a rudimentary toolkit to study the physiology of strictly anaerobic microorganisms. It is my ambition to combine my skills in microbiology and engineering to bring state-of-the-art methods from molecular microbiology together with novel methods in imaging and microfluidics to create new ways of understanding and ultimately engineering the biology of anearobic digestion (AD) for waste treatment and energy production.

I am open to many collaborative opportunities. I am particularly interested in developing collaborative projects to apply innovative techniques to microbial community analysis, live-imaging your anaerobes! I’m also interested in international development and industry focused research.


Dr Robert Bennett, School of Physics & Astronomy 
'Designer Quantum Optics'

My research interests are the fundamental interactions of light and matter, which I aim to control and optimise via algorithmic design of photonics devices. I am interested in potential collaboration opportunities with anyone who manufactures or works with nanophotonic devices.

Zoomposium 8: Thursday 24 September

Watch Zoomposia 8 (password: .2iMC*mE)


Dr Jose Cano Reyes, School of Computing Science
'Moving Deep Learning to the Edge'

My research interests are in the broad areas of Computer Architecture, Computer Systems, Compilers, Interconnection Networks and Machine Learning. My current research is focused on: i) hardware/software co-designed approaches to efficiently deploy Deep Learning applications on mobile/embedded edge devices (e.g. Internet-of-Things boards, phones, drones, mobile robots, satellites, etc); ii) design, optimization and evaluation of Networks-on-Chip (NoCs) for emerging processors/accelerators. I'm interested in collaborations where it is required/important to optimise the computation of Artificial Intelligence and/or Machine Learning applications, especially on devices at the edge of the Internet.


Dr Nicola Bell, School of Chemistry
'Chemical Recycling of Plastics by Catalytic Depolymerisation'

I have a PhD in catalyst design and postdoctoral experience with rare-earth elements and uranium. In my independent career I will combine this expertise to develop novel catalysts with underexploited metals and plan to apply these to plastic recycling. Current methods to recycle the most ubiquitous plastics (e.g.polystyrene) are polluting and inefficient. Closed-loop recycling is challenging because the chemical tools to cleave the polymer chains don’t exist. I plan to use air and light energy to break down the polymer into feedstock chemicals, thereby creating a green route for universal plastic recycling. I am currently applying for fellowships and am interested in potential collaboration opportunities at Glasgow with anyone who is interested in plastic recycling or in lanthanide or actinides more generally.


Dr Vihar Georgiev, James Watt School of Engineering 
'Device Modelling Group: know-how and capabilities'

Dr Vihar Georgiev is a Senior Lecturer in the James Watt School of Engineering. Together with Prof. Asen Asenov, he leads the Device Modelling Group that has more than 30 years of experience in simulating and modelling novel electronic devices, such as transistors and memories. This talk will provide an overview of the current activities and projects in the group, such as: (i) in-house software development, (ii) resistive memory simulations, (iii) nano-biosensor modelling, (iv) molecular memories and (v) simulation of defects in materials.

He is very keen to engage with people who have complementary expertise in the following areas: organic & inorganic chemistry, material characterisation & growth, device fabrication & measurements, biomedical engineering, software development & machine learning.

Zoomposium 7: Thursday 3 September

Watch Zoomposia 7 (password: Gyy1b&+c)


Dr Lito Michala, School of Computing Science
'The Internet of Things attacking The Cloud' 

Lito is a computing scientist who has an interest in monitoring the world. The internet of things (IoT) is the way to do that but the Cloud is going to soon struggle to support all of the data IoT generates. The solution is making the IoT smarter, able to make informed decisions and support the users’ decision making process. My particular focus is in agri-tech, and maritime applications where connectivity is a significant challenge and precision decision making is the differentiating factor between success and failure. I am looking for collaborations in either of these sectors especially if they have an interest in GCRF.


Sarah Currier, The Centre for Sustainable Solutions 

The Centre for Sustainable Solutions is a UofG-wide initiative that launched in April 2020. We aim to enable individuals, communities and organisations to act towards a sustainable future through education, research and partnership. We support interdisciplinary, cross-campus and cross-sectoral solutions to climate change. The Centre is led by CoSE’s own Prof Jaime Toney, and Sarah Currier is its Coordinator. Current activities include developing a toolkit for including sustainability metrics in grant applications; an audit of sustainability-related work across UofG; and planning a series of Green Recovery events for later in 2020. See: for more.


Dr Andrew Feeney, James Watt School of Engineering
'Establishing adaptive ultrasonics' 

Ultrasonic sensors and actuators, particularly those operating in the 20-100 kHz range, are widespread across medicine and industry, in diverse applications including surgery, sonar, flow measurement, and food processing. These devices are generally designed for efficient operation in one vibration mode, restricting application performance. My research focuses on innovating new multifunctional and transformational devices – ‘adaptive ultrasonics’. One route I am exploring is tuning device performance with shape memory materials. There is potential for a new generation of intelligent and adaptable devices able to remotely repair. I am especially interested in collaborating with experts in different fields to realise new applications.

Zoomposium 6: Wednesday 29 July

Watch Zoomposia 6 (password: am?K9=vq)


Dr Mohamed Khamis, School of Computing Science
'Privacy-respecting ubiquitous systems'

Mohamed Khamis is a Lecturer of Human-centred Security at the School of Computing Science. He received his PhD from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. His research is at the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and security. He focuses on understanding the security and privacy threats that are facilitated/caused by ubiquitous technologies and designing and evaluating usable systems for improving security and privacy. He has over 70 publications in HCI and security and received 5 paper awards. He is an active member of the research community (PC member of ACM CHI since 2019). 


Dr Shan Kumar, James Watt School of Engineering
'Multifunctional Materials Enabled by Additive Manufacturing and Nanoengineering'

The emergence of micro-, nano-, and molecularly-tailored multi-material systems, particularly those enabled by additive manufacturing (AM) technologies, facilitates the design of new and enhanced functionalities. This talk will provide an overview of four such multidisciplinary research activities of my group enabled by AM and Nanoengineering: (i) enhanced performance of multilayers, (ii) biomaterials and bio-inspired design of materials, (iii) multiscale and multifunctional fiber composites and (iv) architected and metamaterials. I am keen on engaging with larger set of colleagues who have complementary expertise in the following areas: nano-, micro-, and multiscale-composites; materials energy storage and harvesting; 4D printing & nanomaterials; materials for sensing & actuation; biomaterials & biomimetics; camouflage & soft composites; lightweight, cellular, architectured and metamaterials; thermal barrier, protective & functional coatings; sustainable materials & technologies.


Dr Jesko Kohnke, School of Chemistry
'Natural product biosynthesis and engineering'

Natural sources have been highly important for the discovery of new drugs, offering compounds that possess exciting and potent bioactivities. The development of many promising natural products is significantly hampered by the difficulties associated with the generation of novel analogs. My work focuses on understanding natural product biosynthesis through biochemistry and structural biology. The overall aim is to enable the production of novel analogs with improved efficacy for biological testing.

I am looking to collaborate with microbiologists to discover novel natural products, people who have systems that would be suitable to test the compounds we have (for example infection models) and people who have an interesting biological question that could be partially answered using structural biology.

Zoomposium 5: Tuesday 14 July

Watch Zoomposia 5 (password: 7G=7@**!)


Dr Mohammad FotouhiJames Watt School of Engineering
'High performance and smart composite structures'

My research interests are in design, manufacturing and structural health monitoring of composite materials, with focus on developing novel architectures and design philosophies to make composites more structurally optimised, damage tolerant, smart and high-performance for different applications such as aerospace, wind, automotive, medical, robotics, etc. I am also interested in 3D/4D printing and new manufacturing procedures.

I would be interested in developing further collaborations with academics in these and complementary areas that may require these types of research activities.


Dr Rebeca Gonzalez-CabaleiroJames Watt School of Engineering:
'Is it possible to engineer biology as we do with mechanics?'

The deep-seated empiricism at the heart of environmental biotechnology acts to slow down its technological development, limiting its capacity to offer efficient solutions. Because the catalysers of these processes are microbial open communities defined by a great complexity and variability, it is assumed that rational approaches to engineer them are rather limited. However, I believe that there are options to direct biotechnological exploration in wiser ways. Using chemical and thermodynamics analysis and developing mathematical descriptions well-routed on fundamental physical principles, I am predicting the selective pressures that can achieve a more nuanced control of microbial activity. With it, I want to propose novel engineering designs and prove that hypothesis-driven innovation in biotechnology is possible.

I am building my own research group, which I envisage as a multidisciplinary one advancing on the integrative evolution of mathematical description, experimental data collection, method development and bioengineering design. In the process, there will be opportunities for industrial synergies, designing novel biotechnologies to reduce the cost of water treatments or to sustainable yield valuable products. Together, this engineering work will be always underpinned by exciting scientific research questions: I want to understand the emerging properties of complex microbial communities and unveil the evolutionary rules that allow microorganisms to persist and even thrive under challenging environmental conditions.


Dr Prashant SaxenaJames Watt School of Engineering
'Mechanics of soft solids and structures'

I have developed capabilities to model nonlinear deformation in solids and structures with multi-physics coupling. Structures made from "hard" materials (eg. steel) usually undergo small deformations in their lifecycle, however structures from "soft" solids (eg. rubbers, elastomers, biological cells and tissues) have the capability of undergoing large deformation demonstrating nonlinear characteristics. Extremely large deformations usually result in sudden changes in mechanical behaviour - a phenomenon commonly referred to as instability and traditionally considered a structural failure. I am currently exploring ways to exploit instabilities as design features for structures made with soft materials. I am also interested in studying how multi-physics coupling (eg. electro-mechanics, magneto-mechanics, thermo-mechanics etc.) influence material and structural behaviour.

My work is primarily mathematical and computational and I'm keen to collaborate with experimentalists. I think my work can be useful to (and benefit from) research groups in the following areas:

  • discovery of new structural materials
  • soft robotics
  • biomechanics of soft tissues
  • experimental mechanics
  • anyone interested in deformation of solids and structures

Zoomposium 4: Monday 29 June

Watch Zoomposia 4 (password: 0v!9T.5M)


Dr Laia Vila-Nadal, School of Chemistry
'Metal oxides are great, what is next?'

Computational chemist by training, inorganic chemist by experience and biochemist at heart.

My background is in computational chemistry, mapping the self-assembly mechanisms of tungsten and molybdenum metal oxides. I can provide expertise in computational modelling of transition metals, coordination chemistry, porous materials and complementary metal-oxide-semiconductors (CMOS). Currently I am looking for experts in wood (lignin/cellulose/etc.) from structural engineering to materials science, as I would like to start research in this area. I am happy to start collaborations with researchers interested in finding new applications of porous metal oxides, sustainable energy and nitrogen fixation.


Dr Timothy Moorsom, School of Physics & Astronomy
'Topological Plasmonics: Tying light in knots'

Plasmonics involves confining and controlling light at the nano-scale using meta-materials and nano-structures. A novel branch of plasmonics involves using topological insulators. These materials have a unique electronic structure that can support near lossless transport of electrons. These special properties make topological insulators a potentially revolutionary new substrate for plasmonic data processing and communication.

At Glasgow, I will design and build devices where organic molecules are used to functionalise topological insulators for sensing and high-speed computing. I am interested in exploring radical new approaches to electronics and optics, utilising novel hybrid materials. I am also interested in surface science, coatings and interfaces, particularly how they can be used to address engineering challenges at the nano-scale.


Professor Ana Basiri, School of Geographical & Earth Sciences
'Indicative Data Science: Extracting Information from Biased and Missing Data'

Ana Basiri is Professor in Geospatial Data Science, and a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow. Ana works on statistical and machine learning solutions that embrace the challenges of data quality, bias, representativeness and missingness in 'new forms of data' such as crowdsourced data. These solutions are based on the mindset that considers the bias/missingness as a useful source of data to make inference about the underlying reasons for the missingness/bias. One application of this is extracting the 3D map using the spatio-temporal patterns of blockage and attenuation of the GPS signals (or other similar signals).

Ana is the Editor in Chief of Journal of Navigation and before joining the University of Glasgow, she was a lecturer at University College London, a European Research Council Fellow at The University of Southampton, a Marie Curie Fellow at the University of Nottingham, and a Postdoc Research Fellow at the Maynooth University of Ireland.

Zoomposium 3: Tuesday 9 June

Watch Zoomposia 3 (password: 3e.%?L4d)


Professor Roy Vellaisamy, James Watt School of Engineering
'Intelligent sensors for food safety, water quality monitoring and healthcare applications'

Over the years, we have developed an electronic sensor platform based on molecular level interaction between the target and analyte to detect toxins. The advantage of our sensor platform is that it can be used for on-site detection; it is easy to operate and provides results on real-time basis. In addition, we have extended our sensor platform system for healthcare applications such as detection of cancer biomarkers as point of care diagnostic tools. Latest advancements of our electronic sensor platform (including future plan) and energy systems include:

  • Point of Care (PoC) diagnostic tools - Onsite screening of disease biomarkers, contaminants in food and water
  • Detection of contaminants include heavy metals, minerals, organic toxins, pesticides and over all soil quality for agriculture
  • For aquaculture, water quality and oxygen level detection
  • Detection of cancer biomarkers for prostate cancer, gastrointestinal cancer and detection of other cancer biomarkers are in development
  • For food safety - Detection biogenic amines, formaldehyde and other carcinogenic complexes
  • Detection of illicit drugs - Vapor phase detectors (electronic nose) as an alternative to sniffer dogs


Dr Cise Unluer, James Watt School of Engineering
'Development of Novel Binders and Sustainable Construction Products'

Cise’s research aims to contribute to a sustainable built environment through the development of innovative and functional construction products with high performance and durability. In her work, she focuses on the use of waste materials, carbon sequestration, recycling, self-healing and 3D printing processes involving cement-based mixes. Within these topics, she is interested in studying the relationship between reaction mechanisms, mechanical performance and microstructural development, as well as the environmental impacts of various binder systems and materials.

Areas of interest for collaboration:

  • Sustainability
  • waste materials
  • carbon sequestration
  • recycling
  • self-healing
  • 3D printing
  • concrete structures
  • novel materials


Dr Massimo Vassalli, James Watt School of Engineering
'Cell biophysics: methods and applications'

My general research interest is in understanding the mechanisms by which physical forces are transduced into biologically relevant signals, and their role in the homoeostasis of key physiological processes whose alteration eventually leads to pathology or degeneration, such as in cancer or ageing. Moreover, exploiting my technical background in physics and engineering, I'm also committed in developing enabling microscopy and spectroscopy tools to measure mechanical properties, image and manipulate (biological) objects at the micro- and nano-scale.

I’m looking for collaborations with anyone interested in either biophysical methods or specific mechanobiology applications (or both). Some examples include:


  • Nanoindentation and mechanical characterization of soft materials
  • Cantilever-based mass sensors (measuring the mass of a living cell?)
  • Single cell label-free physical phenotyping (elasticity, refractive index)


  • Mechanobiology of aging and the role of mechanical dysregulation in the onset of age-related disorders
  • Mechanics of the microenvironment and stem cell differentiation
  • Mechanosensitive ion channels (in particular Piezo1)

Zoomposium 2: Thursday 28 May

Watch Zoomposia 2 (password: 4U=%e+89)


Professor Janine Illian, School of Mathematics and Statistics
'What's the point? Applications of realistically complex point process models'

Janine B Illian joined the University as Chair in Statistical Sciences in 2019. Prior to this she was a senior lecturer in statistics and Head of Statistics, within the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of St Andrews. She held a Professor II position at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, 2013-2016.

Her work focuses on spatial point process methodology and she is the author of “Statistical Analysis and Modelling of Spatial Point Patterns” (Wiley, 2008), which has become a standard work on point process modeling since its publication. Her research profile focuses on the development of modern, realistically complex, spatial statistical methodology that is both computationally feasible and relevant to end-users. She taken spatial point processes from the theoretical literature into the real world and encouraging statistical development by fostering strong relationships with the user community.

Her research has impacted on spatial modeling and biodiversity research in the context of ecology, and she has diversified to applications in crime modelling, earthquake forecasting, environmental modelling and terrorism studies.


Dr Kumar Shanmugam, James Watt School of Engineering
'Multifunctional Materials Enabled by Additive Manufacturing and Nanoengineering'

The emergence of micro-, nano-, and molecularly-tailored multi-material systems, particularly those enabled by additive manufacturing (AM) technologies, facilitates the design of new and enhanced functionalities. This talk will provide an overview of four such multidisciplinary research activities of my group enabled by AM and Nanoengineering: (i) enhanced performance of multilayers, (ii) biomaterials and bio-inspired design of materials, (iii) multiscale and multifunctional fiber composites and (iv) architected and metamaterials. I am keen on engaging with larger set of colleagues who have complementary expertise in the following areas: nano-, micro-, and multiscale-composites; materials energy storage and harvesting; 4D printing & nanomaterials; materials for sensing & actuation; biomaterials & biomimetics; camouflage & soft composites; lightweight, cellular, architectured and metamaterials; thermal barrier, protective & functional coatings; sustainable materials & technologies.


Professor Nigel MottramSchool of Mathematics and Statistics
'Anisotropy: from microfluidics to flocking birds'

My research interests lie in the mathematical modelling of real-world systems, generally focussing on those that include the dynamics of non-Newtonian fluids. I am particularly interested in anisotropic fluids such as liquid crystals, where viscoelasticity is an important consideration, as are surface effects, the movement of defects and the behaviour of the fluid under electric fields. The main applications of this research are in the area of optoelectronic devices where thin films, channels and droplets of liquid are deposited and flow on surfaces.

Current projects also include investigations of active fluids, such as the organisation of bacteria, micro-organisms or even fish and birds within fluid flows. Most of my projects include collaborations with experimental and industrial researchers, particularly my work on Liquid Crystal Displays.

Connections sought include anyone with an interest in:

  • flow and elasticity of liquid crystals and other anisotropic materials
  • microfluidics, particularly for anisotropic and/or vicsoelastic liquids
  • optoelectronic devices, particularly LCDs
  • sensors that need to react to piconewton forces or detect organic molecules
  • flow of living organisms, e.g. bacterial swarms, but also larger scale organised motion such as in insects, birds, plankton, fish
  • biaxiality in solid and fluid systems

Zoomposium 1: Monday 4 May

Watch Zoomposia 1 (password: 9b=5^kQm)


Dr Simon CandelaresiSchool of Mathematics and Statistics
'Magnetic Field Topology in Plasmas'

Hot plasmas, like in our Sun, exhibit strong magnetic fields which are strong enough to affect the plasma motions. The structure of the magnetic field has a strong effect on the evolution of the plasma. If the magnetic field is of the shape of knots or links, the dynamics is restricted in a particular way. This means that certain configurations cannot be reached. 

My research focuses on how to quantify the topology (tangling, twisting) of magnetic fields. I also study the effect of the topology on the plasma and its back-reaction with applications in astrophysical plasmas and fusion devices.


Dr Fani DeligianniSchool of Computing Science
'Building reliable systems on unreliable neurophysiological data'

My interests include medical image/neuroimage computing, brain computer interfaces, statistical machine learning and health informatics. One of the projects I am interested is about cognitive workload assessment with both wearable sensors as well as rgbd cameras for human motion analysis. My work will be benefited by strong collaboration with sensing/engineering teams with expertise in the development of wearable sensors.


Dr Ben SwallowSchool of Mathematics and Statistics
'Bayesian inference in complex biotic systems'

My research interests lie mainly in the field of Bayesian statistical inference, particularly Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods, data integration and model selection, applied to problems in ecological, environmental and biological sciences. I am currently interested in developing and applying efficient algorithms for parameter estimation and inference in joint abundance models of ecological communities, particularly using citizen science data.I am also working on methods for inference in stochastic dynamical systems in systems biology.

I would be interested in developing further collaborations with academics in these and complementary areas that may require these types of methods for their own data and models.