success in £1m research fellowships
University researchers have secured prestigious fellowships
with a total value of just under £1m.
Alison Tomlin, Joanne Tipper (pictured left) and
Alexei Likhtman have been awarded EPSRC advanced research
fellowships, each worth around £250,000. Dr Ruth
Wilcox has received a £150,000 fellowship from the
Royal Academy of Engineering.
Tomlin's research will look at ways to create accurate
computer models for determining urban air quality in relation
to traffic management, by taking into account variables
such as emission levels, changing weather and atmospheric
conditions. Current systems make it difficult for governments
to accurately assess which measures will be most effective
in reducing pollution to the levels required under international
long-term effects of a procedure called vertebroplasty,
which offsets the effects of oesteoporosis on the spine,
is the subject of Dr Wilcox's research. Using keyhole
surgery, a special bone cement is injected in to stiffen
the damaged vertebra and reduce pain. Dr Wilcox (pictured
right) will be looking at the biomechanical aspects
of the procedure, and the effectiveness of the bone cement.
800,000 patients have joints replaced each year worldwide,
but many require a second operation, when particles worn
off from the joint cause an immune response, affecting
the bone and loosening the joint replacement.
using an immunologial assay on blood cells, Dr Tipper
hopes to identify patients who are more likely to react
to the polymer from which the joints are made. These patients
can then be fitted with joints made of alternative materials,
so reducing their discomfort, and lessening the number
of operations required.
Likhtman (pictured left) is developing a theory
for understanding the dynamics of polymer melts and their
applications to industrial processes, such as injection
moulding and extrusion, enabling scientists and industry
to predict the behaviour of polymers, and helping to provide
the public with better and cheaper products.