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Fellowship Academy profiles - EPS

Humberto Almeida Jr, headshot
Dr Humberto Almeida Jr
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

My research aims to develop lighter, more damage tolerant, yet safer, composite aerostructures. Robust computational models will predict the mechanical response of fibre-reinforced composites under damage-inducing loads, accounting for material and manufacturing uncertainties, combined with a physically based damage model that spans across micro-macro scales.

How does your research and its outcomes impact on wider society?
Direct emissions from aviation account for more than 2% of global emissions. UQUAFA can contribute to stabilise CO2 emissions by designing lighter aerostructures. UQUAFA has the potential to realise societal, environmental and economic impact leading to benefits for academia, industry and society. The design of new composite aerostructures will lead to cost-savings and evolutionary development in the aerospace industry, while having strong impact on environmental concerns (less gas emissions). UQUAFA will focus on thermoplastic composites, which enable attaining recyclable eco-friendly structures. The transportation sector will benefit with recyclable, lighter, greener and safer aerostructures.

What is your proudest career achievement?
I am extremely proud of being a current recipient of a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowship. The selection process was very tough and competitive. As I am sure RAEng only funds excellence, I am proud to hold this prestigious Fellowship and deliver excellence.

What one piece of advice would you give to those considering applying for a Fellowship?
Be patient; work hard; never give up; ask advice from experts and non-experts in your field.

Pure: Dr Humberto Almeida Jr

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Computer science building
Dr Salvador Alvidrez Villegas
School of Psychology

I am the Principal Investigator of the ContactVIRT project, which focuses on reducing sectarian prejudice by means of virtual reality interactions. My research targets cognitive, attitudinal, and behavioral effects derived from the use of communication technologies. These effects include impression formation, attraction, and prejudice-reduction across different computer-mediated communication systems and virtual environments.

What is your proudest career achievement?
My proudest career achievement was being awarded with a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship, which has made possible carrying out the project so far. Moreover, I am particularly proud of how much I have learned from the post-conflict context of Northern Ireland by engaging community members with the project.

What one piece of advice would you give to those considering applying for a Fellowship?
Although it is widely shared, a piece of advice that has been always useful to me is "Hope for the best and prepare for the worst", which condenses the relevance of being positive and meticulous without forgetting that there are forces beyond our control.

 

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Andrew Brown headshot
Dr Andrew Brown
School of Mathematics and Physics

My project is to develop software and infrastructure to support computational Atomic, Molecular and Optical (AMO) physics research. This will enable a more sustainable software ecosystem for techniques addressing the fundamental scientific question of how atoms and molecules respond to light.

How does your research and its outcomes impact on wider society?
By enabling a diverse group of scientists to use AMO physics software, the project will enhance research in many diverse areas including drug design, fusion and solar energy, fundamental quantum dynamics, astrophysics and industrial plasmas.

What is your proudest career achievement?
Although I am immensely proud of gaining the EPSRC Research Software Engineering fellowship, my proudest achievement has been watching my PhD students flourishing in their academic careers.

What one piece of advice would you give to those considering applying for a Fellowship?
Remember that everyone feels like they're making it up. I never pursued big projects before because I felt like an imposter. But once I realised that most people feel that way, I was able to back myself to propose more and more ambitious plans. 

Pure: Dr Andrew Brown

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Domhnall Carlin, headshot
Dr Domhnall Carlin
Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

A key aim of my fellowship is to establish a Research Software Engineering (RSE) presence within Queen’s, promoting RSE as a career pathway to attract and retain high level engineers within academic research. This Fellowship will support key research into software-based approaches for Internet of Things (IoT) cyber-attack mitigation.

How does your research and its outcomes impact on wider society?
My research will develop and test software-based security threat mitigations for IoT devices, which will provide future-ready protections against cyberattacks. It will also involve a multi-disciplinary collaboration with University College London into IoT-based tech-abuse for vulnerable sectors of society.

What is your proudest career achievement?
Gaining the joint first RSE Research Fellowships in QUB.

What one piece of advice would you give to those considering applying for a Fellowship?
Start generating your idea early, outside of a call, and talk to others as early as possible.  The research development managers at Research & Enterprise are invaluable, as are links to industrial and academic partners. 

Pure: Dr Domhnall Carlin

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 Dr. Trung Q. Duong
Prof Trung Duong
Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

I work at Queen's as a Reader in Signal Processing for Communications. My research interests include: wireless communications, disaster communications and management, Internet of Thing (IoT) in smart cities and smart agriculture, and AI in healthcare and disaster relief networks.

What is your proudest career achievement?
I'm proud of receiving the Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowship in 2015, the Queen’s Vice Chancellor’s Research Prize for Early Career Researcher in 2016, the Newton Prize 2017, and the Queen’s Vice Chancellor’s Research Prize for Innovation in 2018.

What one piece of advice would you give to those considering applying for a Fellowship?
A Queen's Fellowship will leverage your research career. Be ambitious to truly make a difference.

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Image of Dr Myra Lyndon
Dr Myra Lydon
Natural and Built Environment

My current work focuses on developing digital solutions for long term monitoring and assessment of Civil Infrastructure. My research interests include bridges, Transport networks, Structural Health Monitoring and Data analytics.

What is your proudest career achievement?
My proudest career achievements are being awarded the Royal Academy Fellowship and being involved in the ICE invisible superheros exhibition.

What one piece of advice would you give to those considering applying for a Fellowship?
Make your research independent and engage with industry and government to develop your research ideas and solutions.

 

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Raymond McQuaid, headshot
Dr Raymond McQuaid
School of Mathematics and Physics

My group looks at innovative ways to control the flow of heat at the nanoscale using ferroelectric materials. These materials are quite unique in that you can reversibly change their microstructure with a voltage. We are exploiting this behaviour to make nanoscale devices with thermal properties that can be controlled electrically. 

How does your research and its outcomes impact on wider society?
New innovations in nanoscale thermal management will be important for supporting technological advances in several sectors, while also trying to keep future devices energy efficient. Relevant sectors and applications include consumer electronics, medical devices, telecommunications, automotive and aeronautical industries, and efficient waste heat harvesting.

What is your proudest career achievement?
I feel very proud to have started my own research group and to be responsible for the training and mentoring of young scientists. This has only been possible due to the joint support of my host department at QUB and my UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship.

What one piece of advice would you give to those considering applying for a Fellowship?
The advice of a trusted mentor who knows you well can be really valuable.

Pure: Dr Raymond McQuaid

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Leila Moura
Dr Leila Moura
Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

I currently work in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. My core research targets energy reduction and process improvements. I am interested in the development, evaluation and application of new materials to reduce the environmental and energy impact of current operations, specifically in gas-liquid and liquid-liquid separations and purification processes.

What is your proudest career achievement?
My proudest career achievement was being awarded this Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowship. I learned a lot while going through the selection and application stages. I actually had a lot of fun during the interview at the Royal Academy of Engineering in London!

What one piece of advice would you give to those considering applying for a Fellowship?
My main piece of advice for someone considering applying for a Fellowship at Queen’s is to be themselves. Your personality and your vision should come through to anyone that comes in contact with your application. And don't be afraid to ask for help, we have great colleagues here at Queen's!

 

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Computer science building
Dr Andrew Newton
Natural and Built Environment

My research uses geological, geophysical, and petrophysical methods to develop integrated 3D models that explore how fluids might move through rocks beneath the Earth surface - essentially it is geological plumbing. This work focuses on Carbon Capture and Storage in the British North Sea. More broadly I work on glacial geology and understanding environmental changes in high latitude/altitude settings. 

What is your proudest career achievement?
I was recently awarded the 2020 Wollaston Fund by the Geological Society of London for "early career geoscientists who have made excellent contributions to geoscience research". I have been fortunate in my early career to have worked with leading scientists from across the world and their advice, critiques, and encouragement played a significant role in helping me to get this recognition.

What one piece of advice would you give to those considering applying for a Fellowship?
In my own discipline there are so many sub-disciplines that it would be impossible to be an expert in them all. I learned this during my PhD studies and it allowed me to build a network of experts from around the world to develop a more holistic and dynamic approach to my research. The advice I would give to anybody considering a Fellowship is to embrace and seek out collaborations and benefits that they might bring to your research area.

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Dr Hien-Quoc Ngo
Dr Hien Quoc Ngo
Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

My general research interests are the application of mathematical, random matrix, optimization, information theories, and signal processing to wireless communications. I aim at developing novel, low-cost, and eco-friendly solutions for future wireless systems. I am currently focusing on cell-free massive MIMO, massive MIMO, cooperative communication systems, and physical layer security for massive MIMO.

What is your proudest career achievement?
My key career achievements include the award of the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship in 2019, and three prestigious research prizes: the IEEE ComSoc Stephen O. Rice Prize in 2015, the IEEE ComSoc Leonard G. Abraham Prize in 2017, and the Best PhD award 2018 by the European Association for Signal Processing (EURASIP).

What one piece of advice would you give to those considering applying for a Fellowship?
You need to emphasise "why you?".

 

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Seyed Tabaei, headshot
Dr Seyed Tabaei
Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

I am a Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Queen's. My research is at the interface of chemistry, engineering and medicine. Currently, I'm working on building engineered nanomaterials for selective targeting of glycans.

How does your research and its outcomes impact on wider society?
Glycans are significant biomarkers for a variety of disorders, and their abnormalities are linked to a number of pathological illnesses. Glycan recognition with high specificity will lead to a wider range of innovative medicines and diagnostics in the future.

What is your proudest career achievement?
I'm proud of receiving the Marie Curie Individual Fellowship and securing the Illuminate Vice-Chancellor’s Fellowship at Queen’s.

What one piece of advice would you give to those considering applying for a Fellowship?
In your application, try to articulate how your expertise and proposed research will benefit and complement the research efforts of your selected school and Queen’s University. 

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Yikai XU, headshot
Dr Yikai Xu
Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

Nanotechnology is already the basis of a trillion-dollar industry. However, in the current generation of nanomaterials, the surface chemistry is typically not well understood or controlled, so finding nanomaterials which interact appropriately with their surroundings has relied largely on trial-and-error. Therefore, the next big challenge in nanoscience is to optimise the interactions between nanomaterials and other substances. I am employing a combination of theoretical modelling and experimental measurements to develop a deep understanding of nanomaterials' surface properties.

How does your research and its outcomes impact on wider society?
It is expected that the results of this work will be used across the field to underpin the development of the next generation of nanomaterials with improved functionality made possible by the ability to rationally design and then create systems with optimised surface properties.

What is your proudest career achievement?
Besides my recently awarded Fellowship, my proudest achievement so far is being the recipient of the 2019 Kathleen Lonsdale Royal Irish Academy Prize for the most outstanding PhD research in chemical science in Ireland.

What one piece of advice would you give to those considering applying for a Fellowship?
Plan ahead, choose wisely, go all in.

Pure: Dr Yikai Xu

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