The Royal Academy of Engineering has announced seven outstanding engineering researchers as recipients of its prestigious Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowships. They will work on a wide variety of engineering projects, from producing green hydrogen and using AI to design sustainable drainage systems to creating neural interfaces for stroke and spinal injury rehabilitation.

The fellowships, which are supported by the Leverhulme Trust, allow awardees to focus on full-time research for up to a year by covering the costs of a replacement academic to take over their teaching and administrative duties. This allows mid-career engineers to reinvigorate their research interests and it also gives other junior academics an opportunity to gain valuable teaching and administrative experience by stepping in to do those duties in the awardee’s place.

Professor Stephen McLaughlin FREng FRSE, Chair of the Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowships selection panel, said: "Academic career progression can result in increased administrative and teaching commitments, at the expense of the time available for personal research projects. The Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowships are awarded to enable mid-career academics to focus on such projects while relieving them of additional workload responsibilities.

"I am very pleased to see such a diverse range of topics covered by this year’s awards, from tackling environmental issues such as monitoring water pollutants, sustainable development in drainage and construction, and innovative developments in healthcare provision. These are research projects that could deliver significant benefits to society and the economy."

L to R: Dr Amit N Pujari; Dr Amy Gandy; Dr George Vasdravellis; Dr Zeike Amos Taylor; Dr Sonia Melendi-Espina; Dr Bahman Amini Horri; and Dr Kourosh Behzdian

The full list of 2021/22 RAEng/Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowships is as follows:

  • Dr Bahman Amini Horri, University of Surrey
    Development of a redox hydrothermal reactor for production of green hydrogen
  • Dr Kourosh Behzadian, University of West London
    Data-driven AI-based solutions for smart sustainable drainage systems
  • Dr Amy Gandy, University of Sheffield
    Understanding radiation damage mechanisms in novel, compositionally complex alloys
  • Dr Sonia Melendi-Espina, University of East Anglia
    Remote and continuous monitoring of priority organic pollutants in water
  • Dr Amit N Pujari, University of Hertfordshire
    Non-invasive, adaptive, peripheral neural interfaces for stroke and spinal-injury rehabilitation
  • Dr Zeike Amos Taylor, University of Leeds
    DIADEM-ART: DomaIn-Aware DEep learning Models for motion-Adaptive RadioTherapy
  • Dr George Vasdravellis, Heriot-Watt University
    3d-printed structural nodes for sustainable and resilient steel buildings

Notes for Editors

  1. The Leverhulme Trust was established by the Will of William Hesketh Lever, the founder of Lever Brothers. Since 1925, the Trust has supported grants and scholarships for research and education. Today, The Leverhulme Trust is one of the largest all-subject providers of research funding in the UK, distributing over £60m a year. The Trust provides funding across a range of academic disciplines such as arts, sciences, engineering and social sciences, with an aim of supporting talented individuals to realise their personal vision in research and professional training.

    Details of researchers awarded RAEng/Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowships since 2012 are available at RAEng/Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowships

  2. The Royal Academy of Engineering is harnessing the power of engineering to build a sustainable society and an inclusive economy that works for everyone. In collaboration with our Fellows and partners, we’re growing talent and developing skills for the future, driving innovation and building global partnerships, and influencing policy and engaging the public. Together we’re working to tackle the greatest challenges of our age.

Media enquiries to: Pippa Cox at the Royal Academy of Engineering Tel. +44 207 766 0745; email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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