Two Strathclyde academics awarded UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships

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Two Strathclyde academics have been awarded UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Future Leaders Fellowships (FLF) to help them develop innovative research projects.

Dr Marc Reid and Dr Alessandro Rossi are among 101 fellows being supported by the UKRI investment of £109 million that is helping establish the careers of world-class research and innovation leaders across the UK.

The UKRI initiative aims to support the creation of a new cohort of research and innovation leaders who will have links across different sectors and disciplines.

Awardees will each receive between £400,000 and £1.5 million over an initial four years. The grant supports challenging and novel projects, and the development of the fellow’s career. The funding can also be used to support team members, their development, and pay for equipment and other needs.

Dr Reid, an Enterprise Fellow in the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, Lecturer at the University of Bristol, and founder of prospective Strathclyde spinout company Pre-Site Safety, was awarded a fellowship for his project entitled ‘Computer Vision for Analytical Chemistry (CVAC): Scalable Productivity for Chemical Manufacturing’. His ambitious vision for this fellowship is to develop, deploy and promote uptake of productivity-enhancing computer vision methods in chemical manufacturing. 

Dr Rossi, a Chancellor’s Fellow in the Department of Physics, received a fellowship for his project entitled ‘Quantum Electronics in silicon Carbide (QELTIC)’ and aims to develop the first generation of electronic devices to address quantum states in silicon carbide (SiC). This will constitute a step change of the state-of-the-art, as this material is presently used for high-power electronics only. The most ambitious goal will be the proof-of-principle that SiC quantum technology can be integrated and scaled up, which will pave the way for its industrial adoption.

Talented researchers

Dr Reid said: “When the award result landed in my email inbox, I silently exhaled in delighted disbelief! No other award would enable the balance of academic, industrial, fundamental, and commercial activity that now lies on the exciting road ahead. I put every fibre of myself into the application, and I intend to give it all back and more. Here’s to the next seven years.

 “This award will help us explore the vast untapped potential of using ever-evolving camera technology in the chemical manufacturing space. By helping the chemist ‘see’ their reactions without touching them, we’ll be preparing the next generation for a safer and more productive way of making the chemical feedstocks that service a genuine wealth of our downstream industries.”

Dr Rossi said: “I am truly delighted to receive this prestigious Fellowship. It will enable me to set up a new state-of-the-art quantum laboratory, as well as form and lead the team that will run it. This award underlines Strathclyde’s strengths in the field of Quantum Technology and the strategic importance of creating synergies with high-calibre industrial partners, such as the National Physical Laboratory, Hitachi and British Telecom. I cannot wait to get this project started!”

Announcing the successful fellows at the Future Leaders Conference, Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: “We are committed to building back better through research and innovation, and supporting our science superstars in every corner of the UK.

By backing these inspirational Future Leaders Fellows, we will ensure that their brilliant ideas can be transferred straight from the lab into vital everyday products and services that will help to change all our lives for the better.”

UK Research and Innovation Chief Executive, Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, said: “Future Leaders Fellowships provide researchers and innovators with freedom and support to drive forward transformative new ideas and the opportunity to learn from peers right across the country.

"The fellows announced today illustrate how the UK continues to support and attract talented researchers and innovators across every discipline to our universities and businesses, with the potential to deliver change that can be felt across society and the economy."