Professor Jaka Sodnik

Fellowship focus: Tackling the issue of assessing older and vulnerable people’s proficiency to drive using an advanced driving simulator.

Currently, there are no systematic assessment tools for motor and cognitive skills which GPs can use to determine whether to approve driving license extensions. Building on an existing collaboration, Professor Sodnik will bring SimFit2Drive – his innovative solution for assessing basic driving skills – to Surrey and collaborate with researchers in transport, AI and sustainability to consider the wider societal objectives of the tool and to exploit commercialisation opportunities. Studies will be conducted with elderly drivers to prove the concept, and collaborative research will be disseminated through a series of lectures, seminars, webinars, conferences and joint publications.


Professor Jian Xu

Fellowship focus: Exploring an innovative approach for reducing soil and groundwater pollution caused by pesticide production.

The pollution of soil and groundwater caused by pesticide production is a widespread problem in many developing countries. Professor Xu and Dr Cao will, for the first time, combine in-situ chemical oxidation technology (ISCO) – a solution which is widely used but offers limited efficiency – with groundwater circulation well technology in order to improve the speed at which pollutants degrade. The Fellowship aims to establish a hydrogeochemical numerical 3D model and verify the technology at a pesticide company in Jiangsu Province in China, with the longer term objective of reducing unnecessary use of ISCO and providing a more sustainable solution.

Professor Jonathan Black

Fellowship focus: Building a scalable and flexible space network testbed to support the development of communications based on mega-constellations.

Having previously partnered to build the first space network testbed which emulates the changing connectivity provided by a constellation of thousands of satellites – known as SpaceNet – Professor Black and Professor Sastry will collaborate through this Fellowship to expand and improve the facility. This will include running resilience and connectivity tests, and planning joint experiments between Surrey and Virginia Tech. The Fellowship will also explore how mega-constellations might behave in the face of disruptions such as large solar storms or jamming by hostile states. 

Dr Melina Bersten

Fellowship focus: Understanding the impact of single and binary stars in state-of-the-art all-sky surveys.

This Fellowship will combine Dr Bersten’s expertise in supernova-lightcurve modelling with Surrey’s experience in predicting the progenitor models of supernovae in single and binary stars to enable greater understanding of ‘transients’ – objects such as exploding stars which come and go in the night sky. This combination of knowledge will enable Dra Bersten and Dr Izzard to quantify the impact of single and binary stars in all-sky surveys such as Euclid. In addition to developing and releasing an open-source version of her supernova-lightcurve code, Dra Bersten will give a colloquium and outreach talk during her Fellowship at Surrey.

Professor Sarah O’Shea

Fellowship focus: Investigating how marginalised students’ sense of belonging has been affected by new learning spaces necessitated by the pandemic.

Professor O’Shea will collaborate with Surrey’s researchers in education and sociology, and draw on her recent research into online learning and educational inequities, to shine a light on the issue of students’ sense of belonging and how this has changed as a result of online learning introduced during Covid-19. Using visual methodologies such as student vlogs, Professor O’Shea and Dr Gravett will build on existing international research and create a cross-institutional research network focused on ‘Space, Mobility and Inequality in the Pandemic University’.

Dr Rohan Shah

Fellowship focus: Investigations into the prevalence of anaemia and its risk factors in adolescent girls in rural India.

The Maharashtra Anaemia Study (MAS), started by Dr Ahankari in 2013, showed that 87 per cent of adolescent girls in the region were anaemic – a condition which affects physical and cognitive developments, health in pregnancy, and babies’ health. Building on the collaboration between Surrey and KEMHRC, Dr Shah will collaborate with Dr Ahankari to advance work on this topic, using the MAS 2 dataset consisting of 400 adolescent girls. This vital data will inform future anaemia research and findings will be disseminated through journal publications and conferences. 



Dr Matteo Pellegrini

Fellowship focus: Using cutting-edge computational methods to analyse how Latin diversified into romance languages in just 2000 years.

This Fellowship will bring together Dr Pellegrini’s knowledge of open language data with Surrey’s modelling expertise to understand the paradigms of language: why, for example, there are four different forms of a verb in one language but over a hundred in another. Using computational simulations, Dr Pellegrini and Professor Round will drill deep into the constraints on paradigm evolution and identify the historical ‘chess moves’ by which Latin transformed into its modern descendants such as French, Italian, Spanish and Romanian.

Dr Rosemary Gibson

Fellowship focus: Exploring the sociology of sleep, ageing, disease and caregiving, and how modern society commodifies and commercialises sleep.

Dr Gibson will bring her expertise in sleep, ageing, and health to collaborate with Surrey’s sociologists. This Fellowship will include the launch of a study which explores the representation of sleep and ageing in the British media, expanding on Dr Gibson’s research on the discourses and practices of sleep in bicultural New Zealand. A seminar and workshop on the sociocultural aspects of sleep are also planned, which will present her research alongside contributions from collaborators across the UK – serving to strengthen an international research network and agenda.

Professor Dominic Foo

Fellowship focus: Helping UK industry to adapt to climate change using decarbonisation software for planning of future energy systems.

Professor Foo, a world-renowned expert in process integration and optimisation for sustainability, will continue his collaboration with Dr Short following their recent development of open-source software aimed at enabling developing countries to transition to renewable energy. The aim of this Fellowship will be to improve this initial software framework through further research projects and funding bids. With a focus on how it can help the UK to achieve net zero by 2050, Professor Foo and Dr Short will hold workshops with UK industry and visit plants to promote the concept of optimisation.