Six new Royal Society Industry Fellowships connect academia and industry

25 October 2013

The Royal Society announces six new fellowships aimed at strengthening links between academia and industry. The fellowships are awarded to academic scientists who want to work on a collaborative project with industry and for scientists in industry who want to work on a collaborative project with an academic organisation.

The latest awardees’ project topics range from cloud computing to nuclear reactor technology.

Dr Adam Barker will be using his Industry Fellowship to research novel techniques that will allow scientists to simply deploy, manage and optimise complex scientific applications across multiple cloud platforms. There has been a surge of interest from scientists as cloud computing offers a number of compelling advantages over current systems including no upfront infrastructure investment, and reduced operating costs.

Although cloud computing is a well-understood industry paradigm, the complexities of application deployment and management, as well as the lack of high-level programming interfaces are major barriers for scientists wanting to use the cloud for their research.  Dr Barker’s research will therefore help tailor a multi-cloud management platform that meets the needs of scientists to store sets of ‘big data’ and manage complex distributed scientific applications.

Commenting on the fellowship, Dr Barker said:

“In the field of computer science I believe that industrial experience is essential, and helps improve research by allowing academics to understand and work on real-world problems. This Royal Society Industry Fellowship provides an outstanding opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of how academia and industry can innovate together.”

Dr Kurt Debattista of the University of Warwick will be working with Jaguar Land Rover on more accurate ways to digitally simulate various aspects of car design. Dr Debattista said:

"This industrial fellowship will look into answering the question of whether high-fidelity virtual environments can enable the automotive industry to make design decisions, digitally, with confidence and without the need to make expensive design prototypes. It will also make it possible to test and apply research results to a challenging industrial problem."

The scheme provides each scientist’s basic salary for the duration of their secondment, which lasts for up to two years full-time or four years part-time.

The full list of the latest Royal Society Industry Fellowships recipients is as follows:

  • Dr Vittorio Badalassi from Rolls-Royce Civil Nuclear to work on Fundamental studies of boiling in nuclear reactors with Imperial College London.
  • Dr Adam Barker from the University of St Andrews to work on Bringing science to the cloud with Cloudsoft Corporation.
  • Dr Kurt Debattista from the University of Warwick to work on High-fidelity virtual experiences for innovative automotive design with Jaguar Land Rover.
  • Dr Stuart Reid* from the University of the West of Scotland to work on High performance integrated MBE optical filters for NDIR sensor applications with Gas Sensing Solutions Ltd.
  • Professor Christopher Smales from the University of Kent at Canterbury to work on Whole cell MALDI-ToF MS for the creation of recombinant mammalian cell lines with Lonza Biologics plc.
  • Professor Nicholas Smith from National Nuclear Laboratory Ltd to work on Remote laser spectroscopy of natural/man-made materials in the nuclear industry with the University of Manchester.

*Dr Stuart Reid is the first Royal Society Industry Fellow to be awarded funds for a Royal Society and Society of Chemical Industry PhD studentship

This year is the Royal Society’s ‘Year of Science and Industry,’ which is supported by a number of events that showcase UK achievement in industrial science.