An outstanding University of Nottingham researcher has been awarded a prestigious fellowship worth £563,000, to help develop his potential as one of the best young engineers of his generation.
Dr Riccardo Briganti has won a Career Acceleration Fellowship from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to fund his research over the next five years.
The fellowships are a direct investment in Britain’s most talented researchers to help them tackle major global challenges such as climate change and sustainable energy.
Dr Briganti’s area of expertise is in modelling coastal physical processes and their interaction with coastal defence structures. He has been working for three years in the Environmental Fluid Mechanics Research Centre at the University of Nottingham, a world-leading research group led by Professor Nicholas Dodd.
With his Fellowship, Dr Briganti aims at improving significantly the capabilities of numerical models to support the design of coastal defences from floods and erosion. He will focus on modelling the response of the structures to physical phenomena that act simultaneously at different spatial scales.
Announcing the new fellowships, David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science, said: “Supporting talented scientists and engineers throughout their careers is crucial to driving the UK’s science base and economy forward.
“These prestigious fellowships are an important investment for the future, and will help us develop innovative technologies and solutions for the major challenges ahead, and secure our place as global winners.”
EPSRC fellowships are designed to help develop future leaders with the STEM skills necessary for the UK to compete on a global stage, generating the knowledge, new ideas and technologies essential to support business, government, and national priorities.
The competition for Career Acceleration Fellowships is intense: on average 450 applications are received each year from researchers all over the UK, competing for around 25 awards.
The Fellowships allow grant holders to dedicate themselves to their research areas and fund their research costs. They also allow fellows to pursue new research directions and build international research collaborations and new business partnerships.
Dr Briganti said: “Coastal flooding affects the life of millions of people in the UK and worldwide. Therefore there is an urgent need for cost-effective, efficient, and durable coastal defences.
“Only by improving our capability of modelling the complex interaction between coastal flows and these structures, we will be able, as engineers, to meet this challenge. This is exactly the aim of my research within the Fellowship.”
Career acceleration fellowships are targeted at outstanding researchers at an early stage in their career, with the expectation that Fellows will have established an independent career of international standing by the end of the award.
Successful Fellows must have a strong record of published research and be able to demonstrate independence from their supervisors. Full details on the new EPSRC fellowships can be found at: http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/funding/fellows/Pages/default.aspx
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Notes to editors:
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the main UK government agency for funding research and training in engineering and the physical sciences, investing more than £800 million a year in a broad range of subjects — from mathematics to materials science, and from information technology to structural engineering. www.epsrc.ac.uk
The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings.
More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.
The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation —School of Pharmacy), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.
Nottingham was designated as a Science City in 2005 in recognition of its rich scientific heritage, industrial base and role as a leading research centre. Nottingham has since embarked on a wide range of business, property, knowledge transfer and educational initiatives (www.science-city.co.uk) in order to build on its growing reputation as an international centre of scientific excellence. The University of Nottingham is a partner in Nottingham: the Science City.