GW4 Sandpit: Global Challenges in Energy and Healthcare

GW4 Sandpit: Global Challenges in Energy and Healthcare


20 Apr, 2017 – 21 Apr, 2017


Limpley Stoke Hotel, Bath Get Directions


Applications are invited to attend a research sandpit, bringing together researchers from a wide range of disciplines around the topic of ‘Global Challenges in Energy and Healthcare’ to establish and develop research collaborations and specific project proposals, that will be ready to apply directly to impending funding schemes.

Funded by GW4’s Building Communities programme, the Sandpit will be held over two days with twenty-five participants in residence at the Limpley Stoke Hotel overnight on Thursday 20 April. An outline of the event appears below and participants may be asked to do a small amount of pre-work ahead of the meeting.

Apply to attend this event

Day 1 – establishing and exploring issues

  • Understand a variety of perspectives on key research challenges
  • Understand the funders’ perspective on the global challenges
  • Determine the expertise and expectations of participants
  • Generate a set of ideas, challenges, questions, possible research questions

Day 2 – prioritising ideas and planning next steps

  •  Form collaborative groups around proposed research ideas
  • Prioritise ideas to put forward for funding schemes
  • Scope and peer review outline research proposals
  • Plan next steps and agree actions and timings for proposals

What’s the purpose?

The primary goal of the Building Communities activity proposed here is to develop GW4 capacity with International Partners, to respond quickly and effectively to announced and anticipated RCUK Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) calls in 2017. EPSRC GCRF calls are expected to focus on aspects of Energy and Healthcare and specifically how these “contribute to the development and welfare of people in developing countries”.

Who should attend?

Researchers from a range of disciplines interested in building inter-GW4 and international multi-disciplinary teams of researchers focused on addressing specific challenges within the broad global challenges in Energy and Healthcare. These teams will work towards initiating large grant proposals, including multiple GW4 partners and will commit to focusing, refining and submitting proposals within an agreed timeframe following the Sandpit. Participants must be prepared to act as links to their institutions, drawing in any missing key persons, or expertise, to address these interdisciplinary challenges and build strong, inclusive teams to draft compelling proposals.

Confirmed international attendees

Professor Igor Polikarpov, IFSC, USP, Brazil

EH1 newIgor Polikarpov is a Full Professor of the São Carlos Institute of Physics, University of São Paulo (São Carlos, SP, Brazil). His main scientific interests are centered at Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics of proteins and their applications in Bioenergy and Biotechnology. Igor Polikarpov graduated in Physics from the Byelorussian State University (1983), did his PhD at the same University (1989), and post-docs at the Latvian Academy of Science (1991), Max-Planck Society (1993) and the University of Edinburgh (1995). Published over 220 scientific papers, which were cited more than 4,800 times (ISI), h-factor = 34. Prof. Igor Polikarpov coordinated joint scientific projects between Brazil and European Union (FP7) and Brazil and UK (FAPESP-RCUK and Global Innovation Innitiative calls). He also coordinated scientific collaborations with biotechnological and pharmaceutical companies and was responsible for construction, installation and operation of large-scale scientific installations (protein crystallography beamlines MX-1 & MX-2 at the Brazilian National Synchrotron Laboratory/LNLS, Campinas, Brazil). He is an Honorary Visiting Professor of the University of Bath and a member of the Editorial Board of Biotechnology Letters (Springer). Igor Polikarpov is one of the proponents of the recently approved Integrated PhD Program in Bioenergy (joint graduate course of three São Paulo State Universities: USP, UNESP and UNICAMP). He is a Commander of the Brazilian National Order of Scientific Merit and a Member of São Paulo State Academy of Science.

Dr Wilson Macedo, Federal University of Para, Belem, Brazil

EH2 newWilson Negrão Macêdo, was born in Abaetetuba-PA, north of Brazil, on November 3, 1975. He completed his Batchelors and Masters in Electrical Engineering at the Universidade Federal do Pará, Brazil, in 2000 and 2002, respectively, working with Hybrid Systems to supply isolated communities. He achieved his doctorate in Energy from University of São Paulo in 2006, São Paulo/São Paulo/Brazil, where he worked for four years in the Laboratory of Photovoltaic Systems. Currently, he is professor in the University Federal of Pará (UFPA), where he heads the Laboratory of Photovoltaic Systems and develops research in the area of photovoltaic systems and hybrid systems in the Grupo de Estudos e Desenvovimento de Alternativas Energáticas (GEDAE). He is also a researcher at the National Institute of Science and Technology of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency of the Amazon (INCT-EREEA). He has experience in Electrical Engineering with emphasis on Electric Power Systems, acting on the following topics: Distributed Generation, Photovoltaic Solar Energy, Renewable Energy, Electrical supply for Isolated Areas. Wilson has been a member of the Brazilian Solar Energy Association since 2006.

Dr Chandra Sharma, IIT, Hyderabad, India

EH3 newChandra Shekhar Sharma is an Assistant professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad. Dr. Sharma is presently Visiting Fellow in University of Akron as a recipient of SERB Indo-US fellowship 2016. Dr. Sharma has obtained his PhD in 2010 from IIT Kanpur under the supervision of Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, in the area of carbon based multiscale micro- and nano-structures. His research interests are Carbon based hierarchical materials, Nature inspired polymer functional surfaces, Electrospun polymer and carbon nanofibers and Carbon-MEMS. He has received many awards, including the IEI Young Engineer Award (2016), DST Inspire Faculty Award (2015), DST Young Scientist Award (2015), INAE Innovative Project Award (2011), Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Award (2014 & 2015) and IITK Excellence Award for Social Service. Dr. Sharma has 37 peer-reviewed publications in reputed international journals, including Carbon, Langmuir ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, Small and Electrochimica Acta. He has nine patent applications filed and two book chapters to his credit. Dr. Sharma has guided 2 Ph.D. and 7 M.Tech. students as of now and presently supervising 9 Ph.D. students. Recently two of his works on (i) electrospun nanofibers based sanitary napkins for feminine hygiene and (ii) candle soot derived carbon as anode material for powering electric vehicles lithium ion battery were recognized as important by Elsevier and received worldwide media attention.

Professor Francisco Eduardo Gontijo Guimarães, IFSC, USP, Brazil

EH4 newFrancisco E. G. Guimarães is a professor at the São Carlos Institute of Physics of the University of São Paulo. He graduated in Physics by the Federal University of Minas Gerais where he also got the Master degree in Physics. Subsequently he obtained a PhD degree at the University of Duisburg in Germany in Semiconductor Heterostructures. He was working at the Max Planck Institute in Stuttgart and as post-doc at the University of Aachen in Germany working on optical characterization of Semiconductors and Blue LED. His current research activity is mainly focused on Confocal Microscopy and advanced related techniques such as Life Time Imaging and Single Molecule Detection. Particular attention is devoted to photophysics of excited conjugated organic molecules, biosensors, enzymatic hydrolysis of biomass, enzyme interaction and permeation in cellulosic matrix, as well as lignin organization in cell wall. Recently, his research has involved the interdisciplinary areas of Biophotonics and Biotechnology, the understanding light-tissue interactions and developing new methods and tools applied to Photodynamic Therapy for the treatment of cancer, as well as microbial control.