GW4 CRUCIBLE 2023 ‘OUR DATA AND DIGITAL WORLD – OPPORTUNITIES FOR TRANSFORMATIVE INTERDISCIPLINARITY’
ABOUT GW4 CRUCIBLE 2023
Find out more about the GW4 Crucible 2023 theme and application process.
Dr Fernando Alva Machego, Lecturer, Cardiff University
Fernando is a Lecturer at the School of Computer Science and Informatics at Cardiff University, where he is a member of the Natural Language Processing research group. Before joining Cardiff, he was a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Machine Translation at the University of Sheffield. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Sheffield, and his thesis focused on Automatic Text Simplification. His research interests involve technologies that apply Artificial Intelligence for information accessibility, particularly employing Natural Language Processing approaches to facilitate reading and understanding. With this objective, he currently works on several text adaptation tasks, such as lay summarization, controllable machine translation, readability assessment and text simplification.
Dr Robin Beaumont, Research Fellow, University of Exeter
Robin obtained his MMath degree and PhD in Mathematics from the University of Exeter. Following his PhD he transitioned into the field of genetics. He currently works as a postdoctoral researcher in the University of Exeter Medical School, developing analytical tools, pipelines, and novel statistical techniques for analysis of large scale genomic data. His current research involves investigating the penetrance of rare variants thought to cause rare diseases as well as analysis of whole genome sequence data in 200,000 individuals to identify rare genetic variation associated with disease. Robin is keen to apply his analytical and statistical skills to large genomic datasets to improve our understanding of human health outcomes.
Dr Deborah Brewis, Senior Lecturer, University of Bath
Dr Deborah N Brewis is Senior Lecturer in Organisation Studies at the University of Bath, School of Management. She engages in research that seeks to understand how power operates in the workplace, specifically in relation to gender and race equality, the ways in which we are embodied, and digital transformations to work. Currently, she is investigating the ‘dirty work’ of the digital economy and the way our bodies experience working online. After undertaking degrees in modern languages and gender studies, she is passionate about the value of interdisciplinary work. She is actively engaged with the Writing Differently community, collaborating with artists to find creative ways to communicate research and involve the public in the research process. She was a founding member of Building the Antiracist Classroom and is a member of the Decolonizing Alliance, and VIDA. Her portfolio can be found at: https://organisingdifference.wordpress.com/
Dr Barbara Caddick, Senior Research Associate, University of Bristol
Barbara completed her BA (hons) in history at the University of Wolverhampton in 2002 and was subsequently awarded a research studentship to embark on a PhD in social and cultural history. After being awarded her PhD, she took time out from academia working in the heritage industry and the higher education sector. She joined Bristol Medical School at the University of Bristol in 2011 and after supporting research activities for several years made the transition back to academia and moved into health research. She is currently a Senior Research Associate in the Centre for Academic Primary Care works on projects relating to medicines and prescribing, telephone consultations and the collection, storage, and reuse of research data. In parallel, she is developing a programme of interdisciplinary research focusing on the history of primary care and everyday health and is keen to utilise digital approaches in this work.
Dr Tristan Cann, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Exeter
Tristan studied for an MMath degree before switching to Computer Science for his PhD at the University of Exeter. He now works at Exeter as a postdoctoral research fellow in an interdisciplinary team spanning computer science, geography, and politics. Tristan is a computational social scientist whose research explores the attention that different media receive online through network and data science techniques. His current project focuses on using linguistic similarity to measure engagement with messaging around climate change and understand how actors communicate in this debate across social media and news sources. This work has key applications for communications professionals for evaluating their campaigns, but also opens new directions for observing wider issue awareness and the impact of misleading claims.
Dr Cangxiong Chen, Mathematical Innovation Research Associate, University of Bath
Cangxiong obtained his BSc and M.Phil degrees in mathematics at the University of Hong Kong. He then went to the University of Cambridge to pursue a PhD in mathematics. After years of training in pure mathematics, Cangxiong switched to applying mathematics to solving real-world problems after his PhD. He worked as a data scientist in startups in Cambridge and in Beijing China before coming to the University of Bath as a postdoc in computer science. Now he is a Mathematical Innovation Research Associate at the Institute for Mathematical Innovation, where he has been involved with projects across departments. Cangxiong’s research is centered around mathematics of machine learning and how we can build learning algorithms with privacy, fairness, robustness and generalisability. One of his recent works provided a mathematical framework to understand how deep learning models can ‘remember’ the training data during training.
Dr Joanna Clifton-Sprigg, Lecturer, University of Bath
Joanna obtained her PhD in Economics at the University of Edinburgh and is currently working as a lecturer in Economics at the University of Bath. In her research, which spans fields of migration, education and labour markets, she applies advanced econometric techniques to an array of traditional and newly emerging data sets (incl. survey, administrative, FOI data and Twitter scraping), aiming at uncovering causal relationships. Her most recent work explores policy-relevant questions, such as the impact of shock events (e.g. Brexit, COVID-19 and Ukraine war) on social cohesion and migration or the causes and consequences of parental decisions around childbirth, and resultant gender inequalities in the labour market.
Dr Alicia Cork, Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Bath
Alicia completed her PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Exeter in 2021. She is now working as an interdisciplinary postdoctoral research associate at the University of Bath, where she works with social psychologists, human-computer interaction researchers and management scholars. Alicia researches Online Harm and she is funded by the EPSRC’s National Centre on Privacy, Harm Reduction and Adversarial Influence Online. She leads four diverse projects which broadly aim to understand experiences and mitigations of current online harms, whilst also examining the future risks of novel technologies such as Virtual Reality and NFTs. Recently, she presented her work to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Metaverse and Web 3.0 technologies at the House of Lords and is excited to collaborate with other academics to explore how to use research to implement changes to regulatory policy.
Dr Nina Di Cara, Research Associate, University of Bristol
Nina completed her BSc Mathematics at Cardiff University before retraining and working as a child protection social worker for a few years. Wanting to use her skills in data to improve social care and mental health support, Nina went on to do her PhD at the University of Bristol in mental health data science. Now she is based in the School of Psychological Science, researching parental well-being using birth cohort study data. During her PhD Nina co-created the Data Ethics Club to host interdisciplinary conversations about what it means to practice ethical data science. She also co-developed the Data Hazards project to make a series of ethical warning labels that prompt self-reflection in data science work, and communicate ethical risks. Nina is interested in how we can use tools like the Data Hazards to do citizen-led data science research, and involve everybody in the way that we make decisions using data.
Dr Benoit Dillet, Senior Lecturer, University of Bath
Benoit received his PhD in political theory in 2013 from the University of Kent, UK. He is currently senior lecturer in the Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies (PoLIS) at the University of Bath, UK. Previously, he a Marie Curie Research Fellow at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS) in Freiburg, Germany and a Lecturer in Politics at the Loughborough University (in 2015). His work focuses on the politics of technology, how digital technologies condition political agency as well as political speech. His research project on tech justice investigates how new civil society actors attempt to provide a counter-power to malpractices linked to the use of technologies. These new actors want to draw attention to the human violations and human cost of existing AI systems, beyond the narrative of future robots and full automation. This research project situates itself in the burgeoning debate in political theory of technology which seek to highlight the hidden values, interests and ideologies that are embedded in the technologies.
Dr Dibyendu Dutta, Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Exeter
Dibyendu is currently working as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Living Systems Institute, University of Exeter. He hails from India, and obtained his MSc degree in Systems Biology from the University of Hyderabad and a PhD from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. His present research investigates how the spatial organization of bacterial hosts affects the evolution of bacteriophage host range, where he performs both laboratory evolution experiments as well as develops mathematical models. He is also involved in the development of high-throughput experimental techniques. Dibyendu is interested in utilizing the power of data to improve public health outcomes and create better feedback between academic research and clinical implementation particularly for phage therapy.
Dr Lyndsay Grant, Lecturer, University of Bristol
Lyndsay is a researcher and lecturer working in the area of critical data studies in education at the University of Bristol. Her most recent research examines how education is being reshaped by and through digital data technologies, raising critical questions about the extent to which democratic, creative and open-ended forms of education may be limited by current practices and policies of datafication. Lyndsay is motivated to work with researchers, artists, communities and data scientists to explore emerging forms of datafication and to co-develop alternative data practices that centre commitments of ethics and social justice and work in the interests of communities. Lyndsay has previously worked as an educational publisher and as a researcher for an edtech research, development and policy lab.
Dr Robert Grover, Senior Lecturer, University of Bath
Robert is a qualified architect having completed his training at the University of Bath and London Metropolitan University. Having worked for a number of award winning architectural practices including Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and the Architectural Research Unit (ARU), he made the transition to a full time career in academia. He completed his PhD in sustainable design in 2019 from the University of Bath. His research examines how sustainable and regenerative approaches to design are framed in the construction industry and the implications for practice and teaching. Through his current role as the Director of Studies for the BSc Architecture at Bath, Robert has been leading how these themes are embedded into design education. More recently Robert has been researching how regenerative design can shape how we design and occupy our cities, and how this might be enabled by novel digital technologies.
Dr Boroto Hwabamungu, Research Associate, University of Bath
Dr Boroto is an information systems specialist, passionate about digitalisation in the health sector, especially in low- and middle-income countries. He holds a Ph.D. in Information Systems from the University of Cape Town. His research on digital transformation in practice identifies factors affecting the adoption of digital technologies and the need for continuous digital transformation process improvement. He is an expert in the application of socio-technical theories to explore digital transformation in the context of complex environments/systems.
His previous research investigated scalability and sustainability of mHealth projects, with a focus on mHealth for HIV/AIDS care projects, using the technologies-in-practice and the human environment models. He also explored the influence of stakeholders’ relations on the implementation of information systems strategy in public hospitals from an activity theory perspective. He has collaborated with academic researchers and industry experts on digital health projects, policy implementation, health systems, strengthening leadership and capacity development initiatives.
While his work to date has primarily been on digitalisation in the health care sector, he has more recently begun to apply his expertise to other sectors. Interested in digitalisation for access to justice, for improved governance and aspects of ethics related to artificial intelligence, his present research entails a comparative analysis of the adoption of digital technologies across both the health and construction industry sectors. The aim of his work in the Made Smarter Innovation Centre for People-Led Digitalisation is to identify examples of successful digital technology adoption from one sector and to develop processes and guidelines to facilitate its transfer to another.
Dr Kuba Jablonowski, Research Fellow, University of Exeter
Kuba Jablonowski is a postdoctoral fellow in political geography at the University of Exeter. His empirical research investigates digital border management practices in Britain after Brexit to explore conceptual questions about the impact of datafication and automation on migration governance. To generate research material and disseminate research findings, his work draws on engaged methodologies and strategic collaborations with the civil society, public bodies, and private firms. As a public scholar, Kuba gave evidence to parliamentary and scrutiny bodies in the UK and EU. He also regularly engages with print, broadcast, and electronic media outlets to communicate research.
Dr César Jiménez-Martínez, Lecturer, Cardiff University
César got a BA in journalism at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, in Santiago de Chile, and worked in journalism and public relations for a decade in Latin America. He moved then to Los Angeles, to do a masters course in Global Communications, and then to the UK, to pursue a PhD in Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He currently works as lecturer in the School of Journalism, Media and Culture at Cardiff University. His research is at the intersection of national identity, protests, promotion and the media, examining topics such as digital nationalism, news coverage of protests, and nation branding. César co-wrote an award winning article on Digital Nationalism and is keen to examine further ideas related to that topic.
Dr Garan Jones, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Exeter
Garan joined Public Health England (formerly the Health Protection Agency) in 2008 as a Bioinformatician working with the European Working Group on Legionella Infection (EWGLI), specialising in sequence based typing of Legionella. In late 2009, Garan moved groups to the Gastrointestinal, Enteric and Zoonotic Infections (GEZI) department as a Bioinformatician focused on the epidemiology of various pathogen outbreaks including Escherichia Coli, Campylobacter Jejuni and zoonotic pathogens. This was followed in 2012 with a relocation to the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge as a Senior Developer, before moving to Exeter to complete an MRes in Bioinformatics. Following which he spent 4 years working in Clinical Bioinformatics with the NHS based at the Royal Devon & Exeter, mainly working on Targeted / Exome Next Generation Sequencing and rare disease analysis.
Garan completed a PhD with Prof. Melzer’s group (co-supervised by Dr. Luke Pilling) on Ageing and the effects of muscle wastage or sacropenia with age at the University of Exeter. Then in 2021 moved to the University of Bristol to work on the maternal genetic contributions to Cleft palette, before returning to the University of Exeter in early 2022 to take up a post as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow researching various cancer types using methylation and long read sequencing data as part of Prof. Chrissie Thirlwell’s group.
Garan’s research focuses on the genomics and transcriptomics of Neuroendocrine tumours, with a particular focus on long read sequencing technologies and methylation arrays, in order to study structural variants and novel splicing isomers.
Dr Thomas Larkin, Augustine Heard Fellow, University of Bristol
Thomas Larkin is Augustine Heard Fellow at the University of Bristol. He specialises in Global History, with research interests in Hong Kong, the US, and China. Thomas is currently engaged in two complementary research initiatives. The first is the completion of his monograph The China Firm, under contract with Columbia University Press, and a related portfolio of articles committed to developing global-microhistories of nineteenth-century Sino-American interaction. The second, and most current, is an ongoing British-Academy funded digital humanities project, Mapping Sino-Foreign Networks & Mobility in China, which has been designed to address the pedagogical complications of teaching Global History, to provide an intuitive platform for students and the public to explore global migration and networking, and to offer a new and robust tool for researchers interested in Sino-foreign contact. Thomas is especially interested in promoting the use of digital tools to augment historical research and story-telling.
Dr Pia Leete, Research Fellow, University of Exeter
Pia attained a 1st class honours in Human Biosciences at Plymouth University at 41y, going on to complete her PhD in 2015 at the University of Exeter.
She has recently been awarded a prestigious RD Lawrence Fellowship, which will focus on understanding her observations that systematic, inter-patient variations occur in the pancreatic pathology of type 1 diabetes. These observations have led her to propose that type 1 diabetes exists as at least 2 distinct “endotypes” of disease, each carrying clinically relevant differences. She is especially excited to begin to apply new machine learning techniques to analyse large, detailed images, which provides enormous opportunities for knowledge gain.
Pia is also deeply committed to meeting the need for clear communication about how data-driven hypotheses can be understood, critically assessed, and even co-created with non-academic and non-specialist stakeholders.
Dr Varala Maraj, Lecturer, University of Bath
Varla is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Marketing at the University of Bath’s School of Management. Her main research interest falls into the area of digital consumption within consumer behaviour. Varala adopts a Consumer Culture Theory (CCT) perspective, leveraging an interpretive paradigm and qualitative methods to examine consumption and marketplace topics, including: (1) materiality, embodiment and sensory experiences; (2) tensions and paradoxes of sharing, accessing or owning digital objects; (3) effects of digitisation on consumer desire and technology valuation.
Dr Peidong Mei, Turing Research Fellow, University of Exeter
Dr Peidong Mei is a Research Fellow in Human-Computer Interaction at the Turing and Exeter University. She obtained her PhD in Psychology at Lancaster University. She is currently working on the research project Bluebird to design methods and tools that promote safe, explainable and trustworthy use of AI in air traffic control systems. Her research interests generally lie in social processes and cognitive behavioural modelling, moral development and understanding in children and AI, and the application of various research methods and technologies in social dynamics. At Turing, she is keen to improve human-AI collaboration from a social science perspective.
Dr Fortune Nwaiwu, Research Associate, University of Bath
Dr Fortune Nwaiwu is a researcher within the Made Smarter Innovation: Centre for People-Led Digitalisation. Originally from Nigeria, he graduated with a PhD in Economics and Management from the Tomas Bata University in the Czech Republic; MBA from Nyenrode Business University in the Netherlands; and Msc. in Security and Risk Management from University of Leicester.
Fortune’s research expertise is in Digital Technologies adoption in business organisations, and Digital Transformation within industry and society. He has a particular interest in the socioeconomic impact of information and communication technologies (ICTs) on society which is often referred to as ICT for Development (ICT4D). Before Fortune joined the University of Bath, he worked as part of the UK government’s Management Knowledge Transfer Partnership program. Based within Liverpool’s John Moores University, he assisted small businesses seeking to scale up their business operations.
From this previous work, Fortune knows that many companies struggle to implement digital technologies into their business. Along with trying to figure out how their digitalisation plan will be run; it is also important for them to consider how they will assess the success of the project. As a researcher within the Centre, Fortune will be working with industry to identify metrics and measures which can be used to assess if the adoption of a digital technology within a company has been successful.
Dr Jessica Ogden, Lecturer, University of Bristol
Dr Jessica Ogden is a Lecturer in Digital Futures based at the Bristol Digital Futures Institute and the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies at the University of Bristol. Jessica received a PhD in Web Science from the University of Southampton. Her research focuses on web futures and the politics of data/archives, web archiving and digital data scholarship. She was the Principal Investigator on the ESRC grant-funded project The Social Life of Web Archives looking at the broader impact of web archives online.
Dr Zehra Önen-Dumlu, Research Associate, University of Bath
Zehra obtained her B.Sc. degree in Industrial Engineering at Galatasaray University and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Management at Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey. She is now working as a postdoctoral research associate and teaching fellow within the Information, Decisions and Operations division at the University of Bath School of Management. Her current research focuses on developing and analysing mathematical and computer simulation models under uncertainty for supporting stakeholders and decision makers on improving patient access flow for community and social services, and commissioning of care services by Integrated Care Systems in England. Ultimately, Zehra aims to provide valuable insights to healthcare professionals, managers and policy makers that, once implemented, will add value to their businesses and have a global impact for a better world.
Dr Yipeng Qin, Lecturer, Cardiff University
Yipeng obtained his BSc degree in Electrical Engineering at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China and went on to complete a PhD at the National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA), Bournemouth University, UK. He was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Visual Computing Center (VCC), King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia and is now working as a lecturer at the School of Computer Science and Informatics, Cardiff University. His most current research includes uncovering the black-box of deep learning and applying it in AI-based visual content creation and population-level motion monitoring and analysis, which involves interdisciplinary collaborations with artists, the materials and textile faculties and the industry. Yipeng aims to implement “AI for All” and is keen on developing AI approaches that can transform all aspects of our lives.
Dr Arya Shabani, Research Associate, University of Bath
Arya obtained his MSc in mechatronics at university of Tehran and went on to pursue a PHD in Spain after two years of research at Iran centre of neural technology. He joined Centre for Autonomous Robotic at university of Bath as a postdoctoral researcher in 2021. His current research is exploring the integration of AI and additive manufacturing to develop a responsive bio-fabrication platform. His research interests lie in the board area of robotics, active perception, machine learning and image processing, human-robot-interaction, and wearable assistive devices. Arya is keen to network with researchers from diverse backgrounds and expand the application of AI and robotics across interdisciplinary studies.
Dr Michelle Spruce, Research Fellow, University of Exeter
Michelle completed a PhD in Computer Science with the University of Exeter last year. She is now working as a research fellow for the Advancing Capacity for Climate and Environment Social Science (ACCESS) project. This interdisciplinary project aims to champion the social sciences in helping to solve climate and environmental issues in the UK, working with both academic and partner organisations outside of academia. Michelle’s role in ACCESS is to support social scientists in the use of data and develop digital tools relating to the climate and environment. Her most current research explored how data science techniques can be used with social media data to better understand the social impacts of extreme weather events both in the UK and across the world. Prior to commencing her PhD, Michelle had a varied career including work as an operational meteorologist in the Met Office, data analyst and University manager, giving her a breadth of experiences outside of a research context. As well as her PhD, Michelle has a BSc in Physics from Durham University and an MSc in Information Systems from the University of Chester. She is keen to apply her skills and experience in an interdisciplinary context and to expand her knowledge and network beyond her immediate project.
Dr Jasmina Stevanov, Senior Research Associate, University of Bristol
Dr Jasmina Stevanov is a Research Associate at the University of Bristol and University of Cambridge. She was trained as an experimental psychologist and artists and her research focuses on incorporating these two disciplines through the psychophysics of illusions and neuroscience of aesthetics; sitting at the cross-section of vision research and studies of art (re)perception. Her recent interest is in use of machine learning and eye-tracking techniques to explore individual preferences for visual art with the goal to offer automatic feedback about observers’ aesthetic preferences and predict their future choices.
She is co-leading with Prof Ute Leonards (Psychological Science), Dr Laszlo Talas (Vet School), Prof David Bull (Electrical and Electronic Engineering), the development of a new digital technology-based tool informed by the latest vision science research to support inclusive art & architectural design. The TRIAD tool (Toward tRanslational Inclusive Art & Design) will be co-designed with architects and the General Public in partnership with MyWorld, We the Curious (Science Centre in Bristol) and CAMERA (Centre for the Analysis of Motion, Entertainment Research and Applications, University of Bath).
Dr Victoria Wong, Senior Lecturer, University of Exeter
Victoria Wong is a senior lecturer in STEM education at the University of Exeter. Her research interests include how science education policy is made and enacted, the history of STEM and students’ use of mathematics in science education including secondary and higher education. Victoria is particularly interested in how students interpret, understand and use data.
After a degree in chemistry, Victoria trained as a teacher and taught science and chemistry for 12 years in England, Spain and New Zealand. In 2020 she returned to the classroom for two years to gain some up-to-date science teaching experience. Victoria has also worked as an independent science education consultant for organisations including the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), the Royal Society and the Nuffield Foundation and as a teacher educator at King’s College London and the University of Oxford.
Dr Gabriela Zapata-Lancaster, Lecturer, Cardiff University
Gabriela is a lecturer in the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University. She is an architect with a MSc in Architecture from the Georgia Institute of Technology (USA) and a PhD degree in Architecture from Cardiff University (UK). Her research investigates energy performance and building sustainability, focusing on people’s actions and behaviours that affect building performance. She applies monitoring techniques, social science methods to investigate the nexus between technical and human aspects of performance. She is working on indoor air quality in primary school buildings and exploring the use of monitoring data for children’s learning about building performance and sustainable buildings.