Two Heriot-Watt academics awarded Research Fellowships

engineering research fellows
(l-r) Dr Christian Brahms and Dr Christiaan Bekker

Two Heriot-Watt academics have been announced as awardees of The Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowships programme.

Dr Christiaan Bekker, School of Engineering and Physical Sciences received a fellowship for Engineering a scalable quantum memory in silicon carbide and Dr Christian Brahms, School of Engineering and Physical Sciences for High-performance vacuum ultraviolet laser sources.

They are two of 17 new awardees given a fellowship.

Speaking of his fellowship, Dr Christiaan Bekker said: “I am excited to work on developing the next generation of quantum memories when I take up my RAEng Research Fellowship in September. An architecture providing fully integrated and scalable arrays of quantum bits in the industrial semiconductor silicon carbide will greatly increase in the capacity and range of light-based quantum communications networks and push ahead the commercial potential of quantum technologies.”

Dr Christian Brahms said of his fellowship “I am extremely happy to have been awarded an RAEng Research Fellowship to develop high-performance short-wavelength laser sources. The potential of these new tools ranges from scientific to industrial and medical applications, and I can't wait to see where this work takes me over the next five years. I am indebted to my colleagues in the LUPO Group at Heriot-Watt who helped me lay the groundwork for this research programme.”

Now in its 21st year, the Research Fellowships programme supports outstanding early-career researchers to become future research leaders in engineering. The fellowships are designed to advance excellence in engineering by providing funding for five years to allow awardees the freedom to concentrate on basic research in any field of engineering. This year the value of the awards has been increased to offer up to £625,000 over five years.

In addition to direct financial support, the scheme provides an opportunity to establish a research track record and, in turn, to be in a stronger position to apply for additional funding and grow a research team. Awardees also benefit from mentoring support from an Academy Fellow on research and career development as well as reduced teaching and administrative duties to allow time for research, training opportunities and networking with other Research Fellows and Academy Fellows.

The full list of Research Fellows and their projects is as follows:

  • Dr Christiaan Bekker, Heriot-Watt University - Engineering a scalable quantum memory in silicon carbide
  • Dr Rajesh Kumar Bhagat, University of Cambridge - Flow physics of respiratory droplets: interfacial and ventilation flows
  • Dr Christian Brahms, Heriot-Watt University - High-performance vacuum ultraviolet laser sources
  • Dr Jack C Gartside, Imperial College London - Engineering magnonic metamaterials for low-energy neuromorphic computing
  • Dr Kari Clark, University College London - Optical clocks for ultra-accurate clock synchronised 6G wireless
  • Dr Adam Clayton, University of Leeds - Autonomous development of multi-stage chemical processes
  • Dr Matthew Deakin, Newcastle University - Achieving net zero with hybrid power systems
  • Dr Duncan Dockar, University of Edinburgh - Engineering bulk nanobubbles for enhanced water disinfection and quality
  • Dr Rezvan Farahibozorg, University of Oxford - Next generation brain function mapping techniques for personalised medicine
  • Dr Marie Farrell, University of Manchester - Strong software reliability for autonomous space robotics
  • Dr Henry Gouk, University of Edinburgh - Verifiable and robust meta-learning
  • Dr Katherine Kwa, University of Southampton - Station-keeping solutions to enable floating offshore renewable energy
  • Dr Alex Leide, UK Atomic Energy Authority - Multi-scale investigation of next-generation, high-temperature reactor materials
  • Dr Reshma Rao, Imperial College London - Seeing the invisible – probing hydrogen production from low-grade water
  • Dr Sina Saffaran, University of Warwick - Automated individualised mechanical ventilation of critically ill patients
  • Dr Yijing Xie, King's College London - Seeing the invisibles: 3D functional optical imaging for brain surgery.
  • An Associate Research Fellowship has been awarded to Dr Alistair Bounds, Occuity Ltd - Window to health: ocular imaging for chronic and systemic disease

For more information, please visit: RAEng Research Fellowships


Susan Kerr