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2023 winners

IET Postgraduate Scholarship for an outstanding researcher

Douglas Brion

Douglas Brion is a PhD candidate at the Institute for Manufacturing in the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge.

Douglas applies cutting-edge AI research to enhance 3D printing. 3D printing holds immense potential as it enables the creation of complex geometries using various materials. However, widespread adoption is hindered by its inherent vulnerability to errors. Presently, operators must manually identify errors and rely on trial-and-error methods to achieve successful prints, annually wasting billions of dollars.

During his PhD he developed an AI-driven system that can self-learn the intrinsic characteristics of manufacturing processes to create autonomous AI machine operators. These operators can detect almost all errors on any 3D printer and correct them on the fly. Like humans, AI creatively proposes multiple solutions and can even learn how to print new materials! Unlike humans, it operates continuously and monitors many machines in parallel. This work has led to multiple high-impact publications with more in the pipeline.

The IET Postgraduate Scholarship will help Douglas apply and further this research at his startup, which is deploying the technology in the manufacturing sector.

Hudswell International Research Scholarship

Mohammadhadi Sarajchi

Mohammadhadi Sarajchi is a PhD candidate in Electronic Engineering at the University of Kent. His life’s work is passionately dedicated to the advancement of innovative assistive robotic technologies.

His research focus, fuelled by his roles as a Research Assistant at Canterbury Christ Church University and Teaching Assistant at his alma mater, has been geared towards improving the quality of life for children with Cerebral Palsy. He has achieved a significant breakthrough in his field by designing a powered robotic Lower Limb Exoskeleton specifically for children aged 8 to 12 years with Cerebral Palsy, marking this as the first device of its kind in the UK. This revolutionary size-adjustable assistive device incorporates advanced hybrid control algorithms, that specifically cater to the unique needs of the users.

His aspiration is to alleviate their physical limitations, thus bolstering their independence and overall quality of life. Securing the Hudswell Scholarship will significantly boost his research, serving as a crucial stepping stone towards further development of this much-needed technology within the UK.

Leslie H Paddle Scholarship

Shaojie Wang

Shaojie Wang is a PhD candidate in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Tsinghua University, China, specialising in the interface of polymer dielectrics.

His research begins with overcoming the limitations of bulk measurement strategy and developing novel nano-region detection methods utilizing Atomic Force Microscopy. Through these methods, Shaojie has made significant observations regarding key phenomena such as polarization enhancement, charge trapping, and charge injection at the interface.

Shaojie's notable contribution is simplifying the complexity of interfacial research by proposing equivalent models strategy and accompanying experimental methods. This approach has enabled a deeper understanding of the charge transport mechanism in polymer dielectrics and how the interface impacts segmental relaxation and charge transport. This understanding will assist in the design of advanced dielectric materials for energy transmission, storage, and utilization.

Being awarded the Leslie H Paddle Scholarship has served as a strong motivation for Shaojie to engage in challenging yet meaningful work. He is dedicated to addressing the comprehensive landscape of charge transport in polymer dielectrics.

IET Postgraduate Prize

Hosein Rezvani

Hosein Rezvani is a PhD student in Chemistry at the University of Hull, originally from Iran, with a background in Petroleum Engineering.

Supported by the University of Hull, Hosein worked in a group, investigating aqueous nanoparticle-surfactant mixtures and their adsorption behavior at fluid-fluid and solid-fluid interfaces, in the presence of electrolytes for enhanced oil recovery applications. His research aimed to enhance oil production profitability while minimising environmental impact, by reducing the need for additional wells, water, and chemicals. His explorations of particle-surfactant mixtures also hold significant potential in other industries such as cosmetics, pharmaceutics, and CO2 sequestration.

Receiving the IET Postgraduate Prize serves as a strong motivation for Hosein to further pursue his research objectives. He plans to utilise this award to expand his research in colloid science, exploring applications in CO2 storage for a more sustainable future. Additionally, he intends to use the award to actively participate in renowned international conferences, facilitating knowledge exchange and expanding his professional network.

IET Postgraduate Prize

Simon Marchant

Simon Marchant is a Chartered Engineer, a Clinical Scientist, and a PhD student at Oxford University's Department of Paediatrics.

His research at the Paediatric Neuroimaging Group applies machine learning techniques to neurophysiological measurements from infant brains in order to develop new ways of data analysis. Currently, it is difficult to identify when babies feel pain, and as a result there are no painkillers licenced for use in newborns anywhere in the world. Simon’s work aims to change it, by improving the way brain data are analysed.

Simon’s work has received recognition from the Alan Turing Institute, the National Institute of Health Research, and now the IET. By allowing him to expand his experience and collaborations, this IET Postgraduate Prize will enable him to continue his research applying engineering techniques to solve real clinical problems.

IET Postgraduate Prize

Lisa Rossi

Lisa is a PhD student at the Institute for Manufacturing and Management at the University of Cambridge and a member of Robinson College.

Driven by her interest in sustainability, she decided to study an MEng in Chemical Engineering at the University of Aberdeen where she researched chemical processes for regenerating a by-product from the production of pharmaceuticals. Later, during her MPhil in Industrial Systems Manufacturing and Management at the University of Cambridge she investigated viable supply chain configurations for the valorisation of rice straw stubble waste.

Lisa’s PhD research focuses on circular ecosystem transformation enabled by digital technologies. She has developed a circular mapping approach for capturing resource flows across network actors. The utility of the approach was demonstrated with five MNEs illustrating value exchanges and digitalisation opportunities between actors in the circular ecosystem.

Alongside her PhD, she is a research fellow at the World Economic Forum supporting their initiative on the Circular Transformation of Industries. The IET Postgraduate Prize will help her disseminate her research findings and approach with industry leaders and policymakers at major circular economy conferences and sustainability events.

IET Postgraduate Prize

Andrew Hutchinson

Andrew Hutchinson is a PhD student and Chartered Engineer from the Electrical Machines and Drives group at the University of Sheffield. After five years in the rail industry, he returned to Sheffield to join the CDT in Energy Storage and Its Applications.

Andrew’s research focuses on investigations into the deployment of different Energy Storage Systems in a wide range of applications from solar and electric vehicle charging to wind generation support and grid-level services. His research has focused mainly on Flywheel Energy Storage and maintains a theme of ‘real-world viability’ throughout, providing insight into the techno-economic impact of deploying different types of energy storage for given applications.

The IET Postgraduate Prize will enable him to further explore the real-world impact of his research and continue to disseminate the findings at major international conferences. He has now joined the University of Sheffield in a post-doctoral position, focusing on Energy Storage Integration for Net Zero.