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Synthetic bone material and liquid nitrogen engine projects awarded up to £80,000

Joseph Flaig

The 2017 Industrial Fellows with the commission’s chairman Bernard Taylor and secretary Nigel Williams (Credit: The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851)
The 2017 Industrial Fellows with the commission’s chairman Bernard Taylor and secretary Nigel Williams (Credit: The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851)

Synthetic bones, ultrasonic safety testing for naval programmes and new coatings for modular nuclear reactors were among projects awarded up to £80,000 for development.

The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 gave Industrial Fellowships to 14 of the UK’s most promising young doctoral engineers and scientists this week. The fellows will develop their ideas over three years while completing PhDs or EngDs, using their funding while working with universities and commercial partners.

Among the recipients was Dina Abdulaziz, a Syrian national who left her country for the UK in 2016 to help victims of the civil war. She aims to create new biosynthetic materials for surgeons to fill missing spaces in bones caused by serious injury or trauma.

Current transplants use grafts from the patient, or a combination of deceased donors and animal bones. The techniques increase the risk of infection, causing delays in healing and higher treatment costs. Abdulaziz hopes to minimise the issues with her materials.

Other projects include Iestyn Stead’s planned improvements to the Dearman engine, a type of zero-emission liquid nitrogen engine, and Ed Williamson’s new ceramic coatings for improved durability and environmental impact of next generation modular nuclear reactors.

Queen Victoria formed the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 ahead of the Great Exhibition. The fellowships were started by Prince Albert following the exhibition to nurture innovative industrial ideas to commercial success.

“Ensuring Britain’s young scientists and engineers are supported is crucial to ensuring that the UK is at the forefront of innovation in the years to come,” said commission chairman Bernard Taylor.

"Our Industrial Fellowships are designed to fund and commercialise the most promising technologies that could shape our society in the future," he added. "This year, we have awarded more fellowships than ever before, and the breadth of technologies we are supporting, from artificial intelligence, to clean power and potential cures for most deadly diseases, demonstrates that the talent in the UK is only growing.”

Full list of 2017 Industrial Fellowship projects

·         Elsa Noaks, Autolus Limited and UCL: Purify T-cells that will be genetically modified to target and kill cancer cells

·         Chao Jiang, UCB Celltech and the University of Oxford: Reactivating stem cells in ageing bones to treat osteoporosis

·         Shaun Mansfield, Biovault Technical Ltd and UCL: Improving stem cell yield from umbilical cord blood to drastically improve blood based cancer and novel emerging treatments

·         Dina Abdulaziz, GTS Limited and the University of Leeds: Manufacturing alternative synthetic bone materials for transplants that do not trigger autoimmune responses

·         Miss Laurence Devesse, Verogen and King’s College London: Using Massively Parallel Sequencing to improve DNA identification in forensics and estimate physical characteristics from genetic material

·         Ben Janes, Allen & Heath Limited and Plymouth University: Artificial intelligence-based ‘Smart Mixing’ system to assist sound engineers during live performances

·         David Dearlove, TdeltaS and the University of Oxford: Research into how a ketogenic drink can improve metabolic health in humans

·         Andrew Anderson, Oxford nanoSystems and UCL: Development of a practical method for manufacturing heat transfer surfaces on commercial heat exchangers

·         Timur Avkiran, LifeArc and the University of Warwick: Developing improved Tuberculosis treatments using small molecule drugs

·         Sascha Ruggaber, Autocraft Drivetrain Solutions Limited and the University of Strathclyde: Creating new technologies for the remanufacturing of automotive engines through the sustainable reclamation of components

·         Joshua Elliott, Rolls Royce plc and Imperial College London: Super resolution ultrasonic imaging for inspection of defects on safety critical components for naval programmes

·         Iestyn Stead, Dearman and  the University of Birmingham: Reduction of energy losses in zero emissions liquid air Dearman Engines

·         George Roberts, Toshiba Research Limited and the University of Cambridge: A data transmitter to standardise next-generation quantum communications

·         Ed Williamson, Rolls-Royce plc and the University of Surrey: New ceramic coatings to improve the durability and environmental impact of next generation nuclear reactors (Small Modular Reactors)

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