Professor Tom Rodden: welcome to my first research update


November 9th, 2023

I am delighted to share with you a research update, my first as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange.

I’m looking forward to building upon the work of my predecessors and the many colleagues across the university who support the delivery of our research strategy.

In my first few weeks in the job, I have been reminded how much fantastic research takes place at Nottingham. This is a place where we are ambitious and encourage our people to do high-risk, high-reward research.

So much good work has been done in this area, and I’m committed to work with you to drive further progress in creating an environment where all researchers can realise their potential and achieve their ambitions.

A highlight was attending the Nottingham Quantum Initiative Research Showcase, where colleagues from all five faculties and 27 schools, centres and institutes shared insights into our capabilities in quantum information science and technologies research, from how diamond quantum sensing is revolutionising how we sense the world, to the potential of high-resolution imaging in fields from medicine to manufacturing, and the  implications for artificial intelligence, machine-learning and human-computer interaction in every aspect of our lives.

Representatives from funders including UKRI and Innovate UK and industry also attended and were highly impressed the interdisciplinary collaboration on show.

Another highlight demonstrating the quality of research at Nottingham is the landing two prestigious Synergy Grants from the European Research Council.

A team led by Professor Malcolm Bennett, of the School of Biosciences, and including Dr Leah Band (Biosciences and Mathematical Sciences), Dr Kevin Webb (Engineering), Dr Bipin Pandey and Dr Anthony Bishopp (both Biosciences) will receive £2.4m as part of a total €10M Synergy award.

With scientists from Norway, Germany and Israel, the team will help future-proof crops in the face of climate change by better understanding how they sense water stress and adapt to rising temperatures.

Professor Sacha Mooney and Dr Craig Sturrock of the School of Biosciences have been awarded a £325,000 Synergy grant for a project bringing together scientists from the fields of history, climatology and biology to investigate historic plague outbreaks, and what they reveal about the factors that can lead to disease spreading from animals to humans.

Thank you in anticipation of your support and goodwill. I look forward to working with you.

Best wishes

Professor Tom Rodden
Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange

Read Professor Rodden’s full update

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