Chancellor’s Fellowships for Dr Lucia Bandiera and Dr Colin Robert

Two promising early career researchers from our School have been awarded Chancellor’s Fellowships for innovative research.

Dr Lucia Bandiera and Dr Colin Robert were among forty researchers across the University of Edinburgh to receive the prestigious five-year tenure track fellowship in the latest round of awards.

They are part of a diverse cohort of researchers selected on the basis of strong track records in high-quality research, innovation and impact. The fellowship programme will now support the researchers to achieve their research and other academic career ambitions through mentoring, peer support and training opportunities.

Senior Vice Principal Professor Jonathan Seckl commented, “These exceptional colleagues are testament to the world-leading research talent across the University.

“The pandemic has been especially tough for researchers, particularly for those at the start of their careers. This makes our ability to support some of Edinburgh’s most promising early career academics all the more important.”

Image: Dr Colin Robert (left) and Dr Lucia Bandiera (right) both received the prestigious fellowship

Dr Lucia Bandiera

Dr Lucia Bandiera is designing innovative and highly optimised multi-drug combinations to target chronic diseases such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Effective patient-tailored medical treatments such as these are increasingly in need, due to the rise of chronic diseases.

Dr Bandiera explained: “The complexity of chronic diseases means no human expert can hope to tackle therapy design ‘by intuition’. Using methods from control engineering, to computer science and biology I will devise technologies that —starting from patients’ data— enable automation of the design and efficacy testing of novel therapies.” 

Reacting to the fellowship award, Dr Bandiera said: “The University of Edinburgh is such a stimulating environment. The Chancellor’s Fellowship is a great opportunity for me to contribute to both research and teaching here, and have an impact on people’s health. I am deeply grateful to my colleagues and loved ones, their support was essential to this achievement.”

Dr Colin Robert

Dr Colin Robert is working on an innovative new advanced manufacturing technique which can be used to produce cheaper, higher-performing parts for the renewable energy industry.

Dr Robert aims to automate a manufacturing tool known as a tapeline, to produce a highly specialist composite material combining carbon fibre with a powder-based plastic known as 'epoxy'. This powder-based epoxy is an exciting alternative to more commonplace liquid-based epoxies, as it can be produced more quickly, cheaply, and ultimately results in higher-performing mechanical parts.

The composite material produced by Dr Robert's manufacturing process can be used in 'automated fibre placement' machines, which in turn are used to manufacture tidal turbine blades, parts used in hydrogen storage, and other components for renewable energy applications.

Dr Robert commented: “I'm delighted to have been given the opportunity to pursue my career at Edinburgh, as the University priority goal to tackle climate change is very much aligned with my personal ethos and vision for the future.”

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