Future Leaders:  volcano expert and mathematician win fellowships to conduct research at Swansea

Dr Paul Albert, volcano expert, and Dr Yue Ren, mathematician, who will be coming to Swansea University to continue their research after being awarded Future Leaders fellowships.

Two researchers, a mathematician and a volcano expert, have been awarded Future Leaders fellowships by the UK government which will see them come to Swansea University to take forward their research.

The fellowships were announced by the UK Government. 

Future Leaders Fellowships is a £900 million fund that is helping to establish the careers of world-class research and innovation leaders across UK business and academia.

Dr Paul Albert (pictured left) will be coming to Swansea from the University of Oxford.  His research at Swansea will be on ash fall from volcanic eruptions, which can have a devastating impact on people’s health and on agriculture and infrastructure.  The ash cloud from the Icelandic volcano that erupted in 2010 brought air traffic to a halt, for example.   

Dr Albert will be examining ash deposits from past volcano eruptions that are buried in marine sediment. This will help scientists make better estimates about future eruptions and the likely impact of any ash fall, helping to reduce the risk to the 800 million people around the world who live within 100 km of active volcanoes.   

Dr Yue Ren (pictured right) will be joining Swansea from the University of Leipzig in Germany, where he has been based at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences. His expertise is in the emerging mathematical field of computational tropical geometry.

Tropical geometry already has a wide range of applications. In the UK, the Bank of England has been using it since the financial crises to allocate money to the UK financial system. The French use it for optimisation of load balancing of mobile networks, and performance analysis of emergency call centres.  Dr Ren’s Swansea research will investigate how the approach can be extended to industry and the applied sciences. 

Professor Matt Jones, head of Swansea University College of Science, where Dr Albert and Dr Ren will be based, said:

"We are delighted to have Paul and Yue join us. The College of Science is focussed on doing world class research with impact and purpose. These awards recognise not only the high talent of our new colleagues but the vibrant, well-resourced and high quality nature of the research environment at the University." 

UKRI is a new body which aims to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. Operating across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £7 billion, UKRI brings together the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and Research England.

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