Director, SRI

Professor Darryl Newport
Director, Sustainability Research Institute

Darryl is an environmental scientist specialising in the built environment. His research and policy interests include renewable energy systems, sustainable construction through alternative material use and natural resource management.  

Darryl has worked on several major infrastructure projects in London including the 2012 Olympics. He's also closely involved in the development of the Institute for Sustainability - including the Sustainable Industry Park at Dagenham Dock.

Email: D.J.Newport@uel.ac.uk

SRI Staff

Dr Bamdad Ayati
Research Fellow
Bamdad is a material chemist with interests in low-carbon cement chemistry and sustainable construction materials. He has expertise in microstructural and mineralogical analysis of clays and cementitious materials. 
Email: b.ayati@uel.ac.uk

Caroline Nash
Research Fellow
Caroline's work focuses on biodiversity and urban green infrastructure (UGI) design. During her PhD research, she investigated state of the art measures to maximise the biodiversity value of UGI, with a particular focus on brownfield ecomimicry. Caroline has extensive experience in ecological consultancy and biodiversity monitoring.
Email: c.nash@uel.ac.uk 

Daiva Ruguckiene
Office Administrator

Daiva supports SRI staff on key administrative responsibilities and oversees the Institute's communications activities and website presence.   

Daiva graduated with a First Class Honours in Law LLB from UEL, International Tourism Management from London Metropolitan University and has a diploma in event management from King's College London. Daiva runs an event management business - DT Conferences & Events which focuses on fraud prevention and risk mitigation in the banking industry.  Daiva is an associate of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development. 
Email: daiva@uel.ac.uk

Jack Clough
Research Assistant
 
Following an undergraduate degree in environmental sciences, including a year working on landscape management at Wicken Fen, Jack joined the SRI as a Research Assistant. Jack is one of the SRI's wetland specialists with a key research focus on peatland conservation and management. He has extensive experience of field-based peatland monitoring and research, and also provides expert support for peatland ecology public inquiries. In an urban context, Jack has experience in urban stormwater management and is currently working on the Renfrew Close SuDS monitoring project in partnership with the Environment Agency, Groundwork and Newham Council.
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Email: j.clough@uel.ac.uk

Dr Mike Medas
Senior Research Programme Manager (ARENA)

Mike is a specialist in environmental sustainability, with interests in renewable energy, life-cycle assessment and embodied carbon within the built environment. He also has extensive experience in managing sustainable urban regeneration programmes and delivering models of community-led regeneration across the UK.
Email: m.medas@uel.ac.uk

Naheed Khan
Research Office Manager

A UEL graduate, with a masters from the LSE, Naheed promotes and executes UEL's Research Innovation and Enterprise strategy within the SRI. She assists staff with enhancing the Institute's portfolio and manages the administrative support and development of postgraduate programmes within the SRI.
Email: n.khan@uel.ac.uk

Dr Paula Vandergert
Sustainability Research Fellow
Paula is an experienced sustainability researcher in both academic and non-academic settings. She is particularly focused on social dimensions of sustainability including adaptive governance. Prior to joining UEL, Paula was senior sustainable design advisor at the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, where she managed the Sustainable Places programme. Paula has a PhD from the London School of Economics in which she examined sustainable forest management from a property rights perspective. 
Email: p.vandergert@uel.ac.uk

Pauline Georgiou
Research Assistant

With a PhD in Social Anthropology and a background in film, Pauline's wider interests include sustainability and the relationship between humans and places, particularly in areas of conflict, heritage and tourism. She is now focusing specifically on the socio-cultural impacts of nature in cities and is particularly interested in developing new and alternative methodological approaches.
Email: p.georgiou@uel.ac.uk

Richard Lindsay
Head of Environmental Sciences 
Richard is an internationally recognised specialist in peatland conservation. He leads on the SRI's portfolio of research and consultancy for peatland management and conservation and has been responsible for assembling and presenting several key peatland conservation cases and management and monitoring programmes at both national and international level. 
Richard joined UEL in 1997 to re-shape and update the University's conservation degrees and graduates have since gone on to work for conservation agencies in the UK, Mexico and China. Prior to his time at UEL, Richard worked for over 20 years in professional nature conservation.
Email: lindsay@uel.ac.uk

 Dr Stuart Connop
Senior Research Fellow
Specialist in biomimicry/ecomimicry in urban green infrastructure design. Having completed a PhD investigating the habitat requirements of UK Biodiversity Action Plan bumblebee species, Stuart has an active involvement in invertebrate ecology including habitat assessment, design, monitoring and management. His background includes biodiversity and ecosystem service monitoring and the associated data analysis, including the use of spatial analysis and ISIS invertebrate assemblage analysis to quantify habitat quality.

Stuart is currently co-Work Package lead on the Greening Public and Private Urban Infrastructure research and innovation component of the EU FP7 project TURAS. Within TURAS Stuart has led and co-delivered research on UGI design and monitoring in partnership with numerous stakeholders including developing scoping programmes for UGI retrofit for social landlords and UGI-focused Local Authority Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems planning guidance. Stuart's research has a strong focus on impact and includes knowledge exchange with Natural England, the Environment Agency and numerous NGOs. Stuart is currently a steering advisor on Buglife's national Urban Buzz programme and sat on the European Commission Working Group for Green Infrastructure.

He has recently given presentations on nature-based solutions for the UK Horizon 2020 contact point and at conferences and knowledge exchange events in Brussels, Slovenia and Armenia.  Stuart has also provided research and guidance to the European Commission's DG Research & Innovation.
Email: s.p.connop@uel.ac.uk

SRI Sponsored PhD Research Students

Ria Devereux

Ria Devereux has a BSc in Marine Biology and an MSc in Marine Science with a strong interest in plastic pollution. She started her research at the SRI in 2019 investigating microplastic abundance along the tidal section of the River Thames. Ria is aiming to highlight the contamination of water in the River Thames by microplastics and yield valuable information which may be used to help removal of plastic waste.

Email: r.devereux@uel.ac.uk

Stephanie Skipp

Stephanie Skipp began studying for her PhD in insect ecology in 2019. Her project focusses mainly on the beetles that specialise upon decaying-wood habitats within broadleaved veteran trees. Many of these species are uncommon and further threatened by habitat loss in the future. Stephanie is researching the extent to which decreasing habitat connectivity may impact these beetles. Furthermore, she is experimenting with artificial habitat boxes that could constitute short-term solutions to this problem, with the aim of keeping populations alive while forest deadwood stocks are regenerated.  

Email: s.k.skipp@uel.ac.uk

Jerushah Jardine

Jerushah's PhD research uses aerial photographs to identify areas where there has been surface-pattern change in peat bogs, possibly as a result of human induced pressures. Jerusha is analysing these peat samples to better understand the mechanisms of such pattern change. It is anticipated that this information will provide indicators of habitat change and possible impairment of ecosystem services.  

Jerushah is a trained teacher with a professional background in physical geography and science education outreach. She has also worked as a guest lecturer on the geography and environmental science programmes at the University of Greenwich. Jerushah recently graduated with an MSc by Research from the University of Greenwich Natural Resources Institute and is a fellow of the Geological Society of London.

Email:  j.jardine@ac.uk

Shaherah Jordan

Shaherah Jordan's PhD research explores the role of cultural attitudes to money as a factor in electric vehicle (EV) adoption in London. Her research aims to encourage diversity and inclusion in environmental and sustainability policy. 

Email: s.jordan@uel.ac.uk

Michael James Wood

Michael has an undergraduate degree in environmental science, and a masters degree  in GIS and remote sensing. He is currently undertaking research into the perceptions of noise pollution in the urban environment and its effects on the well-being of the local population. His research involves exploring how perceptions of noise can affect those people who live within a short distance of major road transport hubs, and how their wellbeing can be improved. Michael is engaging with citizen groups and local authorities and using GIS analysis with an emphasis on planning, practices and policies.

Email: m.wood@uel.ac.uk

Ximena Alexandra Chamorro Bolaaos

Ximena holds a BSc in Chemistry and an MSc in Water, Waste and Environmental Engineering. She has a professional background in Environmental Chemistry and research experience in sanitation and reuse of waste materials. Ximena is currently developing her doctoral research on the assessment of different treatments for air pollution control residues (APCr) coming from municipal solid waste (MSW) incineration, so that these residues can be used as raw material in the manufacture of lightweight aggregates (LWA). This PhD project is a partnership between the SRI and Augean PLC, which is a market leader in waste management solutions in the UK. 

Email: u1932296@uel.ac.uk

Completed PhD Students

Bamdad Ayati

Bamdad completed his PhD in Sustainable Development and the Environment in 2018. His research investigated the manufacture of lightweight aggregates from drill cuttings waste that is produced by the oil and gas industry in the North Sea and showed this to be a viable reuse application for large volumes of drill cuttings that are disposed of in landfills every year. 

Email: b.ayati@uel.ac.uk

Umar Khalid

Having completed an MSc in Civil Engineering, Umar's PhD thesis is to develop a mathematical model of the pan pelletisation process and to formulate cold bonded pellets using Air Pollution Control Residues (APCr). Umar's PhD is a collaboration with Augean Plc - a sector leader in modernising hazardous waste management practice. 
Umar's wider interests include Building Information Modelling and construction automation.

Email: m.u.khalid@uel.ac.uk

James McGill

James is an entomologist and started his research at UEL in September 2014. His research focuses on brownfield invertebrate conservation in Essex and London, particularly managing succession and creating new habitat features. Prior to his time at UEL, James worked for Natural England, the RSPB and Reading University as a botanist and invertebrate ecologist.

Email:  j.mcgill@uel.ac.uk

Kinga Owczarek

Kinga's research investigates the properties of novel extensive green roof construction materials and the resultant hydrological functions. Her aim is to develop appropriate guidelines for multifunctional green roof design in the UK.  
Kinga also works in the Centre of Geo Information Studies, UEL on Smart Cities: Promoting Resilience in the London Borough of Newham. 

Email: k.e.owczarek@uel.ac.uk

Associates

Ajay Kathrani

Ajay is currently working with the SRI to develop our research commercialisation strategy. Ajay was previously a director at the Institute for Sustainability where he oversaw the development and delivery of projects and programmes across the circular economy, buildings retrofit, sustainable behaviours and demand-led climate innovation.

Ajay led London's Science and Industry Council at the London Development Agency - supporting business-university collaborations and promoting the city's life science, design and environmental technology base. Ajay's early career was spent in the broadcasting and media sectors – where he managed the launch of a range of new digital services. He holds a Masters in Urban Regeneration from the University of Westminster. 

Email:  Ajaykathrani@gmail.com

Alan Chandler

Alan's areas of expertise covers material technology, the theory of architectural conservation design, and community engagement.  Alan's work on earthen architecture at UEL was presented at the International Conference on non-conventional materials and technologies (NOCMAT) at Bath University in September 2009 and published in the American Journal of Civil Engineering and Architecture.

As part of establishing the research into tensile construction techniques, the work has been featured in the RIBA Journal, the Architects Journal, Architectural Research Quarterly and Building Design, as well as in a number of publications on concrete and materiality in architecture.
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Email: a.chandler@uel.ac.uk

Prof Allan J Brimicombe, Head of Centre for Geo-Information Studies at UEL

Allan's research interests include issues of data quality; the coupling of GIS and numerical simulation modelling for decision support; spatial data mining, analysis and visualisation; mobile systems and location-based services (LBS).

These have been applied to crime, health, education, natural hazards, utilities and business. Recently he has been working on the Olympic Games Impact Study for the London 2012 Games. Commissioned by the Economic and Social Research Council, this work is mandated by the IOC and is the first for a summer Games. 

He has published over 90 academic papers and is the author of 'GIS, Environmental Modelling and Engineering' (Taylor & Francis, 2nd Edition, 2010) and 'Location-Based Services and Geo-Information Engineering' (Wiley, 2009).

Email: a.j.brimicombe@uel.ac.uk

Dr Amin Hosseinian-Far

Dr Amin Hosseinian-Far holds the position of Senior Lecturer & Deputy Subject Leader in Business Systems and Operations at the University of Northampton. In his previous teaching experience, Amin was a Staff Tutor at the Open University, and prior to that a Senior Lecturer and Course Leader at Leeds Beckett University. He has held lecturing and research positions at the University of East London, and at a number of private HE institutions and strategy research firms.

Dr Hosseinian-Far has also worked as Deputy Director of Studies at a large private higher education institute in London. Dr Hosseinian-Far received his BSc (Hons) in Business Information Systems from the University of East London, an MSc degree in Satellite Communications and Space Systems from the University of Sussex, a Postgraduate Certificate in Research and a PhD degree titled 'A Systemic Approach to an Enhanced Model for Sustainability' which he acquired from the University of East London.

Amin holds Membership of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (HEA), and Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA). He is also founding editor and the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Strategic Engineering (IJoSE).

Email: Amin.Hosseinian-Far@northampton.ac.uk

Dr Anca Ciupala

Anca is a Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering with the School of Architecture, Computing and Engineering. 

She obtained her MEng degree in Civil Engineering in 1991 and her doctoral degree in Earthquake Engineering and Safety of Structures in 1999 from the Technical University "Gh. Asachi" Iasi, Romania. After spending 10 years in the industry and academia in Romania, Anca was awarded an EU Marie Curie Research Fellowship (FP5) at the University of Sheffield (2001-2003) and then joined the University of East London as a Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering in 2003. 

Anca's main research interests are in the fields of Structural Engineering and Sustainability in the Built Environment where she has led and participated in a range of research projects and industrial consultancy contracts.

Email: m.a.ciupala@uel.ac.uk

Prof Chris Cheeseman

Chris Cheeseman joined the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Imperial College London in 1990 This followed periods in industry with Redland Technology, Morgan Materials Technology and Morgan Matroc. He has a DPhil from Oxford University (high temperature properties of ceramics) and BSc in Physics and Materials Science from the University of Warwick. 
 
Chris is Professor of Materials Resources Engineering and the leader of a major research group working on the beneficial reuse of waste materials and resource efficiency within the Environmental and Water Resource Engineering (EWRE) Section. He is also the Director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Sustainable Civil Engineering.  

The focus of his research is on sustainable use of materials, waste management and resource efficiency. The emphasis of waste management research has changed from safe disposal to the beneficial reuse of materials and wastes as resources. This type of interdisciplinary research falls between the more traditional fields of environmental engineering, materials processing, waste recycling and civil engineering and involves collaboration with both industry and other researchers at Imperial and beyond. 

Email: c.cheeseman@imperial.ac.uk 

Dr Helen Bailey

Helen has been a Senior Lecturer at the University of Derby since 2015. Helen is also Managing Director at The Driven Company Associates Limited. The Driven Company supports asset owners, clients and contractors with the development of engineered solutions in highways materials design, production, specification and installation through the provision of advice and technical expertise. Its mission is to remove barriers to drive ahead quality and value; enhancing management, operations and asset creation. 

Ian Short

Ian Short was appointed Interim CEO of Climate-KIC in January 2016 and tasked with implementing Climate-KIC's new structures, strategies and teams to enable the organisation to achieve its potential. Ian was previously Chief Executive of the Institute for Sustainability – an independent charity established to pilot and trial systemic solutions for sustainable cities and communities.

Previously, Ian was Deputy Chief Executive at the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation (LTGDC), a public/private regeneration agency in east London, which he helped establish in 2005. While in this role, Ian led development of the Institute for Sustainability from original concept through to fully operational charitable organisation in just over two years. 

Dr Jon Green

Jon Green graduated from the University of Portsmouth and holds a PhD from Writtle Agricultural College on "Cryopreservation of Ribes nigrum utilizing field grown and in vitro material for genetic conservation".

Jon is currently leading a collaborative project between the University of Freiburg and the company Qfood Gmbh investigating food and drink quality using capture and release polymer technology. 

He is a visiting researcher with the SRI and works with the University of Chongqing, China and the company RTAL (HK) Ltd. to develop lightweight aggregate from waste materials.  

Email: jon.green@imtek.uni-freiburg.de

Dr Marcus J Collier

Marcus is a Senior Research Fellow and the co-ordinator of the UCD led EU FP7 TURAS project (Transitioning towards Urban Resilience and Sustainability). Marcus' research interests focus on the complex and fascinating interface between social and ecological systems, and his PhD research concentrated on damaged landscapes, resilience planning and collaborative processes.

His main areas of expertise are in interdisciplinary research, qualitative and quantitative methodologies, social-ecological interfaces, resilience and vulnerability, landscape and restoration ecology, environmental policies, rural geography, governance and community outreach as well as writing and presentation skills. 

Marcus began his post-doctoral research in Teagasc, with funding from the EPA (STRIVE), examining the potential impacts of genetically modified crops on biodiversity and the landscape. He then continued his post-doctoral research with University College Cork / Environmental Research Institute.

At the Coastal and Marine Research Centre Marcus worked as a Sustainability Scientist and as a member and work package leader on several international research teams (Funded by the Marine Institute, INTERREG, ESPON and FP7). 

Email: marcus.collier@ucd.ie

Dr Renée Tobe

Dr Renée Tobe is a Reader in Architecture. She has been awarded a Paul Mellon Research Fellowship at the British School in Rome (2018) and a Research Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities at Edinburgh University (2014). Prior to entering academia, she was in professional practice for 10 years, previous to which she studied at the Architectural Association, Cornell University and Ryerson University where she trained in sustainable building technology.  You can read more about Dr Renée Tobe here.

Email: r.tobe@uel.ac.uk