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Our people

Meet our team at the SRI, our sponsored PhD Research students and our Associates and Research fellows.

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 a number of 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.


SRI Staff

Caroline Nash
Research Assistant
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 biomimicry. Caroline has extensive experience in ecological consultancy and biodiversity monitoring.


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 degree in International Tourism Management from London Metropolitan University and has a diploma in event management from Kings College London University. 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. 


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 storm water 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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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.


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.


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. 


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.


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.


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 stakeholder 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 also 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.


SRI Sponsored PhD Research Students

After completing his MSc in Materials Science, Bamdad started his doctoral research at the SRI in 2014. His research aims to develop an innovative, environmentally friendly and resource efficient utilization option for a number of industrial by-products that are classified as waste and are currently being landfilled in the UK. His research focuses on production of lightweight aggregate and determines parameters for producing optimal end products at large scale manufacture.

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 botanist and invertebrate ecologist.

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 from 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.

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 LB of Newham.  

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 effect 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.

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.



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 LDA – 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.


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'09 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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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).


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 foundling editor and the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Strategic Engineering (IJoSE).

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 range of research projects and industrial consultancy contracts.


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.


Helen has been a Senior Lecturer at 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 development of engineered solutions in highways materials design, production, specification and installation through 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 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.
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 light weight aggregate from waste materials.  

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). 

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. More about Dr Renee Tobe you can read here.