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Group members


Dr Shona Koren Paterson Dr Shona Koren Paterson
Email Dr Shona Koren Paterson Director of Global Lives Research Centre / Senior Lecturer
Building on an academic transdisciplinary background in Natural Sciences (Marine Biology, Resource Management) and Social Sciences (Climate Adaptation, Social Justice, Environmental Policy), Shona’s guiding focus remains the generation and translation of defensible research informed by the needs of society and co-created with the intended beneficiaries. Her research is motivated by international frameworks such as the UN 2030 Agenda, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the COP21 Paris Agreement. She has spent her working career building partnerships and knowledge exchange networks with local communities and stakeholders to achieve mutually beneficial social and ecological goals. With a special interest in marginalised communities and social justice and equity, Shona’s recent research has focused on global flood risk and resilience, climate risk assessments, adaptation and adaptive capacity in urbanising coastal areas. Embracing a transdisciplinary approach, Shona works at the interface of science-policy as well as effective and fit-for-audience communication of data and knowledge to ensure increased impactful discourse around risk. She has research experience in the Caribbean, USA, UK and Ireland, as well as a global perspective through involvement with Future Earth and its associated global research project Future Earth Coasts. Shona seeks to engage with a range of emerging global challenges through collaboration and co-production of knowledge by employing a transdisciplinary and applied bridging of science, social science, the arts and humanities at local, national, and international scales. Co-production enables science and research to have greater impact on sustainable development outcomes. Shona works to facilitate iterative and collaborative processes involving diverse types of expertise, knowledges and actors to co-produce context-specific pathways towards sustainable futures. There is a real and urgent need to understand and tackle intractable global challenges in the face of constantly shifting biophysical and social realities. Shona’s work, with a range of partners across the globe, embraces this need, recognising that sustainability and equitable development, as illustrated by the UN Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), requires transformative social and economic pathways co-created with intended beneficiary communities. The overall achievement of the SDGs depends not only upon responsible economic development administered through the lens of environmental sustainability, but perhaps more significantly, through enhanced social inclusion and resilience building at all scales. At Brunel, Shona is the Director of the Centre for Global Lives, the co-lead of the Equitable Development and Resilience Research Group as well as a member of the Centre for Flood Risk and Resilience. Examples of on-going research projects include the ESKE project and Catching a Wave and the co-curation of an unwavering immersive virtual installation on Long COVID in partnership with artists and scientitsts through the New York Gallery/Forum Relational Space. She is also a partner in the UKRI Maximizing Climate Adaptation Hub lead by Kings College London. The MACC Hub aims to inform a national climate change adaptation plan by addressing current barriers around public awareness, policy, legislation and climate data that might be hindering the UK’s ability to adapt to global warming.
Dr Ximena Schmidt Dr Ximena Schmidt
Email Dr Ximena Schmidt Senior Lecturer
Ximena joined Brunel University London in 2019 as Global Challenges Research Fellow working at the Institute of Energy Futures. Since then she has been develop international research collaborations in the fields of sustainable food systems. Ximena is a life cycle sustainability expert and currently developing data science and system modelling skills. Her broader research interests relate to sustainable food supply chains and technologies, circular economy and waste valorization, and sustainable food consumption, including diets and cooking. In 2021, Ximena moved to the Chemical Engineering department where is currently integrating her research on sustainability and life cycle thinking in the undergraduate and post-gradute curricula while continuing her research. She is module leader of Process Design (CL3602), Design project (CL3605) and Sustainability and Environmental Engineering (CL5656). Outreach is key in Ximena's activities. Behavioral change and awareness are critical for taking Ximena's research out of the academia and generate real impact. Hence, she has been involved in several research led - outreach activities and initaitves; currently, the main projects are TakeaBiteCC- Take a Bite out of Climate Chage and GGDOT - Greenhouse Gas and Dietary choices Open Toolkit, transdisciplinary collaborations that aim to develop tools and engagement materials (e.g. games) to raise awareness about the relationship (impacts) between our food choices and climate change. TakeaBiteCC AT HOME, is the latest project, a response to COVID-19. Ximena's research interests relate to sustainable food systems includes agriculture, farming and food processing, healthy and sustainable diets and food consumption, circular economy and waste valorization. In the field of energy systems, Ximena's interests and experience relates to sustainable cooking fuels and novel technologies, waste-to-energy and high-value added agrifood valorisation routes. In interdisciplinary research and engagement, I usually provide sustainability assessment expertise, circular economy expertise, data analysis and visualization (R) skills, citizen science knowledge and experience, public engagement and outreach networks, and experience on tested activities. Food systems; food supply chains; food technology; circular economy; sustainable diets; sustainable cooking; food consumption; Ssutainable food environment; school food environment; Food insecurity; food production; citizen science; public engagement CL 3602 - Process Design and Safety I (Module Leader) CL3605 - Chemical Engineering Design project (Module Leader) CL5656 - Sustainability and Environmental Engineering (Module Leader) CL5650 Chemical Engineering Research Project (Project lead)


Dr Fang Wang Dr Fang Wang
Email Dr Fang Wang Senior Lecturer
Dr Fang Wang is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at Brunel University London. She received a PhD in artificial intelligence from the University of Edinburgh and worked as a senior researcher in the research centre of British Telecom (BT) Group, before she joined Brunel University London in 2010. Dr. Wang has published a number of papers in books, journals and conferences and filed a series of patents. Dr. Wang is an established teacher and researcher in computer science and artificial intelligence. Her research interests include nature-inspired computing, agents, intelligent information processing, intelligent distributed computing, cognitive radio networks, e-learning and cloud education, cognitive science and computer vision. She actively participated in a number of EU, EPSRC, BT long term research projects and received several technical awards, including the Gordon Radley Technical Premium Highly Commended award of BT and ACM Best Student Paper Award at the Third International Conference on Autonomous Agents. She is on the editorial boards of several international journals and serves on many program committees. Dr. Wang’s main research interest is in artificial intelligence and its applications. This includes using nature-inspired techniques such as intelligent agents, swarm intelligence, evolutionary computing and neural networks to solve real world applications such as network optimisation, radio spectrum management, decentralised computing, user analysis, self-organising communities, and so on. Lectured, administered, tutored and examined courses at undergraduate and MSc levels on topics including Introduction to programming, Algorithms and their applications, Systems in Context, Digital Innovation, level 1 and level 2 group projects and final year projects. Class sizes varied from 8 to 350. Supervised a number of undergraduate and MSc projects.
Mrs Mandekh Hussein Mrs Mandekh Hussein
Email Mrs Mandekh Hussein Senior Lecturer (Professional Practice) in Global Challenges
Mandekh Hussein is a Senior Lecturer and Programmе Dirеctor for the BASc Global Challеngеs at Brunеl Univеrsity London. Evident in her approach to teaching, her practice and her network memberships, Mandekh is driven by initiatives grounded in collaboration, sustainability, and ownership. More specifically, she is passionate about work centred on equipping individuals and communities with the resources, skills and opportunities to lead change. With a consulting portfolio spanning over a decade around the world, Mandеkh's journey is truly a mosaic of lеadеrship and innovation. She has еmеrgеd as a prominent practitioner in the realm of furthering health equity and health justice through transformational knowledge-sharing/exchange opportunities underpinned by a commitment to disrupting and dismantling structures which reinforce oppression and fragmentation. -- About the BASc Global Challenges Degree: Through its purposeful design, the BASc Global Challenges degree offers an opportunity for learners to challenge conventional wisdom and cultivate a profound understanding of humanity's dynamic relationship with the world. From their first year, students specialize in one of four meticulously curated pathways (Planetary Health, Social Cohesion, Security and Global Innovation) taken alongside a common “Core Spine”. This degree, spanning sciences, social sciences, and humanities, fosters a transdisciplinary perspective—a necessity when addressing complex global issues. This approach enables students to dive into real-world application from their first year and experience first-hand the challenges and rewards that come from transcending disciplinary boundaries when addressing the urgent and intricate challenges of today. Additionally, certain aspects of the program have been collaboratively developed with local and international partners. We are proud members of the United Nations Academic Impact and the Planetary Health Alliance. In November 2022, the BASc Global Challenges programme won the UK and Ireland Green Gown Awards for Next Generation Learning and Skills. In July 2023, the BASc Global Challenges programme received a "Highly Commended" award at the International Green Gown Award for Next Generation Learning and Skills.
Dr Neveen Shaaban Abdalla Dr Neveen Shaaban Abdalla
Email Dr Neveen Shaaban Abdalla Lecturer in International Relations (Defence and Intelligence)
National and international security Intelligence and policy Social movement escalation Terrorism and counterterrorism Middle East and North Africa (MENA), west Africa focused International Security (Postgraduate) Terrorism and Counterterrorism (Level 6) Conflict in the Modern World (Level 4)
Dr Steven Sam Dr Steven Sam
Email Dr Steven Sam Lecturer in Computer Science
Dr Steven Sam obtained a PhD from the University of Queensland (Australia), where he received the UQ Outstanding Higher Degree by Research Theses Dean’s Award in 2016. Steven’s research activities centre around ICTs and society, human computer Interaction (HCI) (including HCI for Development) and computing for social good (including AI for social good and responsible AI). Steven’s research makes effective use of new computing tools, methodologies and designs to amplify social impact solutions that deliver real change in society. He draws on a range of approaches such as ethnography, user-centred design, participatory design and data-driven approaches to develop and evaluate the use and impact of context-based technology solutions for complex societal problems. He has worked closely with partners from academia, industry, development agencies and government institutions to deliver research innovative projects in healthcare, agriculture and education in Africa. Steven is the founder and co-leader of an interdisciplinary research group (Computer Science for Social Good) at the Department of Computer Science, Brunel University London. Steven’s research interests relate to the following: Computing for social good (including AI for social good) Sustainable HCI (SHCI) and HCI for Development (HCI4D) Digital divide and mobile and computer-based ICT4D Data-driven solutions to sustainable development goals Social implications of new and emerging technologies (e.g. mobiles, AI, social media, automation, etc.) on organisations, society and people. Ethics and governance of digital systems (in particular Responsible AI) Ethnography, user-centred and participatory design methodologies Module Leader Ethics and Governance of Digital Systems (CS5705) Supporting Taught Modules Human Computer Interaction (CS3009) ICTs in Society (CS2007) Usability Engineering (CS2003) Computer Science – Business Computing Final Year Project (CS3702 – CS3605) Work Placement (CS2555) Year 2 Group Project (CS2001) MSc Dissertation Supervision (CS5500) Crop Recommendation with Machine Learning: Leveraging Environmental and Economic factors for Optimal Crop Selection -2023 (Completed) Using advanced machine learning models and explanation methods to predict and identify the greatest risk factors leading to Preterm Births - 2023 (Completed) Analyzing the Effectiveness of Natural Language Processing Techniques for Sentiment Analysis in Social Media Data-2023 (Completed) Designing Emotionally Engaging Gamification To Enhance User Satisfaction And Experience -2023 (Completed) Academic Failure Prevention: A Study on Performance Prediction Models - 2023 (Completed) Analysis and Prediction of Road Accident Severity using Machine Learning - 2022 (Completed) Diagnosis of Facial Diseases using Deep learning Methods (Completed) - 2022 (Completed)