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Academic Events


Monday 9 May

Institute of Health, Medicine and Environments 

Ageing Advances with the Ageing Studies Research Group

Brunel has a longstanding international reputation for its research in ageing. In this session, which is aimed at non-expert audiences, we showcased some of our new and emerging research in a series of short presentations.


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The Wealth of Refugees: How Displaced People Can Build Economies 

Centre for Health and Wellbeing across the Lifecourse presents… 

Open Lecture: The Wealth of Refugees with Professor Alexander Betts 

 We live in an age of displacement. Refugee numbers are increasing due to a proliferation of fragile states, and this problem will be exacerbated by climate change and the impact of COVID-19. And yet, rising populist nationalism has undermined the political willingness of rich countries to accept migrants and asylum seekers. Given these contradictory trends, how can we create sustainable refugee policies that enable displaced people to live in safety and dignity, while operating at scale?

The Wealth of Refugees argues that the key lies in unlocking the potential contributions of refugees themselves. Refugees bring skills, talents, and aspirations and can be a benefit rather than a burden to receiving societies. Realizing this potential relies upon moving beyond a purely humanitarian focus to fully include refugees in host-country economies, build economic opportunities in refugee-hosting regions, and navigate the ambiguous politics of refugee protection.

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Alexander Betts is Professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs, William Golding Senior Fellow in Politics at Brasenose College, and Associate Head (Doctoral and Research Training) of the Social Science Division, at the University of Oxford.

His research focuses mainly on the political economy of refugee assistance, with a focus on Africa. He is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, was named by Foreign Policy magazine in the top 100 global thinkers of 2016, and his TED talks have been viewed by over 3 million people. 

Betts & Wealth of Refugees

Centre for Inflammation Research and Translational Medicine (CIRTM)

CIRTM is an internationally acknowledged centre of excellence that drives forwarrd scientific innovation and discovery to transform diagnosis, treatment, and management of people with cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), inflammation, infection, microbial resistance, and cancer. The Centre was established with the objective of bringing together a critical mass of internationally outstanding basic and clinical researchers tackling today’s global health challenges.

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Launch of the Centre for Physical Activity in Health and Disease 

Dr Pascale Kippelen and Dr Daniel Bailey introduced our newest research centre, officially launching the Centre for Physical Activity in Health and Disease (CPAHD) and showcasing the expertise of its members and their exciting plans for future research projects at Brunel. 

The centre includes researchers from a variety of disciplines across Health, Medicine and Life Sciences to advance knowledge and understanding of the role of physical activity in health and wellbeing in healthy and clinical populations. 

The programme for the afternoon will be as follows:

  • Drs Pascale Kippelen & Daniel Bailey (Co-Directors of CPAHD): Introduction to the new Centre for Physical Activity in Health and Disease
  • Dr Claire Nolan (Lecturer in Physiotherapy): Rehabilitation Strategies for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • Dr Oliver Gibson (Senior Lecturer in Exercise Physiology): Influence of Heat Stress on Human Function for Health and Performance
  • Dr Emily Hunt (Lecturer in Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences): Storytelling in Physical Activity and Health Research
  • Dr Daniel Bailey (Senior Lecturer in Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences): Interdisciplinary Approach in Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour and Health Research


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Tuesday 10 May

Institutes of Energy Futures & Materials and Manufacturing

Open Day: Institutes of Energy Futures & Materials and Manufacturing 

A joint Open Day exploring the Institute of Energy Futures, led by Professor Savvas Tassou, and the Institute of Materials & Manufacturing, led by Professor Hamid Bahai. 

10:00 Arrival and Refreshments

10:30 Welcome and Introduction to the Institute of Energy Futures – Professor Savvas Tassou (Institute Director)
           Welcome and Introduction to the Institute of Materials and Manufacturing – Professor Hamid Bahai (Institute Director)

11:00 Clean Energy, Sustainable Growth and Circular and Bio Economies (Parallel Session)

  • Towards Zero Carbon Transport and Power Machinery – Professor Hua Zhao (Vice Provost and Dean of College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences and Director, Centre for Advanced Powertrain and Fuels)
  • Decarbonisation and Digitalisation of Electrical Power Systems – Professor Gareth Taylor (Head of Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering and Director of Brunel Institute of Power Systems)
  • Fundamental and Applied Research into Energy Efficient and Sustainable Technologies – Professor Tassos Karayiannis (Director, Centre for Energy Efficient and Sustainable Technologies)
  • Climate Change Resilient Buildings – Professor Maria Kolokotroni (Director, Centre for Resource Efficient Future Cities)

11:00 Smart Manufacturing and Materials Innovation (Parallel Session)

  • Grain Refinement: High performance automotive castings – Professor Hari Nadendla (Brunel Centre for Advanced Solidification Technology)
  • Material Characterisation for Fracture & Damage – Professor Rade Vignjevic (Director of Centre for Assessment of Structures & Materials Under Extreme Conditions)
  • Meeting the Plastics Pact Targets for Food Packaging via Polymer and Luminescent Materials Processing – Dr. George Fern (Director of Wolfson Centre for Sustainable Materials Development & Processing)
  • Applications of subsurface digital twins for integrity assessment of CCS operations – Adrian Rodrigues-Herrera (Manager Subsurface Modelling at Schlumberger)

13:00 Networking Lunch and Poster Presentations

14:00 Lab Tours, including our: Power Labs; Powertrains Fuels and Heat and Mass Transfer; Experimental Techniques Centre / Wolfson Centre; Centre for Sustainable Energy Use in Food Chains; Brunel Centre for Advanced Solidification Technology; Structures Lab

AI and Digital Construction Showcase 

The digital construction session showcased the latest digital smart innovations from industry as well as from academia, demonstrating novel AI solutions to important but routine as well as complex and large-scale problems and pathways toward digitisation in the sector.

After the plenary sessions there will be smaller focused breakout sessions, targeted at collective thinking to develop potential solutions to industrial problems in the multidisciplinary area of emerging AI technologies coupled with Digital Construction.

This session is organised by the department of Civil Engineering and the AI: Social and Digital Innovation Research Centre.


Wednesday 11 May

Brunel Research Interdisciplinary Masterclasses (BRIM)

Working with Non-Academic Stakeholders 

Working with partners outside of the university is key to the delivery of research with impact. In this online session four of our colleagues and their non-academic partners will discuss their experiences of working together. Sharing both the opportunities and challenges of collaboration, this masterclass offers top tips for developing partnerships and for delivering research with impact. 


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Masterclass with The Conversation

Are you an academic, researcher or PhD candidate who would like to build a media profile and take your research to a global public audience by writing for The Conversation?

The Conversation is a news analysis and opinion website with content written by academics working with professional journalists. It is an open access, independent media charity funded by more than 80 UK and European universities.

 In this session we'll take you through what The Conversation is - our origins and aims; what we do and why.

 We’ll look at why you should communicate your research to the public and take you through The Conversation’s unique, collaborative editorial process.

 We’ll give you tips on style, tone and structure (with examples), look at how to pitch (with examples) and look at different approaches and article types.

 Benefits of attending:

●      Find out how to join a community of academic authors taking their expertise outside the academy
●      Understand what makes a good story and the types of articles your expertise could generate
●      Learn the skills of journalistic writing and how to make your writing accessible and engaging to a diverse general audience
●      Meet one of The Conversation’s editors and learn how we commission articles 


Networking Lunch and Researcher Hub 

A special networking lunch. A chance to meet colleagues from across the University; engage in a Research Data Swap Shop; hear about the support available from the Research, Support & Development Office; visit our drop-in clinics and gain support for your project webpages and external communications.

Masterclass on Writing Interdisciplinary Research Proposals 

Gerry Reilly and Christina Victor for an interactive workshop on Writing Interdisciplinary Research Proposals

This in-person masterclass will be led by Professor Gerry Reilly who is a Visiting Professor at Brunel, Technologist in Residence at Health Data Research UK, as well as a regular Medical Research Council reviewer and panel member. Gerry will be joined by Professor Christina Victor, Director of the Institute of Health, Medicine and Environments.

 In this interactive workshop we'll explore the lifecycle of a grant application from submission to final decision. Looking at how decisions are made at office review, triage and panel reviews, we'll explore how you can be more successful at proceeding through each stage and identify the common mistakes that cause potentially great applications to fail.


Thursday 12 May

Institute of Digital Futures

Open Day: Institute of Digital Futures 

The Institute of Digital Futures (IDF) invites you to its Research Festival Open Day, including a tour of our state of the art "digital" interdisciplinary facilities, featuring an industry panel discussion moderated by West London Business; and showcasing our research directly from the labs.

10:00  Arrivals & Welcome

10:30  Lab Tours and Live Demos. Including our Green Screen, Immersive Dome, Motion Capture Lab, with spotlights on VR Rehabilitation, AI Edge Lab, and poster presentations.

12:30  Networking Lunch & Keynote from Andrew Dakers (West London Business) on Digital Business Priorities and Current Challenges post COVID-19.

 14:00  Breakout Sessions and Sandpits on Interdisciplinary Research Priority Challenges:

  • Responsible AI for Businesses
  • How Can Digital Technologies Reverse Climate Change?

 15:00  Conclusions and Future Plans for Digital Futures, with Institute Director, Professor Abdul H. Sadka


Friday 13 May

REF Results Briefing

REF Results Briefing 

A day after the publication of the long-awaited Research Excellence Framework results, Professor Geoff Rodgers will be talking through the outcomes and how we’ve done in comparison with our competitors, and will highlight successes across our Units of Assessment – the REF’s groupings of subjects.

Delayed a year by the pandemic, REF 2021 is a big nationwide assessment of the quality of UK universities’ research. Panels of experts have scrutinised submissions of research from higher education institutions covering the period since the last assessment, REF 2014. The results will show the real-word impact of our research, and how significant it is on the national and international scales.


Monday 16 May

Institute of Energy Futures

Energy and Sustainability Showcase 

 A showcase of research from across the Institute. With insights and innovations in a wide array of Energy and Sustainability research areas. Including:

Morning Session - Chaired by Professor Tassos Karayiannis

  • Novel Energy Storage and Fuel Design by Nanobubble Technology (Dr Xinyan Wang)
  • Development of Future Electric Vehicle Systems (Dr Chun Sing Lai)
  • Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage. State-of-Art and Future Directions (Dr Salman Masoudi Soltani)
  • Electrical Energy Storage in Future Grids (Dr Ahmed Zobaa)
  • Energy Transition: The Case of Hydrogen (Dr Zahir Dehouche)
  • Hydrogen Production: The Case for Electrolysers (Dr Abishek Lahiri)
  • Reducing the Carbon Footprint of UK Manufacturing (Dr Atanas Ivanov)
  • Sustainable Production of High-Value Food Ingredients (Dr Dale McClure)

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Afternoon Session - Chaired by Professor Maria Kolokotroni

  • Power Electronics in Smart Distribution Systems (Dr Mohamed Darwish)
  • Improving Energy Efficiency in Electrical Distribution Networks (Dr Ioana Pisica)
  • Is the Service Industry Really Low-Carbon? (Prof. Simon Roberts)
  • Digital Fabrication of Low-Carbon Cementitious Building Blocks (Dr Seyed Ghaffar)
  •  Designing Hospital Digital Twins for Resilient Health Services (Dr Kangkang Tang)
  • Solar Energy and Vacuum Insulation for Buildings (Dr Harjit Singh)

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Tuesday 17 May

Confronting the Past in the Present


A special day of research and community conversation aimed at tackling the most pressing topics of history today.

On campus and open to all.


Exhibition: Brunel in 20 items – Meet the Curators 

It is twenty years since Brunel appointed its first qualified archivist. During which time, the archives have developed substantially, and even more now that Special Collections have merged with us to form Archives and Special Collections. In celebration of the twenty years, we have curated this exhibition with colleagues, users and/or supporters of our work over the last twenty years. Each person has chosen their favourite object from one of the collections – which one is your favourite?

Featuring Phaedra Casey & Mandy Mordue (Brunel Archives) with Alison Carrol (History Festival Director)
Venue: Atrium of the Eastern Gateway Building, Brunel University London, UB8 3PH

Picturing the Past 

Our understandings of the past are shaped by representations across cultural realms: literature, film, visual culture, museums. Through these diverse media, our understanding of the past develops in conversation with present-day concerns. Equally, we have much to learn from the way in which past societies represented their members- and those who found themselves at their margins. This panel considers the issue of representation and questions who makes decisions about who is depicted, what form these representations take, how the relationship between cultural representations shapes understandings and behaviour across society more broadly, and the connection between representation and existing structural inequalities. 

Featuring: Jess Cox, Martin Folly, Andrew Green & Paul Moody
Venue: Auditorium, Eastern Gateway Building, Brunel University London, UB8 3PH

History and Video Games 

From the First World War to the Haitian Revolution, historical events are increasingly being transformed into digital games. Many of these games sell millions of copies across the globe, and represent the first encounter that some gamers have with the past. This lively field poses questions for scholars: how is the past represented through games? What do these representations tell us about contemporary society? What role is there for scholars in shaping these representations?

This session involves a hosted conversation between a scholar of games design and digital media and a historian interested in the representation of the past through video games. Together, they cover how the past is represented on screen and the role that scholars from different disciplines have to play in unearthing the intersecting themes of nostalgia, politics and popular culture in shaping the way that the past is represented on screen- and what these representations tell us about our society today.

Featuring: Iain Farquharson & Andra Ivanescu
Venue: Auditorium, Eastern Gateway Building, Brunel University London, UB8 3PH

Silenced and Marginalised Voices 

Recent years have seen a wide range of efforts to integrate silenced and marginalised voices into our study of the past. For many scholars, these efforts are highly political and at stake is community coherence which relies upon the need to better understand one another. If unearthing those histories which have been hidden is part of that process, doing so raises a series of questions: whose voices have been silenced and by whom? In giving ‘voice’ to marginalised voices, whose voice is being heard and who has participated in that reconstruction? And who is listening to these narratives, and why are they listening now? Through a series of talks, this panel seeks to engage with some of these questions and addresses how our understanding of the past can be transformed by showing sensitivity to voices that have previously been silenced. 

Featuring: Inge Dornan, Nick Hubble, William Spurlin
Venue: Auditorium, Eastern Gateway Building, Brunel University London, UB8 3PH


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Hidden Histories: Memory and Multiculturalism 

During times of social upheaval the past becomes a point of contest and contention, as Britain’s recent ‘culture wars’ have demonstrated. This panel considers some of the hidden histories of Empire and its legacies, ranging from statues of slavers to stories of migration and multiculturalism. It questions the relationship between the stories that we tell and the ways in which we think about society and community in contemporary Britain, and addresses the place of diversity, multi-perspectivity and contention in our study of the past. 

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Wednesday 18 May

Doctoral Research Poster Conference

Doctoral Research Poster Conference 

On May 18 in the Hamilton Newton, where our Doctoral Researchers displayed their poster in the live and on campus public viewing. Come and talk to the DR’s about their research and engage with the wide range of multidisciplinary posters from across all colleges and research institutes.


The posters displayed in the Newton Hamilton on campus, and DR’s expected to showcase their work as part of the public viewing. This element of the conference will also hold an additional prize voted for by the DR’s participating on the day as a ‘peer to peer’ award.

Doctoral Research Poster Conference Prizegiving 

Join us for the prize giving ceremony live on campus. All prizes will be announced and awarded at the live prize giving on Wednesday 18 May from 17.00 – 19.00, in the Hamilton Newton room, where you are invited to join us in the festivities including a BBQ and drinks alongside live band. Please join the VC who will be presenting all the winners and also winners from this year’s 3MT, hosted earlier this year online.


Five Graduate School prizes of £300 each will be awarded.One Graduate School prize of £150 for the best poster presented by an early-stage researcher (0-12 month into their research or 0-24 months part-time) will be also be awarded. One Provost’s prize for Interdisciplinary Research of £200 will be awarded. Two ‘Peer to Peer’ Prizes will be awarded for those who are participating in person which will be for top voted poster of £200 and runner up at £150.Five Research Support and Development Office (RSDO) prizes of £100 each will be awarded during the prize giving on Wednesday 18 May in conjunction with the Research Festival. These will be judged by a live online poll during the Festival. The five categories for this prize are:‘Health’: Planetary Health and Human Health and Wellbeing across the life course 

Providing knowledge, insight and innovative technological breakthroughs that improve planetary health, environments and human health and wellbeing locally and globally, through new models of care, understanding biological, social and psychological perspectives for defined populations across the life course, effective intervention and prevention of health problems and the evaluation of these.

‘Communities’: Global, Secure, Connected Communities

Providing knowledge, insight and innovative technological breakthroughs that promote the role of communities in sustaining and enhancing the quality of life for people globally, through economic, social and cultural benefits, social justice and equality, diplomacy and policy making, security, and the mitigation of the impacts of climate change, conflict and mass migration.

‘Digital’: Digital Futures, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data

Providing knowledge, insight and innovative technological breakthroughs that transform healthcare, education, manufacturing, the built environment and business models, promoting social cohesion and human mobility while mitigating the impacts of climate change and ageing populations and protecting against cybercrime.

‘Sustainability’: Clean Energy, Sustainable Growth, Circular and Bio Economies

Providing knowledge, insight and innovative technological breakthroughs that enable social justice and equality in the provision of clean air, food, energy and water for people globally, through the efficient use of resources, transformative economies and behaviours, the development of smart cities and the mitigation of the impacts of climate change.

‘Manufacturing’: Smart Manufacturing and Materials Innovation

Providing knowledge, insight and innovative technological breakthroughs that improve the sustainability, design, integrity and performance of manufacturing processes and products, through more efficient use of resources, development of novel materials and pioneering Industry 4.0.


Wednesday 18 May

The New Hydrogen Economy

The New Hydrogen Economy

In this online seminar, international experts explore contours of the emerging hydrogen economy. The questions they address include: Has hydrogen been over-hyped? What role can ‘green’ hydrogen play in the energy transition. Is ‘blue’ hydrogen really ‘green’? What is the British government's hydrogen strategy: is it on the right track, and what can be learnt from other countries?Each paper is followed by Q&A. Attendance is open to all. 

Speakers:Mark Jacobson, Director of the Atmosphere/Energy Program and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University. 

Franziska Müller, Assistant Professor of Climate Governance at Hamburg University. 

Jan Rosenow, Director of European Programmes at the Regulatory Assistance Project, and Honorary Research Associate at Oxford University's Environmental Change Institute. 

Tom Baxter, Senior Fellow in Chemical Engineering at Aberdeen University, founding member of the Hydrogen Science Coalition, and Chemical Engineering consultant. 


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Thursday 19 May

Institute of Health, Medicine and Environments

Open Day: Institute of Health, Medicine and Environments 

The Institute of Health, Medicine and Environments are pleased to host a public open day, spotlighting Brunel’s ageing-related research in a showcase of Brunel’s research excellence and contributions to Health and Wellbeing across the Lifecourse.

Join us from 10am for welcome and introductions, before embarking on your free “Health MOT”. While encountering our research, you’ll have a chance to test your grip strength, analyse your gait, offer feedback in our hearing lab, see expert demonstrations on physiotherapy exercises, and much more!

Browse our research posters and presentations, meet researchers and practitioners over a free networking lunch, and discover some of our diverse research activities and the many opportunities to participate in impactful research.

Explore our photography exhibition, revealing the wonderful world of our cell biology, curated by the Centre for Genome Engineering and Maintenance.

Plus, marking Dementia Action Week, we discover how creativity and research can combine to support those living with dementia. 


Friday 20 May

Research Impact Insights

Developing Research with Impact

This online session, chaired by Professor Geoff Rodgers (Vice-Provost, Research), with Professor Christina Victor and Professor Louise Mansfield, focuses on developing research with impact. ​Dr Meriel Norris, Dr Carolyn Dunford and Dr Vassil Girginov will share their experiences of conducting research that has had impact at local, national and international levels.

  • Dr Meriel Morris - Research impact: starting local
  • Dr Carolyn Dunford - Building a community of practice: a vehicle for research knowledge transfer and implementation in healthcare?
  • Dr Vassil Girginov - Science and pragmatism in international research projects


Monday 23 May

Institute of Digital Futures

Interdisciplinary Research Activities within the Institute of Digital Futures

We begin the days proceedings with a presentation from Institute Director, Professor Abdul H. Sadka, and updates from the Research Centres on the activities across the Institute. 


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Brunel’s Open Research Award Winners Ceremony

This session celebrates the winners of Brunel’s inaugural Open Research Awards. These Awards recognise progress by Brunel academics and Doctoral Researchers towards embedding Open Research principles into their research, organised by Brunel’s Open Research Working Group.  

Open Research – often used interchangeably with the terms Open Science or Open Scholarship - is a set of values and practices that seek to make research across all disciplines easily discoverable, transparent, publicly available and re-usable.  Open Research refers to openness and transparency throughout the whole research cycle, including practices such as preregistration of methods and analysis plansopen data, open materials, open software and models, preprintsopen access publication, and open education.


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Governance, Ethics and Trusted Research Environments: The future for trustworthy research on sensitive personal data

We're joined by Gerry Reilly who is a Visiting Professor at Brunel and Technologist in Residence at Health Data Research UK to lead us in exploring the future for trustworthy research on sensitive personal data. 


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Organ-on-a-Chip, with Dr Ruth Mackay

Dr Ruth Mackay in this session introducing the Organ-on-a-Chip model.

The Organ-on-a-chip Research Group are an interdisciplinary group of experts from Life Sciences and Engineering developing microfluidic devices to culture tissues in order to replicate organ like functions. The engineered tissues can be used in pre-clinical trials as a substitute for animal testing, replicating more closely the human physiopathology. The group’s main research focus is on women’s health and developing four main organ-on-a-chip (OOC) models: the breast, vagina, ovary, and placenta. 


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Live Lab Demos 

An online showcase of research demos, streamed live from the lab! Including a very special showcase of Visual Effects and Live Green-Screen Keying from Rakesh Mohun, and Live Research Projects and Directions from the IDEAS Research Centre.


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Tuesday 24 May

Inaugural Lecture: Professor Alexandra Knight – Engineers Solve Problems

Alex Knight


What will make a great engineer of the future?

How will we keep up with the pace of change whilst remaining grounded in our pursuit to make the world a better place?

Engineers Solve Problems – what is the skillset for our problem-solvers of the future?

What will make you a great engineer of the future?

 We are in the 4th Industrial Revolution with things like big data, artificial intelligence and smart assets re-shaping our engineering landscape. How will we keep up with the pace of change whilst remaining grounded in our connection to the fundamental reason we do anything as engineers - to make the world a better place?

 Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor Alexandra Knight FIMechE FWES, will give her view on the essential skillset for engineers in this rapidly evolving world of technology, and explain why taking an Asset Management approach and building a more diverse and inclusive engineering culture will be the key to success.


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Alex Knight stemazing
Alexandra Knight


Alex is a Chartered Engineer, Fellow of the IMechE and the Women’s Engineering Society. She is the Founder and CEO of STEMAZING – a social enterprise dedicated to inspiration and inclusion in STEM. Alex is passionate about supporting women in STEM to shine as confident, visible role models and inspire our future generations of innovators and problem-solvers. She is also a Visiting Professor with the Royal Academy of Engineering at Brunel University London where she shares her passion for Asset Management and Inclusion in Engineering with the aim to improve student employability.  Alex won the We Are The City Champions Award in 2020 for her work to champion diversity and inclusion in STEM, and STEMAZING won the Diversity Impact Award at the RAC awards in 2021.



Wednesday 25 May

Centre for Mathematical and Statistical Modeling

Launch Event: Centre for Mathematical and Statistical Modelling 

The Centre for Mathematical and Statistical Modelling was established in 2021 with the double aim of promoting interdisciplinary research on projects with a strong mathematical or statistical component in Brunel on the one hand, and of carrying out cutting edge research in the mathematical sciences. The Centre is pleased to invite you to its formal launch event, which will feature invited talks by three inspiring speakers:

  • 14:00: Man Lai Tang (Brunel): "Stats and surveys with sensitive questions"
  • 15:15: Sébastien Guenneau (Imperial): "Invisibility cloaks across the scales"
  • 16:30: Martins Bruveris (Onfido):  "How to train a face recognition system"

There will be time for informal discussion between the talks and a reception (from 5:30pm). We very much hope to welcome audiences from other Departments and Centres. Please see the talk abstracts and the short speaker's bios below, and join us for the event.


Wednesday 25 May

Global Conflict

Global Conflict: Insights from Brunel Experts 

Global Conflict: Insights from Brunel Experts

Chaired by Professor Alexandra Xanthaki, United Nations Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights and Cultural Diversity.

There is no doubt that our societies are facing high levels of inequalities, instabilities and human suffering. The impacts, including the social and cultural consequences for those displaced by conflict, are not equally experienced across societies and individuals.

Despite an age of rapid and real-time information dissemination, discussion of the complex dynamics of conflict and crisis situations is becoming more stifled, suppressed, and even prohibited.

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Monday 30 May

Institute of Communities and Society

21st Century Bodies – Brunel Research Interdisciplinary Labs (BRIL)

A showcase of projects from Brunel's new initiative supporting challenge-led research called Brunel Research Interdisciplinary Labs (BRIL), bringing together researchers from across the university to develop high-quality, interdisciplinary proposals for research funding.


  • Teaching AI to Read and Block Racism Online – Prof William Watkin, Dr Adrienne Milner
  • Living Avatars in a Digital World –  Dr Annie Chan, Dr Marcus Vinicius De Matos, Dr Andra Ivănescu
  • Extinction: Implications from Microbial to Planetary (ExIMP) –  Dr Ronan McCarthy
  • An interdisciplinary project exploring the portrayal and definition/s of body image among adolescents with non-visible disabilities on Instagram –  Dr Emily Hunt
  • True value of a unit of energy in the developing world –  Dr Harjit Singh

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Expert Roundtable Discussion with UN Special Rapporteur in Cultural Rights 

Professor Alexandra Xanthaki convenes a panel of experts in her role as UN Special Rapporteur to discuss Sustainable Development and Cultural Rights, in this special online roundtable open to public viewing.

Hosted by the Institute of Communities and Society


Tuesday 31 May

Brunel Engagement Day

Brunel Engagement Day

Brunel’s Engagement Team welcomes you to this free event to learn more about how we connect and develop collaborative relationships with business and community groups within Hillingdon, West London and beyond.

Representatives from across the University will be introducing their work on the latest Public, Business and Civic/Community Engagement initiatives. There will be plenty of networking opportunities and the chance to discuss your views on how Brunel can best engage with local community groups and businesses. A number of our partner organisations will also be running networking stalls to showcase their activities.

Digital Inclusion: Creative Engagements with Brunel

A showcase of creative, digital, and socially responsive engagements with Brunel research

 14.30 How can a charity or social enterprise engage Brunel University? DASH’s Story

 COVID-19 has changed how charities have been using digital and how services have been adapted in response to the pandemic. Many charities now see digital as a priority and are planning to invest more in digital infrastructure and systems, in data skills and infrastructure, and develop a strategy around using digital to reach new audiences. Charitable organisations now see digital fundraising as a priority.

 Join us to learn about the journey DASH has taken with Brunel University London to develop their online presence in support of disabled people. Explore how DASH were empowered to produce accessible videos, in several formats, to enable disabled people to have increased knowledge and understanding of the claims process for the benefits Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Universal Credit (UC). Take part in a conversation about how charitable organisations and social enterprises can invest in, and capitalise on, digital services that can be sustainable (scalable) and designed to be inclusive.

 15:30 Digital Poverty and Digital Resilience in Margate: preliminary findings of a British Academy project

 This presentation outlines the preliminary findings of an interdisciplinary research project about two Margate communities: Roma, and 'Creative Diaspora'. The team are investigating how they are each negotiating digital poverty, and we explain some surprising results.

 Professor Ashley Braganza (Director of the Centre for Artificial Intelligence); Dr Meredith Jones (Director of the Institute of Communities and Society); Dr Rachel Stuart (Lecturer in Criminology and Deviance) and Dr Vassilis Charitsis (Lecturer in Marketing)

 16:00 How can artists and creative businesses engage Brunel University? Nine Lyrae Productions

 Nine Lyrae Productions, in collaboration with Brunel Design School and STEM Centre at Brunel University London, are pleased to present the launch of SYN, the Synaesthesia Room. Experience how SYN brings together artistic, technological and psychological research to investigate the condition of synaesthesia, the mixing of the senses, through an immersive multisensory experience.

 “Vision triggers sound, sound is made into light, light is linked to touch and smell, in an experience that explores different types of synaesthesia, sensory awareness and synaesthesia memory.”

 SYN represents a unique opportunity within London's artistic scene to showcase a concept that is not only unique but presents an unmatched variety of possible applications, from education to artistic installation, from neuroscience research to neurodiversity awareness, delivered by Brunel’s Immersive Dome.