IMI welcomes new team members

The Institute for Mathematical Innovation (IMI) is delighted to announce 3 new Deputy Directors and 5 new Theme Leads to the IMI team.

Deputy Directors

The Deputy Directors will be working alongside the Director of IMI, Professor Tristan Pryer, and the Director of Operations, Dr Caroline Ang, to continue building strong collaborations between IMI and University Departments with a focus on producing research with Impact.

Dr Thomas Burnett

Tom is a Lecturer in Statistics in the Department of Mathematical Sciences. His research interests include optimal adaptive designs for clinical trials, multiple testing problems and causal inference. In 2017, supervised by Professor Christopher Jennison, Tom completed his PhD in Bayesian Decision Making in Adaptive Clinical Trials in the Department of Mathematical Sciences.  Tom held postdoctoral research positions at the University of Bath, Lancaster University and the MRC Biostatistics Unit University of Cambridge, before returning to Bath in 2021 having been appointed as a Lecturer. Tom is also an active member of the PSI Scientific Committee where he promotes collaboration between academia and the pharmaceutical industry.

Dr Ben Walker

Ben’s research focuses on mathematical biology and microscale fluid dynamics, along with the intersection between these fields. He is broadly interested in mathematical methods and their applications to biological or biophysical problems, from the use of asymptotics in the study of microscale swimmers to the development of mathematically tractable models of solid tumour growth, and lots in between. Ben also works on tools for communicating maths and science, such  as

Dr Luca Zanetti

Luca’s research sits at the intersection of machine learning, discrete probability, and theoretical computer science.  He is particularly interested in designing algorithms for network analysis that are simple, fast in practice, and that can be rigorously analysed.

Theme Leads

The Theme Leads will oversee a particular area of research and increase engagement in that area, with both internal and external stakeholders.

Capacity Building: Prof Jane White

One important component in our collective endeavour towards a sustainable and healthy future is to build scientific capacity in the Global South, which can then be exploited to help solve global challenges such as infection control and climate change, locally. Mathematical and statistical modelling has already been identified as a valuable tool to support policy development and implementation across a number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa. To support this ambition, there is keen interest in developing the skills of applied mathematicians to become effective and confident mathematical modellers, adept across a range of mathematical, statistical and data science skills.

Clinical Trials: Dr Haiyan Zheng

Clinical trials are a type of medical research which aims to answer questions about whether a new treatment is safe and efficacious. Statistics has a critical role to play in the design, conduct and analysis of clinical trials.  Modern clinical trials have been made more efficient because (i) multiple research questions can be addressed in one study, and (ii) learning as we go is possible without compromising the integrity of the study. The advent of precision medicine has further revolutionised the paradigm, suggesting a patient-centric vision with therapeutic choices tailored to certain biomarkers (or the genetic, phenotypic or psychosocial characteristics of individual patients).

Environmental Extremes: Dr Lisa Kreusser and Dr Christian Rohrbeck

Environmental extremes and climate change stand as both formidable research challenges and intriguing phenomena that affect all of us. Hardly any day passes without news on climate change, droughts, flooding, heat waves, etc., and their devastating impacts. While considerable investments have been made to model these events and their impacts, as well as to develop adaptation, mitigation strategies and policies, there are still various research questions which need addressing to understand environmental extremes and climate risk. Answering these questions requires interdisciplinary approaches involving the use of cutting-edge mathematical and statistical methodology.

Quantum: Dr Pranav Singh

Quantum technologies represent a rapidly advancing field which hold a potential to transform a wide range of scientific and technological domains such as communication, sensing, imaging, spintronics, solar cells, material science, and drug design. One of the most promising of quantum technologies is quantum computing, which is widely expected to become the defining computational paradigm of the 21st century, powering advances in drug design, machine learning, computational modelling, logistics, among others. To unlock the full potential of quantum technologies, significant advancements in computational mathematics, algorithm design, and the foundational mathematics of quantum mechanics are required, making the Institute of Mathematical Innovation ideally positioned to spearhead this interdisciplinary initiative.

Radioprotection: Prof Tristan Pryer

Radioprotection stands at the crossroads of necessity and innovation, intertwining rigorous safety measures with groundbreaking scientific advancements across critical sectors. As the global demand for clean energy grows, the role of nuclear power is more pivotal than ever, necessitating cutting-edge approaches to ensure operational safety and environmental stewardship. In the realm of healthcare, revolutionary cancer treatments like proton beam therapy promise precise targeting of tumours while preserving surrounding healthy tissues, redefining therapeutic possibilities. Meanwhile, as the space industry surges forward, developing robust protection against cosmic radiation becomes crucial for the safety of astronauts and the integrity of space missions.

The Institute for Mathematical Innovation (IMI) was launched in 2015 with an outward facing vision in the field of data analytics and mathematical modelling. During the last five years IMI has become a recognised leader in applied mathematics, assisting industry, researchers and public sector organisations with solving complex real-world challenges.

If you would like to work with IMI or find out how IMI can help your research, please contact us.