Over £250k funding given green light for research
05 December 2022
Four research projects for the University of East London’s School of Architecture, Computing and Engineering (ACE) have received a combined £250,000 in funding.
An architectural expert from UEL has received a £187,000 from the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Council to evaluate and improve indoor air quality and thermal comfort in housing association and council homes.
As people are estimated to spend 90 per cent of their time inside, exposure to poor indoor air quality may impact their health. Additionally, external air temperatures in the UK are expected to rise with climate change, which may significantly increase, the risk of overheating, cooling loads, energy consumption and carbon emissions from buildings.
Dr Arman Hashemi, senior lecturer in architectural technology and member of the Sustainability Research Institute (SRI), has received a grant from UKRI’s Medical Research Council (MRC) to explore indoor air quality and thermal comfort in building designs and how both variables can affect health.
The purpose of this project is to develop technical-behavioural interventions that improves people’s health, indoor environmental conditions, reduce energy consumption and associated carbon emissions.
We anticipate the project will have a positive impact on housing design policies, as well as increase public awareness on the necessity for behaviour change to achieve Net Zero targets, whilst improving occupants’ health and wellbeing.
Arman has also received £50,000 from the British Council to work with Tongji University in China to identify strategies of using robotic construction in building houses and achieving Net-Zero Carbon targets.
Currently, the construction industry is responsible for nearly 40 per cent of global CO2 emissions. Researchers from both UEL and Tongji University will identify how Modern Methods of Construction using robotic manufacturing processes could be utilised to build customisable bespoke homes while reducing energy and construction material wastes.
Two academics have also received funding grants from Innovate UK’s Accelerated Knowledge Transfer to Innovate (AKT2I) pilot to help accelerate projects in industry.
The first project, led by Dr Ali Abbas, Associate Professor of Structural Engineering, will receive £35,000 worth of funding and collaborate with JP Concrete to explore how an innovative low-carbon concrete mix can bring environmental benefits compared to traditional concrete.
Concrete is the most consumed material after water but is responsible for eight per cent of global carbon emissions.
The researchers will investigate the application of a pioneering low-carbon bio-concrete mix that contains recycled materials as cement replacement. The mix also contains a novel bacteria additive that helps with the self-healing of concrete cracks and protecting the embedded steel reinforcement from corrosion. As a result, the service life of concrete structures commonly used in key infrastructure elements, is significantly increased.
The second project, led by Dr Julie Wall, reader in computer science and supported by UEL alumnus Satya Swaroop Kada, MSc Computer Science, has received £31,000 worth of funding and will collaborate with Intelligent Voice to study customer and company interactions through artificial intelligence.
The project will develop artificial intelligence models which analyse conversations between users and a company before dividing them through sentiment to learn more about opinions and tailor services/products to customer needs.
For more information see our research at the University of East London.
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