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Claude Leon Merit Award



Amir Patel

Dr Amir Patel, Department of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment

The research focus of Dr Amir Patel (Department of Electrical Engineering) is on understanding how animals and robots move. He is currently working on building a four-legged robot based on his PhD research investigating the mechanisms of cheetah maneuvrability.


Sudesh Sivarasu

Dr Sudesh Sivarasu, Department of Human Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences

The expertise of Dr Sudesh Sivarasu (Department of Human Biology) includes design of medical devices and orthopaedic biomechanical devices with a special focus on health technologies for low resourced settings. He also conceptualised the Frugal Biodesign Process and adopted it for medical devices innovation in India and South Africa.


David Ikumi

Dr David Ikumi, Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment

The research focus of Dr David Ikumi (Department of Civil Engineering) is on the mathematical modelling of wastewater treatment systems. His work, carried through from postgraduate research, seeks to contribute solutions to averting the current water crisis in the water scarce countries of Africa.


Fleur Howelss

Dr Fleur Howells, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, Faculty of Health Sciences

Dr Fleur Howells (Department of Psychiatry) is a neuroscientist who conducts studies in translational  animal models of psychiatric disorders and uses multi-modal brain imaging techniques to better understand human psychiatric disorders.  Her research focuses particularly on psychosis, including schizophrenia and methamphetamine-induced psychosis.


Johann Diener

Dr Johann Diener, Department of Geological Sciences, Faculty of Science

The research of Dr Johann Diener (Department of Geological Sciences) focuses on metamorphic rocks, which form at high pressures and temperatures deep in the Earth's crust.  He is particularly interested in what happens once these rocks become hot enough to melt, because those processes play an important role in determining the composition and strength of the continents. 


Malvin Varughese

Dr Melvin Varughese, Department of Statistical Sciences, Faculty of Science

Dr Melvin Varughese (Department of Statistical Sciences) is a statistician whose work focuses on diffusion processes, a statistical model useful for capturing the dynamics of phenomena that change randomly over time. Melvin has also used machine learning techniques to analyse astronomical datasets - in particular, developing automated procedures to classify transient astronomical objects.