Research Staff Development

Fellowship Inaugural Lectures

Holding image for Fellowship Inaugural Lectures. Photo of Tracey Bhamra at Research Conference 2015.

This prestigious lecture series, organised for Research Staff in association with the Loughborough University Research Staff Association, showcases Loughborough University’s Research Fellows, who will present their cutting-edge research and outline their career to-date. The lectures will offer some insight into the careers of some of Loughborough’s leading Early Career Researchers, and will be followed by the opportunity to network with colleagues from across the University.  To read more about each event and to book your place, please expand the relevant tabs below.

Dr Antonis Vradis - Wednesday 22 November 2017, 12.30-13.30

Dr Antonis Vradis

School of Social, Political and Geographical Sciences

The New Spatial Contract: the way we move (and live) in cities today

We perfectly understand the meaning of being "on time". So much of our daily lives revolves around this : scheduling meetings, meeting deadlines, running errands and doing chores at set intervals―in short, managing when we do what. But what about where we do what? Here, I believe, there is a gap in our understanding. Even though we are equally―if not more―aware of the invisible barriers that separate the spaces through which we move, we lack the words to describe these. Take the example of the campus: a lecture theatre is the space to deliver lectures, a kitchenette is where you will prepare a cup of tea or some food, an office is where an academic will work, meet colleagues, etc. Mix up any of these spaces and their use, and things can get pretty strange, pretty fast.

I call this invisible human agreement a "spatial contract". I believe it works in ways that are very similar to the social contract, this implicit agreement we have with the authorities that govern us in terms of how we are meant to act and what we can expect in exchange. And similarly with our conceptualisation of time, the barriers are socially constructed but nevertheless extremely robust. To understand what breaking them could possibly entail, I have been studying contemporary cases where the spatial contract is tested to its limits. From the Brazilian favelas, to migrant camps, to the Greek riots, my aim is to understand the state of the spatial contract today: how and why people challenge the current spatial status quo, and what it might look like in the future.


Antonis grew up in Patras, Greece’s port city and gateway to the West: he has been fascinated by people moving in and through cities ever since. Antonis studied Sociology at University of Leeds, the academic home of Zygmunt Bauman, before moving to London School of Economics to study for two Masters, followed by his PhD, completed under the supervision of Diane Perrons in 2013. Antonis was a Junior Research Fellow at Durham University (2014-2016) before moving to Loughborough as a Vice Chancellor's Research Fellow in September 2016.

Time and Place

This lecture takes place Wednesday 22 November 2017, 12.30-13.30, Brockington U005.

Please make sure you book your seat.

Planning for the Future

This lecture will be followed by the workshop "Planning for the Future: Fellowships, collaboration & transdisciplinary research", which aims to provide information about fellowships and encourage cross campus collaboration leading to transdisciplinary research. The workshop is being organised in conjunction with the Disaster Risk Management theme of the Secure and Resilient Societies Global Challenge within the CALIBRE framework.  Visit the Eventbrite page to find out more and to sign up to this exciting event!

Dr Ignacio Martin-Fabiani - Wednesday 6 December 2017, 12.30-13.30

Dr Ignacio Martin-Fabiani

School of Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering

Design and Fabrication of Functional Coatings: Where Physics, Chemistry and Biology meet Engineering

The development of novel functional surfaces, such as antibacterial or scratch resistant coatings, demands a multidisciplinary approach that has to encompass research excellence in different areas. It starts with Chemistry, required to synthesize the building blocks of many paints and coatings: tiny polymer particles dispersed in water, also known as latex. Physics plays a crucial role in understanding and controlling the film formation process of this dispersion. The physical processes that take place during drying will determine the final coating structure and, as a consequence, its properties. Surface Engineering is needed as well to guide the knowledge transfer and optimize the manufacturing process. If an antibacterial functionality is desired, the understanding of the Biology of bacterial strains is key to design surfaces that will prevent the adhesion of bacteria. 

In this talk, I will present different methods to structure coatings and how these arrangements affect their final properties. First, a stratification mechanism in which the coating is self-organized in two distinct layers will be discussed. As a result, the coating can be designed so that its surface properties (e.g. tack, wetting, gloss) differ from the bulk properties.  Then, I will show how by accelerating the drying process it is possible to create arrays of structures on the surface of the coating that might lead to self-cleaning and antibacterial properties.

The talk will end with the view of an early career researcher as myself on how to be able to (or be allowed to!) carry out independent and high quality research. 


Ignacio (Nacho) was born and raised in Madrid (Spain), where after much hesitation he chose to study Physics instead of his other passion, History. He obtained a Materials Physics BSc (Complutense University of Madrid) and an MSc on Polymer Science (Menendez Pelayo International University), before completing a PhD on polymer nanostructures at the end of 2013 (Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)). After that he headed for the UK to join the University of Surrey where he spent two and a half years developing environmentally friendly paints and coatings for a cleaner future. Nacho took up a Vice-Chancellor’s fellowship at Loughborough University in 2016, and is now working on antibacterial surfaces to stop the spread of antimicrobial resistance.

Time and Place

This lecture takes place Wednesday 6 December 2017, 12.30-13.30, in Schofield 1.01.

Please make sure you book your seat.

Dr Mark Greenaway - Friday 12 January 2018, 12.30-13.30

Dr Mark Greenaway

School of Science

Beyond graphene: 2D crystal stacks

Further details will be available shortly.

Time and Place

This lecture takes place Friday 12 January 2018, 12.30-13.30; venue to be confirmed.

Dr Oonagh Markey - Wednesday 21 February 2018, 12.30-13.30

Dr Oonagh Markey

School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Nutrition and Ageing across the Lifecourse: Current Research and Future Plans

Further details will be available shortly.

Time and Place

This lecture takes place Wednesday 21 February 2018, 12.30-13.30; venue to be confirmed.

Dr Ahren Warner - Tuesday 27 March 2018, 12.30-13.30

Dr Ahren Warner

School of the Arts, English and Drama

Certain Very Bold Instructions: Poetry, New Media and the Lyric Idea

Further details will be available shortly.

Time and Place

This lecture takes place Tuesday 27 March 2018, 12.30-13.30; venue to be confirmed.