UK ICT Pioneer winners 2015

UK ICT Pioneers is a unique partnership between EPSRC and key stakeholders, which recognises the most exceptional UK doctoral students in ICT-related topics, who can demonstrate the commercial potential and impact of their research to business.

The fourth UK ICT Pioneers competition was open to all UK students in the final two years of their doctoral training, culminating in a showcase and award ceremony in London in October 2015. Industry judges and sponsors of the competition were from EPSRC, Dstl, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Facebook, BCS (The Chartered Institute for IT), Samsung and BT.

Martin Sadler, Vice President and Director of HP Labs, EMEA said: “We are truly amazed at the quality and excellence of all the finalists. Industry and universities absolutely need you and your talents.”


Left to right: Jonathan Roberts (winner of ICT Pioneers: ‘Elevator Pitch’ and overall winner); Andra Adams (winner of ICT Pioneers: ‘Transforming Society’); Philip Nelson (CEO, EPSRC); Callum Littlejohns (winner of ICT Pioneers: ‘Information Overload’); Leo Laughlin (winner of ICT Pioneers: ‘Technology Everywhere’).

15 PhD finalists showcased their work at the event in these four areas:


The impact of novel and emerging ICT on society cannot be overstated. In the past 50 years it has revolutionised almost every aspect of modern life such as healthcare, transport, education, social interaction, entertainment, commerce and leisure. There are many challenges facing society and it’s clear that ICT research can and should make a major contribution.

Category Winner

Andra Adams, University of Cambridge


Rain Ashford, Goldsmiths, University of London

Muhammad Salman Haleem, Manchester Metropolitan University

ICT underpins almost every industry and sector in today’s society. The amazing influence digital computing has had on our lives has come about in less than a century. To ensure the next century is as exciting as the last we need pioneering research that develops ICT.

Category winner, elevator pitch winner and overall winner

Jonathan Roberts, EPSRC NOWNano Doctoral Training Centre, a multidisciplinary collaboration between Lancaster University and the University of Manchester


Andrea Mambrini, University of Birmingham

Pantazis Deligiannis, Imperial College London

A.V.Harish, Optoelectronics Centre Research Centre, University of Southampton

Today’s Society has seen an explosion in the growth and availability of data, both structured and unstructured. Capturing value from all this data – for economic growth and social benefits requires a transformation in our approach. If current trends continue the number of information gathering technologies will increase dramatically every year. How do we both manage and gain maximum value from the flood of data generated from sensors, computers, cameras, phones and other devices in a world where we no longer have the capacity to store it?

Category Winner

Callum Littlejohns, University of Southampton


Swetha S. Bobba, City University London

Puneet Chhabra, Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh

Thomas Gransden, University of Leicester

ICT is integral to modern society. Technologies range from the aspirational such as laptops or smart phones to those which operate in the background such as wireless protocols, communication networks or embedded systems. In future vast numbers of connected devices will interact with technology and the rest of society. There are huge technological, social and ethical challenges to be overcome to realise this vision of the future.


Leo Laughlin, University of Bristol


Hisham Elshaer, King's College London / Vodafone Group Services Limited

Mahdi Jelodari Mamaghani, The University of Manchester

Davide Salanitri, The University of Nottingham