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Postgraduate Study - PhD and Research Degrees

Research at the University of Exeter

Becoming a part of Exeter’s postgraduate research (PGR) community means you will have access to leading research facilities and industry connections. You’ll play a pivotal role in the University’s Science Strategy and have an instrumental part in research projects that have a significant impact on both your chosen field of study and wider society. 

About Research at Exeter

Further information about our world leading research including the outcomes of the REF 2021 - Research Excellence Framework, Research News, and Events can be found on our research web pages.

For details on the research undertaken in our departments and the research undertaken by our current PhD students, please see the sections below.  

Here are some profiles of current PhD students, showcasing the diversity of people and projects of the EPSRC DTP.

Stefano Scali

I am Stefano Scali, a Ph.D. student under the umbrella of the EPSRC DTP. Born and raised among the hills of Tuscany in Italy, I have always been attracted to unpaved paths. In fact, before starting my academic journey, I worked for 5 years in IT, CNC machining, and carpentry. Only later, I decided to dive into higher education, graduating with a Bachelor's in Physics from the University of Siena (Italy) and a Master's in Physics from the University of Cambridge (UK). With the desire to transition into research, I joined the quantum non-equilibrium group of Janet Anders in Exeter. Here, I have learned new topics, collaborated with several people, participated in conferences, and worked on my research ideas while always being guided. During this time, I have worked on various topics covering dynamical singularities in open quantum systems, spin dynamics beyond the LLG equation, and a graph theoretical approach to wave scattering problems. Looking back, I can say that none of my previous experiences has been left unused. Joining Exeter, I joined a world-leading University with an inclusive and friendly environment that allowed me to do the highest level of research. All this while surrounded by one of the most gorgeous regions in the UK.

Barbara Halmai

Hi there, I'm Barbara. After doing my final exams in a Hungarian high school, I decided to leave my country behind and follow my aspirations of becoming a sport scientist. I chose the Sports and Exercise Sciences degree at Coventry University because of its practical approach and emphasis on working with athletes. Funnily enough, I ended up being more interested in doing research and spent endless hours in front of a computer... After submitting my dissertation, I got an invitation from the University of Exeter to start a Master's by Research degree in concussion, which turned into a PhD halfway through. My current project uses VR to detect brain dysfunction following vibration experienced through downhill mountain biking. I’m not a downhill rider but crazy enough to try it out for the sake of science.

Jakob Wessel

I’m Jakob and I’m currently studying for a PhD in Statistics in Exeter. I am working on the development of statistical methods to post-process ensemble weather forecasts to better predict certain types of extreme events: so-called compound extremes. I am supervised by Dr Frank Kwasniok and Dr Chris Ferro and am working in cooperation with Dr Gavin Evans and Dr Jamie Kettleborough from the Met Office.

Prior to joining the University, I was a research analyst in the PACTA team of the 2° Investing Initiative (now at RMI) working on the developments of metrics to measure the climate alignment of investment portfolios. I studied an MSc in Data Science (Statistics) at University College London (UCL) where I wrote my dissertation on multisite daily precipitation modelling under supervision of Richard Chandler and discovered my passion for the topic of climate statistics. I am originally from Germany which is also where I studied for my undergrad and gained a BSc in Mathematics from Technical University Berlin and a BA in Philosophy and Political Sciences from Free University Berlin.

What attracted me to do my PhD in Exeter is the excellent research environment that it offers for my topic and more broadly the field of climate statistics, the close ties to the Met Office and most importantly the topic and collaboration with my current supervisors. In addition to that I love going hiking and climbing and the Devon and Cornish coast (from which Exeter is not far) are beautiful places to do so.

Kate Nechyporenko 

Hi, I am Kate and I am from Ukraine. I did my BSc in Mathematics at the University of Glasgow and then MSc in Mathematical Modelling at the University of Exeter. When I was choosing a place to start my research career the EPSRC DTP at Exeter instantly caught my eye. Firstly, the program encourages an interdisciplinary approach. This way I can apply theoretical knowledge in mathematics to real-life problems in biology and medicine. Secondly, for the application, I needed to submit a research proposal. This step enabled me to explore the research topic of my interest in depth and be one hundred per cent that I would enjoy working on it. Writing the proposal, myself also allowed me to tailor the project to my vision, which was very important to me. My project focuses on investigating the interplay between reproduction and stress using techniques in mathematical modelling. The topic is highly understudied due to biological complexity, so I am very excited to contribute to it using an unconventional approach.

Raghavarshith Bandreddi 

I am presently pursuing my PhD at the Centre for Water Systems, University of Exeter, under an EPSRC DTP studentship. I am originally from Bhavadevarapalli, a village in Andhra Pradesh, India. I received my master's degree in water resources engineering from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. I spent three and a half years working in the water sector (industry) prior to starting my PhD, focusing on various aspects of water distribution system like flow sensors and ICT solutions for efficient operation and management of urban water systems. My desire to become a professor has encouraged me to return to academia to obtain my PhD. The University of Exeter has been at the forefront of water distribution system research for several decades, which piqued my interest and attracted me to the Centre for Water Systems. Currently, I'm working on urban water systems, concentrating on the challenges associated with modelling and achieving optimal performance of intermittent water systems, which are prevalent all over the world. I am very excited to conduct problem-oriented research and contribute significantly to the field by developing novel solutions. I want to express my sincere thanks to EPSRC DTP for their invaluable support.

Hannah Sheridan

My name is Hannah Sheridan and I’m doing an EPSRC DTP with Prof. Nick Stone here at Exeter developing fibre optic Raman spectroscopy probes for the in vivo diagnosis of cancer. Originally I’m from Newport, South Wales and I decided to study Natural Sciences here at Exeter for my undergraduate degree before beginning my PhD. I felt that the flexibility to study different areas of science was a real bonus of my course as I was interested in an interdisciplinary approach to science. As a part of a seminar series within my undergraduate studies I was able to listen to talk by Nick and I immediately felt it was absolutely incredible how he was utilising a Physics based technique to tackle such an important biological problem. So I sent him an email about his work and asked how I could be involved. Our team here at Exeter has been so kind and supportive and I really couldn’t have asked for a better boss than Nick; no one in my family has ever been to University before and he’s really guided me through both my masters and PhD research.  

Oliver Fox

I am a second year PhD student studying solid state physics. I did an integrated masters in mathematics at Durham University, specialising in mathematical physics, before switching to a new area in a new department in Exeter. Though switching discipline initially required more work, it has allowed me to view my research through a less traditional lens. Additionally, the freedom to direct my research has allowed me to combine both areas as I wish. In my first year I managed to write a paper and am in the works to get it published.

I chose Exeter for two main reasons. Firstly, as stated the project allowed me to research a new area which combined core aspects of two of my favourite mathematical topics, quantum mechanics and topology. And secondly, living in Exeter appealed to me, as it was a city larger than what I have been used to, while still being walkable. As an avid rock climber I appreciate being close to Dartmoor, while also being a cycle-able distance from beaches in Exmouth.

The Global Systems Institute (GSI)

The Global Systems Institute (GSI) is applying Earth system science to generating networked solutions. By bringing together a truly transdisciplinary group of researchers, educators and impact generators, who span relevant parts of the sciences, mathematics, engineering, social sciences, arts and humanities, GSI seeks to understand, monitor and model complex environmental systems and scope-out sustainable futures. In partnership with the Met Office Hadley Centre, GSI is leading a team of experts in performing the central analysis for this nationally-important programme under the UK’s Climate Change Act.

The Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI)

The Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) is an interdisciplinary centre leading cutting-edge research into solutions to problems of environmental change and enhancing peoples' lives by improving their relationships with the environment. The ESI’s four key research themes include Energy, materials and Resources, Biodiversity and ecosystem services, Environmental Stewardship and Citizenship, and Ecosystem Health. The ESI houses researchers with backgrounds in fields as various as Geography, Mathematics, Mining, Renewable Energy, Ecology, Microbiology, Politics, Business and Health.

The Living Systems Institute (LSI)

The Living Systems Institute (LSI) pioneers transformative science to engineer control of complex biological systems. LSI merges research in biology and medicine with ground breaking physical sciences technologies and powerful mathematical modelling capabilities, to address key challenges in fields including, though not limited to, molecular bioscience, anti-microbial resistance, neuroscience and developmental & stem cell biology. LSI is now home to 27 research teams, comprising biologists, engineers, physicists and mathematicians. 

The Institute for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (IDSAI)

Institute for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (IDSAI) provides a hub for data-intensive science and artificial intelligence (AI) activity within the University and the wider region. IDSAI carries out basic research in advanced data analytics, from foundations and method development to wider-ranging applications with particular strengths in climate, environment, sustainability and health. As a truly interdisciplinary research institute. IDSAI is home to data scientists, mathematicians, and computer specialists across the Faculties, Research Institutes, and Departments at the University of Exeter, and works closely with industry and government, for instance with key partners such as the Alan Turing Institute.‌