Graduate Students

Ziming Yang

ZimingAs part of a team researching in the area of microbial community based bioreactors, I am interested in applying chemical reaction engineering approaches to the design and optimisation of this type of bioreactor systems. Currently I am working on developing mathematical models for the analysis of structures, behaviour and functions of  microbial communities, with potential applications in wastewater treatment and energy/resource recovery.

Prior to the start of my research in Oxford, I studied Chemical Engineering in Beijing University of Chemical Technology and University of Birmingham and received a Bachelor’s degree.

Till Weidner

Till-newMy area of interest is the food-energy-water nexus approach, which looks at the interactions between and the integration of the three big sectors that sustain human life. I am excited about improving the way these sectors harmonize with ecosystem services, how socioeconomic considerations can create more fairness and how the nexus research can lead to impact on different scales. I am employing scenario analysis, optimization, dynamic modelling and some network analysis while drawing extensive input data from a wide array of sources. During my time at Oxford, I intend to collaborate with international organizations (e.g. UN, WWF, FAO) and stake- and smallholders to capture relevant and pressing research questions.

Previously, I have worked globally for McKinsey & Company in production management and resource productivity and interned/worked in several other global corporations. I hold a M.Eng in Chemical Engineering from the University of Manchester with an exchange year at the Universidad de Oviedo.

Hong Zeng

Hong ZengSupervised by Professor Aidong Yang, I am working towards designing synthetic microbial systems. I have drawn specific interest in pharmaceutical/medical applications of such systems. I am now developing an understanding of the metabolic pathways at intra- and inter- cellular levels, with an aim to transfer the understanding into reliable mathematical models that can support design.

 I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from a joint programme of Beijing University of Chemical Technology and University of Birmingham.


Bo Han Zhang

Bo Zhang smallCo-supervised by Professor Aidong Yang and Professor Cathy Ye, I’m working towards designing a multi-scale bioreactor model that describes the intra-cellular network, cellular niche, and extra-cellular environment to facilitate the expansion and controlled differentiation of Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC). The model would link the effect of transport phenomena, kinetics with the intra-cellular processes. The methodologies of systems engineering are applied to analyze the findings from bioprocessing and tissue engineering to better understand the response of MSC to mechanical, chemical and biological stimulus. The finding is expected to contribute to the design of an enhanced bioreactor control scheme in achieving desirable MSC expansion and differentiation.

Before joining my current programme, I studied chemical engineering in University of Toronto and Cornell University and received a BSc degree and an MEng degree, respectively.

Sihao Di

Sihao DiSupervised by Professor Aidong Yang, my project is about modelling and design of microbial communities. I am currently investigating several specific cases, including microalgal-bacterial systems and anaerobic digestion processes. The plan is to build mathematical models of these systems to gain an understanding of how their microbial and engineering design would affect their functions in energy and/or environmental applications.

I hold a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from a joint programme of Beijing University of Chemical Technology and Queen’s University Belfast.

Evie Gui

Co-supervised by Prof Zhanfeng Cui and Professor Aidong Yang, I am working on a project to explore the application of supply chain management and production process scheduling optimization methods in tissue engineering. My current work focuses on the optimal design and scheduling of a batch process for producing decellularised skin. An optimisation model is being developed and tested, which will eventually be applied to an industrial case. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in financial management from Durham University.


Weiqi Wang

My current project is to analise the differentiation and proliferation of mammaliam mesenchymal stem cell using data mining techniques, specifically the CARM (Classification Association Rule Mining) and ARM (Association Rule Mining) algorithms. The aim of this project is to explore the hidden patterns or rules involved in the cellular differentiation/proliferation. Details of this project is available from a custom built public accessible online mesenchymal stem cell medical database which can be accessed via this link.

Prior to the start of my work here at Oxford, I read Physical Sciences at the “University of Science and Technology, Beijing” where I obtained a Bachelor’s degree.

Araz Taeihagh

araz.jpgMy current research interest is on novel applications of conceptual design, engineering design principles, and artificial intelligence techniques. Currently I am focusing on policy design and developing a new framework and decision support system for the design of transport policies to achieve environmental targets. I am adapting / adopting process synthesis and design methods, combined with AI techniques such as agent-based modeling to design policies, in order to support the decisions regarding which measures to use in a policy, and how to combine and schedule them trying to generate and compare alternative transport policies. I expect the approach to accelerate policy design and improve policy effectiveness.

My general research interests include:

  1. Conceptual Design and Computer-aided Design (Simulation and CFD)
  2. Decision Support Systems and Artificial Intelligence
  3. Process Systems Engineering
  4. Policy Design with focus on Sustainability and Environmental Issues

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology, a Master’s degree in Environmental Sustainable Process Technology from Chalmers University of Technology, and I have also participated in the Master’s program in Engineering Mathematics at Chalmers University of Technology for one year.

Berkan Sesen

berkan.jpgI completed my Chemical Engineering degree at Istanbul Tech. Univ. in 2007 and subsequently moved to Oxford to pursue an MSc. in Biomedical Engineering in 2008. During my time at Oxford, I worked on the utilization of ontologies in order to expedite the regulatory compliance of pharmaceuticals. The work, which was presented at PSE 2009 conference, was carried out in collaboration with the Chemical Engineering Department, Purdue University.

Subsequently, I worked as a mathematical consultant at TU/e in the Netherlands for a year before returning to Oxford in the Michaelmas term of 2009 to read a DPhil in Engineering Science.

Julian Hunt

julian.jpgI am interested in Decision Support Systems and their application to renewable energy policies, project selection and implementation. Currently, I am developing an extension module for the Compendium software tool with the objective of joining the IBIS (Issue Based Information Systems) methodology with Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis methods, specifically ELECTRE-III (“Elimination Et Choix Traduisant la Realite”). Further research is also on-going in the application of my extension module to real world problems.

The goal of my research is to develop a system which will allow decision makers and stakeholders to achieve environmental targets, stimulate the renewable energy infrastructure and increase energy security through decision selection.

Aidid Chee Tahir

aidid.jpgMy area of interest is in Decision Science, in particular the use of Decision Support Systems for Energy Policy Formulation and Development.

My current area of research is in artificial intelligence and energy policy. In particular, I have developed an Ontology based Semantic Representation Optimisation Model for Electricity Generation. This prototype energy model optimises electricity generation mixes based on the aspects of engineering with consideration for the energy policy goals related to sociology, politics, economics, and the environment. My research work here is funded by and in collaboration with Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS), the national oil company of Malaysia.

Qualifications wise, I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Brown University and a Master’s degree in Engineering Business Management from the University of Warwick (joint program with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia). I also hold a Professional Engineer's license (Mechanical) with the Board of Engineers, Malaysia and 1st Grade Engineer licenses for Steam Generation (Boilers) and Internal Combustion Engine (Gas Turbines) with the Department of Occupational Safety and Health, Malaysia. 

Miroslawa Alunowska-Figueroa

miroslawa.jpgThe aim of my research project is to develop a complementary tool to assist water managers in the identification of an adequate integrated semi-centralised urban wastewater treatment system. The research project intends to evaluate the effectiveness of the semi-centralised concept to promote sustainable water management and compare it with more traditional centralised schemes.

As a result, I am currently implementing a multi-criteria decision support system that integrates some of the functionalities of a Geographical Information System (GIS). The resulting prototype could be described as a Spatial Decision Support System (SDSS) applicable in the selection and implementation of urban water supply and sanitation systems.

I have a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering and a M.Sc. in Engineering from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).