Swansea University engineering academic awarded prestigious Leverhulme Fellowships

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Dr ChenFeng Li, from the College of Engineering, Swansea University is one of seven talented engineering researchers who have received a prestigious RAEng/Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship from the Royal Academy of Engineering to help support their careers while they focus solely on the development of new technologies.

Dr Chenfeng Li

Dr ChenFeng Li’s Leverhulme Fellowship was awarded for his work on Real Time Computational Methods for Complex High-Fidelity Surgical Simulation (COMFISS).

Dr ChenFeng Li described his work: “ Surgical training is a key stage of a surgeon’s education, and is traditionally done through a "master-apprentice" relationship where the trainee learns a surgical procedure by repeating steps performed by the master.


“ However, this traditional method of teaching has severe shortcomings, including patient safety, costs and ethical issues, which call for a different approach that can circumvent these obstacles yet deliver the high standard of training required by the profession.

“ Surgical simulators, allowing trainees to perform virtual operation procedures on simulated organs, are often used in early stages of training but the quality of the experience is far from ideal. Even the latest models are often regarded by surgeons as oversimplified, providing cartoon-like visual feedback, and lacking "feeling".

“ My research project, COMFISS, aims at developing complex, high-fidelity surgical simulations using real-time computational methods, which not only support complicated procedures, but also provide force feedback and evaluate the trainee’s performance in real time. “

Thanks to a blend of Computational Mechanics and Computer Graphics, Dr Li will deliver the computational methods and algorithms required to make such simulations a reality.

Professor William Milne FREng, Chair of the Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowships selection panel said: “Academic career progression often comes with increased administrative and teaching commitments, at the expense of the time available for personal research projects.

“The Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowships are awarded to relieve mid-career academics of the additional workload to enable them to go back and personally focus on their research.

“Like all research supported by the Academy, the Fellowships are designed to foster world class engineering that is directly useful to industry and society.”

The complete list of this year’s Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellows and their research:

  • Dr ChenFeng Li – University of Swansea. Real Time Computational Methods for Complex High-Fidelity Surgical Simulation
  • Dr Piotr Dudek - University of Manchester. Analog Computation with Novel Nanodevices for Machine Learning
  • Professor Stephen Garrett– University of Leicester. Understanding transition in boundary-layer flows over rotating geometries
  • Dr Cyril Lynsdale – University of Sheffield. Recycling of carbon dioxide in mortar and concrete
  • Dr Rachel Oliver - University of Cambridge. Understanding and utilising nitride nanostructures
  • Dr Justin Phillips – City University London. A non-invasive continuous monitor of intracranial pressure
  • Dr Aleksandra Vučkovič- University of Glasgow.Home based patient-managed neurorehabilitation following spinal cord injury
  • The RAEng/LeverhulmeTrust Senior Research Fellowships are part of the Royal Academy of Engineering's initiatives and grants to support engineering research. The Fellowships are awarded to mid-career academics to free up their time from administrative and teaching responsibilities for up to a year and so allow them to concentrate on research. The award is designed to cover the cost of a replacement member of staff for the period of the Fellowship to cover the awardee's administrative and teaching responsibilities.
  • Royal Academy of Engineering. The UK’s national academy for engineering bringS together the most successful and talented engineers for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering. It provides analysis and policy support to promote the UK’s role as a great place to do business, takes a lead on engineering education and invests in the UK’s world-class research base to underpin innovation. It works to improve public awareness and understanding of engineering. For more information contact:Giorgio De Faveri, T: 020 7766 0655, E: giorgio.defaveri@raeng.org.org

For more information about the College of Engineering, Swansea University and the courses on offer go to http://www.swansea.ac.uk/engineering