Research Grants / Thursday, 07 September, 2017

Dr Nick Malleson awarded ERC Starting Grant



The European Research Council (ERC) has announced the awarding of its Starting Grants to 406 top researchers throughout Europe.  LIDA’s Dr Nick Malleson was awarded €1.4 million for five years, to further his work on using big data to react to civil emergencies.

Using big data to react to civil emergencies

One of the means of responding to civil emergencies such as flooding, earthquakes, terrorist attacks, fire, train or air crashes, etc., is to simulate the behaviour of humans during disasters using mathematical models. However, current techniques are not designed to consider up-to-date information on urban movements, and are usually based on historical data from censuses and surveys.

Dr Malleson will address this shortcoming by integrating data assimilation methods, used in weather forecasting, and apply them to models of cities. He will develop a cutting-edge simulation of a city that will include real-time big data streamed from, for instance, social media, mobile phone use, and public transport records. This new technique could be used to develop more accurate forecasts of and responses to potential emergency situations, as well as more efficient urban management and planning.

What is an ERC Starting Grant?

ERC Starting Grants are awarded to researchers of any nationality with two to seven years experience since completion of the PhD and a scientific track record showing great promise.

These Starting Grants are intended to help the selected researchers to build their own teams, engaging postdocs and PhD students as ERC team members.

Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation said “Top talent needs good conditions at the right time to thrive.  The EU provides the best possible conditions at the early stages of a researcher’s career through the ERC Starting Grants.  That’s why this funding is so crucial for the future of Europe as science hub: it keeps and attracts young talent.  This time the ERC attracted researchers of 48 different nationalities based in 23 European countries. It’s an investment that will pay off, boosting the EU’s growth and innovation.”