Cardiff secures three Turing fellowships

Three Cardiff researchers have been appointed as Turing fellows by The Alan Turing Institute, the UK’s national institute for artificial intelligence (AI) and data science.

Professor Monjur Mourshed, Professor Steven Schockaert and Dr Jenny Kidd are part of a new cohort of 51 Turing Fellows joining from universities and research centres across the UK.

The trio are Cardiff University’s first Turing fellows after joining the Turing University Network in 2023.

The Turing Fellowship scheme aims to grow the data science and AI ecosystem in the UK by supporting, retaining, and developing the careers of the next generation of leading researchers, whilst contributing to the Turing’s overarching strategic goals.

Research interests of the new fellows span everything from evolutionary studies, human genetics, energy justice and the future of cities to biodiversity loss.

Professor Mourshed is an expert in Sustainable Engineering at Cardiff University’s School of Engineering.

His research focuses on integrating data science and AI to optimise resource efficiency and decarbonisation in smart buildings and cities. His expertise lies in developing and implementing AI-powered tools for forecasting energy and environmental parameters, contributing to national net-zero strategies, and pioneering methods for constructing representative digital building twins.

Professor Schockaert is based at Cardiff University’s School of Computer Science and Informatics where his research in the area of AI focuses on natural language processing, commonsense reasoning, representation learning and neurosymbolic AI.

A Reader at Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media and Culture, Dr Kidd conducts research in the interdisciplinary fields of Digital Heritage and Digital Media. This includes exploring uses of AI in cultural and heritage contexts. Her current research focuses on developments in synthetic media, and associated questions about trust, labour, and for individual, collective and cultural memory.

Professor Jonathan Gillard, Deputy Head of the School of Mathematics and Cardiff’s Turing University Network Lead, said: "Huge congratulations to Monjur, Steven and Jenny on their success in securing fellowships as part of Turing’s flagship scheme. I hope they will be the first of many Cardiff fellows.

"The fellowships are recognition of their expertise in AI, data science and digital society. And not only that, endorsement of their work across disciplinary boundaries, which is fundamental to creating impact from our research in society, the economy and our environment."

The new Turing Fellowship model is aimed at established researchers whose research interests align with the Turing’s Science and Innovation priorities outlined in the Institute Strategy.

As well as taking part in the Turing’s interdisciplinary, and collaborative research community, the new fellows will also support work in the areas of skills and public engagement.

Professor Mark Girolami, Chief Scientist at The Alan Turing Institute, said: "I’m delighted to welcome a new cohort of Turing Fellows, brought to us from across our University Network in recognition of their status as the next generation of world leading researchers in the data sciences, AI and related fields.

"I’m very much looking forward to seeing the immense value they will add to our diverse and vibrant science and innovation community, including playing a critical role in the delivery of the Turing’s strategy as we strive to change the world for the better through data science and AI."

The Turing Fellows were appointed through an open call which is anticipated to run on an annual basis.