James Evans

UO Principal Investigator

James Evans is a Professor in Geography whose research focuses on how cities learn to become smarter and more sustainable. He has over 40 peer-reviewed papers and two authored books in the field, and his work on Urban Living Labs has been foundational across the social sciences. He is leading the University's involvement in Triangulum, a £25m Horizon 2020 project to establish smart districts across Europe, and the Manchester Urban Observatory, a £1m EPSRC funded initiative as part of the UKCRIC portfolio. Professor Evans holds investigator duties on more than £35m of funded research, and has received funding from the EU, EPSRC, ESRC, NERC, and a range of philantrhopic foundations. He is committed to innovative and interdisciplinary action research styles, establishing and directing the University Living Lab and the Manchester Cycling Lab, and has worked with more than 100 external organisations. He has held fellowships at UCLA, the Volkwagen Institute and Lund University.


David Topping

UO Principal Investigator

David Topping is a Senior Lecturer working in the Centre for Atmospheric Science, at the University of Manchester, and Fellow of the Alan Turing Data Science Institute. On this website you can find further information regarding my scientific career to date and my current research portfolio. I love being a scientist. Solving complex scientific problems is very satisfying, as is seeing others use the tools I’ve developed, making me feel part of a worldwide research family. I have always had a passion for understanding how things work and I am fortunate enough for this core passion to run through my career. I find interaction with people around the world invigorating and it offers insights I would otherwise not have thought possible. You will also find a casual blog where I muse on various aspects of a career in research, including commentaries from various trips I have taken along the way.

Thomas Bannan

Thomas Bannan

Research Fellow

Thomas is a Research Fellow in the Centre for Atmospheric Science at the University of Manchester. His past and present research activities involve in situ atmospheric trace gas and aerosol composition measurements, in particular using various mass spectrometry instruments on ground and airborne platforms. Thomas’s role at the Urban Observatory is to develop and operate sensors for air quality research and enable opportunities for others to do the same.


Ian Crawford

Research Fellow

Ian is a Research Fellow working in the Centre for Atmospheric Science at the University of Manchester. His research background was historically in the field of cloud microphysics and cloud-aerosol interactions and within the last 7 years his portfolio has expanded to incorporate bioaerosol detection. His current research activities involve deploying Ultra-Violet Light Induced Fluorescence bioaerosol spectrometers on research aircraft and at ground based sites to build inventories of bioaerosol emissions. He has a keen interest in developing new analysis methods using emerging machine learning classification algorithms to enhance bioaerosol classification capability. Ian’s role at the observatory is to develop and operate bioaerosol spectrometers for air quality research and to provide support for other users seeking to make real-time bioaerosol measurements.

Ettore Murabito

Ettore Murabito

UO Chief Data Officer

Ettore has a Masters Degree in Physics with a PhD in Computational Systems Biology and he has always been involved at the forefront of exciting and multidisciplinary fields.
As a result he has developed a strong interest for Smart Cities, with all the angles that this notion entails. Ettore loves to contribute in enabling cities to become more connected, efficient and resilient through the use of data and smart technology. Further more, he enjoys seeing the positive impact that all this has in the world around him!

Matthew Harrison

Matthew Harrison

Manchester Urban Institute Manager

Matthew has been Institute Manager for the Manchester Urban Institute since 2016. The role covers a broad range of managerial and administrative responsibilities, including internal and external communications and marketing, strategy, planning and project management. The Manchester Urban Institute is home to all of the University of Manchester's urban research and links the University to academic and non-academic urban experts locally, nationally and internationally.


Lizzie O'Leary

Project Coordinator

Lizzie O'Leary is Project Coordinator for the Manchester Urban Observatory. Lizzie's background is in project support, providing strategic administrative support and advice to project managers and academic investigators both in Higher Education and in the private sector.


Ann Gledson

Research Software Engineer

Ann is a Research Software Engineer and has been conducting research since 2000 in the areas of data analytics, text mining, interface design and software engineering. She has been IT/technical adviser on the Manchester Urban Observatory project, and has also provided input into the design of the upcoming Manchester Data Hub. In the InnovateUK CityVerve project she has developed a Django application to combine disparate streams of IoT data and allows users to perform various analysis techniques. In previous projects she has combined application development, data analysis and visualisation. Ann’s main skills are in data science and in software engineering.


Joe Lake Rees

Research Assistant

Joe Lake Rees is a Research Assistant in SEED with a Master’s in Chemistry. He began work in the sustainability sector by engaging the staff at the University of Manchester with their energy consumption. A lead on the final Manchester report for the Triangulum project Joe has worked with a wide variety of data and partners to communicate the outcomes of the 5 year long EU project. Joe currently splits his time between data analysis for upland restoration, and the Urban Observatory. For the Urban Observatory he is developing an exhibition piece using the data from the Manchester-I to help members of the public understand the environmental risks they face in their local ward.