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.

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Jennifer O'Brien

UO Teaching and Learning Lead

Jen O'Brien is an Inaugural Fellow of the University of Manchester’s Institute for Teaching and Learning. She conducts pedagogic and empirical research to inspire and equip students to ethically address real world challenges of sustainability, inequality and social justice. She leads the hugely successful 'Creating A Sustainable World' online course for the University College of Interdisciplinary Learning (UCIL), which offers a number of project opportunities associated with the Manchester Urban Observatory, and directs the University Living Lab. Her role involves engaging our 40,000 strong student body with the opportunities presented by the Urban Observatory including applied projects, data analysis and community engagement.


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.

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!

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Mushtahid Salam

PhD Researcher

Mushtahid is a qualified medical practitioner with a Masters of Public Health who is interested in how external urban environmental factors affect health. He is working with the Manchester Urban Observatory through an integrated PhD and MSc in Data Analytics and Society, sponsored by Buro Hapold, to study how data and sensors can inform future policies and practices that shape the health of urban populations


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.

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Jamie Anderson

Head of Urban Wellbeing

Jamie has 15 years professional experience, split between research and practice: creating and using strong urban wellbeing evidence.Together with UoM colleagues, he has developed new robust tools such as MOHAWk and NOURISH, and ‘action research’ using analogue and digital approaches, in particular - improving causal inference with natural experiments. He is also Head of Urban Wellbeing for Buro Happold where he leads a range of work improving the interface between urban design and wellbeing.

His work with the Manchester Urban Observatory involves testing and developing novel digital data collection and analysis techniques, such as wireless and portable cameras, sensors and wearables, with a focus on large scale urban regeneration schemes.

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Dinara Zhunissova

PhD Researcher

Dinara has joined us on the Bolashak scholarship programme in Kazakhstan. She will be researching the link between IoT driven systems/logistics in cities and environmental impacts, with an initial broad focus in Central Asia and the UK.


Jack Benton

Research Fellow

Jack has a background in health psychology and uses natural experimental methods to evaluate the health and wellbeing impacts of urban environmental interventions. For his PhD, Jack conducted two natural experimental studies of urban green space interventions in Greater Manchester, working closely with Manchester City Council and intervention providers (such as a local housing association and developers).


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.