Meet the team

Tim Coats; Professor of Emergency Medicine

Professor Timothy Coats About me: I am an emergency physician and spend half of my time working in the Emergency Department of the Leicester Royal infirmary and half of my time undertaking academic work for the University of Leicester. My main research interests are in major trauma bleeding (in particular the effects of a drug called tranexamic acid) and trauma outcome modelling (I Chair the national Trauma Audit and Research Network).

Aspects of communication in PPE that interest me:

Many years ago in the army I experienced the difficulties of communicating and working in protective NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical) warfare suits. At the start of the Covid19 pandemic I was reminded of this experience and worked to develop a number of mitigation measures for use in emergency care. 

So, I am particularly interested in PPE in clinical care situations and how it affects both the interactions between the patient and their clinical team and the interactions within the clinical team. From personal experience I am also interested in the fatigue and dehydration induced by trying to compensate (shouting) for the adverse impacts of wearing PPE.

From this project I would like to contribute to groups looking at technological mitigation of PPE impacts on patient – doctor/nurse communication, and how potential mitigation methods might be tested in practice.

Joshua Cohen; Postgraduate Research Associate

Dr Joshua CohenI completed my PhD in history at the University of Leicester in 2019. Since then, I have been working as a study support coach for trainee doctors referred to me by the Professional Support and Wellbeing Service of the NHS. Working alongside this, I recently acted as a research associate on an AHRC-funded project exploring postwar urban reconstruction at the University of Leicester. My role on the LIAS PPE Communications project includes co-ordinating activities, undertaking background work, creating and supporting literature summaries, and writing up.

Aspects of Communication in PPE that interests me:

I am most interested in the political and social histories of pandemics, and the intersections between these viewpoints. To what extent can past pandemics function as ‘usable pasts’, with the potential to inform us about both conformity and resistance to the regulations and etiquette of using PPE? What was the nature and extent of governmental intervention designed to change people’s habits in order to control pandemics, and to what extent did this bring about significant social change?

Neil Chakraborti; Professor in Criminology and Director of the Centre for Hate Studies

Prof Neil ChakrabortiI am a Professor in Criminology, Head of School and Director of the Centre for Hate Studies at the University of Leicester. I have been researching hate crime and related themes for over 20 years, and have been commissioned by numerous funding bodies including the Economic and Social Research Council, Amnesty International and the Equality and Human Rights Commission to lead research studies which have shaped hate crime policy and scholarship.

I am an Adjunct Professor at Ontario Tech University, series editor of Palgrave Hate Studies and Chair of the Research Advisory Group at the Howard League for Penal Reform. I also serve on a number of Advisory Boards including the International Network for Hate Studies, the British Society of Criminology Hate Crime Network, BLM in the Stix, Tell MAMA, the Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner’s Strategic Partnership Board and the Crown Prosecution Service’s Hate Crime External Consultative Group.

Aspects of communication in PPE that interest me:

Cultural differences in the communication and visual impacts of PPE, particularly in relation to variations in public responses according to the identity characteristics of the PPE user.

Andrew Hugill; Professor of Creative Computing

Prof Andrew HugillResearching creative computing, digital music, aural diversity, neurodiversity.

Aspects of Communication in PPE that interests me:

Consequences for aurally diverse and neurodiverse people.

I am most interested in the political and social histories of pandemics, and the intersections between these viewpoints. To what extent can past pandemics function as ‘usable pasts’, with the potential to inform us about both conformity and resistance to the regulations and etiquette of using PPE? What was the nature and extent of governmental intervention designed to change people’s habits in order to control pandemics, and to what extent did this bring about significant social change?

Damian Roland; Honorary Associate Professor and Consultant in Paediatric Emergency Medicine

Honorary Associate Professor and Consultant in Paediatric Emergency MedicineI am clinician scientist with interests in scoring systems and recognition of the acutely ill child, variation in care and knowledge translation via social media.

Aspects of communication in PPE that interest me:

Ability to communicate in high stakes medical situations (i.e. resuscitation) with both other professionals but also families. Also interested in ability to reduce latent error and specifically around child health element.


Dr. Genovefa Kefalidou; Lecturer in Human-Computer Interaction

Dr Genovefa Kefalidou
My research interests include User-Centred Design (UCD) and User Experience (UX) Design and Evaluation of Intelligent Data-Driven Interactive Systems and Services. I have a particular interest in the use of Data to design interactive platforms that are empirically verifiable utilising theories and principles related to ‘sensemaking’, ‘synaesthesia’ and ‘serendipity’.

Aspects of communication in PPE that interest me:

How to design and evaluate multi-sensory and multi-modal communication platforms (e.g. utilising wearables, AI-driven innovations and Internet of Things (IoT)) for different stakeholders that are adaptive and reactive (i.e. personalised) to needs, contexts and surrounding other technological frameworks. User experience (UX), multisensory interaction patterns (discreet and explicit), ‘trust’ and ‘acceptance’ (and privacy and security by proxy) are of particular interest to me i.e. how to ensure higher trust, inclusivity and acceptance of novel technological frameworks for communications, especially when data-driven (e.g. could ‘non-verbal technologies’ act as mediators to overcome verbal communication challenges?) . Who has access to data generated, who ‘curates’ it, what are the ‘data traces’?

Bernhard Forchtner; Associate Prof School of Media, Communication and Sociology

Associate Prof Bernhard ForchtnerAspects of communication in PPE that interest me: 

Political ideology and acceptance/rejection of PPE; social conflict around PPE; PPE, practices and identity (how is wearing and not wearing a mask made part of one's everyday practices and part of 'who I am', what stories are told about 'I and PPE'?); the previous two both with regards to their 'negotiation in the media as well as 'on the ground' (ethnography); how are conflicts around PPE/ideology/identity overlapping with other cleavages (anti-elite, climate change, BREXIT, etc.)

Andy Abbott; Professor of Physical Chemistry

Prof Andrew AbbottOver my 28 years at UoL, I have gained lots of experience of enterprise, spin out companies and IP.

Aspects of communication in PPE that interest me:

New materials, materials characterisation, methods of disinfection

Aldo Rona; Associate Prof School of Engineering

Associate Prof Aldo RonaAs Associate Professor, Fluid Dynamics and Turbomachinery, I have an interest in the propagation and attenuation of airborne sound, with a 25-year track record in unsteady flow and aerodynamic noise. I developed in-house high-order computational aeroacoustic numerical methods for modelling simultaneously flow and sound propagation. I have performed acoustic performance assessments in the School of Engineering, University of Leicester, semi-anechoic chamber, 6m x 6m x 3m wall-to-wall, with 100Hz cutoff-frequency acoustic wedges, which I designed. I collaborated with the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR), Southampton, and with the von Karman Institute, where I performed a preliminary design for a jet noise test chamber. See www.le.ac.uk/eg/ar45/ for further details.

Aspects of communication in PPE that interest me:

I would be happy to contribute to the joint optimisation of face masks for low flow-through (flow resistance) and good speech intelligibility. These two aspects can be captured, jointly, by an appropriate flow and acoustic coupled numerical simulation. Alternatively, they can be studied by tests/experiments performed in the controlled space offered by the semi-anechoic chamber.

Naomi Bailey-Cooper; Fashion Textiles Designer and Researcher

Fashion Textiles Designer and Researcher Naomi Bailey-CooperI am a fashion textiles designer and researcher exploring values that could shape ethical and long-lasting fashion. My research aims to inspire creative methods by which fashion and textiles professionals could incorporate alternative materials and circular life cycles. I have a PhD in Fashion Textiles from London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London, and my work is regularly feature in exhibitions, publications and through invited talks at conferences, universities and businesses.

Aspects of communication in PPE that interest me:

For this project, I am particularly interested in product lifecycle and sustainability of PPE, and what materials and design attributes are appropriate for this.

Wider team members:

Dr Tracey Elliott
Prof Michael Barer
Dr Rebecca Hames
Dr Sally Horrocks
Prof Sarah Gabbott
Dr Balandino Di Donato
Dr Andrew Willis
Dr Sarah Gong
Prof William Green
Dr Marta Gasparin 
Dr Emma Chung