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BDFI unveils its first Associate Researchers and Academics

28 January 2021

The Bristol Digital Futures Institute has announced the appointments of its first five Associate Researchers and Academics

The initial cohort of BDFI research specialists is charged with supporting the Institute’s mission to transform the way digital technologies are created, promoting inclusive, prosperous and sustainable futures for all.

Hayley Shaw, BDFI’s Institute and Partnerships Manager, says the core leadership team is delighted to welcome these ambitious colleagues on board: "This is an exciting time for all of us at the Institute as we establish a diverse group of innovative academics and specialists who are passionate about our society’s shared digital future.

Our first collection of researchers gathers together Computer Scientists, Business Analysts, Sociologists and Digital Engineers who will work across a broad range of societal and technological challenges, guided by our experienced Co-Directors and Academic Advisory Group.

We welcome contact from anyone in universities, businesses, governments or communities interested in exploring collaborations with them."

The first five BDFI Associate Academics and Researchers are:

Dr Xin Fei

Xin has a PhD in Operational Research and Computer Science and is interested in transportation management, smart manufacturing, digital health and pharmaceutical supply chain management. At BDFI, Xin will address the challenges of digital transformation, bringing together computational modelling, data science, and business intelligence with expertise in manufacturing, healthcare and other public services.

Dr Marisela Gutierrez Lopez headshotDr Marisela Gutierrez Lopez

Marisela’s research specialisms are in investigating how the outcomes of AI can be meaningfully explained to different data publics and the adoption of emerging technologies in the workplace. At BDFI, she will apply her experience in interdisciplinary and design-led participatory research to create more diverse, equitable and inclusive data-driven futures.

Dr Sophie Lythreatis

Sophie is working to ensure that the ethics of digital technology are properly considered in our digital futures. By addressing emerging ethical challenges, Sophie will help ensure digital technologies are designed to be inclusive and trustworthy.


Dr Jessica Ogden headshotDr Jessica Ogden

Jessica studies the politics of data and archives with a particular focus on how digital culture, media and knowledge are constructed and represented online. Jessica is also interested in examining the broad implications these constructions have for digital scholarship.


Dr Xenofon Vasilakos

Xenofon investigates intelligent digital infrastructures with an emphasis on ideas that combine artificial intelligence with traditional parallel and distributed computer systems. At BDFI, Xenofon will research aspects of 5G and beyond that lead to more than simply designing new technologies.

Further information

For further details on collaboration opportunities, please contact Hayley Shaw.

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