Skip to main content

New Faculty members in Civil and Information Engineering and Entrepreneurship

The Department has recently appointed Associate Professors Natalia Ares, Jakob Foerster, Wouter de Vos Mostert and Paulo Savaget

New Academics staff portraits

L to R: Natalia Ares, Wouter de Vos Mostert, Jakob Foerster, Paulo Savaget

Associate Professor Natalia Ares works on experiments to advance the development of quantum technologies, with a focus on artificial intelligence for quantum device control and quantum thermodynamics. She joined the Materials Department at the University of Oxford in 2013. She was awarded a series of fellowships, including a Marie Skłodowska-Curie and a Royal Society University Research Fellowship, and was awarded a European Research Council Starting Grant in 2020. During her PhD she focused on silicone-based devices for quantum computing at CEA Grenoble, France. She completed her undergraduate studies in Physics and a Masters equivalent in the theory of quantum chaos at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she was born and raised. In October 2021 she was appointed as Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering Science and Tutorial Fellow at New College.

Jakob Foerster started as an Associate Professor at the Department of Engineering Science and Tutorial Fellow at St Anne’s College at the University of Oxford in October 2021. Jakob completed his undergraduate and master's degree in Physics at Christ's College at the University of Cambridge. During his PhD at Oxford he helped bring deep multi-agent reinforcement learning to the forefront of AI research and interned at Google Brain, OpenAI, and DeepMind. After his PhD he worked as a research scientist at Facebook AI Research in California, where he continued doing foundational work. He was the lead organizer of the first Emergent Communication workshop at NeurIPS in 2017, which he has helped organize ever since and was awarded a prestigious CIFAR AI chair in 2019. His past work addresses how AI agents can learn to cooperate and communicate with other agents, most recently he has been developing and addressing the zero-shot coordination problem setting, a crucial step towards human-AI coordination. His research areas at Oxford will focus around multi-agent learning, deep reinforcement learning, human-AI coordination, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.

Before joining Oxford as Associate Professor & Tutorial Fellow, Wouter de Vos Mostert was an Assistant Professor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department at Missouri University of Science and Technology, previously holding postdoctoral positions at Princeton University and the California Institute of Technology. His research interests cover diverse topics which are unified by the common underlying physical mechanism of wave motion. Currently, he is investigating surface waves in ocean science, particularly breaking waves in deep and shallow water, and developing interests in bubble and droplet dynamics, with further interests in the effects of ocean wave systems on sediment and pollutant transport, along with better understanding wave loadings on civil infrastructure.

Associate Professor Paulo Savaget (Worcester College) holds a joint appointment between the Department of Engineering Science and the Saïd Business School, and his primary fields of expertise are entrepreneurship, sustainable development, systems change, and innovation management. He formerly served as Postdoctoral Researcher at the Skoll Centre (University of Oxford) and as an Assistant Professor at Durham University. Outside academia, he worked as an entrepreneur and as a consultant to large companies, governments, and intergovernmental organisations. He received his PhD from the University of Cambridge, as a Gates Scholar. Paulo's research covers the mechanics of entrepreneurship and innovation, often through a ‘systems lens’ and with a special focus on large-scale sustainability challenges (e.g. poverty, climate change, circular economy).