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Honorary Professors

Prof. John Brigham

John Brigham received a BE from Vanderbilt University and a MS and PhD from Cornell University.  He joined the University of Pittsburgh as an Assistant Professor in 2008, and was later promoted to Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, with a secondary appointment in the Department of Bioengineering.  John joined the Department of Engineering at Durham University as an Associate Professor in Applied Mechanics in 2016 and was promoted to a Full Professor in Engineering in 2019.  John was subsequently appointed as a Deputy Executive Dean for the Faculty of Science overseeing the 8 Departments of Science and Engineering at Durham, but decided to return to the University of Pittsburgh in the Fall of 2020.  Focusing on computational mechanics and inverse problems, John’s research group is actively involved in a number of diverse projects, including kinematic analysis of the heart for improved diagnosis of cardiovascular disease, novel design concepts and optimal design strategies for smart material morphing structures, and efficient and accurate quantitative nondestructive evaluation algorithms.  He has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers and abstracts, and his research team has been funded by a range of state, federal, and commercial entities, including the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Energy.  In recognition of his research accomplishments, John was elected as a Fellow of the ASCE Engineering Mechanics Institute in 2023.

Prof. Samir Gupta

Samir Gupta

Samir Gupta was initially educated in India and completed MBBS and Doctor of Medicine (DM) from Rajasthan University. He relocated to United Kingdom to pursue his subspecialty interest in Neonatology. He worked as clinical research fellow at Newcastle University and was awarded MD with Distinction in 2007. He was awarded Fellowship of Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health, UK (FRCPCH) in 2004, and Fellowship of Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, Dublin (FRCPI) in 2007. His initial research in Neonatology was on newborn respiratory support and advanced neonatal ventilation. He published extensively on advanced neonatal ventilation and worked with the Department of Engineering, Durham university on ‘utilising Artificial neural networks on predicting responses to mechanical ventilation’. He became a Senior Lecturer with Durham University in 2010 and Honorary Professor with Durham University since 2013. He then diversified his research interests and started working on Neonatal Cardiology and Hemodynamics. He was awarded a multi-million £ grant by NIHR-HTA as chief investigator for multi-centre clinical trial on treatment of Patent ductus arteriosus in extremely premature babies ( He founded the group ‘Neonatologists with interest in cardiology & Hemodynamics (NiCHE -UK)’ in 2008 and started the first global annual international conference on Neonatal Cardiology & Hemodynamics in 2010 which he organises still ( He lead UK consensus guidelines on neonatologist performed echocardiography (NPE) training and also became a steering committee member of European expert special interest group of NPE.  He is member of International advisory committee on Neonatal hemodynamics of PAS, USA, and steering committee member of American Society of Echocardiography neonatal section. He chairs the Non-invasive cardiac output special interest group of circulation section of European society of paediatric research. He has authored over 150 articles in indexed medical journals and books and has been invited faculty at over 200 international conferences. He has guest edited journal issues on neonatal cardiology & hemodynamics and is Associate editor for high impact journals. He is currently Division chief at quaternary care Neonatal unit at Sidra Medicine, Qatar (specialised Children’s hospital) and has developed an international centre of excellence for neonatal hemodynamics. He is Honorary consultant Neonatologist at University Hospital of North Tees, Stockton-on-Tees.

Prof. John Pepper. OBE,MA, MChir, FRCS, FESC

John Pepper

John Pepper was educated at Clare College, Cambridge and Guy’s Hospital qualifying in 1971. He was a research Fellow at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, USA and in 1980 was appointed consultant cardiothoracic surgeon to the London Chest Hospital. In 1982 he was appointed consultant cardiothoracic surgeon to St. George’s HospitaI where he set up a cardiac transplant programme in 1986. In 1990 he was invited to join Magdi Yacoub at Brompton and Harefield hospitals. He worked within the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust from 1990 and until June 2010 was an active first operator with a busy adult cardiac surgical practice consisting of complex aortic valve and aortic disease in particular. In addition, he has been productive in clinical research, involved in or initiating ten randomised trials all of which were published in high impact journals. With a team of engineers and radiologists, he developed a new prophylactic procedure for the Marfan syndrome which won a prize at the Royal Society in 2012. He has served on several trial steering committees (TSC) and drug safety committees and have chaired two TSCs. He has been a member of the Council of the European Association of Cardio-thoracic Surgeons (EACTS), chair of the Acquired Cardiac Surgery Domain and Director of the EACTS Academy which provides postgraduate courses on a rolling, annual basis in the headquarters at Windsor. He recently retired from being Director of Clinical Research at the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS F Trust and a position at Imperial College London.

Prof. Ian Ritchey FREng

Ian Ritchey is an experienced engineering leader with a proven track record in the development and support of complex and technically challenging products and solutions. His experience spans the Civil and Defence Aerospace, Marine, Nuclear and Energy sectors, and he has delivered major programmes at all stages of the product life cycle, from early-stage technology maturation, through product development and production into in-service support. The majority of Ian’s career has been with Rolls-Royce plc culminating in him spending three years as Group Chief Engineer. He has led organisations of several thousand engineers, controlled multi-£100M budgets and worked closely with customers at the most senior levels. Programmes on which he has worked include: podded propulsion on the Queen Mary 2 cruise liner; the western world’s largest turboprop, the TP400, on the A400M military transport; the innovative LiftSystem providing vertical lift capability to the F-35B; and the Trent 1000 powering the Boeing 787. Ian is currently a Non-Executive Director at Tekmar Group plc, an advisor to several companies an Honorary Professor at Durham University and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.