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Our Team & Affiliates

Each of Urban 360's team members has their own individual area of academic expertise, experience and interest. The team's combined knowledge and skills ensure that Urban 360 consistently produces world-leading research and analytical insights.

Urban 360 Directors

Professor James Evans

Professor James Evans

CEO & Co-Founder

James is CEO of Urban 360 and has worked in the sustainability sector for over 25 years. He is a Professor of Smart and Sustainable Cities at the University of Manchester, where he also directs the Manchester Urban Institute. James is passionate about making cities more sustainable and healthier, and founded Urban 360 to help cities achieve this goal.

Areas of expertise: Smart governance, Urban sustainability, Innovation management, Planning.

Yunzhi Yu

Yunzhi Yu

Director of Business Strategy & Development

Yunzhi is an accomplished and dedicated professional, committed to driving customers’ success through tailor-made solutions. She has 3 patents and more than 11 years of experience with top 500 companies. She holds an impressive track record of making substantial contributions to business growth and development. Her passion and expertise render her an invaluable asset in addressing customers’ challenges and delivering unparalleled service.

Areas of expertise: Business strategy, Project management, Product development, Cross-functional and cross-culture collaboration, Lean and Six Sigma.

Dave Topping

Professor David Topping

CTO & Co-Founder

David has over 20 years of experience across multiple research domains and working for research organisations. He started his journey with a Physics degree at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. His early work focused on building computational models of how molecules important for air-quality and the atmosphere evolve, before moving on to adoption of data science and AI methodologies and working with a range of stakeholders.

Areas of expertise: Data analysis, Numerical modelling, Data science and enabling technology adoption.

Thomas Bannan

Dr Thomas Bannan

COO & Co-Founder

Tom is an experienced research scientist and a Research Fellow at the University of Manchester. With a wealth of expertise, he has led numerous international field campaigns, assessing air quality across the globe both on the ground but also on the British Atmospheric Research Aircraft. Tom’s research addresses the complexities of atmospheric chemistry and the critical issue of air pollution.

Areas of expertise: Atmospheric pollution, Atmospheric chemistry, Air quality, Air sampling.

Rachel Grunnill

Rachel Grunnill

Director of Communications & Engagement

Science communication has played a large part in Rachel’s undergraduate degree in Biology, and Masters in Ecology and Environmental Management. Having also worked in a social responsibility communications role for the last 3 years, she is keen to start combining her experience working for Urban 360.

Areas of expertise: Ecology, Environmental management, Urban sustainability, Science communication.

Jamie Anderson

Dr Jamie Anderson

CWO & Co-Founder

Jamie has 16 years of experience, split between research and practice. He started his wellbeing journey with an interdisciplinary PhD at Cambridge University. Subsequent work has focussed on sustainable city and neighbourhood design, in relation to Subjective Wellbeing and wellbeing behaviours; developing new tools and approaches – helping improve quality of insight and causal inference.

Areas of expertise: Urban design, Subjective Wellbeing (SWB) and mental health, health behaviours, Robust natural experiment evaluation, Science of wellbeing.

Dr Ian Crawford - Urban 360

Dr Ian Crawford

Director of Research & Development

Ian has 15 years of experience as a research fellow investigating the impacts of bioaerosols on health, air quality and climate. He specializes in the development of technologies to detect bioaerosols in real-time.

Areas of expertise: Atmospheric science, Instrument development, Real-time bioaerosol detection, Machine learning, Data science.

Urban 360 Associates

Dr Jack Benson

Dr Jack Benton

Project Associate

Jack is a Research Fellow in the School of Health Sciences at the University of Manchester. His expertise is in evaluating the health and wellbeing impacts of environmental interventions using natural experimental methods.

Areas of expertise: Healthy cities, Natural experiments, Evaluation, Psychology, Behaviour change.

Dr Emily Matthews

Dr Emily Matthews

Project Delivery Associate

Emily is a research scientist at the University of Manchester with expertise in making measurements to understand the composition of the atmosphere.

Areas of expertise: Atmospheric science, Air pollution, Data analysis.

Abdur-Rahman Ridwan

Abdur-Rahman Ridwan

Project Associate

Abdur-Rahman is a doctoral candidate in Data Analytics and Society at the University of Manchester, where he researches the impacts of urban neighbourhood interventions on well-being through Smartphone Experience Sampling Methods.

Areas of expertise: Data Science, Social statistics, Urban well-being, Experience Sampling Methods, Digital application development.

Mushtahid Salam, Urban 360

Mushtahid Salam

Project Associate

Mushtahid has a background in medicine and public health. Currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Manchester, Mushtahid is focused on evaluating changes in population-level physical activity using unobtrusive digital measures.

Areas of expertise: Data Science, Public Health, Medicine, Urban Wellbeing, Method Validation, Social Sciences, Biostatistics.

Becky Pinder

Becky Pinder

Web Design & Marketing Associate

Becky is an experienced digital marketing and web design professional with a keen interest in health, wellbeing, science and the environment. Alongside her digital work for Urban 360, she is currently studying for an undergraduate degree in Psychology.

Areas of expertise: Digital marketing, Web design, Branding, Content.

Urban 360 Affiliates & Professional Connections

Urban 360 collaborates with a variety of affiliates.

The University of Manchester logo

The University of Manchester

The University of Manchester is one of the top public universities in the UK, recognised globally for its commitment to pioneering research, outstanding teaching and social responsibility. 

Urban 360 is a spin-out of The University of Manchester and we continue to collaborate on a variety of impactful research projects.

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