The University of Nottingham has won funding for four new centres that will train the brightest young postgraduates to tackle pressing global challenges, and keep the UK at the cutting edge of scientific research.
The Centres of Doctoral Training (CDTs), which are funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), were announced today (22 Nov) by Universities and Science Minister, David Willetts.
The University is also involved in three additional centres that are led by other institutions. All these centres will provide research students with an outstanding research environment, exceptional resources, industry engagement and access to unrivalled training opportunities.
Nuturing the next generation of leaders
The seven CDTs – worth a total in excess of £30m – will nurture the next generation of technological leaders and are targeted at areas vital to economic growth.
A total of 1,000 partners will be involved in the centres across the UK, leveraging approximately £250m of additional support. This is the UK's largest investment in post graduate training in engineering and physical sciences. It will fund over seventy new CDTs, spread across 24 UK universities and will train over 3,500 postgraduate students.
Professor Saul Tendler, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University said “I am delighted with this very strong performance in this key competition; Nottingham leading four centres is an outstanding result, especially given our additional partnership with three other centres. It is especially pleasing that our new CDTs recognise and support our investments and key priorities in sustainable chemistry, advanced therapeutics, digital economy and additive manufacturing.
“Nottingham currently trains over 3,000 postgraduate research students across seven campuses in the UK, China and Malaysia, and is committed to ensuring that EPSRC CDTs are major flagship elements of our global postgraduate community.”
The Nottingham led CDT in Additive Manufacturing (AM) and 3D Printing is in partnership with the universities of Loughborough, Liverpool and Newcastle. Dr Chris Tuck, from the Faculty of Engineering, will lead the centre: “AM has been identified as an industrially relevant and strategically important manufacturing technology for the UK and experts from the UK’s primary research led institutes will come together at the centre to train the future scientists and engineers required to keep the UK at the forefront of AM research.”
Professor Chris Moody in the School of Chemistry will lead a new CDT in Sustainable Chemistry. The centre will train new generations of PhD graduates working at the interface of chemistry, engineering, biosciences and business in close collaboration with industry partners to develop new sustainable and more efficient chemical and industrial processes.
The CDT in My Life in Data, is led by Professor Steve Benford from the School of Computer Science. The centre will train a community of 80 future leaders to develop the technologies and applications of our ‘digital identities’ in a way that ensures their transparent use across the economy and wider society. The centre brings together leading figures from computing and engineering as well as the social sciences, business and humanities, and is co-funded by over twenty industry, third sector and international partners.
Professor Cameron Alexander in the School of Pharmacy will lead the CDT in Advanced Therapeutics and Nanomedicines, developing scientists who will be adaptable and productive in a sector evolving from extensive recent change. The pharmaceutical sector is a vital part of the UK economy and for it to remain innovative on a global scale the most important requirement is the provision of highly skilled and trained people.
The CDT in Composites Manufacturing, led by the University of Bristol, focuses on the manufacture of high performance engineering structures from polymer matrix composites that use state of the art fibres as reinforcement. The applied research projects undertaken by the research engineers are industrially defined. The CDT in Fuel Cells and their Fuels is led by The University of Birmingham and addresses an important field in the development of energy technology in Europe, namely that of highly efficient energy conversion in fuel cells. The CDT in Innovative Metal Processing led by The University of Leicester, along with the Universities of Nottingham and Birmingham and 14 industrial and international partners, will provide students with integrated training with a combination of experimental, analytical, computational and professional skills which are required for innovation.
Professor Martin Schröder, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science, said: “This is an exceptional result for the Faculty of Science which is leading three out of the four centres led out of Nottingham. I congratulate colleagues most warmly on this outstanding achievement, which reflects the excellence in training and research that is offered across the Faculty. These CDTs will afford an exciting interdisciplinary research environment to train the next generations of scientific leaders.”
Professor Andrew Long, Executive Dean in the Faculty of Engineering, said: "I am absolutely delighted that the excellence of research and postgraduate training in Engineering has been recognised by the award by EPSRC of 7 CDTs either led by or involving our academics. This reflects our research strengths particularly in the areas of manufacturing, energy and advanced materials."
More information is available at www.epsrc.ac.uk
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also the most popular university among graduate employers, the world’s greenest university, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the World's Top 75 universities by the QS World University Rankings.
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