Doctoral training centres receive EPSRC funding to tackle key engineering challenges

The School hosts the EPSRC-funded Industrial CDT in Offshore Renewable Energy
The School hosts the EPSRC-funded Industrial CDT in Offshore Renewable Energy
The School of Engineering is to lead or contribute to five EPSRC-funded training centres designed to equip doctoral students with the skills needed to tackle key engineering challenges of the future. The EPSRC is the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the UK's main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences.

Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) offer unique opportunities for doctoral students to gain cutting-edge, multidisciplinary knowledge and skills while working directly with industry on the critical projects of today and tomorrow.

The School will lead the EPSRC Industrial CDT in Offshore Renewable Energy (IDCORE2) to create the next generation of leaders in the British energy sector, and will also contribute to four further centres to deliver critical skills training across robotics, photonics, soft matter, and wind and marine energy. 

Offshore renewables

Among the centres announced is the EPSRC Industrial CDT in Offshore Renewable Energy (IDCORE2), which receives £8m to train tomorrow’s workforce to fully integrate offshore renewables into low-carbon energy systems of the future.

IDCORE2 will recruit 50 students over a nine year period from September 2019, to undertake a four-year Engineering Doctorate (EngD) programme combining taught content with challenging and original research projects in industry. In collaboration with sponsoring companies, the programme promises to train the next generation of engineers to accelerate the deployment of offshore wind, wave and tidal-current technologies to meet the UK's ambitious offshore renewable energy targets.

The centre is led by the School of Engineering’s Professor David Ingram, and is delivered in partnership with the Universities of Exeter and Strathclyde, and the Scottish Association for Marine Sciences.

Further School CDTs

The School also contributes to the following four CDTs:

  • The Wind and Marine Energy Systems and Structures CDT, led by the University of Strathclyde, offers a comprehensive doctoral training programme in wind and marine energy. The School’s contribution, led by Professor Conchúr Ó Brádaigh, will train 14 PhD students (of a total 70) to become industry-ready engineers, with multidisciplinary expertise and a broad understanding of the whole energy system. 
  • The Robotics and Autonomous Systems (CDT-RAS) CDT, hosted by the Edinburgh Centre of Robotics, receives funding to train 90 PhD students over the next eight years. The School’s contribution, led by the School’s Dr Adam Stokes, will focus on ensuring safe interaction between robots, people and their environments in arenas including healthcare, assisted living,  construction, defence, transport, space, manufacturing, and education.
  • The Industry-Inspired Photonic Imaging, Sensing and Analysis CDT, led by Heriot-Watt University in partnership with the School’s Dr Philip Hands, will offer PhD training opportunities in companies developing photonics-enabled products and services, from consumer technology and mobile computing devices to healthcare and security. The CDT will train approximately 50 doctoral students over five years.
  • The Soft Matter for Formulation and Industrial Innovation (SOFI2) CDT, led by Durham University in partnership with the School’s Professor Vasileios Koutsos, offers PhD studentships to design, manufacture and deploy soft materials with wide-ranging applications from foods to detergents, medicines to skin creams, and textiles to TV screens.

Research investment for UK economy

The five centres are among seventy five Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) announced by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) as part of a £446 million investment in UK research skills. Industry partners working with the centres will contribute a further £386m of funding or in-kind support.

This recent funding will create or expand training centres which seek to attract the world’s brightest minds, and work directly in partnership with industry to address the scientific and engineering challenges our society faces.

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