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Doctoral Training in Connected Electronic and Photonic Systems obtains funding

UCL and Cambridge University have gained over £5 million funding for a new UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Connected Electronic and Photonic Systems (CEPS).

The Centre builds on the success of the EPSRC funded collaboration between these two universities, who set up joint CDTs for Photonic Systems Development in 2009 and Integrated Photonic and Electronic Systems in 2013.

The Centre aims to train researchers to lead a new generation of industries providing products and systems, connecting electronics with photonics and it brings together multi-disciplinary, cutting edge research activities from groups in electronic engineering, communications, photonics, nanotechnology, physics, materials, computer science, manufacturing, biomedical engineering, biotechnology, civil engineering and chemical engineering.

With contributions from more than 35 collaborating companies the funding will enable 5 cohorts of PhD students to be trained in the Centre over the next 8 years.

Commenting, the Director of the Centre, Professor Alwyn Seeds from UCL Electronic and Electrical Engineering said: “We are delighted that the UKRI EPSRC has funded the new Centre in Connected Electronic and Photonic Systems. Given the success of our existing Centre in Integrated Photonic and Electronic Systems over the last 5 years, we believe that the time is now right for the new Centre to move ahead and train researchers who are able to carry out world-leading research treating wireless, photonic, electronic and sensor technologies as integral components, circuits and systems on which the next generation of digital technologies depend, thus providing future leaders in the creation of the hardware for the ICT systems of the future.

“The Centre will use and extend best-practice built up from the innovative teaching and learning techniques developed by the current CDT in Integrated Photonic and Electronic Systems (IPES). The importance of this innovative approach to the creation of future systems has become clear through the research advances and training impacts achieved.”.

Electronics and photonics in the UK are large industries with annual revenues of £78 billion and £11 billion respectively.

Director of Research for the Centre, Professor Richard Penty, from the Engineering Department, University of Cambridge added: "The vision of the Connected Electronics and Photonics CDT is to create a new generation of researchers who are able to carry out world-leading research in integrated circuits and systems which incorporate electronic, photonic and wireless components, thus providing future leaders in the creation of the connected electronic and photonic systems upon which society will depend."

The CDT in Integrated Photonic and Electronic Systems is one of 75 Centres for Doctorial Training which will share £446million of EPSRC funding, that will be used to train some 3,750 post graduate students across 31 universities. EPSRC, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), announced the new investment at a special launch event, held last week.

The Science Minister, Chris Skidmore, said: “The Centres for Doctoral Training at universities across the country will offer the next generation of PHD students the ability to get ahead of the curve. In addition, this has resulted in nearly £400 million being leveraged from industry partners. This is our modern Industrial Strategy in action, ensuring all corners of the UK thrive with the skills they need for the jobs of tomorrow."

Neil Tyler

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