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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/F032994/1
Title: SYMBIOSIS: Synergy between Mathematics, Bio- and Nano-engineering at Southampton University
Principal Investigator: Please, Professor CP
Other Investigators:
Taylor, Professor M Lewis, Professor SM Spearing, Professor SM
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
DePuy Synthes (International)
Department: School of Mathematics
Organisation: University of Southampton
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 April 2008 Ends: 30 June 2011 Value (£): 414,827
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Biomaterials Microsystems
Statistics & Appl. Probability
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
12 Sep 2007 Bridging the Gap - Sift Panel Deferred
03 Oct 2007 Bridging the Gap Interviews Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
This proposal is to develop new collaborative and sustainable interdisciplinary research teams at the University of Southampton (UoS) involving researchers from a wide spectrum of the Mathematical Sciences, with researchers in Nano-engineering and in Bio-engineering. The University has significant strengths in these rapidly developing engineering areas but, despite its strong commitment and long-standing involvement in interdisciplinary research, has yet to fully develop engagement between these areas and the Mathematical Sciences. The project will develop a dynamic and flexible programme of activities, under the name SYMBIOSIS, which aims to overcome current barriers at the University to develop collaborative teams. There are two broad themes in the programme: Mathematics in Bio-engineering and Mathematics in Nano-engineering. These themes will create focussed interaction between researchers in the disciplines of mathematics and engineering, so that new questions will be asked and new ideas formulated, in both disciplines. The interactions will also enable the transfer of state-of-the/art techniques across the interfaces of these disciplines. The programme will have various mechanisms that provide researchers with ring-fenced time to learn about new scientific areas, to become familiar with different scientific languages, to identify and carry out preliminary investigations of potential projects and to prepare proposals for external funding to develop and sustain research activity. In addition, SYMBIOSIS will take advantage of the tremendous potential at the University of Southampton for future collaborations involving the large pool of recently appointed academic staff members who have only just started on an academic career. The programme will encourage their participation in interdisciplinary research and, more importantly, allow them to gain crucial mentoring and experience in initiating and developing such collaborations. Finally, SYMBIOSIS will give opportunities to break down the geographical, social and hence academic distances between the various different disciplines. SYMBIOSIS will use a physical presence on campus to focus attention and to allow uninterrupted direct discussions, a facilitator to initiate and foster new collaborations, a strong virtual presence and an electronic work environment, all of which will grow a culture of interdisciplinary research and new collaboration. Specific activities will also include: an extensive set of workshops, both real and virtual, which will act as a pipeline to developing new collaborations; fellowships to allow immersion in alternative disciplines within the programme; a Visitor programme and SYMBIOSIS seminars; UoS- funded interdisciplinary PhD studentships for long-term focus. Four broad areas of mathematics have been identified as likely to be stimulated within the themes through new research challenges: Mathematical Modelling and Multiscale Physics; Combinatorics, Geometry and Mathematical Analysis; Understanding Uncertainty - Experiment and Analysis; Optimisation, Computation and Simulation. These areas will, in turn, contribute to the engineering research. Examples of possible research areas include: engineering design of sensors for the environment and for robotics, developing and assessing novel joint replacements in humans, and designing and improving micro-engineered machines (MEMs) through the use of new materials.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.soton.ac.uk