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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/L015455/1
Title: EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Integrated Photonic and Electronic Systems
Principal Investigator: Seeds, Professor AJ
Other Investigators:
Chu, Professor D Penty, Professor R White, Professor I
Renaud, Dr C
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Avago Technologies BAE Systems CERN
CIP Technologies Costain Defence Science & Tech Lab DSTL
Dow Corning Corporation (International) Fraunhofer UK Research Ltd Hitachi
Huber+Suhner (UK) Ltd Inphi Ltd UK Lockheed Martin
Moor Instruments Ltd Oclaro Technology UK PervasID Ltd
Photon Design Precision Acoustics Ltd Qioptiq Ltd
Selex ES Silixa Ltd SWISSto12 SA
Teraview Ltd Thales Ltd Toshiba
University of Cambridge X-FAB Xilinx
Xtera Communications Limited Xyratex Zinwave Ltd
Department: Electronic and Electrical Engineering
Organisation: UCL
Scheme: Centre for Doctoral Training
Starts: 01 April 2014 Ends: 30 September 2022 Value (£): 4,259,176
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Bioelectronic Devices Electronic Devices & Subsys.
Optical Communications Optical Devices & Subsystems
Optoelect. Devices & Circuits
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Energy Electronics
Healthcare Communications
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
23 Oct 2013 EPSRC CDT 2013 Interviews Panel K Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
This proposal seeks funding to create a Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Integrated Photonic and Electronic Systems. Photonics plays an increasing role in systems, ranging from sensing, biophotonics and manufacturing, through communications from the chip-to-chip to transcontinental scale, to the plethora of new screen and projection display technologies that have been developed, bringing higher resolution, lower power operation and enabling new ways of human-machine interaction.

These advances have set the scene for a major change in commercialisation activity where photonics and electronics will converge in a wide range of information, sensing, communications, manufacturing and personal healthcare systems. Currently, systems are realised by combining separately developed photonic components, such as lasers and photodetectors with electronic circuits. This approach is labour intensive and requires many electrical interconnects as well as optical alignment on the micron scale. Devices are optimised separately and then brought together to meet systems specifications. Such an approach, although it has delivered remarkable results, not least the communications systems upon which the internet depends, limits the benefits that could come from the full integration of photonics with electronics and systems.

To achieve such integration requires researchers who have not only deep understanding of their specialist area, but also an excellent understanding across the fields of electronic and photonic hardware and software.

This proposal therefore seeks to meet this important need, building upon the uniqueness and extent of the UCL and Cambridge research, where research activities are already focussing on the direct monolithic integration of lasers with silicon electronics, new types of displays based on polymer and holographic projection technology, the application of photonic communications to computing, personal information systems and indeed consumer products (via board-to-board, chip to chip and later on-chip interconnects), the increased use of photonics in industrial processing and manufacture, techniques for the low-cost roll-out of optical fibre to replace the copper network, the substitution of many conventional lighting products with photonic light sources and extensive application of photonics in medical diagnostics and personalised medicine. Many of these activities will increasingly rely on more advanced electronic systems integration, and so the proposed CDT includes experts in electronic circuits, computer systems and software. By drawing these complementary activities together, and building upon initial work towards this goal carried out within our previously funded CDT in Photonic Systems Development, it is proposed to develop an advanced training programme to equip the next generation of very high calibre doctoral students with the required technical expertise, commercial and business skills, and thus provide innovation opportunities for the integration of photonic and electronics in new systems in the coming years. It should be stressed that the CDT will provide a wide range of methods for learning for research students, well beyond that conventionally available, so that they can gain the required skills. In addition to conventional lectures and seminars, for example, there will be bespoke experimental coursework activities, reading clubs, roadmapping activities, secondments to companies and other research laboratories and business planning courses.

The integration of photonic and electronic systems is likely to widen the range of systems into which these technologies are deployed in other key sectors of the economy, such as printing, consumer electronics, computing, defence, energy, engineering, security and medicine. As a result, a key feature of the CDT will be a developed awareness in its student cohorts of the breadth of opportunity available and a confidence that they can make impact therein.

Key Findings
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