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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/L015889/1
Title: EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Sensor Technologies and Application
Principal Investigator: Kaminski, Professor C
Other Investigators:
Soga, Professor K Elliott, Professor SR
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Alphasense Ltd Cambridge Display Technology Ltd (CDT) Costain
National Physical Laboratory Nokia Research Centre (UK) Rolls-Royce Plc
Shell
Department: Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology
Organisation: University of Cambridge
Scheme: Centre for Doctoral Training
Starts: 01 May 2014 Ends: 31 October 2022 Value (£): 3,807,957
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Analytical Science Instrumentation Eng. & Dev.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine Manufacturing
Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
23 Oct 2013 EPSRC CDT 2013 Interviews Panel M Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Analysis and diagnosis, the core elements of sensing, are highlighted by almost every initiative for health, environment, security and quality of life. Sensors have advanced to an extent that they are sought for many applications in manufacturing and detection segments, and their cost advantages have boosted their utility and demand. The pillars of sensor research are in highly diverse fields and traditional single-discipline research is particularly poor at catalysing sensor innovation and application, as these typically fall in the 'discipline gaps'. Furthermore, the underpinning technology is advancing at a phenomenal pace. These developments are creating exciting opportunities, but also enormous challenges to UK academia and industry: Traditional PhD programmes are centred on individuals and focused on narrowly defined problems and do not produce the skills and leadership qualities required to capitalise on future opportunities. Industry complains that skills are waning and sensors are increasingly being treated as 'black boxes' without an understanding of underlying principles.

We propose to establish the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sensor Technologies and Measurement to address these problems head on. The CDT will provide a co-ordinated programme of training in research-, team-, and leadership-skills to future generations of sensor champions. The CDT will build on the highly successful CamBridgeSens research network which was previously funded by the EPSRC under its discipline-bridging programme and which has transformed the culture in which sensor research is being carried out at our University, breaking down discipline barriers, and bringing together world-leading expertise, infrastructure and people from more than 20 Departments. The CDT will now extend this culture to the training of future sensor researchers to generate a virtual super department in Cambridge with more than 70 PIs. The programme will be underpinned by a consortium of industrial partners which is strongly integrated into the CDT and through its needs and engagement will inform the direction of the programme. In the first year of their 4 year PhD programme, student cohorts will attend specialised lectures, practicals and research mini-projects, to receive training in a range of topics underpinning sensor research, including physical principles of sensor hardware, acquisition and interpretation of sensory information, and user requirements of sensor applications. Team-building aspects will be strongly emphasised, and through an extended sensor project treated as a team challenge in the first year of their programme, the students will together, as a cohort, face a problem of industrial relevance and learn how to address a research problem as a team rather than individually. The cohorts will be supported by a mix of academic and industrial mentors, and will receive business, presentation and project-management skills. During years 2 to 4 of their PhD course, students will pick a PhD topic offered by the more than 70 PIs participating in the programme. Each topic on offer will be supervised by at least two academics from different departments/disciplines and may include industrial partners in the CDT. Throughout, we will create strong identities for the sensor student cohorts through a number of people-based activities that maximise engagement between researchers, research activities and that bridge gaps across disciplines, Departments and research cultures.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Impacts
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Summary
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Organisation Website: http://www.cam.ac.uk