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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P030599/1
Title: Underpinning Multi-User Equipment
Principal Investigator: Rothberg, Professor SJ
Other Investigators:
Petzing, Dr J Morrison, Dr K Buckley, Dr BR
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Research Office
Organisation: Loughborough University
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 April 2017 Ends: 31 March 2018 Value (£): 2,000,000
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Biomaterials Condensed Matter Physics
Manufacturing Machine & Plant Materials Characterisation
Microsystems RF & Microwave Technology
Solar Technology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Healthcare Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Electronics Energy
Manufacturing Information Technologies
Transport Systems and Vehicles
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
18 Jan 2017 Underpinning multi-user equipment Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Our vision is to undertake excellent research underpinned by world-class experimental facilities delivered in collaboration with regional, national and international partners from academia and industry. In this proposal, our specific aim is to refresh and update multi-user elements of our laboratory equipment to support our portfolio of world-class EPS research, to ensure training of the next generation of researchers in cutting-edge techniques and to continue to create internationally-leading facilities accessible by industrial and research partners.

Loughborough University has a substantial and sustained commitment to maintaining experimental facilities in support of the world-class research activities that saw us ranked in the top 10 in England for research intensity in REF2014. In this submission, we seek critical multi-user equipment which will both underpin and make a step-change to our key engineering and physical sciences (EPS) research capabilities. The equipment will also support our £65M West Park infrastructure re-development project, the largest such project ever undertaken by the University, in which our four Schools in the EPS space will benefit from relocation, refurbishment and new build to deliver sector leading state-of-the-art research and teaching facilities.

We conducted a rigorous two-stage selection procedure led by the PVC(R) and supported by Deans, Associate Deans and the Research Development Manager responsible for EPSRC funding. Criteria used included the quality, importance and breadth of the research portfolio underpinned, and the strategic fit to institutional and EPSRC priorities, in line with guidance in the call.

As a consequence, we are requesting four items of equipment through this call, a Coherence Scanning Interferometer (CSI) system, a Xenon Gas Plasma Focused Ion Beam Instrument and Analytical Accessories (P-FIB), a Multi-functional Cryogen-Free Measurement System (CFMS) and a 400 MHz Liquid/Solid State Nuclear Magnetic esonance (NMR) Spectrometer. We have requested the (near) full cost of the items from the suppliers but we will bear all of the installation and associated refurbishment costs within the major refurbishment / new build project that is now underway on the West Park of our campus.

Each of these items of underpinning multi-user equipment will replace existing equipment which has been well used but has now reached the end of its efficient life. The requested items will also offer enhanced functionality, providing students and staff with the necessary infrastructure to undertake internationally excellent research. We estimate over half our EPSRC portfolio (ie >£40m) will benefit from the investment proposed from which we will deliver significant impacts in nano-surface engineering, microstructural analysis at the atomic level, quantum systems engineering and molecular characterisation. This investment marks a statement of intent for Loughborough's commitment to research facilities across our Science and Engineering Schools. The successful project will see this new equipment housed in new, bespoke laboratories within the School of Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Science (Loughborough Materials Characterisation Centre), and Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering and School of Science (Chemistry and Physics). This includes the projects of our 700 EPS PhD students and our collaborations through our participation in six Centres of Doctoral Training.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Impacts
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Summary
Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.lboro.ac.uk