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188 Projects, page 1 of 19

  • Canada
  • UK Research and Innovation
  • UKRI|EPSRC

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/K008781/1
    Funder Contribution: 347,135 GBP
    Partners: SolarMetrics, STFC - Laboratories, University of Leicester, NRCan

    Efficient air traffic management depends on reliable communications between aircraft and the air traffic control centres. However there is a lack of ground infrastructure in the Arctic to support communications via the standard VHF links (and over the Arctic Ocean such links are impossible) and communication via geostationary satellites is not possible above about 82 degrees latitude because of the curvature of the Earth. Thus for the high latitude flights it is necessary to use high frequency (HF) radio for communication. HF radio relies on reflections from the ionosphere to achieve long distance communication round the curve of the Earth. Unfortunately the high latitude ionosphere is affected by space weather disturbances that can disrupt communications. These disturbances originate with events on the Sun such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections that send out particles that are guided by the Earth's magnetic field into the regions around the poles. During such events HF radio communication can be severely disrupted and aircraft are forced to use longer low latitude routes with consequent increased flight time, fuel consumption and cost. Often, the necessity to land and refuel for these longer routes further increases the fuel consumption. The work described in this proposal cannot prevent the space weather disturbances and their effects on radio communication, but by developing a detailed understanding of the phenomena and using this to provide space weather information services the disruption to flight operations can be minimised. The occurrence of ionospheric disturbances and disruption of radio communication follows the 11-year cycle in solar activity. During the last peak in solar activity a number of events caused disruption of trans-Atlantic air routes. Disruptions to radio communications in recent years have been less frequent as we were at the low phase of the solar cycle. However, in the next few years there will be an upswing in solar activity that will produce a consequent increase in radio communications problems. The increased use of trans-polar routes and the requirement to handle greater traffic density on trans-Atlantic routes both mean that maintaining reliable high latitude communications will be even more important in the future.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/H009612/1
    Funder Contribution: 5,814,410 GBP
    Partners: Norwegian Uni of Science and Technology, Dalhousie University, Royal Inst of British Architects RIBA, Buro Happold Limited, Pell-Frischmann Consultants, University of London, Faber Maunsell, Helsinki University of Technology, University of California, Berkeley, Barratt Developments PLC...

    Reducing carbon emissions and securing energy supplies are crucial international goals to which energy demand reduction must make a major contribution. On a national level, demand reduction, deployment of new and renewable energy technologies, and decarbonisation of the energy supply are essential if the UK is to meet its legally binding carbon reduction targets. As a result, this area is an important theme within the EPSRC's strategic plan, but one that suffers from historical underinvestment and a serious shortage of appropriately skilled researchers. Major energy demand reductions are required within the working lifetime of Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) graduates, i.e. by 2050. Students will thus have to be capable of identifying and undertaking research that will have an impact within their 35 year post-doctoral career. The challenges will be exacerbated as our population ages, as climate change advances and as fuel prices rise: successful demand reduction requires both detailed technical knowledge and multi-disciplinary skills. The DTC will therefore span the interfaces between traditional disciplines to develop a training programme that teaches the context and process-bound problems of technology deployment, along with the communication and leadership skills needed to initiate real change within the tight time scale required. It will be jointly operated by University College London (UCL) and Loughborough University (LU); two world-class centres of energy research. Through the cross-faculty Energy Institute at UCL and Sustainability Research School at LU, over 80 academics have been identified who are able and willing to supervise DTC students. These experts span the full range of necessary disciplines from science and engineering to ergonomics and design, psychology and sociology through to economics and politics. The reputation of the universities will enable them to attract the very best students to this research area.The DTC will begin with a 1 year joint MRes programme followed by a 3 year PhD programme including a placement abroad and the opportunity for each DTC student to employ an undergraduate intern to assist them. Students will be trained in communication methods and alternative forms of public engagement. They will thus understand the energy challenges faced by the UK, appreciate the international energy landscape, develop people-management and communication skills, and so acquire the competence to make a tangible impact. An annual colloquium will be the focal point of the DTC year acting as a show-case and major mechanism for connection to the wider stakeholder community.The DTC will be led by internationally eminent academics (Prof Robert Lowe, Director, and Prof Kevin J Lomas, Deputy Director), together they have over 50 years of experience in this sector. They will be supported by a management structure headed by an Advisory Board chaired by Pascal Terrien, Director of the European Centre and Laboratories for Energy Efficiency Research and responsible for the Demand Reduction programme of the UK Energy Technology Institute. This will help secure the international, industrial and UK research linkages of the DTC.Students will receive a stipend that is competitive with other DTCs in the energy arena and, for work in certain areas, further enhancement from industrial sponsors. They will have a personal annual research allowance, an excellent research environment and access to resources. Both Universities are committed to energy research at the highest level, and each has invested over 3.2M in academic appointments, infrastructure development and other support, specifically to the energy demand reduction area. Each university will match the EPSRC funded studentships one-for-one, with funding from other sources. This DTC will therefore train at least 100 students over its 8 year life.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/G036950/1
    Funder Contribution: 6,371,160 GBP
    Partners: WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC COMPANY UK LIMITED, Cummins Turbo Technologies (United Kingdom), Novelis Global Technology Centre, University of Sheffield, Tata Steel (United Kingdom), Alcoa Europe Flat Rolled Products, MEL Chemicals, TIMET UK LIMITED, NNL, Capcis Ltd...

    This is an application for a Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) from the Universities of Sheffield and Manchester in Advanced Metallic Systems which will be directed by Prof Panos Tsakiropoulos and Prof Phil Prangnell. The proposed DTC is in response to recent reviews by the EPSRC and government/industrial bodies which have indentified the serious impact of an increasing shortage of personnel, with Doctorate level training in metallic materials, on the global competitiveness of the UK's manufacturing and defence capability. Furthermore, future applications of materials are increasingly being seen as systems that incorporate several material classes and engineered surfaces into single components, to increase performance.The primary goal of the DTC is to address these issues head on by supplying the next generation of metallics research specialists desperately needed by UK plc. We plan to attract talented students from a diverse range of physical science and engineering backgrounds and involve them with highly motivated academic staff in a variety of innovative teaching and industrial-based research activities. The programme aims to prepare graduates for global challenges in competitiveness, through an enhanced PhD programme that will:1. Challenge students and promote independent problem solving and interdiscpilnarity,2. Expose them to industrial innovation, exciting new science and the international research community, 3. Increase their fundamental skills, and broaden them as individuals in preparation for future management and leadership roles.The DTC will be aligned with major multidisciplinary research centres and with the strong involvement of NAMTEC (the National Metals Technology Centre) and over twenty companies across many sectors. Learning will be up to date and industrially relevant, as well as benefitting from access to 30M of state-of-the art research facilities.Research projects will be targeted at high value UK strategic technology sectors, such as aerospace, automotive, power generation, renewables, and defence and aim to:1. Provide a multidisciplinary approach to the whole product life cycle; from raw material, to semi finished products to forming, joining, surface engineering/coating, in service performance and recycling via the wide skill base of the combined academic team and industrial collaborators.2. Improve the basic understanding of how nano-, micro- and meso-scale physical processes control material microstructures and thereby properties, in order to radically improve industrial processes, and advance techniques of modelling and process simulation.3. Develop new innovative processes and processing routes, i.e. disruptive or transformative technologies.4. Address challenges in energy by the development of advanced metallic solutions and manufacturing technologies for nuclear power, reduced CO2 emissions, and renewable energy. 5. Study issues and develop techniques for interfacing metallic materials into advanced hybrid structures with polymers, laminates, foams and composites etc. 6. Develop novel coatings and surface treatments to protect new light alloys and hybrid structures, in hostile environments, reduce environmental impact of chemical treatments and add value and increase functionality. 7. Reduce environmental impact through reductions in process energy costs and concurrently develop new materials that address the environmental challenges in weight saving and recyclability technologies. This we believe will produce PhD graduates with a superior skills base enabling problem solving and leadership expertise well beyond a conventional PhD project, i.e. a DTC with a structured programme and stimulating methods of engagement, will produce internationally competitive doctoral graduates that can engage with today's diverse metallurgical issues and contribute to the development of a high level knowledge-based UK manufacturing sector.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/G022402/1
    Funder Contribution: 406,440 GBP
    Partners: Sonobond, Tata Steel (United Kingdom), Airbus, Meridian Business Development UK, Novelis Global Technology Centre, University of Salford, Jaguar Land Rover (United Kingdom)

    There are clear drivers in the transport industry towards lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions through the introduction of designs involving combinations of different material classes, such as steel, titanium, magnesium and aluminium alloys, metal sheet and castings, and laminates in more efficient hybrid structures. The future direction of the transport industry will thus undoubtedly be based on multi-material solutions. This shift in design philosophy is already past the embryonic stage, with the introduction of aluminium front end steel body shells (BMW 5 series) and the integration of aluminium sheet and magnesium high pressure die castings in aluminium car bodies (e.g. Jaguar XK).Such material combinations are currently joined by fasteners, which are expensive and inefficient, as they are very difficult to weld by conventional technologies like electrical resistance spot, MIG arc, and laser welding. New advanced solid state friction based welding techniques can potentially overcome many of the issues associated with joining dissimilar material combinations, as they lower the overall heat input and do not melt the materials. This greatly reduces the tendency for poor bond strengths, due to interfacial reaction and solidification cracking, as well as damage to thermally sensitive materials like laminates and aluminium alloys used in automotive bodies, which are designed to harden during paint baking. Friction joining techniques are also far more efficient, resulting in energy savings of > 90% relative to resistance spot and laser welding, are more robust processes, and can be readily used in combination with adhesive bonding.This project, in close collaboration with industry (e.g. Jaguar - Land Rover, Airbus, Corus, Meridian, Novelis, TWI, Sonobond) will investigate materials and process issues associated with optimising friction joining of hybrid, more mass efficient structures, focusing on; Friction Stir, Friction Stir Spot, and High Power Ultrasonic Spot welding. The work will be underpinned by novel approaches to developing models of these exciting new processes and detailed analysis and modelling of key material interactions, such as interfacial bonding / reaction and weld microstructure formation.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/H009817/1
    Funder Contribution: 608,548 GBP
    Partners: University of Salford, QinetiQ Ltd, McMaster University

    The global semiconductor market has a value of around $1trillion, over 90% of which is silicon based. In many senses silicon has driven the growth in the world economy for the last 40 years and has had an unparalleled cultural impact. Given the current level of commitment to silicon fabrication and its integration with other systems in terms of intellectual investment and foundry cost this is unlikely to change for the foreseeable future. Silicon is used in almost all electronic circuitry. However, there is one area of electronics that, at the moment, silicon cannnot be used to fill; that is in the emission of light. Silicon cannot normally emit light, but nearly all telecommunications and internet data transfer is currently done using light transmitted down fibre optics. So in everyones home signals are encoded by silicon and transmitted down wires to a station where other (expensive) components combine these signals and send light down fibres. If cheap silicon light emitters were available, the fibre optics could be brought into everyones homes and the data rate into and out of our homes would increase enormously. Also the connection between chips on circuit boards and even within chips could be performed using light instead of electricity. The applicants intend to form a consortium in the UK and to collaborate with international research groups to make silicon emit light using tiny clumps of silicon, called nanocrystals;. These nanocrystals can emit light in the visible and can be made to emit in the infrared by adding erbium atoms to them. A number of techniques available in Manchester, London and Guildford will be applied to such silicon chips to understand the light emission and to try to make silicon chips that emit light when electricity is passed through them. This will create a versatile silicon optical platform with applications in telecommunications, solar energy and secure communications. This technology would be commercialised by the applicants using a high tech start-up commpany.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/V043811/1
    Funder Contribution: 497,214 GBP
    Partners: University of Toronto, University of Liverpool

    Coronaviruses are transmitted from an infectious individual through large respiratory droplets generated by coughing, sneezing or speaking. These infectious droplets are then transmitted to the mucosal surfaces of a recipient through inhalation of the aerosol or by contact with contaminated fomites such as surfaces or other objects. In healthcare settings, personal protective equipment (PPE) plays a crucial role in interrupting the transmission of highly communicable diseases such as COVID19 from patients to healthcare workers (HCWs). However, research has shown that PPE can also act as a fomite during the donning and doffing process as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can survive on these surfaces for up to three days. This creates a need for more effective PPE materials that can provide antiviral protection. In this proposal we aim to develop a dual action antiviral/antifouling coating to lower the risk of transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 to HCWs from COVID19 patients. This project will deliver antiviral/antifouling coatings that can be readily applied to PPE surfaces such as faceshields that are likely to encounter a high level of viral load and would be of great benefit to the health of clinical staff. Furthermore, this project has embedded into its planning a rapid pathway for optimisation, translation, and upscaling of manufacture to deliver a low-cost technology within a short timescale.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/G015325/1
    Funder Contribution: 313,341 GBP
    Partners: Uppsala University, University of Guelph, University of Leeds

    The biological membrane is a highly organised structure. Many biologically active compounds interact with the biological membrane and modify its structure and organisation in a very selective manner. Phospholipids form the basic backbone structure of biological membranes. When phospholipid layers are adsorbed on a mercury drop electrode (HMDE) they form monolayers which have a very similar structure and properties to exactly half the phospholipid bilayer of a biological membrane. The reason for this is that the fluid phospholipid layer is directly compatible with the smooth liquid mercury surface. The great advantage of this system is that the structure of the adsorbed phospholipid layer can be very closely interrogated electrochemically since it is supported on a conducting surface. In this way interactions with biologically active compounds which modify the monolayer's structure can be sensed. The disadvantage is that Hg electrodes are fragile, toxic and have no applicability for field use in spite of the sensitivity of the system to biological membrane active species. Another disadvantage is that the Hg surface can only be imaged with extreme difficulty. This project takes the above proven sensing system and modifies it in the following way. A single and an array of platinum (Pt) microelectrode(s) are fabricated on a silicon wafer. On each microelectrode a minute amount of Hg is electrodeposited and on each Hg/Pt electrode a phospholipid monolayer is deposited. The stability of each phospholipid layer will be ensured through the edge effect of the electrode. We will use the silicon wafer array to carry out controlled phospholipid deposition experiments which are not possible on the HMDE. We shall also try out other methods of phospholipid deposition. The project will exploit the fact that the microelectrode array system with deposited phospholipid monolayers is accessible for imaging. AFM studies at Leeds have already been used to image temperature induced phase changes in mica supported phospholipid bilayers showing nucleation and growth processes. The AFM system is eminently suitable therefore to image the potential induced phase changes of the phospholipid monolayers on the individual chip based microelectrodes. It is important to do this because the occurrence of these phase transitions is very sensitive to the interaction of the phospholipid layer with biomembrane active species.In addition the mechanism of the phase changes which are fundamentally the same as those occurring in the electroporation of cells are of immense physical interest and a greater understanding of them can be gained through their imaging. We shall also attempt to image the interaction of the layer with membrane active peptides at different potential values. The AFM system will be developed to image the conformation and state of aggregation of adsorbed anti-microbial peptides on the monolayer in particular as a function of potential change. When biomembrane active compounds interact with phospholipid layers on Hg they alter the fluidity and organisation of the layers. This in turn affects the characteristics of the potential induced phase transitions. This can be very effectively monitored electrochemically by rapid cyclic voltammetry (RCV). Interferences to the analysis will be characterised. Pattern recognition techniques will be developed to characterise the electrochemical response to individual active compounds.The project will deliver a sensor on a silicon wafer which has the potential to detect low levels of biomembrane active organic compounds in natural waters and to assess the biomembrane activity of pharmaceutical compounds. The proven feasibility of cleaning the Hg/Pt electrode and renewing the sensing phospholipid layer will facilitate the incorporation of the device into a flow through system with a full automation and programmable operation.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/W020408/1
    Funder Contribution: 2,652,180 GBP
    Partners: University of Salford, Yoti Ltd, University of Montreal, Inogesis, ODI, Bruntwood Limited, UNSW, Petras, BT Group (United Kingdom), N8 Policing Research Partnership...

    Digital technologies and services are shaping our lives. Work, education, finance, health, politics and society are all affected. They also raise concomitant and complex challenges relating to the security of and trust in systems and data. TIPS (Trust, Identity, Privacy and Security) issues thus lie at the heart of our adoption of new technologies and are critical to our economic prosperity and the well-being of our citizens. Identifying and addressing such issues requires a coherent, coordinated, multi-disciplinary approach, with strong stakeholder relationships at the centre. SPRITE+ is a vehicle for communication, engagement, and collaboration for people involved in research, practice, and policy relevant to TIPS in digital contexts. Since launching in 2019, we have established ourselves as the go-to point of contact to engage with the broadest UK network of interdisciplinary, cross-sector digital TIPS experts. The second phase of SPRITE+ ('SPRITE+2') will continue to build our membership, whilst expanding the breadth and depth of our innovation, and deepen our impact through proactive engagement. SPRITE+2 will have the following objectives: 1. Expand our TIPS community, harnessing the expertise and collaborative potential of the national and international TIPS communities 2. Identify and prioritise future TIPS research challenges 3. Explore and develop priority research areas to enhance our collective understanding of future global TIPS challenges 4. Stimulate innovative research through sandpits, industry led calls, and horizon scanning 5. Deepen engagement with TIPS research end users across sectors to accelerate knowledge Exchange 6. Understand, inform, and influence policy making and practice at regional, national and international level These will be delivered through four work packages and two cross cutting activities. All work packages will be led by the PI (Elliot) to ensure that connections are made and synergies exploited. Each sub-work package will be led by a member of the Management Team and supported by our Expert Fellows and Project Partners. WP1 Develop the Network We will deliver a set of activities designed to expand, broaden, and engage the network, from expert meetings and workshops to student bootcamps and international conferences. WP2 Engage stakeholders to enhance knowledge exchange and deliver impact. We will be greatly enhancing our purposive engagement activity in SPRITE+2. This activity will include a new business intelligence function and PP engagement grants, designed to enhance mutual understanding between researchers and stakeholders. WP3 Identify, prioritise, and explore future TIPS challenges We will select and then investigate priority areas of future TIPS. Two areas are pre-scoped based on the work we have done so far in SPRITE+ (TIPS in digital cities; trustworthy digital identities) with a further two be identified during the lead up to SPRITE+2. WP4 Drive innovation in research This WP concerns the initiation and production of high-quality impactful research. Through horizon scanning, sandpits and industry-led calls, we will steer ideas through an innovation pipeline ensuring SPRITE+2 is future focused. Cross cutting activities The first cross-cutting activity will accelerate the translation of TIPS research into policy and practice for public and private sector end uses. The second focuses on mechanisms to facilitate communication within our community. The experiences of SPRITE+ and the other DE Network+s demonstrate that it takes years of consistent and considerable effort for a new network to grow membership and develop productive relationships with stakeholders. In SPRITE+2 grant we would hit the ground running and maximise the impact of four additional years of funding. A successful track record, a well-established team, and a raft of ambitious new plans provide a solid foundation for strong delivery in 2023-27.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/P031277/1
    Funder Contribution: 692,318 GBP
    Partners: CNRC, University of Liverpool, DLR

    The vision for this research is to develop a novel toolset for flight simulation fidelity enhancement. This represents a step-change in simulator qualification, is well-timed making a significant contribution to the UoL initiated NATO STO AVT-296-RTG activity and will have an immediate impact through engagement with Industry partners. High fidelity modelling and simulation are prerequisites for ensuring confidence in decision making during aircraft design and development, including performance and handling qualities estimation, control law development, aircraft dynamic loads analysis, and the creation of a realistic piloted simulation environment. The ability to evaluate/optimise concepts with high confidence and stimulate realistic pilot behaviour are the kernels of quality flight simulation, in which pilots can train to operate aircraft proficiently and safely and industry can design with lower risk. Regulatory standards such as CS-FSTD(H) and FAA AC120-63 describe the certification criteria and procedures for rotorcraft flight training simulators. These documents detail the component fidelity required to achieve "fitness for purpose", with criteria based on "tolerances", defined as acceptable differences between simulation and flight, typically +/- 10% for the flight model. However, these have not been updated for several decades, while on the military side, the related practices in NATO nations are not harmonised and have often been developed for specific applications. Methods to update the models for improved fidelity are mostly ad-hoc and, without a strong scientific foundation, are often not physics-based. This research will provide a framework for such harmonisation removing the barriers to adopting physics-based flight modelling and will create new, more informed, standards. In this research two aspects of fidelity will be tackled, predictive fidelity (the metrics and tolerances in the standards) and perceptual fidelity (pilot opinion). The predictive fidelity aspect of the research will use System Identification techniques to provide a systematic framework for 'enhancing' a physics-based simulation model. The perceptual fidelity research will develop a rational, novel process for task-specific motion tuning together with a robust methodology for capturing pilots' subjective assessment of the overall fidelity of a simulator. Extensive use will be made of flight simulation and real-world flight tests throughout this project in both the predictive and perceptual fidelity research.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/N018958/1
    Funder Contribution: 507,674 GBP
    Partners: University of Edinburgh, University of Salford, MICROSOFT RESEARCH LIMITED, Wolfram Research Europe Ltd, The Mathworks Ltd, University of London, 3DS, Maplesoft, University of Sheffield, NAG...

    "Software is the most prevalent of all the instruments used in modern science" [Goble 2014]. Scientific software is not just widely used [SSI 2014] but also widely developed. Yet much of it is developed by researchers who have little understanding of even the basics of modern software development with the knock-on effects to their productivity, and the reliability, readability and reproducibility of their software [Nature Biotechnology]. Many are long-tail researchers working in small groups - even Big Science operations like the SKA are operationally undertaken by individuals collectively. Technological development in software is more like a cliff-face than a ladder - there are many routes to the top, to a solution. Further, the cliff face is dynamic - constantly and quickly changing as new technologies emerge and decline. Determining which technologies to deploy and how best to deploy them is in itself a specialist domain, with many features of traditional research. Researchers need empowerment and training to give them confidence with the available equipment and the challenges they face. This role, akin to that of an Alpine guide, involves support, guidance, and load carrying. When optimally performed it results in a researcher who knows what challenges they can attack alone, and where they need appropriate support. Guides can help decide whether to exploit well-trodden paths or explore new possibilities as they navigate through this dynamic environment. These guides are highly trained, technology-centric, research-aware individuals who have a curiosity driven nature dedicated to supporting researchers by forging a research software support career. Such Research Software Engineers (RSEs) guide researchers through the technological landscape and form a human interface between scientist and computer. A well-functioning RSE group will not just add to an organisation's effectiveness, it will have a multiplicative effect since it will make every individual researcher more effective. It has the potential to improve the quality of research done across all University departments and faculties. My work plan provides a bottom-up approach to providing RSE services that is distinctive from yet complements the top-down approach provided by the EPRSC-funded Software Sustainability Institute. The outcomes of this fellowship will be: Local and National RSE Capability: A RSE Group at Sheffield as a credible roadmap for others pump-priming a UK national research software capability; and a national Continuing Professional Development programme for RSEs. Scalable software support methods: A scalable approach based on "nudging", to providing research software support for scientific software efficiency, sustainability and reproducibility, with quality-guidelines for research software and for researchers on how best to incorporate research software engineering support within their grant proposals. HPC for long-tail researchers: 'HPC-software ramps' and a pathway for standardised integration of HPC resources into Desktop Applications fit for modern scientific computing; a network of HPC-centric RSEs based around shared resources; and a portfolio of new research software courses developed with partners. Communication and public understanding: A communication campaign to raise the profile of research software exploiting high profile social media and online resources, establishing an informal forum for research software debate. References [Goble 2014] Goble, C. "Better Software, Better Research". IEEE Internet Computing 18(5): 4-8 (2014) [SSI 2014] Hettrick, S. "It's impossible to conduct research without software, say 7 out of 10 UK researchers" http://www.software.ac.uk/blog/2014-12-04-its-impossible-conduct-research-without-software-say-7-out-10-uk-researchers (2014) [Nature 2015] Editorial "Rule rewrite aims to clean up scientific software", Nature Biotechnology 520(7547) April 2015

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The following results are related to Canada. Are you interested to view more results? Visit OpenAIRE - Explore.
188 Projects, page 1 of 19
  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/K008781/1
    Funder Contribution: 347,135 GBP
    Partners: SolarMetrics, STFC - Laboratories, University of Leicester, NRCan

    Efficient air traffic management depends on reliable communications between aircraft and the air traffic control centres. However there is a lack of ground infrastructure in the Arctic to support communications via the standard VHF links (and over the Arctic Ocean such links are impossible) and communication via geostationary satellites is not possible above about 82 degrees latitude because of the curvature of the Earth. Thus for the high latitude flights it is necessary to use high frequency (HF) radio for communication. HF radio relies on reflections from the ionosphere to achieve long distance communication round the curve of the Earth. Unfortunately the high latitude ionosphere is affected by space weather disturbances that can disrupt communications. These disturbances originate with events on the Sun such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections that send out particles that are guided by the Earth's magnetic field into the regions around the poles. During such events HF radio communication can be severely disrupted and aircraft are forced to use longer low latitude routes with consequent increased flight time, fuel consumption and cost. Often, the necessity to land and refuel for these longer routes further increases the fuel consumption. The work described in this proposal cannot prevent the space weather disturbances and their effects on radio communication, but by developing a detailed understanding of the phenomena and using this to provide space weather information services the disruption to flight operations can be minimised. The occurrence of ionospheric disturbances and disruption of radio communication follows the 11-year cycle in solar activity. During the last peak in solar activity a number of events caused disruption of trans-Atlantic air routes. Disruptions to radio communications in recent years have been less frequent as we were at the low phase of the solar cycle. However, in the next few years there will be an upswing in solar activity that will produce a consequent increase in radio communications problems. The increased use of trans-polar routes and the requirement to handle greater traffic density on trans-Atlantic routes both mean that maintaining reliable high latitude communications will be even more important in the future.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/H009612/1
    Funder Contribution: 5,814,410 GBP
    Partners: Norwegian Uni of Science and Technology, Dalhousie University, Royal Inst of British Architects RIBA, Buro Happold Limited, Pell-Frischmann Consultants, University of London, Faber Maunsell, Helsinki University of Technology, University of California, Berkeley, Barratt Developments PLC...

    Reducing carbon emissions and securing energy supplies are crucial international goals to which energy demand reduction must make a major contribution. On a national level, demand reduction, deployment of new and renewable energy technologies, and decarbonisation of the energy supply are essential if the UK is to meet its legally binding carbon reduction targets. As a result, this area is an important theme within the EPSRC's strategic plan, but one that suffers from historical underinvestment and a serious shortage of appropriately skilled researchers. Major energy demand reductions are required within the working lifetime of Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) graduates, i.e. by 2050. Students will thus have to be capable of identifying and undertaking research that will have an impact within their 35 year post-doctoral career. The challenges will be exacerbated as our population ages, as climate change advances and as fuel prices rise: successful demand reduction requires both detailed technical knowledge and multi-disciplinary skills. The DTC will therefore span the interfaces between traditional disciplines to develop a training programme that teaches the context and process-bound problems of technology deployment, along with the communication and leadership skills needed to initiate real change within the tight time scale required. It will be jointly operated by University College London (UCL) and Loughborough University (LU); two world-class centres of energy research. Through the cross-faculty Energy Institute at UCL and Sustainability Research School at LU, over 80 academics have been identified who are able and willing to supervise DTC students. These experts span the full range of necessary disciplines from science and engineering to ergonomics and design, psychology and sociology through to economics and politics. The reputation of the universities will enable them to attract the very best students to this research area.The DTC will begin with a 1 year joint MRes programme followed by a 3 year PhD programme including a placement abroad and the opportunity for each DTC student to employ an undergraduate intern to assist them. Students will be trained in communication methods and alternative forms of public engagement. They will thus understand the energy challenges faced by the UK, appreciate the international energy landscape, develop people-management and communication skills, and so acquire the competence to make a tangible impact. An annual colloquium will be the focal point of the DTC year acting as a show-case and major mechanism for connection to the wider stakeholder community.The DTC will be led by internationally eminent academics (Prof Robert Lowe, Director, and Prof Kevin J Lomas, Deputy Director), together they have over 50 years of experience in this sector. They will be supported by a management structure headed by an Advisory Board chaired by Pascal Terrien, Director of the European Centre and Laboratories for Energy Efficiency Research and responsible for the Demand Reduction programme of the UK Energy Technology Institute. This will help secure the international, industrial and UK research linkages of the DTC.Students will receive a stipend that is competitive with other DTCs in the energy arena and, for work in certain areas, further enhancement from industrial sponsors. They will have a personal annual research allowance, an excellent research environment and access to resources. Both Universities are committed to energy research at the highest level, and each has invested over 3.2M in academic appointments, infrastructure development and other support, specifically to the energy demand reduction area. Each university will match the EPSRC funded studentships one-for-one, with funding from other sources. This DTC will therefore train at least 100 students over its 8 year life.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/G036950/1
    Funder Contribution: 6,371,160 GBP
    Partners: WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC COMPANY UK LIMITED, Cummins Turbo Technologies (United Kingdom), Novelis Global Technology Centre, University of Sheffield, Tata Steel (United Kingdom), Alcoa Europe Flat Rolled Products, MEL Chemicals, TIMET UK LIMITED, NNL, Capcis Ltd...

    This is an application for a Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) from the Universities of Sheffield and Manchester in Advanced Metallic Systems which will be directed by Prof Panos Tsakiropoulos and Prof Phil Prangnell. The proposed DTC is in response to recent reviews by the EPSRC and government/industrial bodies which have indentified the serious impact of an increasing shortage of personnel, with Doctorate level training in metallic materials, on the global competitiveness of the UK's manufacturing and defence capability. Furthermore, future applications of materials are increasingly being seen as systems that incorporate several material classes and engineered surfaces into single components, to increase performance.The primary goal of the DTC is to address these issues head on by supplying the next generation of metallics research specialists desperately needed by UK plc. We plan to attract talented students from a diverse range of physical science and engineering backgrounds and involve them with highly motivated academic staff in a variety of innovative teaching and industrial-based research activities. The programme aims to prepare graduates for global challenges in competitiveness, through an enhanced PhD programme that will:1. Challenge students and promote independent problem solving and interdiscpilnarity,2. Expose them to industrial innovation, exciting new science and the international research community, 3. Increase their fundamental skills, and broaden them as individuals in preparation for future management and leadership roles.The DTC will be aligned with major multidisciplinary research centres and with the strong involvement of NAMTEC (the National Metals Technology Centre) and over twenty companies across many sectors. Learning will be up to date and industrially relevant, as well as benefitting from access to 30M of state-of-the art research facilities.Research projects will be targeted at high value UK strategic technology sectors, such as aerospace, automotive, power generation, renewables, and defence and aim to:1. Provide a multidisciplinary approach to the whole product life cycle; from raw material, to semi finished products to forming, joining, surface engineering/coating, in service performance and recycling via the wide skill base of the combined academic team and industrial collaborators.2. Improve the basic understanding of how nano-, micro- and meso-scale physical processes control material microstructures and thereby properties, in order to radically improve industrial processes, and advance techniques of modelling and process simulation.3. Develop new innovative processes and processing routes, i.e. disruptive or transformative technologies.4. Address challenges in energy by the development of advanced metallic solutions and manufacturing technologies for nuclear power, reduced CO2 emissions, and renewable energy. 5. Study issues and develop techniques for interfacing metallic materials into advanced hybrid structures with polymers, laminates, foams and composites etc. 6. Develop novel coatings and surface treatments to protect new light alloys and hybrid structures, in hostile environments, reduce environmental impact of chemical treatments and add value and increase functionality. 7. Reduce environmental impact through reductions in process energy costs and concurrently develop new materials that address the environmental challenges in weight saving and recyclability technologies. This we believe will produce PhD graduates with a superior skills base enabling problem solving and leadership expertise well beyond a conventional PhD project, i.e. a DTC with a structured programme and stimulating methods of engagement, will produce internationally competitive doctoral graduates that can engage with today's diverse metallurgical issues and contribute to the development of a high level knowledge-based UK manufacturing sector.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/G022402/1
    Funder Contribution: 406,440 GBP
    Partners: Sonobond, Tata Steel (United Kingdom), Airbus, Meridian Business Development UK, Novelis Global Technology Centre, University of Salford, Jaguar Land Rover (United Kingdom)

    There are clear drivers in the transport industry towards lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions through the introduction of designs involving combinations of different material classes, such as steel, titanium, magnesium and aluminium alloys, metal sheet and castings, and laminates in more efficient hybrid structures. The future direction of the transport industry will thus undoubtedly be based on multi-material solutions. This shift in design philosophy is already past the embryonic stage, with the introduction of aluminium front end steel body shells (BMW 5 series) and the integration of aluminium sheet and magnesium high pressure die castings in aluminium car bodies (e.g. Jaguar XK).Such material combinations are currently joined by fasteners, which are expensive and inefficient, as they are very difficult to weld by conventional technologies like electrical resistance spot, MIG arc, and laser welding. New advanced solid state friction based welding techniques can potentially overcome many of the issues associated with joining dissimilar material combinations, as they lower the overall heat input and do not melt the materials. This greatly reduces the tendency for poor bond strengths, due to interfacial reaction and solidification cracking, as well as damage to thermally sensitive materials like laminates and aluminium alloys used in automotive bodies, which are designed to harden during paint baking. Friction joining techniques are also far more efficient, resulting in energy savings of > 90% relative to resistance spot and laser welding, are more robust processes, and can be readily used in combination with adhesive bonding.This project, in close collaboration with industry (e.g. Jaguar - Land Rover, Airbus, Corus, Meridian, Novelis, TWI, Sonobond) will investigate materials and process issues associated with optimising friction joining of hybrid, more mass efficient structures, focusing on; Friction Stir, Friction Stir Spot, and High Power Ultrasonic Spot welding. The work will be underpinned by novel approaches to developing models of these exciting new processes and detailed analysis and modelling of key material interactions, such as interfacial bonding / reaction and weld microstructure formation.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/H009817/1
    Funder Contribution: 608,548 GBP
    Partners: University of Salford, QinetiQ Ltd, McMaster University

    The global semiconductor market has a value of around $1trillion, over 90% of which is silicon based. In many senses silicon has driven the growth in the world economy for the last 40 years and has had an unparalleled cultural impact. Given the current level of commitment to silicon fabrication and its integration with other systems in terms of intellectual investment and foundry cost this is unlikely to change for the foreseeable future. Silicon is used in almost all electronic circuitry. However, there is one area of electronics that, at the moment, silicon cannnot be used to fill; that is in the emission of light. Silicon cannot normally emit light, but nearly all telecommunications and internet data transfer is currently done using light transmitted down fibre optics. So in everyones home signals are encoded by silicon and transmitted down wires to a station where other (expensive) components combine these signals and send light down fibres. If cheap silicon light emitters were available, the fibre optics could be brought into everyones homes and the data rate into and out of our homes would increase enormously. Also the connection between chips on circuit boards and even within chips could be performed using light instead of electricity. The applicants intend to form a consortium in the UK and to collaborate with international research groups to make silicon emit light using tiny clumps of silicon, called nanocrystals;. These nanocrystals can emit light in the visible and can be made to emit in the infrared by adding erbium atoms to them. A number of techniques available in Manchester, London and Guildford will be applied to such silicon chips to understand the light emission and to try to make silicon chips that emit light when electricity is passed through them. This will create a versatile silicon optical platform with applications in telecommunications, solar energy and secure communications. This technology would be commercialised by the applicants using a high tech start-up commpany.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/V043811/1
    Funder Contribution: 497,214 GBP
    Partners: University of Toronto, University of Liverpool

    Coronaviruses are transmitted from an infectious individual through large respiratory droplets generated by coughing, sneezing or speaking. These infectious droplets are then transmitted to the mucosal surfaces of a recipient through inhalation of the aerosol or by contact with contaminated fomites such as surfaces or other objects. In healthcare settings, personal protective equipment (PPE) plays a crucial role in interrupting the transmission of highly communicable diseases such as COVID19 from patients to healthcare workers (HCWs). However, research has shown that PPE can also act as a fomite during the donning and doffing process as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can survive on these surfaces for up to three days. This creates a need for more effective PPE materials that can provide antiviral protection. In this proposal we aim to develop a dual action antiviral/antifouling coating to lower the risk of transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 to HCWs from COVID19 patients. This project will deliver antiviral/antifouling coatings that can be readily applied to PPE surfaces such as faceshields that are likely to encounter a high level of viral load and would be of great benefit to the health of clinical staff. Furthermore, this project has embedded into its planning a rapid pathway for optimisation, translation, and upscaling of manufacture to deliver a low-cost technology within a short timescale.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/G015325/1
    Funder Contribution: 313,341 GBP
    Partners: Uppsala University, University of Guelph, University of Leeds

    The biological membrane is a highly organised structure. Many biologically active compounds interact with the biological membrane and modify its structure and organisation in a very selective manner. Phospholipids form the basic backbone structure of biological membranes. When phospholipid layers are adsorbed on a mercury drop electrode (HMDE) they form monolayers which have a very similar structure and properties to exactly half the phospholipid bilayer of a biological membrane. The reason for this is that the fluid phospholipid layer is directly compatible with the smooth liquid mercury surface. The great advantage of this system is that the structure of the adsorbed phospholipid layer can be very closely interrogated electrochemically since it is supported on a conducting surface. In this way interactions with biologically active compounds which modify the monolayer's structure can be sensed. The disadvantage is that Hg electrodes are fragile, toxic and have no applicability for field use in spite of the sensitivity of the system to biological membrane active species. Another disadvantage is that the Hg surface can only be imaged with extreme difficulty. This project takes the above proven sensing system and modifies it in the following way. A single and an array of platinum (Pt) microelectrode(s) are fabricated on a silicon wafer. On each microelectrode a minute amount of Hg is electrodeposited and on each Hg/Pt electrode a phospholipid monolayer is deposited. The stability of each phospholipid layer will be ensured through the edge effect of the electrode. We will use the silicon wafer array to carry out controlled phospholipid deposition experiments which are not possible on the HMDE. We shall also try out other methods of phospholipid deposition. The project will exploit the fact that the microelectrode array system with deposited phospholipid monolayers is accessible for imaging. AFM studies at Leeds have already been used to image temperature induced phase changes in mica supported phospholipid bilayers showing nucleation and growth processes. The AFM system is eminently suitable therefore to image the potential induced phase changes of the phospholipid monolayers on the individual chip based microelectrodes. It is important to do this because the occurrence of these phase transitions is very sensitive to the interaction of the phospholipid layer with biomembrane active species.In addition the mechanism of the phase changes which are fundamentally the same as those occurring in the electroporation of cells are of immense physical interest and a greater understanding of them can be gained through their imaging. We shall also attempt to image the interaction of the layer with membrane active peptides at different potential values. The AFM system will be developed to image the conformation and state of aggregation of adsorbed anti-microbial peptides on the monolayer in particular as a function of potential change. When biomembrane active compounds interact with phospholipid layers on Hg they alter the fluidity and organisation of the layers. This in turn affects the characteristics of the potential induced phase transitions. This can be very effectively monitored electrochemically by rapid cyclic voltammetry (RCV). Interferences to the analysis will be characterised. Pattern recognition techniques will be developed to characterise the electrochemical response to individual active compounds.The project will deliver a sensor on a silicon wafer which has the potential to detect low levels of biomembrane active organic compounds in natural waters and to assess the biomembrane activity of pharmaceutical compounds. The proven feasibility of cleaning the Hg/Pt electrode and renewing the sensing phospholipid layer will facilitate the incorporation of the device into a flow through system with a full automation and programmable operation.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/W020408/1
    Funder Contribution: 2,652,180 GBP
    Partners: University of Salford, Yoti Ltd, University of Montreal, Inogesis, ODI, Bruntwood Limited, UNSW, Petras, BT Group (United Kingdom), N8 Policing Research Partnership...

    Digital technologies and services are shaping our lives. Work, education, finance, health, politics and society are all affected. They also raise concomitant and complex challenges relating to the security of and trust in systems and data. TIPS (Trust, Identity, Privacy and Security) issues thus lie at the heart of our adoption of new technologies and are critical to our economic prosperity and the well-being of our citizens. Identifying and addressing such issues requires a coherent, coordinated, multi-disciplinary approach, with strong stakeholder relationships at the centre. SPRITE+ is a vehicle for communication, engagement, and collaboration for people involved in research, practice, and policy relevant to TIPS in digital contexts. Since launching in 2019, we have established ourselves as the go-to point of contact to engage with the broadest UK network of interdisciplinary, cross-sector digital TIPS experts. The second phase of SPRITE+ ('SPRITE+2') will continue to build our membership, whilst expanding the breadth and depth of our innovation, and deepen our impact through proactive engagement. SPRITE+2 will have the following objectives: 1. Expand our TIPS community, harnessing the expertise and collaborative potential of the national and international TIPS communities 2. Identify and prioritise future TIPS research challenges 3. Explore and develop priority research areas to enhance our collective understanding of future global TIPS challenges 4. Stimulate innovative research through sandpits, industry led calls, and horizon scanning 5. Deepen engagement with TIPS research end users across sectors to accelerate knowledge Exchange 6. Understand, inform, and influence policy making and practice at regional, national and international level These will be delivered through four work packages and two cross cutting activities. All work packages will be led by the PI (Elliot) to ensure that connections are made and synergies exploited. Each sub-work package will be led by a member of the Management Team and supported by our Expert Fellows and Project Partners. WP1 Develop the Network We will deliver a set of activities designed to expand, broaden, and engage the network, from expert meetings and workshops to student bootcamps and international conferences. WP2 Engage stakeholders to enhance knowledge exchange and deliver impact. We will be greatly enhancing our purposive engagement activity in SPRITE+2. This activity will include a new business intelligence function and PP engagement grants, designed to enhance mutual understanding between researchers and stakeholders. WP3 Identify, prioritise, and explore future TIPS challenges We will select and then investigate priority areas of future TIPS. Two areas are pre-scoped based on the work we have done so far in SPRITE+ (TIPS in digital cities; trustworthy digital identities) with a further two be identified during the lead up to SPRITE+2. WP4 Drive innovation in research This WP concerns the initiation and production of high-quality impactful research. Through horizon scanning, sandpits and industry-led calls, we will steer ideas through an innovation pipeline ensuring SPRITE+2 is future focused. Cross cutting activities The first cross-cutting activity will accelerate the translation of TIPS research into policy and practice for public and private sector end uses. The second focuses on mechanisms to facilitate communication within our community. The experiences of SPRITE+ and the other DE Network+s demonstrate that it takes years of consistent and considerable effort for a new network to grow membership and develop productive relationships with stakeholders. In SPRITE+2 grant we would hit the ground running and maximise the impact of four additional years of funding. A successful track record, a well-established team, and a raft of ambitious new plans provide a solid foundation for strong delivery in 2023-27.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/P031277/1
    Funder Contribution: 692,318 GBP
    Partners: CNRC, University of Liverpool, DLR

    The vision for this research is to develop a novel toolset for flight simulation fidelity enhancement. This represents a step-change in simulator qualification, is well-timed making a significant contribution to the UoL initiated NATO STO AVT-296-RTG activity and will have an immediate impact through engagement with Industry partners. High fidelity modelling and simulation are prerequisites for ensuring confidence in decision making during aircraft design and development, including performance and handling qualities estimation, control law development, aircraft dynamic loads analysis, and the creation of a realistic piloted simulation environment. The ability to evaluate/optimise concepts with high confidence and stimulate realistic pilot behaviour are the kernels of quality flight simulation, in which pilots can train to operate aircraft proficiently and safely and industry can design with lower risk. Regulatory standards such as CS-FSTD(H) and FAA AC120-63 describe the certification criteria and procedures for rotorcraft flight training simulators. These documents detail the component fidelity required to achieve "fitness for purpose", with criteria based on "tolerances", defined as acceptable differences between simulation and flight, typically +/- 10% for the flight model. However, these have not been updated for several decades, while on the military side, the related practices in NATO nations are not harmonised and have often been developed for specific applications. Methods to update the models for improved fidelity are mostly ad-hoc and, without a strong scientific foundation, are often not physics-based. This research will provide a framework for such harmonisation removing the barriers to adopting physics-based flight modelling and will create new, more informed, standards. In this research two aspects of fidelity will be tackled, predictive fidelity (the metrics and tolerances in the standards) and perceptual fidelity (pilot opinion). The predictive fidelity aspect of the research will use System Identification techniques to provide a systematic framework for 'enhancing' a physics-based simulation model. The perceptual fidelity research will develop a rational, novel process for task-specific motion tuning together with a robust methodology for capturing pilots' subjective assessment of the overall fidelity of a simulator. Extensive use will be made of flight simulation and real-world flight tests throughout this project in both the predictive and perceptual fidelity research.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/N018958/1
    Funder Contribution: 507,674 GBP
    Partners: University of Edinburgh, University of Salford, MICROSOFT RESEARCH LIMITED, Wolfram Research Europe Ltd, The Mathworks Ltd, University of London, 3DS, Maplesoft, University of Sheffield, NAG...

    "Software is the most prevalent of all the instruments used in modern science" [Goble 2014]. Scientific software is not just widely used [SSI 2014] but also widely developed. Yet much of it is developed by researchers who have little understanding of even the basics of modern software development with the knock-on effects to their productivity, and the reliability, readability and reproducibility of their software [Nature Biotechnology]. Many are long-tail researchers working in small groups - even Big Science operations like the SKA are operationally undertaken by individuals collectively. Technological development in software is more like a cliff-face than a ladder - there are many routes to the top, to a solution. Further, the cliff face is dynamic - constantly and quickly changing as new technologies emerge and decline. Determining which technologies to deploy and how best to deploy them is in itself a specialist domain, with many features of traditional research. Researchers need empowerment and training to give them confidence with the available equipment and the challenges they face. This role, akin to that of an Alpine guide, involves support, guidance, and load carrying. When optimally performed it results in a researcher who knows what challenges they can attack alone, and where they need appropriate support. Guides can help decide whether to exploit well-trodden paths or explore new possibilities as they navigate through this dynamic environment. These guides are highly trained, technology-centric, research-aware individuals who have a curiosity driven nature dedicated to supporting researchers by forging a research software support career. Such Research Software Engineers (RSEs) guide researchers through the technological landscape and form a human interface between scientist and computer. A well-functioning RSE group will not just add to an organisation's effectiveness, it will have a multiplicative effect since it will make every individual researcher more effective. It has the potential to improve the quality of research done across all University departments and faculties. My work plan provides a bottom-up approach to providing RSE services that is distinctive from yet complements the top-down approach provided by the EPRSC-funded Software Sustainability Institute. The outcomes of this fellowship will be: Local and National RSE Capability: A RSE Group at Sheffield as a credible roadmap for others pump-priming a UK national research software capability; and a national Continuing Professional Development programme for RSEs. Scalable software support methods: A scalable approach based on "nudging", to providing research software support for scientific software efficiency, sustainability and reproducibility, with quality-guidelines for research software and for researchers on how best to incorporate research software engineering support within their grant proposals. HPC for long-tail researchers: 'HPC-software ramps' and a pathway for standardised integration of HPC resources into Desktop Applications fit for modern scientific computing; a network of HPC-centric RSEs based around shared resources; and a portfolio of new research software courses developed with partners. Communication and public understanding: A communication campaign to raise the profile of research software exploiting high profile social media and online resources, establishing an informal forum for research software debate. References [Goble 2014] Goble, C. "Better Software, Better Research". IEEE Internet Computing 18(5): 4-8 (2014) [SSI 2014] Hettrick, S. "It's impossible to conduct research without software, say 7 out of 10 UK researchers" http://www.software.ac.uk/blog/2014-12-04-its-impossible-conduct-research-without-software-say-7-out-10-uk-researchers (2014) [Nature 2015] Editorial "Rule rewrite aims to clean up scientific software", Nature Biotechnology 520(7547) April 2015