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15 Projects

  • Canada
  • 2018-2022
  • UK Research and Innovation
  • UKRI|EPSRC
  • OA Publications Mandate: No
  • 2018

10
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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/G036950/1
    Funder Contribution: 6,371,160 GBP

    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.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/H009612/1
    Funder Contribution: 5,814,410 GBP

    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.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/N018958/1
    Funder Contribution: 507,674 GBP

    "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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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/G036608/1
    Funder Contribution: 6,550,560 GBP

    There are major challenges inherent in meeting the goals of the UK national energy policy, including, climate change mitigation and adaption, security of supply, asset renewal, supply infrastructure etc. Additionally, there is a recognized shortage of high quality scientists and engineers with energy-related training to tackle these challenges, and to support the UK's future research and development and innovation performance as evidenced by several recent reports;Doosan Babcock (Energy Brief, Issue 3, June 2007, Doosan Babcock); UK Energy Institute (conducted by Deloitte/Norman Broadbent, 'Skills Needs in the Energy Industry' 2008); The Institution of Engineering and Technology, (evidence to the House of Commons, Select Committee on Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Fifth Report (19th June 2008); The Energy Research Partnership (Investigation into High-level Skills Shortages in the Energy Sector, March 2007). Here we present a proposal to host a Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) focusing on the development of technologies for a low carbon future, providing a challenging, exciting and inspiring research environment for the development of tomorrow's research leaders. This DTC will bring together a cohort of postgraduate research students and their supervisors to develop innovative technologies for a low carbon future based around the key interlinking themes: [1] Low Carbon Enabling Technologies; [2] Transport & Energy; [3] Carbon Storage, underpinned by [4] Climate Change & Energy Systems Research. Thereby each student will develop high level expertise in a particular topic but with excitement of working in a multidisciplinary environment. The DTC will be integrated within a campus wide Interdisciplinary Institute which coordinates energy research to tackle the 'Grand Challenge' of developing technologies for a low carbon future, our DTC students therefore working in a transformational research environment. The DTC will be housed in a NEW 14.8M Energy Research Building and administered by the established (2005) cross campus Earth, Energy & Environment (EEE) University Interdisciplinary Institute

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/M003159/1
    Funder Contribution: 508,163 GBP

    Material innovations focussing on delivery and sustainability are key as our global efforts intensify in the development of a secure and sustainable future energy landscape. Many infrastructure-related material challenges have emerged as a result of the need (i) to explore offshore marine environments for wind power generation, (ii) for deeper and more complex underground wellbore systems for new oil & gas explorations, (iii) for robust containment and shielding structures for new nuclear power plants and (iv) for larger dam structures for future hydropower generation. Our vision for this proposal is to build a world leading and long lasting partnership between academics in the UK and China, integrated with industrial partners and other world leading academic groups around the world, to collectively address some of those construction material challenges with a focus on sustainability. The commonality in the assembled group is our interest and expertise in exploring potentials for magnesia-bearing construction materials in solving some of those new challenges, by either providing completely new solutions or enhanced solutions to existing material systems. This is a unique area to China and the UK where there is significant complementary expertise in the different grades of and applications for magnesia. The project consortium from the University of Cambridge, University College London, Chongqing University and Nanjing Tech University has the required interdisciplinary mix of materials, structural and geotechnical engineers, with world leading unique expertise in magnesia-based construction materials. The intention is to share and advance our global understanding of the performance of those proposed materials, road map future research and commercial needs and identify the ideal applications in our future energy infrastructures where most performance impact and sustainability benefits can be achieved. The proposed focusses two main areas of research. The first is the technical advantages and benefits that magnesia can provide to existing cement systems. This includes (i) its use as an expansive additive for large mass concrete constructions e.g. dams and nuclear installations, (ii) its role in magnesium phosphate cements for the developing of low pH cements suitable for nuclear waste applications and (iii) its role in advancing the development of alkali activated cements by providing low shrinkage and corrosion resistance. The second is the delivery of sustainable MgO production processes that focus on the use of both mineral and reject brine resources. An integral part of this project will be the knowledge transfer activities and collaboration with industry and other relevant research centres around the world. An overarching aspect of the proposed research is the mapping out of the team's capabilities and the integration of expertise and personnel exchange to ensure maximum impact. This will ensure that the research is at the forefront of the global pursuit for a sustainable future energy infrastructure and will ensure that maximum impact is achieved. The consortium plans to act as a global hub to provide a national and international platform for facilitating dialogue and collaboration to enhance the global knowledge economy.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/K021699/1
    Funder Contribution: 5,782,840 GBP

    The surface urban transport infrastructures - our roads, cycle ways, pedestrian areas, tramways and railways - are supported by the ground, and hence the properties of the ground must control to a significant degree their structural performance. The utility services infrastructure - the pipes and cables that deliver utility services to our homes and which supports urban living - is usually buried beneath our urban streets, that is it lies below the surface transport infrastructure (usually roads and paved pedestrian areas). It follows that streetworks to install, replace, repair or maintain these utility service pipes or cables using traditional trench excavations will disrupt traffic and people movement, and will often significantly damage the surface transport infrastructure and the ground on which it bears. It is clear, therefore, that the ground and physical (i.e. utility service and surface transport) infrastructures exist according to a symbiotic relationship: intervene physically in one, and the others are almost inevitably affected in some way, either immediately or in the future. Moreover the physical condition of the pipes and cables, of the ground and of the overlying road structure, is consequently of crucial importance in determining the nature and severity of the impacts that streetworks cause. Assessing the Underworld (ATU) aims to use geophysical sensors deployed both on the surface and inside water pipes to determine remotely (that is, without excavation) the condition of these urban assets. ATU builds on the highly successful Mapping the Underworld (MTU) project funded by EPSRC's first IDEAS Factory (or sandpit) and supported by many industry partners. The MTU sandpit brought together a team that has grown to be acknowledged as international leaders in this field. ATU introduces leaders in climate change, infrastructure policy, engineering sustainability and pipeline systems to the MTU team to take the research into a new sphere of influence as part of a 25-year vision to make streetworks more sustainable. ATU proposes to develop the geophysical sensors created in MTU to look for different targets: indications that the buried pipes and cables are showing signs of degradation or failure, indications that the road structure is showing signs of degradation (e.g. cracking, delamination or wetting) and indications that the ground has properties different to unaltered ground (e.g. wetted or eroded by leaking pipes, loosened by local trench excavations, wetted by water ingress through cracked road structures). For example, a deteriorated (fractured, laterally displaced, corroded or holed) pipe will give a different response to the geophysical sensors than a pristine pipe, while wetting of the adjacent soil or voids created by local erosion due to leakage from a water-bearing pipe will result in a different ground response to unaltered natural soil or fill. Similarly a deteriorated road (with vertical cracks, or with a wetted foundation) will give a different response to intact, coherent bound layers sitting on a properly drained foundation. Taking the information provided by the geophysical sensors and combining it with records for the pipes, cables and roads, and introducing deterioration models for these physical infrastructures knowing their age and recorded condition (where this information is available), will allow a means of predicting how they will react if a trench is dug in a particular road. In some cases alternative construction techniques could avert serious damage (e.g. water pipe bursts, road structural failure requiring complete reconstruction) or injury (gas pipe busts). Making this information available will be achieved by creating a Decision Support System for streetworks engineers. Finally, the full impacts to the economy, society and environment of streetworks will be modelled in a sustainability assessment framework so that the wider impacts of the works are made clear.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/M001067/1
    Funder Contribution: 501,473 GBP

    CRUST takes advantage of the UK's leadership in uncertainty evaluation of earthquake source and ground motion (Goda [PI] and University of Bristol/Cabot Research Institute) and on-shore tsunami impact research (Rossetto [Co-I] and University College of London/EPICentre [Earthquake and People Interaction Centre]) to develop an innovative cross-hazard risk assessment methodology for cascading disasters that promotes dynamic decision-making processes for catastrophe risk management. It cuts across multiple academic fields, i.e. geophysics, engineering seismology, earthquake engineering, and coastal engineering. The timeliness and critical needs for cascading multi-hazards impact assessments have been exemplified by recent catastrophes. CRUST fills the current gap between quasi-static, fragmented approaches for multi-hazards and envisaged, dynamic, coherent frameworks for cascading hazards. CRUST combines a wide range of state-of-the-art hazard and risk models into a comprehensive methodology by taking into account uncertainty associated with predictions of hazards and risks. The work will provide multi-hazards risk assessment guidelines and tools for policy-makers and engineering/reinsurance industries. The proposal capitalises on a breakthrough technology for generating long-waves achieved by Rossetto. CRUST is composed of four work packages (WPs): WP1-'Ground shaking risk modelling due to mega-thrust subduction earthquakes'; WP2-'Tsunami wave and fragility modelling due to mega-thrust subduction earthquakes'; WP3-'Integrated multi-hazards modelling for earthquake shaking and tsunami'; and WP4-'Case studies for the Hikurangi and Cascadia subduction zones'. In WP1-WP3, the research adopts the 2011 Tohoku earthquake as a case study site, since this event offers extensive datasets for strong motion data, tsunami inundation, and building damage survey results, together with other geographical and demographical information (e.g. high-resolution bathymetry data and digital elevation model). The aims of WP1 are: to generate strong motion time-histories based on uncertain earthquake slips, reflecting multiple asperities (large slip patches) over a fault plane (WP1-1); to characterise spatiotemporal occurrence of aftershocks using global catalogues of subduction earthquakes (WP1-2); and to conduct probabilistic seismic performance assessment of structures subjected to mainshock-aftershock sequences (WP1-3). WP2 comprises tsunami wave profile and inundation simulation using uncertain earthquake slips (WP2-1); characterisation of tsunami loads to structures in coastal areas through large-scale physical experiments using an innovative long wave generation system at HR Wallingford (WP2-2); and development of analytical tsunami fragility models in comparison with field observations and experiments (WP2-3). The WP2 will be conducted in collaboration with academic collaborators from Kyoto University and Tohoku University (Japan). WP3 integrates the model components developed from WP1 and WP2 into a comprehensive framework for multi-hazards risk assessment for the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami (WP3-1). Then, practical engineering tools for the multi-hazards method will be developed in WP3-2. Finally, in WP4, the developed multi-hazards methodology will be applied to the Hikurangi and Cascadia subduction zones. The assessments are done in a predictive mode, and these case studies will be conducted in close collaboration with academic partners, GNS Science (New Zealand) for the Hikurangi zone, and researchers at Western University and University of British Columbia (Canada) for the Cascadia zone.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/M010643/1
    Funder Contribution: 403,977 GBP

    The global demand for smaller and more energy efficient devices has been sustained by a steady decrease in the scale on which silicon microelectronics can be manufactured, from 65nm processes in the mid 2000s to 14nm in the very latest Intel processors. To continue this trend beyond the mid 2020s devices with dimensions of just 1-2nm will be required, likely using alternatives to silicon. In this regime, the cross section of a wire might be no more than 2x2 or 3x3 atoms across, where the relevant materials physics is dominated by surface and confinement effects leading to dramatically different structural and electronic properties to the corresponding bulk material. Such wires can be formed by crystallisation of a molten salt within carbon nanotubes (CNTs) of "Buckytubes", leading to the smallest cross section nano crystals possible, sometimes referred to as Feynman crystals. Research into the fundamental materials physics of these CNT-encapsulated structures is still in its infancy, with UK experimentalists leading the way. Particularly exciting recent work by one of the applicants (Sloan) has demonstrated the possibility of these wires undergoing transitions between nano-crystalline structures with markedly different properties, in response to bending strain in the CNT. These "phase change" properties open the way for nanoscale electromechanical switches and non-volatile memory, as well as providing a playground for fundamental studies of phase changes at the smallest length scale possible in a material. Our aim with the current project, inspired by these results, is to develop a computational modelling capability to aid in interpretation of experiments, understand the origin of the phase change behaviour, and guide our experimental colleagues toward compounds with potentially advantageous properties. Counterintuitively, due to a reduction in symmetry, the computational expense of simulating nanowires can be more demanding when compared to bulk crystals. We will address the limitations of currently available modelling tools when applied to these systems. This will involve significant modifications to existing software and a rigorous study of the various approximations one might employ to increase the tractability of simulations. We will apply cutting-edge methods in structure prediction to these systems, a non-trivial exercise due to the possibility wires with non-crystalline (e.g. helical) symmetry, and connect directly to relevant experiments by computing spectra related to the encapsulated wire's electronic and vibrational properties. Finally, we will study the thermodynamics and kinetics of nano-crystalline phase change, developing an understanding of when and how rapidly structural changes are affected to assess the utility of this mechanism for device applications.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/K040251/2
    Funder Contribution: 1,146,390 GBP

    Mathematics is a profound intellectual achievement with impact on all aspects of business and society. For centuries, the highest level of mathematics has been seen as an isolated creative activity, to produce a proof for review and acceptance by research peers. Mathematics is now at a remarkable inflexion point, with new technology radically extending the power and limits of individuals. "Crowdsourcing" pulls together diverse experts to solve problems; symbolic computation tackles huge routine calculations; and computers check proofs that are just too long and complicated for any human to comprehend, using programs designed to verify hardware. Yet these techniques are currently used in stand-alone fashion, lacking integration with each other or with human creativity or fallibility. Social machines are new paradigm, identified by Berners-Lee, for viewing a combination of people and computers as a single problem-solving entity. Our long-term vision is to change mathematics, transforming the reach, pace, and impact of mathematics research, through creating a mathematics social machine: a combination of people, computers, and archives to create and apply mathematics. Thus, for example, an industry researcher wanting to design a network with specific properties could quickly access diverse research skills and research; explore hypotheses; discuss possible solutions; obtain surety of correctness to a desired level; and create new mathematics that individual effort might never imagine or verify. Seamlessly integrated "under the hood" might be a mixture of diverse people and machines, formal and informal approaches, old and new mathematics, experiment and proof. The obstacles to realising the vision are that (i) We do not have a high level understanding of the production of mathematics by people and machines, integrating the current diverse research approaches (ii) There is no shared view among the diverse re- search and user communities of what is and might be possible or desirable The outcome of the fellowship will be a new vision of a mathematics social machine, transforming the reach, pace and impact of mathematics. It will deliver: analysis and experiment to understand current and future production of mathematics as a social machine; designs and prototypes; ownership among academic and industry stakeholders; a roadmap for delivery of the next generation of social machines; and an international team ready to make it a reality.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/G037094/1
    Funder Contribution: 6,423,640 GBP

    The UK water sector is entering a period of profound change with both public and private sector actors seeking evidence-based responses to a host of emerging global, regional and national challenges which are driven by demographic, climatic, and land use changes as well as regulatory pressures for more efficient delivery of services. Although the UK Water Industry is keen to embrace the challenge and well placed to innovate, it lacks the financial resources to support longer term skills and knowledge generation. A new cadre of engineers is required for the water industry to not only make our society more sustainable and profitable but to develop a new suite of goods and services for a rapidly urbanising world.The EPSRC Industrial Doctorate Centre programme is an ideal mechanism with which to remediate the emerging shortfall in advanced engineering skills within the sector. In particular, the training of next-generation engineering leaders for the sector requires a subtle balance between industrial and academic contributions; calling for a funding mechanism which privileges industrial need but provides for significant academic inputs to training and research. The STREAM initiative draws together (for the first time) five of the UK's leading water research and training groups to secure the future supply of advanced engineering professionals in this area of vital importance to the UK. Led by the Centre for Water Science at Cranfield University, the consortium also draws on expertise from the Universities of Sheffield and Bradford, Imperial College London, Newcastle University, and the University of Exeter. STREAM offers Engineering Doctorate awards through a programme which incorporates; (i) acquisition of advanced technical skills through attendance at masters level training courses, (ii) tuition in the competencies and abilities expected of senior engineers, and (iii) doctoral level research projects. Students spend at least 75% of their time working in industry or on industry specified research problems. Example research topics to be addressed by the scheme's Research Engineers include; delivering drinking water quality and protecting public health; reducing carbon footprint; reducing water demand; improving service resilience and reliability; protecting natural water bodies; reducing sewer flooding, developing and implementing strategies for Integrated Water Management, and delivering new approaches to characterising, communicating and mitigating risk and uncertainty. Ten studentships per year for five years will be offered with each position being sponsored by an industrial partner from the water sector.A series of common attendance events will underpin programme and group identity. These include, (i) an initial three-month programme based at Cranfield University, (ii) an open invitation STREAM symposium and (iii) a Challenge Week to take place each summer including transferrable skills training and guest lectures from leading industrialists and scientists. Outreach activities will extend participation in the programme, pursue collaboration with associated initiatives, promote 'brand awareness' of the EngD qualification, and engage with a wide range of stakeholder groups (including the public) to promote engagement with and understanding of STREAM activities.Strategic direction for the programme will be formulated through an Industry Advisory Board comprising representatives from professional bodies, employers, and regulators. This body will provide strategic guidance informed by sector needs, review the operational aspects of the taught and research components as a quality control, and conduct foresight studies of relevant research areas. A small International Steering Committee will ensure global relevance for the programme. The total cost of the STREAM programme is 10.2m, 4.4m of which is being invested by industry and 5.8m of which is being requested from EPSRC.

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15 Projects
  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/G036950/1
    Funder Contribution: 6,371,160 GBP

    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.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/H009612/1
    Funder Contribution: 5,814,410 GBP

    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.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/N018958/1
    Funder Contribution: 507,674 GBP

    "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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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/G036608/1
    Funder Contribution: 6,550,560 GBP

    There are major challenges inherent in meeting the goals of the UK national energy policy, including, climate change mitigation and adaption, security of supply, asset renewal, supply infrastructure etc. Additionally, there is a recognized shortage of high quality scientists and engineers with energy-related training to tackle these challenges, and to support the UK's future research and development and innovation performance as evidenced by several recent reports;Doosan Babcock (Energy Brief, Issue 3, June 2007, Doosan Babcock); UK Energy Institute (conducted by Deloitte/Norman Broadbent, 'Skills Needs in the Energy Industry' 2008); The Institution of Engineering and Technology, (evidence to the House of Commons, Select Committee on Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Fifth Report (19th June 2008); The Energy Research Partnership (Investigation into High-level Skills Shortages in the Energy Sector, March 2007). Here we present a proposal to host a Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) focusing on the development of technologies for a low carbon future, providing a challenging, exciting and inspiring research environment for the development of tomorrow's research leaders. This DTC will bring together a cohort of postgraduate research students and their supervisors to develop innovative technologies for a low carbon future based around the key interlinking themes: [1] Low Carbon Enabling Technologies; [2] Transport & Energy; [3] Carbon Storage, underpinned by [4] Climate Change & Energy Systems Research. Thereby each student will develop high level expertise in a particular topic but with excitement of working in a multidisciplinary environment. The DTC will be integrated within a campus wide Interdisciplinary Institute which coordinates energy research to tackle the 'Grand Challenge' of developing technologies for a low carbon future, our DTC students therefore working in a transformational research environment. The DTC will be housed in a NEW 14.8M Energy Research Building and administered by the established (2005) cross campus Earth, Energy & Environment (EEE) University Interdisciplinary Institute

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/M003159/1
    Funder Contribution: 508,163 GBP

    Material innovations focussing on delivery and sustainability are key as our global efforts intensify in the development of a secure and sustainable future energy landscape. Many infrastructure-related material challenges have emerged as a result of the need (i) to explore offshore marine environments for wind power generation, (ii) for deeper and more complex underground wellbore systems for new oil & gas explorations, (iii) for robust containment and shielding structures for new nuclear power plants and (iv) for larger dam structures for future hydropower generation. Our vision for this proposal is to build a world leading and long lasting partnership between academics in the UK and China, integrated with industrial partners and other world leading academic groups around the world, to collectively address some of those construction material challenges with a focus on sustainability. The commonality in the assembled group is our interest and expertise in exploring potentials for magnesia-bearing construction materials in solving some of those new challenges, by either providing completely new solutions or enhanced solutions to existing material systems. This is a unique area to China and the UK where there is significant complementary expertise in the different grades of and applications for magnesia. The project consortium from the University of Cambridge, University College London, Chongqing University and Nanjing Tech University has the required interdisciplinary mix of materials, structural and geotechnical engineers, with world leading unique expertise in magnesia-based construction materials. The intention is to share and advance our global understanding of the performance of those proposed materials, road map future research and commercial needs and identify the ideal applications in our future energy infrastructures where most performance impact and sustainability benefits can be achieved. The proposed focusses two main areas of research. The first is the technical advantages and benefits that magnesia can provide to existing cement systems. This includes (i) its use as an expansive additive for large mass concrete constructions e.g. dams and nuclear installations, (ii) its role in magnesium phosphate cements for the developing of low pH cements suitable for nuclear waste applications and (iii) its role in advancing the development of alkali activated cements by providing low shrinkage and corrosion resistance. The second is the delivery of sustainable MgO production processes that focus on the use of both mineral and reject brine resources. An integral part of this project will be the knowledge transfer activities and collaboration with industry and other relevant research centres around the world. An overarching aspect of the proposed research is the mapping out of the team's capabilities and the integration of expertise and personnel exchange to ensure maximum impact. This will ensure that the research is at the forefront of the global pursuit for a sustainable future energy infrastructure and will ensure that maximum impact is achieved. The consortium plans to act as a global hub to provide a national and international platform for facilitating dialogue and collaboration to enhance the global knowledge economy.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/K021699/1
    Funder Contribution: 5,782,840 GBP

    The surface urban transport infrastructures - our roads, cycle ways, pedestrian areas, tramways and railways - are supported by the ground, and hence the properties of the ground must control to a significant degree their structural performance. The utility services infrastructure - the pipes and cables that deliver utility services to our homes and which supports urban living - is usually buried beneath our urban streets, that is it lies below the surface transport infrastructure (usually roads and paved pedestrian areas). It follows that streetworks to install, replace, repair or maintain these utility service pipes or cables using traditional trench excavations will disrupt traffic and people movement, and will often significantly damage the surface transport infrastructure and the ground on which it bears. It is clear, therefore, that the ground and physical (i.e. utility service and surface transport) infrastructures exist according to a symbiotic relationship: intervene physically in one, and the others are almost inevitably affected in some way, either immediately or in the future. Moreover the physical condition of the pipes and cables, of the ground and of the overlying road structure, is consequently of crucial importance in determining the nature and severity of the impacts that streetworks cause. Assessing the Underworld (ATU) aims to use geophysical sensors deployed both on the surface and inside water pipes to determine remotely (that is, without excavation) the condition of these urban assets. ATU builds on the highly successful Mapping the Underworld (MTU) project funded by EPSRC's first IDEAS Factory (or sandpit) and supported by many industry partners. The MTU sandpit brought together a team that has grown to be acknowledged as international leaders in this field. ATU introduces leaders in climate change, infrastructure policy, engineering sustainability and pipeline systems to the MTU team to take the research into a new sphere of influence as part of a 25-year vision to make streetworks more sustainable. ATU proposes to develop the geophysical sensors created in MTU to look for different targets: indications that the buried pipes and cables are showing signs of degradation or failure, indications that the road structure is showing signs of degradation (e.g. cracking, delamination or wetting) and indications that the ground has properties different to unaltered ground (e.g. wetted or eroded by leaking pipes, loosened by local trench excavations, wetted by water ingress through cracked road structures). For example, a deteriorated (fractured, laterally displaced, corroded or holed) pipe will give a different response to the geophysical sensors than a pristine pipe, while wetting of the adjacent soil or voids created by local erosion due to leakage from a water-bearing pipe will result in a different ground response to unaltered natural soil or fill. Similarly a deteriorated road (with vertical cracks, or with a wetted foundation) will give a different response to intact, coherent bound layers sitting on a properly drained foundation. Taking the information provided by the geophysical sensors and combining it with records for the pipes, cables and roads, and introducing deterioration models for these physical infrastructures knowing their age and recorded condition (where this information is available), will allow a means of predicting how they will react if a trench is dug in a particular road. In some cases alternative construction techniques could avert serious damage (e.g. water pipe bursts, road structural failure requiring complete reconstruction) or injury (gas pipe busts). Making this information available will be achieved by creating a Decision Support System for streetworks engineers. Finally, the full impacts to the economy, society and environment of streetworks will be modelled in a sustainability assessment framework so that the wider impacts of the works are made clear.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/M001067/1
    Funder Contribution: 501,473 GBP

    CRUST takes advantage of the UK's leadership in uncertainty evaluation of earthquake source and ground motion (Goda [PI] and University of Bristol/Cabot Research Institute) and on-shore tsunami impact research (Rossetto [Co-I] and University College of London/EPICentre [Earthquake and People Interaction Centre]) to develop an innovative cross-hazard risk assessment methodology for cascading disasters that promotes dynamic decision-making processes for catastrophe risk management. It cuts across multiple academic fields, i.e. geophysics, engineering seismology, earthquake engineering, and coastal engineering. The timeliness and critical needs for cascading multi-hazards impact assessments have been exemplified by recent catastrophes. CRUST fills the current gap between quasi-static, fragmented approaches for multi-hazards and envisaged, dynamic, coherent frameworks for cascading hazards. CRUST combines a wide range of state-of-the-art hazard and risk models into a comprehensive methodology by taking into account uncertainty associated with predictions of hazards and risks. The work will provide multi-hazards risk assessment guidelines and tools for policy-makers and engineering/reinsurance industries. The proposal capitalises on a breakthrough technology for generating long-waves achieved by Rossetto. CRUST is composed of four work packages (WPs): WP1-'Ground shaking risk modelling due to mega-thrust subduction earthquakes'; WP2-'Tsunami wave and fragility modelling due to mega-thrust subduction earthquakes'; WP3-'Integrated multi-hazards modelling for earthquake shaking and tsunami'; and WP4-'Case studies for the Hikurangi and Cascadia subduction zones'. In WP1-WP3, the research adopts the 2011 Tohoku earthquake as a case study site, since this event offers extensive datasets for strong motion data, tsunami inundation, and building damage survey results, together with other geographical and demographical information (e.g. high-resolution bathymetry data and digital elevation model). The aims of WP1 are: to generate strong motion time-histories based on uncertain earthquake slips, reflecting multiple asperities (large slip patches) over a fault plane (WP1-1); to characterise spatiotemporal occurrence of aftershocks using global catalogues of subduction earthquakes (WP1-2); and to conduct probabilistic seismic performance assessment of structures subjected to mainshock-aftershock sequences (WP1-3). WP2 comprises tsunami wave profile and inundation simulation using uncertain earthquake slips (WP2-1); characterisation of tsunami loads to structures in coastal areas through large-scale physical experiments using an innovative long wave generation system at HR Wallingford (WP2-2); and development of analytical tsunami fragility models in comparison with field observations and experiments (WP2-3). The WP2 will be conducted in collaboration with academic collaborators from Kyoto University and Tohoku University (Japan). WP3 integrates the model components developed from WP1 and WP2 into a comprehensive framework for multi-hazards risk assessment for the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami (WP3-1). Then, practical engineering tools for the multi-hazards method will be developed in WP3-2. Finally, in WP4, the developed multi-hazards methodology will be applied to the Hikurangi and Cascadia subduction zones. The assessments are done in a predictive mode, and these case studies will be conducted in close collaboration with academic partners, GNS Science (New Zealand) for the Hikurangi zone, and researchers at Western University and University of British Columbia (Canada) for the Cascadia zone.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/M010643/1
    Funder Contribution: 403,977 GBP

    The global demand for smaller and more energy efficient devices has been sustained by a steady decrease in the scale on which silicon microelectronics can be manufactured, from 65nm processes in the mid 2000s to 14nm in the very latest Intel processors. To continue this trend beyond the mid 2020s devices with dimensions of just 1-2nm will be required, likely using alternatives to silicon. In this regime, the cross section of a wire might be no more than 2x2 or 3x3 atoms across, where the relevant materials physics is dominated by surface and confinement effects leading to dramatically different structural and electronic properties to the corresponding bulk material. Such wires can be formed by crystallisation of a molten salt within carbon nanotubes (CNTs) of "Buckytubes", leading to the smallest cross section nano crystals possible, sometimes referred to as Feynman crystals. Research into the fundamental materials physics of these CNT-encapsulated structures is still in its infancy, with UK experimentalists leading the way. Particularly exciting recent work by one of the applicants (Sloan) has demonstrated the possibility of these wires undergoing transitions between nano-crystalline structures with markedly different properties, in response to bending strain in the CNT. These "phase change" properties open the way for nanoscale electromechanical switches and non-volatile memory, as well as providing a playground for fundamental studies of phase changes at the smallest length scale possible in a material. Our aim with the current project, inspired by these results, is to develop a computational modelling capability to aid in interpretation of experiments, understand the origin of the phase change behaviour, and guide our experimental colleagues toward compounds with potentially advantageous properties. Counterintuitively, due to a reduction in symmetry, the computational expense of simulating nanowires can be more demanding when compared to bulk crystals. We will address the limitations of currently available modelling tools when applied to these systems. This will involve significant modifications to existing software and a rigorous study of the various approximations one might employ to increase the tractability of simulations. We will apply cutting-edge methods in structure prediction to these systems, a non-trivial exercise due to the possibility wires with non-crystalline (e.g. helical) symmetry, and connect directly to relevant experiments by computing spectra related to the encapsulated wire's electronic and vibrational properties. Finally, we will study the thermodynamics and kinetics of nano-crystalline phase change, developing an understanding of when and how rapidly structural changes are affected to assess the utility of this mechanism for device applications.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/K040251/2
    Funder Contribution: 1,146,390 GBP

    Mathematics is a profound intellectual achievement with impact on all aspects of business and society. For centuries, the highest level of mathematics has been seen as an isolated creative activity, to produce a proof for review and acceptance by research peers. Mathematics is now at a remarkable inflexion point, with new technology radically extending the power and limits of individuals. "Crowdsourcing" pulls together diverse experts to solve problems; symbolic computation tackles huge routine calculations; and computers check proofs that are just too long and complicated for any human to comprehend, using programs designed to verify hardware. Yet these techniques are currently used in stand-alone fashion, lacking integration with each other or with human creativity or fallibility. Social machines are new paradigm, identified by Berners-Lee, for viewing a combination of people and computers as a single problem-solving entity. Our long-term vision is to change mathematics, transforming the reach, pace, and impact of mathematics research, through creating a mathematics social machine: a combination of people, computers, and archives to create and apply mathematics. Thus, for example, an industry researcher wanting to design a network with specific properties could quickly access diverse research skills and research; explore hypotheses; discuss possible solutions; obtain surety of correctness to a desired level; and create new mathematics that individual effort might never imagine or verify. Seamlessly integrated "under the hood" might be a mixture of diverse people and machines, formal and informal approaches, old and new mathematics, experiment and proof. The obstacles to realising the vision are that (i) We do not have a high level understanding of the production of mathematics by people and machines, integrating the current diverse research approaches (ii) There is no shared view among the diverse re- search and user communities of what is and might be possible or desirable The outcome of the fellowship will be a new vision of a mathematics social machine, transforming the reach, pace and impact of mathematics. It will deliver: analysis and experiment to understand current and future production of mathematics as a social machine; designs and prototypes; ownership among academic and industry stakeholders; a roadmap for delivery of the next generation of social machines; and an international team ready to make it a reality.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/G037094/1
    Funder Contribution: 6,423,640 GBP

    The UK water sector is entering a period of profound change with both public and private sector actors seeking evidence-based responses to a host of emerging global, regional and national challenges which are driven by demographic, climatic, and land use changes as well as regulatory pressures for more efficient delivery of services. Although the UK Water Industry is keen to embrace the challenge and well placed to innovate, it lacks the financial resources to support longer term skills and knowledge generation. A new cadre of engineers is required for the water industry to not only make our society more sustainable and profitable but to develop a new suite of goods and services for a rapidly urbanising world.The EPSRC Industrial Doctorate Centre programme is an ideal mechanism with which to remediate the emerging shortfall in advanced engineering skills within the sector. In particular, the training of next-generation engineering leaders for the sector requires a subtle balance between industrial and academic contributions; calling for a funding mechanism which privileges industrial need but provides for significant academic inputs to training and research. The STREAM initiative draws together (for the first time) five of the UK's leading water research and training groups to secure the future supply of advanced engineering professionals in this area of vital importance to the UK. Led by the Centre for Water Science at Cranfield University, the consortium also draws on expertise from the Universities of Sheffield and Bradford, Imperial College London, Newcastle University, and the University of Exeter. STREAM offers Engineering Doctorate awards through a programme which incorporates; (i) acquisition of advanced technical skills through attendance at masters level training courses, (ii) tuition in the competencies and abilities expected of senior engineers, and (iii) doctoral level research projects. Students spend at least 75% of their time working in industry or on industry specified research problems. Example research topics to be addressed by the scheme's Research Engineers include; delivering drinking water quality and protecting public health; reducing carbon footprint; reducing water demand; improving service resilience and reliability; protecting natural water bodies; reducing sewer flooding, developing and implementing strategies for Integrated Water Management, and delivering new approaches to characterising, communicating and mitigating risk and uncertainty. Ten studentships per year for five years will be offered with each position being sponsored by an industrial partner from the water sector.A series of common attendance events will underpin programme and group identity. These include, (i) an initial three-month programme based at Cranfield University, (ii) an open invitation STREAM symposium and (iii) a Challenge Week to take place each summer including transferrable skills training and guest lectures from leading industrialists and scientists. Outreach activities will extend participation in the programme, pursue collaboration with associated initiatives, promote 'brand awareness' of the EngD qualification, and engage with a wide range of stakeholder groups (including the public) to promote engagement with and understanding of STREAM activities.Strategic direction for the programme will be formulated through an Industry Advisory Board comprising representatives from professional bodies, employers, and regulators. This body will provide strategic guidance informed by sector needs, review the operational aspects of the taught and research components as a quality control, and conduct foresight studies of relevant research areas. A small International Steering Committee will ensure global relevance for the programme. The total cost of the STREAM programme is 10.2m, 4.4m of which is being invested by industry and 5.8m of which is being requested from EPSRC.

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