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1,173 Projects

  • 2012-2021
  • UK Research and Innovation
  • UKRI|EPSRC
  • OA Publications Mandate: No
  • 2016

10
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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/M008797/1
    Funder Contribution: 97,027 GBP

    The aim of the proposal is the development of a high throughput, broadband method to access real-time information about the fine details of physical and biological objects. This will be achieved by transforming evanescent electromagnetic waves, the information carriers for small scale features, to free-space propagating waves that can be collected easily by standard optical techniques. The suggested metamaterial platform will impact most fields where fine-scale diagnostics are important (materials science, condensed matter physics, biology) and will also allow the recording and retrieval of encrypted information for which specially designed metamaterials will act as a unique decryption key.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/J015296/1
    Funder Contribution: 250,481 GBP

    We aim to achieve a breakthrough in the performance of "dilute nitride" semiconductor materials to enable the development of novel light sources and photodetectors which can operate in the mid-infrared spectral range. The 3-5 um wavelength range is technologically important because it is used for applications including; remote gas sensing, range-finding and night vision, bio-medical imaging for diagnosis in healthcare and sensitive detection in optical spectroscopy. However, the development of instrumentation is limited by the availability of efficient, affordable light sources and photodetectors, which is directly determined by the semiconductor materials which are currently available. By introducing small amounts (~ 1%) of N into InAs(Sb) we have shown that it is possible to access the mid-infrared using a new (dilute nitride) semiconductor and we are now seeking to engineer its band structure in order to significantly enhance the material's optical properties and increase quantum efficiency for light detection and emission. To enable the development of new photodetectors we will exploit the sensitivity of the conduction band to the resonant interaction of the N-level with the extended states of the host InAsSb crystal lattice to tailor the photoresponse and create a near ideal situation for electron acceleration and avalanche multiplication, resulting in a much larger detectable signal. To minimise the unwanted processes causing excessive noise and dark current, which compete with the avalanche multiplication and light detection in the detector, we shall arrange for the avalanche multiplication to be initiated by only one carrier type (electrons in our case). Many applications rely on the detection of very weak signals consisting of only a few photons. Conventional photodiodes have a limited sensitivity, especially if high speed detection is needed. In applications which are "photon starved", avalanche photodiodes (APDs) can provide an effective solution. However, at present effective avalanche multiplication in the mid-infrared spectral range can only be obtained by using exotic CdHgTe (CMT) semiconductor alloys. The resulting detectors require cooling, thus making CMT-based APDs prohibitively expensive for all except military applications. Simpler fabrication, low noise, low operating voltage, inexpensive manufacturing and room temperature operation, together with monopolar electron ionisation are all significant advantages of APDs based on the dilute nitride materials compared to existing technologies. Similarly, we shall enable the development of more efficient mid-infrared light sources. By adjusting the N content within InAsN(Sb) quantum wells and carefully tailoring the residual strain and carrier confinement, we shall be able to defeat competing non-radiative recombination processes whilst simultaneously enhancing the light generation efficiency. These novel quantum wells would then form the basis of the active region from where the light is generated, either within an LED or a diode laser. Currently mid-infrared LED efficiency is low at room temperature, and with the improvements which we shall deliver; we envisage that devices with significantly higher dc output power will be developed following our lead. Mid-infrared diode lasers incorporating our strained dilute nitride quantum wells are also expected to exhibit a reduced threshold current and could offer an affordable alternative to existing technology, especially in the 3-4 um spectral range. We will produce prototype photodetectors and LEDs and use these to demonstrate the above-mentioned avalanche behaviour and quantum efficiency improvements respectively. We shall validate our dilute nitride materials and structures in close collaboration with our collaborators at NPL, SELEX, CST and INSTRO to evaluate performance for use in practical applications and help ensure uptake of our technology.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/J002933/1
    Funder Contribution: 461,898 GBP

    FORWARN aims to create a Forward Collision Warning (FCW) system that is able to consider driver distraction when making decisions on the appropriateness and timing of warnings. To achieve this, drivers will be asked to engage in a variety of distracting tasks in simulated driving scenarios requiring the engagement of a FCW. The FCW will later be 'trained' to ascertain driver distraction using vehicle- and driver-related metrics. The research proposed here aims to bridge the gap between work on assistance systems and work on the impact of driver distractions, by understanding the relationship between distraction, warnings and driver performance. This research will examine the effect of a variety of in-vehicle distracting tasks on driving performance, and establish how these can then be taken into account when designing an advanced driver assistance system such as FCW. A particular focus of this research will be to gain a better understanding of the distracting effect of non-visual tasks, such as engagement in hands free mobile phone conversations. FCW uses sensors and radar to scan the area ahead of the vehicle, and aims to avoid rear-end collisions, or reduce their impact, by advising drivers to brake. Some newer systems even intervene in some cases to avoid a collision. There are considerable potential benefits of such systems which have recently been proven in a large-scale Field Operational Test (FOT) in North America. However, there is a danger that systems which have permanently fixed criteria will be viewed by a significant number of drivers as presenting too many "false" (unwanted) warnings. Indeed, drivers in the U.S. Field Operational Test were keen to be able to tune the system to their personal preferences. Therefore, one main aim of the proposed project is to use eye tracking and vehicle related performance measures to identify the information that is needed by a FCW before it can establish whether or not a driver is distracted. Upon approach to a hazardous condition, this intelligent FCW will then only be triggered after if it has ascertained that the driver is truly distracted and unable to respond to the hazard in good time. As driving is a multi-faceted activity, assessing the effects of distraction on driving performance depend on the exact driver- and vehicle-related metrics being observed as well as the nature of the distracting task itself. This project will build upon the work already conducted by the group in this area during previous European projects such as AIDE (Adaptive Integrated Driver-vehicle interfacE) and HASTE (Human machine interface And the Safety of Traffic in Europe) and a recently completed EPSRC project, EASY (Effects of Automated Systems on safetY).

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/J502030/1
    Funder Contribution: 345,605 GBP

    Doctoral Training Partnerships: a range of postgraduate training is funded by the Research Councils. For information on current funding routes, see the common terminology at www.rcuk.ac.uk/StudentshipTerminology. Training grants may be to one organisation or to a consortia of research organisations. This portal will show the lead organisation only.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/M029484/1
    Funder Contribution: 98,963 GBP

    The project will develop a mobile lifelogging platform that will deliver measures of cardiovascular disease in an everyday situation, such as driving a car. Driving represents a common daily activity, where experiences and expressions of anger have implications for health and safety. As such, this activity can be associated with high levels of negative emotions that have a cumulative impact on long-term health. Lifelogging is the continuous act of recording and documenting our lives, from the things we do, to the places we visit and even our feelings. Wearable cameras and body sensors allow us to capture rich information from multiple data sources about ourselves. As sensors become more prevalent, within our environment, the range of available data is increasing. This has enabled lifelogs to become richer with information and their use in various application domains, such as digital health, is increasing. The project will explore how multiple streams of physiological and contextual data can be processed and integrated in real-time to detect the user's state. Measures such as heart rate, pulse wave velocity (PWV), speed of the vehicle, location, and first-person photographs of the environment will be brought together to identify instances of anger and inflammation. A range of signal processing approaches will be applied to these data items (e.g. inter-beat interval from the heart rate will be subjected to Fast Fourier Transform) and artefacts will be identified and either removed or incorporated in real-time. Currently, it is straightforward to log overt aspects of behaviour, such as photographs, location and movement. However, this project will combine those markers with covert changes in cardiovascular physiology, which aren't perceived directly by the user. Hence, the project is extending a person's awareness of their bodies, how their behaviour and reactions to situations are directly impacting their bodies and the triggers for such behaviour, e.g. traffic congestion at a junction may raise our heart rate, without the user being consciously aware of this physiological change. Repeating this stressful behaviour daily, over a sustained period, could contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease. Reviewing moments when arterial inflammation occurs and understanding the context of this behaviour leads to an enhanced perception of how daily events affect health. This can lead to positive changes to the person's lifestyle, such as avoiding the junction in question to help prevent triggers leading to the onset of cardiovascular disease. The system will provide a new method to monitor and influence behaviour, which enables us to enhance and bring the field of lifelogging into alignment with advances in digital health. This is achieved using markers that are clinically relevant in the context of lifelogging technologies and developing techniques to process multi-modal signals in real-time. To the best of the author's knowledge, the integration of such biomedical markers that measures physiological changes in context to prevent the onset of disease has not been addressed in any other developments. Overall, the project attempts to reduce a significant real-world problem with an advanced mobile lifelogging platform. The platform will be evaluated in a real-world scenario to assess its capabilities outside of an artificial environment. This will enable us to gauge its robustness as a real and practical solution to log and quantify behaviour. In this way, the data collected will be used to identify moments of arterial inflammation and the context of those times to promote self-reflection and the implementation of behavioural changes.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/N508603/1
    Funder Contribution: 148,054 GBP

    Our concept of a distributed electrical and environmental sensor system to enable unprecedented flexibility and reduction of cost in deploying innovative measurement, control and protection functions for the power network requires to be proven in the context of relevant industry standards, with particular emphasis on current and voltage measurements. Consequently, the core research idea of this proposal is to assess the feasibility of this undertaking through systematic research and implementation of a range of innovative error compensation methods. In particular, the feasibility study will aim to demonstrate that metering and protection accuracy classes for voltage and current transducers are attainable by this technology. In order to address the objectives of the project, the research programme will be subdivided into specific work packages. The scope and methodologies adopted with respect to the individual tasks are described in the Case for Support attachment under the following work packages: WP1. Engagement with stakeholders (Month 1-12) WP2. Design and simulation of transducers and experiments. (Month 1-7) WP3. Assembly and packaging of electrical current and voltage transducers. (Month 4-7) WP4. Characterisation and environmental/high-voltage stress testing of transducers (Month 7-12) WP5. Development and testing of sensor interrogation hardware and software. (Month 1-12)

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/I01893X/1
    Funder Contribution: 609,843 GBP

    Oxford's proposals for the use of the funds from this Platform Grant align closely with the objectives of the EPSRC's call for applications. We want to deploy this stable and flexible source of baseline funds to further the strategic development of our research agenda by means of initiatives that are not covered by more conventional project-oriented funding mechanisms. We plan to use part of the funding to accelerate our expansion in number theory, to coincide with the arrival of Andrew Wiles, enhancing the international and public profile of our initiative in this area. Secondly, we will set up a pump-priming fund specifically aimed at projects which, due to their speculative nature, are not yet ready for external funding applications (perhaps due to their novel interdisciplinary nature), but which have every possibility of being high-impact projects in the medium term. We have several such feasibility studies in incubation already but no means of funding them; a specific example highlighted in the proposal is an adventurous proposal in the field of mathematical neuroscience. The mechanism for this pump-priming activity is designed to enhance the experience of our large pool of highly-talented postdoctoral researchers, smoothing out transition periods between major grants and providing postdoctoral researchers with a valuable diversity of experience. Thirdly, we want to pump-prime in a different manner: in this alternative model, we will fund nascent projects that we expect to lead to new or enhanced international collaborations that will leverage large grants from overseas funders. A specific example that we give for this type of activity involves a project that we expect, when properly nurtured, to attract large-scale funding from the National Institutes of Health in the USA; it involves the mathematical modelling of tumour growth. Team Development and the nurturing of human capital for the wider benefit of society (with particular emphasis on early career researchers) are important aspects of our research strategy. We see the development of a strong Visitor Programme as an enormously important step in this direction and will deploy a significant part of the funds from this grant in funding such a programme, with a rigorous internal competition to identify the visitors to be funded. We wish to implement to ensure a coherent flow of visitors of the highest possible calibre to Oxford for periods ranging from a few weeks to a term. Many of our international competitors have guaranteed funding for Visiting Professors, but presently we do not. We want the very best and most exciting mathematicians to visit Oxford on a regular basis, above all so that the younger members of our research teams have direct access to these scientists and interact with them, thereby gaining a clear view of the level that they must aspire to, and becoming engaged with the global structure driving their field.A similar mechanism will be used to implement a travel programme for mathematicians wishing to foster links with international collaborators: proposals will be judged on mathematical merit and should include plans to perpetuate the collaboration from other funding sources. In addition, a programme of workshops will be funded through a structure that gives us the ability to organise workshops in a rapid and coherent manner, responding to exciting emerging trends, or to pressing challenges from outside mathematics. All workshops will be required to assess the possibility of a public outreach event, and to organise such an event where relevant. As part of our drive in number theory we expect to hold at least two workshops, one in analytic aspects of the subject and one around Galois representations; each would be accompanied by a public event.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/J019720/1
    Funder Contribution: 664,248 GBP

    New ideas for carbon capture are urgently needed to combat climate change. Retro-fitting post-combustion carbon capture to existing power plants has the greatest potential to reduce CO2 emissions considering these sources make the largest contribution to CO2 emissions in the UK. Unfortunately, carbon capture methods based on existing industrial process technology for separation of CO2 from natural gas streams (i.e. amine scrubbing) would be extremely expensive if applied on the scale envisaged, as exemplified by the recent collapse of the Government's CCS project at Longannet power station. Moreover, many of the chemical absorbents used, typically amines, are corrosive and toxic and their use could generate significant amounts of hazardous waste. So, more efficient and 'greener' post-combustion CCS technologies are urgently needed if CCS is to be adopted on a global scale. Efficient separation of CO2 from flue gases requires at least the following; i) an inexpensive sorbent with high CO2 working capacity and selectivity, ii) high rates of CO2 mass transfer into and out of the sorbent, and iii) a low energy cost for sorbent regeneration. A traditional aqueous amine scrubbing process has high selectivity, but is less effective in terms of capacity, mass transfer rate, and sorbent regeneration energy penalty. Here, we propose to investigate a novel process based on the 'wetting layer absorption' (WLA) concept in which a porous material is used to support liquid-like regions of absorbing solvent, which in turn absorb the gas of interest, in this case carbon dioxide. This process, recently invented by one of the authors (MS) of this proposal at Strathclyde, is being pioneered by researchers in Scotland. Initial work involved investigation of the use of physical solvents. Here the focus is on a process involving chemical solvents, i.e. amines. This process should have a high capacity, high slectivity, and high rates of mass transfer. Another novel aspect of this work is the investigation of microwave regeneration, which could also result in much reduced costs for sorbent regeneration. Finally, the process would involve orders of magnitude reductions in solvent recycling, and could make use of much less toxic and corrosive solvents, leading to a much greener process. Ultimately, the WLA process involving chemical solvents could potentially significantly reduce the cost and environmental impact of carbon capture.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/K031805/1
    Funder Contribution: 221,071 GBP

    During the last twenty years mathematics and physics have significantly influenced each other and became highly entangled. Mathematical physics was always producing a wide variety of new concepts and problems that became important subjects of the pure mathematical research. The growth of gauge, gravity and string theories have made the relation between these subjects closer than ever before. An important driving force was the discovery of quantum groups and of the gauge/gravity dualities. Here the leading role was played by the the so-called AdS/CFT duality and the underlying integrable structure of it. A far-reaching concept is the effect of boundaries and the corresponding boundary conditions. They are unavoidable in almost all models of mathematical physics and are of the fundamental importance. The introduction of boundaries into the theory of quantum groups leads to a whole new class of the so-called reflection algebras. Such algebras were shown to appear in numerous mathematical models and are at the core of the integrable structure of them. Furthermore, these algebras were also shown to play a prominent role in the AdS/CFT. However a coherent framework for describing such algebras is not known, and many properties of the reflection algebras are still an open question. The goal of this research is to develop new algebraic methods and intradisciplinary connections between the axiomatic theory of algebras and the theory of quantum groups inspired by the integrable structure of the AdS/CFT, in particular by shedding more light on the effects of boundaries and different boundary configurations. The research is driven by applying algebraic objects such as the quantum affine and Yangian algebras to find elegant, exact solutions describing the models that arise from and are inspired by the gauge/gravity dualities.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/K030159/1
    Funder Contribution: 342,000 GBP

    Ultrasound is used in many applications, including medical imaging, non-destructive evaluation, therapeutic ultrasound etc. In all these cases, there is usually a need for the formation of images or the creation of a focal region. Current methods for the generation of optimal acoustic fields generally rely on a linear process within the transducer. This linear transduction process influences the resultant properties in terms of spatial resolution and maximum intensity, noting that there are fundamental limits on the spatial resolution and power densities that can be achieved in such focal regions. In recent work in the area of acoustics, it has been demonstrated that a new type of acoustic signal can be generated via non-linear effects in chains of particles, which act as a kind of waveguide. These are based on the propagation of solitary waves. These have been studies at low frequencies, but this study will look at the posibility of using these new structures for use in biomedical ultrasound. Materials that support solitary waves are not used in standard ultrasonic work; little has been published on their use, despite the fact that a step change in performance may be possible. In this proposal, such waves will be generated within ultrasonic sources containing multiple solitary wave chains, at frequencies in the 500 kHz - 5 MHz range. To our knowledge, this has not been investigated before. Arrays are also possible, where each chain forms a single element. Because the chains would be primarily coupled along their length, but not laterally between each chains, issues arising from mechanical cross-coupling might be avoided. Pre-compression of each chain would alter the propagation velocity within it, so that beam-steering/focussing to be created. The propagation charaistics also change with signal amplitude, leading to the possibility of an acoustic diode. These new innovations would have applications in such areas as ultrasound-enhanced drug delivery, High Intensity Focussed Ultrasound (HIFU) for the treatment of tumours, and harmonic imaging.

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1,173 Projects
  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/M008797/1
    Funder Contribution: 97,027 GBP

    The aim of the proposal is the development of a high throughput, broadband method to access real-time information about the fine details of physical and biological objects. This will be achieved by transforming evanescent electromagnetic waves, the information carriers for small scale features, to free-space propagating waves that can be collected easily by standard optical techniques. The suggested metamaterial platform will impact most fields where fine-scale diagnostics are important (materials science, condensed matter physics, biology) and will also allow the recording and retrieval of encrypted information for which specially designed metamaterials will act as a unique decryption key.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/J015296/1
    Funder Contribution: 250,481 GBP

    We aim to achieve a breakthrough in the performance of "dilute nitride" semiconductor materials to enable the development of novel light sources and photodetectors which can operate in the mid-infrared spectral range. The 3-5 um wavelength range is technologically important because it is used for applications including; remote gas sensing, range-finding and night vision, bio-medical imaging for diagnosis in healthcare and sensitive detection in optical spectroscopy. However, the development of instrumentation is limited by the availability of efficient, affordable light sources and photodetectors, which is directly determined by the semiconductor materials which are currently available. By introducing small amounts (~ 1%) of N into InAs(Sb) we have shown that it is possible to access the mid-infrared using a new (dilute nitride) semiconductor and we are now seeking to engineer its band structure in order to significantly enhance the material's optical properties and increase quantum efficiency for light detection and emission. To enable the development of new photodetectors we will exploit the sensitivity of the conduction band to the resonant interaction of the N-level with the extended states of the host InAsSb crystal lattice to tailor the photoresponse and create a near ideal situation for electron acceleration and avalanche multiplication, resulting in a much larger detectable signal. To minimise the unwanted processes causing excessive noise and dark current, which compete with the avalanche multiplication and light detection in the detector, we shall arrange for the avalanche multiplication to be initiated by only one carrier type (electrons in our case). Many applications rely on the detection of very weak signals consisting of only a few photons. Conventional photodiodes have a limited sensitivity, especially if high speed detection is needed. In applications which are "photon starved", avalanche photodiodes (APDs) can provide an effective solution. However, at present effective avalanche multiplication in the mid-infrared spectral range can only be obtained by using exotic CdHgTe (CMT) semiconductor alloys. The resulting detectors require cooling, thus making CMT-based APDs prohibitively expensive for all except military applications. Simpler fabrication, low noise, low operating voltage, inexpensive manufacturing and room temperature operation, together with monopolar electron ionisation are all significant advantages of APDs based on the dilute nitride materials compared to existing technologies. Similarly, we shall enable the development of more efficient mid-infrared light sources. By adjusting the N content within InAsN(Sb) quantum wells and carefully tailoring the residual strain and carrier confinement, we shall be able to defeat competing non-radiative recombination processes whilst simultaneously enhancing the light generation efficiency. These novel quantum wells would then form the basis of the active region from where the light is generated, either within an LED or a diode laser. Currently mid-infrared LED efficiency is low at room temperature, and with the improvements which we shall deliver; we envisage that devices with significantly higher dc output power will be developed following our lead. Mid-infrared diode lasers incorporating our strained dilute nitride quantum wells are also expected to exhibit a reduced threshold current and could offer an affordable alternative to existing technology, especially in the 3-4 um spectral range. We will produce prototype photodetectors and LEDs and use these to demonstrate the above-mentioned avalanche behaviour and quantum efficiency improvements respectively. We shall validate our dilute nitride materials and structures in close collaboration with our collaborators at NPL, SELEX, CST and INSTRO to evaluate performance for use in practical applications and help ensure uptake of our technology.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/J002933/1
    Funder Contribution: 461,898 GBP

    FORWARN aims to create a Forward Collision Warning (FCW) system that is able to consider driver distraction when making decisions on the appropriateness and timing of warnings. To achieve this, drivers will be asked to engage in a variety of distracting tasks in simulated driving scenarios requiring the engagement of a FCW. The FCW will later be 'trained' to ascertain driver distraction using vehicle- and driver-related metrics. The research proposed here aims to bridge the gap between work on assistance systems and work on the impact of driver distractions, by understanding the relationship between distraction, warnings and driver performance. This research will examine the effect of a variety of in-vehicle distracting tasks on driving performance, and establish how these can then be taken into account when designing an advanced driver assistance system such as FCW. A particular focus of this research will be to gain a better understanding of the distracting effect of non-visual tasks, such as engagement in hands free mobile phone conversations. FCW uses sensors and radar to scan the area ahead of the vehicle, and aims to avoid rear-end collisions, or reduce their impact, by advising drivers to brake. Some newer systems even intervene in some cases to avoid a collision. There are considerable potential benefits of such systems which have recently been proven in a large-scale Field Operational Test (FOT) in North America. However, there is a danger that systems which have permanently fixed criteria will be viewed by a significant number of drivers as presenting too many "false" (unwanted) warnings. Indeed, drivers in the U.S. Field Operational Test were keen to be able to tune the system to their personal preferences. Therefore, one main aim of the proposed project is to use eye tracking and vehicle related performance measures to identify the information that is needed by a FCW before it can establish whether or not a driver is distracted. Upon approach to a hazardous condition, this intelligent FCW will then only be triggered after if it has ascertained that the driver is truly distracted and unable to respond to the hazard in good time. As driving is a multi-faceted activity, assessing the effects of distraction on driving performance depend on the exact driver- and vehicle-related metrics being observed as well as the nature of the distracting task itself. This project will build upon the work already conducted by the group in this area during previous European projects such as AIDE (Adaptive Integrated Driver-vehicle interfacE) and HASTE (Human machine interface And the Safety of Traffic in Europe) and a recently completed EPSRC project, EASY (Effects of Automated Systems on safetY).

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/J502030/1
    Funder Contribution: 345,605 GBP

    Doctoral Training Partnerships: a range of postgraduate training is funded by the Research Councils. For information on current funding routes, see the common terminology at www.rcuk.ac.uk/StudentshipTerminology. Training grants may be to one organisation or to a consortia of research organisations. This portal will show the lead organisation only.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/M029484/1
    Funder Contribution: 98,963 GBP

    The project will develop a mobile lifelogging platform that will deliver measures of cardiovascular disease in an everyday situation, such as driving a car. Driving represents a common daily activity, where experiences and expressions of anger have implications for health and safety. As such, this activity can be associated with high levels of negative emotions that have a cumulative impact on long-term health. Lifelogging is the continuous act of recording and documenting our lives, from the things we do, to the places we visit and even our feelings. Wearable cameras and body sensors allow us to capture rich information from multiple data sources about ourselves. As sensors become more prevalent, within our environment, the range of available data is increasing. This has enabled lifelogs to become richer with information and their use in various application domains, such as digital health, is increasing. The project will explore how multiple streams of physiological and contextual data can be processed and integrated in real-time to detect the user's state. Measures such as heart rate, pulse wave velocity (PWV), speed of the vehicle, location, and first-person photographs of the environment will be brought together to identify instances of anger and inflammation. A range of signal processing approaches will be applied to these data items (e.g. inter-beat interval from the heart rate will be subjected to Fast Fourier Transform) and artefacts will be identified and either removed or incorporated in real-time. Currently, it is straightforward to log overt aspects of behaviour, such as photographs, location and movement. However, this project will combine those markers with covert changes in cardiovascular physiology, which aren't perceived directly by the user. Hence, the project is extending a person's awareness of their bodies, how their behaviour and reactions to situations are directly impacting their bodies and the triggers for such behaviour, e.g. traffic congestion at a junction may raise our heart rate, without the user being consciously aware of this physiological change. Repeating this stressful behaviour daily, over a sustained period, could contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease. Reviewing moments when arterial inflammation occurs and understanding the context of this behaviour leads to an enhanced perception of how daily events affect health. This can lead to positive changes to the person's lifestyle, such as avoiding the junction in question to help prevent triggers leading to the onset of cardiovascular disease. The system will provide a new method to monitor and influence behaviour, which enables us to enhance and bring the field of lifelogging into alignment with advances in digital health. This is achieved using markers that are clinically relevant in the context of lifelogging technologies and developing techniques to process multi-modal signals in real-time. To the best of the author's knowledge, the integration of such biomedical markers that measures physiological changes in context to prevent the onset of disease has not been addressed in any other developments. Overall, the project attempts to reduce a significant real-world problem with an advanced mobile lifelogging platform. The platform will be evaluated in a real-world scenario to assess its capabilities outside of an artificial environment. This will enable us to gauge its robustness as a real and practical solution to log and quantify behaviour. In this way, the data collected will be used to identify moments of arterial inflammation and the context of those times to promote self-reflection and the implementation of behavioural changes.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/N508603/1
    Funder Contribution: 148,054 GBP

    Our concept of a distributed electrical and environmental sensor system to enable unprecedented flexibility and reduction of cost in deploying innovative measurement, control and protection functions for the power network requires to be proven in the context of relevant industry standards, with particular emphasis on current and voltage measurements. Consequently, the core research idea of this proposal is to assess the feasibility of this undertaking through systematic research and implementation of a range of innovative error compensation methods. In particular, the feasibility study will aim to demonstrate that metering and protection accuracy classes for voltage and current transducers are attainable by this technology. In order to address the objectives of the project, the research programme will be subdivided into specific work packages. The scope and methodologies adopted with respect to the individual tasks are described in the Case for Support attachment under the following work packages: WP1. Engagement with stakeholders (Month 1-12) WP2. Design and simulation of transducers and experiments. (Month 1-7) WP3. Assembly and packaging of electrical current and voltage transducers. (Month 4-7) WP4. Characterisation and environmental/high-voltage stress testing of transducers (Month 7-12) WP5. Development and testing of sensor interrogation hardware and software. (Month 1-12)

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/I01893X/1
    Funder Contribution: 609,843 GBP

    Oxford's proposals for the use of the funds from this Platform Grant align closely with the objectives of the EPSRC's call for applications. We want to deploy this stable and flexible source of baseline funds to further the strategic development of our research agenda by means of initiatives that are not covered by more conventional project-oriented funding mechanisms. We plan to use part of the funding to accelerate our expansion in number theory, to coincide with the arrival of Andrew Wiles, enhancing the international and public profile of our initiative in this area. Secondly, we will set up a pump-priming fund specifically aimed at projects which, due to their speculative nature, are not yet ready for external funding applications (perhaps due to their novel interdisciplinary nature), but which have every possibility of being high-impact projects in the medium term. We have several such feasibility studies in incubation already but no means of funding them; a specific example highlighted in the proposal is an adventurous proposal in the field of mathematical neuroscience. The mechanism for this pump-priming activity is designed to enhance the experience of our large pool of highly-talented postdoctoral researchers, smoothing out transition periods between major grants and providing postdoctoral researchers with a valuable diversity of experience. Thirdly, we want to pump-prime in a different manner: in this alternative model, we will fund nascent projects that we expect to lead to new or enhanced international collaborations that will leverage large grants from overseas funders. A specific example that we give for this type of activity involves a project that we expect, when properly nurtured, to attract large-scale funding from the National Institutes of Health in the USA; it involves the mathematical modelling of tumour growth. Team Development and the nurturing of human capital for the wider benefit of society (with particular emphasis on early career researchers) are important aspects of our research strategy. We see the development of a strong Visitor Programme as an enormously important step in this direction and will deploy a significant part of the funds from this grant in funding such a programme, with a rigorous internal competition to identify the visitors to be funded. We wish to implement to ensure a coherent flow of visitors of the highest possible calibre to Oxford for periods ranging from a few weeks to a term. Many of our international competitors have guaranteed funding for Visiting Professors, but presently we do not. We want the very best and most exciting mathematicians to visit Oxford on a regular basis, above all so that the younger members of our research teams have direct access to these scientists and interact with them, thereby gaining a clear view of the level that they must aspire to, and becoming engaged with the global structure driving their field.A similar mechanism will be used to implement a travel programme for mathematicians wishing to foster links with international collaborators: proposals will be judged on mathematical merit and should include plans to perpetuate the collaboration from other funding sources. In addition, a programme of workshops will be funded through a structure that gives us the ability to organise workshops in a rapid and coherent manner, responding to exciting emerging trends, or to pressing challenges from outside mathematics. All workshops will be required to assess the possibility of a public outreach event, and to organise such an event where relevant. As part of our drive in number theory we expect to hold at least two workshops, one in analytic aspects of the subject and one around Galois representations; each would be accompanied by a public event.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/J019720/1
    Funder Contribution: 664,248 GBP

    New ideas for carbon capture are urgently needed to combat climate change. Retro-fitting post-combustion carbon capture to existing power plants has the greatest potential to reduce CO2 emissions considering these sources make the largest contribution to CO2 emissions in the UK. Unfortunately, carbon capture methods based on existing industrial process technology for separation of CO2 from natural gas streams (i.e. amine scrubbing) would be extremely expensive if applied on the scale envisaged, as exemplified by the recent collapse of the Government's CCS project at Longannet power station. Moreover, many of the chemical absorbents used, typically amines, are corrosive and toxic and their use could generate significant amounts of hazardous waste. So, more efficient and 'greener' post-combustion CCS technologies are urgently needed if CCS is to be adopted on a global scale. Efficient separation of CO2 from flue gases requires at least the following; i) an inexpensive sorbent with high CO2 working capacity and selectivity, ii) high rates of CO2 mass transfer into and out of the sorbent, and iii) a low energy cost for sorbent regeneration. A traditional aqueous amine scrubbing process has high selectivity, but is less effective in terms of capacity, mass transfer rate, and sorbent regeneration energy penalty. Here, we propose to investigate a novel process based on the 'wetting layer absorption' (WLA) concept in which a porous material is used to support liquid-like regions of absorbing solvent, which in turn absorb the gas of interest, in this case carbon dioxide. This process, recently invented by one of the authors (MS) of this proposal at Strathclyde, is being pioneered by researchers in Scotland. Initial work involved investigation of the use of physical solvents. Here the focus is on a process involving chemical solvents, i.e. amines. This process should have a high capacity, high slectivity, and high rates of mass transfer. Another novel aspect of this work is the investigation of microwave regeneration, which could also result in much reduced costs for sorbent regeneration. Finally, the process would involve orders of magnitude reductions in solvent recycling, and could make use of much less toxic and corrosive solvents, leading to a much greener process. Ultimately, the WLA process involving chemical solvents could potentially significantly reduce the cost and environmental impact of carbon capture.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/K031805/1
    Funder Contribution: 221,071 GBP

    During the last twenty years mathematics and physics have significantly influenced each other and became highly entangled. Mathematical physics was always producing a wide variety of new concepts and problems that became important subjects of the pure mathematical research. The growth of gauge, gravity and string theories have made the relation between these subjects closer than ever before. An important driving force was the discovery of quantum groups and of the gauge/gravity dualities. Here the leading role was played by the the so-called AdS/CFT duality and the underlying integrable structure of it. A far-reaching concept is the effect of boundaries and the corresponding boundary conditions. They are unavoidable in almost all models of mathematical physics and are of the fundamental importance. The introduction of boundaries into the theory of quantum groups leads to a whole new class of the so-called reflection algebras. Such algebras were shown to appear in numerous mathematical models and are at the core of the integrable structure of them. Furthermore, these algebras were also shown to play a prominent role in the AdS/CFT. However a coherent framework for describing such algebras is not known, and many properties of the reflection algebras are still an open question. The goal of this research is to develop new algebraic methods and intradisciplinary connections between the axiomatic theory of algebras and the theory of quantum groups inspired by the integrable structure of the AdS/CFT, in particular by shedding more light on the effects of boundaries and different boundary configurations. The research is driven by applying algebraic objects such as the quantum affine and Yangian algebras to find elegant, exact solutions describing the models that arise from and are inspired by the gauge/gravity dualities.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/K030159/1
    Funder Contribution: 342,000 GBP

    Ultrasound is used in many applications, including medical imaging, non-destructive evaluation, therapeutic ultrasound etc. In all these cases, there is usually a need for the formation of images or the creation of a focal region. Current methods for the generation of optimal acoustic fields generally rely on a linear process within the transducer. This linear transduction process influences the resultant properties in terms of spatial resolution and maximum intensity, noting that there are fundamental limits on the spatial resolution and power densities that can be achieved in such focal regions. In recent work in the area of acoustics, it has been demonstrated that a new type of acoustic signal can be generated via non-linear effects in chains of particles, which act as a kind of waveguide. These are based on the propagation of solitary waves. These have been studies at low frequencies, but this study will look at the posibility of using these new structures for use in biomedical ultrasound. Materials that support solitary waves are not used in standard ultrasonic work; little has been published on their use, despite the fact that a step change in performance may be possible. In this proposal, such waves will be generated within ultrasonic sources containing multiple solitary wave chains, at frequencies in the 500 kHz - 5 MHz range. To our knowledge, this has not been investigated before. Arrays are also possible, where each chain forms a single element. Because the chains would be primarily coupled along their length, but not laterally between each chains, issues arising from mechanical cross-coupling might be avoided. Pre-compression of each chain would alter the propagation velocity within it, so that beam-steering/focussing to be created. The propagation charaistics also change with signal amplitude, leading to the possibility of an acoustic diode. These new innovations would have applications in such areas as ultrasound-enhanced drug delivery, High Intensity Focussed Ultrasound (HIFU) for the treatment of tumours, and harmonic imaging.

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