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  • 2019-2023
  • 2019
  • 2028

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/S022139/1
    Funder Contribution: 5,452,170 GBP

    This proposal seeks funding to create a Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Connected Electronic and Photonic Systems (CEPS). Photonics has moved from a niche industry to being embedded in the majority of deployed systems, ranging from sensing, biophotonics and advanced manufacturing, through communications from the chip-to-chip to transcontinental scale, to display technologies, bringing higher resolution, lower power operation and enabling new ways of human-machine interaction. These advances have set the scene for a major change in commercialisation activity where electronics photonics and wireless converge in a wide range of information, sensing, communications, manufacturing and personal healthcare systems. Currently manufactured systems are realised by combining separately developed photonics, electronic and wireless components. This approach is labour intensive and requires many electrical interconnects as well as optical alignment on the micron scale. Devices are optimised separately and then brought together to meet systems specifications. Such an approach, although it has delivered remarkable results, not least the communications systems upon which the internet depends, limits the benefits that could come from systems-led design and the development of technologies for seamless integration of electronic photonics and wireless systems. To realise such connected systems requires researchers who have not only deep understanding of their specialist area, but also an excellent understanding across the fields of electronic photonics and wireless hardware and software. This proposal seeks to meet this important need, building upon the uniqueness and extent of the UCL and Cambridge research, where research activities are already focussing on higher levels of electronic, photonic and wireless integration; the convergence of wireless and optical communication systems; combined quantum and classical communication systems; the application of THz and optical low-latency connections in data centres; techniques for the low-cost roll-out of optical fibre to replace the copper network; the substitution of many conventional lighting products with photonic light sources and extensive application of photonics in medical diagnostics and personalised medicine. Many of these activities will increasingly rely on more advanced systems integration, and so the proposed CDT includes experts in electronic circuits, wireless systems and software. By drawing these complementary activities together, and building upon initial work towards this goal carried out within our previously funded CDT in Integrated Photonic and Electronic Systems, it is proposed to develop an advanced training programme to equip the next generation of very high calibre doctoral students with the required technical expertise, responsible innovation (RI), commercial and business skills to enable the £90 billion annual turnover UK electronics and photonics industry to create the closely integrated systems of the future. The CEPS CDT will provide a wide range of methods for learning for research students, well beyond that conventionally available, so that they can gain the required skills. In addition to conventional lectures and seminars, for example, there will be bespoke experimental coursework activities, reading clubs, roadmapping activities, responsible innovation (RI) studies, secondments to companies and other research laboratories and business planning courses. Connecting electronic and photonic systems is likely to expand the range of applications into which these technologies are deployed in other key sectors of the economy, such as industrial manufacturing, consumer electronics, data processing, defence, energy, engineering, security and medicine. As a result, a key feature of the CDT will be a developed awareness in its student cohorts of the breadth of opportunity available and the confidence that they can make strong impact thereon.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/S022244/1
    Funder Contribution: 5,130,060 GBP

    We propose a new phase of the successful Mathematics for Real-World Systems (MathSys) Centre for Doctoral Training that will address the call priority area "Mathematical and Computational Modelling". Advanced quantitative skills and applied mathematical modelling are critical to address the contemporary challenges arising from biomedicine and health sectors, modern industry and the digital economy. The UK Commission for Employment and Skills as well as Tech City UK have identified that a skills shortage in this domain is one of the key challenges facing the UK technology sector: there is a severe lack of trained researchers with the technical skills and, importantly, the ability to translate these skills into effective solutions in collaboration with end-users. Our proposal addresses this need with a cross-disciplinary, cohort-based training programme that will equip the next generation of researchers with cutting-edge methodological toolkits and the experience of external end-user engagement to address a broad variety of real-world problems in fields ranging from mathematical biology to the high-tech sector. Our MSc training (and continued PhD development) will deliver a core of mathematical techniques relevant to all applied modelling, but will also focus on two cross-cutting methodological themes which we consider key to complex multi-scale systems prediction: modelling across spatial and temporal scales; and hybrid modelling integrating complex data and mechanistic models. These themes pervade many areas of active research and will shape mathematical and computational modelling for the coming decades. A core element of the CDT will be productive and impactful engagement with end-users throughout the teaching and research phases. This has been a distinguishing feature of the MathSys CDT and is further expanded in our new proposal. MSc Research Study Groups provide an ideal opportunity for MSc students to experience working in a collaborative environment and for our end-users to become actively involved. All PhD projects are expected to be co-supervised by an external partner, bringing knowledge, data and experience to the modelling of real-world problems; students will normally be expected to spend 2-4 weeks (or longer) with these end-users to better understand the case-specific challenges and motivate their research. The potential renewal of the MathSys CDT has provided us with the opportunity to expand our portfolio of external partners focusing on research challenges in four application areas: Quantitative biomedical research, (A2) Mathematical epidemiology, (A3) Socio-technical systems and (A4) Advanced modelling and optimization of industrial processes. We will retain the one-year MSc followed by three-year PhD format that has been successfully refined through staff experience and student feedback over more than a decade of previous Warwick doctoral training centres. However, both the training and research components of the programme will be thoroughly updated to reflect the evolving technical landscape of applied research and the changing priorities of end-users. At the same time, we have retained the flexibility that allows co-creation of activities with our end-users and allows us to respond to changes in the national and international research environments on an ongoing yearly basis. Students will share a dedicated space, with a lecture theatre and common area based in one of the UK's leading mathematical departments. The space is physically connected to the new Mathematical Sciences building, at the interface of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, and provides a unique location for our interdisciplinary activities.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/S024093/1
    Funder Contribution: 5,623,060 GBP

    Building upon our existing flagship industry-linked EPSRC & MRC CDT in Systems Approaches to Biomedical Science (SABS), the new EPSRC CDT in Sustainable Approaches to Biomedical Science: Responsible and Reproducible Research - SABS:R^3 - will train a further five cohorts, each of 15 students, in cutting-edge systems approaches to biomedical research and, uniquely within the UK, in advanced practices in software engineering. Our renewed goal is to bring about a transformation of the research culture in computational biomedical science. Computational methods are now at the heart of biomedical research. From the simulation of the behaviour of complex systems, through the design and automation of laboratory experiments, to the analysis of both small and large-scale data, well-engineered software has proved capable of transforming biomedical science. Biomedical science is therefore dependent as never before on research software. Industries reliant on this continued innovation in biomedical science play a critical role in the UK economy. The biopharmaceutical and medical technology industrial sectors alone generate an annual turnover of over £63 billion and employ 233,000 scientists and staff. In his foreword to the 2017 Life Sciences Industrial Strategy, Sir John Bell noted that, "The global life sciences industry is expected to reach >$2 trillion in gross value by 2023... there are few, if any, sectors more important to support as part of the industrial strategy." The report identifies the need to provide training in skills in "informatics, computational, mathematical and statistics areas" as being of major concern for the life sciences industry. Over the last 9 years, the existing SABS CDT has been working with its consortium of now 22 industrial and institutional partners to meet these training needs. Over this same period, continued advances in information technology have accelerated the shift in the biomedical research landscape in an increasingly quantitative and predictive direction. As a result, computational and hence software-driven approaches now underpin all aspects of the research pipeline. In spite of this central importance, the development of research software is typically a by-product of the research process, with the research publication being the primary output. Research software is typically not made available to the research community, or even to peer reviewers, and therefore cannot be verified. Vast amounts of research time is lost (usually by PhD students with no formal training in software development) in re-implementing already-existing solutions from the literature. Even if successful, the re-implemented software is again not released to the community, and the cycle repeats. No consideration is made of the huge benefits of model verification, re-use, extension, and maintainability, nor of the implications for the reproducibility of the published research. Progress in biomedical science is thus impeded, with knock-on effects into clinical translation and knowledge transfer into industry. There is therefore an urgent need for a radically different approach. The SABS:R^3 CDT will build on the existing SABS Programme to equip a new generation of biomedical research scientists with not only the knowledge and methods necessary to take a quantitative and interdisciplinary approach, but also with advanced software engineering skills. By embedding this strong focus on sustainable and open computational methods, together with responsible and reproducible approaches, into all aspects of the new programme, our computationally-literate scientists will be equipped to act as ambassadors to bring about a transformation of biomedical research.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/S023305/1
    Funder Contribution: 6,123,460 GBP

    We will train a cohort of 65 PhD students to tackle the challenge of Data Creativity for the 21st century digital economy. In partnership with over 40 industry and academic partners, our students will establish the technologies and methods to enable producers and consumers to co-create smarter products in smarter ways and so establish trust in the use of personal data. Data is widely recognised by industry as being the 'fuel' that powers the economy. However, the highly personal nature of much data has raised concerns about privacy and ownership that threaten to undermine consumers' trust. Unlocking the economic potential of personal data while tackling societal concerns demands a new approach that balances the ability to innovate new products with building trust and ensuring compliance with a complex regulatory framework. This requires PhD students with a deep appreciation of the capabilities of emerging technology, the ability to innovate new products, but also an understanding of how this can be done in a responsible way. Our approach to this challenge is one of Data Creativity - enabling people to take control of their data and exercise greater agency by becoming creative consumers who actively co-create more trusted products. Driven by the needs of industry, public sector and third sector partners who have so far committed £1.6M of direct and £2.8M of in kind funding, we will explore multiple sectors including Fast Moving Consumer Goods and Food; Creative Industries; Health and Wellbeing; Personal Finance; and Smart Mobility and how it can unlock synergies between these. Our partners also represent interests in enabling technologies and the cross cutting concerns of privacy and security. Each student will work with industry, public, third sector or international partners to ensure that their research is grounded in real user needs, maximising its impact while also enhancing their future employability. External partners will be involved in PhD co-design, supervision, training, providing resources, hosting placements, setting industry-led challenge projects and steering. Addressing the challenges of Data Creativity demands a multi-disciplinary approach that combines expertise in technology development and human-centred methods with domain expertise across key sectors of the economy. Our students will be situated within Horizon, a leading centre for Digital Economy research and a vibrant environment that draws together a national research Hub, CDT and a network of over 100 industry, academic and international partners. We currently provide access to a network of >80 potential supervisors, ranging from leading Professors to talented early career researchers. This extends to academic partners at other Universities who will be involved in co-hosting and supervising our students, including the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility at De Montfort University. We run an integrated four-year training programme that features: a bespoke core covering key topics in Future Products, Enabling Technologies, Innovation and Responsibility; optional advanced specialist modules; internship and international exchanges; industry-led challenge projects; training in research methods and professional skills; modules dedicated to the PhD proposal, planning and write up; and many opportunities for cross-cohort collaboration including our annual industry conference, retreat and summer schools. Our Impact Fund supports students in deepening the impact of their research. Horizon has EDI considerations embedded throughout, from consideration of equal opportunities in recruitment to ensuring that we deliver an inclusive environment which supports diversity of needs and backgrounds in the student experience.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: 2268138

    My practice-based research project will investigate ways of presenting Roman history and archaeology at the National Roman Legion Museum (NRLM). It will test ideas for refreshing and communicating the history of the Roman occupation of Wales to new audiences in and around the site using a variety of audio-visual media. Through this work, I will generate new knowledge about the history of the Roman occupation of Wales, and the aesthetic, narrative and technical possibilities of audio-visual media in museums.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/S023003/1
    Funder Contribution: 7,701,930 GBP

    The UK has an international reputation for excellence in the aero-propulsion and power generation industry and is at the forefront of research into the underpinning aero-thermal science and technology. Through the current CDT in Gas Turbine Aerodynamics, the UK has also established itself as the global leader in graduate training in the field. But this sector is entering a period of accelerated change and market disruption. In aerospace, the continuing drive to reduce emissions is necessitating major architecture changes in jet engines as well as entirely new electrified concepts with integrated engine-airframe designs. In power generation, fast response and flexible operation gas turbines are required to support the increasing capacity of renewables. In addition, the traditional physical (experimental tests) and digital (computational simulation) worlds are merging with the advent of rapid multi-disciplinary design tools and additive manufacturing. The common thread in these challenges is the rapid increase in the rate of generation of data and the requirement for engineers to convert this information into innovative design changes. To maintain its leadership position, the UK must train a new generation of engineers with the skills needed to innovate in this data-rich environment. The new CDT in Future Propulsion and Power will train engineers with the Data, Learning and Design, and Systems Integration skills required by aero-thermal engineers of the future. Engineers will need to handle an unprecedented volume of Data from the latest multi-disciplinary simulations, experimental tests, or from real engines in the field. From this, engineers will need to distil Learning by a critical evaluation of the data, using AI and data science as appropriate, against hypotheses developed with reference to the underpinning aero-thermal science. The critical output from this Learning is improved Design, be that of a an individual component or process, or an Integrated System (e.g. electrically driven propulsor, urban air taxi, fast-response power generation). This set of coupled, aero-thermal focussed skills will be provided by the new CDT in Future Propulsion and Power. The Centre is a collaboration between three universities and four industry partners, each with complimentary expertise and skills, but with a shared vision to deliver a training experience that sets the global benchmark for Propulsion and Power education. The laboratories of the partner institutions have a track record of research leadership in turbomachinery aerodynamics (Cambridge), heat transfer (Oxford) and combustor aerodynamics (Loughborough). The new Master's course will use expertise from the three universities to train students in the underpinning aero-thermal science, in the experimental and computational data generation and critical evaluation, and in the process of aerodynamic design. Data Science training will be provided by Workshops delivered by the Alan Turing Institute and by researchers using advanced data analytics in the Centre's universities. The Industry Partners (Rolls-Royce, Siemens, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Dyson) are committed to defining, delivering and supporting the Centre (they will fund a minimum of 35 studentships). As well as providing a pathway for research projects to contribute to real products, the sponsoring companies also deliver bespoke industry courses to the students of the CDT; they provide a manufacturing, operation and Systems Integration context that only industry can offer. The Industry Partners will include data analytics (from R2 Data Labs - Rolls-Royce, and MindSphere/IoT - Siemens) in their industry courses. These companies, and others in related sectors in the UK, ensure a demand for the graduates of the new CDT with their unique, aerodynamics-focussed, Data, Learning and Design skill set.

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  • Funder: NIH Project Code: 2R01DE027971-05
    Funder Contribution: 554,286 USD
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  • Funder: NIH Project Code: 2R01DK118267-04
    Funder Contribution: 546,108 USD
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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/S021728/1
    Funder Contribution: 6,417,170 GBP

    We will launch a new CDT, focused on composite materials and manufacturing, to deliver the next generation of composites research and technology leaders equipped with the skills to make an impact on society. In recent times, composites have been replacing traditional materials, e.g. metals, at an unprecedented rate. Global growth in their use is expected to be rapid (5-10% annually). This growth is being driven by the need to lightweight structures for which 'lighter is better', e.g. aircraft, automotive car bodywork and wind blades; and by the benefits that composites offer to functionalise both materials and structures. The drivers for lightweighting are mainly material cost, fuel efficiency, reducing emissions contributing to climate change, but also for more purely engineering reasons such as improved operational performance and functionality. For example, the UK composites sector has contributed significantly to the Airbus A400M and A350 airframes, which exhibit markedly better performance over their metallic counterparts. Similarly, in the wind energy field, typically, over 90% of a wind turbine blade comprises composites. However, given the trend towards larger rotors, weight and stiffness have become limiting factors, necessitating a greater use of carbon fibre. Advanced composites, and the possibility that they offer to add extra functionality such as shape adaptation, are enablers for lighter, smarter blades, and cheaper more abundant energy. In the automotive sector, given the push for greener cars, the need for high speed, production line-scale, manufacturing approaches will necessitate more understanding of how different materials perform. Given these developments, the UK has invested heavily in supporting the science and technology of composite materials, for instance, through the establishment of the National Composites Centre at the University of Bristol. Further investments are now required to support the skills element of the UK provision towards the composites industry and the challenges it presents. Currently, there is a recognised skills shortage in the UK's technical workforce for composites; the shortage being particularly acute for doctoral skills (30-150/year are needed). New developments within industry, such as robotic manufacture, additive manufacture, sustainability and recycling, and digital manufacturing require training that encompasses engineering as well as the physical sciences. Our CDT will supply a highly skilled workforce and technical leadership to support the industry; specifically, the leadership to bring forth new radical thinking and the innovative mind-set required to future-proof the UK's global competitiveness. The development of future composites, competing with the present resins, fibres and functional properties, as well as alternative materials, will require doctoral students to acquire underpinning knowledge of advanced materials science and engineering, and practical experience of the ensuing composites and structures. These highly skilled doctoral students will not only need to understand technical subjects but should also be able to place acquired knowledge within the context of the modern world. Our CDT will deliver this training, providing core engineering competencies, including the experimental and theoretical elements of composites engineering and science. Core engineering modules will seek to develop the students' understanding of the performance of composite materials, and how that performance might be improved. Alongside core materials, manufacturing and computational analysis training, the CDT will deliver a transferable skills training programme, e.g. communication, leadership, and translational research skills. Collaborating with industrial partners (e.g. Rolls Royce) and world-leading international expertise (e.g. University of Limerick), we will produce an exciting integrated programme enabling our students to become future leaders.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: 2306777

    The fungal pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici is the causative agent of Septoria tritici blotch (STB), a disease that represents a major threat to wheat production and food security worldwide. Recently, the development of a range of molecular tools for Z. tritici has provided an opportunity to decipher the pathways that regulate its pathogenicity and inform new strategies for its control. The identification of such strategies is important due to the increasing incidence of fungicide resistant strains which threaten sustainable agriculture and food production. The ability to mount effective responses to host-imposed environmental stresses has been shown to be an important virulence attribute in a variety of plant and human fungal pathogens. Central to these responses are evolutionarily conserved stress activated MAP kinase (SAPK) pathways. In Z. tritici deletion of the Hog1 SAP kinase results in sensitivity to a range of environmental stresses and loss of virulence. However, the genes controlled by the SAPK pathway and the mechanisms by which is regulated have yet to be determined. Importantly, fungi are distinct as they use 'two component' phosphorelay systems to sense and transmit specific stress signals to SAPK modules. The prototypical fungal two component system was characterised in the budding yeast, S. cerevisiae and consists of a histidine kinase Sln1, a phosphorelay protein Ypd1 and a fungal-specific response regulator protein Ssk1. Analysis of the Z. tritici genome sequence has revealed that there are multiple genes encoding histidine kinases but single homologues of Ypd1 and Ssk1. Therefore, the aim of this project is to determine the role of ZtYpd1 and ZtSsk1 in the stress response and virulence of Z. tritici. Using methodology that is already established in the lab, strains carrying deletions in these genes will be constructed. Based on analyses of model fungi, it would be predicted that loss of ZtYpd1 would result in constitutive SAPK activation whereas loss of ZtSsk1 would prevent SAPK activation in response to specific signals. Therefore, these knockout strains will allow the effect of perturbing two component signalling on stress resistance to be determined. SAPK pathway activation (ZtHog1 phosphorylation) will monitored in order to identify which stress signals are relayed via the two component system and transcript profiling will be employed to reveal the impact of ZtYpd1 and ZtSsk1 on stress-responsive gene expression. Ultimately, wheat infection assays using the knockout strains will be used to assess the contribution of the two component system to the virulence of Z. tritici.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/S022139/1
    Funder Contribution: 5,452,170 GBP

    This proposal seeks funding to create a Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Connected Electronic and Photonic Systems (CEPS). Photonics has moved from a niche industry to being embedded in the majority of deployed systems, ranging from sensing, biophotonics and advanced manufacturing, through communications from the chip-to-chip to transcontinental scale, to display technologies, bringing higher resolution, lower power operation and enabling new ways of human-machine interaction. These advances have set the scene for a major change in commercialisation activity where electronics photonics and wireless converge in a wide range of information, sensing, communications, manufacturing and personal healthcare systems. Currently manufactured systems are realised by combining separately developed photonics, electronic and wireless components. This approach is labour intensive and requires many electrical interconnects as well as optical alignment on the micron scale. Devices are optimised separately and then brought together to meet systems specifications. Such an approach, although it has delivered remarkable results, not least the communications systems upon which the internet depends, limits the benefits that could come from systems-led design and the development of technologies for seamless integration of electronic photonics and wireless systems. To realise such connected systems requires researchers who have not only deep understanding of their specialist area, but also an excellent understanding across the fields of electronic photonics and wireless hardware and software. This proposal seeks to meet this important need, building upon the uniqueness and extent of the UCL and Cambridge research, where research activities are already focussing on higher levels of electronic, photonic and wireless integration; the convergence of wireless and optical communication systems; combined quantum and classical communication systems; the application of THz and optical low-latency connections in data centres; techniques for the low-cost roll-out of optical fibre to replace the copper network; the substitution of many conventional lighting products with photonic light sources and extensive application of photonics in medical diagnostics and personalised medicine. Many of these activities will increasingly rely on more advanced systems integration, and so the proposed CDT includes experts in electronic circuits, wireless systems and software. By drawing these complementary activities together, and building upon initial work towards this goal carried out within our previously funded CDT in Integrated Photonic and Electronic Systems, it is proposed to develop an advanced training programme to equip the next generation of very high calibre doctoral students with the required technical expertise, responsible innovation (RI), commercial and business skills to enable the £90 billion annual turnover UK electronics and photonics industry to create the closely integrated systems of the future. The CEPS CDT will provide a wide range of methods for learning for research students, well beyond that conventionally available, so that they can gain the required skills. In addition to conventional lectures and seminars, for example, there will be bespoke experimental coursework activities, reading clubs, roadmapping activities, responsible innovation (RI) studies, secondments to companies and other research laboratories and business planning courses. Connecting electronic and photonic systems is likely to expand the range of applications into which these technologies are deployed in other key sectors of the economy, such as industrial manufacturing, consumer electronics, data processing, defence, energy, engineering, security and medicine. As a result, a key feature of the CDT will be a developed awareness in its student cohorts of the breadth of opportunity available and the confidence that they can make strong impact thereon.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/S022244/1
    Funder Contribution: 5,130,060 GBP

    We propose a new phase of the successful Mathematics for Real-World Systems (MathSys) Centre for Doctoral Training that will address the call priority area "Mathematical and Computational Modelling". Advanced quantitative skills and applied mathematical modelling are critical to address the contemporary challenges arising from biomedicine and health sectors, modern industry and the digital economy. The UK Commission for Employment and Skills as well as Tech City UK have identified that a skills shortage in this domain is one of the key challenges facing the UK technology sector: there is a severe lack of trained researchers with the technical skills and, importantly, the ability to translate these skills into effective solutions in collaboration with end-users. Our proposal addresses this need with a cross-disciplinary, cohort-based training programme that will equip the next generation of researchers with cutting-edge methodological toolkits and the experience of external end-user engagement to address a broad variety of real-world problems in fields ranging from mathematical biology to the high-tech sector. Our MSc training (and continued PhD development) will deliver a core of mathematical techniques relevant to all applied modelling, but will also focus on two cross-cutting methodological themes which we consider key to complex multi-scale systems prediction: modelling across spatial and temporal scales; and hybrid modelling integrating complex data and mechanistic models. These themes pervade many areas of active research and will shape mathematical and computational modelling for the coming decades. A core element of the CDT will be productive and impactful engagement with end-users throughout the teaching and research phases. This has been a distinguishing feature of the MathSys CDT and is further expanded in our new proposal. MSc Research Study Groups provide an ideal opportunity for MSc students to experience working in a collaborative environment and for our end-users to become actively involved. All PhD projects are expected to be co-supervised by an external partner, bringing knowledge, data and experience to the modelling of real-world problems; students will normally be expected to spend 2-4 weeks (or longer) with these end-users to better understand the case-specific challenges and motivate their research. The potential renewal of the MathSys CDT has provided us with the opportunity to expand our portfolio of external partners focusing on research challenges in four application areas: Quantitative biomedical research, (A2) Mathematical epidemiology, (A3) Socio-technical systems and (A4) Advanced modelling and optimization of industrial processes. We will retain the one-year MSc followed by three-year PhD format that has been successfully refined through staff experience and student feedback over more than a decade of previous Warwick doctoral training centres. However, both the training and research components of the programme will be thoroughly updated to reflect the evolving technical landscape of applied research and the changing priorities of end-users. At the same time, we have retained the flexibility that allows co-creation of activities with our end-users and allows us to respond to changes in the national and international research environments on an ongoing yearly basis. Students will share a dedicated space, with a lecture theatre and common area based in one of the UK's leading mathematical departments. The space is physically connected to the new Mathematical Sciences building, at the interface of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, and provides a unique location for our interdisciplinary activities.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/S024093/1
    Funder Contribution: 5,623,060 GBP

    Building upon our existing flagship industry-linked EPSRC & MRC CDT in Systems Approaches to Biomedical Science (SABS), the new EPSRC CDT in Sustainable Approaches to Biomedical Science: Responsible and Reproducible Research - SABS:R^3 - will train a further five cohorts, each of 15 students, in cutting-edge systems approaches to biomedical research and, uniquely within the UK, in advanced practices in software engineering. Our renewed goal is to bring about a transformation of the research culture in computational biomedical science. Computational methods are now at the heart of biomedical research. From the simulation of the behaviour of complex systems, through the design and automation of laboratory experiments, to the analysis of both small and large-scale data, well-engineered software has proved capable of transforming biomedical science. Biomedical science is therefore dependent as never before on research software. Industries reliant on this continued innovation in biomedical science play a critical role in the UK economy. The biopharmaceutical and medical technology industrial sectors alone generate an annual turnover of over £63 billion and employ 233,000 scientists and staff. In his foreword to the 2017 Life Sciences Industrial Strategy, Sir John Bell noted that, "The global life sciences industry is expected to reach >$2 trillion in gross value by 2023... there are few, if any, sectors more important to support as part of the industrial strategy." The report identifies the need to provide training in skills in "informatics, computational, mathematical and statistics areas" as being of major concern for the life sciences industry. Over the last 9 years, the existing SABS CDT has been working with its consortium of now 22 industrial and institutional partners to meet these training needs. Over this same period, continued advances in information technology have accelerated the shift in the biomedical research landscape in an increasingly quantitative and predictive direction. As a result, computational and hence software-driven approaches now underpin all aspects of the research pipeline. In spite of this central importance, the development of research software is typically a by-product of the research process, with the research publication being the primary output. Research software is typically not made available to the research community, or even to peer reviewers, and therefore cannot be verified. Vast amounts of research time is lost (usually by PhD students with no formal training in software development) in re-implementing already-existing solutions from the literature. Even if successful, the re-implemented software is again not released to the community, and the cycle repeats. No consideration is made of the huge benefits of model verification, re-use, extension, and maintainability, nor of the implications for the reproducibility of the published research. Progress in biomedical science is thus impeded, with knock-on effects into clinical translation and knowledge transfer into industry. There is therefore an urgent need for a radically different approach. The SABS:R^3 CDT will build on the existing SABS Programme to equip a new generation of biomedical research scientists with not only the knowledge and methods necessary to take a quantitative and interdisciplinary approach, but also with advanced software engineering skills. By embedding this strong focus on sustainable and open computational methods, together with responsible and reproducible approaches, into all aspects of the new programme, our computationally-literate scientists will be equipped to act as ambassadors to bring about a transformation of biomedical research.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/S023305/1
    Funder Contribution: 6,123,460 GBP

    We will train a cohort of 65 PhD students to tackle the challenge of Data Creativity for the 21st century digital economy. In partnership with over 40 industry and academic partners, our students will establish the technologies and methods to enable producers and consumers to co-create smarter products in smarter ways and so establish trust in the use of personal data. Data is widely recognised by industry as being the 'fuel' that powers the economy. However, the highly personal nature of much data has raised concerns about privacy and ownership that threaten to undermine consumers' trust. Unlocking the economic potential of personal data while tackling societal concerns demands a new approach that balances the ability to innovate new products with building trust and ensuring compliance with a complex regulatory framework. This requires PhD students with a deep appreciation of the capabilities of emerging technology, the ability to innovate new products, but also an understanding of how this can be done in a responsible way. Our approach to this challenge is one of Data Creativity - enabling people to take control of their data and exercise greater agency by becoming creative consumers who actively co-create more trusted products. Driven by the needs of industry, public sector and third sector partners who have so far committed £1.6M of direct and £2.8M of in kind funding, we will explore multiple sectors including Fast Moving Consumer Goods and Food; Creative Industries; Health and Wellbeing; Personal Finance; and Smart Mobility and how it can unlock synergies between these. Our partners also represent interests in enabling technologies and the cross cutting concerns of privacy and security. Each student will work with industry, public, third sector or international partners to ensure that their research is grounded in real user needs, maximising its impact while also enhancing their future employability. External partners will be involved in PhD co-design, supervision, training, providing resources, hosting placements, setting industry-led challenge projects and steering. Addressing the challenges of Data Creativity demands a multi-disciplinary approach that combines expertise in technology development and human-centred methods with domain expertise across key sectors of the economy. Our students will be situated within Horizon, a leading centre for Digital Economy research and a vibrant environment that draws together a national research Hub, CDT and a network of over 100 industry, academic and international partners. We currently provide access to a network of >80 potential supervisors, ranging from leading Professors to talented early career researchers. This extends to academic partners at other Universities who will be involved in co-hosting and supervising our students, including the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility at De Montfort University. We run an integrated four-year training programme that features: a bespoke core covering key topics in Future Products, Enabling Technologies, Innovation and Responsibility; optional advanced specialist modules; internship and international exchanges; industry-led challenge projects; training in research methods and professional skills; modules dedicated to the PhD proposal, planning and write up; and many opportunities for cross-cohort collaboration including our annual industry conference, retreat and summer schools. Our Impact Fund supports students in deepening the impact of their research. Horizon has EDI considerations embedded throughout, from consideration of equal opportunities in recruitment to ensuring that we deliver an inclusive environment which supports diversity of needs and backgrounds in the student experience.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: 2268138

    My practice-based research project will investigate ways of presenting Roman history and archaeology at the National Roman Legion Museum (NRLM). It will test ideas for refreshing and communicating the history of the Roman occupation of Wales to new audiences in and around the site using a variety of audio-visual media. Through this work, I will generate new knowledge about the history of the Roman occupation of Wales, and the aesthetic, narrative and technical possibilities of audio-visual media in museums.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/S023003/1
    Funder Contribution: 7,701,930 GBP

    The UK has an international reputation for excellence in the aero-propulsion and power generation industry and is at the forefront of research into the underpinning aero-thermal science and technology. Through the current CDT in Gas Turbine Aerodynamics, the UK has also established itself as the global leader in graduate training in the field. But this sector is entering a period of accelerated change and market disruption. In aerospace, the continuing drive to reduce emissions is necessitating major architecture changes in jet engines as well as entirely new electrified concepts with integrated engine-airframe designs. In power generation, fast response and flexible operation gas turbines are required to support the increasing capacity of renewables. In addition, the traditional physical (experimental tests) and digital (computational simulation) worlds are merging with the advent of rapid multi-disciplinary design tools and additive manufacturing. The common thread in these challenges is the rapid increase in the rate of generation of data and the requirement for engineers to convert this information into innovative design changes. To maintain its leadership position, the UK must train a new generation of engineers with the skills needed to innovate in this data-rich environment. The new CDT in Future Propulsion and Power will train engineers with the Data, Learning and Design, and Systems Integration skills required by aero-thermal engineers of the future. Engineers will need to handle an unprecedented volume of Data from the latest multi-disciplinary simulations, experimental tests, or from real engines in the field. From this, engineers will need to distil Learning by a critical evaluation of the data, using AI and data science as appropriate, against hypotheses developed with reference to the underpinning aero-thermal science. The critical output from this Learning is improved Design, be that of a an individual component or process, or an Integrated System (e.g. electrically driven propulsor, urban air taxi, fast-response power generation). This set of coupled, aero-thermal focussed skills will be provided by the new CDT in Future Propulsion and Power. The Centre is a collaboration between three universities and four industry partners, each with complimentary expertise and skills, but with a shared vision to deliver a training experience that sets the global benchmark for Propulsion and Power education. The laboratories of the partner institutions have a track record of research leadership in turbomachinery aerodynamics (Cambridge), heat transfer (Oxford) and combustor aerodynamics (Loughborough). The new Master's course will use expertise from the three universities to train students in the underpinning aero-thermal science, in the experimental and computational data generation and critical evaluation, and in the process of aerodynamic design. Data Science training will be provided by Workshops delivered by the Alan Turing Institute and by researchers using advanced data analytics in the Centre's universities. The Industry Partners (Rolls-Royce, Siemens, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Dyson) are committed to defining, delivering and supporting the Centre (they will fund a minimum of 35 studentships). As well as providing a pathway for research projects to contribute to real products, the sponsoring companies also deliver bespoke industry courses to the students of the CDT; they provide a manufacturing, operation and Systems Integration context that only industry can offer. The Industry Partners will include data analytics (from R2 Data Labs - Rolls-Royce, and MindSphere/IoT - Siemens) in their industry courses. These companies, and others in related sectors in the UK, ensure a demand for the graduates of the new CDT with their unique, aerodynamics-focussed, Data, Learning and Design skill set.

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  • Funder: NIH Project Code: 2R01DE027971-05
    Funder Contribution: 554,286 USD
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  • Funder: NIH Project Code: 2R01DK118267-04
    Funder Contribution: 546,108 USD
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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/S021728/1
    Funder Contribution: 6,417,170 GBP

    We will launch a new CDT, focused on composite materials and manufacturing, to deliver the next generation of composites research and technology leaders equipped with the skills to make an impact on society. In recent times, composites have been replacing traditional materials, e.g. metals, at an unprecedented rate. Global growth in their use is expected to be rapid (5-10% annually). This growth is being driven by the need to lightweight structures for which 'lighter is better', e.g. aircraft, automotive car bodywork and wind blades; and by the benefits that composites offer to functionalise both materials and structures. The drivers for lightweighting are mainly material cost, fuel efficiency, reducing emissions contributing to climate change, but also for more purely engineering reasons such as improved operational performance and functionality. For example, the UK composites sector has contributed significantly to the Airbus A400M and A350 airframes, which exhibit markedly better performance over their metallic counterparts. Similarly, in the wind energy field, typically, over 90% of a wind turbine blade comprises composites. However, given the trend towards larger rotors, weight and stiffness have become limiting factors, necessitating a greater use of carbon fibre. Advanced composites, and the possibility that they offer to add extra functionality such as shape adaptation, are enablers for lighter, smarter blades, and cheaper more abundant energy. In the automotive sector, given the push for greener cars, the need for high speed, production line-scale, manufacturing approaches will necessitate more understanding of how different materials perform. Given these developments, the UK has invested heavily in supporting the science and technology of composite materials, for instance, through the establishment of the National Composites Centre at the University of Bristol. Further investments are now required to support the skills element of the UK provision towards the composites industry and the challenges it presents. Currently, there is a recognised skills shortage in the UK's technical workforce for composites; the shortage being particularly acute for doctoral skills (30-150/year are needed). New developments within industry, such as robotic manufacture, additive manufacture, sustainability and recycling, and digital manufacturing require training that encompasses engineering as well as the physical sciences. Our CDT will supply a highly skilled workforce and technical leadership to support the industry; specifically, the leadership to bring forth new radical thinking and the innovative mind-set required to future-proof the UK's global competitiveness. The development of future composites, competing with the present resins, fibres and functional properties, as well as alternative materials, will require doctoral students to acquire underpinning knowledge of advanced materials science and engineering, and practical experience of the ensuing composites and structures. These highly skilled doctoral students will not only need to understand technical subjects but should also be able to place acquired knowledge within the context of the modern world. Our CDT will deliver this training, providing core engineering competencies, including the experimental and theoretical elements of composites engineering and science. Core engineering modules will seek to develop the students' understanding of the performance of composite materials, and how that performance might be improved. Alongside core materials, manufacturing and computational analysis training, the CDT will deliver a transferable skills training programme, e.g. communication, leadership, and translational research skills. Collaborating with industrial partners (e.g. Rolls Royce) and world-leading international expertise (e.g. University of Limerick), we will produce an exciting integrated programme enabling our students to become future leaders.

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: 2306777

    The fungal pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici is the causative agent of Septoria tritici blotch (STB), a disease that represents a major threat to wheat production and food security worldwide. Recently, the development of a range of molecular tools for Z. tritici has provided an opportunity to decipher the pathways that regulate its pathogenicity and inform new strategies for its control. The identification of such strategies is important due to the increasing incidence of fungicide resistant strains which threaten sustainable agriculture and food production. The ability to mount effective responses to host-imposed environmental stresses has been shown to be an important virulence attribute in a variety of plant and human fungal pathogens. Central to these responses are evolutionarily conserved stress activated MAP kinase (SAPK) pathways. In Z. tritici deletion of the Hog1 SAP kinase results in sensitivity to a range of environmental stresses and loss of virulence. However, the genes controlled by the SAPK pathway and the mechanisms by which is regulated have yet to be determined. Importantly, fungi are distinct as they use 'two component' phosphorelay systems to sense and transmit specific stress signals to SAPK modules. The prototypical fungal two component system was characterised in the budding yeast, S. cerevisiae and consists of a histidine kinase Sln1, a phosphorelay protein Ypd1 and a fungal-specific response regulator protein Ssk1. Analysis of the Z. tritici genome sequence has revealed that there are multiple genes encoding histidine kinases but single homologues of Ypd1 and Ssk1. Therefore, the aim of this project is to determine the role of ZtYpd1 and ZtSsk1 in the stress response and virulence of Z. tritici. Using methodology that is already established in the lab, strains carrying deletions in these genes will be constructed. Based on analyses of model fungi, it would be predicted that loss of ZtYpd1 would result in constitutive SAPK activation whereas loss of ZtSsk1 would prevent SAPK activation in response to specific signals. Therefore, these knockout strains will allow the effect of perturbing two component signalling on stress resistance to be determined. SAPK pathway activation (ZtHog1 phosphorylation) will monitored in order to identify which stress signals are relayed via the two component system and transcript profiling will be employed to reveal the impact of ZtYpd1 and ZtSsk1 on stress-responsive gene expression. Ultimately, wheat infection assays using the knockout strains will be used to assess the contribution of the two component system to the virulence of Z. tritici.

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