University of Surrey

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  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/K002422/1
    Funder Contribution: 254,951 GBP
    Partners: University of Surrey

    Over the past 50 years changes in UK land-use have been considerable and substantial change is likely to continue. The UK population is projected to increase by 16% to 2035 which will bring about change to the size and structure of urban areas and increased pressure on land management, especially in the south-east. This project, by calling upon a range of tested modelling approaches and associated expertise will advance understanding of the fine-scale impacts of urbanisation on water resources and pollution, which are currently poorly understood. The focus will be on water security in the Thames river basin where projections of future population and climate indicate serious water stress. Detailed case studies at a local scale (including Bracknell and Swindon), where the impacts of past land-use changes on river hydrological and ecological regimes are likely to be large, will be undertaken and a novel integrated modelling approach developed and tested. The approach will then be rationalised and up-scaled for testing across the entire Thames, and, in conjunction with projections of urban development and land management change, used to quantify future effects. These findings will be set in the context of effects indicated to be a direct consequence of climate drivers.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/P005853/1
    Funder Contribution: 100,788 GBP
    Partners: University of Surrey

    In the next generation of communication networks, to support the exponential rise in traffic demand, a large number of additional access points (i.e. base stations) will have to be deployed to supplement the existing ones. If no specific actions are taken, this will raise the level of electromagnetic (EM) radiation that the general public is exposed to, and increase their concerns about it. The overall objective of this research work is to investigate innovative techniques for reducing the EM exposure from communication systems by turning the increased density of access points, which will be a cornerstone of future networks, into an advantage. Having more access points in the networks give more degrees of freedom to, for example; reduce the transmit power of mobile device (i.e. the main source of exposure) by connecting/transmitting to several receivers simultaneously, or to connect/transmit only to access points that are not in the direction of the user head/body.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: 2282139
    Partners: University of Surrey

    The performance, reliability, and yield of compound semiconductor devices such as solar cells, lasers, sensors and quantum devices is critically dependent on the quality of the material. Quantitative and reliable measurements for quality control of semiconductor wafers at a production line can increase productivity and reduce waste. Key indicators of the quality of a semiconductor material are the band gap and charge carrier lifetime, which can both be probed using photoluminescence spectroscopy. This project will work towards the development of a system that will enable fast spatial and spectral characterisation of semiconductor materials for in-line metrology through spectrally resolved, and time-resolved photoluminescence mapping using a compressed sensing technique. The demonstration of this prototype will introduce a new generation of in-line contactless tools for quantitative material characterisation.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: AH/I027193/1
    Funder Contribution: 501,499 GBP
    Partners: University of Surrey

    CONTEXT OF THE RESEARCH\nLinguistics is a discipline which faces a seemingly irresolvable competition between several theories of its central component, namely syntax (sentence structure). Further progress requires us to clarify how the concrete predictions of each theory differ. We will create a framework for comparing and evaluating the claims of leading theories of syntax (HPSG, LFG and Minimalism). We do this by focusing on one core area of syntax, namely agreement. Specifically, we shall use data from the Daghestanian language Archi, which has an outstandingly rich and complex agreement system, for analyses in each of the leading theories.\n\nWhen accounting for agreement, contemporary syntactic theories tend to concentrate on isolated instances of complexity found in different languages. To determine the compatibility of the solutions suggested for these separate problems, we need to scale up to a full account of a complete agreement system. Archi presents a rare case of a language whose agreement system challenges major claims found in three different syntactic theories. \n\nOur previous work on agreement gives us the theoretical apparatus necessary for describing an extreme agreement system in a consistent way. Our typological work makes us aware of the range of morphological and syntactic possibilities in agreement systems. Our earlier research on Archi, through fieldwork which led to the compiling of an innovative electronic dictionary, enables us to assess the frequencies of the different agreement strategies. This will allow us to investigate how the agreement system functions in Archi, and how its different components interact. The range of available materials, rather unique for an unwritten language with a small number of speakers, our expertise in fieldwork and the excellent working relations with the community make it possible to investigate the variation in agreement that the system allows.\n \nThe project will employ an innovative model of investigation and dissemination. It is structured around regular day-long seminars, at which a key part of the agreement system of Archi will be analysed according to the three theories, the differences will be discussed by representatives of these theories, and further fieldwork requirements will be specified. Dissemination will begin as early as the third month of the project, through a Wiki. This will give the essential Archi data, and refer to the annotated corpus of Archi, published online in parallel to the Wiki. The Wiki will have three strands of responses, contributing to the three analyses of the data, in HPSG, LFG and Minimalism. These condensed materials will be of value for those interested in any one of the major theories of syntax, for those wishing to compare and contrast the three theories, and for those wanting to approach a language with extremely demanding syntax. \n\nAIMS AND OBJECTIVES\n1. Provide an implemented framework for comparing and evaluating syntactic theories. \n2. Produce an ontologically consistent description of the agreement system in Archi.\n3. Give three parallel syntactic accounts of the body of challenging data.\n4. Investigate the full range of function and variability of the Archi agreement system.\n\nPOTENTIAL APPLICATIONS AND BENEFITS\nThe obvious benefit is for theory: never before have syntactic theories been compared and contrasted in such a controlled, rigorous and innovative way. In terms of our understanding of extreme agreement systems, the benefits will also be considerable, since we shall have three complementary views, together with investigation of frequency data and research into the functioning of the system, which often lie outside syntacticians' main interests. The methodological innovations should also provide a model for collaborative research on problems which are challenging both inherently and because of the the theoritical diversity of the field.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: BB/I006192/1
    Funder Contribution: 516,823 GBP
    Partners: University of Surrey

    Vitamin D is the term used to describe two molecules, ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). The first of these is derived by ultra-violet irradiation of the ergosterol that is widely distributed in plants and other fungi whereas cholecalciferol is formed from the action of ultra-violet irradiation on the skin. Poor vitamin D status is a very common problem in the UK. This has important health consequences (such as muscle/bone function, increasing the risk of diabetes). We urgently need to find ways of improving vitamin D intake that are acceptable as a public health strategy. Research that has just been completed by our group at the University of Surrey (Food Standards Agency funding; Project No. NO5064; £0.5M) has shown that (1) dietary intake of vitamin D is too low to have any effect on vitamin D status as there are too few foods providing a valuable natural source; (2) South Asian women are extremely vitamin D deficient; (3) Caucasians have extensive vitamin D insufficiency. There is evidence in the literature of differences in key polymorphisms of important genes that are critical to vitamin D metabolism in Asian Indian vs. Caucasians aswell as differences in key vitamin D metabolism enzymes. This requires a fuller investigation since there are differences in the availability of vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 and hence public health advice on increasing vitamin D intake (particularly with respect to the development of vitamin D rich food products) needs to confirm that either form of vitamin D is effective. Furthermore, the South Asian community are vegan/strict vegetarians (~26%) and hence the source of vitamin D3 is a problem in this group due to being derived from animals (vitamin D3 supplements come from Lanolin, which is extracted from sheep's wool.) There is currently controversy as to the effectiveness of vitamin D2 vs. D3 in raising 25HOD levels in humans. It has been assumed, largely on the strength of evidence from studies in the 1930s, that D2 and D3 were equally effective in humans but some studies show that D3 is superior to D2 in raising 25OHD levels whereas the most recently published data suggests that D2 and D3 are equally effective. This requires urgent attention. The proposed study will enable a better understanding of how comparable the two forms of vitamin D (ergocalciferol [D2] vs. cholecalciferol [D3]) are at raising vitamin D status in Caucasians and Asians and investigate the mechanisms of action with respect to any differences observed between the two vitamin D forms or between ethic groups. Mechanisms of action will focus on genetic differences aswell as differences in vitamin D metabolizing enzymes. Using a team of scientists with different expertise, our principal objectives are to: (i) compare the efficiency of 10mcg/d [400IU/d] of ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2) vs. cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) fortification of food products in raising 25OHD levels in Asian/Caucasian women; (ii) determine which vehicle for fortification (i.e. a SOLID vs. FLUID food) with ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2) vs. cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) is more effective in raising 25OHD levels, independent of ethnicity; (iii) investigate if 10mcg/d [400IU/d] is effective in raising wintertime 25OHD levels above 'deficiency/insufficiency' thresholds (25nmol/l and 40nmol/l respectively) in Caucasian and Asian women and whether there are any differences in ergocalciferol v. cholecalciferol fortification, independent of ethnicity; iv) investigate the mechanisms (genetic/enzymatic) for the differences observed in (i), (ii) & (iii).