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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S023046/1
Title: EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sensor Technologies for a Healthy and Sustainable Future
Principal Investigator: Kaminski, Professor C
Other Investigators:
Zeitler, Professor JA Owens, Professor R
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Alphasense Ltd Anglian Water ARM Ltd
AstraZeneca Blue Bear Systems Research Ltd Cambridge Display Technology Ltd (CDT)
Cambridgeshire County Council Cartezia Fluidic Analytics Ltd
Friedrich-Alexander Univ of Erlangen FAU Galvani Bioelectronics Hitachi Ltd
Iconal Technology Ltd ioLight Ltd Kirkstall Ltd
Magna International Marks and Clerk LLP National Physical Laboratory
NERC Grouped Nokia Panaxium SAS
Silicon Microgravity Limited Synoptics Ltd Teraview Ltd
Victoria and Albert Museum Zimmer and Peacock Ltd
Department: Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology
Organisation: University of Cambridge
Scheme: Centre for Doctoral Training
Starts: 01 October 2019 Ends: 31 March 2028 Value (£): 5,579,967
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Analytical Science Instrumentation Eng. & Dev.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Environment Healthcare
Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
07 Nov 2018 EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training Interview Panel N – November 2018 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
We propose to build the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sensor Technologies for a Healthy and Sustainable Future (Sensor CDT) on the foundations we have established with our current CDT (EPSRC CDT for Sensor Technologies and Applications, see http://cdt.sensors.cam.ac.uk). The bid falls squarely into EPSRC's strategic priority theme of New Science and Technology for Sensing, Imaging and Analysis.

The sensor market already contributes an annual £6bn in exports to the UK economy, underpinning 73000 jobs and markets estimated at £120bn (source: KTN UK). Major growth is expected in this sector but at the same time there is a growing problem in recruiting suitably qualified candidates with the necessary breadth of skills and leadership qualities to address identified needs from UK industry and to drive sustainable innovation. We have created an integrated programme for high quality research students that treats sensing as an academic discipline in its own right and provides comprehensive training in sensor technologies all the way from the fundamental science of sensing, the networking and interpretation of sensory data, to end user application.

In the new, evolved CDT, we will provide training for our CDT students on themes that are of direct relevance to a sustainable and healthy future society, whilst retaining a focus that delivers value to the UK economy and academia. The 4-year programme is strongly cross disciplinary and focuses on sustainable development goals and emphasises training in Responsible Innovation. One example of the latter is our objective to 'democratise sensor technologies': Our students will learn how to engage with the public during research, how to play a valuable part in public debate, and how to innovate technology that benefits society.

Technical aspects will be taught in a bespoke training programme for the course, that includes lectures, practicals, lab rotations, industry secondments, and skills training on key underpinning technologies. To support this effort, we have created dedicated, state-of-the-art infrastructure for the CDT that includes laboratory, office, teaching, and social spaces, and we connect to the world leading infrastructure available in the participating departments and partner industries.

The programme is designed to create strong identities both within and across CDT cohorts (horizontal and vertical integration) to maximise opportunities for peer-to-peer learning and leadership training through activities such as our unique sensor team challenges and the monthly Sensor Cafés, attended by representatives from academia, industry, government agencies, and the public. We will create a diverse and inclusive atmosphere where students feel confident and empowered to offer different opinions and experiences and which maximises creativity and innovation.

We have attracted substantial interest and support (>£2.5M) from established industrial partners, but our new programme emphasises engagement also with UK start-ups and SMEs, who are particularly vulnerable in the current economic climate and who have expressed a need for researchers with the breadth and depth of skills the CDT provides (see letters of support). We recruit outstanding, prizewinning students from a diverse range of disciplines and the training programme connects more than 90 PIs across 15 departments and 40 industrial partners working together to address future societal needs with novel sensor technologies.

Technology developers will benefit through connection with experts in middleware (e.g. sensor distribution and networking, data processing) and applications experts (e.g. life scientists, atmospheric scientists, etc.) and vice versa. This integrative character of the CDT will inspire innovations that transform capability in many disciplines of science and industries.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.cam.ac.uk