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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/X034739/1
Title: EPSRC Equipment Call 2022 - Cardiff University
Principal Investigator: Whitaker, Professor R
Other Investigators:
Williams, Professor OA Harrison, Dr C Ferguson, Dr EL
Giblin, Professor S Anderson, Dr PI Klemencic, Dr G
Newland, Dr B Nishio Ayre, Dr WN Thomas, Dr CP
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Computer Science
Organisation: Cardiff University
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 02 January 2023 Ends: 01 July 2024 Value (£): 757,080
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Characterisation
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
02 Nov 2022 EPSRC Core Equipment Award - Panel One Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Cardiff University would use the EPSRC's Core Equipment Award 2022 allocation to upgrade a legacy piece of equipment that would enable us to enhance its capability, broaden its user base, and extend its lifetime. The proposal is part of a broader strategy to support the development and maintenance of its world class laboratories. Such laboratory facilities are key to the University's strategy to support high quality research and ensure the long-term competitiveness of its research community.

The proposal is for an upgrade of a Physical Properties Measurement System (PPMS), an automated low-temperature and magnet system for high-throughput measurement of material properties, core to a range of research activities within the EPSRC remit. Modest investment in the proposed upgrade will help accelerate characterisation processes, expanding its capabilities and open up new opportunities for wider academic and industrial engagement. There is a broad materials properties interest at Cardiff University, and strong interest in exploiting an upgraded system. The upgrade would allow greater numbers of researchers to benefit due to the range of measurements that would be enabled.

An upgraded system would be moved to a new shared facility with the School of Physics and Astronomy, a space currently housing an Atomic Force Microscope, and Raman system. The systems are supported by excellent and highly proficient technical and academic staff, who carry out routine maintenance, problem solve issues as well as manage access and training. Access, training and development of staff and students will be provided and ensure the long-term sustainability of the equipment. Early career and postgraduate researchers will be actively encouraged and trained in the use of a system, allowing them to measure a wide range material properties.

Access and use of the upgraded system will be actively promoted internally and externally to encourage maximum use,. A dedicated website (bilingual, Welsh and English) will be set up, and the equipment will also be searchable to internal and external users by inclusion into the Cardiff and GW4 (Cardiff, Exeter, Bristol and Bath Universities) online equipment databases (cardiff.ac.uk/research-equipment and gw4.ac.uk/equipment). The shared facility is a safe, inclusive research environment that upholds Cardiff University's policies on equality and diversity, health and safety, and research integrity. All Cardiff University PGR and research staff are obliged to undertake mandatory University training in accredited training modules including fundamentals of health and safety and COSHH; equality, diversity, and inclusivity; unconscious bias; research integrity; Welsh language awareness etc.

Access to the facility will be managed via an online booking system and priority access will be given to funded research grants requiring the exceptional sensitivity, low temperature and high field capabilities of the system, as well as to proof-of-concept measurements that would be used as 'pump-priming' for future grant applications.

We will define success by:

i) Expanding the user base of the system in the first 18 months

ii) Supporting access to the instrument to early career researchers (including postgraduate students of at least 60% of the users

iii) Supporting novel pump-prime experiments (at least 10% of usage)

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.cf.ac.uk