Funding awards for doctoral training

The University has won a share of a £350 million investment in UK science and engineering postgraduate training.

PhD students will be supported by the funding announced by David Willetts, the Universities and Science Minister.

This investment, from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, will fund more than 70 Centres for Doctoral Training across 24 UK universities, several of which will be at hosted at Edinburgh.

Knowledge from data

Edinburgh will host the Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Data Science, led by Professor Chris Williams in the School of Informatics.

This will focus on the computational principles, methods, and systems for extracting knowledge from data.

Large data sets are now generated by almost every activity in science, society, and commerce, ranging from molecular biology to social media, from sustainable energy to health care.

Data science seeks to efficiently find patterns in these vast streams of information.

Complex processing

The CDT in Pervasive Parallelism will be led by Professor Mike O'Boyle in the School of Informatics.

It will seek to address the end of the one-step-at-time era of sequential computing.

Students will focus on systems containing multiple processors.

Their research will reconsider how to design programming languages and architectures, for example to allow flexible trading of energy for performance.

Researchers will consider the necessary theories and methodologies to reason about the behaviour of this new hardware and software.

Industrial interaction will ensure students engage with real world case-studies.

Future of robots

The CDT in Robotics and Autonomous Systems combines informatics at Edinburgh with engineering at Heriot-Watt University. Edinburgh's activity will be led by Professor Sethu Vijayakumar.

It will address key challenges for managing interactions between robots and their environments, between multiple autonomous systems, and between robots and people.

The centre will use industrial engagement to ground research and training on real world challenges, enabling an innovation pipeline from research to global markets.

This will be supported by Edinburgh’s world class infrastructure in robotics.

Science of soft matter

Edinburgh will also co-host a CDT in Soft Matter and Functional Interfaces.

The centre, led by Durham University, will provide postgraduate opportunities in chemistry, physics, food science, mathematical sciences and engineering and computing sciences.

Students will spend six months at Durham before completing their training at Durham, Edinburgh or Leeds.

Edinburgh activity, involving Physics, Chemistry and Engineering, will be led by Professor Wilson Poon.

Students will work with industry partners and will also spend three months overseas with academic collaborators in Australia, France, Germany, South Africa or the US.

Energy technology

A CDT in Wind and Marine Energy Systems will operate in collaboration with the University of Strathclyde, with the Edinburgh operations led by Professor Markus Mueller from the School of Engineering.

The centre will facilitate training in areas that have potential to help deliver a renewable energy supply for the UK.

Wind and marine energy's contribution to electricity generation could be critical in meeting ambitious non-carbon targets.