UCL News


Seven Centres for Doctoral Training funded across UCL

22 November 2013

UCL is leading seven centres that will train the engineers and scientists of the future in a wide range of disciplines including medical imaging, materials science and heritage science.

UCL aerial shot

Across the UK, over 70 Centres for Doctorial Training (CDTs) will share a £350 million fund that will be used to train 3,500 post graduate students across 24 universities. Funding for the centres was announced today by Universities and Science Minister, David Willetts.

The funding, targeted at areas vital to economic growth, has been allocated by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Science Minister David Willetts said: "Scientists and engineers are vital to our economy and society. It is their talent and imagination, as well as their knowledge and skills that inspire innovation and drive growth across a range of sectors, from manufacturing to financial services.

"I am particularly pleased to see strong partnerships between universities, industry and business among the new centres announced today. This type of collaboration is a key element of our industrial strategy and will continue to keep us at the forefront of the global science race."

The seven UCL-led CDTs and their Directors are:

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Bioprocess Engineering Leadership

Director: Professor Gary Lye (UCL Biochemical Engineering)

Engineering the life sciences offers key opportunities for UK economic growth in biomanufacturing. This CDT addresses recognised skills shortages in this knowledge-intensive area, needed to develop cost-effective and sustainable bio-based manufacture. It will deliver the next generation of international leaders who can exploit the emerging opportunities in synthetic biology, such as redesigning cellular chemistry and gene expression, as well as novel biomanufacturing technologies. Our graduates will possess the systems-level, holistic vision necessary to design future biomanufacturing processes across the chemical, bio/pharmaceutical and regenerative medicine sectors.

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Geometry and Number Theory at the Interface

Director: Professor Michael Singer (UCL Mathematics)

This CDT, which has been set up in partnership with Imperial and King's, will help train the next generation of pure mathematicians in the core areas of geometry and number theory. Students will have the opportunity to gain a broad foundation in these fields before undertaking a cutting-edge research project. Additionally communication and coding skills will be incorporated with teamwork as an integral part of the training. Our graduates will contribute to the sustainability of the mathematical sciences as well as the UK economy more widely. Our centre will also find innovative ways to advance women in mathematics.

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Medical Imaging

Director: Professor Sebastien Ourselin (UCL Medical Physics & Bioengineering)

We will train the translational imaging research leaders of the future, filling a critical gap identified in academia, pharmaceutical and medical devices industries, while delivering internationally competitive research. Our innovative training has a strong focus on new image acquisition technologies, novel data analysis methods and integration with computational modelling. In partnership with our NIHR Biomedical Research Centres & Unit, PhD projects will be strongly multi-disciplinary, bridging the gap between engineering, clinical sciences and industry. Over 100 non-clinical and clinical scientists across UCL will partner to co-supervise a new type of individual, ready to transform healthcare and build the future UK industry in this area.

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Integrated Photonic and Electronic Systems

Director: Professor Alwyn Seeds (UCL Electronic & Electrical Engineering)

The CDT in Integrated Photonic and Electronic Systems aims to train researchers to lead a new generation of industries providing products and systems, based on the close and optimal integration of photonics with electronics. The Centre is a joint endeavour between Cambridge University and UCL bringing together world-leading research activities from groups in photonics, communications, electronic engineering, nanotechnology, physics, materials, computer science, manufacturing, biomedical engineering, biotechnology, civil engineering and chemical engineering with contributions from more than 35 collaborating companies to provide an outstanding training environment for its students.

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology (SEAHA)

Director: Professor May Cassar (UCL Sustainable Heritage)

Our cultural heritage relies on science and engineering to underpin the work of cultural professionals in analysis, interpretation and preservation, and on entrepreneurship to create sustainable enterprises within this multi-billion pound sector. With around 50,000 museums and galleries globally and even more archaeological sites and historic buildings, the need for well-prepared, enterprising heritage scientists is clear. The SEAHA partnership between UCL, the University of Brighton and the University of Oxford along with numerous cultural institutions and industry partners will provide research opportunities that bridge both STEM and arts and humanities disciplines. Students will create new knowledge (sensors, instrumentation, analysis and content creation), whilst developing expertise in materials, environment and digital economy, alongside transferable and entrepreneurial skills. Thus SEAHA will equip doctoral graduates for careers in heritage, related industries or policy-making.

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Molecular Modelling and Materials Science

Director: Professor Nora de Leeuw (UCL Chemistry)

This CDT provides a comprehensive training and research programme in functional materials with practical applications in sustainable energy, catalysis, healthcare and smart nano-technology. Students receive accredited technical, project management, business and entrepreneurship training, in addition to hands-on experience of cutting edge computation and experiment using national high performance computing platforms, neutron and synchrotron radiation facilities. Computer simulation and experimentation is fully integrated in the students' research and carried out in collaboration between UCL and a wide range of external partners in industry, national laboratories and overseas research institutes, ensuring high quality research with direct impact on the economy and society.  

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Energy Demand (LoLo)

Director: Professor Robert Lowe (UCL Energy Institute)

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Energy Demand (LoLo) will inspire the leaders and innovators needed to transform the UK's buildings and energy sector. Hosted by UCL and Loughborough University, the Centre's core focus is the energy performance of buildings: their technologies, and multiple interactions with people and the wider energy system. This will be key to delivering UK policies around climate change, energy security and fuel poverty. Training will consist of a highly successful Masters of Research and PhD programme, with students working in world-class research teams on real-world problems, with partners in industry, government and NGOs.

Media contact: Clare Ryan


The Bartlett, UCL Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL Faculty of Engineering
UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences