UCL Department of Security and Crime Science


UCL receives £54m boost to doctoral training in engineering and physical sciences

12 March 2024

The UCL Faculties of Engineering, Mathematical & Physical Sciences and Life Sciences will lead seven new government-funded Centres for Doctoral Training and be a partner in a further two.

Dr James Seddon

The new Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) centres will address key challenges in areas including net zero, AI, defence and security, healthcare and quantum technologies.

The centres, among 65 announced by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT), are a joint investment between government, academia and industry, with £500 million funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Ministry of Defence, plus a further £590 million from universities and business partners. It is the UK’s biggest-ever investment in engineering and physical sciences doctoral skills.

Professor Geraint Rees, UCL Vice-Provost (Research, Innovation and Global Engagement), said: “UCL’s Centres for Doctoral Training are a core part of creating the research leaders of tomorrow, and supporting them to develop the skills they need to address the scientific and engineering challenges they face. This investment, and UCL’s continued partnership with EPSRC, will help us to deliver world-leading research and innovation.”

UCL will lead seven CDTs in areas including quantum computing, cybersecurity, digital healthcare and antimicrobial resistance.

UCL President and Provost, Dr Michael Spence, said: “Interdisciplinary collaboration is a big part of UCL’s research strength, which is evident in the exciting Doctoral Training Centres announced today. Each one will leverage UCL’s world-leading expertise in engineering and physical sciences to help tackle key societal challenges, including better tools to diagnose and treat cancer, solutions to counter the threat of antimicrobial resistance, and the quest to make quantum computing a reality.

“Doctoral researchers are a key component of the research ecosystem and these centres will play a pivotal role in developing the next generation of leaders in engineering and physical sciences.”

The successful UCL CDTs and their leads are:

  • EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Photonic and Electronic Systems
    Led by: Professor Alwyn Seeds (UCL Electronic and Electrical Engineering)
  • EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Digital Health Technologies
    Led by: Professor Rebecca Shipley (UCL Mechanical Engineering / Institute of Healthcare Engineering)
  • EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Collaborative Computational Modelling at the Interface
    Led by: Professor Timo Betcke (UCL Mathematics and Advanced Research Computing Centre)
  • EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Quantum Computation and Quantum Communications (QC2)
    Led by: Professor Paul Warburton (London Centre for Nanotechnology at UCL)
  • EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Cyber-Physical Risk
    Led by: Professor Hervé Borrion (UCL Security & Crime Science)
  • EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Accelerated Medicines Design & Development
    Led by: Professor Gareth Williams (UCL School of Pharmacy)
  • EPSRC and BBSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Engineering Solutions for Antimicrobial Resistance
    Led by: Professor Lena Ciric (UCL Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering) and Professor Bart Hoogenboom (London Centre for Nanotechnology at UCL)

UCL will also partner in two further CDTs:

  • EPSRC CDT in Compound Semiconductor Manufacturing
    UCL lead: Professor Huiyun Liu (UCL Electronic and Electrical Engineering)
  • EPSRC CDT in Quantum Informatics
    UCL lead: Professor Andrew Green (London Centre for Nanotechnology at UCL)

Professor Charlotte Deane, Executive Chair of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, said: “The Centres for Doctoral Training announced today will help to prepare the next generation of researchers, specialists and industry experts across a wide range of sectors and industries.

“Spanning locations across the UK and a wide range of disciplines, the new centres are a vivid illustration of the UK’s depth of expertise and potential, which will help us to tackle large-scale, complex challenges and benefit society and the economy.

"The high calibre of both the new centres and applicants is a testament to the abundance of research excellence across the UK, and EPSRC’s role as part of UKRI is to invest in this excellence to advance knowledge and deliver a sustainable, resilient and prosperous nation.”



  • Dr James Seddon, at the time a PhD student in an earlier EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training led by Professor Alwyn Seeds (UCL Electronic & Electrical Engineering).

Media contact 

Dr Matt Midgley

E: m.midgley [at] ucl.ac.uk