Daniel Bryant, EngD Researcher

“I decided to complete an EngD as I felt it would offer a nice blend of industrial based work mixed with academic research.

In addition, the experience and recognition through scientific papers and patents I would get throughout the four years would leave me better suited to get my ideal job at the end of the course.

My favourite part of the EngD so far is having the opportunity to present my work at a prestigious conference in Hawaii.

My current project focuses around the scale up of various solar cell technologies so that they can be mass produced in large quantities.

Working closely with large companies such as Tata Steel and BASF, my work has shown it is possible to make cells on steel on an A4 size, something previously thought unachievable. There is work already under way to make them on the metre squared scale.

This is incredible for me as less than a few years ago I started working on cells limited to a centimetre squared and it was little more than a scientific curiosity. Now they have the potential to be a mass produced commercial application. Knowing I had a large part to play in that is a great feeling.”

Daniel Bryant
Daniel Bryant

Cinzia Giannetti, EngD Researcher

Having worked for a decade in applied industrial R&D I was looking for an opportunity to enhance my academic rigour.  Applied research motivates me.  The EngD programme offered me the possibility to widen my experience whilst further develop industry relevant skills. Last but not least the EngD programme offers a PhD equivalent qualification which I think it will help me in my future career whether I choose to stay in academia or go back to industry.

Being in my third year of my EngD I have enjoyed a good mix of commercially focused research and hands on industrial work. Also the taught component has allowed me to gain new skills in a formal training setting which has enhanced my ability to carry out the relevant research.

The EngD project, under the supervision of Dr R.S. Ransing and Professor D.T. Gethin as academic supervisors and Dr D.C. Bould as industrial supervisor, is aimed at evaluating tools and emerging technologies to improve product lifecycle management systems to eliminate failure through life.

For instance I am currently evaluating semantic web technologies and ontologies to develop a knowledge management system to effectively store and reuse FMEA (Failure Mode Effect Analysis) knowledge and best practices which can be used for strategic decision making.

Furthermore I am also developing novel data mining methods to extract knowledge from product specific process data and find optimal process conditions which can lead to improved performance and/or cost reduction.

The best part is that the work is both intellectually stimulating and saves money for the end users i.e. companies. I already have one paper accepted in a peer-reviewed journal and a few more in the pipeline.