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Swansea University is launching a new initiative by announcing the recruitment drive for the first cohort of PhD students for a new Centre of Excellence that will help build knowledge and skills bases needed to address the scientific and technological challenges facing the UK.

The aim of the ‘Advanced Data-Driven Engineering Design’ (ADDED) centre at Swansea University is to train the research leaders of the future and equip them with the knowledge, skills and creative approaches the UK needs for economic growth and social wellbeing.

The College of Engineering at the university has recognised the developing field of data-driven engineering design as an important avenue that has potential to bring about transformative change to how products and processes are designed.

The initiative will be led by Dr Llion Evans and will focus on establishing a platform, which leads to systems and processes that are designed for data, and designed by data. This is a partnership between the university and partners from across the world such as UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), Karlsruhe Institut für Technologie (KIT) and the Indian Institute for Technology, Madras.

The centre will be based at Swansea University’s Bay Campus where the £450M phase I opened in 2015 with phase II of development ongoing. The campus is now home to the university’s College of Engineering, School of Management and Computer Science’s Computational Foundry, ideally locating this multi-disciplinary centre.

Professor Dominic Reeve, Head of the Zienkiewicz Centre for Computational Engineering added: "The Zienkiewicz Centre is an international leader in computational modelling research and is very pleased to be the founder of ADDED. We see this exciting development as a natural extension of our modelling activities to energise collaborations within and beyond Swansea University."

Prof Perumal Nithiarasu, the College of Engineering’s Research Director and Deputy Head said: “The design process must be turned on its head, it is no longer appropriate for designers to focus solely on the operational use as optimisation targets. As part of a circular economy, usage and monitoring across entire life-cycles must be the cornerstone of development.”

Dr Evans continues: “Current practice is to base design decisions for systems and processes on computational modelling or simulation that emulates expected utilisation scenarios to evaluate predicted performance. Research in this centre of excellence will pursue an approach that focuses on data-based outcomes to project backwards how systems should be utilised in order to inform optimal design.”

Applications are sought for 3-year fully funded and industrially sponsored research studentships to be part of a new generation of engineers developing this data-driven approach to tackle some of the world’s most challenging problems (application deadline 27/01/20). From innovating to mitigate climate change and meet associated challenges, to next-generation medical imaging systems to making a step-change in smart and/or autonomous systems to developing the next generation of methods to address these challenges.

This training programme will offer an unparalleled opportunity to develop skills in areas vital to Advanced Data-Driven Engineering Design. These include topics, such as: Big Data; Machine Learning; High-Performance Computing; Leading Edge Engineering Simulation of Systems and Processes; Advanced Computational Mechanics and Fluids and Additive Manufacturing, all of which are highly in demand by the university’s industrial partners, thus putting successful applicants at the forefront of employability.