Swansea University has been awarded major funding for two Centres for Doctoral Training (CDT) that will help build knowledge and skills bases needed to address the scientific and technological challenges facing the UK.
The £14.7 million funding has been awarded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) which is the main funding body for engineering and physical sciences research in the UK.
The new centres created at Swansea University have been designed with the aim 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 funding will be awarded for the following CDTs:-
- Functional Industrial Coatings
- Enhancing Human Interactions and Collaborations with Data and Intelligence Driven Systems
Functional Industrial Coatings
The centre of doctoral training (CDT), led by Professor James Sullivan and Dr David Penney, has been co-created with a range of industry partners to produce 50 doctoral graduates who will develop the next generation of functional coated products. These could include next generation energy producing coatings, smart release anti-corrosion systems and antimicrobial systems for healthcare. The centre has been co-created with industry and will accelerate the translation of academic research from the laboratory to the factory whilst developing the industry leaders of the future.
The CDT will enrich the graduates with additional professional, ethical and communication skills that will enhance their career prospects. Our graduates will actively engage with the wider community to promote coatings and STEM more generally with a view to increasing participation across the population.
Professor Sullivan said: “Coatings are ubiquitous throughout day to day life and ensure the function, durability and aesthetics of millions of products and processes. The use of coatings is essential across multiple sectors including construction, automotive, aerospace, packaging and energy and as such the industry has a considerable value of £2.7 billion annually with over 300,000 people employed throughout manufacturers and supply chains.
“Most coatings surfaces are currently passive and so an opportunity exists to transform these products through the development of functional industrial coatings. For example, the next generation of buildings will use coating technology to embed energy generation, storage and release within the fabric of building. Photocatalytic coated surfaces can be used to clean effluent streams and anti-microbial coatings could revolutionise healthcare infrastructure.
“This CDT will provide a cohort of 50 Engineering Doctorate research engineers with a holistic knowledge of functional coatings development and manufacture and I am positive that their work will have a significant impact across multiple industrial sectors.”