Expanding training for future research leaders | University of Oxford
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Students talking and studying
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Expanding training for future research leaders

Oxford University will be able to expand training for young scientists and engineers through several additional Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs).

The CDTs, which are supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), are designed to give doctoral students the skills and expertise to take on research challenges relevant to science and economic growth and develop into the research leaders of the future.

In November 2013 it was announced that Oxford would lead six EPSRC CDTs and play a leading role in two others. Today Universities and Science Minister David Willetts announced that Oxford will lead two more CDTs (bringing the total number of Oxford-led CDTs to eight) and will be a leading partner in two more.

The two additional Oxford-led CDTs are:

The EPSRC CDT in Synthetic Biology will combine world-leading expertise in engineering and the physical and life sciences at the Universities of Oxford, Bristol and Warwick to create the next generation of industrial and academic leaders in this important new field. Synthetic Biology provides opportunities for revolutionary advances in fundamental science and industrial technology. The CDT's four-year programme of research and training has strong industrial links and will be highly multi-disciplinary, accepting students from a wide range of scientific backgrounds and focusing on the application of engineering principles to the design of biologically based parts, devices, and systems.

EPSRC CDT in Autonomous, Intelligent Machines and Systems (AIMS): In the next decade our society will be revolutionised by Autonomous, Intelligent Machines and Systems, which can learn, adapt and act independently of human control. The UK has the opportunity to become a world-leader in developing these technologies for sectors as diverse as energy, transport, environment, manufacturing and aerospace. The AIMS CDT will deliver highly-trained individuals versed in the underpinning sciences of robotics, computer vision, wireless embedded systems, machine learning, control and verification. The CDT will advance practical models and techniques to enable computers and robots to make decisions under uncertainty, scale to large problem domains and be verified and validated.

Additional CDTs where Oxford is a leading partner include:

The EPSRC CDT in Plastic Electronics at Imperial College London is run jointly with Oxford University and Queen Mary University of London. The CDT aims to give students interdisciplinary experience and capability in the science and application of plastic electronic materials and devices, with an understanding of the associated industry and ability to adapt and develop new technologies and applications. Bringing together over 40 academic staff with an exceptional breadth of physical science and engineering expertise and knowledge, the new CDT continues to capture the multidisciplinary nature of Plastic Electronics – combining formal learning with hands-on training – with much of its content informed from both industrial and academic partners.

EPSRC CDT in the Science and Technology of Fusion Energy: Fusion is the process that powers the sun. If we can harness fusion power on Earth, it would provide effectively limitless, carbon-free, safe energy. Major international facilities are operating or under construction to address the final science and technology questions that will guide designs of the first demonstration fusion power plants. This CDT, led by the University of York, will benefit from world-class facilities in the UK (Orion, CLF, MAST, JET) and overseas to train the generation of scientists/engineers who will play leading roles on the new international facilities, positioning the UK to be amongst the first to benefit from fusion power.