Small items of research equipment at UCL

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Computer Science

Abstract

This is a UCL-wide bid to invest in a portfolio of small (<£10k) equipment items which will enhance our capability in four strategic, cross-disciplinary themes: Health technologies, Materials science, Novel Information Technologies and Future Media. UCL has considerable strength in these challenge areas, and we are experiencing a significant growth in the numbers of early career researchers contributing to them. This additional investment will would therefore provide an ideal platform to ensure the growth of the highest quality research as well as support the career development of staff.

Within each thematic area we have identified a subset of research challenges that will benefit from additional investment in the form of small items of equipment. This has been done in close collaboration with individuals and groups working in the area, to ensure that the items requested are aligned with their current needs and have the greatest potential to have maximum impact on their research activities.

The areas defined in the proposal are:
- Theme A: Health Technologies (Diagnostics and therapeutics, Medical imaging, Vascular modelling, and Medical physics)
- Theme B: Materials Science (Materials characterisation, New energy materials, Chemical engineering)
- Theme C: Novel Information Technologies (Investigation and characterisation of quantum effects, Development of new qubit systems, New wireless networks)
- Theme D: Future Media (Telepresence and remote sensing)

Planned Impact

This proposal aims at acquiring a suite of small equipment items to upgrade and complement those already present in different labs at UCL. Broadly speaking, therefore, we can divide the impact of this proposal into two types: a "direct" impact (on researchers and students, both at UCL and beyond, and on their research) and an "indirect" impact that will be determined by the research enabled by the equipment.

Impact of the first type will be visible on a shorter time-scale, and can be easily measured in terms of improved research capability and performance. In identifying the items requested in this proposal, priority has been given to support the research of staff at the earlier stage of their career. The benefits will be visible both in terms of training and skills upgrade (PhD students/junior postdocs) and in terms of supporting the development of independent research careers (senior postdocs/lecturers).

Impact of the second type will be harder to measure, since it will be both longer term and mediated by the research process itself. Given the timeliness and importance of the challenges we address in the proposal, though, we are confident that there will be a significant benefit to the UK society and economy including (but not limited to) the following.
Developments in health technology have the potential to benefit the UK society and economy (and are in line with the priorities outlined in the EPSRC Healthcare Technologies theme, as well as with the RCUK Lifelong Health and Wellbeing Programme).
Research in materials science has the potential to impact on the UK manufacturing industry, as well as support the movement towards a green economy by investigating novel energy solutions.
Investigation of novel information technologies is crucial to support modern-day society, which relies more and more on high-speed communication and information processing.
Study of future media platforms, and research in the application of remote sensing and telepresence in everyday life situations will impact both the way we currently see remote communication and also aid society tackle broader challenges such as, e.g., reducing emission or supporting people with limited mobility, by developing alternatives to travel and face-to-face communications.

Publications

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Description The grant was crucial in enabling the purchase of a range of small items of equipment to support early career researchers working in four strategic cross-disciplinary areas: Health Technologies, Materials, Novel Information Technologies, and Future Media.
Exploitation Route The equipment that has been purchased via this award has enabled successive grant applications by a number of UCL Investigators (eg EP/K014714/1), patents and publications.
Sectors Chemicals,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Electronics,Energy,Healthcare

 
Description This UCL-wide award was invested in a portfolio of small (<£10k) equipment items which will enhance our capability in four strategic, cross-disciplinary themes: Health technologies, Materials science, Novel Information Technologies and Future Media. UCL has considerable strength in these challenge areas, and we are experiencing a significant growth in the numbers of early career researchers contributing to them. This additional investment has therefore provided an ideal platform to ensure the growth of the highest quality research as well as support the career development of staff. Within each thematic area we have identified a subset of research challenges that will benefit from additional investment in the form of small items of equipment. This has been done in close collaboration with individuals and groups working in the area, to ensure that the items requested are aligned with their current needs and have the greatest potential to have maximum impact on their research activities. The areas defined in the proposal are: - Theme A: Health Technologies (Diagnostics and therapeutics, Medical imaging, Vascular modelling, and Medical physics) - Theme B: Materials Science (Materials characterisation, New energy materials, Chemical engineering) - Theme C: Novel Information Technologies (Investigation and characterisation of quantum effects, Development of new qubit systems, New wireless networks) - Theme D: Future Media (Telepresence and remote sensing)
First Year Of Impact 2012
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Energy,Healthcare
Impact Types Cultural,Economic

 
Description Multiscale in-situ characterisation of degradation and reactivity in solid oxide fuel cells
Amount £159,059 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/J001007/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2012 
End 11/2015
 
Description Collaboration with Dr Simone Piccinin, Istituto Officina dei Materiali (CNR-IOM), Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati (SISSA). 
Organisation International School for Advanced Studies
Country Italy 
Sector Multiple 
PI Contribution Dr Piccinin visited UCL Chemical Engineering from June 15 to July 5, 2013. During this period we carried out a collaborative research program on kinetic Monte Carlo simulations of CO oxidation on Pt(111), based on Density Functional Theory parameterisation of a cluster expansion. One of the workstations of the grant was used by him during his visit to UCL Chemical Engineering.
Start Year 2013