Small items of research equipment at Queen Mary University of London

Lead Research Organisation: Queen Mary University of London


We propose to enhance the research capability of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Queen Mary University of London through the providing a range of small but essential items of research equipment. The investment will be in two strategic areas of research, namely the newly-established Materials Research Institute and the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, and will focus on capability to support early career researchers from EPSRC PhD students and post-doctoral researchers through to newly appointed lecturers.

The Materials Research Institute is a collaboration between the Departments of Materials Science, Chemistry and Physics. Its primary objective is to create and foster an interdisciplinary approach to the investigation of the properties of materials. Research activities span the range of activities of synthesis, processing and characterisation, from the atomic scale up to device fabrication. Early career researchers are central to the work of the Materials Research Institute, and we have identified a number of areas where we have particular strengths: materials for energy applications (including batteries, fuel cells and devices for conversion of light to electricity), mechanical properties of small materials, organic semiconductors for applications in displays and magnetic storage, synthesis and catalysis, catalytic materials including photocatalytic materials, and structure-property relations. The project will provide new capability to a wide range of synthesis and characterisation laboratories within the participating departments in the institute.

The School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science has a strong track record in a number of themes that we have identified for facility development in this project: cognition, human-computer interaction, and psychophysics; computer vision and multimedia; telecommunication networks; and antennas and terahertz research in healthcare. In the multimedia area, the School hosts a flourishing EPSRC-funded Doctoral Training Centre in Media & Arts Technology, whose cohort of PhD students will be among the key beneficiaries of this enhancement to the research equipment base.

Planned Impact

This wide ranging proposal will have impact across a wide number of areas. First, the key outcome from this proposal will be a significant enhancement in the quality of training we can give our early career researchers, most of whom will take up careers across a range of industries. With many of these people aiming towards eventual leadership roles in UK industries, including the creative industries, IT industries, chemical and materials industries, and the energy industries, the stronger foundation of training on modern high-capability equipment will strengthen the impact these people will have over their working lifetime. Second, the results of our work will impact significantly on the body of knowledge that informs all these industries. Queen Mary research has significant impact as evidenced by many spinout companies and patents across this portfolio of industry areas, and this will increase if the equipment and facilities available to our researchers are, as we propose, significantly enhanced.


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Description This grant was specifically designed to fund small pieces of equipment for early career researchers. The grant was divided into two equal parts, namely for workers wishing electrical engineering and computer science, and for workers within the area of materials research located within the disciplines of physics, chemistry and materials science. Priorities were established locally in each case, and purchases made exactly as in line with the grant proposal. We achieved the spending profile as outlined in the grant proposal.
Exploitation Route This funding was greatly appreciated by the beneficiaries, in many cases overcoming obstacles created by small requirements in facilities. The equipment has been heavily used in each case.
Sectors Chemicals,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Electronics,Energy,Other