Small items of research equipment at Cardiff University

Lead Research Organisation: Cardiff University
Department Name: Sch of Engineering


Appropriate support for early-career academic researchers is vital for ensuring that they make an appropriate, positive start to their research careers. Provision of items of equipment, even those of modest cost, can have a significant impact upon the scope of the research carried out, at a stage where these individuals are working hard to establish themselves as independent researchers and where it may be relatively hard to acquire funding. Such a boost to research capacity can be of great help in supporting the development of a research track record and also can assist with preliminary data gathering to support applications for larger-scale research projects.
Appropriate staff have been encouraged to explore with their peers within the University opportunities for multiple-discipline use of items of equipment. This serves three purposes: to enhance the research efforts of individuals; to provide opportunities for, and encourage, cross-discipline interaction and collaboration; to greatly increase value for money in respect of new equipment to be purchased, by ensuring that equipment is used as widely as possible, in a range of projects.
Early-career academics whose research falls within one of four themes under EPSRC's remit (nano-fabrication and metrology; engineering of biochemics and chemical reactions; Enhanced interaction with high-end computing resources; physics for life) have indentified equipment that will support their current and planned research, while also being of use to similar researchers across engineering/physical sciences.
This application requests funding to provide such equipment and thereby support those researchers who are the research leaders of the future.

Planned Impact

The 30 early-career academic researchers named in this application cover a broad range of disciplines within the engineering and physical sciences. The applications of the research that they undertake are likely to cover an even broader range of beneficiaries; from manufacturing industry to healthcare.
Some specific examples of current links, that will enhance the utilisation of research to be undertaken with the equipment requested, follow.
The School of Chemistry has ongoing links to a range of chemical and pharmaceutical companies such as Johnson Matthey, Sasol, Dow Chemicals and BP. New or improved reaction pathways and catalysts are of immediate interest to such companies through offering more-efficient, cheaper, less-polluting manufacture of their products, and current links, as well as new ones, will be explored to ensure exploitation.
Simulations in the area of smart grids and electric-vehicle management will be of interest to partners in current research activity (E.ON, Schneider Electric, Mott Macdonald), who will benefit from better planning of infrastructure and energy demands in this field.
Links provided through participation in European-Commission funded projects provide a clear route to European standards organisations and these links will be utilised to maximise the utility of research on energy storage and energy loss in the built environment.
Immediate access to users is facilitated through the University's School of Medicine and the clinicians there. These will make use of advances in the areas of biomechanics and arthritis research, through improved disease detection and treatment.


10 25 50
Description The small items of equipment have enabled the research team to have a large impact across engineering and physical sciences. It has prompted multidisciplinary work in conjunction with industry and enabled Early Career Researchers to work on joint projects.
Exploitation Route The ECRS will be working on key projects across a variety of sectors
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Chemicals,Construction,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Electronics,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Transport

Description Novel NMR experiments for the study of membrane proteins and proteins binding phosphate-containing ligands
Amount £14,817 (GBP)
Funding ID 2012/R2 
Organisation The Royal Society 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2013 
End 01/2014