University of Bath proposal for Capital Equipment Award in support of Early Career Researchers

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bath
Department Name: Vice Chancellor's Office


This is a funding request to purchase three items of equipment to support the development and training of the next generation of research scientists. The instrumentation we propose to buy has been identified by our early career cohort at the University of Bath, and will play a significant role in enhancing their research and career progression. The equipment has been chosen because it is absent from our materials characterisation tool box, and is applicable across a wide range of disciplines, benefitting a diversity of early career researchers, both now and in the future. One example use case is given below for each of the techniques we have selected to invest in with this funding:

1) Gas Chromatography mass spectrometry with thermal desorption capability
This can be used to analyse the chemical composition of air, improving our understanding of how emissions from construction materials contribute to indoor air quality and our health.

2) Chemisorption Analyser
This is used to better characterise and understand catalysts in reaction studies. It will allow us to look at interactions between the novel materials and various gases in order to optimise the catalysts for maximum effectiveness and stability in reactions.

3) 3D Microscope
This microscope allows us to take a detailed look at the surface of materials to identify and study microscopic surface defects such as micro-cracks. Micro-cracks can be devastating in many materials such as aerospace components and medical implants, where issues cannot easily be rectified, and minute defects can have major repercussions. By in-depth investigations of the materials and the impact of any manufacturing processes we aim to significantly reduce this failure rate.

Planned Impact

The principal aim of this proposal is to invest in scientific instrumentation required to further the excellent research of many Early Career Researchers (ECRs) at the University of Bath; a key outcome will be the training of the next generation of scientists who will develop skills on cutting-edge equipment needed for world-leading engineering and physical sciences research. In addition to ECRs, the siting of the equipment in Core Research Facilities will enable access for a wider academic and research student community within Bath, as well as the external academic and industrial partners who engage with our research.

Through the diverse research programmes benefiting from access to the equipment, we will develop societal and economic impact across a wide range of technology areas, including - air quality monitoring and characterisation for healthy building design; novel materials for catalysis and sustainable energy applications; advanced materials for medical implants and aerospace components. We will use our established strong industrial collaborations as well as seek to develop new ones for the additional equipment, which will be housed in existing, well-managed facilities. To deliver the impacts, we will disseminate the research findings by engaging with a broad range of stakeholders and end users from industry to government. We will showcase our research through appropriate channels, including open days, seminars, publications and commercialisation of our findings.


10 25 50