Bridging the gaps: Cam-bridge-Sens

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology


There is a strategic vision in Cambridge to bridge sensor research activities across the University. The initiative will nurture a multidisciplinary research culture, which leads to radically new approaches to sensor research and large-scale collaborative applications.Analysis and diagnosis, the core elements of sensing, are highlighted by almost every initiative for health, environment, security and quality of life. Sensors have advanced to an extent that they are sought for many applications in manufacturing and detection segments, and their cost advantages have boosted their utility and demand. The pillars of sensor research are in highly diverse fields, often disconnected from one another at the point of foundation, so that traditional single discipline research is particularly poor at catalysing sensor innovation and application, as these typically fall in the 'discipline gaps'. On the other hand, a collaborative research effort aligning and bridging the disciplines has the potential to produce a quantum leap in our capability. This is exciting. Across Engineering, Mathematics, Computer Science, Chemistry, Materials and Biotechnology, world-leading research is engaged on novel sensor technologies, on networking of sensors and sensor applications, and on their application. The vision sees Cambridge's expertise in atmospheric monitoring and world acclaimed prowess at the chemical and life-sciences interface in sensors, joined with EPSRC funded activities related to the development of fundamental technology for sensors, e.g. photonics technologies, MEMS devices, nano-sensors, ultrasound and MRI imaging, as well as system integration, sensor networking, signal packaging, environmental monitoring, transport and analysis. The CAM-bridge-SENS project will:1) Provide contact between researchers2) Develop a common culture and language 3) Catalyse new innovative researchThrough a range of people-based activities and research seeds we aim to find novel methods for engagement between researchers and research activities and to bridge gaps across disciplines, departments and research cultures.


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Kanjo E (2009) MobSens: Making Smart Phones Smarter in IEEE Pervasive Computing

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Mauritz JM (2010) Imaging pharmaceutical tablets with optical coherence tomography. in Journal of pharmaceutical sciences

Description CamBridgeSens is now a highly recognised brand across the University and beyond. CBS has engaged the most capable and enthusiastic unestablished researchers in Cambridge and empowered them with money, training and infrastructure to enable them to develop and test their brightest ideas, and to connect them to the vast expertise and infrastructure that exists across the university.

CBS has funded new programmes, e.g. nanosensors for health and security monitoring, mobile phones to build sensor networks, biomagnetic tag technology for health applications.
Exploitation Route The sensor technology developed within CBS could be used by industrial partners in commercial applications such as health care, environmental monitoring and security. CBS provided seed funding for research projects and organised networking events and workshops and has now been recognised and centrally funded as a strategic network by the University of Cambridge (see ). We have partnered with Rolls Royce, Cambridge Display Technologies, Shell, ARM, Fianium and Alphasense to find new ways to drive concepts to market.
Sectors Education

Description This grant supported the establishment of the CamBridgeSens strategic network for sensor research based at the University of Cambridge ( CamBridgeSens has provided a vibrant forum for the advancement of cross-disciplinary expertise, talent and infrastructure in the areas of sensor technologies, middleware and applications. The current membership of CamBridgeSens totals 556 researchers (Nov 2014). The active industrial and inter-departmental relationships developed through conferences and projects seed-funded by CamBridgeSens have led to the successful foundation of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sensor Technologies and Applications ( The Sensors CDT is now (November 2014) training its first cohort of PhD students with the objective of producing future sensor champions whose skills will be of high value to industry as well as in academic research.
First Year Of Impact 2009
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education
Impact Types Economic

Description EPSRC Center for doctoral training
Amount £3,800,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2014 
End 10/2022
Description Marie Curie Fellowship
Amount £135,000 (GBP)
Organisation Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country Global
Start 06/2013 
End 11/2014
Description Liquid phase CEAS sensing with Dr Meez Islam 
Organisation Teesside University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The Laser Analytics Group has pioneered the use of incoherent supercontinuum radiation in ultrahigh sensitivity cavity enhanced absorption spectroscopy (CEAS)
Collaborator Contribution Dr Meez Islam brought in expertise into liquid phase CEAS sensing
Impact Our group has extended its capabilities in CEAS
Start Year 2012
Description Supercontinuum modellling and expertimentation with Prof. Soeren Keiding 
Organisation Aarhus University
Country Denmark 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The Laser Analytics Group performed models for this collaboration
Collaborator Contribution Prof. Soeren Keiding helped us with the experimental setup on short pulse lasers
Impact This collaboration led to the following publication: Dupont S, Qu Z, Kiwanuka S-S, Hooper L E, Knight J C, Keiding S R, and Kaminski C F, "Ultra-high repetition rate absorption spectroscopy with low noise supercontinuum radiation generated in an all-normal dispersion fibre," Laser Physics Letters, 11 075601. (2014)
Start Year 2013