05 Dec 2008 - Cranfield to train water engineers to benefit Britain’s future
Cranfield University has won £5.8 million funding for a new centre to train research engineers for the UK water sector it was announced today. The engineering doctorate centre will offer 50 studentships over the next five years.
The UK’s funding body for science and engineering, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), is investing a total of £250 million in 44 centres across the UK. It is thought the centres will generate over 2000 PhD and EngD students and tackle some of the biggest problems currently facing Britain such as climate change, energy, our ageing population, and high-tech crime.
Cranfield, in collaboration with Imperial College London and the universities of Sheffield, Newcastle and Exeter, has won funding for the Skills, Technology, Research and Management (STREAM) centre. The centre will address a sector driven research portfolio and deliver an industry shaped postgraduate training programme.
Professor Simon Parsons, STREAM Director and Cranfield’s Professor of Water Science, said: “The UK water industry faces a wide range of challenges from growing urbanization, demographic shifts and climate change at a time when it is being expected to deliver more financially and energy efficient services. A new round of engineers is required for the water industry to not only make our society more sustainable and profitable but to develop a new suite of goods and services for a rapidly urbanizing world.
“This is an exciting opportunity for the five collaborating universities to work closely with the UK water sector in delivering sustainable water services and management into the next decade. It’s important that postgraduate training provision in this important area is reinvigorated with new educational techniques and delivery methods. However, we are also conscious of the responsibility placed upon us with this award and we will work to make STREAM an aspirational programme within which ambitious young engineers can achieve their intellectual and career potential.
“The EPSRC Industrial Doctorate Centre programme is an ideal mechanism with which to remediate the current research and training shortfall within the sector.”
The centre has already attracted funding for studentships from 11 different companies including Yorkshire Water, Northumbrian Water, Anglian Water, Thames Water and Severn Trent Water.
EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training are a bold new approach to training PhD students, creating communities of researchers working on current and future challenges. Cranfield is one of 17 new centres nationwide to be designated an ‘industrial doctorate training centre’ by the EPSRC, because its students will benefit from working closely with partners from the UK water industry throughout their doctoral training.
Professor Sir John O’Reilly, Vice-Chancellor, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for Cranfield to work in collaboration with other universities to help raise the numbers of engineers within the water industry. We are very pleased to have been awarded funding and look forward to the development of this centre in the not-so-distant future.”
Minister of State for Science and Innovation, Lord Drayson, said: “Britain faces many challenges in the 21st Century and needs scientists and engineers with the right skills to find answers to these challenges, build a strong economy and keep us globally competitive. EPSRC’s doctoral training centres will provide a new wave of engineers and scientists to do the job. This is an exciting, innovative approach to training young researchers and will help build a better future for Britain.”
Professor Dave Delpy, chief executive of EPSRC, said: “People are the heart of our future strategy. We want to drive a modern economy and meet the challenges of tomorrow by investing in talented people and inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers. EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training expand our existing training portfolio, focus on priority themes for the UK, emerging and multidisciplinary research, and greater collaboration with business.”
This approach to training has been extensively piloted by EPSRC through a small number of thriving Engineering Doctorate Centres and Doctoral Training Centres in Complexity Science, Systems Biology and at the Life Sciences Interface. This new investment builds on the success of these and will establish a strong group of centres which will rapidly establish a pre-eminent international reputation for doctoral training.
The multidisciplinary centres bring together diverse areas of expertise to train engineers and scientists with the skills, knowledge and confidence to tackle today’s evolving issues. They also create new working cultures, build relationships between teams in universities and forge lasting links with industry.
Students in these centres will receive a formal programme of taught coursework to develop and enhance their technical interdisciplinary knowledge, and broaden their set of skills. Alongside this they will undertake a challenging and original research project at PhD level.
To find out more information visit www.epsrc.ac.uk
Cranfield University is a wholly postgraduate institution with a worldwide reputation for excellence and expertise in aerospace, automotive, defence, engineering, environment and water, health, management and manufacturing. The University is made up of the following Schools: Cranfield Health, School of Management, School of Applied Sciences, School of Engineering, and The Defence College of Management and Technology at Shrivenham. For more information visit www.cranfield.ac.uk
Imperial College London Consistently rated amongst the world's best universities, Imperial College London is a science-based institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research that attracts 13,000 students and 6,000 staff of the highest international quality.Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and business, delivering practical solutions that improve quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.Since its foundation in 1907, Imperial's contributions to society have included the discovery of penicillin, the development of holography and the foundations of fibre optics. This commitment to the application of research for the benefit of all continues today, with current focuses including interdisciplinary collaborations to improve health in the UK and globally, tackle climate change and develop clean and sustainable sources of energy.Website: www.imperial.ac.uk
Newcastle University Today's University is a forward-looking, dynamic community of more than 18,000 students and 4,500 staff.As one of the UK's leading universities, our reputation rests on the quality of our teaching - both for undergraduates and postgraduates, our outstanding research, and our work with the regional and local community, businesses and industry. This is underpinned by our mission to play a leading role in our city and region.Creating a Campus for the Future-The next two years will see extensive development of the Haymarket-facing perimeter of the University's main campus.Newcastle University can trace its origins to a School of Medicine and Surgery, established in Newcastle in 1834. Learn more about the history of Newcastle.Throughout the history of the University we have benefited from the generous support of Alumni, individuals, charitable trusts and companies. Find out more about the University, its structure and principal officers.
University of Sheffield With nearly 24,000 students from 124 countries, the University of Sheffield is one of the UK’s leading and largest universities. A member of the Russell Group, it has a reputation for world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.The University has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes (1998, 2000, 2002, 2007). These prestigious awards recognise outstanding contributions by universities and colleges to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life. Sheffield also boasts five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and many of its alumni have gone on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence around the world.The University has well-established partnerships with a number of universities and major corporations, both in the UK and abroad. Its partnership with Leeds and York Universities in the White Rose Consortium has a combined research power greater than that of either Oxford or Cambridge. For further information, please visit www.sheffield.ac.uk
Exeter University is a top 15 UK university which combines world leading research with very high levels of student satisfaction. It is one of the UK’s most popular and successful universities with campuses in Exeter, Devon, and near Falmouth in Cornwall. The University scores highly for degree completion rates, and for students achieving good honours degrees (Firsts or 2:1s). It is ranked fourth in the UK for student satisfaction in the latest National Student Survey amongst full service universities. Under the leadership of Professor Steve Smith, appointed Vice-Chancellor in 2002, the University has invested heavily in new academic appointments and facilities. Some 180 new academic staff were appointed last year. A £140 million investment programme has recently been completed, including major investment in student facilities. The Peninsula Medical School, a partnership between the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth and NHS, opened in 2002 with its first students graduating in 2007. The new £28 million Peninsula Dental School opened in 2007, the first new dental school in the UK for 40 years. The £100 million Cornwall Campus opened in 2004 and now offers a range of degrees in areas such as Mining Engineering, Law, Politics, Geography, English and Biology. New buildings have also recently been provided for Drama and for Finance and Investment. The University has just begun an even more ambitious investment programme worth £450 million. Exeter now has 15,000 students, 4,000 of which are postgraduates. The University has research strength in depth across all of its disciplines and has recently embarked upon an £80 million Science Strategy.
For further information please contact: Naomie Stanford-Jones, Press Officer, Cranfield University, tel: +44 (0) 1234 754999
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Press release number: PR-18-08-SAS