Dozens of projects announced as EPSRC welcomes Year of Engineering

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As the Year of Engineering gets underway, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has announced support for 28 pioneering new research projects.

EPSRC, alongside the UK’s other Research Councils and Innovate UK, is supporting the Year of Engineering, a year-long government-wide campaign to celebrate UK engineering and inspire a new generation into engineering careers.

Throughout 2018, hundreds of organisations across the UK will showcase the world of engineering and look to inspire the next generation of engineers by bringing young people face-to-face with engineering experiences and role models.

And as the Year of Engineering is launched today, Monday 15 January 2018, EPSRC has announced an investment of £6.6 million through the Engineering for a Prosperous Nation call to support projects with potentially transformative impact in fields ranging from autonomous vehicles to energy storage and healthcare technology.

As part of the Engineering for a Prosperous Nation call, EPSRC encouraged bids for creative, novel engineering research projects with the potential to contribute to EPSRC’s four Prosperity Outcomes for the UK.

Applicants submitted anonymous outline proposals before pitching their ideas in a Dragon’s Den-style interview process.

Twenty-eight projects at 17 different universities have been supported, with grants awarded to researchers across all career stages and representing a diverse range of fields.

Research areas include the development of intelligent driver seats to act as co-pilots in autonomous cars; the use of diamond quantum technology to investigate neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease; the use of novel materials to create artificial leaves for use in solar power generation; and the investigation of new solutions to antimicrobial resistance in wastewater systems.

EPSRC’s Chief Executive, Professor Philip Nelson, said: “Engineers are creators, innovators and problem solvers; their pioneering work creates a better future for us all.

EPSRC continues to invest in this vision by supporting the engineers of tomorrow, and the projects announced today are testament to our firm belief that novel, transformative research will help to make the UK a more prosperous nation.

“The Year of Engineering is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the UK’s proud heritage in this field and highlight the impact that engineering has on the UK and the world. Through this, we hope to inspire a future generation to continue and improve on that legacy in the future.”

Full list of projects funded through the Engineering for a Prosperous Nation call:

Notes for editors:

Further information on any of the projects highlighted above is available on request.

For further information contact the EPSRC Press Office on or 01793 444404.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

As the main funding agency for engineering and physical sciences research, our vision is for the UK to be the best place in the world to Research, Discover and Innovate.

By investing £800 million a year in research and postgraduate training, we are building the knowledge and skills base needed to address the scientific and technological challenges facing the nation. Our portfolio covers a vast range of fields from healthcare technologies to structural engineering, manufacturing to mathematics, advanced materials to chemistry. The research we fund has impact across all sectors. It provides a platform for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone's health, lifestyle and culture. We work collectively with our partners and other Research Councils on issues of common concern via UK Research and Innovation.

Year of Engineering

The Year of Engineering is a government campaign, which celebrates the world and wonder of engineering.

From spaceships to ice skates, the bubbles in chocolate bars to life saving cancer treatment, engineering touches every part of our lives. However, not enough young people – especially young girls – think it’s a world for them. As a result, the industry is struggling to recruit future talent. What’s more, young people are missing out on the chance to make a positive difference to both their futures, that of the planet and everything that calls it home.

For further information visit the Year of Engineering website