EPSRC announces first recipients of Fellowships in Manufacturing

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The EPSRC has today announced the recipients of its first ever Fellowships in Manufacturing.

The five-year fellowships, each worth around £1 million, have been awarded to Dr Geoffrey Nash, Dr Harish Bhaskaran, Dr Ajoy Velayudhan and Dr Peter Foote.

Professor David Delpy, Chief Executive of EPSRC, said: To meet the manufacturing challenges of tomorrow we need to transfer industry best practice to the academic world. Each recipient has a strong industry background and has the potential to become an international research leader, able to set and drive new research agendas, bring together multidisciplinary teams to solve real-world problems, and influence, inspire and motivate a wide sphere of stakeholders.

Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts said: These new manufacturing fellowships will strengthen links between industry and the academic community and ensure that our leading companies have access to the very latest research. This will help us solve technological challenges and drive growth by keeping the UK ahead of the game in manufacturing.

  • Dr Geoffrey Nash will be based at the University of Exeter. The industrial partners are Procal, Qinetiq and Oclaro and his research is in the field of disruptive optoelectronic manufacture using graphene.
  • Dr Harish Bhaskaran will be based at the University of Exeter. The industrial partners are Asylum Research, IBM and iNets. His research area is in nanomanufacturing.
  • Dr Ajoy Velayudhan will be based at University College London. His industrial partner is GE and he will be working on modelling macromolecular manufacturing.
  • Dr Peter Foote will be based at Cranfield University, working with Meggitt, Smart Fibres Ltd and Rolls-Royce on sensors for through-life engineering.

Drs Ajoy Velayudhan and Peter Foote will be associated with EPSRC Centres for Innovative Manufacturing (one in emergent macromolecular therapies and the other in through-life engineering services). The centres were set up to maximise the impact of innovative research for the UK. These not only support existing industries but crucially open up new industries and markets in growth areas.

EPSRC has announced it will run the Fellowships in Manufacturing for a second year. The call is now open, with a deadline of 05 September 2012 for applications. More information can be found at the Fellowships in Manufacturing call page.

Notes for editors

EPSRC established Manufacturing Fellowships to address a gap in the UK's manufacturing research community as identified in some key research findings:

Each identified a need for closer links between industry and academia in the manufacturing sector.

Manufacturing comprises 10 per cent of the UK economy and is a key component of the Government's Plan for Growth (UK Treasury, 2010).

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

The EPSRC is the UK's main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences. EPSRC invests around £800 million a year in research and postgraduate training, to help the nation handle the next generation of technological change. The areas covered range from information technology to structural engineering, and mathematics to materials science. This research forms the basis for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone's health, lifestyle and culture. EPSRC works alongside other Research Councils with responsibility for other areas of research. The Research Councils work collectively on issues of common concern via Research Councils UK.