Basic technology Centres for Doctoral Training

Basic technology

The Basic technology programme was originally proposed in 1999 as a cross-council programme to give technology research the same status as scientific research, and to develop a programme that would fund new technology for scientific research.

Existing funding mechanisms in all Research Councils at that time were felt to be constrained by Research Council boundaries, and to favour novel science over novel technology developments. Science is essentially convergent - it brings many methods together to answer a single question - while technology is more divergent - a new technology can be applied in many fields.

The Basic technology programme was therefore designed to support risky new technologies of wide application, which were felt not to be supported adequately by existing mechanisms.

Applications of Next Generation Accelerators

  • Queens University Belfast
  • University of Huddersfield
  • University of Strathclyde
  • University of Surrey

This Centre provides training, guidance and exposure to the wider academic and industrial communities, for doctoral students in the application of next generation accelerators and the development and application of these accelerators and their derivative sources, which includes laser driven accelerators, fixed field alternating gradient accelerators (FFAGs) and radiation sources based on them.

A UK Magnetic Resonance Basic Technology Centre for Doctoral Training (UK-MRBT-CDT): Developing Basic Technology Approaches for Enhanced Magnetic Resonance

  • University of Aberdeen
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Southampton
  • University of St Andrews
  • University of Warwick

This Centre unites the strands of magnetic resonance (MR) technology funded under the EPSRC Basic technology (BT) Programme and develops MR technology to have real and lasting impact on UK science and industry. MR methods are firmly established as a primary analytical tool in chemistry, are increasingly influential for characterisation in materials science and have revolutionised medical imaging. Despite the great success of MR there is huge demand to push the boundaries through increasing the sensitivity, resolution (spectral and spatial) and speed of the technique. The technologies involved include fast, high power and versatile electronics, signal detection and processing, high frequency/power sources, cryogenics, micromechanics, sample environments and pulse sequences. These drivers, the range of technologies involved and strong, integrated industrial involvement make the field an ideal research training ground for PhDs and ensure wider BT impact. Specific areas of MR technology where training is provided and also further developed through the research projects of the students are: (i) MR Pulse Sequence Technology (ii) Cryogenic Magnetic Resonance (iii) Advancing pulsed Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (iv) Beyond conventional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (v) Dynamic Nuclear Polarisation enhanced Nuclear Magnetic Resonance.

Centre for Doctoral Training in Basic Technologies for Molecular-Scale Engineering

  • University of Leeds
  • University of Sheffield

The ability to control, manipulate and interrogate complex molecular environments at molecular resolution is an enabling basic technology that can provide powerful new tools to engineer functional integrated organic-inorganic devices. Such devices will enable one to tailor the interfacial interactions that underpin so many applications of everyday relevance from bio-compatibility to catalysis, and of future relevance, such as energy harvesting and personalised healthcare. This Centre focusses on the development of groundbreaking basic technologies for nanoscale molecular control that can be adapted to a diverse range of scientific and technological problems. The Centre trains scientists and engineers who can work across disciplinary boundaries, such as in healthcare technologies, where there is a critical requirement to advance the engineering and physical sciences knowledge and techniques essential to; pull-through biology (for example chemical biology, integration of biomarkers and diagnostics and so on) to enable earlier and better diagnosis, treatment and management of health conditions (for example, drug design, novel drug delivery, personalised medicine and so on); and, enable future healthcare systems that deliver more efficient personalised and localised care (for example, information-driven healthcare, point-of-care diagnostics and devices and so on).