Industrial Doctorate Centres

EPSRC-funded centres for doctoral training provide a supportive and exciting environment for students. Industrial Doctorate is an alternative to the traditional PhD for students who want a career in industry. A four-year programme combines PhD-level research projects with taught courses, and students spend about 75 per cent of their time working directly with a company.

Association of Engineering Doctorates (AEngD)

AEngD is a shared service organisation that supports Industrial Doctorate Centres (IDC), funded by EPSRC UK and sponsored by various Industries across the UK.

Industrial Doctorate Centre in Composites Manufacture

  • University of Bristol
  • University of Nottingham
  • Cranfield University
  • University of Manchester

The centre aims to provide the UK composites manufacturing industry with Research Engineers equipped with the necessary advanced technical and leadership skills required for effective adoption of new knowledge and technologies in composites manufacture. The relevant industry areas include aerospace, automotive, marine, wind energy and construction.

The centre is firmly embedded within the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Composites, which aims to underpin the development of next-generation composites manufacturing processes based on low cost, short cycle times, efficiency and sustainability. Specialist training is delivered at the National Composites Centre (NCC) in Bristol.

Centre for Digital Entertainment

  • University of Bath
  • University of Bournemouth

Visual effects, computer animation, digital film and computer games companies are driven by highly skilled people who are fully up-to-date in the latest technology and have design and management skills. Bringing together Bath’s media technology research, Bournemouth’s National Centre for Computer Animation and world-leading companies, this centre offers students the chance to gain a fully-funded doctorate while being immersed in the most dynamic, creative industry in the world.

Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering

  • Loughborough University

The centre’s research is focused on these themes: Innovative construction technologies (materials and construction techniques), Construction business processes (improving value and efficiency in design and construction, collaborative engineering, knowledge management), Advanced information and communications technologies (mobile technologies, Information and Communications Technology enabled information management and collaborative working), Sustainable design and construction (building performance, energy efficiency, climate change impact on the built environment) and Transport and infrastructure (transport operations and management, sustainable travel, infrastructure engineering, water and waste management).

Large-Scale Complex IT Systems

  • University of Leeds
  • University of Oxford
  • University of St Andrews
  • University of York

The centre’s research and teaching aims to deliver a programme that is dedicated to meeting the challenges inherent in dealing with current and future large scale complex information technology systems and systems of systems. The focus of the centre is to increase research engineers’ competencies to address these challenges: from mathematical and formal theoretical methods, to high integrity systems and software engineering to socio-technical systems engineering and studies of complexity in organisations. In training research engineers, the centre aims to produce the next generation of systems engineers and technology innovation leaders.

Virtual Environments, Imaging and Visualisation

  • University College London

Engineering, design and science all make significant use of visual imagery as a resource for investigation and communication. This EngD spans technology-led research on new imaging and visualisation technologies and design-led research on novel uses of virtual environments and images in collaborative decision making. Application areas include medicine, aerospace, geographic decision making, civil engineering, architectural design, TV and film production, computer games and consumer electronics.

Bioprocess Engineering Leadership

  • University College London

Next generation therapies will need to address currently intractable human conditions sustainably and at affordable cost. The aim of the centre is to train the future bioprocess engineering leaders who will oversee translation of new scientific discoveries into safe and cost effective therapies. Research and training within the centre addresses the crucial bioprocess engineering that will underpin the three main classes of future medicines: more selective pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals and human cells for regenerative medicine.


  • University of Bristol
  • University of Bath

The centre’s research and teaching is focused on delivering enhanced performance via a ‘systems thinking’ approach. This recognizes that performance will generally be dependent on the behaviour of people. An extensive network of sponsors and participants - representing many sectors of industry and government - provides truly multi-disciplinary 'real world' research projects whilst maximising cross-fertilisation of ideas. The centre is attracting top quality candidates who aspire to be tomorrow's leaders.

Micro and Nano-Materials and Technologies

  • University of Surrey

This centre provides an innovative and transformative research environment in materials science and engineering. The focus of the centre is the solution of academically challenging and industrially relevant problems, which have at their core the processing-microstructure-property relationships that are the cornerstones of the discipline. A unique feature will be a focus on characterization - including hands-on experience - through access to state-of-the-art instrumentation.

Nuclear Engineering

  • Imperial College London
  • University of Manchester

The consortium is led by the Dalton Nuclear Institute at The University of Manchester in partnership with Imperial College London and includes the universities of Birmingham, Lancaster, Leeds, Sheffield, Strathclyde and Surrey. Each of the universities has capabilities and a recognised track record in one (or more) of the research themes being offered which are: Reactor Technology, Waste Management, Decommissioning, Materials, Socio-economic aspects and Safety Systems.

Optics and Photonics Technologies

  • Heriot-Watt University (lead)
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of St Andrews
  • University of Strathclyde
  • Scottish University Physics Alliance

‘Optics and photonics’ is a cross-disciplinary set of sciences and technologies that enable, underpin and interact with a vast range of sciences and technologies involving the understanding, exploitation and control of light. We support research and training across the full range of optics and photonics technologies including fundamental science, devices and systems, instrumentation, communications, photonic manufacturing and processing, photonic microsystems, image processing and digital technologies for manufacturing.

Sustainability for Engineering and Energy Systems

  • University of Surrey

The Centre aims to enable the next generation of professionals to become effective agents of change in the transition to a more sustainable, lower carbon economy. It provides a stimulating, transdisciplinary research environment, collaborating with a network of leading business, industry and policy organisations to deliver an excellent Engineering Doctorate Programme. The Centre supports research addressing three interlinked themes: engineering for sustainability, systems approaches and sustainable energy and low carbon systems.

Transport and the Environment

  • University of Southampton

With the ever-increasing demand on our transport infrastructure, UK industry needs researchers and future leaders, who can provide solutions to reducing environmental impact and improving the energy and resource efficiency in the transport sector. The Industry Doctoral Training Centre (IDTC) in Transport and the Environment at the University of Southampton combines masters-level technical courses and MBA management courses with PhD-level research. Students are equipped with the business and technical skills they will need to turn pioneering ideas into products and services, boosting their impact on the UK’s economy.

Molecular Modelling and Materials Science

  • University College London

Fundamental understanding of the effect of molecular-level processes on macroscopic materials properties is essential in the design and engineering of functional materials for applications in energy, nanotechnology, catalysis, information technology and bio-medical science and engineering. The 4-year EngD course offers technical training by academic and industrial scientists, accredited project management and business courses, materials simulation project, professional career development and transferable skills, knowledge transfer and outreach activities, and a range of industrial collaborations in topical research areas.

Urban Sustainability and Resilience

  • University College London

Our programme focuses upon two key themes: sustainability and resilience. Sustainability addresses the maintenance of an ecological system (atmosphere, water, the food chain and so on) whilst at the same time enabling human development of the urban environment and the surrounding hinterland. Resilience deals with the issue of how to mitigate the effects of environmental disasters and terrorism, incorporating seismic and volcanic hazard, flood risk, the spread and control of disease, security and situational awareness.

Biopharmaceutical Process Development

  • Newcastle University

This centre adopts an inter-disciplinary research philosophy to create techniques that enable the more rapid progression of biopharmaceutical products through the development chain. Bioscientists and engineers working together will acquire an understanding of the business environment to deliver significant technological advances for both established biopharmaceutical production routes and horizon products. Three areas of technical focus are being considered: Measurement, data and knowledge management, Systems analysis and process representation, and Enhanced development and operational strategies.


  • Cranfield University
  • Imperial College London
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Sheffield
  • Newcastle University

With the water sector facing significant challenges such as climate change, energy efficiency and pollution control, there is a pressing need for a new generation of research engineers to shape innovative responses and solutions. STREAM provides an integrated programme of learning, proficiency development and experiences covering advanced technical competencies, transferable skills and engineering leadership, and doctoral level research. The programme offers industry-driven research opportunities across a wide range of disciplinary and thematic problem sets.

Systems Approaches to Biomedical Science

  • University of Oxford

This centre provides training to graduates from both the physical and life sciences who wish to undertake careers in the pharmaceutical, biomedical, imaging, biotechnology, and health related sectors. Courses include biology, mathematics, medical chemistry, chemical pharmacology, chemoinformatics, toxicology, molecular imaging, optimal experimental design and genomic epidemiology. The centre also provides training in project management, strategic planning, leadership, team working, commercial awareness, and problem solving.

Technologies for Sustainable Built Environments

  • University of Reading

This centre focuses on research for the development and application of sustainable construction, renewable energy applications and energy management technologies, including their economic and social impacts. Attention also extends to the way in which the adoption and use of such technologies can be enhanced through procurement and other policy levers. In particular, research in the centre will be focused on two complementary themes: sustainable building and services systems; and energy management in buildings and infrastructure systems.

Formulation Engineering

  • University of Birmingham

Formulation engineering is a new approach to the study of materials production whose microstructure is a complex function of process history. It concentrates on research into the physical, chemical and biological processes that create formulated product structure and the maintenance or breakdown of that structure in use. Examples of products include foods, pharmaceuticals and speciality products such as paints, catalysts, detergents and agrochemicals.

Efficient Fossil Energy Technologies

  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Birmingham
  • Loughborough University

This Centre will produce research leaders to tackle the major national and international challenges over the next 15 years in implementing new power plant to generate electricity more efficiently using fossil energy with near zero emissions, involving the successful demonstration of carbon dioxide capture, and reducing CO2 emissions generally from coal utilisation, including iron making. These leaders will be part of the new breed of engineers who will be thoroughly versed in cutting edge energy research.

Since 2009, EPSRC has funded seven more Industrial Doctorate Centres – two as part of Strategic Partnerships and five under a call in Manufacturing Engineering:

Manufacturing Technology Engineering Doctorate Centre (MTEDC)

  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Birmingham
  • Loughborough University

Based around the world-class research facility at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), this four-year programme combines intensive technical and interdisciplinary modules with an industry-based doctoral research project provided by our partners Rolls-Royce, Airbus and Aero Engine Controls. Research themes include Advanced Tooling and Fixturing, Net Shape Manufacturing and Intelligent Automation.

Centre for Doctoral Training in Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE)

  • Imperial College London
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Strathclyde
  • University of Warwick

Our research programme covers all branches of NDE. All projects must have the potential for significant industrial impact. Priority themes include modelling, reliability, automation, defect characterisation, sensor technology, structural health monitoring, and the challenges of advanced materials and difficult access. Where possible the projects integrate NDE into materials engineering and structural performance. Our partners are companies in the energy, aerospace, defence, nuclear, transportation and manufacturing industries, as well as suppliers of new NDE technology.

Industrial Doctorate Centre in Advanced Forming and Manufacture

  • University of Strathclyde

Our programme will provide EngD students with the opportunity to make a significant impact on the UK forming and forging industry and the UK manufacturing industry as a whole. This will be achieved predominantly through access to knowledge and expertise within the Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC), and its connections with leading global manufacturers. The major programme themes include; Forging Technology, Advanced Materials, Automation, Process Improvement, Micro-system Manufacture, Information Management, Operations Management and Process Design.

Industrial Doctorate Centre (IDC) in Machining Science

  • University of Sheffield

The IDC focuses on the development of skills and expertise in machining science. In recent years significant developments have taken place in engineering science that can produce a step-change in machining performance. The IDC is a collaboration between the Faculty of Engineering, the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing and the Nuclear AMRC and applies high level engineering science to the solution of industrially relevant machining problems.

MATTER: Manufacturing Advances Through Training Engineering Researchers

  • Swansea University

MATTER is a new initiative at Swansea specifically targeted at high technology advanced manufacturing. MATTER will focus on the themes of Aerospace, Automotive and Packaging and will concentrate on increasing the intellectual and added value of the products and processes through innovation, decreasing the commodity element of much of the UK sector. A key area of focus for MATTER will be improving processes to minimise waste and to improve quality within these industries.

Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) in Structural Metallic Systems for Gas Turbine Applications

  • University of Cambridge
  • Swansea University
  • University of Birmingham

Details to follow shortly

Engineering Doctoral Centre in High Value, Low Environmental Impact Manufacturing

  • University of Warwick

Our new Warwick Manufacturing Group International Doctorate Centre will deliver a revolutionary new doctorate for the 21st century. It will address industrially challenging issues that will enable companies to develop and implement innovative and world leading sustainable research solutions.

Our International Doctorate is a four year programme that combines industry relevant research, taught courses, international visits, entrepreneurial flair and networking.

Driven by research teams that combine industrial and academic experience, we work with entrepreneurial leaders who understand and appreciate that global environments are constantly changing. Our vision is to create a future generation of manufacturing leaders with the high-level know-how and research experience that is essential to compete in a global environment defined by high impact and low carbon.