UK cash boosts future renewables boffins

UK cash boosts future renewables boffins

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council has announced funding for a series of doctoral training centres including several with a focus on renewables.

The EPSRC InDustrial CDT in Offshore Renewable Energy (IDCORE) will support 50 doctorates covering offshore renewables and will be delivered by academics from the universities of Edinburgh, Exeter and Strathclyde, as well as the Scottish Association for Marine Sciences.

EPSRC funding will also support the Renewable Energy Northeast Universities (ReNU) programme at Northumbria, Newcastle and Durham training 65 PhD students.

IDCORE’s integrated training programme includes marine biology, maritime ecology, societal impact, economics, project management, entrepreneurship, energy policy, and electrical, mechanical and maritime engineering.

It is seeking applications for a September 2019 start and is interested to speak to companies interested in sponsoring a project.

IDCORE director David Ingram said: “I am delighted that IDOCRE has received funding for another 50 students. This means we will be able to continue to provide the highest quality of doctoral level training and to see our student undertaking industry projects that deliver real impact.

“Our students will continue to work closely with a range companies from the smallest of SME’s to blue chip multinationals on projects ranging from the development of new energy conversion technologies though to optimisation of maintenance and installation operations.”

ReNU is backed by almost 40 external organisations, including industry and non-profits, that have confirmed that they will work in partnership with ReNU.

Researchers at ReNU will look to create and develop new materials and devices that will convert energy into power.

The four-year course includes an in-built mini-MBA qualification, intellectual property training and a two-week placement in China studying renewable energy at a leading academic institution.

ReNU lead at Newcastle University Libby Gibson said: “The energy landscape is evolving rapidly as we discover more sustainable and versatile ways to power our devices and vehicles.

“We’re excited to bring together expertise from across the science and engineering disciplines to work together both to tackle the challenges at this research frontier, and also to equip our doctoral candidates with the breadth of skills required to tackle the changing needs of the industry in the future.

“This region has a strong heritage for innovation in energy and we’re delighted to play a part in its continuation.”

UK Science and Innovation Minister Chris Skidmore said: “As we explore new research to boost our economy with an increase of over £7bn invested in R&D over five years to 2021/22 – the highest increase for over 40 years – we will need skilled people to turn ideas into inventions that can have a positive impact on our daily lives.

“The Centres for Doctoral Training at universities across the country will offer the next generation of PhD students the ability to get ahead of the curve.

“In addition, this has resulted in nearly £400m being leveraged from industry partners.

“This is our modern Industrial Strategy in action, ensuring all corners of the UK thrive with the skills they need for the jobs of tomorrow.”


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