University of Leeds
Grant money has been distributed to 13 academics across a range of British universities, with the University of Leeds receiving a windfall to advance research in the field of additive manufacturing.
Professor A.J. Bell, Head of the School of Process, Environmental and Materials Engineering at the West Yorkshire institution, received £1.03 million from the Engineering Fellowships for Growth fund for Polar Materials for Additive Manufacturing. This is one of the largest grants distributed in this round of investment in order to maintain the UK's leadership in researching the so-called Great British Technologies: advanced materials, robotics and autonomous systems, and synthetic biology.
Universities and Science Minister David Willetts announced the news earlier this month (May 2nd).
The fellowship grants of between £804,000 and £1.25 million to projects that it will support over a five-year period. Advanced materials projects include work to explore how semi-conducting materials can be used in electronic devices such as mobile phones without the need to cool them to low temperatures, and research using imaging techniques to understand the solidification and casting processes.
"These Fellowships will keep the UK ahead in fields identified as part of the Eight Great Technologies with the potential to propel UK growth. We champion and support our leading academics in these areas to realise our ambition to make the UK the best place in the world to do and apply science," Willets said.
University of Glasgow researchers are being supported in their work into synthetic skins used by robotic devices in healthcare applications, while other projects include the creation of programmable functional biomaterials and developing methods for renewable energy.
Professor Philip Nelson, Chief Executive of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, said: "To provide opportunities for growth, both scientific and economic, it is vital that the UK has a steady supply of academic talent in the physical sciences and engineering. To do this we must support academics throughout their careers. These Fellowships will mean we are retaining the leaders we need to maintain our position in synthetic biology, robotics and autonomous systems, and advanced materials."