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Professor Derryck T. Reid
Director, EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Applied Photonics
One day, we will look back at 2020 with a perspective that is difficult to imagine at the moment.
When we do, I hope that while recalling the hardships the year imposed on us, we will also reflect on how we – students, academics, administrators, and company supervisors – rose to the challenge of adapting to the “new normal”.
This has been an exceptionally difficult
year for everyone in our CDT. Students
were denied access to their research labs; companies were forced to furlough their research staff; administrators were faced with running operations from their dining tables; and academics had to manage research and teaching remotely, while rushing to create new e-learning materials for the coming academic year. Students, supervisors, coordinators,
and the CDT executive staff juggled child- care, home schooling and home working. Even graduation ceremonies were cancelled, denying our graduating students their moment to celebrate their successes with family and friends.
For these reasons, I want to sincerely thank our students, supervisors and CDT executive staff and coordinators for the efforts they have made during this exceptionally difficult year. The situation will not become any easier for some considerable time, but the collegiate attitude and versatility that have been
evident across the Centre have been vital to weathering the storm.
The events of 2020 caused us to slip this year’s annual report by a few months, giving us the opportunity to redefine its scope
from Calendar Year 2019 to Academic Year 2019/20. It’s a pleasure therefore to be able to include reports on more recent graduations and vivas, and to report on the first cohort
of students in the refocussed and refunded Imaging, Sensing and Analysis theme. So,
I hope that reading our Annual Report will leave you with a prevailing sense of the achievements of the past year, rather than its frustrations.
 Annual Report 2019/2020 | 3

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