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New Centre
Industrially-Inspired Photonic Imaging, Sensing and Analysis
In 2018 the Centre prepared and submitted a bid as part of the EPSRC funding exercise for Centres for Doctoral Training. This bid was successful and the first students for the new centre started in September 2019. The Centre welcomed the University of Edinburgh to the existing partners of Heriot-Watt University (lead) and the universities of Dundee, Glasgow, St Andrews, and Strathclyde.
The new Centre has been refocussed to reflect the growing industrial research interest in photonic imaging, sensing and analysis systems, already evident in our present CDT and validated by market forecasts and academic publication rates. Photonic imaging, sensing and analysis is transforming modern life, from self- driving cars (lidar) and smartphone interfaces (laser gesture-recognition) to smart buildings (distributed
fibre and LED sensors) and bio-imaging (super- resolution microscopy). Through a carefully balanced technical and professional skills programme, our
vision is to produce graduates who will become the next-generation industrial research leaders, with
deep specialist knowledge but able to collaborate
and innovate across increasingly indistinct discipline boundaries.
The funding for our refocused Centre was awarded from EPSRC and Industry until March 2028 with combined funding of £9M. At the end of this period the Centre
will have continually funded cohort-based training
in photonics for 27 years. The Centre features deep industrial engagement, with all projects and students sponsored by industry providing cash support of £20K–50K and invaluable in-kind support.
Photonic imaging, sensing and analysis is transforming modern life, from self-driving cars (lidar) and smartphone interfaces (laser gesture-recognition) to smart buildings (distributed fibre and LED sensors) and bio-imaging (super-resolution microscopy).
The students follow a taught programme of core modules providing all students with a basis of multi- disciplinary skills and underpinning knowledge
specific to photonic techniques and elective modules in advanced topics will prepare students for their individual research projects. Students are co-located in St Andrews for Semester 1, and in Edinburgh/ Glasgow for Semester 2, then relocate to their doctoral research placement location. Our EngD students spend 39 months in their industrial placement with the PhD students primarily based in their academic host institution after the taught courses.
Once in their doctoral research placement, the students study three MBA Business courses. This multi- disciplinary training in technical and business subjects prepares the students for leadership roles in industrial research, equipping them with the skills needed to translate research into a commercial outcome.
A broad professional skills programme, delivered by a variety of expert consultants, industrial partners and members of the academic consortium over the four years of the programme, enables our students to be effective and informed researchers and also serves
to regularly reunite the cohort, consolidating bonds between students and facilitating peer-to-peer learning.
                                        Heriot-Watt University University of Strathclyde University of St. Andrews University of Glasgow University of Dundee
Heriot-Watt EngD Centre established, focusing on the photonics industry
Scope broadened to include microsystems technology and articulate EngD and masters training
2009 2014
Continuation of the previous Centre emphasizing Industrially-Inspired Photonic Imaging, Sensing and Analysis
 Photonics EngD Centre
 CTA Microsystems & Photonics
 IDC Optics & Photonics Technologies
 EPSRC CDT in Applied Photonics
 EPSRC CDT in Applied Photonics
  Re-focusing of the Centre to optics and photonics, engaging with a wider range of companies
Centre addresses Integrative Technologies, emphasising the link between photonic systems & electronics
Annual Report 2019/2020 | 7

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