Multi-million pound project to use nanotechnology to improve safety
The University of Southampton has been awarded a multi-million grant from LloydÃ¢â¬â¢s Register Foundation to bring together some of the worldÃ¢â¬â¢s brightest early career researchers to find new ways of using nanotechnologies to improve safety at sea, on land and in the air.
Dr Themis Prodromakis, from the Nanoelectronics and Nanotechnology Group within Electronics and Computer Science, is leading the ÃÂ£3m programme, which will receive match funding from partner organisations. He says: Ã¢â¬ÅResearchers are always looking for funding for high risk, high reward ideas. They want to collaborate with the best scientists and engineers in the world and gain access to state-of-art facilities. The LloydÃ¢â¬â¢s Register Foundation International COnsortium in Nanotechnologies (ICON) will assemble the worldÃ¢â¬â¢s leading universities, research institutions and innovative companies to help them tackle many of todayÃ¢â¬â¢s most challenging issues by recruiting talented PhD students from every continent.Ã¢â¬Â
Applications will soon be invited from scientists and engineers keen to pioneer research across a range of industries. Nanotechnologies are already widely used, for example in smart phones, cameras and gadgets. Breakthroughs already being developed include cars, boats and planes built from lightweight materials stronger than steel with new functions such as self-cleaning and repairing; flexible textiles that can become rigid and shockproof to protect the wearer; sensors in hostile environments such as the deep ocean and space; tiny implants for real-time monitoring to aid diagnoses for doctors; and smart devices that harvest energy from their environment.
ICON will support more than 50 PhD students to undertake research at leading global universities, aided by matched funding. They will work together with partners from industry on interdisciplinary projects and access world-leading facilities, such as the ÃÂ£120m Southampton Nanofabrication Centre. The doctoral researchers will meet every year to present their findings and share ideas and concepts, becoming part of a global doctoral cohort addressing the FoundationÃ¢â¬â¢s safety mission.
Professor Richard Clegg, Managing Director of LloydÃ¢â¬â¢s Register Foundation, said: Ã¢â¬ÅWe are pleased to support the University of Southampton in developing this global cohort of scientists. Their research will develop applications to further the FoundationÃ¢â¬â¢s safety goals whilst also providing training and building technical capacity in support of our educational mission. The doctoral students joining this consortium will gain an understanding of how their research can benefit society whilst developing international research networks at an early stage in their careers.Ã¢â¬Â
Ã¢â¬ÅThe support of LloydÃ¢â¬â¢s Register Foundation is key to our mission,Ã¢â¬Â adds Dr Prodromakis. Ã¢â¬ÅLloydÃ¢â¬â¢s Register itself is well-known for promoting safety worldwide for more than 250 years. Its Global Technology Centre is now based in Southampton and its Foundation has become a catalyst to support research, training and education for the benefit of society. We are delighted to work alongside them.Ã¢â¬Â