National Doctoral Training Centre in Graphene Announced

The School of Physics and Astronomy will host one of four new national Centres for Doctoral Training (CDT) in science and engineering which have been awarded to The University of Manchester.

The School of Physics and Astronomy will host one of four new national Centres for Doctoral Training (CDT) in science and engineering which have been awarded to The University of Manchester.

The Centre, led by Dr Irina Grigorieva, will support research into the “science and applications of graphene and related nanomaterials” and is one of 70 new centres which will be funded by a £350m grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The money has been granted to target areas considered vital to economic growth.

Announcing details of the fund, Science Minister David Willetts said: “Scientists and engineers are vital to our economy and society; it is their talent and imagination, as well as their knowledge and skills, that inspire innovation and drive growth across a range of sectors, from manufacturing to financial services.”

The CDT in the Science and Applications of Graphene and Related Nanomaterials (GrapheneNOWNANO) is a partnership between the Universities of Manchester and Lancaster. It will train specialists with the knowledge and skills to manipulate and develop the new two-dimensional materials and work effectively across traditional discipline boundaries. A bespoke programme of courses, laboratory projects, directed independent learning and innovation and commercialisation training will provide the grounding for innovative, interdisciplinary research projects in a broad range of areas, from the fundamental physics and chemistry of graphene and other 2D systems to materials science, characterisation, engineering and life sciences applications. Student research in academic laboratories will be complemented by direct engagement with a network of industrial partners.
Dr Irina Grigorieva said: “We are delighted to be able to offer a new doctoral training programme focused on graphene and related nanomaterials. The new CDT will support the highly successful graphene research at Manchester and Lancaster and train young scientists with a broad range of skills who are needed to ensure that the UK economy benefits fully from the potential of the ‘wonder material’.”

Professor Colin Bailey, Vice-President and Dean of the University’s Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, said: “The University’s strength and breadth of research activity was a major contributory factor to Manchester being awarded four national doctoral training centres. Coupled to this is our excellent reputation for collaborative working and our outstanding teaching of postgraduate students. This additional funding will mean we can train more of the UK’s scientists and engineers of the future.”

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, the University’s President and Vice-Chancellor, said: “I am delighted that we have been awarded four major doctoral training centres in areas of high strategic importance for the University. The training of excellent PhD students is a core activity and they are also important contributors to our research.”

The money represents the UK's largest investment in postgraduate training in engineering and physical sciences and will fund more than 70 new centres, including the four at Manchester, across 23 other UK universities.

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