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5 December 2008 - PR 08/164

Loughborough to train scientists and engineers for Britain’s future

Loughborough University has won funding to continue with a centre that will generate the scientists needed for Britain’s future it was announced today (5 December 2008) by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council – the UK funding body for science and engineering.

The Engineering Doctorate Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering (CICE), which was established in 1999, has already achieved considerable success over the last decade. The funding from the EPSRC will allow the Centre to recruit and train 10 high-quality research engineers annually for the next five years to become future industry leaders.

Minister of State for Science and Innovation, Lord Drayson, announced the £250million initiative which will create 44 training centres across the UK and generate over 2000 PhD students. They will tackle some of the biggest problems currently facing Britain such as climate change, energy, our ageing population, and high-tech crime.

Lord Drayson said: “Britain faces many challenges in the 21st Century and needs scientists and engineers with the right skills to find answers to these challenges, build a strong economy and keep us globally competitive. EPSRC’s doctoral training centres will provide a new wave of engineers and scientists to do the job.”

He continued: “These centres will help to develop clean renewable energy, fight high tech crime, assist in reducing carbon emissions, and discover new healthcare solutions for an ageing population.  This is an exciting, innovative approach to training young researchers and will help build a better future for Britain.”

EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training are a bold new approach to training PhD students, creating communities of researchers working on current and future challenges. 17 of the new centres will be industrial training centres that will equip their students with the business skills they need to turn pioneering ideas into products and services, boosting their impact on the UK’s economy.

Professor Dave Delpy, chief executive of EPSRC, said: “People are the heart of our future strategy. We want to drive a modern economy and meet the challenges of tomorrow by investing in talented people and inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers.”

The multidisciplinary centres bring together diverse areas of expertise to train engineers and scientists with the skills, knowledge and confidence to tackle today’s evolving issues. They also create new working cultures, build relationships between teams in universities and forge lasting links with industry.

Students in these centres will receive a formal programme of taught coursework to develop and enhance their technical interdisciplinary knowledge, and broaden their set of skills. Alongside this they will undertake a challenging and original research project at PhD level.

– Ends –

For all media enquiries contact:

Jo Lumani
Senior PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228697
E: J.P.Lumani@lboro.ac.uk

Notes for editors:

  1. Full list of new EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training
    Full descriptions and contact details for the centre directors are available – call.

  2. Case Studies and Highlights
    A selection of highlights of the new centres are available as written-up case studies. These will be included in the press pack for the press conference. If you cannot attend contact the press office.

  3. About EPSRC
    The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the main UK government agency for funding research and training in engineering and the physical sciences, investing around £740 million a year in a broad range of subjects – from mathematics to materials science, and from information technology to structural engineering.

  4. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

    It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top fifteen of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006 and 2007 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other institution.

    It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

    Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

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