New Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Integrated Photonic and Electronic Systems funded

Graduates from the Centre’s four year PhD programme will lead new industries based on the optimal integration of photonics in electronic systems


UCL and Cambridge University have successfully gained funding for a new Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Integrated Photonic and Electronic Systems (IPES). The new Centre builds on the enormous success of the EPSRC funded collaboration between these two world-leading universities who set up a joint CDT for Photonic Systems Development in 2009.

The new Centre aims to train researchers to lead a new generation of industries providing products and systems, based on the close and optimal integration of photonics with electronics. The Centre brings together multi-disciplinary, cutting edge research activities[1] from groups in photonics, communications, electronic engineering, nanotechnology, physics, materials, computer science, manufacturing, biomedical engineering, biotechnology, civil engineering and chemical engineering with contributions from more than 35 collaborating companies to provide an outstanding training environment for its students[2]. The funding announced today will enable 5 cohorts of PhD students to be trained in the Centre over the next 8 years.

Director of the new Centre, Professor Alwyn Seeds from UCL Electronic and Electrical Engineering said:

“We are delighted that the EPSRC have funded the new Centre in Integrated Photonic and Electronic Systems. Given the success of our existing Centre in Photonic Systems Development over the last 5 years, we believe that the time is now right for the new Centre to move ahead and address new integrative technologies for future products and systems. Photonics is embedded within a very wide range of systems, ranging from sensing through data centres and communications to displays. In almost every case photonics must be combined with electronics and software to create a working system.

The new Centre builds on work we have already undertaken to broaden the training of researchers to strengthen their appreciation of the systems context of technology research. Our aim will now be to increase pull-through of underpinning work in the physical and material sciences to advance the integration of photonic and electronic systems, leading to steep improvements in electronic system performance through the use of photonics technology, radical systems cost reduction and a broadening of the applications field for electronics and photonics. To do this we have brought together key research groups from Cambridge and UCL to create a training environment of unparalleled richness.

UK Photonics and UK electronics are large industries with annual revenues of £10 billion and £29 billion respectively. We have been very pleased to have the strong support of more than 35 leading companies who will contribute to the work of the new Centre. Together we will train researchers to create a new generation of products and systems where photonics and electronics are fully and optimally integrated. The change in systems that this will enable is as profound as the development of the Personal Computer from a simple stand-alone device to the fully networked information appliance that we have today. The benefits to the UK economy will be correspondingly large."

The CDT in Integrated Photonic and Electronic Systems is one of 70 Centres for Doctorial Training which will share £350 million of EPSRC funding that will be used to train 3,500 post graduate students across 24 universities. Funding for the centres was announced today by Universities and Science Minister, David Willetts.

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.

“I am particularly pleased to see strong partnerships between universities, industry and business among the new centres announced today. This type of collaboration is a key element of our industrial strategy and will continue to keep us at the forefront of the global science race.”

[1] Academic supervisors involved with the Centre at UCL are: Professor Alwyn Seeds (Electronic and Electrical Eng.and London Centre for Nanotechnology), Dr Cyril Renaud (Electronic and Electrical Eng.), Dr David Selviah (Electronic and Electrical Eng.), Dr Sally Day (Electronic and Electrical Eng.), Dr Anibal Fernandez (Electronic and Electrical Eng.), Dr Nicolae Panoiu (Electronic and Electrical Eng.), Dr Oleg Mitrofanov (Electronic and Electrical Eng.), Dr Ioannis Papakonstantinou (Electronic and Electrical Eng.), Professor Polina Bayvel (Electronic and Electrical Eng.), Dr Seb Savory (Electronic and Electrical Eng.), Dr Benn Thomsen (Electronic and Electrical Eng.), Dr Phil Watts (Electronic and Electrical Eng.), Dr Chin Pang Liu (Electronic and Electrical Eng.), Professor Huiyun Liu (Electronic and Electrical Eng.), Dr Xiao Liu (Electronic and Electrical Eng.), Dr John Mitchell (Electronic and Electrical Eng.), Dr Michael Flanagan (Electronic and Electrical Eng.), Dr Robert Killey (Electronic and Electrical Eng.), Dr Miguel Rio (Electronic and Electrical Eng.), Dr Tony Kenyon (Electronic and Electrical Eng.), Professor Sir Michel Pepper (Electronic and Electrical Eng.and London Centre for Nanotechnology), Professor Gabriel Aeppli (London Centre for Nanotechnology), Dr Bart Hoogenboom (London Centre for Nanotechnology), Dr Jeroen Elzerman (London Centre for Nanotechnology), Dr Paul Warburton (London Centre for Nanotechnology), Dr Ed Romans (London Centre for Nanotechnology), Professor Jem Hebden (Medical Physics and Bioengineering), Dr Adrien Desjardin (Medical Physics and Bioengineering), Dr Ilias Tachtsidis (Medical Physics and Bioengineering), Professor Paul Beard (Medical Physics and Bioengineering), Dr Terence Leung (Medical Physics and Bioengineering), Dr Ben Cox (Medical Physics and Bioengineering), Dr Angus Bain (Physics)

Academic supervisors involved with the Centre at Cambridge University are: Professor White (Electrical Eng.), Professor Penty (Electrical Eng.), Professor Sir Richard Friend (Physics), Professor Sir Mark Welland (Nanoscience), Professor David Ritchie (Physics), Professor Tim Wilkinson (Electrical Eng.), Professor Bill Milne (Electrical Eng.), Professor Arokia Nathan (Electrical Eng.), Dr Andrew Flewitt (Electrical Eng.), Professor Andrea Ferrari (Electrical Eng.), Professor Harry Coles (Electrical Eng.), Dr Neil Collings (Electrical Eng.), Dr Damian Gardiner (Electrical Eng.), Dr W. O’Neill (Institute for Manufacturing), Professor Jon Crowcroft (Computer Lab), Dr Simon Moore (Computer Lab), Dr Andrew Moore (Computer Lab), Professor Sir Colin Humphreys (Materials Science), Professor Daping Chu (Director of CAPE), Professor Kenichi Soga (Civil Engineering), Professor Chris Lowe (Director of Institute of Biotechnology), Professor Neil Greenham (Physics), Professor Henning Sirringhaus (Physics), Dr Tawfique Hasan (Electrical Eng.), Professor Clemens Kaminski (Chemical Eng.)

[2] Project partners involved with the bid are: Teraview, Thales UK, Qioptiq, Fraunhofer UK Research, Costain, Columbia University, Dow Corning Corporation, Xillinx, CERN, PervasID, Hitachi, Oclaro Technology, Swimovate, Moor Instruments, Hamamatsu Photonics, Avago Technologies, Zinwave, Xyratex Technology, Photon Design, Institute of Physics, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Silixa, Precision Acoustics, X-Fab, DTSL, Selex-ES, CIP Technologies, BAE Systems, ICT KTN, ESP KTN, UKIF, CIKC, Toshiba Research Europe, Inphi, SWISSto12 SA, Polatis, Xtera Communications