Dr Geoffrey Nash and Dr Harish Bhaskaran. Photo by Jim Wileman.

Exeter researchers awarded prestigious fellowships

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has today announced the recipients of its first ever Fellowships in Manufacturing.

The fellowships are available to academics across the UK and two of the four have been awarded to University of Exeter researchers.

The five-year Fellowships, each worth around £1 million, have been awarded to Dr Geoffrey Nash and Dr Harish Bhaskaran of the University of Exeter, Dr Ajoy Velayudhan (University College London) and Dr Peter Foote (Cranfield University).

Professor David Delpy, CEO of EPSRC, said: “To meet the manufacturing challenges of tomorrow we need to transfer industry best practice to the academic world. Each recipient has a strong industry background and has the potential to become an international research leader able to set and drive new research agendas, bring together multidisciplinary teams to solve real-world problems, and influence, inspire and motivate a wide sphere of stakeholders.”

Dr Geoffrey Nash will work with industrial partners Procal, QinetiQ and Oclaro to carry out research in the field of disruptive optoelectronic manufacture using graphene, a revolutionary new material that is shaping the future of nanotechnology and computing.  He said: “The ultimate vision of this work is to realise entirely new types of optoelectronic components, using the unique properties of graphene. My future research, funded by EPSRC, will harness the substantial UK investment that has been made in graphene science. Winning this Fellowship is a great honour and I aim to use it to create an avenue for this research to have a substantial impact on UK manufacturing.”

Dr Harish Bhaskaran’s research area is in nanomanufacturing and he will work with industrial partners Asylum Research, IBM and iNets. His vision is to develop an environmentally-friendly, low-cost table-top nanomanufacturing tool that will put the UK at the forefront of this technology. He said: “I am humbled by EPSRC's award of this manufacturing fellowship, which will serve to assemble and train a team of researchers to help innovate sustainable nanomanufacturing techniques and make the UK a leader in this area.”

Dean of the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences Professor Ken Evans said: “Congratulations to Harish and Geoff on winning these prestigious fellowships. Through our science strategy, we are investing £350 million across five themes, one of which is Functional Materials, so this is an area of focus for our research. The fact that the University of Exeter has won two of these four awards provides a great boost to our growing reputation in this exciting field.”

EPSRC has announced it will run the Fellowships in Manufacturing for a second year. The call is now open, with a deadline of 5 September for applications.

Date: 24 May 2012

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