Training the scientists and engineers of the future

Nanoscientists and engineers will be trained in a new Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Molecular-Scale Engineering, bringing together researchers from the Universities of Leeds and Sheffield.

Funded by a £2M award from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the CDT will provide a carefully structured and challenging programme of taught, cross-disciplinary training and hands-on access to state-of-the-art instrumentation.  Students will have the opportunity to pursue doctoral training with world-class academics working at the forefront of molecular-scale engineering.  A programme of cohort-building activities, transferable skills and personal development will complement the scientific and engineering training.

"This CDT is a major achievement for the Universities of Leeds and Sheffield," says Professor Giles Davies of the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, who is leading the Centre. "Together, we have over a decade of experience in jointly delivering Masters and Doctoral level training.  Our nanofolio programmes in nanotechnology are the longest established and most successful in the UK, and the Centre will draw upon these resources to offer extensive training in the basic elements of nanotechnology, nanofabrication and bionanotechnology.

Professor Christoph Wälti, the Centre's Co-Director, added: "The Centre is also great news for the region; our postgraduate research students will be working in an international scientific arena and help ensure that both Universities continue to be at the forefront of molecular-scale engineering, now and in the future."

New and distinctive elements of the CTD training include an extensive advanced laboratory course that will include training in clean-room techniques, atomic force microscopy, electron-beam lithography, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, opportunities for industrial placements in the UK and overseas, and regular conferences where students can meet leaders in the field.

The CTD will build on the collective strengths of 25 academics within the two universities, and 10 funded four-year integrated PhD studentships available for 2011.  It joins around 50 Centres covering a variety of research and training activities in the UK.

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