University works to inspire research in offshore renewables and health technology

The University of Plymouth is using its expertise in offshore renewable energy and health technology to inspire the next generation of outstanding engineers.

Thanks to funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the University is creating a new Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) which will support a minimum of 11 PhD studentships.

Starting in 2020 and 2021, the students will work alongside world-leading researchers and use cutting edge facilities to develop new and innovative ideas across the two subject areas.

They will also have the opportunity to undertake placements in China and Australia, as well as working on existing research initiatives that have links across academia, industry and the public sector.

The new DTP focuses on two of the University’s key strategic areas, and it is already playing a significant role in driving the national agenda around offshore renewable energy and health technology.

It leads the £9million Supergen ORE Hub, created in July 2018 with EPSRC funding to bring together a network of academic, industrial and policy stakeholders to champion and maintain the UK’s wave, tidal and offshore wind expertise.

Spearheaded by the Centre for Health Technology, it is also working to create an innovative and sustainable health sector through initiatives such as the £2.7million eHealth Productivity and Innovation in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (EPIC) project.

The new partnership will also enhance the University’s diverse community of postgraduate and postdoctoral early career researchers, supported by its Doctoral College.

Professor Deborah Greaves OBE, Head of the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics and Director of the Supergen ORE Hub, said:

“This initiative demonstrates our existing expertise in engineering, computing and mathematics and gives us the opportunity to expand in areas where we already excel nationally. We are constantly looking for ways to show how our teaching and research in these fields can be applied across health and medicine, as well as traditional sectors, and these studentships will certainly enable us to do that. They also fit perfectly with our leadership of the Supergen ORE Hub, and the exciting environment we have created for offshore renewable energy research.”

Professor Ray Jones, Professor of Health Informatics and Co-Director of the Centre for Health Technology, added:

“There is tremendous potential to address the pressures on the health and care system through research and development in care robotics, the internet of things, artificial intelligence, decision support, computer security and engineering. The University has a growing programme of inter-disciplinary research and this doctoral training programme will strengthen those links between health, engineering, and computing.”

EPSRC supports about 11,000 doctoral students through DTPs, Centres for Doctoral Training and Industrial Cooperative Awards in Science and Technology (ICASE) studentships. After completing PhDs, around 45% of engineering and physical sciences doctoral students go on to be employed in business or public sector, with 35% of those working in academia and 20% using this knowledge and skill in training or working in other sectors.

Professor Jerry Roberts, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise), said:

“We are delighted to have secured this Doctoral Training Partnership. The award is a testament that EPSRC are supporting ground breaking research across the University and we look forward to training the next generation of world leading scientists in Offshore Renewables and Health Technology.”
EPSRC Executive Chair, Professor Dame Lynn Gladden, added:

“Doctoral training is a vital element of the UK’s research and innovation system, providing thousands of people with the skills they need to succeed and deliver benefits for the UK. EPSRC’s Doctoral Training Partnerships provide an opportunity for universities to support ideas from outstanding research students, to explore emerging research areas and to support universities’ research priorities.”

The new DTP is the fourth such initiative at the University, with its existing ones focussing on ecology and the environment, arts and design, and the social sciences. For more information, and details about applying for one of the studentships, visit our postgraduate research studentships page.

The Supergen ORE Hub

The EPSRC-funded Hub aims to address technical, environmental and interdisciplinary challenges through collaboration, cementing the UK's position as a global leader in offshore renewable energy.
Find out more about the initiative

Centre for Health Technology

Bringing together digital health and health technology expertise from across the University to drive the development, evaluation and implementation of innovative technologies, products, services and approaches to transform health and social care.
Find out more about the Centre for Health Technology