14 March 2024
by Hassan Akhtar

£1bln investment in doctoral training

Investment in 65 Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) centres for doctoral training (CDTs) has been announced by UK Science, Innovation and Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan.

Engineering students at Sheffield © The University of Sheffield

The CDTs will support more than 4,000 doctoral students over the next nine years.

It is hoped the CDTs will bolster the five critical technologies set out in the UK Science and Technology Framework, specifically five quantum technologies CDTs, five artificial intelligence (AI) CDTs, two engineering biology CDTs, four semiconductor CDTs and three telecoms CDTs (also including one CDT listed under semiconductors).

More than 1,400 companies, higher education institutions, charities and civic organisations are taking part in the CDTs.

The University of Sheffield, for example, is targeting digital engineers, led by the Faculty of Engineering and working alongside the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.

UK growth in this field lags behind Europe and North America with poor productivity and skills gaps to be blamed.

Sheffield hopes to tackle this by using a new CDT to equip students with digital skills in manufacturing, sustainability, speed, quality and flexibility.

The University of Leicester is also using the funding in the digital sector, with an £18mln CDT in Digital Transformation of Metals Industry announced.

The University will be working with the EPSRC, four partner universities and 35 industrial partners, to combine metals and alloy engineering with digital technology and artificial intelligence skills.


Hassan Akhtar