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The University of Southampton

Cross-disciplinary Centres of Excellence launched to spearhead sustainable digital technologies

Published: 12 February 2020
Professor Richard Whitby leads The Centre for Continuous Digital Chemical Engineering Science

Scientists across Engineering and Physical Sciences will ‘push the frontiers of research’ in four new Centres of Excellence at the University of Southampton.

Chemistry researchers will play an integral role in two of the cross-disciplinary centres that focus on spearheading sustainable digital technologies.

Professor Richard Whitby will direct the Centre for Continuous Digital Chemical Engineering Science, alongside fellow chemists who will add their expertise to the Centre for In-situ and Remote Intelligent Sensing.

The new Centres, which also cover the Future of Human Communication and Re-engineering for Electric Mobility, will tap into the University’s diverse strengths to deliver major research programmes.

Professor Bashir Al-Hashimi, Dean of Faculty, Engineering and Physical Sciences, says: “I am delighted to be formally launching these new hubs that will push the frontiers of research. This cross-disciplinary approach will channel expertise, both within and beyond our Faculty, and I firmly believe this will generate exceptional real-world impact.”

The Centre for Continuous Digital Chemical Engineering Science will develop smarter, greener and more efficient processes for the discovery and manufacture of new chemicals and materials. It aims to reduce the environmental footprint of chemicals and materials manufacture and open up new possibilities for industrial product development and scientific research.

The Centre for the Future of Human Communication is dedicated to developing digital technologies that will help people to communicate better. Its researchers are working on accessible devices and systems to improve the healthcare and wellbeing, and enhance the way we learn, work and consume entertainment and culture.

The Centre for In-situ and Remote Intelligent Sensing is the world’s only research hub dedicated to developing intelligent, connected, self-powered sensing systems. Operating in some of Earth’s most remote, harsh environments, they will provide better understanding of the world around us and help tackle pressing environmental and human challenges.

The Centre for Re-engineering for Electric Mobility will accelerate the development of sustainable, interconnected electric transport systems, re-engineering existing infrastructure and vehicles through advances in energy storage technology, the use of digital tribology to optimise components, and the redesign of the human-machine interface.

Professor Robert Wood, Associate Dean of Faculty (Research), Engineering and Physical Sciences, says: “Through these connected discipline centres we aim to transform the research landscape, connect to global and national challenges and drive research areas aligned to societal needs.

“We are very pleased to have received declarations of interest from dozens of researchers, including our vibrant early career research community, and these hubs will now begin to connect to the University Strategic Research Groups, University institutes and our industrial partners to launch ambitious programmes that will change the world for the better.”

Further information about the Centres and other activities within Engineering and Physical Sciences can be found on the Faculty’s webpage.

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