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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/Y035445/1
Title EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Robotics and AI for Net Zero
Status Funded
Energy Categories Other Cross-Cutting Technologies or Research 25%;
Not Energy Related 75%;
Research Types Training 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Computer Science and Informatics) 30%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 40%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 30%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 90%;
Other (Energy technology information dissemination) 10%;
Principal Investigator Dr SA Watson
No email address given
Electrical & Electronic Engineering
University of Manchester
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 April 2025
End Date 30 September 2032
Duration 90 months
Total Grant Value £5,248,801
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region North West
Programme EPSRC Training Grants
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr SA Watson , Electrical & Electronic Engineering, University of Manchester (99.991%)
  Other Investigator Dr M Fallon , Engineering Science, University of Oxford (0.001%)
Professor N Hawes , Engineering Science, University of Oxford (0.001%)
Professor P p Maiolino , Engineering Science, University of Oxford (0.001%)
Dr D Flynn , School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University (0.001%)
Dr G Herrmann , Mechanical Engineering, University of Bristol (0.001%)
Dr M Sharmina , Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, University of Manchester (0.001%)
Dr L L Mohjazi , Aerospace Engineering, University of Glasgow (0.001%)
Dr Y Zhao , Electronic Engineering, University of Surrey (0.001%)
Dr L Dennis , Computer Scienc, University of Liverpool (0.001%)
Web Site
Abstract The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Robotics and AI for Net Zero (RAINZ CDT) is a new CDT in Robotics and AI (RAI) which will train and develop the next generation of multi-disciplinary robotic systems engineers. These engineers will be trained in both research and commercialization of RAI, and will help revolutionise lifecycle asset management of critical infrastructure in support of the UK's Net Zero Strategy. The research focus of the CDT will be on how RAI can provide step-changes at each stage of the lifecycle of Net Zero energy generation assets through the adoption of new innovative technologies, workflows, etc., which will increase safety, reduce costs, and enhance the overall viability of such systems. Initially there will be a focus on the use of RAI in operations & maintenance, through inspection, maintenance, and repair activities, and the decommissioning of infrastructure in renewables (wind, solar, geothermal, tidal, hydrogen) and nuclear (fission and fusion). The research in the CDT will also support the decarbonization of these phases for assets across a diverse range of sectors. The scope of research will expand through the lifetime of the CDT to address the other lifecycle phases: Design, Logistics, Construction and Recycling.The RAINZ CDT is a partnership between three of the UKs leading Universities and represents an unparalleled critical mass of complimentary end-to-end robotic systems research capabilities, facilities and sustainability expertise. It has been co-created with leading industrial partners in the Net Zero sector to address the national challenge that "advanced robotics requires highly skilled workers such as engineers, leading to a need to train new workers".RAI used in the energy sector are often deployed into complex, hazardous and high-value environments, but significant barriers, both technological and cultural, are limiting its estimated economic yield to £0.6B gross value added (GVA) by 2035 instead of a potential £23B GVA. Overcoming these barriers is a key focus of this CDT. In addition to addressing a vital national need, it will support local initiatives, such as the Blenheim Palace Solar Farm in Oxford. It will also support the levelling-up agenda across the three host cities, as well as in West Cumbria through the Robotics and AI Collaboration (RAICo) facility, which has been established to build an innovation pipeline for new RAI solutions in both the nuclear and other sectors. The RAINZ CDT will adopt an innovative cohort training and research model to ensure graduates are not only subject matter experts, but have highly valuable skills in teamworking, multi-disciplinary systems integration, industrial engagement, and commercialisation. Each cohort will be recruited to conduct research directed towards an industry co-created cross-sector challenge which will evolve for each new cohort. Cohort 1's challenge will be Autonomous Environmental Interactions in Constrained Environments. PhD projects for each cohort will be co-created with industry to address gaps in enabling science and technologies through both fundamental and applied research. Robots are highly complex systems drawing on a diverse range of research areas. Whilst RAINZ students will undertake their own individual research, it will be significantly enhanced through collaborations with others. There will be annual research sprints where the cohort will come together to demonstrate elements of their research on industry defined demonstrator scenarios. The CDT will create an innovation pipeline that will produce high-quality, highly skilled and employable Robotic Systems Engineers with an aim that at least 50% - 75% of the graduates are employed in robotics industries. It has an ambition to have supported the creation of 5 spin-out companies and the submission of at least 5 Fellowship proposals

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Added to Database 29/05/24