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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/X031470/1
Title Automatic Control Engineering (ACE) Network
Status Started
Energy Categories Other Cross-Cutting Technologies or Research 5%;
Not Energy Related 95%;
Research Types Applied Research and Development 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Other (Energy technology information dissemination) 100%
Principal Investigator Professor D Coca
No email address given
Automatic Control and Systems Engineering
University of Sheffield
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 January 2024
End Date 31 December 2026
Duration 36 months
Total Grant Value £568,024
Industrial Sectors No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Region Yorkshire & Humberside
Programme NC : Engineering
Investigators Principal Investigator Professor D Coca , Automatic Control and Systems Engineering, University of Sheffield (99.999%)
  Other Investigator Dr A Papachristodoulou , Engineering Science, University of Oxford (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Airbus UK Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , IBM United Kingdom Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , ABB Group (International), Switzerland (0.000%)
Project Contact , Yokogawa Measurement Technologies (0.000%)
Project Contact , Siemens plc (0.000%)
Project Contact , Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (0.000%)
Project Contact , High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult (0.000%)
Project Contact , The MathWorks Inc, USA (0.000%)
Project Contact , Libertine FPE Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Active Building Centre (0.000%)
Project Contact , B Braun Medical Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Cell Therapy Catapult Limited (0.000%)
Project Contact , Quanser Consulting Inc. (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract We are increasingly dependent on complex "smart" systems: cities, houses, vehicles, electricity grids and a myriad of connected 'things' gathering information and performing automated decision-making with or without a human in the loop. This is in part possible because of technological advances in sensing, actuation, computer hardware, networking and communication, which enable the harnessing, processing and analysis of vast volumes of data. Major advances in Automatic Control Engineering have provided the underpinning theory, methodology and practice needed to design and implement highly complex control and decision-making systems. Automatic control engineering continues to play a vital role in realising the government's long-term industrial strategy of raising productivity and earning power within the UK. Specifically, automatic control is a key enabling technology for all four major societal challenge themes identified in the 2017 UK Industrial Strategy: AI and Data, Clean Growth, Future Mobility and Aging Society and the specific challenge areas within each theme.Automatic control not only dramatically improves the productivity, efficiency, reliability and safety of a wide range of processes across all sectors, but also provides fundamental theory, methodologies and tools to further the understanding and enable discovery in other disciplines such as biology, medicine and social sciences. Whilst the UK led the First Industrial Revolution through the adoption of new technologies, including automation and control, today it lags behind its international competitors. This is evidenced in part by the slow productivity growth over the past decade, which is in sharp contrast to other economic indicators. It is argued that if the UK does not make a concerted effort to transition towards automation, it will miss a pivotal opportunity for growth, estimated to be worth more than £200 billion to the UK economy by 2030.For the UK to become a global leader in intelligent automation and leapfrog international competitors, it is vital that it consolidates its research leadership in automatic control engineering. The UK has a strong control engineering community of well over 1000 active researchers, and engineering practitioners spanning all career stages, which are represented at an international level by the UK Automatic Control Council (UKACC), the United Kingdom's National Member Organisation (NMO) of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC), acting as an effective link between the UK and the international control communities.At the time of dramatic advances in automation, AI, sensing and computation technologies, in order to engage effectively with the UK Grand Challenge research agenda, avoid fragmentation of effort and to ensure control engineers are engaged from the outset with end-users or initiatives, there is a need for the UK control community to connect effectively with other academic and industry stakeholders, to develop a common research vision and strategy and to start addressing these challenges through ambitious pilot studies, paving the way for full-scale, high-impact grant proposals, novel groundbreaking research and knowledge transfer projects.The Automatic Control Engineering Network aims to drive forward the UK's research and international leadership in next-generation automation and control, by bringing together and connecting the country's expertise in automation, the internet-of-things, cybersecurity, machine learning and robotics, with industry stakeholders and the wider research communities working towards addressing the same pressing societal challenges.Through the creation of a Virtual Centre of Excellence in Automation and Control, the Network will ensure that the coordination of research efforts, industry engagement, training activities and resource sharing needed to address Grand Challenges, will continue beyond the end of the funding period.

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Added to Database 12/07/23