The Edinburgh Research Partnership in Engineering & Mathematics (ERP)
The ERP is a research partnership between the University of Edinburgh and Heriot Watt University, launched in 2005 with the creation of five Joint Research Institutes (JRI) and expanded in 2007 with the addition of Napier University and the creation of the sixth JRI within ERP. With funding from the SFC and OST, 40 new ERP funded academic appointments have been made, of which 8 are at professorial level, all of whom considerably enhance the RAE profile of each institution. The recruitment has been further supported by the individual universities investing in other new posts to complement the JRI’s, indicating the commitment to the pooling activity. This adds to a core environment of over 320 academics, who committed to the original pooling proposal. This “workforce” is in turn further supported by a large PDRA body to help strengthen the research activities.
There are 30 new “prize” studentships to add to a thriving community of over 450 PGR students, with approximately 400 graduations in the last year at MSc and PhD level. Evidence of the success of the partnership can be seen in the level of income generated which is of the order of £28m, which far exceeds the level of initial investment for the original 5 JRI’s and the new 6th. A further example can be seen by the decision to jointly submit the Maxwell JRI to the RAE.
Continued activity in bidding for joint proposals will assist the individual institutions in pooling their creative activity in the engineering environment. Integration and collaboration will be further enhanced with the development of state of the art video conferencing for both teaching and seminar activities in the coming year.
For more information please visit the ERP website.
The Glasgow Research Partnership in Engineering (GRP)
The GRP involves the four universities in the West of Scotland: Glasgow University, Glasgow Caledonian University, University of West of Scotland and Strathclyde University. The GRP research agenda is very well aligned with the Scottish Enterprise key industries strategy and will provide underpinning research and technological innovation to support job and wealth creation in Scotland that is based in high-added-value engineering and a highly skilled, professional workforce. GRP has successfully attracted and appointed 27 new academic staff across the partner institutions, many of whom are already researchers with reputations that indicate their leading status in several core research themes. GRP is already building international research relationships with major institutions such as MIT, Princeton and Georgia Tech in the USA and with other UK Universities including Imperial College, Cambridge and UCL. Extended links across Europe, the Middle-East and the Far-East are also being developed. The GRP aims to build world-class research capability within the 4 Universities under 3 Joint Research Institutes (JRIs):
Electronic, Communications and Power Systems
This JRI concentrates its collaborative research activities into “complex engineering systems” under three broad themes:
Electronic System Technologies
Communications and Information Systems
Sustainable Power Systems & Energy Technologies
Environmental, Infrastructure and Transportation Engineering;
This JRI will become a leading Scottish centre for research that addresses the short to long term challenges caused by an aging infrastructure, climate change and the need for sustainable transport systems. Four main research themes have been identified:
- Environmental Biotechnology;
- Urban Regeneration, and Environmental Liabilities;
- Water Resources, Water Management and Coastal Modelling;
- Sustainable Transportation.
Mechanics of Materials, Structures and Bioengineering.
This JRI will pursue internationally leading research in performance, design and processing of materials and structures by harnessing advances in computational, experimental and analytical techniques, which cut across traditional engineering boundaries, as well as in biomechanics, bioengineering and rehabilitation engineering on an interface between engineering, medicine and life sciences.
For more information please visit the GRP website.
The Northern Research Partnership (NRP)
The NRP, which involves the University of Aberdeen, the University of Dundee and The Robert Gordon University, was formally launched in March 2007. It has successfully recruited leading academics to engage in leadership roles in its Joint Research Institutes. Its Strategic Board has met regularly since September 2006, initially as a small subset, but expanded to include the JRI directors. Performance Indicators have been agreed by the SMB and will be reported and monitored quarterly and annually. Of the 18 posts funded by the Scottish Funding Council, 10 have already been filled, with staff either in post or shortly to be in post. Active recruitment to all other posts is being advanced in line with our current strategic plan and to match key SRPe defined and emerging themes. The Partnership has engaged fully with the SRPe at both strategic management level and at the academic level in taking forward the science case. The NRP played a full role in promoting the ETI proposal and will engage through the new ETP.
Activity to date has included meetings to agree themes and research direction for the Joint Research Institutes, joint grant applications, and the awarding of studentships to work on activity across the partnership commencing September/October 2007. A feature of these studentships is that inter-institutional supervision is a core component. The Strategic Board is already planning the next call for studentships, which has recently been announced, with a deadline of March 2008 for applications. Events for the NRP students and for all graduate students in the partnership are also being planned.
Cross-JRI activity is also being identified and interaction with other pooling initiatives is being reported. Discussions at all levels include reference to integration of non-technical subjects. At JRI level this is an active factor in the development of work programmes. The Partnership will submit its first report in parallel to the SRPe report.
For more information please visit the NRP website.