The departments of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, and Computer Science have been awarded a significant number of grants which jointly exceed £70 million. Further details regarding these grants are available on the EPSRC website:
These grants include three major EPSRC Programme Grants totalling £18 million for work in the fields of information and communications technology. These projects are each expected to make a major contribution to ICT research.
DAASE (Dynamic Adaptive Automated Software Engineering) is a four-site project between UCL, Birmingham, Stirling and York, which also has a growing list of industrial partners.
Current software development processes are expensive, laborious and error prone. They achieve adaptivity at only a glacial pace, largely through enormous human effort, forcing highly skilled engineers to waste significant time adapting many tedious implementation details. Often, the resulting software is equally inflexible, forcing users to also rely on their innate human adaptivity to find “workarounds”. Yet software is one of the most inherently flexible engineering materials with which we have worked; DAASE seeks to use computational search as an overall approach to achieve the software’s full potential for flexibility and adaptivity. In so-doing we will be creating new ways to develop and deploy software.
This new approach to software engineering places computational search at the heart of the processes and products it creates, and embeds adaptivity into both. DAASE will also create an array of new processes, methods, techniques and tools for a new kind of software engineering, radically transforming the theory and practice of software engineering.
UCL, Cambridge University and the University of Leeds are opening up the terahertz spectrum for widespread application through COTS (Coherent Terahertz Systems), an EPSRC-funded research programme.
The terahertz (THz) frequency region within the electromagnetic spectrum covers a frequency range of about one hundred times that currently occupied by all radio, television, cellular radio, Wi-Fi, radar and other users, and has proven and potential applications ranging from molecular spectroscopy through to communications, high resolution imaging (e.g. in the medical and pharmaceutical sectors) and security screening. Yet, the underpinning technology for the generation and detection of radiation in this spectral range remains severely limited, being based principally on Ti:sapphire (femtosecond) pulsed laser and photoconductive detector technology, the THz equivalent of the spark transmitter and coherer receiver for radio signals. The THz frequency range therefore does not benefit from the coherent techniques routinely used at microwave/optical frequencies.
Our vision is to open up the THz spectrum for widespread scientific and commercial application, through the use of photonics-enabled coherent techniques. This will be achieved by bringing together optical communications technology-based techniques, for the generation of high spectral purity continuous wave (CW) THz frequency signals, with state of-the-art THz quantum cascade laser (QCL) technology.
UNLOC – UNLocking the capacity of Optical Communications, is a Programme Grant funded by EPSRC to research the future of optical communication systems. It is a collaboration between researchers at UCL and Aston University, together with 13 industrial partners.
It is recognised that global communication systems are rapidly approaching the fundamental information capacity of current optical fibre transmission technologies. This will have a devastating impact on the economy – leading to either a capacity cap or price increase. Both will impair economic growth.
UNLOC research is on new approaches to unlocking the capacity of future information systems that go beyond the limits of current optical communications systems: combining techniques from information theory, coding, study of advanced modulation formats, digital signal processing and advanced photonic concepts to make possible breakthrough developments to ensure a robust communications infrastructure for the future.