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Engineering a bright future for PhD research at Bath

Undergraduates studying a PhD in Electronic Engineering at the University of Bath set to benefit from five new funded programmes

Posted by Rebecca Paddick | November 28, 2015 | Finance, legal, HR

Alumnus Dr Brian Nicholson has pledged to support five PhDs over the next 10 years in the field of Electronic Engineering, a gift totalling £174,000. These new scholarships follow the success of earlier funding from Dr Nicholson who previously supported PhD student Ben Metcalfe in his studies.

Dr Nicholson graduated from Bath in 1995 with a BEng Electrical & Electronic Engineering and then went onto complete a PhD in the same subject which he finished in 1998. Dr Nicholson is currently a senior barrister, specialising in intellectual property cases involving complex electronic and computing content.

"We are immensely grateful to Brian for his generous support. It has allowed us to retain some of our very best undergraduate students and given them a fabulous opportunity to engage in research of their own choosing"

The first of five PhD funding to be awarded has gone to Jonathan Graham-Harper-Cater who graduated from Bath in July. Jonathan has just started his three year PhD Research Programme in Electronic and Electrical Engineering and will be exploring the ways in which processing systems similar to brains may be implemented, providing new insights into improving processor efficiency, large scale parallel processing and machine learning. This research may unlock new opportunities in robotics and general processing applications, with the potential of also allowing further research into the structure, function and design of the human brain.

Jonathan said: “The funding provided by Dr Nicholson has given me the freedom to research topics which lie within areas of personal interest. I am very grateful to Brian for offering this wonderful opportunity. 

Lecturer in the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering Dr Chris Clarke is supervising Jonathan’s PhD. He said: “We are immensely grateful to Brian for his generous support. It has allowed us to retain some of our very best undergraduate students and given them a fabulous opportunity to engage in research of their own choosing.” 

All of the research carried out by the University’s Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering was recently ranked ‘internationally excellent’ (3*) and ‘world-leading’ (4*) for its impact by the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), an independent assessment of UK university research activity.

Read UB's interview with the University of Bath's Vice Chancellor here

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