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University of Warwick wins over £10 million funding for Centres for Doctoral Training in modelling of systems

· Over 100 PhD students to be trained over ten years

· £5.5 million for Centre for Doctoral Training in Modelling of Heterogeneous Systems (HetSys) complemented by over £1 million from University and partners

· £4.6 million for Mathematics for Real-World Systems II Centre for Doctoral Training, complemented by £2 million from the University and external partners

· Part of £446 million invested in skills development across the UK

University of Warwick logoThe University of Warwick is to benefit from over £10 million in funding for two cutting-edge centres to train the next generation of doctoral level students in one of the UK’s most significant investments in research skills.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) will announce today (4th February) the successful bids for Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs). Following a year of intense competition, the two successful bids from the University of Warwick are: Centre for Doctoral Training in Modelling of Heterogeneous Systems (HetSys) led by Professor Julie Staunton and the Mathematics for Real-World Systems II Centre for Doctoral Training led by Professor Magnus Richardson.

Together these CDTs represent a £10 million endorsement by the EPSRC of Warwick’s excellent track record in modelling in the physical and mathematical sciences. Over 100 PhD students will be trained over the next decade in cutting-edge computational and mathematical techniques to address pressing societal demands across the physical, biomedical and industrial sectors.

Professor Pam Thomas, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University of Warwick, said:

“Warwick’s level of research excellence in the physical and mathematical sciences is among the very highest in the UK. The new HetSys and MathSys-II renewal CDTs continue this tradition. Through core training in state-of-the-art mathematical and computational techniques, the programmes will meet the needs of end-user partners from across the biomedical, materials and industrial sectors. Both CDTs build on Warwick’s strong interdisciplinary roots and will promote a collaborative and inclusive research and computing culture in the UK and internationally.”

The Centres will be funded through EPSRC, which has allocated £444 million and a further £2.2 million from The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

The newly announced Centre for Doctoral Training in Modelling of Heterogeneous Systems (HetSys) will be based at the University of Warwick and will attract top research talent from across the UK and internationally to the Midlands. Fifty new PhD students will tackle pressing societal challenges ranging from nanoscale devices, new catalysts, superalloys, smart fluids and energy from fusion thanks to an investment of £5.5 million in funding from the EPSRC, complemented by over £1 million from the University and external partners plus a further £3 million of in-kind support.

The unique cohort experience and bespoke training programme, which includes transferable computing skills, will enable students to work across the University’s departments of Physics, Engineering, Chemistry and Mathematics and the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG). HetSys will train enthusiastic students from across the physical sciences who enjoy using their mathematical skills and thinking flexibly to solve complex problems. Engagement from 14 industrial and 12 international partners keen to collaborate with HetSys shows the fresh approach has already resonated beyond academia.

Professor Julie Staunton from the Department of Physics, who will lead HetSys together with Dr James Kermode from the Department of Engineering, said: “The message from our partners is that HetSys is very timely and ideally positioned to have a big impact. Most importantly the key players are the PhD students who will drive the success of HetSys. They will inspire new ideas, approaches and innovation and become future leaders in extending and developing new technologies of national importance.”

For more information on HetSys see:

The University has also announced EPSRC funding for a new phase of the Mathematics for Real-World Systems (MathSys) Centre for Doctoral Training, which will receive £4.6 million from the EPSRC, complemented by £2 million from the University and external partners. Over the next decade it will train fifty PhD students in the advanced quantitative skills and applied mathematical modelling critical to address the contemporary challenges arising from biomedicine and health sectors, modern industry and the digital economy.

Professor Magnus Richardson, Director of MathSys, said: “Building on the highly successful first phase of MathSys, our training will focus on two cross-cutting methodological themes which we consider key to complex multi-scale systems prediction: modelling across spatial and temporal scales; and hybrid modelling integrating complex data and mechanistic models. These themes pervade many areas of active research and will shape mathematical and computational modelling for the coming decades.”

The core element of the CDT will be productive and impactful research engagement with end-users. This has already been a distinguishing feature of the first phase of the MathSys CDT and has led to a very strong endorsement for phase II, with over 25 external partners committing £1.5M in direct and in-kind support

The Centre for Doctoral Training is led by Professor Magnus Richardson and co-directed by Professors Colm Connaughton and Matt Keeling, the directors of the two hosting research centres (Complexity Science and the SBIDER centre for mathematical biology).

For more information please:

Science and Innovation Minister Chris Skidmore said: “As we explore new research to boost our economy with an increase of over £7 billion invested in R&D over five years to 2021/22 – the highest increase for over 40 years – we will need skilled people to turn ideas into inventions that can have a positive impact on our daily lives.

“The Centres for Doctoral Training at universities across the country will offer the next generation of PhD students the ability to get ahead of the curve. In addition, this has resulted in nearly £400 million being leveraged from industry partners. This is our modern Industrial Strategy in action, ensuring all corners of the UK thrive with the skills they need for the jobs of tomorrow.”

“As Science Minister, I’m delighted we’re making this massive investment in postgraduate students as part of our increased investment in R&D.”

4 February 2019


Peter Thorley
Media Relations Manager (Warwick Medical School and Department of Physics)

Email: peter dot thorley at warwick dot ac dot uk

Tel: +44 (0)24 761 50868

Mob: +44 (0) 7824 540863