Loughborough, United Kingdom

Loughborough University

Loughborough, United Kingdom

Loughborough University is a public research university located in the market town of Loughborough, Leicestershire, in the East Midlands of England. In March 2013, the university announced it had acquired the former broadcast centre at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park which it plans to open as a second campus in 2015. It was a member of the 1994 Group until the group was dissolved in November 2013. The university recently won its seventh Queen's Anniversary Prize, awarded for the relevance of its research.It has been a university since 1966, but the institution dates back to 1909, when the then Loughborough Technical Institute began with a focus on skills and knowledge which would be directly applicable in the wider world. Loughborough ranks particularly highly for engineering and technology and is noted for its sports-related courses and achievements. Wikipedia.

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Loughborough University | Date: 2017-05-31

The present invention provides assay devices having a unitary body with an exterior surface, the unitary body being substantially transparent to visible light and formed from a material having a refractive index in the range 1.26 to 1.40, the refractive index being measured at 20 C with light of wavelength 589 nm, and wherein the unitary body is formed from a hydrophobic material, and at least two capillary bores extending internally along the unitary body, wherein at least a portion of the surface of each capillary bore includes a hydrophilic layer for retaining an assay reagent, and wherein the hydrophilic layer is also substantially transparent to visible light to allow optical interrogation of the capillary bores through the capillary wall. The present invention also provides assay systems including such assay devices, methods of performing an assay using such assay devices and method of method for manufacturing such assay devices.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-04-2015 | Award Amount: 6.83M | Year: 2016

Environmental heating is a growing challenge for our community and problems are already experienced by millions of Europeans during the summertime and aggravated during heat waves or occupational settings. In addition to the well-known health risks related to severe heat stress, a number of studies have confirmed significant loss of productivity due to hyperthermia. Even if countries adopt the EU proposal for limiting global CO2 emissions, climate change and its associated threat to public health will continue for many decades. Thus, it is crucial to develop strategies to mitigate the detrimental health and societal effects of these environmental changes. Stakeholders such as policy makers and the private sector usually lack the technical capabilities or facilities to conduct R&D activities at the level of excellence required for such development. European research institutes have the capacity to conduct the R&D necessary to develop solutions. However, they often lack the capacity to transform these solutions into policies and assess their health, economic and social benefits. The HEAT-SHIELD project will create a sustainable inter-sector framework that will promote health as well as productivity for European citizens in the context of global warming. The project will produce a series of state-of-the-art innovative outcomes including: (i) appropriate technical and biophysical research-based solutions to be implemented when the ambient temperature poses a health threat or impairs productivity (ii) a weather-based warning system with online open access service that anticipates the events that may pose a threat to workers health; (iii) scenario-specific policies and solutions aimed at health promotion and preventing loss of productivity (iv) implementation of the formulated policies and evaluation of their health, economic and social benefits. Consequently, the HEAT-SHIELD project provides a multi-sector approach to address the serious environmental challenge.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2016 | Award Amount: 711.00K | Year: 2017

Many dynamical processes in natural sciences are organized by invariant objects that behave in rather simple ways under time evolution, such as equilibria, periodic orbits, or higher-dimensional invariant surfaces. These objects and the invariant manifolds attached to them act as landmarks that organize the behavior of other trajectories and yield a qualitative description of the dynamics. By computing strategically chosen landmarks, one can obtain considerable information of the possible behaviors of the system. This strategy is particularly fruitful in Hamiltonian systems, in which a large number of invariant manifolds coexist. For example, it has been realized in recent years that Transition State theory, a framework first developed in chemistry and then applied to other fields of science, relies on the existence of invariant manifolds in phase space. These manifolds encode the essential dynamics of various reorganization processes. The objective of this RISE proposal is to build a multidisciplinary exchange programme around the determination of invariant dynamical objects which encompass applied mathematics, atomic and molecular physics, chemistry and celestial mechanics. The project aims at linking mathematicians, physicists and chemists to identify the universal mechanisms behind dynamical transition processes. The proposed collaborative project will be coordinated by the School of Mathematics of Loughborough University, and will involve the Department of Mathematics of the University of Barcelona, the Center for Theoretical Physics (CNRS / Aix Marseille University), the Physics Department of the Polytechnic University of Madrid, the Chemistry Department at the Universidad Autnoma of Madrid and the Physics Department at the University of Stuttgart. The third country partners are Georgia Institute of Technology, represented by the School of Mathematics and the School of Physics and Johns Hopkins University, represented by the School of Chemistry.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-21-2015 | Award Amount: 5.17M | Year: 2016

Background We propose a holistic view of interrelated frailties: cognitive decline, physical frailty, depression and anxiety, social isolation and poor sleep quality, which are a major burden to older adults and social and health care systems. Early detection and intervention are crucial in sustaining active and healthy ageing (AHA) and slowing or reversing further decline. Aims and Relevance The main aim of my-AHA is to reduce frailty risk by improving physical activity and cognitive function, psychological state, social resources, nutrition, sleep and overall well-being. It will empower older citizens to better manage their own health, resulting in healthcare cost savings. my-AHA will use state-of-the-art analytical concepts to provide new ways of health monitoring and disease prevention through individualized profiling and personalized recommendations, feedback and support. Approach An ICT-based platform will detect defined risks in the frailty domains early and accurately via non-stigmatising embedded sensors and data readily available in the daily living environment of older adults. When risk is detected, my-AHA will provide targeted ICT-based interventions with a scientific evidence base of efficacy, including vetted offerings from established providers of medical and AHA support. These interventions will follow an integrated approach to motivate users to participate in exercise, cognitively stimulating games and social networking to achieve long-term behavioural change, sustained by continued end user engagement with my-AHA. Scale and Sustainability The proposed platform provides numerous incentives to engage diverse stakeholders, constituting a sustainable ecosystem with empowered end users and reliable standardised interfaces for solutions providers, which will be ready for larger scale deployment at project end. The ultimate aim is to deliver significant innovation in the area of AHA by cooperation with European health care organizations, SMEs, NGOs.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: Shift2Rail-RIA | Phase: S2R-OC-IP3-01-2016 | Award Amount: 5.00M | Year: 2016

The overall aim of the S-CODE project is to investigate, develop, validate and initially integrate radically new concepts for switches and crossings that have the potential to lead to increases in capacity, reliability and safety while reducing investment and operating costs. The S-CODE project will identify radically different technology concepts that can be integrated together to achieve significantly improved performance for S&C based around new operating concepts (e.g. super-fast switching, self-healing switch). The project will build on existing European and national research projects (in particular, the lighthouse project In2Rail, Capacity4Rail and Innotrack) to bring together technologies and concepts that will significantly reduce the constraints associated with existing switch technologies and develop a radically different solution. The project will be divided into three phases: Phase 1: Requirements and initial design - focusing on understanding constraints and critical requirements, and developing a radically different architecture and operation that makes use of technologies from other domains; Phase 2: Technical development - undertaking detailed modelling and simulation to identify an optimal configuration to maximise performance; Phase 3: Validation and evaluation - testing (to TRL4) the design concepts and formally evaluating their performance in order that an integrated design can be presented for further development.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: MG-1.2-2015 | Award Amount: 6.83M | Year: 2016

For decades, most of the aviation research activities have been focused on the reduction of noise and NOx and CO2 emissions. However, emissions from aircraft gas turbine engines of non-volatile PM, consisting primarily of soot particles, are of international concern today. Despite the lack of knowledge toward soot formation processes and characterization in terms of mass and size, engine manufacturers have now to deal with both gas and particles emissions. Furthermore, heat transfer understanding, that is also influenced by soot radiation, is an important matter for the improvement of the combustors durability, as the key point when dealing with low-emissions combustor architectures is to adjust the air flow split between the injection system and the combustors walls. The SOPRANO initiative consequently aims at providing new elements of knowledge, analysis and improved design tools, opening the way to: Alternative designs of combustion systems for future aircrafts that will enter into service after 2025 capable of simultaneously reducing gaseous pollutants and particles, Improved liner lifetime assessment methods. Therefore, the SOPRANO project will deliver more accurate experimental and numerical methodologies for predicting the soot emissions in academic or semi-technical combustion systems. This will contribute to enhance the comprehension of soot particles formation and their impact on heat transfer through radiation. In parallel, the durability of cooling liner materials, related to the walls air flow rate, will be addressed by heat transfer measurements and predictions. Finally, the expected contribution of SOPRANO is to apply these developments in order to determine the main promising concepts, in the framework of current low-NOx technologies, able to control the emitted soot particles in terms of mass and size over a large range of operating conditions without compromising combustors liner durability and performance toward NOx emissions.

Mortimer R.J.,Loughborough University
Annual Review of Materials Research | Year: 2011

Electrochromic materials have the property of a change, evocation, or bleaching of color as effected either by an electron-transfer (redox) process or by a sufficient electrochemical potential. The main classes of electrochromic materials are surveyed here, with descriptions of representative examples from the metal oxides, viologens (in solution and as adsorbed or polymeric films), conjugated conducting polymers, metal coordination complexes (as polymeric, evaporated, or sublimed films), and metal hexacyanometallates. Examples of the applications of such electrochromic materials are included. Other materials aspects important for the construction of electrochromic devices include optically transparent electrodes, electrolyte layers, and device encapsulation. Commercial successes, current trends, and future challenges in electrochromic materials research and development are summarized. © 2011 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 5.09M | Year: 2016

Energy is a key driver of economic and sustainable social welfare. It is an essential prerequisite for modern industry and commerce. The need to decarbonise the energy supply is generally accepted and solar photovoltaics (PV) will play a large role in this in both the UK and India. The two countries have seen very rapid installation since both countries introduced their respective market stimulation programmes in 2010, cumulative installations have risen to 5GW (India) and 8.5 GW (UK) by December 2015. This has had a very significant impact on the power system and may endanger quality of supply or grid reliability. JUICE will focus on tools to understand and quantify the associated issues, find the most economical way to ameliorate or control the issues generated. PV can often be located near to load centres but its temporal alignment with conventional demand profiles is far from perfect. Electricity at the wrong time or in the wrong place has very little value and there are already numerous examples of PV (and other sources) having to be curtailed when local demand or capability to transport it are insufficient. As the penetration of installed PV increases, so too does the need for its effective integration into power systems at all levels and including both national and localised networks. Energy storage and demand-side response will play a big role in this as well as managing grid capacity. JUICE would be investigating the amount of generation of PV, the stress this is putting on the network, the cost and benefits of mitigation technology options (storage and demand shift). The inclusion of storage and PV places relatively large power electronic converters into the system, which may also allow further services to stabilise the network to be viable technically as well as economically. It is key to address these challenges across the different research communities, as changes in one technology may change the boundary conditions for others and e.g. economics may change drastically. JUICE will, as an example, look at the viability of storage technologies in dependence of quantity of installed PV, local demand and transfer capacity. JUICE will bring together internationally leading experts in PV technology, applied PV systems, power electronics, electricity networks, energy storage and demand-side response; and through their combined efforts, will develop integrated solutions to ensure that the value of PV generation is optimised in both India and the UK. The techniques and solutions developed will also be readily transferable to many other countries that face similar challenges and contribute to increase economic and environmental welfare in developing and developed countries. The breadth of experience and skills brought by the collective UK and India teams is appropriate to the scale of the problem and will encourage development of novel concepts and solutions to these global challenges. In the UK, the team has been drawn from the national flagship SuperGen projects: SuperSolar, HubNet and SuperStore, which specialise in PV, networks and energy storage respectively. In India, world-leading universities and researchers will be led by IIT-KGP and IIT-B. JUICE will focus on a value optimisation for the end user, i.e. meeting demand at the lowest economic and environmental cost. Specific topics to be addressed include: PV yield optimisation and localisation, transmission and distribution network stability and utilisation, microgrids, the control and lifetime of storage and its role alongside demand response. The overarching integrative management of the centre will ensure that the specific technical developments undertaken by the partners are coordinated and effective in contributing to the overall aims of providing improved energy services, lowering environmental impacts and minimising costs.

Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 856.81K | Year: 2017

Solar technology provides an affordable, reliable and secure source of energy. It is a vital part of the energy supply mix needed to mitigate climate change. Module production has increased at an astonishing 35%p.a. compound rate over the past 15 years to 60GW in 2016. Over 12GW of solar modules has already been installed in the UK. The solar research area is rich in scientific and commercial opportunity. The Supergen SuperSolar Hub has established an inclusive and co-ordinated network for the Photovoltaics (PV) research community in the UK. The Hub engages with stakeholders in Universities, Industry, Finance and Government. The SuperSolar Hub has achieved impact by reaching out to the wider community through its Associate and Network membership (589 members). It has also worked with other Hubs on cross-cutting topics such as energy storage and grid integration. A 12 month extension of the Hub will enable it to continue supporting the UK Solar community to April 2018 including 12 events, a further Call for Industrial and International engagement and support for SESSIG (Solar Energy Industry Special Interest Group). We will also maintain UKAS ISO-17025 accreditation for the SuperSolar cell efficiency measurement facility. The Supergen Supersolar Hub comprises eight of the UKs leading University teams engaged in the development of photovoltaic technologies. The Hub was quick to recognise the importance of the development of perovskite solar cells at Oxford University and has funded complementary research programmes in Hub member and Associate member laboratories through its flexible funding. The speed of progress made with perovskite solar cells has been unprecedented and conversion efficiencies of >22% have been reported. The technology has serious commercial potential. World-wide competition is fierce, but the UK effort, co-ordinated by the SuperSolar Hub, has helped to maintain our leadership position. The research programme proposed will address the key issue of perovskite device stability with the ambitious objective of fabricating devices with >20% efficiency and >1,000 hours lifetime and less than 5% degradation when stressed under sunlight. The programme also includes the objective of achieving >25% efficiency with a perovskite/silicon tandem solar device. Achievement of these objectives will generate further valuable IP and take the technology closer to commercialization.

Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Fellowship | Award Amount: 843.48K | Year: 2017

As part of the Energy Efficiency Directive, the UK has committed to a 20% increase in energy efficiency, a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20% and an increased share of renewable energy sources (compared to 1990 levels) by 2020. To address these challenges a stable and diverse range of energy sources will need to be developed and, unsurprisingly, this has been the focus of an intense international research effort. The associated research challenges can be loosely categorised into renewable sources (solar, wind, tidal), sustainable sources (e.g. carbon capture, fusion), and micro generation (e.g. energy harvesting from thermal, light, sound, or vibrational sources). One example of such sources is the harvesting of waste heat with thermoelectric generators (TEGs), a technology that has the advantage of reliability (no moving parts), but is limited by high costs (use of critical elements such as Te) and low efficiencies (<10% for a 200K temperature difference). Given the abundant sources of waste heat in everyday life (boilers, engines, computers, district heat networks), development of low-cost TEGs that could easily be applied to various surfaces could present a significant vector for change. For example, harvesting just 5% of the energy lost as waste heat by car engines in the UK would save the equivalent of 1 hundred thousand equivalent tonnes of oil per year (or ~1% of the UKs total energy usage in 2014). Conventional TEGs are typically based on the Seebeck effect: a physical process that results in the generation of an electric current when a temperature difference exists between two ends of a material. One of the bottlenecks for improvement of the efficiency of these devices is the co-dependence of two key material properties: the thermal and electric conductivity. Whilst some progress has been made to circumvent this by nano-engineering, there is still some way to go before widespread commercialisation becomes viable. This could, however, be overcome with TEGs based on the spin Seebeck effect, where an additional degree of freedom - the spin of the electrons - results in a device architecture that scales with surface area (unlike conventional thermoelectrics), enables separation of the thermal and electric conductivities that drive the efficiency of the device and boasts active materials that could be sourced from abundant sources (such as iron or copper, rather than bismuth telluride). The aim of this Fellowship is to investigate the spin Seebeck effect with regards to its application as a TEG. There are 5 key challenges that will be addressed: (1) precise determination of the efficiency of such spin Seebeck based TEGs; (2) discovery of new materials (from abundant sources); (3) development of prototype TEGs; (4) identifying the controlling factors with regards to the efficiency of the overall device; and (5) understanding the underlying physics of this effect. For example, harnessing the maximum spin polarised current generated by the spin Seebeck effect typically requires the use of expensive platinum contacts. For such technology to become economically viable would therefore require discovery of cheaper alternatives, such as the doped metals that will be investigated. In addition, precise characterisation of the spin Seebeck effect is limited by instrumentation that typically only monitors the temperature difference (rather than heat flow), hence instrumentation will be developed to monitor both these parameters so that the power conversion can be determined. There is also, as of yet, no comprehensive coefficient that can be used to compare different material systems (such as the Seebeck coefficient for conventional thermoelectrics), nor a rigorously tested figure of merit. Once this has been established, a comprehensive comparison of different materials and engineering of the overall device can be made.

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