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2018 Team Challenge Presentation

last modified Aug 01, 2018 10:44 AM

 

The Sensor CDT MRes students will be giving a final presentation of their fabulous Team Challenge at 10.30am on 17 August 2018 in Lecture Theatre 1, Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology (Philippa Fawcett Drive, Cambridge CB3 0AS).  Everyone is welcome to attend so why not come along and see just what we've been doing over the last few months?

To being everyone up to date, last week the team set out to collect data, but the experiment was compromised by the occasional torrential rainfall. Nonetheless, it was a memorable experience, and a good test run for another attempt at the same experiment this week. Excitingly, sensor hub production is now also running at full speed: we have ordered enough components to build fifty devices, and assembly is about to begin!

Science Makers: 3D Printing for Science - Saturday 5 May

last modified Apr 26, 2018 03:33 PM
SynBio SRI Join us on Saturday 5 May for Science Makers: 3D Printing for Science! This will also be a great opportunity to share ideas and find collaborators for Biomaker Challenge 2018

3D printing opens up a world of custom science instrumentation that can be instantly shared and fabricated around the world. It has been used to build precision microscopes and alignment tools, modify all manner of standard lab kit, visualise 3D structures from imaging data and more.

In this Science Makers, we'll look at a whole range of ideas for 3D printing in science with both plastics and biomaterials. There will be an opportunity to try out some activities and play with hardware in the afternoon following lunch. Please bring along anything 3D-printed that you would like to show and tell!

Science Makers is a monthly event to discuss and build low-cost, DIY and open hardware for science and education.

 

https://www.meetup.com/Cambridge-Synthetic-Biology-Meetup/events/jjmvgpyxhbhb/

Addressing civil engineering challenges

last modified Feb 05, 2018 11:45 AM
Sensor CDT students teamed up with students and staff from the Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction to think collectively about sensor solutions to challenges in the built environment.

Students from all Sensor CDT cohorts teamed up with students and staff from the Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction to find potential sensor solutions for a variety of challenges and questions in civil engineering and the built environment.

a_challenge

The discussion focused around the detection of cracks and corrosion in steel reinforced concrete, the effects of salt and air pollution on masonry structures and drain blockages.

team_working_1

Together the students developed potential solutions and road maps for future research with the aim to initiate new collaborative networks, linking Cambridge University with other national and international centres of excellence in the field as well as with industry.

presentaion

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Arduino workshop

last modified Jun 17, 2016 01:51 PM
The Sensor CDT students ran a sell-out workshop on how to use Arduino micro controllers in research labs

Arduino workshop

How to use Arduinos in your research

 

A team of first and second year Sensor CDT students ran an extremely enjoyable and successful one day workshop on how to use Arduino micro controllers for research applications.

The examples were very well designed.

It was very nice that there were such helpful assistants.

Exactly the kind of level and detail expected.

Very much worth the trip from London.

Great fun! Thanks

attendees 2

group 3 group 2

Interdisciplinary

The workshop, held in the Department of Engineering, was attended by 40 undergraduate and PhD students, researchers and professors from Departments across the University, including Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Computer laboratory and Zoology. In addition researchers from other universities and industrial R&D staff also attended.

Beginners and advanced users

During the workshop beginners and advanced user alike learned how to read sensor data from analog and digital devices, use interrupt routines and control lab equipment. Controlling the speed of an electric motor was used to demonstrate the capabilities and limitations of Arduino micro controllers.

oliver v 2

complete system bogdan 2

Missed out on this workshop?

We are planning to run similar workshops in the future, so watch this space.

Arrival of the first cohort of CDT student

last modified Oct 14, 2014 09:28 PM
The first cohort of 10 Sensor CDT students has arrived this week.

The first cohort of ten students have embarked on the Sensor CDT course this week. The students, with undergraduate degrees in physics, engineering, biochemistry and biology, have been selected out of a large competitive field of applicants. The three women and seven men come from universities in the UK, Europe and the Far East. The Sensor CDT will offer them a well rounded postgraduate education, providing in-depth technical knowledge, entrepreneurial and business skills and plenty of opportunities to work in teams as well as individually. Mentoring and placements offered by the Sensor CDT's industrial partners will support their research and learning.

From left to right the students are:

Back row: Philip Mair, James Manton, Josie Hughes, Richard Hall, Tiesheng Wang, Oliver Bonner

Front row: Geraldine Baekelandt, Isabella Miele, Omar Ajad, Vitaly Levdik

Assisted Living Technologies

last modified Feb 07, 2017 01:15 PM
Sensor CDT start-up company looking for first round funding. Presentation 21 Feb 2017, 4pm, Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, West Site, Cambridge.
Six students from the first cohort have started a company to develop a technology platform which will help older people to live in their own homes for longer, allowing them to retain their independence and save money.

The start-up of Cambridge Assisted Living Technologies is based on the outcome from the Team Challenge for the first cohort of Sensor CDT students and has already caught the attention of local media (Cambridge TV & Cambridge Evening News) and two FTSE 100 insurance companies who the students are in active discussions with.

The students will present their technology at an event to be held in the

new Chemical Engineering Department building, West Cambridge
at 16:00
on Tuesday 21st February.

They hope to further increase their exposure through the presentation, and hopefully secure their first round of investment.
 
To register please visit the Cambridge Assisted Living Technologies website: 

Best poster prize for Sensor CDT Student at the Graduate Conference 2018

last modified May 21, 2018 04:04 PM
Sensor CDT student Oliver Vanderpoorten has accomplished yet another milestone in his excellent work. He received the second year poster prize for his research on "Two-photon lithography for nanofluidic device fabrication".

His research was presented during the CEB Graduate Conference, which took place on Wednesday the 25th and Thursday the 26th of April.

Details of further winners can be found on https://www.ceb.cam.ac.uk/news/news-list/graduate-conference-2018

Biomaker Challenge - deadline extended to 21 July

last modified Jul 11, 2017 02:15 PM
A four-month challenge to build low-cost sensors and instruments for biology

Biomaker challenge_v2.png

OpenPlant, CamBridgeSens SRN and the Synthetic Biology SRI are hosting an interdisciplinary challenge across Cambridge and Norwich. Calling all biologists looking to improve their research and pick up some electronics knowledge, engineers looking to apply their skills and gain experience of practical biology or anyone who is just curious and interested.

Participating teams will each receive a Biomaker Toolkit and a discretionary budget for additional sensors, components, consumables and 3D-printing worth up to £1000. All teams will exhibit their device at the Biomaker Fayre on Saturday October 21st 2017, as part of an open technology exhibition. 

More information and how to apply can be found on the Biomaker website.

CamBike Update: 15 August 2018

last modified Aug 17, 2018 01:02 PM

Another week was filled with preparations for the children’s workshop that we hosted yesterday at the Centre for Computing History (http://www.computinghistory.org.uk), and with chasing the last missing components. We are also preparing for the presentation of our first results on Friday in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at 10:30am.

Ready, steady, solder!

Yesterday, the team hosted a workshop at the Centre for Computing History, in which children and their parents came together to build their very own bike sensors. After a short introduction to the project idea, with the soldering irons already hot, everyone got started. And as (almost) always in electronics, it involved testing lots of connections and subtly adjusting them. We hope that everyone enjoyed it and we’d like to thank everyone who came!

Team Challenge Soldering

A new casing design: Incorporating the PCB

To make assembly easier, we spent the last weeks designing a PCB - a printed circuit board. Its “plug-and-play” design allows you to stick in components you’d like to use and then mount it easily on your bike. And it’s much smaller than you’d think! 

Finally: We are starting distribution

We have identified several days on which we are able to host distribution events. You can find them in a google form on our website. We will implement a lending scheme in the first instance, where you receive a sensor from us and keep it for 1 to 3 weeks. In case something breaks, you can just bring it back to us and we will repair it. If you want to continue to contribute to the project after that, we can give you a sensor to keep. The distribution event will take less than an hour (including an introduction to how the sensor works) and we will help fit in on your bike. The team is based in West Cambridge and we therefore offer a number of “lunchtime” slots where we are very flexible. Just drop by the reception of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology anytime between 11am and 2pm and get your sensor! Some of the afternoon events will be held in the Cambridge Makespace in the city centre for those who can’t easily come to West Cambridge. In short, please sign up on our website!

What’s next?

We will continue to distribute sensors - so please fill in the form online to let us know when you are free. Or just drop us an email! The team will go on holiday during early September so you will hear a bit less from us for a bit, but don’t worry, we’ll be back!

CamBike Update: 22 August 2018

last modified Aug 22, 2018 09:25 AM
CamBike Update: 22 August 2018

The CamBike Team

It’s been an intense week for the CamBike Team, with a presentation at the Department and distribution of more sensors to excited volunteers. Read on to learn more!

Distribution: preliminary data and call for action

The team is happy to present some preliminary data from our first volunteers! There will be 40 devices ready to give out starting from next Monday. If you want to try out a sensor, just sign up via this form: https://goo.gl/forms/esNncLXT2tRkQULg2.

CamBike Cycle Map
Data collection by an avid cycler (PM2.5, scaled).

Final presentation: impressions and received feedback

The team would like to thank everyone who came to the presentation last Friday. To see what happened, you can watch the talk (and Q&A) on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vhAq0Hn8HY. The feedback received was consistently positive and the CamBike team hopes you will enjoy it as well!

Casing: a design to show off

Inspired by the visiting artist’s ‘future vision’, the team got to work to design an affordable but durable casing. Laser-cutting was chosen as a scalable method that can work with cheap wooden and acrylic materials. The result is a waterproof (but not airtight) box that shows off the custom-made electronics inside!

CamBike Box

Finally, an assembled CamBike Sensor

What’s next? For now, holiday season…

After 10 very intense weeks, the team deserves a short break. The members will start to depart home at the end of this week. The team will come back to you with more news in two weeks. Don’t worry, there will be air quality data from at least 7 countries to make up for it!

CamBike Update: 6 September 2018

last modified Sep 06, 2018 10:39 AM

The CamBike team members have been enjoying their (well-deserved) holiday and of course combined it with some data collection. Read on to also learn more about the first major distribution event!

Distribution

The first batch of CamBike sensors in wooden boxes has hit the road! The sensors were given out to interested members of the public and the first data have already been collected! Here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjvYY4-ono8) you can watch a video about the distribution event!

The new design: PDB and wood - no more loose connections, waterproof, not airtight, good-looking.

The new design: PDB and wood - no more loose connections, waterproof, not airtight, good-looking

Sensor Hub

First Data

Insights into the sensor hub and first data (scaled)

Greetings from the Alps

A part of the team spent their holidays in the Alps, enjoying the good air and wonderful hikes. Of course, a CamBike sensor was brought along. Here is some data and a truly wonderful picture of the landscape.

Box in Alps

Alps Data

Data collection can be so much fun, especially in a landscape like this.

What’s next? For now, stilll holiday season…

The team is still scattered around Europe but will come back to you with the next newsletter in two weeks. Don’t worry, there will be air quality data from more countries to make up for it! There will also be another distribution event on 17 September and if you registered on our (waiting) list, we will send you an email closer to the time with more information. The whole team will be back in Cambridge on 24 September. But if you have any questions or problems with the sensors, don't hesitate to contact us!

CamBike Update: 8 August 2018

last modified Aug 13, 2018 01:26 PM

Thank you to everyone who attended the Makeathon at Cambridge Makespace on 3 August 2018.  There were lots of interesting discussions and sketches of new ideas, and by the end of the day even a real-life induction-charging system.

Graduating from tape to cable tie: designing mounting systems

Before the Makeathon, the team were using tape to attach the hubs to their bikes, a rather cumbersome ‘solution’ to the mounting problem. During the Makeathon, many new ideas for the casing and mounting were suggested, and one brave volunteer took home a cable tie-attached sensor for a first test run.

A farewell to wires: the production of a printed circuit board

We’ve been designing a printed circuit board (PCB) for our sensor hub, which will allow us to pack all our different components into as little space as possible. Our PCB is technically a printed wiring board: the board contains plugs that fit the pins associated with each of our components, and copper wires within the board provide the right point-to-point connections between the plugs, allowing the components to interact in the right way. With the PCB, you will therefore be able to simply plug all components into place to assemble the system, and so there will no longer be a risk of the hub malfunctioning due to important wires coming loose!

Makespace Upgrade

Cambridge EPSRC Centre in Sensor Technologies announced

last modified Apr 16, 2014 02:38 PM
The department of Chemical Engineering will host the EPSRC CDT in Sensor Technologies and Applications, which will involve 50 academics and 20 departments across the University of Cambridge. The programme is strongly supported by leading industries who have committed to the programme with studentships and training.
"I am thrilled about this development", says Professor Clemens Kaminski, director of the CDT.  "Sensor research has become a vastly complex and multidisplinary activity and has to be recognised as an academic discipline in its own right.  The CDT will function like a virtual superdepartment in Cambridge, providing training for more than 50 outstanding PhD students to produce the next generation of leaders in the field."

The CDT builds on the foundations of CamBridgeSens, the University's network for sensor research.  It brings together world-leading expertise, infrastructure and people from more than 20 departments across Cambridge.  The programme will be underpinned by a consortium of industrial partners, which is tightly integrated into the CDT and through its needs and engagement will inform its direction. In the first year of their 4 year PhD programme, student cohorts will attend specialised lectures, practicals and research mini-projects, to receive training in a
range of topics underpinning sensor research, including physical principles of sensor hardware, acquisition and interpretation of sensory information, and user requirements of sensor applications. Team-building aspects will be strongly emphasised, and through an extended sensor project treated as a team challenge in the first year of their programme, the
students will together, as a cohort, face a problem of industrial relevance and learn how to address a research problem as a team rather than individually. The cohorts will be supported by a mix of academic and industrial mentors, and will receive business, presentation and project-management skills. During years 2 to 4 of their PhD course, students will pick a PhD topic offered by the more than 50 PIs participating in the CDT. Each topic on offer will be supervised by at least two academics from different departments/disciplines and may include industrial partners.
"We are now recruiting the first cohort of outstanding students for the Sensor CDT, to start in October 2014", says the programme manager of the CDT, . "Interested students should register their interest with me as soon as possible.  The formal application portal will be open over the coming days."

Sensor CDT spin-out company to disrupt assisted living technology market

last modified Feb 27, 2017 04:39 PM
Allowing older people to live in their own homes for longer
Sensor CDT spin-out company to disrupt assisted living technology market

The team. Back: Richard Hall; Omar Amjad; Philip Mair. Front: Josie Hughes; Oliver Bonner; Isabella Miele.

A new startup, set up by six science and technology students studying towards their PhD in the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Sensor Technologies and Applications, is developing an innovative technology platform with the potential to revolutionise at-home care for older people in the UK.

Cambridge Assisted Living Technologies (Cambridge ALT), was set up with the aim of allowing older people to live in their own home for longer and develops technology that is inspired by a team project that the students conducted as part of their CDT training programme. 

On Friday 17 February 2017, the startup met with Daniel Zeichner MP, Member of Parliament for Cambridge, to discuss the potential impact of their new product on the lives of local residents and older people across the country.

With an ever increasing population, and the very high cost of care, there is a need to help older people live safe and healthy lives whilst ensuring they can retain their independence. Cambridge ALT have developed a system using the latest in wireless technology and intelligent data processing to learn what normal activity in the home looks like. When an abnormal event is detected, an alert is securely sent to a trusted friend or family member.

Oliver Bonner, a co-founder of Cambridge ALT, said: "Existing Assisted Living Technology systems use data from single sensors to generate basic alerts. Our modular system uses many sensors such as light level, appliance monitoring for the TV or kettle, and door sensors, to build a holistic picture of what a person’s normal daily routine looks like."

As Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Data Analytics, Daniel Zeichner MP is helping to establish links between businesses, academia and the public to improve policy making in the use of data. He commented: "Cambridge ALT are harnessing the latest in data processing techniques to help older people retain their independence and improve well-being." He went on to say: "There is a technological gap in the provision of care, and Cambridge ALT are pushing forward their innovative system to fulfil this need."

Cambridge ALT are in the early stages of their commercial development and are actively seeking seed investment to develop the system further.

Josie Hughes, another co-founder, said: "By installing our system at home, older people can be given a safety net so that if an event, such as a fall, were to happen, assistance can be given as soon as possible. This will also give peace of mind to friends and families."

Clemens Kaminski, director of the Sensor CDT, commented: "This remarkable achievement attests to the high quality of the students that come into the Sensor CDT and their diversity of skills and interests, ranging all the way from socially responsible innovation to entrepreneurship. I am very proud of what these students have achieved and thrilled to see what can result if a few bright minds get together to drive a collective idea.  I wish them good luck and fortune in their endeavours!"

Cambridge TV interviews CDT students about their research to develop a sensor suite for assisted living

last modified Aug 05, 2016 10:14 AM

CDT students, Oliver Bonner and Josie Hughes, from the first cohort were interviewed recently on Cambridge TV about the Sensor Team Challenge on assisted living technology. The project was carried out in the final term of the MRes year at the Sensor CDT and involved the entire cohort working together as a group.

Watch the interview to find out more about the project and to hear why the technology developed has a particular relevance to a society with an ageing population.

The outcome of this research was recently published in the Royal Society's Interface Focus journal. Full coverage of the story can be found on the University of Cambridge website.

Beacon Project Collaboration with MedImmune

last modified May 24, 2016 05:37 PM

medimmune

MedImmune is supporting the Sensor CDT as part of its Beacon project

Researchers from MedImmune and the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology are collaborating on a number of projects in the areas of bio-engineering, -processing and -pharmaceuticals.

This Beacon Project collaboration is part of the pharmaceutical cluster in Cambridge, addressing fundamental questions and challenges in this area.

Research students from the Sensor CDT are part of this collaboration, working on the detection of amyloid proteins and high resolution / high throughput imaging to understand spores and viruses.

 beacon_project

 

Studentship available: Protein Folding of Antibody Drugs

last modified Apr 13, 2016 12:54 PM

We are recruiting for a fully funded 1+3 years MRes + PhD studentship, in collaboration with MedImmune, starting in October 2016. 

For more information please have a look at the project details.

Please note that this studentship is only open to UK and EU nationals.

The deadline for applications is Friday, 13 May 2016.

First student cohort has successfully completed the MRes

last modified Sep 24, 2015 04:07 PM
The first cohort has completed their eleven months MRes course and is now preparing to embark on their individual PhD projects in five different Departments.

The first cohort of ten Sensor CDT students has successfully completed the MRes. Over the last eleven months the students attended a set of bespoke and in-depth lectures, received training on numerous advanced equipment across the University and carried out three projects of increasing complexity.

Their final project on a sensor suite which will help elderly people living a more independent life was a three months team effort. It was supported by mentors from the health care industry and some of the CDT's core industrial partners and supervisors. The results of the project, which already have received a lot of positive comments, will be presented at the Sensors Day.

The students are now embarking on their individual PhD projects in the Departments of Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Materials Science, Physics and Biochemistry. Topics include adaptive tactile sensing for robotics, measuring protein aggregation in primary containers for the pharmaceutical industry, bore well monitoring in oil and gas installations, ultrahigh throughout screening using micro droplets and advanced image processing for optical sensing.

Kick off reception at Trinity College

last modified Sep 04, 2014 09:21 PM
The Sensor CDT marks the start of the CDT with a reception and dinner at Trinity College for academic and industrial partners.

In the run-up to the the imminent arrival of the first student cohort in a month's time, the Sensor CDT starts in style with a drinks reception and dinner at Trinity College.

reception 2reception 1
reception 4 reception 5
reception 11reception 12reception 10


This was a great opportunity for CDT supervisors, members of the industrial consortium and the CDT management and steering teams to meet, mingle and exchange ideas. The academic and industrial partners expressed real interest in contributing to the Sensor CDT and engaging with the programme.  More than 40 members attended the event.

Clemens Kaminski, the CDT director, gave a brief overview of the aims of the Sensor CDT and an update on the organisational progress and student numbers.

reception 9

Many sensor related projects, research and collaborations were discussed over an excellent dinner in the Allhusen Room with its Leslie MacDonnald ("Max") Gill wind dial from 1926 on one of the walls - an example of an early "remote sensor".

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dinner 5 dinner 3

sundial

Leete Award for Chris Valentine

last modified Dec 06, 2016 05:17 PM
Prestigious prize awarded to Sensor CDT student Chris Valentine

Sensor CDT student Chris Valentine was awarded the Leete Premium award for the research he will be carrying out as part of his PhD studies.

The Leete Award is given annually by the Engineer’s Trust toy a 1st year PhD student based at the Institute of Manufacturing (IfM), which is part of the Department of Engineering, Cambridge University. The award is the legacy of Dr. David Leete and has the stated intention to encourage manufacturing research to be undertaken by students.

For his PhD studies, Chris will be developing carbon nanotube based electrochemical sensors under the supervision of Dr. Michael De Volder (IfM) and Dr. Adrian Fisher (Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology). Feedback on Chris’ project stated that “The proposal described a credible fusing of established technologies as the starting point of the manufacture of much improved low cost sensors on-a-chip for gases, with prospects of advancing the products and their manufacture during the project.”.

Chris commenced the work in October 2016 and is looking forward to the next 3 years of exciting study.

Congratulations!

MedImmune joins Sensor CDT industrial consortium

last modified Jun 03, 2015 03:12 PM
The pharmaceutical company MedImmune will sponsor up to two Sensor CDT studentships per year.

The international pharmaceutical company MedImmune has joined the consortium of industrial partners of the Sensor CDT. With its major R&D hub based in Cambridge, MedImmune has already strong links with individual researchers from Cambridge University and the Sensor CDT. Over the coming years MedImmune will support up to two PhD studentships per year in sensor areas related to pharmaceutical research. Students will be able to join the Sensor CDT with the agreement to pursue their PhD on a MedImmune project after completing their MRes year.

MRes mini-research projects

last modified Apr 03, 2017 04:24 PM
Poster session on interdisciplinary sensor research

The 2016-17 MRes mini-research projects are drawing to a close. Last Wednesday, oral presentations filled a whole morning and the afternoon’s poster session saw the students engaging with the research community at the Department of Chemical Engineering & Biotechnology.

This year the interdisciplinary projects crossed the Departments of Engineering, Chemical Engineering & Biotechnology, Physics, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Materials Science and Geography, and the diversity of the field of “sensor” applications and technology is reflected in the choice of projects.

Examples of projects:

  • Therapeutic Antibody Protein Folding
  • Surface modification of Metal-Organic Frameworks
  • Detection and characterisation of amyloid protein strains using H-D exchange mass spec
  • Developing Cost-efficient Spectrometers for Real-time Biomedical Sensing
  • Use Förster resonance energy transfer to enhance the photophysical properties of an existing photo-modulatable fluorescent
  • High throughput imaging of amyloid fibril elongation and interactions using microfluidics
  • Dynamics of mechanotransduction in single motile cells
  • Lasers, rubidium and ultra-low magnetic fields: reducing the response time of an alkali-vapor magnetometer for ultra-low-field magnetic resonance
  • Development of a prototype sensing system to detect the frequency and magnitude of turbidity currents in Adventfjorden, Spitsbergen – a feasibility study
  • Modelling nonlinear behaviour in superconducting microresonators used in sensing applications in astronomy space science and quantum technologies
  • Novel 3-D Printed Platform Approach for Gas Sensing Development
  • Time of flight X-ray imaging

MRes student Josie Hughes publishes research outcome from Mini Project

last modified May 13, 2015 12:48 PM
Josie Hughes publishes the results from her Mini Project on noise monitors connected via a Bluetooth Low Energy network in the International Journal on Smart Sensing and Intelligent Systems

Josephine Hughes, an MRes student in the first cohort of the Sensor CDT has just published the results from her 8 week Mini Project entitled "Development of wireless sensor network using Bluetooth Low Energy for construction noise monitoring" in the International Journal on Smart Sensing and Intelligent Systems.

The paper focuses on noise detection and monitoring around the construction site of the London Bridge Station redevelopment and compares the performance and cost of different network technologies. The Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) network was capable of identifying and locating vehicle noise around the construction site. The low cost of the system would allow to deploy a large number of sensor nodes around a construction site to monitor noise with great spatial resolution. Other types of sensors, e.g. temperature and humidity could be easily added to the network.

Josie has an Engineering degree from Cambridge University, where she specialised in Electrical and Information Engineering and gained particular experience in low cost open access technology during her final year project.

New building - Topping out ceremony

last modified Jul 14, 2014 12:37 PM
New building for the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

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The new building for the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, which is providing the hub for the CDT in Sensor Technologies and

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Applications, is being built on the University's West Cambridge Site. This new building will bring the Sensor CDT  in close proximity to the activities of most of the other CDTs awarded to the University of Cambridge. Situated near the Cavendish Physics Laboratory, the Computer Laboratory, the Nanoscience Centre, Electrical Engineering and the Institute for Manufacturing the building will feature state of the art laboratory and teaching space and dedicated facilities to host the Sensor CDT cohort.  We are delighted to see the progress with the building which is on plan to be ready for the 2nd cohort of students to enter the CDT in 2015.  Have a look at the  video of the top out ceremony.

New Centre for Infrastructure Sensing

last modified Feb 06, 2017 03:08 PM
The University will be receiving 18 million pounds to develop a new national Centre for Infrastructure Sensing on the West Cambridge Site.

The University of Cambridge will receive £18 million in funding to ensure that the UK’s infrastructure is resilient and responsive to environmental and economic impacts. The funding will be used to support  research in the application of advanced sensor technologies to the monitoring  of the UK’s existing and future infrastructure, in order to protect and maintain it.

The funding is part of the wider UK Collaboration for Research in Infrastructure & Cities (UKCRIC), which is a £138 million capital investment that will be centred around the Olympic Park in Stratford and will include 13 university partners from across the UK.

The Cambridge funding will be used to build a National Research Facility for Infrastructure Sensing on the West Cambridge site, which will build upon the expertise of the University’s Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction (CSIC).  The new building will be an interdisciplinary centre for sensors and instrumentation for infrastructure monitoring and assessment, spanning scales from an individual asset, such as a tunnel, building or bridge, to a complex system such as a railway or a city district. More advanced sensors and appropriate data analysis will ensure better product quality, enhanced construction safety, and smarter asset management.

We hope to set up an exciting collaboration between this new centre and the Sensor CDT.

Read more

Open Technology Week 2015

last modified Jul 27, 2015 03:15 PM
MRes student Tiesheng Wang presents a Sensor Team Challenge prototype at this year's Open Technology Week.

A prototype sensor for monitoring elderly people in their own home has been presented at the 2015 Open Technology Week which runs from 26-30 July at a number of venues across Cambridge.

Open Technology Week - an opportunity for
the Sensor CDT to get involved

 

01_makeathon.jpg

Make-athon in Cambridge Makespace - meet likeminded people in a supportive and innovative setting.

Made within 2h: a prototype microfluidics well for biophysics experiments
Programme Manager Oliver Hadeler joined a team of physicists and engineers to look at different ways to manufacture microfluidic devices. A well with a diameter of 100µm was cut into perspex with a laser cutter and inspected using a modified Raspberry Pi camera. This process cuts out the multi-step lithography process used to make microfluidic devices in PDMS.

Future work: develop advanced microfluidic devices and make them in the Institute of Manufacturing.

03_makaethon_lasercut_microfluidics.jpg

 MRes student Tiesheng Wang presented the Sensor Box to an audience of enthusopen_technology_20150726_tiesheng_1iastic engineers and scientist from academia and industry in the Department of Engineering. The Sensor Box contains sensors to monitor temperature, light level, movement and noise inside a person's home and sends the data to a server for further processing. E.g. if an elderly person normally gets up at 7am in the morning the light levels will go up. If this event is missing a smart algorithm will trigger an alarm and alert carers, family or friends.

02_workbench.jpg

The sensor is developed using open source hardware such as mbed or Particle board processors. The technological challenges are to reduce power consumption while ensuring a reliable connection to the server. The students use lab spaces across the University, e.g. Engineering shown on the right.

Raising the Bar - Unsung hero award

last modified Dec 21, 2016 11:18 AM
Josephine Hughes is runner-up of the "Unsung hero award" for her work in organising the RoboCup Junior competition

Josie Hughes, a Sensor CDT student in the first cohort, has been involved in organising the RoboCup Junior competition for some time. In 2015 she went to Hefei in China to help running the event.

RoboCup Junior encourages young people between 10 and 19 years of age to learn coding and engineering. Josie is actively encouraging students from Suffolk in the east of England to get involved. Her work has enabled students to take part in national and international robot competitions.

Her hard work behind the scenes has been recognised with the "Unsung Hero Award" as part of the Suffolk Raising the Bar Awards in June 2016.

Senior Teaching fellows appointed for the Sensor CDT

last modified Sep 02, 2014 10:23 PM
Dr Tanya Hutter and Dr Fernando da Cruz Vasconcellos join us as senior teaching fellows in charge of educational delivery

 

Welcome to Fernando da Cruz Vasconcellos and Tanya Hutter

We would like to welcome the new senior teaching fellows, Dr. Fernando da Cruz Vasconcellos and Dr. Tanya Hutter, both who join us as Senior Teaching Fellows of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sensor Technologies and Applications (Sensor CDT). Fernando and Tanya will be helping with the course development, organising the student projects and mentoring.

          Fernando is a post-doctoral researcher from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology here at the University of Cambridge where he works on Sensors for Healthcare Applications. He says, "I’m very excited to be part of the Sensor CDT and I'm looking forward to significantly contribute to the Sensor CDT through teaching, research and collaboration across the University, particularly in my areas of expertise of soft biological systems, functional materials and sensors."

     Fernando obtained a B.Sc. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB) in 2000. From the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), he received a M.Sc. (2007) and a Ph.D. degree, in a joint program with MIT, (2011) in Chemical Engineering. He served as Professor in the Department of Production Engineering of FACAMP, Campinas, São Paulo (2011-2012). Fernando has professional experience in the design, management and execution of engineering projects in multinational companies. He has broad international research and industry experience in the chemical engineering and biotechnology sectors, and he has been part of the founding team of two technology start-up companies in Brazil. Since 2013, Fernando has been a post-doctoral researcher and invited lecturer at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology here at the University of Cambridge.  

     Tanya Hutter obtained a B.Sc. degree in Chemical Engineering from the Ben-Gurion University in 2007. She received a M.Sc. in Materials Science and Engineering from Tel-Aviv University in 2009. In 2013, she obtained a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Trinity College and the Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge. Between 2013 and 2014, she held a University of Cambridge-Wellcome Trust Senior Internship for Interdisciplinary Research. Tanya has experience in the theoretical and experimental design and development of various sensing platforms. She has been involved with CamBridgeSens since 2009, when she was a 1st year PhD student in Cambridge. Her team won the CamBridgeSens Sensor Competition to develop an integrated optical waveguide sensor. Tanya is also a co-founder of a chemical sensor startup in Cambridge.

     She says, "I have been involved in sensor research for several years now, and the multidisciplinary nature of this area makes it difficult to be placed in a single Department. I hope the Sensor CDT will bridge those gaps across various Departments and enable truly interdisciplinary research. I am very excited to see the CamBridgeSens network grow into the Sensor CDT programme, and I am thrilled to be part of the team."

Sensor CDT at the Cambridge Science Festival 2016

last modified May 26, 2016 09:47 AM
Is there enough oxygen in my blood?

The Sensor CDT took part in the annual Cambridge Science Festival.

A busy weekend in March 2016 saw around 2000 visitors coming to the Plant and Life Sciences Marquee where staff and students from the Sensor CDT demonstrated their prototype pulse oximeter. The general public, from school children to retired engineers, got an insight into how a sensor works, that is used routinely in clinical environments and in popular fitness monitoring devices.

blood oxygen poster

The Sensor CDT exhibit was part of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology stand, which showcased the wide range of life science research carried out within the department, from spores to nanoparticles, advanced microscopy and health care devices.

prototype

oliver chiara setting up

 

nanoparticle_drawing young scientist
festival_team

 

Watch the video below to see some of the highlights from the Science Festival:

 

Sensor CDT at the Cambridge Science Festival 2017

last modified Mar 21, 2017 12:34 AM
A team of Sensor CDT students demonstrated their research projects at the Cambridge Science Festival

A student team from the 2016 MRes cohort presented their pulse oximeter which they built during their Guided Sensor Project in December.

pulse_oximeter_1 pulse_oximeter_2

Carolina Orozco, Elise Siouve, Francesco Tonolini and Sammy Mahdi presented their Arduino based pulse oximeter to the general public in the Life Sciences Marquee on the first Saturday of the 2017 Science Festival.

Children were fascinated by a pulsing heart appearing on the computer screen as they put their fingers on an LED and the reflected light was detected with a photodiode.

Adults were interested to learn how the setup worked and surprised about how easy it seems to build a sensor that can measure pulse rate, blood oxygen level and temperature with a few electronics parts and an Arduino microcontroller.

As Carolina, Elise, Francesco and Sammy can testify, designing and building a sensor is not as easy as one might think.

Oliver Vanderpoorten, currently in his first year of PhD, demonstrated different microscopy techniques, including a lens-free setup to look at living mirco organisms in water droplets and an inverted microscope to study brain cells.

oli_vanderpoorten

festival_team

Sensor CDT mini-research projects featured in CEB Focus

last modified May 18, 2016 02:08 PM

The second student cohort at the Sensor CDT featured in a recent article in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology’s newsletter, CEB Focus (Issue 18, May 2016). Written by our graduate student, Dimitrios Simatos, the piece highlights the diverse range of sensor related mini-research projects undertaken by the CDT students during the MRes year.  

Each mini-project bridges across two University departments, providing the students with an exclusive insight into the work being carried out in the research laboratories in Cambridge, before deciding on a path for their own PhD projects.

Read the full article here.

Sensor CDT Student awarded a £15,000 ChAMP and WAFT Collaboration Fund

last modified May 22, 2018 11:50 AM
Farah Alimagham, a Sensor CDT talented student, has been awarded a collaborative grant to work with the CDT in Metamaterials (Engineering at the University of Exeter).

The successful proposal has been brought together by teams from Physical Chemistry at the University of Cambridge and Engineering at the University of Exeter.

They were awarded £15,000 to investigate chemical sensing based on phase-change IR metamaterials devices. This project will run from June 2018 to September 2018 and will be an excellent opportunity to collaborate with colleagues from the University of Exeter and other EPSRC CDTs.

Further details on

https://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/xm2news/liam-trimby-won-a-15000-champ-and-waft-collaboration-fund-award-to-investigate-chemical-sensing-based-on-phase-change-ir-metamaterials-devices/

 

Sensor CDT Student creates carbon-based structure with multi-level hierarchy in a simple way

last modified May 15, 2018 01:54 PM

Sensor CDT student, Tiesheng Wang (王铁胜), found a simple way to transform metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) to carbon-base structures with ordered multilevel hierarchy, termed as “nano-diatom” (named for the morphological similarities with the naturally existing diatomaceous species). The metamorphosis is enabled by adding salts (metal-containing compounds) into the MOF followed by a high-temperature carbonisation process.

Tiesheng is a PhD candidate supervised by Dr Stoyan Smoukov and Dr R Vasant Kumar, and working closely with Professor Anthony Cheetham. Together with Dr Hyun-Kyung Kim, they have demonstrated one of the nano-diatoms as a superior carbon-based anode material for fast-charging lithium-ion battery. They published their work in JACS (Journal of the American Chemical Society) recently: http://doi.org/10.1021/jacs.8b02411

In the paper, Tiesheng and his collaborators from University of Cambridge, Queen Mary University of London and Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research proved that the transformation can be controlled by the initial chemical composition (i.e. MOF and metal-containing compound used). They also realized that the discovery can be applied as a working strategy for functionalizing the carbon not only for energy storage but also for catalysis and chemical sensing. Tiesheng, Stoyan and Hyun-Kyung have filed a relevant patent.

Since there are thousands of MOF and metal-containing compounds available, the discovery and its following work on understanding the formation mechanisms will enable the design of future carbon-based functional materials. The work is highlighted in the following press release:

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-05/qmuo-sdh051418.php

https://phys.org/news/2018-05-scientists-salt-battery.html

https://www.qmul.ac.uk/media/news/2018/se/scientists-discover-how-a-pinch-of-salt-can-improve-battery-performance.html

Bottom-up Formation of Carbon-Based Structures with Multilevel Hierarchy from MOF−Guest Polyhedra’. Tiesheng Wang, Hyun-Kyung Kim, Yingjun Liu, Weiwei Li, James T Griffiths, Yue Wu, Sourav Laha, Kara D Fong, Filip Podjaski, Chao Yun, R Vasant Kumar, Bettina V Lotsch, Anthony K Cheetham and Stoyan K Smoukov*. Journal of the American Chemical Society, ASAP

 

 

Sensor CDT Student first publication with her new team

last modified May 22, 2018 03:19 PM
Congratulation to Johanna Kölbel, Sensor CDT MRes student, on the publication of her first paper with the Terahertz Applications Group.

Paper entitled: "Predicting the Structures and Associated Phase Transitions Mechanisms in Disordered Crystals via a Combination of Experimental and Theoretical Methods", authored by Michael T Ruggiero,  Johanna Kölbel,  Qi Li  and  J. Axel Zeitler.

Faraday Discuss., 2018, DOI: 10.1039/C8FD00042E.

http://pubs.rsc.org/en/Content/ArticleLanding/2018/FD/C8FD00042E#!divAbstract

Sensor CDT Student Team Challenge 2018

last modified Jul 25, 2018 12:30 PM
Sensor CDT Student Team Challenge 2018

Peter Pedersen and Francesca van Tartwijk at Cambridge105

The Sensor CDT Team Challenge is well underway and has gone live on the radio.  Check out http://cambridge105.co.uk/drive-02-07-2018/ to hear all about what we're doing. 

Sensor CDT student Tiesheng Wang weaves new material for energy storage

last modified Mar 22, 2018 03:45 PM
Sensor CDT student Tiesheng Wang and his supervisor Stoyan Smoukov have developed a new supercapacitor made from a "candy cane" like flexible polymer material composite. Its flexibility and higher charge holding properties could enable new sensor applications, such as implantable sensors.

t wang candy cane

Tiesheng Wang, a final year PhD student of the Sensor CDT, has developed a new flexible polymer material which moves electrical energy storage to new heights.

He weaved together a conducting polymer with an ion-storage polymer to form a new supercapacitor material with higher charge density than conventional polymer materials. In addition the material is flexible, allowing it to be incorporated into wearable sensors.

Tiesheng presented this work at the 255th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemistry Society (ACS) in New Orleans in March 2018. Read the full ACS press release here.

His ground breaking research captured the scientific audience at a press conference held at the meeting.

t wang press conference

 

Sensor CDT Student Tiesheng Wang wins one of the 2018 CSAR PhD Student Awards

last modified Apr 06, 2018 02:01 PM
The Cambridge Society for the Application of Research (CSAR) recently announced the names of the 10 PhD students from the University of Cambridge who have received the 2018 CSAR PhD Student Awards for Applied Research.

Tiesheng Wang from the EPSRC sensor CDT is one of the award winners. https://www.csar.org.uk/student-awards/2018/tiesheng-wang/ 

His work on functional materials with interpenetrating structures was also recently featured in the recent American Chemical Society National Conference in New Orleans as both press release (https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/newsreleases/2018/march/candy-cane-polymer-weave-could-power-future-functional-fabrics-and-devices.html ) and press conference interview (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Goqth6IYyF4&feature=share). 

The awards were presented at a ceremony earlier this week, which was jointly hosted by Professor Stephen Toope, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, Professor Andrew Neely, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Enterprise and Business Relations at the University of Cambridge and Professor Sir Mike Gregory, President of CSAR.

You can find more information about the awards made this year by visiting the CSAR website https://www.csar.org.uk/student-awards/2018/.

Sensor CDT students at Creativity Sandpit with Imperial and Warwick CDTs

last modified May 22, 2018 02:56 PM
A Creativity Sandpit took place on 15-17 May 2018 at Easthamstead Park near Bracknell in a big old mansion and about 30 brilliant minds working together. It was organised by the High Performance Embedded and Distributed Systems (HiPEDS) CDT at Imperial College. In addition to HiPEDS and Sensor CDT, the Warwick Urban Science CDT joined in as well.
Sensor CDT students at Creativity Sandpit with Imperial and Warwick CDTs

Farah and her team at the Sandpit

Farah Alimagham and Bogdan Spiridon, both from Sensor CDT 2015 cohort, took part in the Creativity Sandpit at Easthamstead Park. 

The main activities focused on "creating a solution to an industry problem".  The Greater London Authority, the Post Office and ARUP were the industry stakeholders.

Both Sensor CDT students prized the experience highly. Farah found it extremely engaging experience, working together with industry representatives and other PhD students to come up with feasible solutions to real-world challenges mainly involving managing and making sense of data and information.  Bogdan highlighted the opportunity to work together with people of varied backgrounds (high-performance computing, urban science and sensors) around real-world challenges. It was an excellent opportunity to network as well.

 

Bogdan and his team at the Sandpit

Brain Storm

IMG 2959 mod

Sensor CDT students publish research from the Sensor Team Challenge

last modified Jun 20, 2016 12:18 PM
A research paper on assisted living technology, authored by the first cohort of Sensor CDT students, has been published in the Royal Society's Interface Focus journal.

The first cohort at the Sensor CDT has just published the results from the Sensor Team Challenge - a 12-week project carried out during the MRes year. The research article, “Development of an open technology sensor suite for assisted living: a student-led research project”, features in the theme issue “Sensors in technology and nature” in the Royal Society’s Interface Focus journal.

With rapidly ageing populations placing increasing pressure on health services in the UK and many other countries, there is increasing demand for assisted living technologies to enable older people to live independently and safely in their own homes for longer.

But as team member Oliver Bonner, an electronics engineer, explains: “Existing monitoring devices are often too bulky, only perform one function and can’t be integrated because manufacturers don’t want their products used alongside those of rival brands. What we’ve done is develop an open platform so that anyone who invents an ingenious assistive device can bring that into the system and enhance what it can do for older people.”

The interdisciplinary team – comprising engineers, chemists, biochemists, materials scientists and physicists – designed and incorporated five assistive devices into their sensor suite: a door sensor, power monitor, fall detector, general in-house sensor unit, and an on-person location-aware communications device. The group improved on existing devices, in part, by taking advantage of recent developments in 3D printing, printed circuit board production and electronics prototyping.

Josephine Hughes, who studied engineering as an undergraduate at Cambridge and is now pursuing a PhD in robotics, said: “We’ve created a non-intrusive safety net that can be used to help older people live independently in their own homes for as long as possible while also connecting them with their friends and family. We had to ensure that older people would accept the system.”

To protect the privacy of older people, the in-house system uses motion and audio detectors to establish presence but no cameras or sound recording devices. Towards the end of the project, the team installed their sensor suite in the home of team member, Philip Mair, a biochemist. With kind permission from Mair’s flatmates, the group tested the system for two weeks and, to their relief, discovered that it was fully operational.

Extensive further testing would be required before the system could be commercialised but it has already generated expressions of interest from potential investors and manufacturers.

Reference:
Manton et al. "Development of an open technology sensor suite for assisted living: a student-led research project." Interface Focus 2016 6 20160018; DOI: 10. 1098/rsfs.2016.0018


Adapted from a press release by the University of Cambridge. The full story can be viewed here.

Sensor Champions 2015

last modified Nov 17, 2015 11:52 AM
Congratulations to our Sensor Champions, Josie Hughes and Philip Mair.
Sensor Champions 2015

Sensor champions: Josie Hughes and Philip Mair

Many congratulations to our 2015 Sensor Champions, Josephine Hughes and Philip Mair.  Both students produced stellar work for both the practical and research components of the programme in their MRes year and fully embraced the interdisciplinary nature of the Sensor CDT course. 

Josie and Philip demonstrated a strong aptitude to learning new skills outside of their respective areas of expertise.  Philip, coming from a background in biology, used his skills and interests to venture into Machine Learning and soldering surface mount electronic components.  Josie shared her engineering undergraduate knowledge with the group when it came to programme Arduino micro controllers and designing electronic circuits.

Having immersed themselves in the theoretical and practical sensor-related aspects of engineering, physics, biology and chemistry, they are entering the start of their PhD research with an excellent grounding in the field of Sensor Technologies and Applications.

Josie is now conducting her PhD research in the Machine Intelligence Research Group, headed by Dr. Fumiya Iida, Department of Engineering, on the subject of Adaptive tactile sensing for robotics based on thermoplastics.

Philip is undertaking his PhD research in the Hollfelder Group, Department of Biochemistry.   His research is focused on the Ultrahigh throughput screening of metagenomic libraries

Sensor Team Challenge 2016

last modified May 17, 2016 04:35 PM
The Sensor Team Challenge, the final project for the MRes students at the Sensor CDT, is underway. The 2016 challenge is to develop an Optical Projection Tomography system.
Sensor Team Challenge 2016

Team Challenge brainstorm

The second cohort of Sensor CDT students has been set the challenge of developing a 3D Optical Projection Tomography (OPT) system to image biological samples.

This 15 week project is interdisciplinary in nature and will draw on the collective, broad knowledge base of the student cohort whose backgrounds cover the natural sciences and engineering disciplines. Together they will design and implement a research standard OPT system to address scientific questions in the areas of biology, physiology and medicine.

The students will be supported by a diverse group of mentors from industry and academia, who will provide practical guidance on technical issues and project management. But ultimately the direction and realisation of the project will be in the hands of the students.

Sensor Team Challenge 2017 has started

last modified Jun 20, 2018 04:39 PM
By combining their scientific and managerial skills, the third cohort of Sensor CDT students will develop low-cost and open-source cell-free molecular diagnostics for biological and chemical sensor applications.

Low-cost, fast and reliable virus and chemical detection

The third student cohort has started its team challenge on cell-free molecular diagnostics tests for chemical or biological sensor applications.

well testing

In response to a growing need for enhanced capabilities in medical and environmental diagnostics the students' task is to develop low-cost open-source sensors to detect virus structures or polluting chemicals, such as arsenic, in an easy to use and rapid way.

Three months and twelve students

During this three months project the twelve students will use their engineering, physics, biology and chemistry skills as well as developing their project and people management skills.

Potential technology

The sensors will use synthetic biology to engineer safe cell-free gene networks which can detect specific analytes and produce outputs such as a colour change.

 

dengue sample        

colour change

Several sensor platforms are possible, inlcuding paper based microfluidics. A key challenge will be the design of quantitative sensors. Here the student cohort will need to combine its know-how across the physical and biological sciences.

Scientific support and impact

The team challenge will run until middle of August, with plenty of opportunity for the students to interact with experts in the field from academia and industry as well as with students from the previous Sensor CDT cohorts working on relevant PhD projects and a group of undergraduate engineering students. Key guidance and advise will be provided by OpenDiagnostics, a student-led team which has carried out some pioneering work in this area.

team_challenge_cohort_3_kick_off

At the kick-off workshop the Sensor CDT students collectively brainstormed a variety of possible avenues to approach this challenge.

Previous team challenges on assisted living for the elderly and a 3d optical imaging system have been highly successful.

Read more here.

Sensor Team Challenge on Assisted Living

last modified May 13, 2015 01:01 PM
The Sensor CDT students are starting their final MRes project, the Sensor Team Challenge. This year's topic is "Assisted Living".

The first cohort of Sensor CDT students is just starting its Sensor Team Challenge on Assisted living for the elderly. The students will develop a network of sensors helping to assist people in their homes to live a more independent life. After receiving a short briefing document the students will shape and manage the project mainly by themselves. External technical advisors and mentors will support the students with practical expertise and transferable skills, such as programme management.

The Sensor Team Challenge is the last of a series of projects carried out by the Sensor CDT students during the MRes phase. It brings together all ten students in the cohort to collectively work on a cross-disciplinary project which is of general interest to research and industry.

Sensor CDT away day

last modified Jun 28, 2017 05:31 PM
Students from all three Sensor CDT cohorts traveled to Marston Vale to meet up with the MAS CDT for a joint away day aiming to solve research problems together.

Students from the Sensor CDT and the Molecular Analytical Science CDT met at the Marston Vale Forest Centre about half way between Cambridge and Warwick for a packed day of academic and fun activities.

Problem solving - idea pitching

Mixed teams of students from the Sensor CDT and the Molecular Analytical Science CDT combined their diverse research experiences and skills to propose new products or solutions which could overcome a scientific or technical challenge in one of the team members' PhD project.

02_idea_development

08_winning_sensor_application

Ideas from the students ranged from capacitive sensors to detect crystallization and clogging in pipes to using scanning probe microscopy and NMR to investigate the shapes of active sites in antibodies.

It was impressive to see the students go from explaining their research to one another at the start  to forming efficient teams and presenting a new product in one day. During this exercise the students made excellent use of their knowledge in different science and engineering backgrounds and research areas.

Alongside the exercise students soaked up ideas to advance their individual projects.

Team building

The away day helped to create an expanded network of young scientists from both CDTs, which have complementary and partially overlapping themes: molecular analytical science is not possible without sensors while the develop of new sensors often relies on an understanding at the molecular level.

To develop their leadership and problem solving skills the student teams took part in team building challenges, including building a sculpture using a limited set of information and guiding blindfolded colleagues to erect a tent.

13_puzzle

12_sculpture

The day has allowed the students to connect across CDTs and cohorts and everybody is looking forward to future events between the Sensor CDT and the Molecular Analytical Science CDT.

More images from the day

01_brain_storming 03_idea_development
05_problem_solving 06_product_development
07_product_pitch 09_egg_launcher
10_blind_folded_task 11_waste_disposal
14_completed_task 15_team_work

Sensors Day 2015

last modified Oct 07, 2015 11:32 AM
We will showcase innovative and exciting sensor technologies and applications at the international Sensors Day 2015. This one-day conference will be held on 16 October 2015 at Murray Edwards College. The first cohort of Sensor CDT students will demonstrate their comprehensive set of sensors for assisted living developed during their Sensor Team Challenge. More details will be published soon on this website.

The Sensors Day conference will bring together researchers from Cambridge, other international universities and industry to showcase exciting advances in sensor technologies and applications and related disciplines, including robotics and microfluidics.

Confirmed speakers include Prof Jeremy Baumberg, Cambridge, Luke Lee, Berkeley and Andrew de Mello, ETHZ.

This one day conference will be held on

Friday 16 October 2015
at
Murray Edwards College
Cambridge

The first cohort of Sensor CDT students will present and demonstrate their impressive intelligent sensor network for assisted living, which they developed during their three months Sensor Team Challenge.

Further information, including the full list of speakers will be announced shortly.

Sensors Day 2016

last modified Oct 20, 2016 03:16 PM
From neurons to nanomaterials, flying particles to acoustic thermometry...

The second Sensors Day conference took place at Churchill College in Cambridge on 14 October 2016. Hosted by the Sensor CDT, the event brought an eclectic mix of talks to a broad audience from academia and industry. From sensing in the extreme environment of Erebus volcano to the bioimaging of an embryo, the day celebrated the breadth and diversity of sensor research, applications and technologies. 

The Sensor CDT students presented the Team Challenge on 3D Optical Projection Tomography. This was a 12-week project carried out in the MRes year at the CDT. Delegates were able to see the system developed to image biological samples during the intervals.

The poster session also captured the wealth of exciting research emerging from the sensor field. Poster presenters came from within the University of Cambridge, Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs), and UK and European establishments. Among the contributors were the Sensor CDT students from the first cohort who are now entering the second year of the PhD phase.

The Best Poster prize was awarded to Lisa-Maria Needham for her poster entitled: “FRET-enhanced photo-modulatable fluorophore for improved super-resolution microscopy and single-molecule tracking studies”, and second place went to Jana Weber, “Predicting polymer chain growth Raman vibrations”.

Sensors Day 2016 was sponsored by Hamamatsu, NPL, the Royal Society Publishing and Andor. 


 

Sensors Day 2017 will take place on Friday, 13 October 2017.

Sensors Day 2017

last modified Nov 13, 2017 12:35 PM
Molecular sensors, sensing in the Antarctic, robotics...

The third Sensors Day conference took place at Robinson College in Cambridge on 20 October 2017.

As always, this conference brought together speakers from a range of sensing disciplines (see full programme here). Allard Mosk, Marina Kuimova, Tuomas Knowles and Ljiljana Fruk presented captivating talks on

  • optical spectroscopy at the nanoscale to further the understanding of 3D materials
  • the use of molecular rotors to image viscosity inside lipid layers, cells and aerosols
  • employing microfluidics and sensors to understand protein misfolding
  • using bio-nano composite materials for drug delivery, sensors
a_mosk m_kuimova
t_knowles l_fruk

Robotics and the "internet of everything" were covered in two fascinating talks by Hatice Gunes and Ozgur Akan.

h gunes AUG 7276

Julie MacPherson's work on diamond electrodes for electrochemical measurements lead seamlessly into the Team Challenge presentation of the Sensor CDT students. They had developed a quantitative arsenic sensor based on cell-free biology and an electrochemical readout.

AUG 7246 mod team challenge presentation

The British Antarctic Survey presented a sweeping overview of sensor technology employed in harsh environments to monitor environmental changes.

b schlarb ridley a flemming

 

Sensors Day 2017 was sponsored by Cambridge University Press, Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Zimmer & Peacock, NPL, OpenIO Labs, Royal Society and Alphasense.

Stars of TV - Sensor CDT Student Team Challenge 2018

last modified Jul 25, 2018 12:48 PM

Our MRes students were recently interviewed by That's Cambridge TV.  Take a look at the interview on YouTube.

We are working on the CamBike Makeathon.  For more information on the goal of the Makeathon see http://cambikesensor.net/makeathon.html.  If's fun and free to sign up.  What you are waiting for?

This week, the CamBike Team has kept busy both by experimenting with some cool prototypes and by looking towards the future. The students have submitted proposals for the research they wish to undertake during their three-year PhD, with subjects ranging from single proteins to whole solar systems. Meanwhile, work has continued to get a set of prototypes ready for data collection, and more!

 

Studentship available: NanoMOF Supramolecular Systems for Drug Delivery

last modified Mar 10, 2016 04:56 PM

We are recruiting for a fully funded 1+3 years MRes + PhD studentship, in collaboration with MedImmune, starting in October 2016.  For details of the project please go to  cdt.sensors.cam.ac.uk/industry-studentships.

Please note that this studentship is only open to UK and EU nationals.

The deadline for applications is Friday, 25 March 2016.

Studentship available: Understanding of the impact of manufacturing processes on the physical and chemical stability of synthetic peptides

last modified Feb 03, 2017 01:59 PM

We are recruiting for a fully funded 1+3 years MRes + PhD studentship, in collaboration with MedImmune, starting in October 2017. Further details can be found here.

The deadline for applications is Monday, 6 March 2017.

Studentship available: Using Terahertz Spectroscopy to Explore the Properties of Biopharmaceutical Formulations for Solid-State Processing

last modified Jan 24, 2017 11:47 AM

We are recruiting for a fully funded 1+3 years MRes + PhD studentship, in collaboration with MedImmune, starting in October 2017.  Details of the project and how to apply can be found here.

The deadline for applications is Tuesday, 28 February 2017.

Supercontinuum in Microscopy and Biological Imaging Applications Workshop, November 2018

last modified Aug 23, 2018 11:57 AM

We will be hosting a 'Supercontinuum in Microscopy and Biological Imaging Applications Workshop' from 26-28 November 2018 inclusive.  The purpose of the workshop is to educate SUPUVIR students in the theory and practice of the principles and use of advanced microscopy techniques. The workshop will consist of lectures, that go through the optical physics of microscopic imaging all the way to application, including sample preparation and data processing. A special focus is on the opportunities and uses for supercontinuum laser sources for biophotonics research. In addition to the technical programme, there will be transferable skills training such as public engagement and presentation skills training. 

For further information visit our website.

Teaching sensing to undergraduate engineers

last modified Mar 15, 2016 02:40 PM
Josie Hughes, 1st year Sensor CDT PhD student, taught a group of Cambridge undergraduate engineers the basics of interfacing sensors with Arduino microcontrollers as part of a project to introduce students to coding and electronics.

Undergraduate engineering students at Murray Edwards College enjoyed an afternoon at the end of term diving into programming Arduino microcontrollers and using their electronics skills to build a sound level meter and temperature sensor.

Josie Hughes teaching undergraduate engineers how to interface a senors with an Arduino microcontroller

The event brought together 17 female Murray Edwards College undergraduate engineers from all four years of the Cambridge engineering degree. Thomas Quinn, a  3rd year undergraduate student at Loughborough University and Josie Hughes, a 1st year Sensor CDT student and supervisors for electrical engineering, delivered a course packed with fun and serious engineering. At the end of the afternoon the students were able to monitor and log their room temperature with an Arduino and left inspired to further explore the capabilities of microcontrollers.

 

multicolour LEDs Group of undergraduate engineers learning about Arduinos and sensorsThe students only needed to bring their laptops and could keep their Arduinos after the event. Multicolour LED lights indicating sound level (left).

Visiting Professorial Fellow Denise Morrey and Oliver Hadeler, Director of Studies in Engineering at Murray Edwards College and Programme Manager of the Sensor CDT agreed that a basic knowledge of programming is an essential part of an engineer's education. Together with Alice Cicirello, Bye-Fellow at Murray Edwards College and Research Scientist at Schlumberger Research, they devised a course which was educational, practical and fun.

The event was supported by Murray Edwards College, Oliver Hadeler and Lee Smith, ARM Fellow.

 

Team Challenge 2017 outomes

last modified Jul 23, 2018 10:15 AM
2017 student cohort successfully concludes team challenge

The 2017 student cohort has presented the outcomes from this year's team challenge: a quantitative sensor for measuring arsenic concentration in drinking water.

fluorescence_in_cells electrodes_used

 The team of 13 students combined synthetic biology, engineering and chemistry to demonstrate an easy to use sensor which can provide accurate readings in minutes on-site by untrained users and without dangerous chemicals.

The project was sponsored by

neb_officialhenkelAppliedInkSolutions_logo35532.jpgopen plant fund

 

 

Team project on optical projection tomography completed

last modified Jun 20, 2018 03:38 PM
Students successfully designed, built and tested an open source optical projection tomography system to image biological samples in 3D.

team_challenge_final_setup_demonstration

Completed: Sensor Team Challenge on Optical Projection Tomography

The second cohort of Sensor CDT students has finished their 15 week Sensor Team Challenge. This project is a major part of the MRes course, requiring team work, technical and personal skills and focus. It gives the students a glimpse of a real research environment and prepares them for their PhD project.

The brief

The brief was to build an open source optical projection tomography (OPT) setup for less than £5000. OPT allows to image transparent (biological) samples approximately the size of a sugar cube in 3D with a resolution of a few micrometers. A commercial system has been available a few years ago from Bioptonics and an open source setup has subsequently been published. Both system, however, are substantially more expensive than the one designed in this Team Challenge.

Results

discussion low res

The setup was designed using an open source approach and avoiding proprietary hardware or software. After fully characterising their optical projection tomography setup the students were able to take high resolution images of transparent and fluorescent biological samples, such as C. elegans and organoids.

Future work

The students will present their work at the Sensors Day 2016 conference and then publish their results in the scientific literature. Design information will be published enabling interested researcher to build their own system.

team_challenge_gemma_setup

The second student cohort has arrived

last modified Oct 08, 2015 02:29 PM
The second cohort of Sensor CDT students has arrived at the beginning of October to embark on their four year MRes + PhD programme with us.

A new cohort of 15 Sensor CDT students from the UK, EU and overseas has just started their MRes part of the CDT programme. They all have a common interest in sensing and will contribute their experiences and knowledge from a diverse background of undergraduate degrees in

  • physics,
  • bioengineering,
  • computer science,
  • biochemistry,
  • electrical engineering,
  • nano technology,
  • neuroscience.

While the majority of the new students still have a few months to decide on their PhD project, some students are already working towards their projects with our industrial partners, e.g. MedImmune, Cambridge Display Technology and Alphasense.

It will be an exciting time ahead for them, as they learn about different aspects of sensing, trying out new ways of research and finding out what they enjoy most in the area of sensing.

Themed Issue on Sensor Research

last modified Jun 17, 2016 01:46 PM
The Royal Society's Interface Focus Journal has published a special issue dedicated to the research topics covered at Sensors Day 2015

The theme of the issue is "Sensors in Nature and Technology" and gives a fascinating overview of how sensors in nature serve as inspiration for novel technologies, and also vice versa, how technology gives us better clues in understanding natural systems.

The issue reflects very much the diversity and exciting science encompassed by the Sensor CDT in Cambridge, and a number of contributions are from scientists active within the CDT, including our very own student cohort, who developed a wireless sensor suite for assisted living.

The issue is available online here:
http://rsfs.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/6/4.toc

Two studentships available

last modified May 05, 2017 12:13 PM

We are recruiting for two fully funded 1+3 years MRes +PhD studentships, in collaboration with MedImmune, starting in October 2017. Further details can be found here.

The deadline for applications is 31 May 2017.

Winner of CDT Twitter photo competition

last modified Mar 09, 2018 01:01 PM
Second prize in the #CDTinnovation category goes to Oliver Vanderpoorten
Winner of CDT Twitter photo competition

Dark worms. Credit: Oliver Vanderpoorten; Sample by: Tessa Sinnige

Congratulations to Oliver Vanderpoorten, from the 2015 cohort, for winning second prize in the CDT Twitter photo competition for his entry: Fluorescently labelled BAG neurons in C.Elegans - a simple model organism to study neurodegenerative diseases.

The Twitter photo competition was organised by the EPSRC CDT in Photonic Integration and Advanced Data Storage (PIADS) and EPSRC MRC CDT in Optical Medical Imaging (OPTIMA) to celebrate British Science Week 2017. There were three categories in the competition: #CDTinnovation, #CDTfunny and #CDTselfie. All the winning entries can be found here

Upcoming events

Industry Lecture: "From Sensor Idea to Sensor Sales - a case study"

Sep 27, 2018

Johnson Matthew Lecture Theatre (LT2), Department of Chemical Engineering & Biotechnology

2018 Sensor CDT PhD Showcase

Oct 18, 2018

Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge

Sensors Day 2018

Oct 19, 2018

Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge

Supercontinuum in Microscopy and Biological Imaging Applications Workshop

Nov 26, 2018

Department of Chemical Engineering & Biotechnology

Upcoming events