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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 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

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Sensor Team Challenge 2017 has started

last modified Jun 05, 2018 06:05 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.

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.

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 project on optical projection tomography completed

last modified Aug 23, 2016 12:47 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

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Sensor CDT Student first publication with her new team

May 22, 2018

Congratulation to Johanna Kölbel, Sensor CDT MRes student, on the publication of her first paper with the Terahertz Applications Group.

Sensor CDT students at Creativity Sandpit with Imperial and Warwick CDTs

May 22, 2018

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

May 22, 2018

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).

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