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News Story:

Communications Engineering


Creating the next generation of leaders for the communications industry

The communications industry is an important sector in the UK economy contributing around £129 billion but there is a growing skills shortage. A new research centre in communications, the first of its kind in the UK, will provide major benefits to the country's economy and will be key in educating the scientists and engineers needed for Britainís future.

The new University of Bristol Centre for Doctoral Training has won funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) for the new £10 million research centre in Communications Engineering,

Communications technology not only provides personal voice and data services but it also underpins the aerospace, medical, defence and security industries. The UK is a leader in these fields and there is a growing demand for high quality communications researchers and engineers who can create future innovative products and services here in the UK.

With the support of 25 major UK companies and trade organisations, the new CDT will help to build UK capability in this key area, addressing the skills shortage in the industry. It will focus on 'future communications: people, power and performance'. While communications technology is the enabler, the new centre recognises that it is people who are the creators, consumers and beneficiaries in terms of its broader applications.

Joe McGeehan, Professor of Communications Engineering, who has pioneered many of the technologies for the next generation of mobile phones and is behind the wireless revolution, said: "The new Centre will provide major benefits to the UK's economy, its knowledge base and its society. Our partnership with industry has been critical in shaping and winning this centre and will continue to be so in its delivery phase.

"As well as producing innovative solutions to key emerging research challenges, the Centre will provide an advanced training network for the communications community nationally, and develop the skilled and entrepreneurial engineers needed to underpin the future of the industry."

The University through its Centre for Communications Research (CCR), headed by Professor McGeehan, has been a world leader in this field for two decades. The new Centre will combine the strengths of the CCR with Bristol's world leading mathematics capability, its strengths in interactivity and the challenges in safety critical systems.

The communications sector is fundamental to telecommunications, broadcasting and ICT, underpinning the RCUK Digital Economy research priority.

The Bristol team was selected over nine other leading UK universities to win this prestigious centre. With its first intake in 2011, the CDT will host 50 new PhD students over five intake cycles.